Title: When We Were Younger

Authors: cherry619 & BeckaBoo1735

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Schmoop and well more schmoop

Characters: Sam Winchester. Dean Winchester. John Winchester.

Disclaimer: Sorry,I couldn't find a crossroads to trade my soul for Supernatural. Title from the You Me at Six song from their brilliant new album.

A/N1: Thanks so much to Cherry for round robin-ing this with me! Such a big help and I think we pulled it off well.

A/N2: I know this is LONG overdue but better late than never right? Lol hope this is what you wanted.

Summary: Dean reminisces about Sam's first stint in the hospital. For moviegeek03's birthday. So sorry this is so late honey but I hope we collectively did a good enough job to make up for the delay a little bit! MWAH!

When We Were Younger

Dean remembers the first time Sam was in the hospital. Through their childhood, like any kids, the both of them got cuts and scrapes and a couple of broken noses from time to time. But the first time Sam was really admitted for something Dean or their dad didn't have a chance at fixing between the two of them, that would be something that would stay with Dean until the day he died.

Dean had blamed himself. He shouldn't have let his brother play in a parking lot by himself in the dark.

Dean should have been a better guardian to his baby brother. But Jesus he was just trying to find some way to cheer the kid up. Ever since Christmas he'd been miserable as hell. Barely spoke. Jumped at the slightest pin drop. Worried way too much. And hardly did any kid things anymore at that time. Sam was just so wrapped up inside his own head it had driven Dean insane because he knew exactly what things Sam was panicking about- Is dad okay? Are we okay? Will the monsters get us if I close my eyes? If they got mom so easily what's stopping them from getting us just as quick? And Sam didn't do anything by halves, still doesn't. He's good at everything, including having a nervous breakdown every time the lights went out.

Dean asked if he could help, but Sam pushed him away and told him he was old enough to do what he wanted, to deal with the monsters and the reality of them, he could do that just fine, he was fine. Dean had tried to give Sam his space, which is why Sam was out in the parking lot in the first place.

One night after a massive blowout with their dad about leaving again, leaving them unprotected, Sam went batshit crazy. They had a minor wrestling match when Sam made a move for Dean's gun under his pillow saying he'd stock up for days pointing it at the door until their dad got back if that's what it took to keep himself protected.

Sam hated that Dean won the wrestling match but didn't make another move for the gun again, he wasn't that blind or stupid. After he somewhat calmed down, Dean handed his brother the cheep crappy football they'd got at the gas station a few weeks before and told him to get some air, Sam hadn't refused.

The next thing Dean knew, there was a screech in the parking lot and the crashing of a bumper against someone's side door. Dean abandoned the latest episode of the Simpsons when he heard a woman scream.

"Oh my god. Ohmygod."

Dean gives no thoughts for the salt line he's just destroyed along the doorway as he runs from the room searching for anyone he can help. His dad taught him more than the basic first aid before he taught him how to shoot a gun. He knew how to help someone if the ambulance can't get here soon enough, he could be a hero just like his dad. Okay it wouldn't be quite what like his dad does but it still counts.

"What happened? Are you okay?" he asks in his best deep voice, trying to sound as mature as he knows he is, to the woman that's shivering and has her hand over her mouth like she might hurl.

"Oh my god I didn't see him until I hit him. I'm so sorry, oh god…" she turns her back and Dean catches the slightest second of tears dripping down her cheeks. He knows she isn't hurt so he forgets about her and looks to the direction she's refusing to focus on.

"Sammy!" Dean shouts across the parking lot to where his brother is lying on the ground, tears streaming down his cheeks and blood gathering on the jeans of his right pant leg. Dean ignores his need to scream at the woman and demand what she did to his little brother, to collect Sam in his arms. "Hey, hey Sammy what happened?"

Sam shakes and whimpers, his chest hitches more times than Dean can count as he pulls his brother to rest against his chest.

"M-my leg. D-e-a-n," he sputters, each letter of Dean's name a separate syllable. "H-urts. Really hu-rts. De…" he cries, trying to grab at the limb as white hot agony eats through his veins and explodes in his chest.

