Summary: Tag to 7.03 – Hurt Sam, Hurt/Worried Big Brother Dean, Awesome Bobby – A diagnosis of an epidural hematoma was not necessarily a death sentence, but it certainly did not bode well for Sam.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Warnings: Spoilers for 7.03 and 7.01 (actual episode dialogue quoted) and usual language

A/N: We get a blink-and-you-miss-it hospital scene with the boys and then flash to three weeks later like nothing ever happened? Seriously? *shakes head disapprovingly and prepares to fill in the gaps*


You need a reason for the things I do / I need a miracle to see me through... / My hands are tied, and I've been rolling the dice / My legs are broken, and I ain't up for a fight... / My heart is aching, and I'm down on the bends / My will is weak, and I'm falling again / I'd get back up and try to make things right / If you just stay here tonight... / And you know we'll be the last ones picking up the pieces / We'll be the last ones standing up strong / We'll be the last ones fixing all the things gone wrong / As the days go by... ~ Augustana


Bobby squinted at the red flashing lights as the ambulance wailed by him in the opposite lane.

"Sioux Falls General," he read from the side of the vehicle and then shook his head, wondering if whoever was inside knew they were on their way to be served on a leviathan buffet.

"Poor bastards," Bobby remarked, shaking his head again.

He really hoped Sam and Dean were already waiting for him at the house. They all needed to regroup and move their asses on this one before this particular situation got any more out of hand.

Bobby sighed, then startled when his phone chirped, alerting him to a voicemail.

He scowled in response and reached over to the passenger seat, hating it when his phone was right beside him and yet failed to ring. Given the current situation, hit-or-miss cell service could literally separate life and death, and Bobby was irritated more than usual by the inconvenience.

Grasping his phone, Bobby glanced at the caller display – not surprised to see Dean's name – and then glanced back at the road stretching out in front of him, frowning at the sudden amount of fog as he approached his driveway.

Bobby tilted his head.

No.

Not fog.

Fog did not normally have a smell.

And this...this smelled like...

"Smoke," Bobby identified just as his house came into view.

Or what was left of his house.

"Well, shit," Bobby drawled, parking behind the Impala and staring in stunned silence through the windshield at the charred, smoking remains of where he had lived for most of his adult life.

His phone chirped again, and Bobby blinked; glancing down at Dean's name still illuminated on the screen and instantly reminded of more important things than his fire-ravaged house.

"Dean!" he yelled, turning off the engine and pushing open the driver's side door. He paused, scanning the yard; eyes alert for any danger lurking in the shadows. "Sam!"

Because where one was, the other was sure to be.

And yet as the minutes passed, Bobby did not see either of them as he searched what was left of the house and surrounding property.

"Dammit," he hissed, a mixture of fear and helplessness making him pissed and causing his hands to fist at his sides; his grip tightening around the cellphone he forgot he was still holding.

Bobby sighed harshly, his breath ghosting into the cold night as he flipped open his phone and entered his password on the keypad – his late wife's birthday – and waited for his message.

"You cannot be in that crater back there," Dean's voice growled into his ear, and Bobby shook his head.

After all these years, surely Dean knew better than that.

"I can't..." Dean's voice faded, as though it was not used to saying those two words together and just stopped. Half a second passed. "If you're gone, I swear I am going to strap my 'beautiful mind' brother into the car, and I'm gonna drive us off the pier."

Bobby swallowed, knowing by Dean's tone that Dean was serious but also seeing the Impala within feet of where he was standing; testament to that plan obviously having not come to pass.

But the boys were still missing, so...

"You asked me how I was doing..." Dean's voice reminded Bobby. "Well, not good."

Bobby snorted.

Well, no shit.

"You said you'd be here," the voice said, its tone almost accusatory before pausing, and Bobby could picture the pained expression Dean had probably worn when he had said it. "Where are you?"

"Could ask you the same," Bobby commented, listening to the silence on the line and the sound of Sam's voice in the background calling his name before the message ended.

