AN: This took forever and it's short. But I hope you like it anyway…
Sam wakes one sense at a time.
First, he smells blood, sharp and metallic.
It smells like death.
The second time he wakes, he feels Dean's hand on his chest, rising and falling with each inhale and exhale.
Next, he hears an unfamiliar voice talking about things like blood loss and organ system failure.
He's alive, but it was close.
When he wakes enough to open his eyes, he sees words written all over cloudy green eyes and wet cheeks.
I thought I lost you.
Those tears follow Sam into his dreams.
The next time he wakes, he's alert. Clear. Dean is feeding him ice chips that are cold and taste like heaven, but Sam's alive.
Sam asks, "What happened?"
Dean spoons another ice chip out of the cup and into Sam's mouth. When he speaks, his voice is rough. "Your INR was more than 5 times what it should have been. You got a nosebleed. Lost a lot of blood. Your heart stopped for a minute."
Sam closes his eyes as his mind tries to process the fact that he died. He died. He opens his mouth and Dean slides another ice chip in.
"They did a bunch of tests to make sure your insides aren't as bruised and bloody as your outsides. They pumped you full of blood and fluids and – get this – vitamin K. Apparently it's the antidote. I should have let you eat a fucking salad."
The ice chip finishes melting in Sam's mouth as he opens his eyes. "Not your fault."
Dean's eyes flick down to Sam's chest. "How are you feeling?" he asks, as if Sam hasn't said anything at all.
Dean sets the cup down and puts a hand flat on Sam's chest. It's more than just this thing they do to check for a pulmonary embolism now. It's more than just keeping them calm. It's Sam, breathing and heart beating, and alive.
Dean says, "Sleep," and keeps his hand right where it's at.
Sam lets himself fall.
"Your INR is still at 4.8. Too high, but not critical." The doctor, whose name they didn't even bother to learn, flips through Sam's chart. "No Coumadin tonight. Tomorrow we'll start you back on 5 mg per day. But you need to have your INR checked more regularly. It can't get that high again, okay?"
"Yes sir," Sam says.
The doctor smiles like he's fixed everything, then leaves Sam and Dean alone.
"Can we get out of here?" Sam asks.
Dean rubs a hand over his chin. It's been too long since he's shaved. "You heard the man. They want to keep you another night or two."
"I did hear the man. He said not critical. Which means we can get out of here."
When Dean stands, it's with enough force that the chair is pushed back a few inches. Sam watches as he pinches the bridge of his nose and paces and looks everywhere but at Sam and doesn't say a word.
"What, Dean? You hate hospitals. You want to get out of here as much as I do. Why are you acting like this."
"Because you died," Dean bites out. Sam flinches even though Dean's standing all the way at the foot of the bed. He's clutching the railing so hard that his knuckles are white. "Your heart stopped, Sam. This isn't a goddamn broken leg or fucking pneumonia. You died."
This isn't what Sam wants. None of it. Not lying in the hospital bed. Not watching Dean fall apart. Not thinking about the fact that this thing he has to deal with for the rest of his damn life already tried to kill him. Not thinking about the secret he's keeping.
"Hey," Sam says softly.
It takes a minute before Dean lifts his gaze. His eyes look like anger, but it's a thin mask over fear.
Very slowly, Dean lets go and walks to the side of the bed. Sam grabs Dean's hand. It's warm and rough. He pushes Dean's palm against his sternum and holds his own hand over the top. Then he breathes. Slow. Deep. Easy. "Feel that?" he asks, looking Dean in the eyes. "I'm okay. I'm fine. Everything's going to be fine."
They stay like that for a long time, until Dean gives an almost imperceptible nod.
Sam lets his head flop back against the pillow as he releases Dean's hand. "Let's just go, okay?"
"Go where? Don't say on a hunt. If you say on a fucking hunt, I will fucking kill you."
Though the words are powerful, they sound desperate. They mean they're going to have to take baby steps back towards normal, and Sam's going to have to be okay with that. He starts picking at the tape holding his IV tubing in place. "Florida."
Dean's eyebrows lift as he opens a cabinet and takes out gauze and tape. "Florida?"
Sam shrugs. "Happiest place on Earth, right?"
"You want to go to Disney World?"
Sam shrugs again. "Disney. Miami. New York City. Vegas. Seattle. Don't care. Not here." Anywhere, as long as they can put all of this behind them.
With careful hands, Dean finishes removing the tape from Sam's arm. The skin there is already bruising. Many of Sam's bruises are starting to fade, but not this one. This one's too fresh.
"Wherever we go, we're going to stop every two hours. Get out of the car. Walk around."
"I don't think I have to worry about any more clots right now." Dean glances up from his work, and it's a look Sam does not want to mess with. "But yeah. Okay. Every two hours."
"And we find a doctor. Get your INR checked. Take better care of this shit."
Sam nods. "Yeah. Fine."
Dean pulls the IV out and presses gauze to the wound. "Sorry," he says when Sam winces. "Hold that there."
Sam holds the gauze tight and watches as Dean takes out a set of clothes. Not the clothes Sam wore, unconscious, into the hospital. They won't talk about the fact that those were destroyed.
"Want to get changed?"
"Yeah." But when he lets up on the gauze, blood drips down his arm. "Shit," he mutters.
Dean is there in an instant with more gauze. This time he doesn't apologize for pressing too hard on Sam's bruise. When Sam looks up, Dean looks panicked, like a pull on the tiniest thread will unravel everything.
"It's okay," Sam says. "It's going to stop."
"Shit, Sam." He presses down hard and shakes his head harder. "No. This is a bad idea. I'll go get a nurse..."
"It will stop," Sam interrupts. It's going to stop. It has to stop. And finally it does. Sam sighs in relief and lets Dean tape down fresh gauze.
When he's finished, Dean picks up Sam's clothes again. He clutches them against his chest. "You're sure about this?"
"Positive. I need to get out of here." Sam doesn't say it, but Dean needs to get out of here, too. Needs to wipe that look of panic and fear and my brother died off his face. "Help me get dressed."
By the time he's ready to go, Sam is exhausted. He just needs to make it out to the car. Then he can sleep. With Dean's help, Sam limps his way out of the hospital. Even though his blood was thin enough to stop his heart, the clot in his leg still fucking hurts.
"You good?" Dean asks as they pile into the car. It smells like leather and gunpowder and home.
"Happiest place on Earth?" Dean asks as he starts the car.
"Anywhere but here."
Dean shakes his head, but he's smiling a little. He drives.
When Sam looks in the rearview mirror, the hospital is long gone. He breathes and feels his heart beat and is alive.