"It's okay, it's okay it's not as bad as it looks Sammy." Dean holds Sam steady, keeps his hands away from the leg that's no doubt broken with the twisted angle it lays at. This is so much more than a few grazes and scraped knees. Sam needed professional help now, preferably before he goes into shock.

"What happened? I thought you were playing ball around the corner?" Dean sees no sign of the football, only two slightly collided cars, the woman still crying and a small collection of nosy assholes staring but not offering any help.

"L-lots it…over a fence. Wasn't r-ready to come back in…so I went for a wa-lk. Car…car was coming, oil on the road…couldn't move out of the way quick enough." Dean turns Sam on his side slightly as he gags and his stomach turns. After losing dinner and some of his lunch, Sam lays his dizzy head back on Dean's shoulder. "God…Dean it hurts," he sobs, whimpering as he turns his face into his brothers neck.

Swallowing his own building lump, Dean takes out the phone stuffed in his pocket and sends thanks to his past self that he didn't just leave it on the bed after his dad called earlier. He calls an ambulance and explains what happened and that Sam just threw up. He hangs up when the woman asks if he wanted to stay on the line. No, he has a brother to help.

"It's gonna be okay. I'm gonna patch you up alright? You're okay man, sshh."

Dean rubs circles over Sam's hammering chest and shoots glares at the few still staring in the doorways of their rooms. The shakes throughout Sam's bones increase and he cries out with a sharp scream every so many minutes as the tremors play havoc on his broken leg. Dean knows he never wants to hear that sound from his brother ever again.

"Sam listen to me, you need to slow down or you're gonna go into shock," Dean coaches in the steady voice their dad uses sometimes when he isn't shouting. Although right now Dean wants nothing more than to lose it alongside his brother. "You're alright, they're gonna give you plenty of the good stuff when they get here in a minute. Nothing else is gonna happen to you on my watch. But you need to calm down little brother."

Sam sniffles, trying to get a handle on his breathing. "C-cold Dean." His nails dig in further into Dean's arm; he didn't even know he'd been gripping his fingers around.

"Alright. Easy." Dean manages to get Sam to fist his leg instead and shrugs himself out of his shirt to lay it over Sam's chest. It won't do much but it might help keep a bit of the chill away before it eats Sam whole.

Dean holds Sam and mutters random comforting things close to his ear until the ambulance arrives. The silence is so abrupt it has Sam whimpering at a loss when the EMT's kneel down in front of them and rush past so many questions Sam doesn't have time to think of the answers let alone getting them to come out of his mouth.

Dean watches in anxiety as the EMT's crowd around him and Sam, all the onlookers are being forced back and a police officer is trying to talk to the hysterical woman. It takes a while for Dean to realize that one of the EMT's are trying to talk to him.

"Kid, we need you and your brother's name?"

Dean snaps out of it and gulps in some air. "Uh...I'm Dean and th-this is Sam." Dean points to his still brother and feels like crying.

"Don't worry son, we'll take good care of Sam." The EMT tries to assure Dean but he knows that it's all words and talk. It was supposed to make him feel better but all it did was make him nauseous. To think that someone else but Dean had to take care of Sam was making him woozy. "Where are your parents?"

"Um…not here right now," Dean mumbles and is thankful they don't ask anymore about it before helping his brother.

"Let's get him on a backboard." One EMT mutters silently.

Dean bends down and whisperers in his brother's ear, "you here that Sammy? We're gonna get you some help now, ok? I just need you to keep calm."

Sam nods and swallows down the bile that threatens to rise. "O-okay." He says shakily, his hand still firmly holding onto his brother's pants leg.

"Alright Dean, if you can remove your shirt from Sam we can move him onto a backboard and get him ready for transport."

"Right, right...ok um…" Dean takes off the shirt gently and watches in heartbreak as Sam shivers and tries in vain to get the shirt back. "He's cold."

"I know, he's going into shock, we have a blanket we can place over him once we get him in the truck."

"C-cold" Sam shivers and stutters desperately trying to find warmth again. It feels like the cold was leeching in and freezing his bones, it was making him jerk and moan as his broken leg was moved about.

