Here we go guys, the last chapter. I hope you had just as much fun reading the story as I did writing it! Thanks to everyone who reviewed, favorite story'd, alerted, or anything else. I really appreciate it.
John remembered the anger he felt when he came home and found the car unchanged. He remembered the fear he felt when he found his boys unconscious. He remembered calling Bobby and then waking Dean up. He remembered not being able to awaken his youngest.
This is what he remembered. Everything else seemed like a dazed blur.
"Dean!" Dad was shaking his shoulders, a solemn look in his eyes. "What happened?" But Dean couldn't speak, couldn't find the words.
He watched from the bed as his father tapped Sam, then a little harder, until he was shaking his son, trying to wake him up.
Finally giving up, John laid him out and tried to decide to call the ambulance or just a doctor. He was scared. They couldn't afford another hospital run. They'd asked him too many questions.
"Dean. Call Grace. Now." They could decide on what she had to say. Dean nodded, turned to his feet, and rushed out. John checked Sam's pulse again. Steady, but slow. He looked like he was sleeping.
He picked Sam up and placed him on the bed, pulling the covers up and tucked him in, a job Dean had perfected over the years.
"She'll be here as soon as possible." Dean said from the doorway. John looked up and nodded with sad eyes. "Dean? What. Happened."
The boy grew pale. This was what he'd been avoiding. Sinking down to the floor, he leaned against Sam's bed, elbows on his knees.
"I didn't know." He whispered almost inaudibly. "I didn't know."
"Didn't know what?"
"He was tired! He needed sleep! I... gave him a few of those sleeping pills." John had been tapping his jittery fingers against the wood of the baseboard, but he ceased at Dean's words.
The only thing worse than Dad screaming at you when you did sometime wrong was Dad speechless. Now the hunter sat still, deep in contemplation.
"D-dad?" He didn't answer, just squeezed his eyes shut and asked for some aspirin.
"Sam's gonna be okay, right?"
John looked at Dean, the worry evident in his eldest's green eyes.
"Of course." John was the best lier Dean knew, but the doubt was emanating off of the usually confident father as he answered.
"Yeah, sure." Dean's response was strained with exhaustion and anxiety, and as John left the room, mumbling something about a headache, Dean sat in his place.
He stared at his sleeping brother for a second, then shook him one more time. "Come on, Sammy, wake up for me."
Nothing, of course. Dean sighed and inched himself onto the bed next to his brother, situating himself so they were back to back. If Sam woke up, he'd know.
The doorbell rang and John answered hurriedly, ushering the young woman upstairs. She stopped in the doorway, unsure of what to do about the sleeping pair on the bed furthest from the door.
"Come on in," John said seriously, breaking the silence and motioning for her to get closer.
"Umm... Which one is..." She pointed at the boys.
"Oh! My Sammy, right here." He shook Dean's shoulder and the teen startled awake.
"Wha- oh, hi." Dean blushed and sat up, but didn't budge from his point on Sam's right side.
"How long's he been like this?" She asked, pulling tools out of her bag.
"Not long." Dean answered. "Twenty minutes? Is he okay?" Grace smiled and Dean couldn't help but wonder how she could be so calm during such a nerve-racking time for Dean and John.
"I don't know. But if it's like you said on the phone, Dean, patients with overdose usually come to fairly quickly."
"You serious?" Dean asked hopefully.
"As a heart attack. Sam certainly won't wake up today, but if he's truly comatose like I think he is, then more like in this week at the least and next at the most. He seems to be able to breathe on his own, that's great..." She was talking more to herself now, as she ways did when she was nervous. Her husband, Henry, said it was a bad habit, but she thought it actually comforted the patients and their family.
"I brought an IV, just in case you guys didn't, you know, want to visit the hospital. I know hunters." John nodded slightly, gratefully.
"There doesn't seem to be any head trauma," She added, turning his head slightly. "You said he didn't respond to stimuli?" She was looking at Dean again.
He said yes.
Grace took her time, performing a multitude of tests, including banging Sam's knee with a hammer, whatever that was for, Dean thought.
Finally, she looked up, as did John. Dean was watching her hopefully. "Well, it's such a low-scale coma, it almost isn't one. You're very lucky." Dean breathed out in relief.
"Sam's in a state kinda like a vegetative state- but not quite. Vegetative states are usually long lasting and caused by trauma. He'll be okay but... John, why don't we talk about this... in the hallway." She gave Dean a sympathetic look and John eyed him when he opened his mouth to protest.
"It's okay, its nothing bad, I just want to go into more detail with your dad. I figured you wanted some alone time with your brother, anyway." Grace smiled as John closed the door behind them.
Dean sat in silence for a minute, but quiet had always made him uncomfortable.
