DOWN AND OUT AT MOTEL VACANT

By: Karen B.

Summary: Injured, bullet removal, doped-up, hurt, hero Sam. Worried, caring, in trouble big brother Dean. Time set: Season one.

Disclaimer: Not the owner

Dedicated to my dear friend, Marianna! For all that she does with heart and soul! Bring it, right, my friend?

Rated: Stupid…ha-ha…but fun.

Quote: "If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?"

Will Rogers/Alexander Pope

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"Here we go, Sam. Here we go," Dean muttered softly, urgently ducking inside the Impala's open passenger door and reaching across Sam to unbuckle his seatbelt.

"Where are we?" Sam asked, slouched in his seat, limp and woozy and not bothering to make a move.

"Down and out at Motel Vacant," Dean answered in a strained voice; gathering his brother in his arms and pulling him out of the car and up onto his feet.

Sam's knees bent, his weight dragging him down toward the pebbly pavement.

"Sam!" Dean shouted, grappling for a hold. "Help me out here, Goliath."

"Yeah. Okay." Sam grasped a fistful of Dean's jacket, pulling himself back up.

"That's some pituitary issue you got going on there," Dean laughed at himself, easing Sam against the side of the car. "Can you hold it right there?"

Sam pressed up against warm metal, tipping his head back and staring skyward. "I'm good," he breathed.

"Let's keep it that way." Dean quickly popped back inside the car, grabbing their duffel bag, then just as quickly popping back out. "Look." He kicked the passenger door shut with the flat of his foot and pointed across the empty lot. "We got just a few feet to our room. Then you can rest again. Okay, pal?" He inched an arm behind Sam, easing him away from the Impala and hitching him to his hip for support.

"Okay." Sam leaned against Dean, groggily.

"Just taking a little walk," Dean informed, moving them a few tentative steps forward.

The world titled and Sam's head drooped, chin resting on his chest. He stared at the ground through sweaty, pin-straight strands of hair watching a shiny penny, a wad of gum, and someone's lost sock spin round and round and round chasing one another.

"How you feel?" Dean stopped a second.

"Honestly. Like a contestant strapped to the Wheel of Fortune," Sam muttered, vertigo setting in stronger with each step. "About to be spun to death by Vanna White."

"Sounds like my kind of good time."

"It's not." Sam shut his eyes tight against the dizziness.

"Bro," Dean gave him a little shake, "Eyes open and on the horizon."

"Not on a ship, Dean," Sam said, keeping his eyes tightly shut and breathing heavily through his open mouth.

"Fine. I'll watch where we're going then," Dean said, moving them along again. "You just stay with me. Keep those feet moving."

"Where are we?" Sam sluggishly asked.

"Pay attention, man," Dean said sarcastically. "I already told you. Motel vacant-for-a-very-long-time. It was the only place I could find around here for miles. Not even a sign hanging anywhere to give the place a name."

Sam chanced a peek, through squinted eyes.

The motel was obviously long abandoned. Even Mother Nature seemed not to exist here. Only large chunks of broken rubble strewn all around making the place look like a moonscape. Age-faded yellowish-green paint peeled off the cement block building like moldy sliced cheese, and just about every window of the single story motel was broken out or boarded up. Most the rooms didn't even have a door.

They moved past a swimming pool filled nearly to the brim with black sludge-like water. Just past that was a rusted swing set, a single swing squeaking eerily in the light breeze, beyond that was a busted-up chain link fence line, and beyond that, a weed-infested field.

"Looks haunted," Sam said.

"It's not haunted," Dean snapped.

Sam trembled. "You're pissed."

"I'm not pissed, Sam," Dean said angrily.

"Then what's wrong with you?"

"Nothing's wrong with me. You're the one with the bullet hole, remember?" Dean briefly glanced sideways at Sam's gauze-wrapped, left shoulder. "Come on." He led Sam around a large pothole. "Over there." He pointed.

"Over where?" Sam garbled, just wanting to stop trying to stay upright and drop to the ground and curl into the fetal position.

"Number twenty-four. It's the closest room and at least has a working door."

They trudged along slowly, Dean kicking cans and busted up garbage bags out of Sam's path.

"You–" Sam bit into his lower lip stifling a whimper. His shoulder burned and his vision was blurry and damn…why the hell was he so tired? "You going to tell me exactly what happened?" he asked.

"You don't remember?" Dean carefully moved them around a tipped-over metal dumpster.

"I did something stupid?" Sam stumbled, gripping Dean's jacket with his right hand, keeping his feet moving.

"Yeah, dude. And stupid hurts. You ever push me out of the way like that again –" Dean's rant trailed off as he glanced at Sam's wound. A quarter-sized bloodstain had seeped through the white bandaging. "Crap," Dean whispered. "This little bit of walking's got you bleeding again. Next time think before you act, Sammy, will you?" he softened.

"Will I what?" Sam slumped further against Dean.

"Forget it. Let's just get us checked-in and you taken care of," Dean said, shoving an old maid's cart out of the way and pushing the door of room twenty-four easily open.

They stood in the doorway a second. The room was a wreck. A small television lay smashed in the corner along with a relocated, piss encrusted toilet. A busted up dresser and lamp added to the window glass and newspapers and other scraps of human and animal waste that littered the barely carpeted floor. A shabby, queen-sized box spring stood up against a far wall, its mattress practically dissolved. Chewed up, most likely by rats, the big kind that probably crawled out of the hole in the bathroom where the toilet used to be.

A back wall window had obviously been broken open by a split tree that had fallen. Clusters of curled, brown leaves still hung from the branches – diehards refusing to fall or be blown away.

"Really? We're going to stay here?" Sam squirmed in Dean's hold.

"This place is the Hilton compared to that cheap motel we stayed at last year during Vegas week," Dean commented.

"Back to basics." Sam nodded, the action sending him tottering from side-to-side.

"You're running on empty, kiddo. Come on. Hup, two, three." They hobbled forward.

Sam automatically responded to his brother's military commands, his footing unsteady.

"Only one bed," Dean let the duffel bag slip from his shoulder. "And you get it, Princess," he said, flipping the box spring away from the wall it leaned against. The wood frame fell to the floor with a dusty thump.

"No. No thanks, Dean." Sam eyed the stained, moldy bedding. "I'm good."

Sam's protests were met with action, not words, as Dean lowered him gently down to lie on his back. "Better, bro?"

"Smells like an old person." Sam's breath caught and he wrinkled his nose.

"Yeah, well the toilet in this place is broken, dude."

