The Illusionist Part II
Chapter 1 : Marchin' On
Warnings : Just a few F words here and there :)
*Italics used when Dean is speaking means he is talking with his hands rather than using his voice, unless otherwise specified.
Sam sat up, unable to sleep anymore. The bed was cold without another person in it, something he still hadn't gotten used to, even after a month. He pulled the cheap motel covers off his legs and got up, dizziness hitting him almost immediately. He tried to shake it off, but knew that wasn't going to happen. Sighing he reached over to the nightstand and retrieved a small plastic container with shaking hands, and popped open the lid. He glanced over at Dean's bed, not surprised by the fact that it was empty.
Sam had fucked up today, and majorly at that. They'd been smack dab in the middle of a wendigo hunt when he'd passed out, hadn't even seen the low blood sugar coming. He should have though, and he knew it; it was his own fault for not eating. He felt horrible for it, especially after waking some three hours later in a nearby hospital, his brother's worried face staring at him from an emergency room chair.
He'd watched Dean jump up almost immediately, and he was sure that if he hadn't been lying in a hospital bed, his older brother would've decked him, straight across the jaw. Before he'd even had the chance to apologize, Dean's fingers and lips started to move rapidly, almost too fast for Sam to keep up with.
"Diabetic? Why the hell didn't you tell me? You could've died, Sammy!" Dean exclaimed with his hands, his movements sharp and more pronounced than ever.
"I'm sorry, Dean. I should've-"
Dean cut him off immediately, not caring about the hurt look on his little brother's face. "Sorry? You're damn right you should be sorry! We've been on the road for over a month now, and it never came across your mind to tell me? I'm your older brother, Sam, and this is NOT something you keep from your older brother! You could've went into a coma, or into shock!"
Sam had decided to keep his mouth shut for the remainder of their time there. He'd kept it shut the whole way back to the motel as well. It was probably better that he did. Dean had stayed silent too, the way his brow was narrowed and his jaw clenched tightly in place told Sam all he'd needed to know; that he was in for the silent treatment for quite awhile, and he'd be lucky if Dean bothered to utter two words to him for the next week or so.
When they'd gotten back to the motel, Sam had made a beeline for the shower. By the time he'd come out twenty minutes later, Dean was gone, just as he'd expected.
That had been close to four hours ago, and his older brother still hadn't come back.
Rain started to tap on the window, lightning making the olive-green colored curtains glow momentarily. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and Sam found himself staring out the glass, biting off a nail in the process. His brow narrowed as his gaze settled on the Impala that was still parked in front of the room.
A part of him hoped that Dean had gotten so drunk that he'd just decided to pass out in the car instead of bothering to come into the room, but Sam knew better. No matter how drunk his older brother was, he'd always come back to the room. Curiosity got the better of the youngest Winchester. He grabbed his hoodie from the back of one of the motel's chairs and took a few more glucose tablets, just in case. He pulled the hood over his head, and went outside, the cold rain coming down even harder. He went over to the car and peeked in, Dean no where in sight.
He jumped when he heard the footsteps splashing towards him. He jerked his head up, only to meet Dean's steely-eyed gaze. Sam's brow scrunched some more when he saw the state his brother was in.
Dean was soaked from head to toe, and Sam noted, how he was dressed in sweatpants, sneakers, and a hoodie three times too big for him. He didn't even attempt to count how many shirts were underneath it.
"You're supposed to be resting," Dean stated, not even bothering to sign.
"I was. Then I woke up," Sam answered simply. "Thought you'd be in a bar somewhere." He almost winced at his own words, knowing they had stung his older brother the way the rain was stinging his exposed skin now. He watched as hurt flashed across Dean's eyes before he turned away and went back into the motel room; the younger Winchester soon followed.
Sam shut the door behind him, and watched as his older brother unzipped the drenched hoodie and threw it to the floor. He knew Dean was purposely avoiding his gaze, just so he could have an excuse not to talk so Sam decided to take the initiative. Just before Dean could run into the bathroom without a second thought, Sam got in front of him, blocking his entrance.
