Author's Note: Hey everyone. I'm back! I want to thank new21writer, NewbieOnTheBlock, Hasmik Aharonyan, mic19671967, crazyjman80, s-n-d-girl, WinJennster, Colby's girl, Alohomora417, PsychoPicasso, emebalia, BranchSuper, animegal24, jokergirl94, healingwater, dianaj2w, becs, Wunjo, Eliza Ghost, and DearHart for their awesome reviews. If I knew I'd get so many reviews by drowning Dean, I'd have done it a long time ago! Just kidding. But I really appreciate all of the support. And now... the conclusion...
Chapter Twelve: Life Doesn't Suck That Much
Sam crawled across the trunk of the uprooted tree, careful not to fall into the river. Falling in wouldn't do anyone any good. His injured leg throbbed and protested but he ignored it. He'd have time to nurse his wound once Dean and him were back on solid ground. And speaking of Dean…
Sam reached down and grabbed a hold of his brother's jacket collar. With a grunt of exertion, he pulled. Dean's head and shoulders came up out of the water but the older Winchester was still stuck. And Sam only had one free hand to try and rescue the unconscious man. At least, Sam was praying that his brother was only unconscious and not dead.
The hunter gave a mighty yank but Dean still was caught up in the branches and the resistance almost pulled the shorter man from Sam's grasp. The younger brother lied down on his stomach, wrapped his long legs around the trunk of the tree, and grabbed onto Dean with both hands. Then he sat up, pulling with all his strength. There was the sound of snapping branches and ripping clothes and then Dean's body came free. Sam almost tumbled off the tree, but somehow managed to regain his balance. Switching Dean back over to one hand, Sam backed up, pulling his brother along. It seemed to take forever, but soon they were both safely on the river bank.
Sam dragged Dean a few feet away from the rushing water and then gently laid him down on his back. He looked at his big brother and his heart almost stopped. Dean's face was pale and had taken on a bluish tinge. His eyelids were partially opened and his lips slightly parted, but there was no movement of his eyes or breathe coming from his mouth. He looked dead.
Sam put his ear on Dean's chest and listened. Nothing. He placed a hand a few inches over his brother's mouth and nose. No air was pulled in or let out. Dean wasn't breathing at all.
"No. No, don't do this to me, Dean." Sam pleaded.
The younger man started CPR. He performed chest compressions, followed by forcing his own air into Dean's mouth, followed by more compressions, followed by breathing for Dean again. Sam repeated the cycle over and over, oblivious to the tears running down his face. He had no way of knowing how long Dean had been clinically dead or if it was even possible to bring him back at this point. His brother's skin was ice cold and his body felt stiff. But Sam couldn't quit. He couldn't. Not if there was even the slightest chance of reviving Dean. Dean would never give up on him.
Then, when his last strands of hope were dwindling, Dean's mostly closed eyes flicked open and he started to cough and gag. A gurgling sound came from his throat and Sam rolled him onto his side so that he could expel the water from his lungs. Finally, after an extremely large amount of water had been choked up, Dean let out a tiny pitiful moan and began to tremble uncontrollably. He was once again breathing, but was now in danger of freezing to death.
Sam opened the duffle bag and laid one of the blankets out on the ground. He dragged Dean onto it and pulled off his brother's boots. Then he struggled to remove the rest of the hypothermic man's wet clothes. Dean tried to bat his hands away, but there was no strength behind the action. Sam ignored his brother's meager struggles and concentrated on getting him warm.
"Easy, Dean. I'm trying to help. You're going to be okay."
Once his brother was completely naked, Sam dried him off as best he could with the blanket he was lying on. Then he pulled the sweatpants up Dean's cold and trembling legs. Once the waistband was up and over his brother's hips, Sam realized that the pants were actually his and therefore were too large for Dean. Oh well, they'd work for now. Then he put the warm thermal socks onto feet that had turned blue. He hoped that Dean wasn't going to suffer any serious cold related health issues. Finally, Sam pulled the hooded sweatshirt over his older brother's head and managed to get both shaking arms into the sleeves. He covered Dean's wet hair with the hood. It was strange to see Dean dressed in Sam's own clothing. For years when they were kids, Sam had always thought that his big brother's clothes were incredibly large, but now Dean looked so small in Sam's sweats.
Dean was still shaking violently, so Sam removed his body from the wet blanket and wrapped him in the dry one. Then he held his brother tightly, trying to share his own body heat.
Sitting on the forest floor, holding Dean in his arms and feeling the tremors coming from his brother's severely abused body, Sam was finally able to breathe again. Dean would be okay. Just as he always was.