Bobby sighed, snapping his phone shut and once again scanning the yard for any signs of what had happened after his house had been burnt extra crispy.

His eyes crawled over every car within sight, and that was when he saw it – the yellowish-greenish Dodge Demon that had certainly seen better days and was no longer suspended in the air but dropped right in front of him.

"Huh," Bobby mused, coming to stand beside it and turning in a slow, tight circle; determined not to miss any detail.

The debris of the Demon smashing to the ground...the busted windshield of another car not ten feet away...the pattern of swept dirt indicating a physical struggle...and most alarmingly, the smear of blood along the ground.

Bobby crouched and squinted for a better look; his mind instantly remembering how he had squinted in the red flashing lights of the ambulance just moments earlier.

"Shit," Bobby hissed, his heart clenching in his chest at the realization that the poor bastards heading to Sioux Falls General were his boys.


"Sam..." Dean called desperately, staring at his brother as the paramedic shined his penlight into Sam's eyes. "You stay with me, you hear?" he reminded, just as he used to do when Sam was a kid.

Don't run too far ahead, Sammy. You stay with me, you hear?

Sam turned his head toward Dean's voice, eyes unfocused.

"Male, late twenties, head trauma..." the paramedic reported into his shoulder radio.

And for a split second, Dean envied the guy's detachment; to think of Sam as just another patient and not spend your every waking moment worrying about him.

What must that be like?

Dean could not imagine; did not want to imagine.

If Dean worried more than he should about his little brother, who could blame him? Even after everything that had happened over the past several years, Sam was still the best thing, the most important thing in Dean's life; the only thing Dean would protect at all costs.

"Signs of increasing intracranial pressure..."

Dean blinked at the sound of the paramedic's voice.

He had seen the blood smeared down Sam's neck from his ear and beneath Sam's nose, but actually hearing the words "increasing intracranial pressure" in relation to Sam made Dean want to throw up.

Sam turned away from Dean; focusing straight in front of him, actually lifting his head and frowning as he stared at the rear doors of the ambulance.

Dean followed his brother's gaze and narrowed his eyes, as if by doing so he could see what Sam undoubtedly saw – Lucifer riding along.

You and me...and the Devil makes three.

Dean opened his mouth to speak but paused when Sam went rigid and felt his own heart drop. Because he knew even before the monitors began blaring what was about to happen.

"Sam..."

Sam's head slammed back onto the stretcher, the thin pillow useless in cushioning the violent thrust.

"Sammy!" Dean yelled, struggling against the straps across his chest that secured him to the stretcher for transport.

"Yeah, he's seizing..." the paramedic reported into his radio, and Dean felt like punching an EMT.

No shit, Sam was seizing. How about a little less talking and a little more trying to make it fucking stop!

Sam's head jerked to the right, then back to the left to face Dean; his mouth opening in what Dean perceived to be pain and panic.

Dean opened his mouth to speak again but stopped when the paramedic's voice continued.

"Copy that...we're just pulling into Sioux Falls."

Dean felt his heart plunge. "Sioux Falls?" he repeated, attention darting to Sam as his brother continued to seize beside him and then back to the EMT. "Sioux Falls General?"

The paramedic nodded, cutting his eyes at Dean as though Dean was stupid to ask that.

"No, no, no..." Dean responded, shaking his head for emphasis.

Because they could not go there; not when he was incapacitated...and Sam was unconscious...and Bobby was probably dead.

"You gotta take us somewhere else," Dean demanded, focusing back on Sam as his brother continued to writhe on the stretcher beside him and feeling panic rise within his chest.

Because Sam did not usually seize this long, which meant this was more than just a Hell-induced grand mal; this was related to head injury, and Sam needed a hospital.

Just not this one; not Sioux Falls General.

"Anywhere..." Dean pleaded. "Please!"

"Yeah okay, buddy," the paramedic responded distractedly, alternately filling a syringe and glancing at Dean like he was a mental patient.