"I know Sammy but we'll get you a blanket soon, kay'?" Dean soothes gently. He pets down Sam's sweat soaked hair, soothing him as best he can. "Hey remember that time in Texas when we we're playing football in that field?"

Sam turns heavy eyes to his brother in pain but underneath the pain is a little spark of merriment. "Ye-yeah...we accidentally br-broke the neighbors win-window."

"We? You mean you broke his window. Remember how Mr. Summer chased us all around his house with his cane? He was pissed. Kept on shouting, 'I'll get you darn nabbit!'"

Sam let out a surprised laugh and winced at the way it shook his leg. "Ye-yeah when we to-told dad he la-laughed his ass off."

"Yep never seen him so…" Dean's voice trails off as he loses the right word to say.

"N-ormal?"Sam guesses and Dean can't help but snort. Even when he's in mind blowing pain Sam still manages to get in a bitch about their dad.

"Normal…relaxed, sure," Dean muses gently. He remembered that summer like it was yesterday. Their dad was doing a simple training regimen with a fellow hunter so Sam and him we're able to spend the day doing normal stuff for once.

"Alright let's try moving him." Dean was snapped out of his thoughts at the sound of a feminine voice.


"We've splinted his leg, now we need to move him on a backboard kid." Dean didn't even notice that they had everything ready and Sam certainly didn't notice the temporary support around his leg.

"Hey Sammy they're going to move you onto a backboard so they can get you on a stretcher okay? Just do everything they tell you to and it'll be good dude."

Sam nods silently and relinquishes his tight hold on his brother's jeans.

"Alright on three, 1...2...3!" All at once the EMT's swiftly move Sam over onto a backboard. Dean's lap and legs suddenly felt very cold at the loss of contact.

Sam yelps in pain and cries out as the slightest movement causes the nerves around his broken bone to scream. He tries breathing through the pain but it doesn't get him far, if anywhere. He gets one last look at his brother's worried face before the night suddenly becomes darker until he can see nothing at all.

"Sammy? Sammy?" Dean shouts, his hand fisting in his brothers collar to shake him as his head lulls and his lids close.

"It's okay, we're monitoring him. His blood pressure is a little low but he's doing well," the female medic assures with a careful hand on Dean's shoulder before she goes back to Sam and grabs her end of the board. Dean is impressed by the fluid movements as his brother is lifted from the ground and onto the stretcher waiting. But he's sure if Sam was awake during that, he would have felt every flicker through the air.

Dean climbs in after they load Sam in the back of the ambulance. He holds his brother's hand as the woman places an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose, giving Dean another reassuring smile when his O2 levels pick up almost instantly with the help.

"Where are your parents honey?" the woman asks as the doors shut and the other EMT climbs in the front and starts the engine.

"Our dads visiting a friend a few towns over. He'll be back later."Dean hopes he'll be back later. He knows what to do in emergencies such as this, what insurance cards to give the hospital and such, but their dad being here to hold some of the fort wouldn't hurt right about now.

"Your mom?"

Dean knew that question was coming, but it doesn't help the pang of pain that follows. "Dead," he answers coldly, moving his attention solely back to his brother twitching his head to the side, a sign he was waking up. Dean softened his expression and squeezes Sam's hand in support as he screws up his face from under the mask and a few more tears drip down his temples. "It's okay man, ten minutes tops, you'll be pumped with the good stuff and flying with pink elephants."

"Actually, make that a couple of minutes," the medic says, her voice even softer than it was before. Dean wants to tell her that they don't need her sympathy, but it would only prolong Sam getting the pain meds he needs so he doesn't bother. "I'm just going to put a line in okay Sam? And then we'll work on giving you the right medication and those pink elephants."

She works quickly, finding a vein and gently warning Sam before the needle is pushed into his skin. Sam hates needles, who doesn't? But it's a testament to just how much pain he's in when he doesn't even acknowledge the fine sharp tip piercing his skin in the crook of his elbow.

