a/n: It's just hard to keep an old fanfic writer down, isn't it? I've been wrestling with this concept for months, doing a lot of writing and re-writing. I've always wanted to show what happened in those three weeks between "Hello Cruel World" and "The Girl Next Door." After all, it just couldn't have been all calm, rest and relaxation, don't you think?
I've got two chapters perfected. I've got to publish them, because I'll just keep editing otherwise! For now, the concept is pretty simple. Bobby rescues the boys from Sioux Falls General, but Sam is hardly out of the woods. His head injury is far more critical than anyone believed. Bobby has to get creative in finding help for Sam while Dean can't do much with a broken leg other than watch his brother struggle.
Enjoy! Tons of Hurt!Sam (or is it Limp!Sam?) in these first two chapters.
Bobby drove the ambulance several miles, constantly looking at the rear view mirror to make sure they weren't followed. Last he heard, Leviathan couldn't fly or run in super speed, so no vehicles or people on the horizon was a good sign in his book. It did occur to him after a half hour that he had no idea where he had taken them. He just told himself to drive as far away as possible. He thought about asking Dean if he had a clue where they were, but Dean looked disoriented himself. On top of the morphine, he was too busy alternating between worried glances outside and worried glances to the back of the ambulance.
"See anything?" Bobby asked Dean.
Dean moved his eyes from the back to one more check in the rear view mirror. "Nope." Dean frowned. "Where are we?"
"No idea," Bobby said, who sped up faster. "We can't stay out in the open too long though. There's no telling how many are looking for us. Bobby looked over at Dean, who was now wincing. The morphine was probably starting to wear off. He broke his leg once when he was 14, but that was just a hairline. Judging from Dean's expressions, he looked like his leg was about to explode. "I'm sure there's an arsenal of magic pills back there that will dull that pain."
Dean turned toward the back, still discouraged. "Nah, I'll wait until you stop. I don't think I can hobble back there while you're moving."
Bobby could tell there was something more than bad leg pain going on with Dean. "What's bothering you?"
"Everything is bothering me. Look at me. I'm useless. And Sam...what's wrong with him? Why won't he wake up? He normally comes around by now."
Bobby thought that was a good question, but we wasn't about to raise unfounded concerns with Dean in this state.
"Not to mention," Dean continued, "not more than a few hours ago we thought you were dead."
"As you can see, I'm not," Bobby casually replied.
"Thank you freaking captain obvious. Care to tell me how you got away from those bottom feeders?"
"I got home and some man lizard said I was important enough to kill. I guess I had made one of their honorary clubs. I went into the panic room and they tried burning me out. They didn't realize the panic room is fire proof too. They also didn't know about the escape hatch. I ran off to Jody's place pretty fast."
"Oh, she's Jody now," Dean said.
Bobby shrugged. "She might have still been on her happy pills. She insisted we be on a first name basis now. When she heard about two guys fitting your ages being transported to the hospital from my place on the scanner, that was my cue to come and get you."
"And I assume you worked out a great escape plan on your way over?" Dean replied agitated.
"Yeah, I did. It was called getting your asses out of there before you became breakfast."
"Well that worked." Dean swiped his face with his hand and did another rear view mirror check. Then he gasped a little and grabbed his leg, which was throbbing hard now.
"Want to tell me how you guys got into this mess?" Bobby asked, hoping to distract Dean.
"Juan Valdez tossed me into a car and the leg bent in a place where legs don't bend. Sam and I saw the car you had on chains and decided to drop it on him. Before I could take him out with the car, he got Sam with a tire iron."
Bobby's face turned a little paler. "Got Sam with a tire iron? Square in the head?"
"No, in the leg. He's just a little tired right now."
"Cute. What I mean is, how direct was the hit?"
Dean was a bit confused by where Bobby was going with this. "Uh, full impact. Real scary I tell ya. I couldn't get him to wake up. He finally did in the ambulance, but he was still really out of it. Then he started seizing."
"Seizing? What happened when you got to the hospital?"
"Nothing really. They took me into a space in the ER and knocked me out before they worked on my leg. A whole team rushed Sam off another way. I think I heard they were taking him upstairs."
Bobby slammed on the brakes.
"What?" asked an alarmed Dean.
"Upstairs? Did they say anything else that you can remember?"
Dean didn't have a quick answer.
"A medical condition, something."
Dean thought hard. "Um, intercranial pressure."
Bobby's face went white. "Balls." He pulled the ambulance quickly into a drive nearby and parked it.
"What's wrong?" A worried Dean asked.
Bobby quickly climbed in the back and grabbed the chart that was still sitting on the gurney. He sifted through the information page by page. "Oh crap."
"Would you just tell me what's going on?"
