Sam wouldn't wake up, that was bad enough.
But when the doctor delivered his verdict, both Winchesters were stunned.
Sometimes, it seems, the enemy can be your friend.
Warning: Mention of rape (not involving the Winchesters).
AU in the sense that Sam comes away from the story a little differently to canon.
Life threatening illness.
Sick, injured Sam.
Worried Dean and John.
Sam 16, Dean 20.
Usual disclaimers, including any bullshit medical stuff:
If any of its wrong please remember that it's just a story, and get over it, eh?
"Well, whadya know?" John announced, shining his flashlight on a tiny headstone. "For a politician, it's a bit of a letdown, huh Dean?"
Dean looked over at his father and smirked when he saw the grave.
"Only one I've ever seen whose ego could fit in something that small," he hefted his shovel meaningfully. "This'll teach the sick bastard. No wonder his wife refused a proper state funeral."
"Uh, guys?" Sam suddenly called out, eyes wide, and backing slowly away from a much larger mausoleum behind them. "I think he heard you!"
The spirit of John. H. Williamson flickered overhead, launched himself off the mausoleum and roared angrily, just as John dug in with his shovel.
Williamson swooped in, ghostly hands curled into claws, ready to take John's face off, but Sam swiped at it with a tyre iron, and the damn thing just backed off to a safe distance.
It obviously had something up its ghostly sleeve, because it appeared to be grinning sneakily at the small family.
And Williamson had been just as sneaky in life as he was proving in death…
Jenna Foreman, eighteen, sweet, innocent and fresh out of college had landed the job as Senator Williamson's secretary.
Little did she know, this wonderful opportunity would drastically screw up her life.
After numerous attempts to seduce her were flatly but politely turned down, not only did her new boss drug her coffee so he could have sex with her across his desk, but he filmed it for his own private pleasure, and stupidly neglected to wear a condom.
The result? He knocked her up.
A young girl, who had swore blind she was a virgin, just waiting for the right man to come along, was now branded a slut and a whore by her fellow townsfolk.
The poor kid killed herself a couple months later.
But it wasn't until Williamson himself was killed in car accident, that his transgressions came to light.
His wife, Mira, a grieving, soft-hearted, middle-aged beauty, had been clearing out his office when she stumbled upon a secret compartment in his safe.
Needless to say, she was devastated.
Infused with a sense of honour her husband had clearly lacked, Mrs Williamson kept the existence of the film footage from the press until she'd informed the girl's parents in person, allowing them to decide what they wanted to do with it.
Not surprisingly, Jenna's parents hit out at the public; spoke of Jenna's rape, doomed pregnancy, and ultimate despair when she was condemned by respectable society, and the whole town fell into a dark, guilt ridden silence.
But now the story was in the public domain, John Williamson's spirit wreaked havoc on his wife, out of some kind of misguided vengeance for posthumously ruining his reputation.
The tape was eventually destroyed, but the bastard kept on coming back, becoming increasingly more aggressive.
After a particularly vicious assault, exactly one year after his death, that left her hospitalised from a nasty shove down the stairs, Mira Williamson wisely decided to call in the experts.
Many years before, when she was just a little girl, her father had sought advice from someone named Samuel Campbell. She vaguely remembered giggling at the name, but falling silent with awe when the guy in question loomed over her.
Mr Campbell had seemed permanently angry about something, and that balding head made his eyes look hard and fierce.
But, the important thing she remembered most was that after Mr Campbell had done something weird in their house, involving chanting some funny sounding words, and punching holes in the walls, the scary shadow that had haunted her bedroom every night for three years was suddenly gone.
After the last attack by her dead husband, Mira had looked high and low for Campbell and came up with nothing. Man had just seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet. But her research lead to a small, innocuous road house, run by a good ol'country gal with a husky voice who, instead, gave her the number for one John Winchester.
When he showed up two days later, it was with the added bonus of his sexy but cheeky twenty year old son, Dean, who insisted on flirting with her outrageously, and making her feel naughty and young again.
And then there was the adorable, dewy-eyed, youngest son, Sam.
Sweet sixteen, his whole life ahead of him, and tainted by a deep, haunting sadness that somehow reminded her a little of Mr Campbell from years before.
And that was how the Winchesters found themselves facing off against a ghostly pervert in a graveyard, and wondering what the hell they'd done to deserve it.
