This is a tale of hurt and comfort pure and simple.

It is a tale of inner-strength, of family, of love, of despair, of patience, of taking it one step at a time …

… and of wrenches.

The brothers have dealt with a lot, coped with a lot over the years. How will they cope with the most devastating injury that either of them has ever sustained?

Hurt/Comfort/Angst/Humour ... bit of everything really. Rated T for the odd naughty word and bears no particular resemblance to canon.

Disclaimer: I don't own them and for that they should be eternally grateful.

Chapter 1


Depressing grey-green hospital walls drifted in and out of focus as Sam sat; his cold hands picking absently at the hem of his faded plaid shirt. Staring forlornly into space, he wondered if there was a name for the range of miserable colours that every single hospital on the planet seemed to be painted in. Did they go out of their way to find the most cheerless, soul-sapping colours they could find?

'Gan-green,' he decided he would call it and almost smiled at the thought; it fitted perfectly.

He thought back to the evening's events. The doctor's words; those terrible words the man had imparted with an air of solemn concern after Sam had arrived wild-haired and panting into the hospital's reception, whirled in Sam's mind; repeating over and over again, a blizzard of dread and dire thoughts as he tried to make sense of a situation which was beyond all rational thought.

Dean had only wanted candy ...


Five hours … five long, agonising hours Dean had been in surgery and still not a hint of goddamned news. Sam had given up asking, all he had got for his trouble was the odd cup of vending machine coffee and a sympathetic bordering on patronising pat on the the forearm from a short, dumpy nurse called Brenda. 'Don't worry,' Brenda had consoled; 'Dean's in good hands'.

Don't worry? Was she for real? She might as well have asked him not to digest his lunch.

Sam sighed; five hours … what does it mean if they're taking a long time? Is it good, does it mean they're trying to fix stuff?

Or is it bad?

Sam closed his eyes and swallowed hard, trying to retrieve his runaway train of thought before it derailed entirely.

'Worst case scenario.'

That's what the doctor had said; Sam tried to hide behind the words. 'Worst case scenario.'

Doctors only say that stuff so that they won't get their assess sued off if things go wrong. Most people don't worry about the 'worst case scenario' because everyone knows that only happens to other people; of course the flip side of that is 'worst case scenario' is daily life when you're a Winchester.

He should call Bobby; they would need the older man's help, there would be all sorts of arrangements to make if … oh God, Sam's head dropped into his hand, he could barely think of the consequences.

How would Dean cope?

Sam felt the adrenalin racing around his system, forcing his heart into a rapid and dizzying cadence and he found himself closing his eyes, deep breathing to try to compose himself.

Get a grip Sam Winchester; Dean won't be able to cope at all if his brother's a snivelling wreck.

… In through the mouth, out through the nose …

Sam worked hard to calm himself, if the good old 'worst case scenario' did come to pass, Dean would need him over the coming months; need him more than he had ever needed him before.

Sam knew Dean was strong, sure. He was the strongest person Sam knew; but his strength was self-perpetuating. He was strong because he was strong. Take away his physical strength and his psychological strength would wither away and vanish with it.

He blinked, looking back up at the bleak expanse of gan-green where his attention was grabbed by a dog-eared poster which had completely escaped his notice for the last five hours. It showed a creepily perfect nuclear family looking deliriously happy whilst munching on a bunch of carrot sticks and extolling the virtues of a high fibre diet.

Sam stared at it with a scowl; "no-one smiles that much," he thought; "I don't know how stoned I'd have to be to smile like that." Right at this moment, he wasn't sure if he would ever smile again.


Jolting out of his musings, Sam's mind snapped back to his previous purpose; Bobby, he must call Bobby. He should know; he'll be able to help.

Rummaging in his pocket for his phone, Sam sat staring at it, as if he had forgotten how to use it. A million flickering images, none of them good; cascaded around the distracted kaleidoscope that was his mind.

Doctors weren't always right, were they?

I mean; most of the time you hoped they were, but occasionally, just occasionally, there were times that you hoped they weren't.

This was so one of those times.

Sam sighed as he watched two porters stroll past him, affording him a perfunctory nod as they chatted casually, seemingly without a care in the world.

Suddenly he was distracted by a tinny whisper; looking down he realised it was coming from his phone. He had sat there and dialled Bobby's number as a completely unconscious and automatic act.

"Are ya sittin' on ya damn phone again ya great idjit?" The voice, scarcely more than the buzz of a peeved honeybee, demanded irritably.

Lifting the phone to his ear with a shaking hand, Sam swallowed harshly before speaking. "Hey, Bobby;" he muttered hesitantly.

Immediately the timbre of the voice changed. The irritablity drained out of it, and it was replaced by a soft tone of warm concern.

"Hey Sam; y'ok kid?"

Sam took a deep breath; "No, Bobby," he hesitated, forming the words carefully in his mind before he spoke; "I'm at the hospital; there's been an accident …"