Dean is 21 while Sam is 17. I got the idea for this story while in the hospital with my brother. He has appendicitis.

Dean entered the hospital room unsurely. Dad had said the room was 2220, right? But beyond the half-open the door, he heard Bobby's low mumble. He smiled and paced further inside, holding the balloon string tighter in his hand.

The room was a white-washed gray with a jungle mural. Bobby sat in the chair at the end of the hospital bed with his hat tilted in towards his eyes. The man looked exhausted. He nodded his greetings and Dean did the same before turning towards the boy in the bed. "Hey Sammy," he said with a grin. "Get well soon." He slammed the balloon weight down on Sam's side table.

Sammy groaned, scrubbing his hand over his sweaty, matted hair and his dark-rimmed eyes. "Is that a balloon?" he asked incredulously. He cocked his eyebrow.

"Yes, I picked one out that made me think of you," Dean replied, gesturing to it.

Sam sat up slightly to get a better view before groaning. "Seriously? Batman?" he said hoarsely.

"Damn straight."

"It doesn't even say 'get well soon' on it," he said, looking at Dean with a slight smile. Bobby chuckled while Sam leaned back into the pillow. "Now all the nurses will be asking if I got appendicitis on my birthday."

Dean scoffed. "That's just what I was aiming for, Sammy. All of the hot nurses will be all over you." he said, glancing at the balloon. It was bright orange with Batman right in the middle. The words across the top read 'Happy Birthday!' A nurse in the elevator had already asked whose birthday it was. "Besides, the gift shop was out of 'Get Well' balloons."

"How does the hospital gift shop run out of something like that?" he asked, shifting his arm attached to the IV. His eyes drooped slightly. The kid looked beat.

Dean shrugged and looked back at Bobby. "Okay, Bobby, I'm going to be here for a while. Get out of here, get some rest."

Bobby nodded and stood slowly. "How'd the hunt go?" he asked.

"Just fine," Dean said slowly, giving him the look to say that they'd talk later. Truthfully, it hadn't gone all that well. Dad kicked him out of the car, saying he was too distracted by Sammy's appendicitis, saying that Dean would get both of them killed. Dad was probably still out on the road. "Just check up on Dad," Dean said quieter.

Bobby nodded a second time before waving at Sam. "See ya, boy. I'll be back tomorrow."

"Okay," the younger brother said, blinking slowly.

Dean went and grabbed Bobby's vacated chair and pulled it to the left side of the bed. "So… appendicitis, huh?" Sam closed his eyes and said nothing, just breathing slowly. Dean glanced at the heart monitor. Sam's heart rate was at 99. "Of all the things to be in the hospital for."

"Yup," the word ghosted Sam's lips as he lay still. Dean sat there silently as his 17-year-old brother fell into a drug-induced sleep. It was peaceful watching his brother breathe. Dean wondered distantly what Sam had been like under anesthesia. It was a thought that made Dean smile.

An hour passed before Dean leaned forward and brushed Sam's brown hair from his sleeping face. "Sorry, Sam," he whispered softly. "Sorry I wasn't there when this all happened." He dropped his hand to his side and leaned back in the chair. "Sorry I'm not there for you when you need it."