"Sammy, I know you can't hear me, but I'm going to talk anyway, because I hate peace and quiet, but you know that, don't you? AC/DC, Metallica, anything loud."
He stopped, ran his hand through his short hair. "My first girlfriend loved Styx. Don't ask me why, but she had a thing for rock... Remember your first girlfriend, Sammy? Well, the first one I knew about anyway, 'cause dude, I'd never tell you this in person, but you looked like a pro."
He was rambling on, settling his nerves. "Turned the corner outside the gym and- boom! You and Rachel Reed..." Dean chuckled. "You were all over her. But you were so... I dunno... like, a gentleman about it."
Dean leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes, just for a second, but when he opened them again, John was sitting in a rolling chair to Sam's left and it was dark out.
"W't time's it?" Dean asked, rubbing his eyes.
"Almost eight. You slept like a rock."
Dean gave him a dry smile.
"Still worried, huh, kiddo?" John asked, the painful way in which he looked at his youngest obvious to the nineteen-year-old. He moved his head stiffly up and down.
"Don't worry. Sam's a strong boy. Just like you. He's clever and strong and I know he'll fight through whatever's going through his melon right now."
"But, what if-"
"What if he doesn't wake up? Sammy'll wake up, no matter what. He's stubborn, but sometimes stubborn's good."
Dean gulped. "What if he's having a nightmare right now?"
"Hopefully, he isn't, 'cause he should know that you and I both know he's got our backs. He needs to understand it's a two way street. We both know he'll protect us just as well as we protect him. That's what Winchesters do. And Sam's a damn good example of a Winchester if I've ever seen one."
Sam sat listening to everything his dad said. Grace'd called it "conscious but unresponsive," but Sam didn't know she'd told John that his son was most likely listening.
It wasn't until later that Sam realized John'd known he was conscious- and that he'd wanted Sam to hear every word he'd said.
That night, Dean slept next to Sam and John took the other bed.
Dean couldn't help but think about Sam's nightmares. Is he having one right now? What if his nightmare lasted for two weeks? Don't worry, Sammy, you'll wake up soon.The steady drip of the IV lulled him to sleep.
Sam was in an empty room. He'd been here all day. Whatever this was that Grace had said, a coma, he found that he could hear everything, but couldn't move.
This made for a freaky experience, like when Dean had first fallen on his bullet wound. He could've screamed, yet he really couldn't have.
And when he'd fallen off the bed? He went to put his hands out but there was just numbness. He was helpless.
Now, he was trapped in this never-ending nightmare. Whenever someone started talking, it echoed through his dreams like an intercom.
But at night, no one spoke, and his family's deaths seemed as real as the IV John had stuck into his arm.
Sam was so busy thinking he didn't even hear the man sneak up behind him. He was grabbed roughly from behind and he cried out for help. The man overpowered him, and he was quickly tied up, stuck laying in an awkward position on the dirty carpet floor.
"Welcome to the carnival, Sam!" Josh hissed. "First up in the freak show?" He called, and one of his buddies came out with an unconscious Dean. He was heavily duct taped to the wall, his hands and arms spread out like a star.
Then the cutting began. Dean's screams filled his ears as the blood collected on the white flooring underneath him.
"Stop! STOP!" Sam screamed, resulting in a crude man stuffing a towel in his mouth.
Sam was crying as Dean was thrown to the side like a doll.
"NEXT!" Sam looked up as Josh dragged in his next victim- Mom.
The next four days, Dean barely left Sam's side. Neither did John, except to get food or use the bathroom. Sometimes he went downstairs to have a drink alone, but Dean didn't question his ways. To each his own.
"You awake?" Dean sat up to see Bobby peering in the doorway. He'd come back two days ago, let another hunter take his case and everything. Shows you how much Uncle Bobby thinks about family, Dean thought.
"Yeah," Dean mumbled.
"Come get some food. Your daddy's downstairs, too." When Dean shuffled down the steps, he found John nursing a beer at Bobby's desk and reading the paper.
Every morning it was the same thing, and the answer was always no. As if I wouldn't tell him if there were changes.
After a quick breakfast of cereal and almost expired milk, Dean checked in on Sammy before showering.
The water was soothing, a kind of escape from the turmoil his life had become. He turned the water off and opened the curtain, reaching for his towel. Dean looked up and jumped, snatching his towel and tying it around his waist.
"Jesus Christ, Sammy, just about gave me a hear- Sammy!" His brother was leaning against the vanity, his face pale and scared.
"I called for you, but you didn't answer. Then I couldn't find Mom or Dad." Dean opened his mouth but no words came out.
"L-let's get you to bed." He choked out, guiding Sam to their room, putting him in bed, where he instantly fell back asleep.