"Get out of my way, Sam," Dean said, staring at the floor. His brow was drawn, but Sam was having nothing of it. He knew he was guilty as charged, but they still needed to talk, and Sam wasn't going to give up without a fight.
The taller of the two stood his ground, and didn't move. Instead, he extended his arms, placing one hand on each side of the doorway.
"Don't make me repeat myself, Sammy. I mean it." Sam's heart almost broke at the defeated tone of his brother's voice, but it still didn't justify the knucklehead going out and doing only God-knew-what for the past four hours.
Sam bent his knees, attempting to get in his older brother's face, but Dean only backed away a step, fists clenching his clean clothes in one hand, and his supplies in the other. He still wouldn't look at his little brother.
Sam sighed, hating it when Dean used his deafness to block him out. With a roll of the eyes, he moved out of the way, watching as his older brother moved passed him. His stubbornness getting the better of him, he followed Dean into the bathroom and folded his arms across his chest, taking a defensive stance.
Dean was about to pull off one of his over shirts when he realized he wasn't alone. "Get out. Now." He was probably supposed to sound threatening, but his voice came out tired and worn instead.
"Look, I'm sorry I didn't tell you about my," Sam paused, searching for the right word. "Situation, but—"
"Situation? That's what you're calling it?" Dean scoffed, eyes narrowed in disbelief. "It's an illness, Sam. Not a fucking situation," he stated, taking a step closer to his little brother. "I'm the one that's supposed to take care of you! How the hell can I do that when I don't even know everything that's going on with you? I'm sorry that you lost someone. Really, I am, but that doesn't give you the right to try to kill yourself."
"I wasn't trying to kill myself, Dean. I just forgot to eat. That's all," Sam said matter-of-factly. He was doing his best to brush it off, and give Dean a taste of his own medicine for once, but needless to say, it wasn't working.
"That's all?" Dean's pitch heightened. "You've barely eaten anything since we've been looking for Dad. So unless you've been forgetting to eat almost every meal, that's a bullshit excuse, Sam," Dean finished, green eyes full of anger and hurt.
"Like you're one to talk, Dean. You haven't been on you're usual diner diet as of late either, if you know what I mean," Sam shot back. "And you still haven't told me what the hell happened while I was gone either! Normally, you stuff your face with whatever's in front of it; and training? At," he paused to check his watch, "three o'clock in the morning? What did Dad do to you while I was gone?" Sam had no time to react to getting slammed up against the wall.
"He didn't do anything to me, Sammy," Dean stated through clenched teeth. "So you can stop with all that bullshit. We hunted, killed things, and saved people; all while you were living your cushy little life in college. Nothing else happened." Slowly, he released his grip on his little brother and turned his back on him. "Now get out, or I really will kick your ass," he muttered.
Sam stared at him for a long moment before exiting the small room, slamming the door behind him.
Dean saw the door vibrate behind him in the mirror, and all he could do was let out the breath he'd been holding in. It had been a long day, and all he wanted to do now was take a hot shower and pass out, at least for a little while before having to get up and do it all over again.
This was definitely not how he had pictured his and Sam's time searching for their father going.
He knew there would be the occasional argument; hell, what else were little brothers for? But everything that had happened that day...
One minute, he and Sam were back to back, guns at the ready, prepared to take down the nasty creature. It was almost on them when, suddenly, he no longer felt his little brother's elbow pressing into his ribs. The next thing he knew, Sam was on the ground, out cold and shaking miserably. Dean had managed to kill the creature, but not without consequences.
He grimaced as he peeled off his other two shirts that were sticking to him like a second skin and tossed them to the floor, both making squelching sounds when they hit. He bit his bottom lip, and with carefully shaking fingers, gently prodded the makeshift bandage on his left side.
