A/N: I am happy that everyone enjoyed the beginning of "Silence." All of the reviews were so very helpful! In chapter 2, we'll find Dean doing more weird things. Of course, Sam is still worried… enjoy!
~Two weeks after the hamadryad, in a small town in Nebraska~
The door to the motel room swung open, and Dean trudged in, covered head-to-toe with mud. Sam was following behind, trying not to laugh.
"It isn't funny, Sam," Dean said irritably as he rummaged through his duffel for clean clothes.
"It's a little funny." Sam said, snickering a bit.
"Why don't I push you into a grave and laugh at you, asshole."
"I didn't push you into the hole, Dean. You fell."
"It was muddy. I slipped."
"Right, okay. You slipped."
"Whatever." Dean found a suitable outfit and took it with him into the bathroom to take a shower. As soon as the bathroom door closed, Sam took out his cell phone. He had to call Bobby. Dean was trying to hide the fact that his knee was still bothering him, but he wasn't doing a very good job. Bobby answered the phone in two rings.
"What's up, Sam?" Bobby said jovially as he went through some papers.
"I need to talk to you about Dean."
"What's that idjit gone and done now?" Bobby asked, knowing how predictable Dean could be.
"Something is wrong with his knee. He says he hurt it on a hunt a couple of weeks ago, but I feel like he's lying to me."
"So he hurt his knee, Sam. Big deal."
"He's been icing his knee in the bathroom every day for a half hour, he waits until I go into the bathroom in the morning before he gets out of bed to get dressed, and he's started driving with two feet."
"He's driving with two feet?" Bobby asked, sounding a bit concerned. He'd done that once himself, when he dislocated his knee on a hunt. He'd popped it into place by himself, and had to drive with two feet to get himself to the hospital. He remembered it taking a lot of pressure off his knee, and caused him less pain.
"He almost crashed the car yesterday when he went to brake and pushed on his foot instead of the brake pedal."
"Idjit." Bobby fell silent for a moment. "You can try to convince him to see a doctor, Sam, but he's just as stubborn as your Daddy. Just keep an eye on the idjit."
"Right." Sam heard the jiggle of the bathroom doorknob. Dean was done with his shower. "I gotta go. Thanks Bobby." He slipped the phone into his pocket as Dean came out of the bathroom, limping terribly.
Sam sat at the table and pretended to leaf through a lore book as Dean hobbled to his bag in a towel and took out a pair of clean underwear. As he bent to retrieve them from the duffel, His towel hiked up in the front, and Sam got a look at his knee. It was swollen twice its normal size.
"Oh my God, Dean," he said, getting up to get a better look. "Why didn't you tell me your knee was that bad?"
"I'll be fine, Sam." He started walking back to the bathroom, and almost made it, too. White hot pain radiated from his knee, forcing him to drop down to the floor in a heap.
"Dean!" Sam rushed to his side, throwing the towel back over his brother's lower half. "Are you all right?"
"Help me up," he asked, jutting his hand up for his brother to take. Sam clamped his hand around his brother's wrist and pulled him to his feet. Dean shouted in pain as soon as he put weight on his right leg.
"Damn it—fuck—Sam—bed-now-fuck!" Sam draped his brother's arm around his shoulder and helped him to the bed to get him off his knee. He went and grabbed some clothes for Dean and turned his back to allow his brother to dress. When he was fully clothed he pulled himself back onto the bed until he could rest his back on the headboard. He needed to stretch out his bad knee. It even hurt to straighten his leg. What was wrong with him?
"You need a doctor, Dean," Sam said, bringing him a makeshift ice bag. "Put that on your knee."
"I hate hospitals, and doctors."
"I know, but you've been icing your knee for two weeks and it's the size of a softball. You need to go. Are you gonna run from a werewolf in a wheelchair, gimpy?"
"Shut up. I'm not going."
"You're going. It's not a request anymore, Dean." Sam brought Dean's sneakers over to him. Dean felt the pain every time he moved his knee, even to tie his own shoes. Maybe Sam was right.
"Come on, gimpy, let's get you to the car." Sam helped Dean off the bed, and together they left the motel room. Sam put him in the backseat so he could lay his leg out comfortably, and they were on their way.
The ER doctor insisted on x-rays as soon as he got a look at Dean's knee. Before Sam could say anything they'd wheeled Dean into radiology. When he got back they put him in a bed in the ER while they waited for the x-rays to come back. Dean busied himself with gawking at an attractive blond nurse working at the nurses' station just outside their room. Sam rolled his eyes and sat quietly with a book.
The x-rays took an hour to come back. The doctor came in with a grim look on his face. Dean swallowed hard. It was going to be bad.
"You're very lucky to have come in when you did, Dean. You've got a pretty severe case of bursitis."
"What the hell is that?"
"Well Dean, bursitis is a fancy word for joint inflammation. There is a sac called a bursa that cushions your joints. When that's inflamed, it can cause a lot of pain. From the looks of your x-rays, you've probably let this go for quite some time."
Sam glared at his brother.
"How long, Dean?" Sam asked, giving Dean the evil-eye.
"A month and a half," Dean admitted, not wanting to make eye contact with Sam when he said it.
"Dean, why didn't you tell me you were hurting?"
"Gentleman, please try to stay calm," the doctor interjected. "Dean, this is looking pretty severe. We're going to have to go into your knee with a needle and draw the fluid out to ease the inflammation. You're going to be off your feet for at least a couple of weeks."
Dean's thoughts were racing when the doctor left. Sam was giving him the silent treatment.
This is going to suck ass.