Sam moaned miserably.

Dean dropped down to a crouch and began rooting around in the duffel bag. "So how about you and I see about scoring us a bullet?"

"The fun never ends does it?" Sam turned his head away to face the wall.

"No it does not." Dean peeled away the gauze from Sam's shoulder and tossed it aside with disgust.

Sam's breath hissed through clenched teeth. "How bad does it look?"

"Not as bad as that case of chicken-pox you had when you were ten," Dean grouched, gathering the surgical supplies he would need and laying them out on a clean towel.

"Hold still," Dean said, bending over Sam and probing the entry area.

Sam whimpered like a day-old puppy.

"Oh, come on, bro. This is small change." He smiled softly. "Just breathe in and out nice and slow and hang in there for me." Dean went back to probing. "Shouldn't take me long to get out…and I got some pretty good after-party drugs for you when I'm done, okay?"'

"No drugs, Dean." Sam glared at his brother. "I mean it."

"No drugs, Dean. I mean it," Dean mocked in a high-pitched tone, placing a clean, protective cloth over the wound. "Whatever you say, cowboy." He sat back and pulled a sloshing bottle of Canadian Whiskey from the duffle. "Guess you're just stuck with my sensitive caring self then," he laughed. "If that makes you feel any better," Dean said, staring at Sam with regret.

"In a weird sort of way, yes, it does," Sam said quietly, offering Dean a weak smile.

"Take a swig." Dean slipped a hand behind Sam's head and lifted, tipping the bottle to his brother's lips.

Sam rose up just enough to take a few sips, the liquid dribbling down his chin as he choked. "That's horrible."

"Sorry, Sam, we're fresh out of milk." Dean eased Sam's head back. "And this…" He pulled a clean cloth from the duffel and heavily soaked the rag with Canadian Whiskey. "This is more horrible. Open," Dean ordered.

Sam opened.

"Bite down."

Sam bit down. "Belch," he complained around the rag.

"Keep that in your mouth, freak, it'll help."

Dean removed the protective cloth, leaving it on Sam's chest; he'd need it later to blot away excess blood as the wound still oozed. He picked up the forceps, then reached behind him for the bottle of whiskey and poured the drink over the bullet hole.

Sam jerked hard, groaning, then was silent.

Dean then poured the liquor over his own hand and forceps. "Don't move," he ordered, setting the bottle back down. Gingerly, he pulled the skin away from the wound with one hand and eased the forceps into the hole in Sam's shoulder with the other.

"You're bossy…"Sam struggled to talk around the cloth turning his head away and clenching the rag between his teeth, refusing to watch as Dean started digging around.

"No talking with your mouth full." Dean bowed closer, focusing intently, nudging through muscle. "It's not that bad, now is it?" Dean absently muttered.

Sam bit into the rag, almost fainting, but struggled to stay with it.

"Come on," Dean muttered more to himself as he worked feverishly. "Shit. Yes. Hell. No. You've got to be kidding me. You friggin' bitch."

Sam let out a muffled moan and tensed, biting down harder into the rag, unable to do anything more than ride out the pain.

Dean paused, not taking his eyes off the wound, and waited for Sam to gain better control. "Ready?" he asked after a few seconds ticked by.

Sam growled deep in his throat.

"That's convincing." Dean started poking around again.

For what seemed like a long time, there was dead silence in the room as Dean worked to retrieve the bullet, and Sam worked not to scream.

"I still got you with me, right, Sammy?"

"Hurts bad," Sam slurred around the horrible tasting rag, turning his head to face Dean.

Dean flicked his eyes up to see Sam's face pouring sweat, growing whiter and whiter. He winced at the sight. "Of course it hurts bad, you idiot," he bellowed with worry. "This isn't the flu. Bitch shot you. You're lucky she didn't bite you. Or you'd be pissing antifreeze, sprouting a monkey's tail, or growing glow-in-the-dark breasts."

Sam gagged, spitting the rag out. "Or vomiting green slim," he coughed.

Dean raised a brow. "Let's hope not. Here." Dean picked up the bottle of whiskey standing at the ready nearby. "You need to drink more of this."

"Says who?" Sam squirmed away.

"Say's your big brother."

Sam reluctantly took a quick gulp. "Happy?"

"No. Try a bit more." Dean tipped the bottle back toward Sam's mouth.

"No more," Sam refused. "Just hurry up."

"Now who's a bossy bitch?" Dean set the bottle aside within reach and went back to work.

Sam mumbled something unintelligible as if the rag were still jammed in his mouth.

"Hang tough, Sammy."

"You should talk," Sam breathed out. "Your hands are shaking."

"What are you talking about?" Dean kept searching for the bullet. "I've got nerves of steel, Sam," he said, biting into his lower lip when he felt the bullet and opened the forceps to latch on, giving a little tug.

"Right, nerves of…Arrrh…Dean, damn it," Sam gasped, back bowing while his right hand clawed at the edge of the mattress.

"Hey, hey," Dean grabbed the blotting cloth off Sam's chest and dabbed at the seepage. "I said stay down and don't move."

Sam struggled to catch his breath.

"Easy, just take it easy." Dean as gently as he could, pulled more on the bullet. "Sammy, I know you can do a better job than that." He leaned forward and softly spoke in Sam's ear. "Think of something else," he suggested.

"Like what?" Sam squeezed his eyes shut.

"Like how awesome I am," Dean laughed lightly.

"…Hate you… an awful lot." Sam grimaced and shuddered.

He wasn't dealing well with himself, let alone Dean. He was freezing, soaked in clammy sweat. Couldn't help but writhe and wiggle, like a fish on a hook. Breathing in and out in heavy fast pants, his arms and legs felt peppered with needles.

"Come on, kid, try to relax, you hear? The more you move the bigger the hole gets. You don't want me to have to tie you down do you?" Dean questioned sadly.

"No." Sam fought back the bile that rose up in his throat and touched his tongue. "I'm good, Dean." He took a few calming breaths and stilled his quivering body as much as he could.

Dean went back to twisting the forcep,s slowly tugging the bullet upward.

Sam sucked in his lower lip, it was torture. A burning pain lashed across his upper back, then shot outward, through every nerve ending. He fought hard to do as Dean said. Not to move. But all he wanted to do was fly off that mattress. Jackknife away from his brother's touch. It took everything he had in him just to lay there breathing hard, eyes wide and sweating limbs all a tremble.

"Hold on, Sam," Dean breathed hard, also trembling. "Almost," he ground out, "Almost, man."

