ATTENTION:

I just started watching Supernatural about a month and a half ago and I've only made it up to Season 6, episode 11 'Appointment in Samarra' so please, please don't mention any spoilers from any episodes after that one in your reviews, okie doke? Thanks!

Title: All You Need is Now
Author: SecondStarToTheRight18
Rating: Teen for language and violence.
Warnings: None I can think of really... maybe a small one for graphic violence.
Category: Family/Comfort
Pairings: NONE. I ask that you please, please, please do not turn this into "Wincest" slash. I don't have anything against gay pairings but these two characters are brothers and, in the words of Dean Winchester, "That's just sick!" So please respect that, thank you.
Characters: Dean W., Sam W.
Spoilers/Timeline: No blatant spoilers, but I imagine this set in season 2; post-Bloodlust but pre-Crossroad Blues. So obviously Dean hasn't made 'the deal' yet, but their father is already, ahem, 'gone'. And the Impala, if you'll recall, was fixed from the wreck at the beginning of Bloodlust.
Summary/Premise:Dean is attacked on a job, Sam sits with him in the hospital and they talk. Er... I write a lot better than I summarize, trust me. Haha, just read it.

PS A huge, huge, HUGE thanks to Bunny of FFnet account 'Sparkiebunny' for beta-ing this for me and for encouraging me to upload it here.
Thanks a ton for all of your help and encouragement, dear! It means more than you know.

PPS Everyone go check out her SPN fics because they are simply breathtaking! She is an exceptional writer and you won't be disappointed, I guarantee you.


All You Need is Now

"Happiness is only real when shared."
- Jon Krakauer; Into the Wild

Moving quickly down the white-walled hallways, you scarcely take notice of the subtle Thanksgiving d├ęcor scattered around the hospital. What you do notice is almost nice, although, the chatter and buzz of another Holiday season beginning does little to catch your attention.

You barely see the doctors and nurses passing by you in a rush. You're focused. Fixated on one sole thought; a promise, an oath, a requirement. You told him you'd bring him back a slice of pumpkin pie and, by God, that's what you're going to do.

You continue through the halls until you reach the cafeteria and make your way over to the woman working the counter.

You hear your own voice ask politely if they have any pumpkin pie. The lady shakes her head. "Sorry, not right now. We're baking a few though, so come back in about an hour, okay, honey?"

You smile and thank her, then head down the halltoward ICU. Halfway there, you remember that they moved him into a room and turn around. You realize you must be very lost in your own thoughts because you only vaguely hear a voice calling to you from somewhere far, far away. "Sir? Excuse me, Mr. Rhodes? Sam?"

It's the sound of your name that finally drags you back to reality. A nurse is staring at you and raises an eyebrow. You think you recognize her from ICU and realize she must have tried to get your attention several times before resorting to using your first name. "Um... hey?"

The nurse smiles, dimples appearing. She can't be more than 24 years old, and when she speaks, her voice is soft and melodious. "I asked you if you'd like to join us for a, um, Thanksgiving dinner of sorts?"

You must look confused because the nurse explains further.

"It's just that, normally, most everyone would be home with their families tonight. So every year all of us doctors and nurses here at Aurora eat Thanksgiving dinner together. And if there are family members of patients staying here, we always invite them. And, well, you've been here for a few days now and had such a scare with your brother that I just thought..." she trails off, blushing a little.

You find yourself admiring her slim figure, long black hair, and shining blue eyes. So you smile at her. "Yeah, sure."

Her face lights up. "Great! It's in three hours in the cafeteria. I'm Gina, by the way." she informs you, and then scurries down the hall and around a corner, clipboard in hand, all business.

You shake your head. Dean would be proud. Or he'd be pissed that the girl was interested in you and not him. You smile to yourself and continue on to Dean's room.

You enter the small room and glance at what you assume to be your brother's sleeping form, then take a seat next to his bed and sigh. But he must not have been asleep because he hears you and opens his eyes, turning his head to the side to look at you.

"Pie?"

You chuckle. "They're baking one. It'll be ready soon."

He makes a face. "How soon?"

"Soon, Dean." You wish he would quiet down and rest. He's lucky to be alive at all, not to mention already out of ICU and 'on his way to a full recovery if no complications arise,' in the words of the doctor.

Dean harrumphs and scowls.

"Feeling okay?" you ask, trying to keep the deep concern out of your voice.

"Super." Sarcasm laces your brother's tone of voice.

You nod, understanding that what he really means is that he feels like crap. "Breathing all right now?"

He nods. "They switched my nurse though, man." The disappointment in his voice is almost childish.

You raise an eyebrow.

