AN: In this one, Sam breaks a leg and is basically too tall for life. Good thing Dean is an awesome big brother.
A Long Shot
So yeah, Sam's kind of a giant. They shop at big and tall stores, let out a hem or two, and manage to keep him from looking like Steve Urkel.
Sam's height has never really been a problem.
Turns out that 3-feet-long legs have a lot more bone available to break than the average person. So when Sam gets tossed down a flight of stairs, landing entirely wrong on his right leg, Dean knows without looking that said leg is broken.
He quickly salts and burns the locks of hair that have been the source of their ghostly trouble for the past few days, watches the apparition disappear, and runs down the stairs two at a time.
Sam's eyes are squeezed shut. He groans and doesn't move. "D'you get it?"
"It's gone. What hurts?"
Dean nods even though Sam can't see it. "Anything else? You hit your head?"
"Fuck, it hurts," Sam pants.
"Okay. Just hang on. Gonna get you some help, Sammy."
And for the first time, Dean curses his giant little brother's long bones.
Unfortunately, it won't be the last time.
Not by a long shot.
A clean break in the femur, another in the tibia, and two in the fibula. The good news is no surgery. The bad news is 6-8 weeks in a cast. And Dean saw those x-rays. There's no way he's going to let Sammy round that number down.
Currently, Sam is lying on a standard ER gurney, face turned to the side, sobbing into a pillow. Not a single, glistening tear. Not a few sniffles. Harsh, broken sobs that shake the gurney and make the people who walk by their curtained-off area turn and stare.
"Sam, we're going to get you something stronger for the pain, okay?" the doctor says. "Then someone from orthopedics will get you in a cast."
Dean watches as the doctor jots down the name of a medication and a dose. And no. Just no. Not gonna fly. "That's all you're giving him?"
The doctor's pen stops moving. "Yes?"
"Have you seen what a giant this kid is?" The question comes from between clenched teeth. "Did you somehow miss the agonized sobs that haven't let up one bit despite the useless shit you gave him earlier?"
The doctor frowns at Dean, but flips back to the page with Sam's weight and height anyway. With a sigh, he crosses off the previously scribbled dose and replaces it with something more substantial. "That will do."
Dean nods once. "Make it quick." Then he goes back to smoothing Sam's hair and wiping tears and whispering "it's okay" over and over again until a blonde nurse appears with a syringe of height- and pain-level-appropriate drugs.
"Gonna sting a little, sweetheart," she says as she injects the medication.
Sam doesn't even flinch. Within minutes, his sobs slow and come to a stop. When he opens his eyes, the goofy smile on his face makes Dean smile, too.
"Feeling better, tiger?"
"That stuff," Sam says, "is better than sex." His tone could probably be considered emphatic if the words weren't slurred.
Dean laughs, relieved to see that his brother is no longer in pain. "That good, huh?"
Then they laugh and talk about why watermelons have seeds and when Dean taught Sam how to ride a bike and what color the sky is when no one's looking. Dean can't keep up with the drugged conversation, but that's okay because Sam is relaxed and pain-free and his height doesn't cause any more problems.
Until it's time for the cast.
"Dean. Dean. Sing with me."
"I might if I had even the slightest clue what song you were singing."
"I made it up," Sam slurs. He shifts against his pillow. "'s about pumpkins." Sam launches back into the song, and oh, hey, it really is about pumpkins, which might be appropriate for October but is strange in July.
The technician laughs as he works on Sam's cast. He's already wrapped the padding from Sam's toes to hip. Now he's adding the fiberglass.
"You get a lot of this kind of stuff?" Dean asks, motioning to his brother.
"The effects of bad breaks and good drugs? Yeah. Might be my first song about a pumpkin, though."
Then Sam throws a line in his song about good drugs, and Dean laughs until the technician stops and says, "Oh. Oops."
"What?" Dean demands. "What's wrong?"
The tech motions to an empty roll. "I ran out of white fiberglass. I should have had enough, but wow, his leg is long."
"Tell me about it. Can you keep going with a different color?"
"Sure. Might look a little weird, but it'll work."
"Hey, Freddy Mercury," Dean nudges his brother's shoulder, "what color do you want the rest of your cast to be?"
The tech holds out a few color samples, but Sam barely glances at them before answering. "Pink."
"Pink?" Dean asks. "Sammy, what about black? Or the dark blue? That's decent."
Sam looks Dean right in the eye and speaks clearer than he has in quite some time. "No, Dean. Pink. I want pink. Hot pink."
The tech looks to Dean, eyebrows raised. Dean shrugs his shoulders. "You heard the man. Pink the rest of the way up."
It's going to be interesting when the drugs wear off.