Sam felt Dean's fingers, slick with blood pressing down around the wound, felt his flesh tear open. Felt hot blood welling up and oozing down his skin.

There came a popping noise, like a cork being pulled from a bottle.

"Holy crap," Dean bellowed. "About damn time."

Sam's entire body quivered uncontrollably.

"It's out, bro," Dean soothed compressing the blotting cloth over the wound. "It's out."

Sam gagged going board-stiff.

"Don't get sick, Sam, Don't get sick. I got enough of a mess to worry about here."

A big ass drum banged in Sam's ears, and pounded in his chest.

Sam stared at Dean's lips. They were moving a million miles an hour. Dean was chatting up a storm, but Sam couldn't hear him, everything was rocking and echoed like a cave.

"Sam? Sam? Sammy, say something!"

"Can't take my eyes off of you," Sam murmured.

Dean shook his head. "That's embarrassing."

"I mean…" Sam's eyes fluttered, "Can't keep my eyes op…en," he corrected, his body going limp, and vision turning fuzzy, completely worn out.

Dean flattened a hand to Sam's stomach. "Then close them."

"Can't," Sam slurred, eyes dancing open and shut.

"Sure you can," Dean whispered softly as he started to rub Sam's middle in small circular motions. "This always worked when you were a kid," he said

"I – "Sam couldn't think straight, looking into Dean's eyes – hypnotized. "Hate that," he finally managed to get the words out.

"Oh?" Dean smirked.

"Don't. " Sam's breathing slowed and deepened with each circle Dean made.

"Don't what, Little brother?" Dean smiled, knowingly. "There's nothing to it, just go to sleep."

"Dean." Sam practically purred as his eyes slipped closed. "No drugs." He let out a winded breath, sagging into oblivion.

"Not having you wake up in pain, Sammy." Dean patted Sam's belly, then pulled a syringe and a bottle from the duffle. "Sorry, pal."

/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/

It took Sam a dozen tries to get his eyes to actually open and stay open, and another dozen to get them focused.

After the room stopped spinning, he realized he was still in the abandoned motel room. Shirtless and covered in a thick wool blanket–the one he hated so much because it made him itch. He was lying on his back, their canvas-green army sack full of dirty laundry propped behind him for support.

He glanced around the room. Nothing much had changed. It was still dull and drab, decaying and disgusting.

"D'n," he called, the word not forming right as it past his lips that seemed ten times too big.

The only sound that greeted Sam was the rustle of the dried-up leaves dangling on the dead tree limb jutting in through the broken window of the room.

Sam sluggishly moved to sit up, stiff as a log. His movements were awkward and restricted, but the burning agony he remembered being in his shoulder had been replaced by barely a dull throb. He was loopy and relaxed. As if he'd been hitting the bottle hard.

He glanced down at his left shoulder. The bullet hole was double-padded with white gauze, and his arm brought across his bare chest, resting immobile inside an Ace Bandaged sling, then duct tapped there for good measure. He felt like some freaky King Tut mummy, barely able to wiggle his fingers hanging out the other side.

"Awesome wrap job, Dean." Sam kicked off the wool blanket with his socked feet, and steadied his free hand to the box spring. It took several tries, but he finally pushed himself up to his feet.

Sam toddled across the room like a child who had just learned how to walk. He stumbled into a wall, completely off balance. Crap. His brain felt like jelly and he leaned heavily into his good shoulder trying to catch his breath, and his wit.

"Uh-oh," Sam muttered in realization

Not only had he been gift-wrapped, he'd been drugged. Dean must have slipped something to him somewhere along the way.

He glanced lazily down at his lower half. At least his brother had the decency to leave him with his pants on. That was if he considered a pair of fuzzy, dark-blue, low-slung jogging pants with a knot in the string – so he couldn't tighten the waistband – decent.

He hated the pants. Wished he'd thrown them out two states and three weeks back. He thought about shucking on a pair of jeans, but highly doubted he had the dexterity to even try.

He hadn't even been on his feet three minutes when the room began to spin and he slipped down the wall that was holding him up. Landing on his rump, he started to laugh out loud until dizziness hit him harder.

Sam cleared his throat. Damn he was thirsty. That's when he saw it across the room. A bottle of water sat right next to the box spring he'd been laying on. Next to that, was a watch with a folded up note under it, and next to that, his gun.

"Huh?" Things were not making much sense.

Sam crawled toward the water his injured arm well protected and unusable. The cap was already loosened for him, and he took a few shaky sips. The water slid down cool and refreshing but did little to clear his cotton stuffed brain. Setting the bottle down, he fingered the watch out of the way and picked up the note, reading the words written in bold, black marker:

You, my brother, are a stupid ass mess. Cells don't work. Short on supplies. I'm pretty pissed off. Checking the place out. Back in forty. Left at 1300 hours. Drugged your ass up…but good. No pain is well…no pain.

Sammy! Stay put.

Me

Sam smiled sloppily. Reading between Dean's lines was something he'd been able to do since…he couldn't remember when. He let the note flutter to the ground next to the watch. Even stuffed full cotton – drugs, whatever – he could translate Dean speak. And Dean speak was telling him his big brother was freaky-freaked. Didn't want to leave Sam alone not even for a second, but knew he had to.

Sam glanced at the watch. He had to think really hard with his 'drugged up, but good ass'. 1300 hours was…was…was… one pm Military time. The numbers on the watch blurred in and out, but he could tell the big hand was on the twelve and the little hand was on the two. One hour Dean had been gone.

There were so many things that could go wrong in a place like this in one hour. Sam stared off into space, his imagination running wild. With each tick, tick, tick of the tiny second hand his thoughts grew scarier and scarier.

Maybe Dean had found an awesome diner and ate 164.8 pounds worth of hamburgers. Dean would think he was pretty badass…until he exploded.

Or more likely, Dean had hooked up with a woman with 28-foot-long fingernails and was lying in one of the disgusting motel rooms, mauled to death.

Maybe he'd been mugged by 1,253 people dressed up like Smurfs. Or he could have been run over by the world's largest rubber band ball. That thing weighted in at 9,032 pounds. Dean would be little more than a pancake.

Pancakes.

Damn he was hungry.

Sam cocked his head at the wristwatch, his frown deepening as he realized three things: one… he'd read about all those jacked up things in the Guinness Book of World Records and highly doubted any of them happened to Dean. Two… it was now two ten. And three – being the most pressing issue of all – he needed to go to the bathroom, and where the hell was Dean if he wasn't supposed to move.