When Sam answers that his pain is at a level fifteen out of one to ten, he gets a handy dose of morphine. It doesn't take him long to succumb to the warm darkness calling his name again.

After Sam passes out again, a little more calmly this time, Dean forces his brain to work as the med asks him for information on Sam's past medical history, allergies and his age.

When they arrive at the hospital, Dean is made to stay back until they can get him in a room and set up before taking him down to x-ray. Dean uses the opportunity to call their dad instead of panicking and throwing up like he wants to so badly right now.

He tells John what hospital they're at, what happened as best to what he could gather from Sam and finishes the voice message with stuttering apologies and a few tears. He should have never let Sammy out of the motel. Those were the rules. Don't answer the phone unless it rings once first. Shoot anything that tries to break in and absolutely do not let Sammy out of his sight. This is the second time he's let his brother down when it was his job to protect him no matter what.

He wipes his face off roughly when he goes back inside the ER, news that he can see his brother right away stops him from having a stroke because now he just realizes they have no means for protection and Sam is alone again.

Sam is still asleep when he gets to the room. They've wrapped him up well so that he isn't shivering anymore and the numbers and sounds from the monitors connected to him all look happy.

Dean says his goodbyes to an unresponsive brother when they take him down the x-ray ten minutes later, his heart sinks to his foot when Sam comes back awake with fresh tears collecting down his painfully pale cheeks. At least the oxygen mask is gone.

"You in pain again?" Dean asks, because Sam should be in lala land.

Sam shakes his head, waits until the two orderlies set the breaks on his bed and leave before talking. "He's not coming is he?" Sam croaks, his chin to his chest.

"I only called him when we got here. We haven't been that long." The smart thing to do right now is to tell Sam that their dad 'might' come, because he really can't make anymore promises when it comes to John Winchester. It just hurts too much to see the disappointed look on Sam's face when his promises don't follow through. But Dean is feeling particularly stupid today with everything that's happened and if it helps Sam even for a second, he'll lie again if he has to. "Dad will be here, I promise." Dean looks down at the necklace hanging around his neck, crap he wants what he just said to come true.

So Dean sits next to Sam and holds his hand, he dutifully wipes the tears that fall from his expressive eyes and does something he normally doesn't do, he prays that their dad will be here because he doesn't have the heart to sooth Sam from a heartbreak like that.

It isn't until a few hours later and a severely doped up Sam that Dean hears shouting.

He yawns and soon realizes that he fell asleep. His hand is still encased within Sam's own and he can't help squeezing it before he pulls away.

He wipes he drool from his mouth with a frown and pops his back.

"God damnit! I want to see my son!"

Dean furrows his brows and uncurls himself from the small chair he was sitting in. Peeking out the hallway his eyes widened at seeing their dad.

"Sir if you will just-" The poor nurse tries to calm their dad down but John Winchester was having none of that.

"No! Where is my son? Is he ok?" Their dad looks panicked, his eyes are wide and wet and his hands are trembling. Dean decides it's probably a good idea to get him calmed down.

Walking out into the hallway Dean waits until he's right behind his dad to alert him.

John turns around quickly and envelops Dean in a huge hug. "Thank God Dean...are you okay?"

Dean awkwardly pats his dad's back. "Of course I am, it's Sam whose hurt dad."

"Sammy, is he ok?" John asks with a tremble stepping back from the hug.

"He's fine, has a busted leg but doped up to the gills so right now he's good."

All the air leaves John in a relieved sigh; Dean knows the feeling well. "That's good." John rubs his forehead. "Let's go see your brother ok? We can talk about this later."

Dean's shoulder sags in relief and he follows his father all the way to Sam's room but he can't help dread what he would do about Dean's failure.

John sighs again when he sees his son, pale, his leg wrapped in temporary bandages and splits, flat on his back with his swimming eyes focused on the ceiling.

"Hey, Sammy, told you he'd be here right?" Dean cuts from behind his father to sit in the chair he's come to hate over the last few hours. He cups Sam's hand in his own and pats his arm until Sam blinks and looks to the newest visitor.