"She was smokin'!"

You give him a look.

"What?" Dean asks, unashamed.

You shake your head. "Man, you're lucky to be alive right now! And you're not in the clear yet... Just give it a rest, okay?" You don't mean to, but you sound pissed at him.

Dean nods slightly, looks away.

You sigh, feeling bad for being so harsh. "Sorry... I've just been worried about you these past few days."

Dean shrugs but winces as a result, gritting his teeth in pain. You start to ask him if he's okay, but the grimace vanishes from his face like it was never there and he looks back over at you. "It's how I handle things, Sammy." His voice is quiet.

You stare at him, unsure if he truly spoke or not. "What?"

"I was scared back there, man. Thought I wasn't gonna make it." His eyes are down, voice unusually low and resigned.

You try to keep your face from showing any emotion, but you feel tears forming behind your eyes while Dean is speaking. He rarely shares his feelings... says it's too chick-flicky. But when he does, they're usually pretty intense and you never quite know what to say back to him.

This time is no different, but you speak anyway. "I thought you weren't either." Your voice is solemn. Maybe honesty is all you cansay back to that.

Dean raises his eyes to yours and you glimpse for all of a moment the immense fear that "the mighty Dean Winchester" has of dying. The fear he has of leaving you... of losing you. Behind all of his bravado is a scared child who was never given the chance to be a child and so carried his childhood fears with him into adulthood.

You want to say something to assure him that you understand. Because he should know that it scares you just as much. He should know that you could never live without him the same as he could never live without you. He should know that sometimes you too feel like little more than a schoolboy who's afraid of the dark.

But you don't say any of this. The moment of honesty is gone and all you can manage is to give him a subdued smile. "You're gonna be okay, Dean."

Dean nods once, grabs the TV remote from his bedside table and flips on the television, his brave face back on... because, for better or worse, that's who Dean is.

You sigh inwardly and lean back in your chair, turning to face the TV. Dean flips channels. The two of you sit together, alone with your thoughts and with your fears and your hurts and your anger.

You ask Dean what the hell those creatures were and where they came from and he says he doesn't know but he plans to find out soon enough. He asks you where you disappeared to and where you reappeared from and you say that you don't know, except that you were walking with him one minute and out cold the next. You don't know what hit you, but there's a bump on the back of your head. After that, you woke up on the forest floor and saw him run by being chased by the beast.

Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Three Days Earlier

"Sam! SAMMY!" Dean's voice was hoarse, his throat aching for water. After four hours of walking around the woods without any, Dean was starting to believe he truly was an idiot for never bringing provisions on hunts. "Sam! Sammy, where are you?"

From out of nowhere there came a long, shrill cry, akin to that of a wolf's howl, but more hair-raising and hollow sounding. The dead silence that followed the sound was chilling to say the least and sent tingles down Dean's spine. All of the birds stopped chirping at once, no squirrels or chipmunks scurried along the ground and he realized with growing alarm that no insects were swarming him as they had been only seconds before. The hunter kept a keen eye on his surroundings, nerves on edge, adrenaline coursing through his body.

Sam had been behind him only two minutes ago and then out of the complete and utter blue he was just gone. And being in a dense forest didn't help with locating him. Dean heard a noise to his left and turned sharply, weapon at the ready.

The brothers had come to Wisconsin to investigate reports of a werewolf sighting, but so far all they'd done was trek around the woods upsetting a few deer and finding nothing but normal creatures and no signs of anything supernatural.

Dean waited, shotgun poised and ready to fire, but there was no further noise and the normal forest sounds resumed all at once, mosquitoes included. He cocked an eyebrow. Now that was weird. He started to call out to Sam again but a strong feeling of danger stopped him.

Again the shrill cry reached the young hunter's ears. Only this time, it was much closer, so close in fact, that he felt warm breath on his neck as it cried.

Spinning on his heel, Dean came face-to-face with what appeared to be a wolf, but was slightly taller than a grown man and standing on its hind legs. Without hesitation, he pulled the trigger on his shotgun and let the recoil send him backwards a foot.

The wolf-like creature made an unearthly guttural sound and lashed out, slashing a clawed paw across Dean's chest. Blood came to the surface immediately and trailed its way down the hunter's torso. Adrenaline masking the pain from the slashes, he fired again at the beast, this time hitting the animal in the head. It cried out in a piercing pitch and fell to the ground, writhing and flailing. Dean fired again and again at its head until the beast stopped moving.

The hunter's heart rammed painfully against his ribcage and he had to kneel down to try and calm himself. After a minute, he took to examining his chest, a strong stinging pain coming from the area now that the immediate threat had been taken care of. There was a lot of blood and four long slashes adorned his chest. Thankfully, the wounds were not deep and he figured he'd be all right until he could get to a first aid kit.