The bastard had gotten a nice swipe in right before Dean had set it ablaze. He'd done the best he could with it at the time (patching himself up in the hospital without a nurse's help, thank you very much), but now, it wasn't so nicely held together. He peeled the medical tape off and the gauze that followed it, revealing a jagged, bloody cut that ran about four inches down his left side. In all honesty, it needed stitches, but he didn't have the needle and thread on him at the moment, and he wasn't about to step out there half-naked and bleeding just to retrieve it either. The longer he took in there though, the more Sam would become suspicious; the kid had a knack for always knowing more than he should. He wrapped the used gauze and tape with some toilet paper and tossed it in the trash can, thankful that he at least managed to smuggle in some more. He set it on the counter, planning to re-bandage it once he was out of the shower.
He slid off the rest of his clothes and got in the shower. He turned on the knob, relief washing over his face as hot water surprisingly began to flow almost immediately. He leaned his head up against the wall, closing his eyes as his overworked muscles burned under the spray. He wasn't completely sure how many miles he had ran, or how many drills he had done, but he was sure of one thing; he had to be in much better shape or he'd be no good to Sammy.
He still couldn't believe that his little brother had kept the fact that he was diabetic from him. It actually hurt, and for the life of him, he couldn't figure out why Sam had done it. Sam wasn't exactly the type of guy that would consider himself weak just because of something like that; he was. He just didn't get it, even as he stood there pretending to listen and trying his damnedest to keep up with the doctor in the emergency room going on about blood sugars and hypoglycemia and blood testing and glucose tablets; he just didn't understand.
The realization of Sam's reasoning and the icy cold water that started pouring out of the shower head hit him simultaneously; shit, maybe he did get it. If it were him, he wouldn't have told Sam. He would've hid it as long as possible too, just to keep his little brother from further worrying about him. Kind of like what he was currently doing right now, concerning another situation altogether, but still, it was about the same. Only he was going to do everything in his power to make sure Sam didn't find out about that.
He'd managed to sleep for about three hours before he woke up, remnants of a dream he didn't want to remember fading as daylight crept through the dirty motel windows. He sat up, wincing as pain shot up his side. He glanced over at Sam's bed, careful to make sure he didn't have an audience when he examined his wound. The brunette was lying on his side, facing the other way, covers pulled up almost over his head.
Dean carefully lifted up his t-shirt, letting out a sigh of relief when he saw the gauze was still white, only a small brownish spot in the middle. He stood up, knowing that the mattress's springs were probably making a bit of noise, but as he glanced over at the still sleeping form of Sam, he knew it must not have been much.
He slipped on the jeans he'd worn the day before (the ones that were tossed oh so casually on the floor), and his boots. With another quick glance, he grabbed his jacket and keys and went out the door, the frigid air hitting him like a slap in the face. He pulled the leather tighter around his thin frame and got into the Impala, recalling a diner not too far away, but not exactly within walking distance either. He started up the engine, and just for a moment, set his hand on the door, feeling the vibrations from the motor. He let it linger for a second or two more before pulling off, hoping this place had better coffee than the last.
Sam pulled the covers off his head, thankful for the moment that he was alone now, having heard Dean leave. At least he thought he had. His brow narrowed when he saw his older brother's form at the window, standing there gazing out, just as he himself had the night before. Dean's back was turned to him, the hoodie that Sam could've sworn was still a wet, sopping mess on the floor next to his bed sitting on his older brother's slightly hunched shoulders.
"Dean, what are you doing?" Sam asked, his voice still a little thick from sleep. He immediately wanted to smack himself, knowing full and well that Dean couldn't hear him. He got to his feet and made his way over to his brother. "Hey," he tried again, laying a hand upon Dean's shoulder, the older of the two's whole body jerking backwards in response. Sam's brow narrowed, not expecting that sort of reaction from his big brother. "What's wrong with you?" Sam wasn't ready for the wide-eyed, open mouth struggling for words response. "Dean?"
"I-I'm sorry," Dean stuttered, green eyes glimmering with fear. "I-I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to."