Sam's gaze darted around the room, catching a glimpse of his reflection in a broken dresser mirror slanted up against a far wall.

Some days were really rough, and this day Sam looked extra rough. Chin bristly, hair shaggy, and complexion pale. His gaze roved lazily to the other side of the room, landing on the busted up toilet in the corner, and he sighed. He'd first have to find Dean if he ever wanted…what was it he wanted?

Dean. He had to find Dean. But if he moved, Dean would be pissed. And a pissed off Dean was… well…a pissed off Dean.

So what was the difference?

Sam shrugged, struggling to get up off the floor. The eeffort and strain damn near lion-hearted.

Strangled grunts and kneeing noises filled the back of his throat, but finally Sam was standing. Breathing laboriously, he gathered first his strength, then his loaded gun awkwardly in his free hand. Not bothering with shoes or shirt, Sam navigated awkwardly across the debris-covered floor to the doorway.

Dean couldn't be far. Maybe he was just outside the door. Maybe Sam would push open the door and fall right into his brother's arms and Dean would laugh and call him a giant girl.

With that thought in his head, Sam pushed open the door. He stumbled out of the room, right off-the-bat dropping forcefully to one knee. At first he seemed surprised. There was something that should have been there – but wasn't.

What was that something?

"Dean," Sam garbled. That was the something that should have been there, catching him when he fell.

Sam peered up through sweat dripped bangs. The Impala was parked close by, but there was no 'Dean' anywhere to be seen.

Sam scanned the lot further. It was empty. Save for the weeds growing straight and tall out of the gaping cracks and rolling hills of the buckled blacktop. Deep moon-like craters were filled to their rims with rainwater making the place look like a map of The Great Lakes, rather than the slab of asphalt it really was.

Sam concentrated hard, begging his body to allow him to get up off his knees. Eventually his body allowed him the request and he stood on socked feet. He peeked over at his shoulder. Good. No blood. He hadn't broken open his wound. He knew enough that he should be in severe pain from all this moving about, but all he really felt was light and breezy. Like those damn dryer sheets Dean always insisted they buy when making laundry runs. Better yet, like a hammock swaying between two palm trees, the cooling mist of the sea and scent of coconut rocking him gently into an incredibly relaxed state of laziness.

Sam stood idle for another long period of time. Not wanting to move. Maybe he wasn't in that hammock at all.

Maybe he was more like Han Solo, frozen in carbonite. No way Vader was getting his hands on him.

The thought made Sam put one uncoordinated foot in front of the other uncoordinated foot. He lumbered along – battle ship heavy, and hunched over. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get his soupy spine to straighten up, and he had to fight to keep his socked feet planted to the ground. Everything around him was a mixed up mess.

He peeked curiously into broken door after broken door, noting every room was almost as trashed as theirs and smelling of old cheese. As he moved, the heaviness left his limbs turned light as air. His spine still refused to straighten, but he could move faster, felt lighter. Spring-loaded. Pogo stick-light. Like he could leap tall buildings in a single bound-light.

The entire place was desolate and empty and lifeless. Like the planet Dagobah, only without the dark swampland, gnarled jungle of trees, or the nine hundred-year-old Jedi Master training him in the ways of the force.

With a day-dreamy smile on his face, Sam continued with his lovely stroll through the swamp… 'eh motel grounds, staggering through the strewn of rubble and tatter and disrepair.

By the time he found the motel's office, his head was like an inflatable balloon and he could barely think straight. Not that he had been thinking straight before he left the room.

He leaned casually against the doorframe, staring at the counter – a million miles away. What looked like the world's largest coffee cup sat next to a rusted-out call bell and a scattering of papers, bills, letters, and fallen ceiling tiles. Behind the counter sat a file cabinet, a chair, a desk, a banker's lamp, and wall wiring all tentacled together like a giant octopus. The walls looked strangely Picasso. Dripping all the used-to-be colors and mixing them together creating the illusion of being in another world. A bladeless ceiling fan hung from above, blue sky and sunlight peeping in through gaping holes in the roof.

Sam went back to examining the world's largest coffee cup, frowning when it suddenly shrunk to the world's smallest coffee cup.

What the…?

This was a really strange sort of spooky place, and Sam had to keep reminding himself what it was he was doing here.

And what was it again he was doing here?

Oh, yeah…he needed clean towels, a bar of soap. Maybe some complimentary toothpaste and toothbrush to rid his teeth of the fuzzy coat they were wearing. A working bathroom would be nice. And, hey, while he was at it he could use a massage and a manicure and pancakes.

Sam shoved off the wall and bellied drunkenly up to the counter setting his gun down, and slapping hard and heavy on the rusted call bell.

Ding

Ding.

Ding.

No one came.

He spent a few long minutes rummaging through some old newspapers. Titling his head and squinting at the words. Reading a line here and a paragraph there, looking up every now and again to see if anyone had come to assist him.

When the writing on the page grew arms and legs and the words started to do the Hokey Pokey, Sam shoved the papers away, instead staring at the bell in frustration.

What kind of motel were they running here?

Where was the weight room for him? Or the game room for his…

"Son of a friggin' bitch!" Some one swore from behind.

Sam whirled around. "Brother." He smiled all unsteady and wobbly, peering at Dean from under a curtain of bangs that dangled in his eyes. "What's up."

"I almost shot you. That's what's up," Dean barked from his spot in the archway, gun in hand, the muzzle pointed skyward.

"Oh," Sam muttered nonchalantly, leaning back against the counter for support casually.

"Oh? That's all you got is, oh?" Dean holstered his gun inside his jacket. "I told you not to move, you idiot." He moved across the buckled tile. "What are you doing here?" Dean came to stand in front of Sam, looking around.

Sam thought hard about that question. But before he could come up with an answer, the counter seemed to melt away from behind like a carton of ice cream in the trunk of the Impala on a hot summer day.

"Hey," Dean grabbed a hold of Sam's good arm, keeping him standing. "Sam! I asked you what you're doing here?" he repeated more forcefully.

"Uh –" Sam struggled to come up with a good answer. "Snooping around," he stuttered – the only thing his squishy brain could think of.

"This is no Agatha Christy mystery," Dean snipped. "You're injured, and I told you to stay put."

Sam stared drunkenly at Dean, his rubbery knees bending. "Hungry."