Dean slammed his head back in frustration, pressing hard into the pillow as he closed his eyes and once again jerked against the straps that held him down.

In the next instant, Dean felt the unmistakable pinch of a needle entering his skin and cut his eyes at the only person he had last seen holding a syringe. "What the fu – "

"Just something to help you calm down and relax," the paramedic patiently explained, removing the needle from Dean's bicep and turning his attention back to Sam.

Dean glared heatedly. "You sonuva..."

But that was as far as he got before the darkness overwhelmed him.


Dean blinked awake to the sound of disjointed voices.

"Hold him down..." a woman's voice instructed, and Dean vaguely wondered who she was talking about.

Unfamiliar faces hovered above him, blocking the glare of the lights overhead, as Dean felt pairs of hands grab his arms.

Out of instinct, he tried to pull away from their grasp, his movements sluggish and uncoordinated.

"Three...two...one...set..." was all the warning Dean got before the unmistakable sound – and jolting pain – of bone aligning with bone caused him to sit straight up, screaming.

"Nurse!" the woman's voice yelled, and Dean felt himself slammed back to the mattress as the woman continued to hold his leg and urged him to relax.

Swallowing against the throbbing, all-consuming pain, Dean struggled to sit up again, bracing on his elbows. "Where am I?"

"You're at the hospital," the woman explained, glancing at the nurse on his opposite side.

"Which one?" Dean asked urgently, following the doctor's gaze and seeing something injected into his IV line.

"Sioux Falls General."

Dean's eyes widened as remembrance sliced through the haze of lingering disorientation.

Bobby's house.

The leviathan.

The ambulance.

Sam.

"Where's my brother?" Dean demanded, struggling to sit up once again; suddenly panicked by the realization that he had not seen Sam since he had woken up; unnerved that he did not even remember arriving at the hospital. "We gotta go."

"He bashed his head quite seriously," the doctor reported, and Dean remembered Sam seizing beside him in the ambulance. "He's gone up for an MRI."

"Okay." Dean swallowed and blinked against the pull of whatever they had administered through his IV. "I gotta go."

Had to find Sam and get the hell out of there.

The doctor huffed a laughed. "You're not going anywhere on this leg, buddy," she remarked and turned her attention back to her work.

Dean continued to blink rapidly even as he felt himself drift away; wondering how he was going to save Sam if he could not stay awake long enough to save himself.


Bobby had a sense of déjà vu as he entered Sioux Falls General, dress shoes squeaking on the waxed floor as he walked down the brightly-lit corridor; long strides and an unreadable expression conveying his mission – to find what was his and get the hell out.

In the time that had passed between realizing where Sam and Dean were and actually arriving at the leviathan-infested hospital, Bobby had changed into the suit he always kept stashed in the trunk of his '71 Chevelle and had devised a general plan of escape.

Details would depend on the boys' conditions – whether they were able to hole up in a motel the next state over or whether they would need to be taken to another hospital – but Bobby would sort that out later.

First things were first – find the boys.

Bobby sighed, looking from left to right at the room numbers as he continued down the hall.

His "hospital administration" badge had helped in securing information about Dean's whereabouts – it seemed everyone remembered "the good-looking guy with the open compound tibia fracture who growled and screamed a lot" – but Bobby was uneasy that no one seemed to be able to tell him about Sam.

The emergency room receptionist – real sweet girl – remembered a guy in his late twenties that had sustained head trauma and had been whisked upstairs for tests as soon as he had arrived since he had been bleeding from his ears and nose and was seizing; but she could not remember his name or if he had arrived on the same ambulance as Dean.

But Dean, he was...here.

Or at least, he was supposed to be.

Bobby nodded as he stood in front of the door and looked over his shoulder, double-checking his surroundings, before ducking into Dean's room; only to find Dean in a heap on the floor.

Bobby frowned. "You okay?"

Dean's attention darted up to him as Bobby entered, an expression of confusion and relief flashing across Dean's scruffy face. "Bobby...you're alive."