"SAM!" Standing back up, Dean yelled again for Sam but got no response. "SAMMY!" Where on earth could he just vanish to?

He scoured the immediate area twice but there were no traces of his brother. "Come on, Sam, where are you?" Dean muttered under his breath. There came a shrill cry like the one before and the forest went silent again. "Damn it! This can't be good..."

From out of the underbrush leapt another of the wolf-like creatures, landing with a thud at Dean's feet and shaking the earth around it. It stood up on its hind legs and growled, almost sounding more like a roar. He went to fire at the beast's head but nothing happened. Realizing he was out of ammo, he began to back slowly away from the creature. It growled and slashed his right cheek. Blood poured from the wound and the animal-like creature roar-growled again. Dean took off running.

Despite Dean's sure footing, agility, and speed, the creature was faster and more graceful, dropping to all fours and bounding through the forest underbrush and over roots and fallen limbs like a well-seasoned animal.

Even with his head start, the wolf creature was catching up to Dean quickly. "If I can just make it to the road, then maybe... well, maybe something." he thought.

A sickening snap sounded from below Dean, and with a cry, the hunter sprawled across the forest floor, face first, his left ankle bent at an odd angle. The creature stopped, made its shrill cry and stood onto its hind legs, towering over him. Dean scrambled onto his back, trying to stand, but his ankle would carry no weight and sent him tumbling back to the ground, cursing as he fell.

The creature roar-growled and slashed a long, deep cut down Dean's right arm, causing him to scream in pain. It repeated the action on the young man's other arm and growled once again. The creature raised its paw and slashed across his chest then back again from the other way, a claw going particularly deep this time. Dean cried out in pain and gasped. It went to strike again but stopped short, letting out a pained scream as a gunshot rang through the quiet woods.

Hardly acknowledging the gunshot or the fact that his attacker had fallen to the ground, Dean focused on his wounds. He was surprised how quickly he was, quite literally, covered in blood. These slashes were deeper than the first ones had been. And the ones on his arms must have been bad because he felt consciousness slowly slipping from his grasp. He was extremely short of breath, his mind racing, unable to comprehend what had just happened to him... Dean let his eyes fall shut, his body throbbing unmercifully from being torn open in so many places.

Sam Winchester fired twice more at the now fallen beast until he was sure it was dead then rushed to his brother's side, lifting his head from the ground. "Dean! Dean, man, come on... open your eyes. You gotta stay with me. Dean!"

Dean managed to open his eyes but they were glazed over and Sam realized the amount of blood Dean was losing in such a short amount of time must be causing disorientation and semi-consciousness. He needed to get him to a hospital immediately. Sam stripped off his outer shirt and tore it in half, tightly wrapping each of his brother's arms in the cloth in an attempt to keep the wounds closed until they could be sewn up.

"Dean? DEAN!" Sam shouted at his brother until Dean opened his eyes and was able to somewhat focus on him. "Listen to me, I'm gonna get you out of here, okay? You're gonna be all right. But you gotta help me out, okay?" Sam spoke softly but with an authoritative tone. He realized Dean was having trouble breathing, almost choking. Quickly, he turned Dean's head to the side and waited while his brother coughed up blood. After a quick check, Sam found a puncture wound on his left side and applied pressure to the area. Dean's breathing eased a little bit but his eyes fell shut once more and his head rolled back in the dirt.

"Damn it!" Sam cursed and took a deep breath. That wasn't good. It meant Dean had lost too much blood too fast and possibly that he had a collapsed lung.

Trying to rouse his brother back to consciousness proved futile and Sam ran a bloodied hand through his hair in frustration. He would have no choice but to carry him and hope Dean didn't choke on his own blood in the process. But carry him to where? The Impala was parked on the side of the road but Sam had no idea exactly where at anymore.

After searching for the werewolf then encountering whatever these two beasts had been and Dean being chased through the woods, Sam was sure they were far from where they had started and had parked the car. And this was a rather lonely area off a stretch of Bray Road, not too many cars passing by and, Sam was to find out, no cell service was available anywhere in this area, despite there being a town only about three miles away. Sam figured there was no cell service there either.

This was a bad situation... very bad. Dean would die if he couldn't get medical attention soon. Sam pushed that thought to the back of his mind and got hold of Dean under the back of his knees and around his chest, under his shoulders, and lifted him from the moist forest floor. The amount of blood covering Dean's body was daunting but Sam was determined to get him to help fast. He walked for a minute in what he thought to be the direction leading out of the woods and not deeper in, but the young hunter realized with sudden alarm that he really didn't know which way was which anymore.