"And you thought you'd ring for room service?" Dean glared at the call bell. "It's an abandoned motel, Sam. Did you think you'd find a champagne and strawberry soiree here?" Dean eyed Sam head to toe. "You could have at least put a shirt and shoes on." Dean brushed Sam's hair out of his eyes. "Combed your damn caveman hair."

"One hand, Dean," Sam garbled, staring at his arm secured snugly across his bare chest.

"Yeah, well you look like a friggin' Aboriginal Viking, man. No shirt, no shoes – "

"No dice," Sam gave a girlish giggle, staring at his tapped up arm.

Dean huffed in frustration not letting go his hold on Sam. "Look, let's just get you back to beddy-bye time." He gave a slight tug urging Sam away from the counter.

Sam scowled, glancing frantically around the room. "Sammy needs to go to the bathroom, "he said in a child-like voice.

"You're punchy."

"Who?" Sam's red, squinty eyes shifted back and forth.

"Sam, you're high."

"Nuh-uh," Sam argued.

"Uh-huh," Dean argued back.

"Is not."

"Is to." Dean shook his head. "Are too," he corrected

"Whatever," Sam sputtered.

"You whatever," Dean volleyed.

Sam watched as everything in the room suddenly multiplied, shrunk and grew like some sort of Alice in Wonderland theme park.

"Uh-oh." Sam's eyes rolled to the back of his head, and the floor was yanked out from under him.

Hey, hey," Dean unsuccessfully tried to catch him, barely having time to wedge a hand between Sam's head and the floor before the kid hit. "Bro, don't nod off on me like that." He patted Sam's cheek.

Sam's eyes fluttered open, staring upward from the flat of his back. "Dean, I'm f –"

"Not fine, Sam. I know how weak you are. I exhausted myself watching you bleed." Dean pursed his lips.

"I'm exhausteder, exhaustedee, exhausted more," Sam slurred, trying to sit up only to sink back down and duck when a rainbow colored tornado zoomed about the room threatening to suck him up into its vortex.

"Just let me look at you," Dean said, slowly peeling back the edges of the gauze to examine Sam's wound.

"Do I need stitches?" Sam asked seriously.

Dean sighed, "You already got stitches."

"How do you know?"

Dean lifted his head meeting Sam's eyes with annoyance. "Because, geek. I'm the one who gave them to you." He tapped the gauze back down. "Doesn't look like you busted any of my staples open, at least."

"Sweet," Sam giggled like a three-year-old toddler. "That gives Sammy feelings of happiness."

"Dude." Dean shivered with disgust. "Don't say that out loud."

"Okay, jerks," he said around a glob of drool that clung to his bottom lip.

"So, look, happy-and-you-know-it, the main idea here is to get you back to the room and…wait. Jerks? Sam? How many of me are you seeing?" Dean waved his hand in front of Sam's face.

"Too many to count," Sam said, eyes shifting back and forth as if he was watching a Ping-Pong tournament.

"Peachy." Dean got Sam to his feet, wrapping an arm securely around his waist. "Let's go."

"Sammy needs his gun." Sam made a move for his weapon, still sitting on the counter.

"No gun." Dean snatched the gun instead, and stuffed it in his waistband. "And stop talking in third person, damn it. I thought you hated being called Sammy?"

Sam leaned forward so his face was right up in Dean's face and said in an ever so quiet voice, "Sammy doesn't hate Sammy."

"Out. Now," Dean raised his voice,, hurrying Sam toward the open door.

Sam squinted hard as they stepped into the sunlight, a twinge in his shoulder making him wince. "Sammy does not like it here. It's spooky," he said, gaze darting around.

"God help me, Sam," Dean rolled his eyes in exaggeration, "But how about you take some deep breaths and go back to those 'feelings of happiness'?"

"Yeah. Okay," Sam agreed, having no control over his body as he schlepped alongside Dean.

For the next ten minutes they crunched slowly and cautiously over the lopsided parking lot, Dean manhandling Sam around potholes and jutting rocks. Maybe it was his deep breathing exercises, or all the moving around, but the pain in his shoulder that had started to fade back in suddenly hit him – white and hot.

"Aw, man." Sam went down like he was weighted with one-hundred bags of wet sand.

"Whoa! Sam!" Dean grabbed him, lifting Sam back up before he could hit his knees. "Don't worry. I gottcha. I gottcha, little brother."

Sam ground his teeth together, and didn't move.

"Seriously, are you going to make it back to the room?" Dean dipped his head to peer into Sam's half-closed eyes.

"Yeah. " Sam panted for breath. "I think so."

"Get you back those 'feelings of happiness' soon as we get there," Dean said, moving them along a little slower now.

Sam shook his head in refusal.

"Sammy. Your just-say-no-to-drugs attitude really friggin' sucks. You're in pain and…" Dean wrinkled his nose. "And, Bro, you reek. How many times do I have to tell you if you're going to blast one off and cause a stink with your gasey self you need to be far, far, far away from me."

"Sorry." Sam took a whiff, the sharp sting of putrefied 'dead thing' assaulting his nose, "Oh gaw, 'eh…that's not me, Dean."

Dean took in another whiff and frowned. "You're right, man, that's not you."

They both turned toward the direction the smell was coming from. "That cannot be good." Dean observed, staring at what appeared to be a dark cloud of hovering horseflies over a mound of gravel in the farthest corner of the barren parking lot. "What do you think? Outdoor toilet or compost pile?" Dean asked.

"Both good guesses', but I don't think either," Sam responded dryly.

"Wait, here, Sam, I'll go check it out." Dean started to lower Sam down to sit.

"No," Sam sounded off, staying his ground. "Coming with."

Dean glanced at Sam's feet. "You're barefoot," Dean batted his eyelashes suggestively, "And – "

"And don't say pregnant," Sam warned sternly, "Besides, I have socks on."

"Sam – "

"Small world of options here, Dean. You can't make me stay behind."

"Sammy, let me do my job."

"Dean, let me do mine."

"Which is?"

"Backing you up," Sam said doggedly.

Dean glared at Sam angrily. "And that worked out so well two States back, dumbass."

"I'm fine, ignoramus."

Dean huffed, tightening his hold on Sam and heading toward the potent smell. "I miss the good ol' days when a simple bitch or jerk would do," he muttered.

As they approached the area, the horrid smell increased to unbearable. "Uh…Dean." Sam swallowed, suppressing the urge to heave. "That's no outdoor toilet or compost pile."

"Uh…Sam." Dean took a huge whiff of the stench and gagged. "No kidding," he chirped, casting a critical eye in every direction.