"'Course I am," Bobby responded and narrowed his eyes at the oldest Winchester sprawled in front of him. "Why are you on the floor?"

Dean blinked comically. "They gave me morphine. A lot..." he replied, as though that explained everything.

And it did.

Bobby had suspected as much from Dean's slurred tone and overall appearance. Alcohol and pretty much any other drug was nothing to Dean; Sam was the Winchester with the reputation for being a lightweight. But morphine had always been the only exception to that rule; the only drug that could knock Dean Winchester on his ass.

Quite literally, Bobby thought and then shook his head, reaching for the younger hunter.

Dean grasped the outstretched hand. "Hey, look...a monster broke my leg," he heard himself say as Bobby helped him up to the bed, and he really wished he could make himself shut up. He sounded like Sam after two beers – loopy and unguarded and probably two seconds away from an I-love-you-man moment.

Bobby stared at him as Dean perched on the side of the bed, blinking and trying to organize his scattered thoughts.

"The house..." Dean reached toward Bobby again before he could stop himself, having always been embarrassingly clingy when morphine was involved. "We thought you were dead."

"Well, I ain't," Bobby asserted and resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Not yet," he added, because they were still in leviathan territory. "But we gotta run," he explained, turning to close the blinds behind him. "This place ain't safe."

Dean shook his head, trying to clear the ever-present fog of medication, and startled when Bobby pushed his clothes against his chest.

"Where's Sam?"

"Uh..." Dean closed his eyes, trying to concentrate.

Out of all the questions in the world, that was the one that mattered most.

"Head scan, I think," he replied; the "I think" part bothering Dean more than anything; because it was Sam, and he should know.

"Meet me at the ambulance dock, stat," Bobby ordered, his expression and tone gentler than usual, as if he were talking to a child – or a drugged up Winchester. "I'll find Sam."

Dean nodded at the reassurance and hardened his own expression, because this was ridiculous. It was not Bobby's job to take care of Sam; it was his, and he needed to pull it together.

But first...what did Bobby just say? Something about an ambulance dock...

"Wait, where?" Dean asked, tilting his head.

Bobby paused at the door, turning back to face Dean.

But before Bobby could answer, Dean remembered and then thought of a different problem. "Bobby, I'm a gimp."

Without missing a beat, Bobby grabbed the pair of crutches propped beside the door and crossed to the bed, setting them beside Dean.

Dean glanced at them and then back at Bobby as the older hunter cupped his jaw.

"Hey..." Bobby called, affectionately patting Dean's cheek and smiling his encouragement before turning to leave again.

Dean watched him go, feeling strangely comforted by Bobby's uncharacteristic gesture and wondering how the hell he was supposed to get dressed by himself with his leg casted up to his thigh.


Bobby resisted the urge to run toward the orderly when he saw the white-clothed man coming down the hall, pushing an unconscious, floppy-haired kid.

But instead, he reached for his badge, snatching it from his lapel and holding it up.

"Hold the phone there, son," Bobby ordered, lowering the badge before the orderly could get a good look and further diverting attention as he grabbed the chart from the foot of the stretcher. "Who's this?" he asked.

As if he did not already know.

Bobby's heart had practically sung Sam's name when he had first caught glimpse of him seconds before.

"Yeah, this is the guy," Bobby commented, his tone detached even as his stomach dropped when he read the scrawled bottom line of the MRI film's cover sheet.

Results indicate the presence of an epidural hematoma in the left frontal lobe due to traumatic injury; place in ICU with ICP monitoring for next 24-48 hours; follow up CT scan; administer...

Bobby swallowed, wanting to read more but aware that he was being watched.

The orderly shifted from where he continued to stand at the opposite end of the stretcher, staring at Bobby expectantly.

Bobby inwardly shook himself.

Now was not the time to freak out. After everything Sam had endured, it was not unreasonable to think the kid could certainly overcome a little bleeding in the brain.

Bobby just had to get him someplace where he could rest and recover; someplace where it was less likely the hospital staff would eat him alive.