"Deep breath, Sam, deep breath..." Sam told himself. He knew that the woods they had entered were north of Bray Road, so all he had to do was figure out which way was north and head the opposite direction. The moss on the trees was always a good way to tell north but as Sam looked around him, he noticed moss growing on almost every tree in a different direction. That method was out.

Thinking for a minute, Sam remembered an old trick the boys' father had taught them when they were younger. Gently lowering Dean to the ground, Sam removed the watch from his brother's left wrist and looked up towards the sky. Holding the watch so that the hour hand pointed in the direction of the sun, Sam mentally traced a line from the center of the watch that halved the angle between the hour hand and the 12'o'clock marker. Making a note of the direction, he slipped the watch into his pocket, picked Dean back up, and headed in the direction he now knew was south.

Sam had only walked about 5 minutes when he started to see the road through the trees. Picking up his pace, Sam emerged from the woods with Dean lying limp in his arms. By some miracle, the Impala sat not 20 feet down the road. Sam rushed to it and gently wrestled Dean into the backseat, getting the Impala's keys from his pocket as he did so. His brother would be pissed about the blood on his baby's interior but that didn't matter right now.

Sam jumped into the front seat and took off. The nearest town was Elkhorn and it was only about three miles from where they were. Sam floored the Impala and glanced in the rear-view mirror. Dean was pale and Sam had noted how cold his brother was when he was carrying him... Not to mention that he was still breathing erratically and coughing blood every couple of minutes. "Come on, Dean, stay with me," Sam muttered.

He knew that he had slowed the bleeding from Dean's arms, though not stopped it, but the other wounds were still open. They weren't as deep and a slow bleed-out was somewhat manageable, but Dean had apparently lost a lot of blood, fast, in the initial attack... enough to make him fall unconscious. Plus whatever was wrong with his lungs...

Sam put his flashers on as he approached an intersection and "laid on the horn" to get the attention of the other drivers, letting them know that he had an emergency and was not going to stop at the light. The light turned red, but the other line of traffic didn't take off, waiting for the Impala to blow through first. Sam silently thanked the other drivers.

Not being a large town, there was only one hospital in the area and Sam pulled up to the ER, jumping out almost before he had the car in park. He pulled Dean from the backseat and into his arms then carried him inside, screaming for a doctor as he entered.

The time that passed after that was all a blur and Sam felt like he was drowning, unable to get air into his lungs. And it hurt.

The details went by in a haze. His name was Sam Rhodes; the victim was his brother, Dean. They were attacked by something in the woods off of Bray Road... maybe a wolf, Sam wasn't sure. He didn't even bother lying about anything except their last name because, after all, they were attacked by something resembling a wolf and Sam honestly didn't know what it really was.

The next thing Sam remembered clearly was a doctor smiling at him and saying that his brother was almost definitely going to be okay. Aside from the slashes and cuts, Dean also had a punctured lung and broken ankle. They'd had to do an emergency surgery to get the lung functioning again and he was going to be on bed rest for several days. Then he was to take it easy for about a month more, but he was going to be all right.

Sam asked to see Dean, and only when he was able to see his brother's chest rising and falling evenly, his eyes closed with sleep and not unconsciousness, did the youngest Winchester start breathing again.

Present Day

You realize Dean is talking to you and you fade back to reality, having been zoned out for a few minutes now. You try to catch what he's saying. "...but you know what I mean." Dean chuckles at whatever he just said.

You don't know what he means because you didn't hear him but you answer anyway. "Yeah." you laugh, too.

He smirks, looking over at you. "Were you even listening to me?"

"Yeah, I heard. You were saying..." You stop, give him your best 'guilty' look and shrug."No."

"Well it doesn't matter." Dean says, shaking his head and looking back at the TV. Some newscaster is babbling on about an earthquake where there is no fault line, an 8.3.

"What doesn't matter?"

Dean ignores you, turns the TV off, settles further under the bed-sheet. "Damn, it's cold."

"I'll get you a blanket," you say.

"Thanks."

You move into the hall and catch a nurse walking by. You ask her for a blanket for your brother. She heads a few doors down to what must be a linen closet and comes right back. She's brought you two.

"I thought you might want one, too." She gives you a knowing smile.

You smile and nod your appreciation at her thoughtfulness, then reenter Dean's room and close the door behind you.

Spreading the blanket over your brother's body, you sit back down in the chair beside to his bed. Dean pulls the blanket up to his chin and snuggles into the warmth.