"A hematoma? Balls." He lifted off the bandage off Sam's forehead and saw the swelling. The fright in his face then got Dean's heart going.
"Upstairs is where they take the extreme at risk patients. I've spent enough time in that hospital. They were probably coming up with a sound treatment plan while calling dibs on all his spare parts just in case. He's got a bit more than a bump on the head. He's bleeding into his brain Dean."
Dean's stomach dropped hard. "He's what? How serious is it?"
"Natasha Richardson," Bobby replied while still pouring through the chart information. He found a disk that was clipped to the chart. He put the disk in his jacket pocket and rushed back to the driver's seat.
"I don't get it. The dead actress?" Dean replied.
"She bumped her head skiing and died two days later."
"Wait, are you saying she had a...the...whatever Sam's got?"
"Yeah, something like. Do you have any idea what hematoma is? It's fast bleeding in the brain Dean. If that pressure doesn't let up, then you better hope for death, or you'll be wiping up strained peas and whatever other baby food you'll be feeding him off his chin every day."
"Yeah, thanks for the visual." Dean had seen Sam knocked unconscious lots of times. He didn't think this was anything different than before. Why was this happening to them now? "We've got to get him to a hospital."
"You think?" Bobby replied sarcastically. "Those fugly freaks are probably munching like Pac Man at every hospital in the entire midwest by now."
"Where in the world are we going to be able to get him that kind of medical attention then? Dr. Robert?"
"He's too far away. We don't have that kind of time." Bobby got out his phone.
"Leviathan hospital. It ain't a soap opera you know."
"I don't care!"
"Hold your horses. I know someone," Bobby said dialing his phone. "He's about a hundred miles away. We'll have to take the backroads to get there, hope we aren't spotted."
"A hundred miles? You better be going top speed in this thing."
"I'm ahead of you." Bobby turned on an open stretch of road and floored the accelerator. He did like the speed these things had in them. "In the meantime, get in the back and watch your brother you idgit. We don't want him dying on us."
Dean sighed, feeling the full mixture of panic and pain now. "Fine, I might as well find those pain pills while I'm at it."
He struggled a bit, but Dean made it over to the seat next to Sam. He had to admit, Sam's color was really off. He grabbed the chart and read over all the information. It made him feel sick. Sam was really in bad shape. He suspected things were bad when Sam was unconscious in the salvage yard, but he didn't want to believe it was really bad. Sam was tough, he's taken many knocks and gotten back up. He just didn't want to think about the worst right now.
"Come on Sammy, you've been to Hell. This is nothing. Just hang in there."
"We're looking for a what?" Dean anxiously glanced across the open farm field, his field of view limited from the back of the ambulance.
"A windmill. You can't miss it," Bobby replied.
"Is this doctor Dutch or something?"
"Yeah something," Bobby answered.
All Dean saw was corn stalks. His internal "bad feeling" sensors where going off at an extreme level. He checked on Sam again, who he had hooked up to the monitors so he could check vitals. His blood pressure kept dropping, and Dean knew that couldn't be good. Sam was looking a bit paler too, but Dean had hoped that was just from bad lighting. Suddenly the monitor started beeping.
"What's happening?" Bobby asked.
"The rr is dropping a bit. It's pissing the machine off," Dean replied.
"What's it at?"
"10," Dean answered.
"If it gets any lower, we're going to have to hook him up to oxygen. Luckily, we're almost there."
Dean looked outside and felt relieved when he saw the giant windmill off in the distance. It was one of those new modern ones, turning at a snails pace in the light breeze. It stuck out like a sore thumb. Dean soon realized at the base of that windmill was a large farm. "He doesn't have a examination room in the barn, does he?" Dean joked.
Bobby's uncomfortable silence was not the answer Dean was hoping to get. "Nah, I'm pretty sure he moved from the barn."
"Last I heard he had his people clinic going in the back of the house."
"People clinic? You said we were taking Sam to someone that can fix him up."
"Yeah, he's a doctor."
"Then what kind of clinic would have a barn?" Dean trepidations were realized a minute later when Bobby pulled into the drive. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me. A vet hospital?"
"Trust me, this guy is good," Bobby replied.
"I hope Sam's ghost comes back and kicks your ass! I swear, if my leg wasn't broken I'd..."
"Bobby Singer!" A light haired middle aged man said, coming out of the house. He walked over to the driver's side of the ambulance. "Glad to see you're coming here in one piece."
Bobby got out of the ambulance. "Yeah, well I've still got trouble. Good to see you doc."
"Got a bad one, eh?" The doctor asked as they walked around to the back.
"This kid is a son to me. I just pulled him and his brother from some serious crap. No one can know we're here."