Dean froze for a moment, worried he'd slipped back into unconsciousness, but his little brother soon turned on his side, assuring Dean he was fine.
After quickly slipping on some clothes, he ran downstairs and out the backdoor to where Bobby and John were digging a grave. Dean didn't stop to question the matter, didn't have time.
"Sam's awake!" He huffed, and John looked up at him in amazement."But, he asked where 'Mom and Dad' are."
Dean followed his father to the bedroom, where the man carefully shook his son awake.
"Yes?" Sam asked, as polite as if he answered a business call.
"What's your name?"
"You just said it yourself!" The fifteen-year-old laughed.
"Would you remind me?"
"It's Sammy. Sam. I guess." John sighed, began to say something, but Dean interrupted. "Sam what?"
The boy looked genuinely stumped, thinking hard before shrugging and flipping on his side to fall back asleep.
"I called Grace." Bobby announced from the doorway. "She's coming to checking on him."
The older hunter looked over at Dean, who was grinning from ear to ear.
"What's with you?" He asked, but Dean couldn't put into words the sensation was feeling. Sam was okay, Dean told himself. He was awake and that was a a start.
"Well?" Bobby spoke up, when Grave came back out. He caught a glimpse of Sam and Dean talking before the door closed behind her.
"Actually? He seems okay. No permanent damage, just a little post-coma confusion." She smiled, grabbing her purse. "I'll check in, but he should be okay in the next couple of weeks, just a little tired."
"Hasn't he gotten enough sleep?" Bobby muttered bitterly as Grace walked to her car.
He heard laughing from upstairs, something he hadn't heard in a long time. He could pick out the individual voices- between Sam's energetic laugh, and Dean's lighthearted chuckle. And, if he listened close enough, the muffled sound of John's booming laugh traveled down the stairwell, too.
ONE WEEK LATER
Sam shuffled through Bobby's to the back door, where he heard noises coming from behind the house. Something clattered to the ground and Sam decided to investigate.
His older brother rolled out from under the car, dirty and greasy.
"Sammy? What are you doing out here! You're supposed to be resting!" Sam shrugged. "I feel okay." Dean frowned, muttered something about rest, and coasted back under the car. "Well, Dad should be home with food soon so if you- SON OF A..."
Dean crawled back out from under the Impala and Sam gasped at the blood flowing from his right arm. The older brother sat against the hood, tipping his head back and grimacing.
"Dean?" Sam stepped cautiously towards his ashen, pain-stricken brother. "Are you okay?" He glanced at the blood seeping through the fingers of Dean's left hand- a futile attempt to stench the flow. "Stitches, Sammy. Gonna need some stitches."
Sam nodded, dazed, as he opened the car door and reached into the glove compartment for the emergency kit. Unlike the average Boy Scout First Aid, it included everything from silver bullets to a needle and thread, which Sam snatched hurriedly, along with some disinfectant.
He'd never stitched anything before, but he'd watched Dean stitch Dad once after a werewolf had clawed him right on the shoulder. But now Dean needed him to do it. No way he could stitch himself up with his left hand.
Dean hissed as Sam wiped the cut clean. "Sorry..." Sam mumbled, focusing on the task at hand.
Starting on the end, he pressed the needle into the skin, sewing one stitch after another. "Easy does it," Dean muttered as Sam pulled the needle through again. The fifteen-year-old stopped to wipe the accumulating blood away before continuing. The blood flow lessened and lessened until, eight messy stitches later, it became a steady trickle.
Dean was calming down, but groaned softly as Sam disinfected it again.
"Bandages!" Sam said, rifling through the first aid kit. He unraveled the white fabric across Dean's arm gently as possible, his hands shaking like mad.
"Th-there." He stuttered, wiping his bloody hands off with a towel. Dean did the same, pushing aside the used tools and putting his arm around his brother.
"Nice job," Dean flexed his fingers. "You saved me, ya hero." He smiled, ruffling Sam's hair. "Now, what do you say we fix up this car, huh?"
"Nah, my hand's fine, Sammy, come on!" Dean lied. Sam shrugged, Dean's words running through his head. He did save Dean. He saved Dean. Sam smiled and crouched down to hand a socket wrench under to his big brother.
As far as Sam was concerned, Dean was his responsibility- just as much as he was Dean's. There'd be plenty of opportunities to save his brother's life again. No more nightmares, he promised himself, no more sleepless nights. If he's going to be saving Dean's life all the time, he's gotta be on the ball all day. So yeah, he thought, he could definitely get used to the whole "Two Way Street" idea.
The End. I hoped you guys liked this story. Please review if you liked it! You guys are great and I love writing stories on here... and I've already got another idea. ;)