There was nothing but a few ugly weeds popping up between the finely ground pebbles, and scattered trash of the parking lot. Dean caught sight of the Impala, several yards away, pitch-black paint job waxed to gleaming and shining bright in the hot sun. Behind them, 'motel vacant' sat quiet and well…vacant.

As they approached the cause of the smell, Dean let go of his hold on Sam, and drew his gun from inside his jacket.

"What is that?" he motioned with his weapon at what only could be described as a pile of shit.

Sam crouched down gingerly, careful of his injured shoulder, reaching for a short stick lying on the ground. He began to poke through the putrefied heap of leaves and mud and… "I think it's a crow's head," he said, standing back up and moving to the other side of the pile.

"How Edgar Allen," Dean snarled, keeping one critical eye on Sam, the other on their surroundings.

"I think this is a horse's head," Sam muttered nudging the rancid chunks of flesh aside and poking deeper into the gooey, gaseous mess.

"The God Father." Dean stifled a gag.

"Dog, cat, cow, chicken," Sam mused, moving one head out of the way to reveal yet another.

"What? Old Macdonald lost the farm?"

Sam paused, jabbing repeatedly at what appeared to be a latex mask. "Lost more than his farm."

"Don't tell me." Dean moved to stand by Sam, bending slightly closer to get a better look.

Sam peered up at Dean and grimaced. "He lost his overalls and everything inside of them."

"That's a human head?"

"Not the only one." Sam poked around a few seconds.

"What are we dealing with here?" Dean questioned.

"Whatever it is, it doesn't think heads taste to darn good." Sam tossed the stick aside. "I told you something was here."

"I told you something was here," Dean mimicked in a high-pitched snarky voice. "Do you ever just get sick of being right all the time, Sam?"

"It's a tough gig to uphold," Sam garbled.

Dean looked all around. "Whatever it is, it's not hiding out in the motel. Place is clean as a whistle, and there's no woods around for miles and miles, just flat farmland and open fields of corn. Not much of a hunting ground."

"How about over there." Sam pointed to the in-ground concrete pool a distance away. "Could be something living in that sludgy-black water," he said.

Dean shivered. "Man, I hope you're wrong," he said.

"Me too."

Dean stared at Sam's tapped up arm, then down at his shoeless feet. "You stay here, barefoot Contessa. I got this."

Sam huffed, crinkling his toes inside his socks, shooting Dean his 'I will not be ditched' look.

"You're still going to be my pain-in-the-ass-pesky-little brother…aren't you?"

Sam gave a small sly smile. "Give me my gun."

"You better be clear-headed enough to watch my back," Dean sighed, drawing Sam's gun from his waistband and handing it over, both proceeding toward the derelict pool. "Just don't do anything stupid this time, huh? Like shoot your foot off."

Sam rolled his eyes and tisked.

They walked with great care around the perimeter of the square shape, starting at the deep end – marked 12 ft. The char-black water was dead still and filled with random, odd junk: A busted up dresser, folding sun chair, a long handled push broom, sopping wet phonebooks, flip-flops, a Mr. Coffee pot, a headless Barbie doll, sunglasses without the lenses, a fire extinguisher, a sewing machine, a cash register, and a huge yellow inflatable duck, among other random clutter.

Dean stopped to stare at the weird duck pointing his gun at its smiling face.

"Chill, Dean. Just a kid's toy," Sam said. "What are you going to do? Shoot it?"

"It's looking at me funny," Dean growled in return, "Freaking me out."

"Doesn't take much, does it?" Sam held back a chuckle, not wanting to jar his throbbing shoulder wound.

Dean refused to comment, lowering his weapon and stopping at the 3 ft. mark. "Can't even see the bottom," he said, staring down the four concrete steps leading into the sludge. "You stay here." Dean pointed a stern finger at Sam. "I mean it this time, Sam. Don't need your jinx one-armed ass drowning on me."

Sam flashed Dean his bitch face, but faithfully remained still and on guard duty at the top of the pool's steps.

"That's my boy." Dean holstered his gun and gripped the chrome rail and started to move downward, stopping at the third step as the fourth was covered in gooey water.

Carefully reaching for the long broom handle he used the bristled end to nudge the inflatable duck, poking at the yellow body repeatedly until its smiling face sunk beneath the blackened water.

"What is with you and the duck, man?" Sam growled from behind.

"He had it coming."

"You feel safer now?"

"Little bit," Dean said, now using the broom to poke at the cash register keys trying to get the drawer to open.

"Really, Dean?" Sam muttered.

A couple more pokes and the drawer opened with a ding. "Jackpot," Dean beamed seeing the slots full of money – soggy money– but money just the same. "Sammy needs a new pair of shoes," he wise-cracked, crouching down and reaching farther out over the slimy watery with the broom handle to pull his prize closer.

Across the pool, in the deep end, the water stirred. Sam's head shot up and he caught a glimpse of a dinosaur-like tail, swishing back and forth, the rest of whatever it was submerged under water.

"Dean, get back." Sam took aim, teetering off balance, but whatever he'd seen was gone.

Dean instinctively took two quick steps back, not taking his eyes off the water, seeing nothing. "What?" Broomstick in hand, he turned to face Sam. "What'd you see?"

"I don't know." Sam cocked his head, brow knit. "I think…an alligator." He inched down a step to stand beside Dean

"How the hell do we manage to get so lucky?"

"Guess it's a Winchester skill we were born with," Sam replied dully.

Dean dropped the broom wayside drawing his gun once more. "Anything?" he scanned the water.

"Nothing," Sam muttered.

It took a certain kind of crazy to step toward danger instead of fast stepping away, and Dean was chockfull of that certain-kind-of-crazy as he instinctually moved closer to the water once more. "Where'd it go?"

"Sure as hell didn't hightail it back to Okefenokee Swamp," Sam snipped. "Shot in the dark here, Dean… it's under the water," he said sarcastically.

"Okay, smartass," Dean grouched, "How about giving me something a little more helpful here."

"Don't go in the water," Sam snipped.

"Fine," Dean huffed.

"Good," Sam huffed back.

There came the flick of a tail and a human head, full of clumpy-brown moss-like hair suddenly popped up out of the water in the center of the pool. The thing stared at them with creepy yellow-green cat's eyes – cunning and smart and dangerous.

"That's no alligator!" Both Sam and Dean yelled, taking several potluck shots from where they stood on the steps.

The thing was fast. Slapping its armor plated spikey tail and disappearing without a trace back under the tar-black water.