Dean already had a nice shiner forming from having his face damn near punched through Williamson's pathetic headstone. John had several deep scratches up his arms and face from the ghost's claw-like nails.
Sam appeared to be the only one without injury, but that was about to change.
The ghost hovered menacingly above them.
It came out of nowhere; a strange wind whipping up around the Winchesters, driving leaves and dirt hard into their faces. Heads bent against the violent storm, Dean and John quickly got the top layer of soil off, and dug down further.
Sam wielded the shotgun expertly, the loud boom echoing round the graveyard. The ghost howled its' protest, and dissipated in a burst of rock salt.
John and Dean dug deeper, faster, and harder, ignoring the sound of Sam's shotgun going off once again and Williamson's haunting screams of rage.
Just in time, as it turned out, for John to crowbar the lid off the coffin, and make with the salt and lighter fluid.
Then it all went to hell for Sam.
Just before John touched the Zippo to the corpse, Sam was soaring through the air, arms flailing comically, until he met with the business end of a solid granite angel.
It didn't knock him out, but it was a close call.
Definitely not an act of God.
He tentatively got to his feet and blinked slowly. Leaving the shotgun abandoned on the ground, he stumbled forward, running a quick internal scan.
Head aching, vision a little skewed; nothing unusual about that after a wallop to the noggin. Reaching up, his fingers brushed a lump swelling up on the side of his head, and came away coated in a damp stickiness, which, after he squinted at it a few times, turned out to be blood.
But other than that, something felt… off.
Something had felt off for weeks, in fact, but now the general offness had been ramped up a few more degrees.
And his family were completely clueless about it.
It hadn't been intentional, keeping it a secret, but Sam and John hadn't been getting along too well of late. This was mostly down to Sam's sudden attacks of clumsiness, which John attributed to poor attention and lack of discipline. So Sam's training became longer and more arduous.
This didn't help rid Sam of his clumsiness; in fact, it did just the opposite.
It made things lots, lots worse.
The headaches became more intense, making him more aggressive and argumentative; the bouts of double vision became more frequent and scared the shit out of him.
And the more he screwed up, the angrier John became, the louder the arguments, and the more pissed off it made Dean for being caught like a piggy in the middle, trying to keep the peace.
Acknowledging that this had to reach some sort of conclusion had been hard, but what was even harder? The one time Sam had tried to tell his family that there was something wrong; he'd been interrupted before he could even get halfway through the sentence.
And, God forgive him for thinking it, but maybe they didn't really care all that much after all, because "Uh, guys, I've not been feeling…" didn't really require a genius level IQ to finish off with "…well, and I think I need to see a doctor."
He knew he was being unfair to them. Dean was, as always, excited by the new hunt, and John was just being John. But it hurt that they wouldn't even listen.
And now it was two weeks on, his symptoms were getting worse, and Sam felt caught between a rock and a hard place.
He was afraid to tell them for fear it would confirm his worst suspicions, that Dad and Dean didn't actually give a shit.
He was afraid not to tell them, for fear that this was something serious and if he didn't get checked out soon, it might well be too late.
Sniffing back his tears, Sam spotted the flames from the salt and burn, all fuzzy and blurry around the edges, and walked towards it.
John and Dean hadn't even noticed Sam's unexpected flight with the angel, it seemed, because they were too busy congratulating each other on a job well done.
Sam inwardly shrugged. It wouldn't be the first time he'd felt left out of his own
It's not like they actually need me.
Instead, he stood silently by, waiting for their acknowledgement, which never came.
When have they ever really needed me?
It was a long trek back up the hill from the graveyard. Sam trundled along behind John, feeling very sorry for himself, while Dean tried to engage his little brother in conversation.
"So, what ya say to some pool and a few beers, huh, Sammy?" asked Dean, gently bumping shoulders with him. "I might even let you win this time."
Sam didn't even look at him. "No thanks. Got homework."
You don't want me there, not really.
Dean's face fell. "Aw, c'mon. You can give it a rest for one night, huh? Come hang out with your awesome big brother!"
Sam sighed. "Look, I'm just too tired, ok?" he said, not unkindly. "Maybe another time."
Just go get drunk and laid... the real important things in life, huh? After hunting, that is...
"Fine," said Dean, in an instant sulk.
John, having overheard his sons, frowned deeply just as they got back to the cars.
"Sam, go with your brother," he barked out, unlocking his truck. "I got things I need to do, and I'd feel easier knowing you aren't at the motel all alone."
