Yes, it has been a long time coming. Yes, I did have a major case of writer's block on this. Yes, I have been trying to churn out another chapter for weeks! No, I am not really satisfied with this chapter but am hoping it will get the creative juices flowing again. So, this is a shorter one and that is most likely how the following chapters will be. To any of you who have returned after my impromptu and unscheduled hiatus – THANK YOU!
Forget the dog. At this moment man's best friend, or at least Sam's, is that little thing called Adrenaline. And it is pumping through his veins with such force that he can hear his heartbeat in his ears. He figures he can thank its existence for the miracle of him remaining upright on shaky, but at the moment, still cooperating legs.
He can almost feel the gust of air reach him as all those people who stand around the scene breathe out in unison, as they release the air that they all held tight inside until the moment when Dean took in a sliver of oxygen on his own accord.
He has never been in this particular place before. It's true, he has seen his share of accidents, one of the unfortunate side effects of the trucker's life, but he has never been up close and personal in the thick of the chaos before. He's never been in the eye of the tornado. He has never been pulled into its fury, more than content to remain on the outskirts and not within the storm itself. Yet, there is an eerie calm in this place now. He's astounded how amongst all the debris and the carnage, one small event has seemed to taken them from the fiery belly of the beast into the flickering light of hope.
He glances at Sam's profile and marvels at the small, thin smile that has managed to break through the cracks of his otherwise serious features; to spill out as he stares lovingly at his brother. He sees tears as they glisten and hears a whispered breath of sound. Two words play out from his chapped lips. 'Fight Dean.'
He moves a little closer, the fact that the flurry of activity seems to have lessened to more of the movements of a well-oiled machine, as the rescue crew works quickly to gather up equipment to finally get this show on the road, lifts his heart a degree; knowing soon his brother will get to where he needs to be.
He sees an opening and steps forwards until he can finally look upon his brother's face up close.
He doesn't look at anything else. He doesn't look anywhere else. He can't.
He can't take in the tatters Dean's shirt has become, ripped and shredded like he just tangled with a werewolf.
He can't look at the colour of red that seems to have permeated every single inch of his brother's chest.
He can't look at the intravenous attached to his callous, unflinching and limp hand. No. He can't.
Because that would unravel the one flimsy thread of strength and hope he still has; lose that and he will tumble to the ground and be swept away in a torrent of grief.
So no, he won't look past his brother's face.
He places his hand on Dean's brow and leans in close, his words filtering out in a breathy whisper, the emotions entrenched within almost breaking his fragile hold of the sound.
"Dean. It's me. It's… it's Sam. I'm right here bro, not going anywhere. But you need to fight. Fight your way back to me."
He sighs thoughtfully as he continues to take in the contours of each part of his brother's face.
This is how his brother looks when he is afforded a moment or two of peace. In the night, when his battered and bruised body and mind finally succumbs to the exhaustion that encompasses his life; when the walls of his multitude of defenses start to give way under the pressure of his need for sleep, this is how his brother looks.
At least until he is awoken by a nightmare or he hears a sound that pulls him from where he needs to be and pushes him right back into full-fledged hunter mode.
But, on those rare occasions when his older brother is the first to fall into slumber, Sam can't help but stare. Never for long and never so close to make it uncomfortable if his brother jolts awake, but just long enough and close enough to see Dean as he should be, as he deserves to be. Young. Peaceful. Content. It is only in those first few, fleeting moments that his brother seems to allow himself the simple luxury and tranquility that everyone else on the damn planet takes for granted.
He sees movement on the other side of the gurney. Susan. He knows she is staring at him, silently telling him it's time to go. But, he can't. Not yet. He just needs one more minute.
He feels a tear slowly track his face. He wipes absently at it and closes his eyes for just a moment, willing himself to be strong, to just hold back the dam for a little while longer.
Greg moves closer to the young man but still keeps enough distance between him and the scene to allow Sam as much privacy and time with his brother as this crazy situation will allow. The boy looks unsteady at best and he wants to be there in case he needs help.
Susan clears her throat and looks over to them then, her eyes wide and all business but the smile on her face is genuine and full of relief.
"Sam? He's as stable as we can make him here." She shifts her gaze to one of the other medics. "Let's roll."
Let's roll. That expression echoes in Sam's mind and he feels his new best friend Adrenaline leave him like a boulder that's been cast into the sea. Dean. How many times has he heard that term muttered from his brother? As they leave another forsaken town, carnage and traumatized innocence in their wake. As they head out to face yet another evil sack of shit. As they leave everything they have known in the dust to travel on the road in a never ending job that leads to nowhere but heartache and loneliness.
Their lives are ugly and brutal. Their lives are twisted and shredded, like the remnants of a kite whose brilliant colours have been stripped away by the ferociousness of a violent and unbeatable storm, tossed around and whipped by gale force winds as it follows its inevitable course to meet the cold, unfeeling ground.
The fact that it wasn't a creature from the depths of nightmares that has brought him to this place makes him chuckle and shake his head in disbelief. What a slap in the face. Really? A damn car accident? That is what almost did his brother in? It's… it's just so ironic. Dean has battled angels, demons, monsters and the things of nightmares and the universe decides to throw another wrench into their lives and have him lying on death's door, again, because of a pile of damn snow? No, that… it's just too… he can't…
Dean has been mauled and poisoned and stabbed and shot and burned, just to come back and be taken out by….
He blinks slowly, like his eyeballs have suddenly been encased in syrup, his lashes stuck to his closed lids. It seems to take forever before he can pry them back open and turn his head to look at the owner of the voice, at Greg. The trucker moves forward and places a soft touch on his hand and only then does he realize he's clenching the side of the gurney with crushing force. He lets go and his body sways life a leaf in the breeze, as it decides whether this moment is the one when it will take the plunge and say hello to the earth below.
Greg's grip tightens on him them and he tries his best to steady his movements. He lets out a small gasp when pain shoots up his arm; when he is slammed with a none too gentle reminder that he does, in fact, still have a broken arm.
The thing about adrenaline? Its effects are immediate and undeniable but the crash you feel when it comes to a halt is overpowering and drains you until you feel like you haven't slept in a damn week.
"Time to go now son, time to get you and your brother to the hospital."
TBC... Thanks for stopping by!