"You hit it?" Dean asked, eyes glued to the pool that didn't as much as bubble or ripple.

"Don't think so," Sam said quietly. "You?"

"No."

They stood silent and watchful for several long minutes.

"Bitch is camouflaged," Dean broke the silence. "What the hell is it?"

Sam's encyclopedia-sized brain quickly kicked in, categorizing the beast. "Swamp mutant," he breathed softly.

"Which one are we talking about?" Dean scowled. "Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, or Donatello?"

"Dean," Sam's voice pitched high. "I'm not talking Italian Renaissance painters, man."

Dean's scowl deepened. "Neither was I."

"It's a half-human, half-alligator," Sam explained. "Mostly alligator, usually around two-hundred pounds and eight feet long, it's smart and it's fast and it's carnivorous." Sam scrunched his face, perplexed. "Don't know what the hell it would be doing here. This is no Florida Everglades, or Louisiana Bayou."

"I'm going to pretend you're not as big of a geek as I think you are, Sam," Dean snarked, shaking his head.

"I knew something wasn't right," Sam said with a certain amount of pride in his tone.

"Don't be so impressed with yourself," Dean growled. "We still have to kill it." Dean panted, getting straight to the crux of the matter, gun still scanning the waters.

"Skin's like steel, only the underside is fleshy enough to penetrate," Sam informed.

"Then we've got a problem. It's going to take two of us to alligator wrestle the thing over long enough for one of us to shoot or stab it in the heart without losing an arm… and you're already minus one arm," Dean bit out sarcastically.

"That doesn't make me an invalid, Dean."

"No. but it makes you off the clock." Dean moved downward another step, now ankle deep in the pool. "You stay put, Captain-No-Hook."

Sam defiantly took a step toward Dean. "The hell I am."

Dean whirled around. "The hell you're not," he countered. "Sam! I mean it! No more being stupid, Stupid." He held up a stern 'traffic-cop' hand to his brother. "I am not going to watch you drown or have to double stitch that shoulder or wipe your ass like I had to when you were a baby if you injure your other arm. I got this."

"Dean – "

In a splash of tar-black, the alligator-man breached the water. Jaw unhinged, mouth full of giant teeth snapping, knocking Dean off balance, his gun plopped into the water as he fell with a splash, into the pool.

"Dean! No!" Sam raced awkwardly down the rest steps/

Despite the danger, he found himself up to his thighs in the inky gunk, instinct tightening his finger on the trigger. Yet, common sense held Sam back and kept him from firing bullets randomly into the water. The pool had already settled again, dead silent, nothing stirred.

Sam stood stunned and motionless. He held his breath, heart pumping loudly in his ears, eyes wide with fear for his brother, searching.

Not a second later, there came a massive burst of action at lightning speed. The creature breached the surface in the center of the pool, a mix of human, and reptile, and big brother, doing the death roll. Flopping and splashing about through the array of debris.

"Dean!" Sam followed the smacking and splatting of water with gun, but couldn't take a chance at a shot as Dean and the Gator-man wrestled for dominance, almost becoming one.

The Gator was winning. Smashing Dean – back first – up against the side of the concrete pool wall. It took both of Dean's hands to hold the alligator man's jowls open wide, barely able to keep the top teeth from connecting with the bottom.

"Dean, don't let go! Hold on!" Sam yelled, overwhelmed with fear and panic.

The creature was huge, and Dean was weakening fast. His brother wouldn't be able to keep his flesh from being caught in-between those sharp teeth for long. Dean would lose his head with one chomp.

Dean continued to fight, the writhing creature shoving him harder against the side of the slimy pool.

Sam took careful aim at the prehistoric hide, about to take a shot, but instead he caught Dean's eye.

Dean grimaced, shaking his head 'no' as the Gator-man's thick tongue hissed and its spikey tail whipped around, just barely missing his head. Gator-man roared his frustration, trying to roll Dean yet again, dunk him under water.

Sam caught a flash of the mutant reptile's egg-white under belly. "Aw, crap." No choice. One arm or two, he had to penetrate the heart from underneath to kill the thing. His gun would be useless. Guns and water didn't mix.

"Right. Right." Sam safetied his weapon and tossed it up onto dry land behind him. Quickly unstrapping his injured arm, he reached down for the broom Dean had used as a poking stick. Sam brought one knee up and the broom handle down, breaking it in half.

"Guh," Sam cried out in pain, the vibration racing up through his injured shoulder then back down again, nearly blacking out.

Strobe lights flashed behind his eyes, but Sam blinked them away, gripping the sharp, dagger-like weapon he'd just created and diving under the pool.

The water was dark and murky. Sam swam hard. His feet flutter kicking as he streamlined in the direction the muffled splashing was coming from. His injured arm burned. Stitches that held his skin together frayed, popping one-by-one with each stroke. The throbbing was extreme and a cry bubbled out his lips, causing him to swallow a bit of gunky water.

He clamped his mouth shut tighter and swam faster. He had to get to Dean or his brother was a bag of dog chow. Sam pushed himself, straining to keep hold of his homemade dagger as he swam. His injury was being pushed beyond its capacity, stitches tearing further, but he wouldn't stop.

Just as he thought he couldn't take another stroke, Sam came up for a gasp of air, right near Dean.

"Sam," Dean choked out, still sandwiched between the Gator-man's jaws and the edge of the pool, barely holding the gaping maw at bay.

Sam gripped the side of the pool with his right hand for support, shakily rising up out of the water and slamming the point of the stick down straight into Gator-man's right eye. Blood splattered like spray-paint, but the creature refused to break contact, unleashing further anger onto Dean and still trying to ingest him.

Wordlessly, Sam drew in a deep breath and dipped below the dank, murky water, coming up under the creature and plunging the wooden dagger into Gator-man's white, soft underside. Above the water he could hear Dean's muted voice, calling out to him.

Sam fought the burning pain in his shoulder and the gush of black water in his ears. He fought to hold his breath. Every instinct telling him to head to the surface for air, but not willing to do so until he knew Gator-man was dead and Dean was safe. Sam drew the dagger out of the fatty flesh, blindly jamming the splintered point back into the mutant again-and-again, searching for its heart.

He could feel the spike slip easily in and out of the softer underside. Gator-man finally let loose his hold on Dean and sank under the water, trying to escape.

Sam yelped, precious air bubbles escaping his lips. No way the thing got away.

He latched onto the mutant, hitching a ride and continued to stab, thrashing and rolling with the mutant in the dark, dense, near gel-like pool.