"But Dad," began Sam, balking at just the thought of sitting in a smoky bar room all night with drunken revellers, especially when he was feeling like crap.
"No arguments, Sam," said John, packing his weapons away in the truck. "Don't have time for your whining. Homework's irrelevant now the hunt's finished, anyhow. We'll be moving on tomorrow."
Sam honest to God felt like crying again.
"Fine," he whispered, morosely.
Don't know why you don't just leave me behind.
"Where's the shotgun?" Dean spoke up, suddenly. "It's not in the weapons bag."
John's gaze immediately shot to his youngest, homing in on the kid's empty hands. The frown deepened into an angry scowl.
"Sam, where's the shotgun?" he growled, and slowly stalked towards him. "You had it last."
"Uh… uh…" Sam remembered having it before the salt and burn, using it against the ghost, but after he took a header into the angel gravestone it was all a bit of a blank.
Sam hung his head, ashamed.
Shit. If Dad didn't hate me before, he sure does now.
"I think I must've dropped it," he whispered, tears threatening his composure once again. "I'm sorry, sir,"
What the hell's wrong with me? Since when did I turn into such a pussy?
"Godammit!" John spun around, and headed off back down to the graveyard. "Dean?" he ground out, trying to take control of his temper. "Take him to the bar, and don't bring him back before midnight!"
A traitorous tear slipped down Sam's face when he heard the angrily grumbled "I might be less likely to throttle him by then!"
He supposed he should have been grateful his Dad hadn't made him go search for it, or perhaps he just plain didn't trust Sam to do the job properly.
And he's right.
Avoiding Dean's gaze, head throbbing incessantly, Sam headed to the Impala and climbed into the front passenger seat, closing the door quietly after himself.
Dean bit his lip and huffed out a breath.
"Oh boy," he muttered, ominously, just as he slid into the driver's side. He looked across at Sam. "Guess I shouldn't have asked, huh?"
No response. Just a pissy silence and nothing else.
Dean felt a little pissed himself, by now.
"Ya know, if you'd just kept your mouth shut until we got in the car, you could've been back at the motel all by your geekself for the rest of the night, and I could've been at the bar without your moody ass!"
Sam still said nothing to that, just slid down in his seat, the right side of his face pressed up against the passenger window.
Sleep was calling him and Sam decided to go with it, never mind that the bar was only a twenty minute drive away. It was either that or suffer Dean's growing animosity.
Dean grumbled as he pulled up to the bar parking lot. Sam had been asleep the entire journey, and it was time for some fun.
"Hey, runt!" he reached across the car and pushed at Sam's shoulder. "C'mon, wake up, or I'll leave you here."
Sam remained silent, and Dean was beginning to think he was faking it.
"Right!" he said, getting out from behind the wheel and marching round to the passenger side. "Let's see, huh?"
It was a joke Dean had played on his little brother many times before:
It begins with Sam sound asleep, wedged up against his door, while Dean tippytoes around to his side of the car, yanks open car door, little brother startles awake and sprawls out on the tarmac, swearing up a storm.
This time, however, the joke didn't pan out.
The second Dean opened the passenger door, he knew something was wrong.
Perhaps his subconscious warned him about the smear of blood on the window before his brain fully registered it was there, or maybe it was the way Sam remained silent as he began to fall from his seat, making no move to wake up and save himself.
Either way, Dean's heart was pounding in his chest when he deftly caught the kid up in his arms.
"Sam?" he gave him a gentle shake. "Sammy? C'mon, this ain't funny, dude."
He spotted the blood leaking from Sam's right nostril and frowned worriedly.
"Ok, kiddo, joke's definitely over," he warned, voice beginning to waver. "Time to wake up, Sammy."
Gently smoothing a hand over the kid's head, he came into contact with an egg-sized lump, buried underneath his little brother's shaggy hair. And more blood, dried and clotted by now, but enough to send Dean into a tail spin of blind panic.
"What the hell, Sam?" he demanded. "Wake up right now, Goddammit!"
When he continued to achieve a big, fat zero, he noticed something strange on Sam's neck. He gently turned the boy's head a little more to the side, and gasped in shock.
Winding its way out of Sam's ear, and soaking into his tee-shirt, was another steady trickle of blood. Fresh, this time.
"Oh shit!" Dean breathed, and immediately began gently, but quickly, stuffing Sam back into the passenger seat. "Ohshitshitshit!"
Assuming you guys are interested enough...