So ends up with a cast that's white to just above his knee and hot pink up to his groin. The nurses seem to think it's adorable, and Dean rolls his eyes while they ruffle Sam's hair and bring him extra bowls of Jell-O. Sam must be on his 5th or 6th serving when a perky brunette enters their room carrying a pair of metal crutches.
"Hi, I'm Emily from physical therapy," she says brightly. "I'm here to help Sam with crutches so that you can get out of here. You ready, Sam?"
Sam holds out the Jell-O and spoon. "Y' want some?"
Emily laughs as she adjusts the crutches. "I'm all set. Thank you, though."
"Dean didn't want any, either," Sam says, taking another bite. "Dunno why. 's good."
Meanwhile, Dean is suspiciously eyeing the crutches. "Are those going to be tall enough?"
"I think so. We don't have any extra tall, so I just put these on the highest setting. They should work."
But when she gets Sam standing on one leg, and gives him the crutches, it's quite obvious that they aren't going to work. The pads barely reach the bottom of his rib cage and he has to hunch forward at an awkward angle to reach the grips.
"Wow, he really is tall," Emily says, wide-eyed.
"'s okay," Sam says. He moves the crutches forward, but when he puts his weight on his hands and tries to take a step, one crutch slides out to the right and the other flies backward, sending Sam into a free-fall which Dean halts just fast enough to prevent the need for a cast on the other leg.
"All right, Bambi," Dean says, easing Sam back onto the gurney. "Take it easy." Then he picks the crutches up and turns to Emily with a patronizing smile. "Are you sure these are the biggest crutches you have?"
She's still wide-eyed. "Positive."
Dean thrusts the crutches at her and lets sarcasm drip into his voice. "Thanks, Emily. You've been a big help. Now run along and find us some discharge papers, okay?" Once she's gone, he sighs and tugs a hand through his hair, wondering what challenge they will face next.
When he turns around, Sam is holding out a spoon full of red Jell-O. "C'mon, Dean. I know you want some."
Dean starts to decline, then changes his mind. He opens his mouth and lets Sam stick the spoon between his teeth. The Jell-O is sweet and cold and familiar.
"Good?" Sam asks.
"Good. Is that strawberry or cherry?"
Dean smiles and takes a seat next to his giant little brother. They share the Jell-O, one bite for Sam, one bite for Dean, until it's time to leave.
"I don't know, kiddo. I don't think you're going to fit in the passenger seat." Dean grunts as he carries his too-tall-for-crutches, too-heavy-to-be-carried, too-stoned-to-care brother to the car.
"I'll fit. I didn't get any taller. Duh, Dean."
Dean rolls his eyes. "Watch your head," he says as he lowers Sam into the passenger seat.
"Ouch," Sam says when he hits his head anyway.
"Hey, I warned you." Dean stands and uses the back of his hand to wipe a bead of sweat from his forehead.
"See? Told you I'd fit."
It's true. Sam is in the passenger seat. His casted leg, however, is sticking straight out, nowhere close to short enough to fit in the footwell. "You're right. I'm sure driving with the door open won't be a problem."
Sam lifts his leg an inch or two. He frowns. "Dean. Dean. I can't bend my leg."
One of these times, Dean's going to roll his eyes hard enough to get stuck. "Imagine that. C'mon."
Dean hauls Sam out of the passenger seat and into the backseat, where the situation isn't much better. Even with Sam pressed against the door, his leg barely fits, wedged at an awkward angle.
"Ow," Sam moans, shifting against the seat. "That hurts."
"Okay, okay." Dean adjusts Sam's leg, but the new position leads to another yelp of pain.
"It hurts, Dean."
Dean throws his hands up. "I'm sorry, Sam, but I don't know what you want me to do. You don't fit anywhere, but we're not spending the next 6 to 8 weeks in the hospital parking lot."
"Roll down the window," Sam says.
"Just roll it down. Please."
More curious than anything, Dean obeys.
With two hands, Sam lifts his casted leg. He turns so he's half-sitting, half-lying on his side, leg elevated and sticking a few inches out the window. Once settled, he gives a sigh of relief.
Dean stares. "That's comfortable?"
Sam smiles and nods. "Yes. Drive, chauffer."
Dean mutters under his breath. Damn gigantic, stoned little brothers. They pull away, Sam's cast flying like a strange white and pink flag.
They make it a couple of miles down the road before Sam pipes up from the backseat.
"Dean. My toes are cold."
"My toes. They're going 45 miles an hour."
"Hate to tell you, but your whole body is going 45 miles an hour. Except maybe your brain. Probably more like 25 or 30 at the moment."
"But my brain's not cold. Just my toes."
Dean sighs and pulls onto the shoulder. After digging through his duffel bag, he stretches three socks over the end of Sam's cast. He gives the big toe a light squeeze. "Better?"
They head out again. The next time Dean looks in the rearview mirror, Sam is sound asleep.
