Dean knew how Sam felt. He was the one who usually got up close and personal with a wall after a spirit or monster threw him across the room. It was a particular bitch when that wall included just a bit of molding that connected with your back in just the wrong spot. With a heavy sigh Dean threw off the thin blanket, snapped on the weak, bedside lamp and rolled himself out of bed.
Sam responded immediately, or as immediately as he was able considering his condition, blinking at the sudden brightness. "Dean? You okay?"
"I'm fine, Princess. You're the one who can't get comfortable." Dean gestured Sam forward as he ordered, "Sit up."
Sam's brow creased in the dim light. Dean could tell that his hesitation to comply had more to do with figuring out how to move without causing more pain than being obstinate so he took a deep breath and waited for Sam to get in motion. As Sam pulled himself away from the mountain of pillows he had been leaning on - Dean really didn't think Housekeeping would miss the four or five he'd freed for that purpose - Dean reached behind his brother's back to catch the heat packs that slid free as soon as the pressure was released. This was a problem Dean was very familiar with; the heat packs were only effective with sustained pressure, but they were slippery bastards and once a packet or pillow moved out of place you were pretty much SOL.
Sam's breath huffed out with the effort of moving forward; as careful as he tried to be there was basically nothing he could do that wouldn't involve movement in his shoulder blade and back. Dean pulled the blankets clear of Sam's legs and gave a new order. "Get on your stomach."
The fact that Sam gave in without even a token argument was a testament to how much pain he must've been in. Damn, this was worse than Dean thought.
Dean swept away the pile of pillows leaving only the thinnest one on the bed while Sam maneuvered himself onto his stomach. Another breath huffed out of his lungs as he reached his final position. Sam pulled the pathetic pillow closer to scrunch under his face just like Dean knew he would. In the meantime, Dean searched for an unused heat pack in his duffel.
Dean walked back over to the bed and sat down on Sam's right side. He rubbed his hands vigorously on his sweat pants to warm them up. "I'm gonna look at what that bitch did to your back, Sammy."
He didn't wait for Sam's mumbled assent before he lifted the shirt from Sam's waist and pushed it higher toward his shoulders. "Son of a bitch." There was very little power behind Dean's curse; it was more resigned than angry. Looking under Sam's shirt just confirmed what he knew would be there. An angry black bruise blossomed at the juncture of Sam's shoulder blade with his back. There was even the ghostly impression of the circular design from the corner molding embedded in contrast on Sam's skin.
Dean picked up one of the heat packs Sam had been using and used its middling heat to warm his fingers. "I'm gonna break this up a little, Sam. Got to get the blood flowing around the bruise and loosen up the muscles."
Dean could see Sam's muscles bunch with tension in anticipation, but he answered, "Okay." Dean held Sam's shirt higher with his left hand, and placed his right on Sam's back. He let his fingers sit there for just a minute, let Sam get the feel of him before he started working. Sam took a deep breath and visibly tried to relax. That's when Dean got started in earnest.
Dean had been on the receiving end of a massage like this more than his fair share of times. He knew it hurt like a bitch but he also knew that breaking up the congestion under the skin was better for Sam in the long run. Dean, as he always did, kept up a running patter alternating between the explanation of what he was doing, what he planned to do next and encouraging Sam to hang in there and breathe through it.
By the time Dean was done Sam was shaking in reaction. Dean drew Sam's shirt down over his back and pulled the blankets up over his legs. He brought a glass of water from the tap over to the bed and handed Sam some Advil. While Sam took the meds, Dean activated the new heat pack and sat back on the edge of Sam's bed. As Sam's head dropped back down onto the pillow, Dean laid the packet in the hollow of Sam's back where the biggest bruise blossomed and leaned in.
Sam groaned and seemed to sink into the bed. It wasn't long before his breathing was deep and even. Dean smirked in the semi-darkness. "Good-night to you too, Princess."