Bobby sighed, resuming the role of an exasperated hospital administrator. "Coverage lapsed," he reported, tossing the chart back between Sam's blanketed feet and grabbing either side of the stretcher. "We're shipping him to County."

The orderly continued to stare in speechless indifference as Bobby passed, pushing Sam down the hall.

"C'mon, sicko..." Bobby said affectionately, using the nickname he remembered Dean using whenever Sam was sick. "Let's get you healed up someplace a little safer."


Dean was getting too old for this shit.

Escaping from monsters by himself while he was drugged up and crippled would have been the kind of thing his adolescent self would have bragged about for months.

But now, his 30-something self was not impressed; was exhausted and panicky and just wanted to make sure Sam was okay.

Because Sam had to be okay.

Out of the haze of everything else over the past few hours, Dean clung to that hope; that the blood and the seizing and the unconsciousness were not indicative of what the paramedic had said, of what he himself had suspected – intracranial bleeding – but instead were the result of his little brother being a drama queen.

Dean closed his eyes briefly, shaking his head to clear his vision and his thoughts.

He needed to focus.

Dean could see Bobby's reflection in the side mirror of one of the ambulances as he cleared the hospital's side door and set off in the direction of that vehicle.

Only a few more crutched-assisted steps, and he would be...

Dean paused, heart slamming in his chest as he noticed two hospital employees exiting the facility's rear door.

While he did not remember seeing them before now, their expressions and intense focus on the ambulance Bobby – and Sam – was in was enough to spur Dean into a faster pace.


"C'mon, Dean..." Bobby growled urgently, gripping the ambulance's steering wheel anxiously; knowing Dean would want him to get Sam to safety even if it meant leaving Dean behind, but unwilling to make that decision just yet.

A flicker of movement caught his attention, and Bobby's eyes widened. "Balls..." he muttered as he watched the two doctor-and-nurse-wearing leviathans start running toward the vehicle.

"C'mon, Dean!" Bobby urged again, and then once more; startling as the passenger side door was suddenly yanked open.

"Go, go, go, go, go!" Dean yelled, dropping his crutches to the ground and swinging into the seat, barely closing the door behind himself as Bobby put the ambulance in gear and burned rubber out of the parking lot.


They were barely two seconds down the road before Dean did what Bobby expected him to – asked about Sam.

And when Bobby did not answer quick enough to suit Dean, the big brother asked again.

Bobby released a long, slow breath. He had years of experience in delivering bad news to Dean, but it never got any easier.

Dean narrowed his eyes, immediately suspicious at Bobby's prolonged silence. He turned awkwardly in his seat, trying to see Sam for himself but could only see the top of his brother's head at this angle. If his leg had not been casted up to his thigh, Dean would have already climbed in the back to assess Sam's condition.

"Bobby?" Dean prompted, turning back to stare at the older hunter.

Bobby sighed, keeping one hand on the steering wheel while leaning slightly forward and grabbing Sam's chart from where he had stowed it on the dash.

Wordlessly, Bobby handed it to Dean, wondering why he could not bring himself to say the words "epidural hematoma". Such a diagnosis was not necessarily a death sentence, but it certainly did not bode well for a person with a history of catastrophic head injuries.

Dean's gaze darted between the chart and Bobby, dread slowly spreading through his chest as he finally accepted the folder and scanned the first page; eyes immediately drawn to the bottom.

"No," Dean said aloud as he continued reading. "No, no, no..."

Dean shook his head, feeling as though he would choke from the knot of emotions clogging his throat.

Because this had the potential to be bad – to be really fucking bad – and Dean was scared and pissed and too exhausted to fight the tears that suddenly stung his eyes at the realization that after everything, he could still lose Sam.

"Bobby..." Dean clenched his jaw, unable to continue.

Bobby nodded, never needing words anyway. "I know," he agreed and decided to risk turning on the ambulance's lights and siren as he pressed harder on the gas pedal.