Underwater, Gator-man was weightless, but it took every ounce of energy source in Sam to fight and kick and finally stab the mutant in the heart. A cloud burst of blood-red swirled and mingled with the black of the water. Sam was certain not all the blood belonged to the creature as he began to lose consciousness and sink downward.

The white-hot burn in Sam's shoulder turned red-hot, matching the burn in his lungs. His vision seemed to collapse, black growing blacker, on the brink of passing out. If that happened he'd sink to the bottom of the pool and drown. That would rank high up on Dean's'Sam, don't be stupid'department, and he wasn't about to let Dean down.

That thought rejuvenated his grit and adrenaline. Sam kicked hard, hands clawing for the surface like a climber scaling the face of a mountain. He took in a gasp for air just as he broke the surface right in front of Dean; who was still weakly clinging to the side of the pool.

"You okay," Sam coughed up water, adrenaline still pumping.

"Handy dandy," Dean fell forward in utter fatigue against Sam, draped like a wet towel. "Dead or alive?" he sputtered feebly in Sam's ear.

"Dead." Sam shivered with chills, watching over Dean's head as the Gator-man floated to the surface. Bloody belly up and all four clawed, webbed-feet stiffly pointing in the air.

"Terrific." Dean's chin dipped, landing heavily to Sam's shoulder, totally spent.

"Keep your head up, Dean," Sam cursed as he struggled to swim them over to the steps.

"Sammy," Dean glanced sideways, struggling to kick his legs. "Your…your shoulder's bleeding again," he slurred, promptly passing out.

"No worse for wear," Sam grunted in pain, now doggie paddling, his big brother deadlocked in his arms. "Dean, little help," he breathed out, hardly able to hold Dean up.

Freezing cold and in utter pain, Sam finally managed to lug Dean out of the pool and dumped them both flat to their backs.

/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/

Tag:

Dean grudgingly opened his eyes. Not an easy act when the slightest ray of light slashed through his brain like razor blades.

The world around him came slowly into focus. He was lying flat on his back on cold, wet, moldy cement. Cartoony- gold stars circling his head. How long was he out? Every muscle in his body was sore and ached. He wanted to fall back into the comforting, floaty feel of unconsciousness, but something wouldn't let him.

Dean stared upward, blinking away the last of the Loony Tune stars. "What the hell?" He shifted and felt something equally wet and cold lying right up against him.

Dean turned his head, and stared blankly not realizing what he was seeing at first. Then it hit him like a bomb going off.

Sam lay unmoving in a puddle of yucky pool water, his white face to the sky and eyes closed.

"No! No! No!" Dean's mouth went dry and his heart jolted, a different kind of cold – the worst kind – now shooting up and down his spine like electricity. "Sam!" he squawked, getting up to his knees and scooting closer. "Sammy!" He hovered low over Sam, staring at the kid's chest, and pressing two fingers to his neck – preparing for the worst. "What'd I say, Sam? What'd I friggin' say? I told you to stay put. I told you! I told you! Son of a bitch I –" Dean took a breath and bit into his lip to calm himself, he had to concentrate on the task at hand.

There! Right there! Sam's heart beat strong against his touch and his chest rose and fell with the ease of unconsciousness.

"Holy crap," Dean whispered breathlessly. "Thank God." He sank back on his heels and looked out over the pool. Gator-man had floated to the opposite side, tangled up with what was left of the rubber duck. "I told you to stay put, stupid brother of mine." He turned his attention back to Sam, laying a hand on his chest. "Come on." Fingers splayed, Dean jostled the kid lightly. "You can show up now, little brother. Promise I won't be mad anymore."

Sam didn't as much as twitch.

Dean hovered closer. "Sammy, open your eyes, man."

Sam didn't budge.

"Sam," Dean called louder.

No response at all.

"Sammy!" Dean fisted his hand and pressed his knuckles into Sam's diaphragm, massaging hard.

Sam's reaction was immediate and painful. His muscles contracted and he arched his back. "Don't," he coughed harshly

"Whoa! Hey. Easy, now," Dean chanted, his hand flat once more, massaging in soft circles.

Sam blinked a lot then his eyes narrowed. "You talkin' to me?" He mimicked De Niro, an easy smile on his face, trying to sit up, only to plop back down."

"No, Sam, I'm talking to the rubber duck." Dean swiveled around behind Sam, bracing a hand to his brother's back and helping him sit upright.

" That's sick." Sam sagged heavily against his brother's chest for support.

"Dude."

"I'm okay, Dean," he rasped, groggily looking up into Dean's face.

"Yeah, except for one thing," Dean said, edging over Sam and worriedly checking his shoulder.

"Wha'?"

"You're not." Dean sat back up. "What did you think you were doing?" He pressed his hand over Sam's shoulder.

"Sleeping," Sam garbled, wincing as Dean put the pressure on.

"You weren't sleeping, Sammy. You were unconscious, and that's not what I was talking about. What did you think you were doing playing warrior with the gator?"

"Thought you weren't mad anymore?"

"I changed my mind."

"Hurts." Sam blinked repeatedly, pool water dribbling out both sides of his mouth and off each strand of hair.

"I told you once already, stupid, stupid hurts," Dean chided, pulling Sam's hair away from his eyes for him.

"And apparently stupid works," Sam hissed, "'Cause I just saved your stupid life… again," he wheezed fighting back the pain.

"Yeah, well now I get to drag your shoeless ass all the way back to the room, dope you up, and stich you again, too."

"Poor you," Sam garbled.

"Shut your pie hole, Goliath." Dean lifted his hand, satisfied the bleeding had slowed enough.

"Stop calling me that."

"Let's go, then, string-bean." Dean eased Sam up to his feet ever so carefully.

"Dean, could you just say something nice for once?" Sam leaned into him for support.

"Something nice for once," Dean said with a sarcastic smile on his face inching them back toward the room.

"Ha. Ha. Very funny," Sam said dryly. "What about, Alligator-man?" He wobbled, pointing to his gun on the ground. "We lost one."

"Don't worry about it." Dean let go of Sam long enough to snatch the weapon and store it in his waistband. "Let's just get you fixed up, bro." He glanced at Sam's soggy socks. "I'll come back and take care of Gatorade later…make you a pair of alligator shoes."

"Now that's nice of you." Sam grinned.

"Shut it."

The end.

/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AN: This story is loosely based on the 'real life' oddity - Jake the Alligator man. Of course I changed his look to make him more furious, but if you Google Jake, you can see his picture and short (odd) story.