"In other words, everything's the same," the doc answered. He opened the back door. Dean gave both the doctor and Bobby the stink eye.
"You must be the brother. Looks like you've already been fixed up." The doctor climbed into the ambulance and gave Sam a quick look over. He grimaced a little. "Yeah, he isn't looking too good. I'm not sure taking him from a hospital was a wise move." He picked up the chart and examined the notes. Then he pulled out his light pen and examined Sam's eyes one by one, hunching over the large immobile frame. "Uh oh, the left pupil is blown."
"I've got the DVD of the CAT scan in my pocket," Bobby said.
"Good, we're gonna need it for brain surgery." He and Bobby pulled the gurney with it's unconscious occupant out of the back of the van.
"Brain surgery?" Dean said very alarmed. "Here? On animal farm? Have you ever done that before?"
"There's a first for everything," the doctor said as he and Bobby rolled Sam past him and headed inside. Dean's head dropped into his hand and he rubbed his forehead. "I have a bad feeling about this." He grabbed his crutches and slowly climbed out of the ambulance.
"Well, there's some good news." The doctor motioned for Dean to join him and Bobby at the computer. Dean rolled over from Sam's bedside in a desk chair Bobby found for him. They were in an isolated back room of the house which had been setup like a triage center. Sam was on the far side of the room still unconscious, hooked up to monitoring equipment, a nasal cannula that gave him extra oxygen and an IV.
"This scan was done a few hours post injury," the doctor explained, pointing to the images. "It's not an epidural hematoma. It's definitely subdural. That means the bleeding is happening at a much slower rate. There aren't any shifting structures in the skull, or at least there weren't when this was taken."
"Why won't he wake up then?" Dean asked.
"That's the not so good news. Unconsciousness like this is never good with a head trauma. It's a worst case side effect." The doctor flipped his scan image over to the eye socket and pointed. "His pupil in the left eye is what really concerns me. It's not responding to light. There's pressure on the cranial nerve. If he survives this, he might not regain use of that eye."
"Are you telling me he's blind in one eye right now?" Dean asked stunned by the news.
"I'm telling you that at this particular moment, that's just one in a list of problems."
Dean wasn't sure what to say about that. He so wanted to take a walk, let this all sink in, but he couldn't.
"What's the best way of relieving this pressure, doc?" Bobby asked, watching Dean with a careful eye.
"A crap load of some really strong drugs for starters. Looks like they already started that in the hospital. You really couldn't have kept him there?"
"Not unless he wanted to keep his liver," Bobby replied. The doctor tried to say something, and then decided he wouldn't ask.
"Do you have the drugs he needs?" Dean asked.
"I can get them. It'll cost you, but I can get them. As a matter of fact, I have an anti-inflammatory I can start right now. Works great on horses."
"We often call him moose," Dean said jokingly. Bobby and the doctor gave him a blank stare. "Okay," Dean replied sheepishly.
"Alrighty," the doctor said getting up. "We'll get that started."
"Hey, doc, what if the drugs don't work?" Dean asked.
The doctor shrugged. "We'll just drill a hole into his brain," he replied casually. He left the room, leaving behind an unsettled Dean.
"He'll what?" Dean said, trying to get up to go after the doctor but his large cast just got in the way.
"Settle down, gimp," Bobby said.
"I swear I'm going to kill all of those bottom feeding mutants with my bare hands," Dean said with gritting teeth. "Right after I punch out that doctor."
Bobby talked in a lower voice. "Dean, you've got to hold it together to Sam's sake."
Dean grumbled and settled down. "I don't know Bobby, it feels like no matter what I do, it doesn't make a difference. We just keep getting screwed at every turn. Your house, now Sam, and I'm even too useless to provide good backup."
"Dean," Bobby said solemnly. "We're gonna have to trust Sam to fight this one."
"Crap, I don't even have my angel lifeline anymore! How is all this happening? What if we run into trouble while the doc tries to fix Sammy? You do know our luck, don't you? Me in a heavily armed rolling chair ain't gonna cut it."
Bobby's glare again told him to calm down.
"Okay, fine, we'll do it the animal doc's way."
Bobby gave Dean a small smile. "Good. How about I go get us some grub? Looks like we're gonna be here a while."
Dean nodded. He watched Bobby leave, and then rolled over back to Sam's side. All the tubes, the extra oxygen, the medicine drips, it overwhelmed him. He rubbed his face, fighting back the frustration. "Aren't we a sorry pair, huh Sammy?"
Bobby managed to find Dean a wheelchair that he could prop his leg up on and a TV, but Dean could only take so much bad television. He spent much of the afternoon by Sam's side, drifting off several times himself thanks the painkillers for his leg. Every time he woke up, he would take some more, chasing it with whiskey that Bobby snuck in for him. At least Sam wasn't feeling any pain right now. Dean hoped that anyway. Whatever type of Hell visions had been plaguing Sam lately, he had to believe he wouldn't be getting them in this state. He had to believe his brother was having a peaceful rest.