Dean felt like crap. First he'd had to cough up what seemed like a small lake's worth of water. Then, while his raw throat and aching lungs burned like all hell, the rest of his body shook and trembled uncontrollably with cold. He became vaguely aware of someone trying to remove his clothes, so he attempted to fight them off because he was certain that he hadn't consented to anything that would require him to be naked. But his limbs just wouldn't cooperate. He heard what sounded like Sam's voice speaking reassurances. If Sammy said it was okay, who was Dean to argue? Well, he probably would argue if he had the strength to. Consciousness faded out for a moment and when it returned he felt warmth surrounding him. And someone was holding him tightly. Dean was still trembling, but it wasn't nearly as bad.
Darkness once again tried to overtake him, but Dean fought it this time. He needed to figure out what was going on. With all he had, the hunter forced his eyes to open and the world to come into focus. And the world seemed to consist solely of an off-white button down shirt.
Dean pulled back a little and tilted his head up.
"S'mmy?" He croaked out.
"Hey, Dean." Sam's voice was warm and gentle. "How are you feeling?"
"'m 'kay." Dean mumbled.
"Yeah, you sound it." Sam replied sarcastically.
"I know, Dean. I'm trying to warm you up. But that's what you get when you decide to go for a swim in an ice cold river."
Memories flooded Dean's brain and he gasped as it all came back to him. Being possessed, jumping through the window and into the river, Selena's demise, almost drowning, trying to pull himself out of the cold waters, and then drowning. But Sam must've saved him somehow. He'd have to get the whole story later.
"D…did wha…what I had t…to." Dean stuttered out between chattering teeth. Damn he wanted a warm shower. On the other hand, he would rather avoid water right about now.
"Yeah, that was one dumbass plan, Dean."
Dean nodded. He felt the darkness beckoning him and his eyelids fluttered.
"Hey, stay with me, Dean."
"S…still here, S…sammy."
For the next few minutes, both brothers were silent. Dean focused on trying to stay conscious, while Sam seemed to be trying to find out how tightly he could crush Dean in his arms. But Dean didn't complain. He was warming up and although he'd never admit it, he was feeling safe while resting with his little brother. And after the events of the past couple of days, he relished that feeling.
After a while, Sam spoke up.
"It's getting colder. We should get out of here. Do you think you can walk?"
Dean nodded. He didn't feel very strong, but if walking would get him to someplace warm, he would find a way to do it.
Sam adjusted his hold on Dean so that he could get up. Dean immediately missed the warmth his brother had provided. Then he was being pulled to his feet. Sam's arm wrapped around his back and Dean looped his own arm over the taller man's shoulders. It was a bit of a stretch, but Sam was hunched over a bit to help erase the height difference.
It was not the easiest walk in the woods they'd ever had. Sam was limping slightly due to what looked like a nasty cut on his leg and Dean could barely hold himself up. It also didn't help that he had no shoes to wear. By the time they reached the Impala, the thermal socks were torn and Dean's feet were bleeding. But the hunter ignored the pain as he leaned against his car. As Sam went to open the passenger side door for him, Dean stroked the top of the Impala.
"Oh baby, I thought I'd never see you again."
"You do realize that the car got a warmer greeting than I did, right?"
"That's because she never bitches at me." Dean shot back. He was pleased that his voice was sounding stronger now.
Sam just shook his head and helped Dean into the car. Once inside, he curled up in the seat, wrapping the blanket tightly around his still chilled body. His head was beginning to pound and he was afraid that he saw a fever in his not too distant future. But hey, at least he was still alive to worry about illness.
Sam turned on the car and blasted the heat. Dean made himself comfortable and was about to drift off to sleep with the soothing sounds and motion of his beloved car when Sam broke the silence.
"Dean, when you jumped out that window, it was just to get rid of Selena, right? You weren't really trying to kill yourself?"
"Dean, answer the question."
"Dude, if I was gonna off myself, it wouldn't be like that. And no, I don't wanna bite it, okay? We done with this now?"
Dean closed his eyes and tried to ignore all the crap that Selena had dredged up in his head. Had he thought about killing himself? More times than he could count. Would he do it? Hell no. Suicide was all about giving up and Dean Winchester was no quitter. And he'd never do that to Sammy. So, instead, he'd just have to deal with his screwed up craphole of a life and make the best of it. And he knew just how to do that.
"You sure you're done? 'Cause I know how much you love your girly moments. We could always pull the car over and hug a bit. I could even braid your hair while we discuss our feelings."
"Shut up, jerk."
He smiled as he heard Sam let out a chuckle. In some moments, Dean's life didn't suck much at all.
Author's Note Part Two: I hope you all enjoyed. Please leave a review to let me know what you thought. I'll be busy the next couple of weeks, but on Christmas Eve, I will be posting a Weechester Christmas oneshot called 'A Miracle in Motel Room 34'. Then after Christmas, I'll start my next story, 'If I Knew Then What I Know Now'. There is a short summery on my profile page for those who are interested. Thanks for all the support throught this little roadtrip.