"So what doesn't matter?" you ask again. You don't understand why you can't let it go, but you can't. You have to know what it was he had said while you weren't paying attention.

"I was just talking about the attack and..." Dean shrugs.

"And?" you prompt.

Dean looks straight at you, "And thanks, Sammy."

You're surprised. Not sure why, exactly, but you are. You blink once. You could take this opportunity to be an ass and ask him what he's thanking you for, but you know and you don't want to waste the amount of pride-murdering it took for Dean to say those two words.

Dean apparently doesn't think you're going to say anything back and an easy silence falls between the two of you.

Dean is your rock and you are his. You both know that's true. You are scared to absolute death of losing each other. It's almost like you're ingrained into each others' hearts, each others' very beings. And his "Thanks, Sammy," means thanks for saving him the other day, thanks for keeping him sane through everything, thanks for being a pain-in-the-ass, thanks for being stubborn, thanks for holding him back when he otherwise would've run head-on into a train and thanks for letting him be all of those things for you. But most of all, it just means thanks for being his brother.

You swallow the lump that has formed in your throat and reply. "You're welcome, Dean."

Dean has looked away from you by this point, but now he turns back. Doesn't say anything, just looks at you, calculating. Finally, he turns his face towards the ceiling, closes his eyes, his breathing slow and calm. After a minute, he asks, "What are you thankful for this year, Sammy?"

You guess that the last five minutes must have held too much sappiness in such a short amount of time for Dean's liking, because now his voice is lighthearted. He's going to make a joke, you can tell.

So you beat him to the punch. "That you haven't seen the inside of the Impala after you spilled your guts all over it." I'm thankful that you survived that attack.

Dean opens his eyes and turns sharply towards you, "Oh, God!"

You shrug.

"Sonuvabitch!"

You laugh. Dean and his car...

"What about you?" you ask tentatively.

Dean pauses for a minute then says, "You."

You tilt your head, giving him a confused look. He reiterates. "You. You're what I'm thankful for this year, Sammy."

You can barely believe that Dean Winchester has just managed to share his feelings twice, no, make that three times in a row. You wonder if the painkillers the doctor put him on are messing with his brain or something.

Dean's eyes are glossy and when he speaks again, his voice is shaky. "I don't know what I'd do without you, Sam." He chews his lip, turns away. "I mean, you're- I-" Dean pauses and clears his throat. "I- I, um..."

You want to hear him say it, you really do. And part of you wants to taunt him by letting him keep stumbling over his words. Part of you even wants to laugh a little because you find it ironic that Dean can't say three little words to the person who means the most to him in this entire world. But because this is Dean, because he's your brother and you know him better than anyone else, and because you know how much it must be taking for him to have even said all of what he already has and gotten this far, you bite your tongue and swoop in to rescue him.

"Please!" You speak sharply. Dean stops attempting to finish his sentence and looks at you warily. You hold up your hand and smirk in way very reminiscent of Dean himself. "No chick-flick moments."

Dean's jaw muscles twitch. He gives you a look somewhere between extreme annoyance and extreme gratitude and then he smiles, almost laughs. He takes a deep breath and lets it back out. "Bitch."

You reply immediately with "Jerk" and the two of you fall back into your roles. But then you give him a quick nod, letting him know that you know what he was going to say. I love you too, Dean.

Dean nods back.

There is a moment of quiet comfort and you both find your own solace in it. The late afternoon sunlight streams in through the partially open blinds, giving everything a warm glow. You are both smiling, but neither of you notice.

"So..." Dean adjusts his bed to a sitting position and grabs the remote. He flips the TV back on and looks over at you. The familiar twinkle of mischief is back in his eyes as he asks, "When is that pie gonna be ready, Sammy?"

Finish


* The "beast" I used in this story is actually taken from a real life legend. The Bray Road Beast is said to be a large, wolf-like creature that stands on its hind legs. Sightings have been made off of Bray Road in a community just outside of Elkhorn, WI. (In my story, there are woods on either side of Bray Road, though in reality that area appears to be farm country and not woodsy...) Some say the creature weighs anywhere from 500 to 700 pounds. I tried to stay as close to the actual legend as possible but took some creative license, obviously. I don't know if they really roar, but I imagined if it were truly that large of a creature, its growls would sound more like roars. Also, if it were that large, it would probably take many shots to kill it, so shooting it in the head would kill it faster. Anywho, look it up, it's pretty interesting!

** In the essence of mimicking the show as closely as possible, I titled this fic after a Duran Duran song of the same name. Also, the last name that Sam gives at the hospital is after Nick Rhodes, the keyboardist for Duran Duran. :)