"What've we got?" a scrub-clad nurse asked, running out to meet the ambulance that had just arrived in the bay area outside the emergency room of Minnehaha County Memorial.

"Transfer from Sioux Falls General," Bobby replied, meeting her at the rear of the vehicle.

The nurse's eyes widened as she took in the sight of him, unaccustomed to seeing ambulance drivers wearing their Sunday best.

"Um..." she muttered distractedly, tucking a strand of brown hair behind her ear as her gaze fell on Bobby's badge.

Since when did hospital administrators drive ambulances? And if the patient was from Sioux Falls, why was this man driving a nondescript ambulance with "Medical Response" on the side and not the facility's name?

"Hey!" Bobby barked, snapping his fingers mere inches from the nurse's face. "You hear me, or what?" he demanded, aware that the nurse – "Stacy" according to her own badge – was suspicious of him but not having time for further explanations.

Sam's condition had deteriorated rapidly during the 30-minute drive over; so much so that Dean – heedless of his own injury and exhaustion – had somehow contorted his body and had managed to crawl in the back of the ambulance to be with Sam; had then alternated between talking to his unresponsive brother and giving Bobby increasingly panicked updates as the older hunter had literally pressed the gas pedal to the floorboard.

Bobby shook his head. "We've got a critical patient here," he informed as he reached to open the double doors of the vehicle. "Head trauma."

Stacy frowned. "Head trauma?" she repeated and then glanced over her shoulder as another woman approached; the woman wearing the same light blue scrubs as Stacy, indicating that she also worked in the ER. "Head trauma transfer from Sioux Falls?"

"No," the woman – Marie – answered briskly, her blonde ponytail swaying as she shook her head and narrowed her eyes at Bobby. "Why would Sioux Falls transfer a patient like that to us, when they're the ones with a neurologist on staff?"

"Because the place ain't what it used to be, lady," Bobby replied gruffly and then indicated his badge. "I oughta know, huh?"

"Guess so," Marie agreed and exchanged glances with Stacy.

Something was definitely going on here.

But there was no time for more questions as Bobby opened the ambulance doors to reveal not one person – as the women expected – but two.

Dean sat perched on the edge of the ambulance's jump seat; right leg awkwardly angled to the side; right arm braced on his casted thigh. His left hand rested on Sam's chest, since doing so had always been his own form of checking the kid's vitals, especially in the absence of monitors.

With his hand splayed on Sam's sternum, Dean could feel his brother's heartbeat, could measure his breaths, could assess whether or not Sam had a fever.

And the news was not good on any level.

"He's getting worse," Dean blurted at the sight of Bobby framed by the double doors of the ambulance and then shifted his gaze beyond the older hunter to the two women. "Do something!"

Stacy visibly jumped at the sound of Dean's raised voice, but it was Marie who climbed into the ambulance first.

"I'm Marie," she said, as if telling him her name was a peace offering. "What's yours?"

Dean cut his eyes at her but answered. "Dean."

Marie nodded. "Hi, Dean," she responded lamely. "I'm one of the ER doctors," she further explained and then frowned at the realization that struck her now that she was inside the ambulance. "Why are there no monitors?" she asked, not meaning for her tone to be accusatory but this was ridiculous.

"Because there's nothing but freakin' monsters at Sioux Falls who would rather my brother be dead than alive, and damn near killed me, too," Dean snapped, glaring at the doctor as she approached.

Marie said nothing, yanking her stethoscope from around her neck; eyes darting from Dean's bruised cheek to his casted leg and then to Sam's bandaged forehead and pale face.

...monsters at Sioux Falls who would rather my brother be dead than alive, and damn near killed me, too...

The place ain't what it used to be, lady...I oughta know, huh?

Marie swallowed, instantly understanding as the pieces of this particular puzzle clicked into place.

What a public relations nightmare.

No wonder a hospital administrator himself was transporting the patient in a nondescript ambulance which could not be traced back to Sioux Falls General.