The incident in the warehouse was still too real, too raw in his mind. It scared the crap out of him. Sam could have killed them both. Whatever crap was going on in his brother's mind, he was a long way, if ever, from it getting fixed. How long would he have to worry, have watch Sam with a careful eye? The idea made him far more nervous than Sam making it through this brain trauma.
Dean's thoughts were interrupted by a nurse coming in. She smiled at Dean and quietly went to change Sam's IV.
"You seem a lot nicer than the last backroom nurse I ran into," Dean said.
She smiled again. "You guys are practically soldiers. If anything, you've earned better care than most."
Dean scoffed. "That's the first time I've ever heard that. No one's ever two craps about hunters that I know."
Her smile dropped slightly. "Well they should. It's incredible all that you do."
Dean knew that look. "Someone close to you was a hunter."
"My brother," she confessed. She frowned when writing down Sam's vitals. "He bought it outside Kalamazoo about six years ago. At least he fatally wounded the creature before it got him too. By the end, it was somewhat of a blessing. It got to the point I'd only see him once or twice a year. Each time, he was more and more wrecked. Still, I was very proud of him. Still am. He saved a lot of lives at great sacrifices to himself."
"I'm sorry," Dean said somberly.
"You don't need to be. You know the life. Death is bound to happen sooner or later." She saw Dean's face drop. "Now I should be sorry."
"It's alright. It's the truth. I'm Dean by the way."
"Betsy," she answered with a sad smile. She pulled out a flashlight, checking Sam's pupils. Dean didn't like her grimace. "So young, the both of you. Were you raised in the life?"
"Yeah," answered Dean. "To be honest, we've been worse." He did wonder if dead was worse though.
"I believe that. We've had a lot of bodies come through here, some just in awful shape. Did you know the doc hasn't always been a vet?"
Dean shook his head.
"He met some hunters after working several late night shifts in the emergency ward and became friends with a few of them. Friends that he was never bound to keep. After a while he couldn't take it anymore and switched to animals. He quickly learned though he couldn't be pulled away. You guys really need him, and he feels like he's obligated to save all of you."
She took another close look at Sam, pulling the bandage back to examine the bump on his forehead. She put the flashlight in her pocket in frustration.
"How is he?"
"He's not getting better, sorry to say. Has he woken up at all, even for a few seconds?"
Dean shook his head. "Does this mean he'll need surgery?"
"It's looking that way." She tried to give a comforting look, but Dean saw the tinge of worry underneath it. He gave his own troubled look back.
"Hey, don't worry. What the doc is wanting to do, it's really not that bad."
"Even in a place like this?"
"Well, it's not risk free, but if there's anyone I trust to do it, it's the doc. I won't kid you, head injuries are never routine. Sam's young and strong though, so he's got that going for him."
Dean wasn't sure if he should mention the hallucinations and other trauma Sam's been through, but he decided it didn't matter. What could make his broken head any worse?
"You really look beat," the nurse said. "You need to get proper rest as well. You aren't doing that leg any justice like this. How about I get you a bed to sleep in? I can bring it in here so you can be with your brother."
"No buts. Consider it doctor's orders."
"I better not refuse then."
"Good. I'll be back in a few minutes."
Dean softly smiled, enjoying the idea of getting some proper rest in a comfortable bed. Times like that were too far between anymore.
Dean sat up quickly, the alarms from the equipment shattering his peaceful rest. To his right he saw Sam still unconscious but thrashing, causing his heart to sink. He looked across the room to see Bobby waking in his chair, looking worried as well. Betsy rushed in and turned on the light, then quickly pulled out her phone. "Dr. Thompson, he's seizing. Yes, I gave him the anti-seizure drip. It isn't working." She hung up the phone and tried to hold Sam still. Bobby was up in no time helping her as well.
"Sammy, hold on. Help is coming," Dean said, not very convinced his brother was listening.
Within two minutes the doctor rushed in the room and checked the EEG. He went into a nearby drawer and pulled out a bottle and a syringe, drawing out the contents of the bottle. He injected the medicine into the IV and watched as Sam calmed down about twenty seconds later. His shared troubled glance with the nurse was not encouraging.
"Betsy, go get the surgical cart," he calmly instructed. "Part of this kid's brain is about to become cottage cheese." She nodded and rushed off.
a/n: Next chapter, it's just a little back room brain surgery. I can do more if there's interest in this story beyond chapter two. There's plenty of Sam psychosis to be explored! Thanks for reading.