"Didn't mean to—what the hell happened to your face?" Sam interrupted himself, finally seeing the state his brother was in. His left eye was blackened, and there was a large purple bruise taking up the better part of that side of his face as well. There was a gash near his eyebrow, and a cut on his chin. His lip was busted too. Sam's eyes traveled further downward, his heart quickening its pace when he saw the red and purple marks that looked like a necklace decorating Dean's throat. They disappeared under his many layers of clothing. "Dean, what the hell happened to you?"
Fear was loud and clear and present ever still in his terrified eyes as he kept stumbling on his response. "I won't do it again, sir. I-I'm sorry."
Sam went to scratch his head in confusion but his hand only made it half-way, his older brother lifting his own arm to shield himself. Sam's mouth fell open, pain crisscrossing throughout his chest when he saw Dean's sleeve slide up, revealing black and blue bracelets of bruises. He immediately grabbed his brother's arm which he soon realized was the worst thing he could have possibly done, judging from Dean's reaction.
"No! Please!" Dean cried out, throwing both arms up in front of his face. "I'm sorry! So sorry..." Tears started to stream down his gaunt cheeks.
Sam's face scrunched up in worry and bewilderment, drawing his arm back and away from his brother. "Hey, Dean, it's okay. There's nothing to be sorry for."
"I won't forget next time," Dean mumbled and Sam's eyes widened in horror as blood started to leak from an unseen wound on his chest. Before he knew it, there was a puddle on the floor and his brother was laying in it. "Dean!" he shouted. "Dean!"
Sam's head popped up from underneath the sheets, heart racing and sweat drenching his shirt. He ran a hand through his shaggy mane, the dream still fresh in his mind. He nearly fell out of the bed when the door opened, Dean entering carrying a plastic bag with a couple of Styrofoam containers in it. The older of the two shut the door, and paused when he saw the state his little brother was in.
Dean set the bag down on the table near the door, one eyebrow lifted in confusion and concern. "You okay?" he asked, fingers moving slowly and carefully as he made his way over to Sam, not even bothering to take his jacket off.
All Sam could do was stare open-mouthed at his older brother for a moment, seeing him as he saw him in his dream. He shook his head and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "Yeah, I'm fine, Dean," he finally answered, noting the subtle distance Dean was keeping between them.
"You sure?" This time Dean spoke, and there was a definite note of concern in his voice.
"Yeah, I'm sure." Sam didn't feel like bugging him again about the past three years, not when the middle Winchester was actually still talking to him and not ignoring him like one of the grains of salt that made up their usual places along the window sills and doorways. "So, breakfast?" Sam asked, nodding towards the bag. He wasn't all that hungry, but he knew he still needed to eat.
"Uh, yeah," Dean nodded, grabbing the bag and taking Sam's container out. He handed it to him, and then took out his own. He sat down across from Sam on his own bed and finally pulled off his jacket.
Sam watched with observant eyes as he started to eat slowly, cutting his stack of pancakes into small, un-Dean-like bites. There wasn't even any syrup on them, but Sam kept his mouth shut. At least he was eating something.
The brunette was about to take a bite of his omelet when Dean's voice quickly cut through his thoughts. "Don't you have to test your blood and take your insulin first?" Sam paused, fork almost to his mouth when he realized his error.
"Yeah," he nodded, his face reddening slightly at the admonishment. He'd been doing the same routine for the past two and half years, and suddenly his older brother finds out and he needs reminding? He rolled his eyes at himself and reached into his duffel, extracting his blood testing kit, a needle, and his insulin. He was about to get up and head for the bathroom like he'd been doing before every meal since they'd been on the road together when Dean stopped him.
"You can do that in front of me, you know," Dean said, green eyes ever vigilant. "It's not like I'm afraid of blood or anything." He took a few more bites of his breakfast, then added, "Besides, it wouldn't hurt for you to show me how you do it. That way, you know, just in case..."
Sam felt a small smile tug at the corner of his lips, wanting to laugh at Dean's off-hand way of asking for his help.