And no wonder the transfer was not called in as it normally would have been under other circumstances. Sioux Falls staff was probably trying to keep this particular patient – and his dangerously pissed brother – off the proverbial radar in hopes the Board never caught wind of whatever had happened.

The absence of monitoring equipment on a critical patient was testament to how quickly these two brothers had been whisked away before an undoubtedly bad situation got even worse, and Marie felt shaky just thinking about what they had endured.

The one currently watching her every move – Dean – looked scruffy and haggard, and the leg fracture he had sustained must have been quite serious to have required a cast that stretched to his thigh.

And the one lying motionless on the gurney...

"What's his name?" Marie heard herself asking, folding back the edge of the blanket that covered her patient's chest before placing her stethoscope on either side of his sternum; feeling some of her anxiety begin to disperse as she focused on her job.

Dean narrowed his eyes, and Marie got the distinct feeling that he was sizing her up; judging as to whether she was a threat and deciding if she deserved to know his brother's name.

"Sam," Dean finally responded, and Marie briefly looked up; startled by how much love and concern could be expressed in one, single-syllable word.

Marie nodded. "Sam..." she called, refocusing on her patient. "Can you open your eyes?"

Sam remained silent and still.

"Sam..." she called again, fisting her hand and briskly rubbing her knuckles against his sternum. "Open your eyes."

Nothing.

Marie sighed and glanced at Dean, wondering if he knew what a bad sign this was; if he knew that no eye opening, no verbal response, and no response to command earned Sam a Glasgow Coma Scale of three; a score usually reserved for patients in a deep coma...or who were dead.

Marie swallowed the panic that began to rise in her chest. "We need to get him inside," she stated abruptly. "Now."

Dean's eyes widened slightly. "Bobby..."

Bobby nodded. Although he had remained outside the ambulance to allow space for Marie to work, he had heard the doctor's words and was already pulling the stretcher towards himself.

"Stacy!" Marie yelled, glancing over her shoulder to find that Stacy was nowhere in sight.

"She went inside," Bobby reported, his voice strained from supporting the extra weight of the gurney by himself as he maneuvered it out of the ambulance.

Marie scowled; irritated a nurse would just leave her with a critical patient but paused from making a comment as she saw Stacy suddenly emerge from the ER's double doors, hurriedly pushing a wheelchair.

"For him," Stacy explained breathlessly, staring past Marie at Dean.

Marie nodded. "Good," she agreed and hopped down from the ambulance as Bobby set the stretcher on its wheels on the concrete of the bay area. "Eddie..." she called, glancing at Bobby's badge.

"No, uh...Bobby, actually..." Bobby corrected and then shrugged his apology. "Nickname."

Marie frowned in confusion. "Okay, whatever. Listen, Bobby...you got him?" she checked, indicating Dean with a tilt of her head even as she was already gripping either side of Sam's stretcher, preparing to move.

"Yeah," Bobby assured, hoisting himself up into the ambulance; holding out his hand to halt Dean's attempt to rise by himself.

Marie glanced at the nurse. "Stacy..."

Stacy nodded, joining Marie as they both pushed Sam inside the hospital.

"Hurry, Bobby!" Dean yelled, his anxiety increasing as Sam disappeared behind the double doors of the ER; recent events causing him to be even more panicked when his brother was not in direct sight.

"Calm down, boy," Bobby snapped even as his own heart slammed in his chest.

Dean ignored him; roughly grasping Bobby's offered arm and practically dragging the older hunter behind him as he hobbled toward the back of the ambulance.

Bobby shook his head and sighed; thankful the morphine still lingered in Dean's system to ward off pain as the oldest Winchester all but jumped from ambulance to the waiting wheelchair below.

"Dean..." Bobby growled warningly.

"At least I stuck the landing," Dean replied – half drugged, half smartass – and did not wait for Bobby as he grasped the wheels on either of the chair and began pushing himself toward the ER's entrance.

"Damned idjit," Bobby grumbled, jumping from the ambulance before slamming the vehicle's doors; grabbing Sam's chart from the front seat; and then running after Dean.


TBC