Sam starts whimpering in his sleep all too soon. Dean had hoped the hospital-grade pain meds would last until he got his brother out of the car and into a bed, but it sounds like that's not going to happen.
He makes a quick drive-thru stop before getting them checked into a motel. Then it's time for the fun to begin.
"Rise and shine, Sammy," Dean says as he opens the door. Sam opens his eyes and moans. "Are the good drugs wearing off?"
"I'll take that as a 'yes.' Come on. Bed, food, pain meds." Dean hauls his brother out of the car and onto his good leg.
"Fuck, that hurts." He drapes an arm over Dean's shoulders.
"Can you hop a little?"
Sam does, and groans. "No crutches?"
Another hop, with Dean taking on most of Sam's weight. "You don't remember much from today, do you?"
"You were out of it." Sam gasps in pain, but Dean keeps propelling him forward.
"Did I say anything stupid?" The words come from between gritted teeth.
Dean smirks. "Not at all. Hospital didn't have crutches in sasquatch size. I'm going to have to hit the big and tall store. See what they have in stock."
"Funny," Sam says before crying out again. "Shit, Dean. Fuck. Hurts." He's panting as they approach the motel room.
"Almost there, Sammy. You're doing great."
But by the time Sam is in the room, leg propped up with pillows, there's sweat rolling down his temples and tears streaming down his cheeks.
Dean opens the fresh bottle of prescription pain pills. "Okay, dude. You can't take these on an empty stomach, and I'm pretty sure those servings of Jell-O don't count."
Sam groans. "Not hungry."
"I figured. So I stopped and got you a smoothie."
The look on Sam's face falls somewhere between surprised and suspicious. "Really?"
"Really." Dean pokes a straw through the lid and hands it over. "Strawberry banana. And I won't even make fun of you for drinking a girly drink."
Sam takes a long sip. "'s good. Thanks, Dean."
Dean nods and gets Sam a cup of water. When the smoothie is half gone, Dean hands over two pills. Then he flops down on the other bed. It's early, but taking care of an injured brother is an exhausting job. His eyes are barely closed before he's tugged away from sleep.
"I gotta go to the bathroom."
"All right, all right." He forces himself off the bed and over to his brother. "You ready for this?"
Sam nods, but still swears under his breath as Dean gets him upright. The walk from the bed to the bathroom is shorter than the walk from the car to the room, but not by much. Luckily, the bathroom is tiny, so Sam can hang on to the counter while standing in front of the toilet. "Yell if you need help."
Dean closes the door and stands right outside. He waits for a minute or two, but doesn't hear anything. "Sammy? What's the hold up? I know you don't have performance anxiety."
A pause. "Dean?"
When Dean opens the door, Sam is facing away from the toilet. The flush on his cheeks could be pain or embarrassment or both. "What's wrong?"
"I can't…I have to…" He makes a vague motion towards his stomach.
And then the problem is obvious. The space between the shower, toilet, and wall is miniscule. Sitting with a straight leg is going to be a challenge.
"Shit," Dean says. "Literally. Ha. Get it, Sammy?"
"Yeah, okay. No big deal. Here." He helps Sam hop as close to the shower as he can. "Now just start to sit, and we'll pull that leg out…" But Dean's plan is interrupted by Sam's yelp of pain.
"Not gonna work," Sam says between gasps.
"I see that. Okay. Take two." This time, they shift to the right, trying to angle Sam's cast into the open shower door. "Just a little further."
Sam groans. "Can't."
It's true. But what is Dean supposed to do? Go back to the office, determine if a handicapped-accessible room is available, drag his gigantic, hurting brother and all of their stuff to another room or another motel…
Dean has a better idea.
He leans Sam against the counter. "Don't move, okay? I'll be right back."
When Dean returns from the Impala, he's carrying a hammer. "Cover your eyes, Sammy."
"Dean, what the hell are…"
Dean makes a quick mental calculation and slams the hammer low into the wall across from the toilet. A couple more hits, and there's a hole leading into their room's small closet. Perfect size for a stretched-out, casted leg. When Dean looks up, he's met with confusion. Disbelief. "What?" Dean asks. "Not like we're going to pay the bill. Did you have a better idea?"
"I can't decide if you're stupid, smart, or just crazy."
"I'm brilliant. Now go on. Take care of business."
When Sam finishes and opens the door, Dean lifts one eyebrow. "Better?"
Sam flushes. "Yes."
Dean slips an arm around his brother's waist. "Did you wash your hands?"
"Soap and everything."
"Good." As Dean helps Sam back to bed, he notices that the wincing, gasping, and swearing are backing off. "Are those pain meds kicking in?"
Sam yawns. "Yeah. Finally."
"Get some sleep. I'll be here if you need anything." Dean tugs off his shoes and sets them on the ground near the hammer.
A pause. "Why is half of my cast pink?"
Dean just laughs.