"It's fairly simple, actually," Sam explained, glancing at Dean as he unzipped the small black case and took out the instrument used to draw blood from his finger. His smile grew the tiniest bit bigger when he noticed the eagerness on his older brother's face. "I take one of these," he went on (making sure to enunciate each word so Dean could understand him because signing wasn't an option at the moment) and opened a small, plastic black canister and pulled out a test strip. "And I put this end in the machine," he leaned over to show Dean the black and white striped tip. "I wait a few seconds until its says it's ready, then I poke my finger with this. A normal reading should be—"
"Between eighty to a hundred and twenty," Dean mumbled, not realizing he had voiced the information he'd read on one of the many pamphlets on diabetes from the hospital.
"Right," Sam agreed, white teeth peeking out between his lips as the grin grew a little wider. "Between eighty and one twenty. Sometimes a little higher or lower, depending on the person." He paused to prick his finger, then placed the digit up to the clear end of the strip, it soaking up the blood easily. They both watched as it counted down from five to one, then it flashed his sugar amount, 105. "Since it's normal, I take about ten units of this," Sam instructed, holding the little clear bottle of insulin up. He uncapped the needle and pulled the plunger back to the 10cc mark, then pushed it in and withdrew the insulin. "Normally, I inject it into my arm or stomach, but I can put it anywhere there's fatty tissue." He paused when he heard Dean snicker. "What?"
"Not much of that on you except for right here," Dean quipped, pointing to his head with a grin.
"Funny," Sam said with a roll of the eyes before lifting up his shirt. Dean was right though; there was hardly any place for him to inject himself without hitting muscle. He took a deep breath, and pinched a bit of skin, wincing as it did exactly what he didn't want it to.
"You okay?" Dean asked, concern laced throughout his tone. When Sam looked up after he was finished, his older brother was leaning half-way off his bed, brow drawn in concern.
"I'm fine." Sam forced himself to smile as he put the kit away.
"Whatever you say," Dean mumbled, easing back onto his bed, still keeping a wary eye on his little brother's mid-section.
"I really am fine. It doesn't hurt every time. Promise." Sam paused for a moment, but still made sure he had his brother's attention. "I'm sorry, for not telling you. I should have and—"
"It's cool, Sammy," Dean signed, sticking the tip of his thumb to his chest and wiggling his fingers slightly. "Be back in a minute. Bathroom," he said, forming his hand into a "T" shape and shaking it back and forth a bit. He got up and disappeared into the other room, closing the door behind him.
Sam sighed and shook his head. "Typical," he muttered, hating the fact that his older brother never talked about things at all. Not important things anyway. He could spend the better part of a day describing every detail about some girl he'd slept with five years ago, but when it came to serious matters, talking with his voice or hands was simply out of the question.
The youngest Winchester was about to take another bite of his breakfast when he heard a buzzing noise followed by a single, muffled ring. He looked around the room, searching for the origin of the sound when his gaze landed on the nightstand on the other side of Dean's bed, his older brother's phone laying face down on it. Knowing that there were only a few select people that actually had the number, he got up and hurried over to the nightstand and picked the phone up. He flipped it open, a set of coordinates staring back at him from the screen. He heard the bathroom door open and Dean's footsteps come up behind him. He turned and looked at his older brother, confusion set upon his face.
"Who is it?" Dean asked, placing the tip of his thumb on his chin with his index finger sticking straight out and then bending it twice.
Sam opened his mouth a few times before finally letting any words come out of it. "I think it's Dad."
A/N : And there you have it folks, the beginning of the sequel. Took me long enough, huh? ;) Hopefully, it was satisfactory. I'm in the middle of writing for a short story competition, and a book of short stories, and then I was hit with the want to write this, so...yeah. I guess this will be an AU to season one. Something like that anyway. Plenty of angst and such on the way, and plenty of brotherly interaction as well. If I don't put out another chapter before Christmas, then have a early Merry Christmas! :) Or whichever you choose to celebrate, if you do at all.