"Hey bud, what mess did you get yourself into this time?" John jokes, taking the chair at the opposite end to the bed to his eldest.

Their could have been conversation is interrupted by a quick knock at the door and a graying man in scrubs clearing his throat, letting himself in.

"Good evening, I'm Dr. Morrison. And you're Sam's…?"

"Sam's father," John answers possibly a little more stern than what was needed. "And Sam's brother," he nods to Dean.

"Nice to meet you. Now I've been taking a look at Sam's x-rays and I'm sorry to report that surgery is definitely needed to ensure Sam's leg will heal as best it can without further complications in his later life."

Dean turns a few shades paler, looking to his brothers dopey oblivious expression while John keeps his emotions in check and works on asking the right questions to the doctor before them. "What kind of surgery are we talking?"

"First we'll go in and re-set Sam's displaced bones, then we'll put a few screws in to make the sure severed bones fuse correctly. It's quite a simple procedure and it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours."

"When do you wanna do it?"

"As soon as possible, if you sign a few consent forms, we can take him to the OR within the hour."

Dean feels tears of shame sting his eyes. Sam needs surgery, now. His little brother will be taken away and his leg sliced open and pinned with metal all because he couldn't look after him any better now than he could at eight years old.

"Stay with your brother," John says softly, nodding to his eldest before he leaves to sign some papers.

Dean isn't even given a chance to protest. He couldn't look after Sammy, why was his dad still trusting him with this job?

"I'm so sorry Sammy, I'm a pretty shitty big brother huh? With the striga, not being able to keep you from finding dads journal, not being able to let you be a kid just…just for a little bit longer. If dad ever finds out you found my gun, held it and pointed it without any shooting training…jesus he'd tear me ten ways to Sunday. Not that I don't deserve it. Now I let you get run down by a freakin' car. All those people that are gonna get hurt now because dads not there to finish the job…he's here, you're here…you need god damn surgery Sammy."

"Dee-neh…stupi'." Dean's head bolts from his chest to focus on Sam's moving lips. "Not yer folt."

"How the hell would you know? You're so high right now you can't even say my name without drool dribbling down your chin."

"Shu' up. Jer-k."

Dean chuckles, still somewhat unable to meet Sam's eyes. "You're gonna be okay Sammy. I swear until you get your cast off, I'll let you have the good seat on the sofa and the TV remote permanently."

Sam giggles, his eyes drooping. "Thanks Dee."

Just an hour and half later, Sam is wheeled into an overnight room on the surgical ward. His leg is suspended in a brace hanging over the bed and his head is tilted to the side, sunken into the pillow.

Dean is the first to his brother's side, having sprinted up the steps rather than waiting for the lift. John comes a few short minutes later to find his eldest running his fingers through his brother's long hair.

Still mostly unconscious, Sam mumbles something neither of them understand but smiles softly when John's hand lays on his chest. Dean starts humming something that sounded like an off key Metallica song. Sam falls asleep willingly for the first time since they got here knowing he had both his protectors to watch over him.

"Sir? Sir?" Fingers snap in Dean's face bringing him from his memories. "There's a few papers I need you to sign, new insurance system, nothing to worry about, it'll just take a couple of minutes."

Dean looks down at his unconscious brother. "Could you bring them in here? I really don't wanna leave him in case he wakes up and I'm not here."

The nurse smiles gently. "Absolutely. I'll just be a couple of minutes."

Dean watches as the woman leaves, then moves back to humming to his brother. "You're gonna be okay Sammy. But just so you know, because of that seven week marathon of the documentary channel you forced me put up all those years ago, the TV remote is mine until you actually have the upper body strength to tackle it from me. Stitches or no."

Dean laughs at his own joke and settles back in the chair.

A small smile creeps up on Sam's face even in sleep and he snuggled down into the pillow deeper knowing that Dean was their to watch over him and nothing would happen to him when Dean was around.

The End.

So this was for moviegeek03's birthday albeit rather late but still here nevertheless! Me and Becky would love to hear from you guys about what you think and remember to stop by her profile and drop her a line on the story or something!

~Cherry & Becky