A/N: So.. It's after THE MAYAN DOOMSDAY.. Everyone can definitely come out of their bunkers now... ;-)
A/N: SO.. VERY VERY SORRY that it's taken me so long to update.. I lost my internet (Again) (My husband promises to get it turned back on as soon as possible.. But it's SERIOUSLY expensive, especially in our circumstances.. So right now I'm using a library computer where I only get to use it ONCE a day for ONE HOUR a day.. So hopefully I'll eventually (Most likely VERY SLOWLY.. Again SO SORRY!) be able to catch up on all the updates I'm needing to do..
|"Because it hurts."| |Chapter 2.|
Dean felt swallowed by despair as he found out that Sam lay in a coma. He gave a few stiff nods of understanding as the doctor explained how Sam had some underlying medical conditions that had helped contribute to not only Sam's earlier cardiac arrests, but also Sam's current state.
Dean ran a hand through his hair then walked back to the others with his head hung in shame.
"Is he gonna be okay?" Garth asked.
"He's in a coma." Dean replied.
"Is it because the spirit touched him?" Benny asked.
"I don't know." Dean admitted. "According to the doctor Sam has some medical conditions that might have contributed to what's wrong with him now."
"What kind of conditions?" Garth asked.
"Well they had to do an M.R.I. on him because of the way the beam landed on him... He's taken lots of severe hits to the head before.. There's so many times I should have..."
"Does Sam have brain damage?" Garth asked sounding really concerned.
"Some.. Most of it looks to be from what happened today, but god only knows how old the rest of it is or what sorts of symptoms he's been suffering because of it.. But that wasn't all that was found on Sam's brain scans."
"What else was there?" Benny asked.
"It's not a tumor or something like that is it?" Garth asked.
"No, Sam has lesions on his brain."
"What caused them?" Garth asked.
"The doctor is pretty sure that Sam has Multiple Sclerosis."
"Geez, brother that's.." Benny started to say.
"Oh that's not all." Dean stated sounding angry. "Sam has a heart condition to and the heart condition would have been manageable if found sooner and dealt with properly, but now it's become a life threatening condition that caused Sam to have two massive heart attacks, he went into Cardiac Arrest three times and he had a Hemorrhagic Stroke.. Which could really screw him up when added in with all the damage to his brain that was already there.. The doctor said that Sam might not wake up and if he does.. He could be severely impaired."
Garth put a hand to his mouth and made a sympathetic noise before saying "What do you need us to do?"
"Cas... Is there any way you can?.. Dean asked with a choked sob.
"I can attempt to heal Sam, but there is only so much that even a Seriph can do."
"Please try." Dean cried as the tears he'd been fighting to hold back finally began to fall.
"Can we go with you two to see him?" Garth asked.
Right now Dean was actually gratefull for the scrwany nerd's emppathy. The way Garth wanted to nothing but help both of his friends really reminded Dean of Sam and it helped endear Garth to him in that moment.
"Yeah. I'd really appreciate it." Dean replied as he wiped his eyes.
Dean froze in the doorway to Sam's room and Garth, Benny and Cas were blocked from entering as Dean stood there bracing himself in the door frame. "What the hell?" Dean growled.
The other three tried to see past Dean but the way Dean was brething signaled that he was pissed and soon the pther three slowly backed off as Dean growled out "Who the hell did this to my brother?"
Garth's curiousity won out over his need to see the next day because now he was trying to edge around a positively murderous Dean to try and see inside the room.
Luckily for Garth, Dean didn't start swinging, he just grabbed the door frame even tighter instead as Garth managed to steal a peak of Sam laying in the hospital bed.
At first nothing seemed amiss.. But of course with the way Dean was about Sam.. The fact that just a single strand of Sam's hair was out of place might've been all it had taken to set Dean off like this.
But then Garth's eyes adjusted to the harsh sunlight filtering into Sam's room and soon he could see more of the features on the once the mostly shadowy form that was Sam's face.
On Sam's left cheek someone had taken a knife, scapel or some other sharp instrument and carved into Sam's flesh. The carving was of a number "2" which made no sense to Garth.. Because.. WHY would someone do that to a person who lay in a coma?.. In fact.. Why would someone do that to anyone at all?
"I'll go get the doctor." Garth said in a hurried gasp of disdain for whoever had hurt his friend.
"What's going on?" Benny asked in his cajun drawl as he rushed after Garth.
"Someone carved into Sam's face!" Garth stated angrily as he walked with purposeful speed that told of how pissed he was.
"Who the hell would do such a thing?" Benny asked in obvious disgust.
"I don't know. But I hope Sam's doctor has a good proctologist, cause he's gonna need one to help get my foot out of his ass." Garth replied in a snarl.
"Well now I'd like to give the doc a beatin just cause he didn't stop this from happening to Sam. But we have to keep our cool or else we'll end up tossed from the hospital." Benny said matter of factly.
Garth let out a defeated sigh and said "You're right."
Just then they rounded the corner and almost bumped into Sam's doctor.
"Something's just happened to our friend Sam Taylor and his brother wants an explination. NOW." Garth demanded.
"What do you mean? I was just in there with Sam.."
Just then alarms from Sam's room started blaring and Garth, Benny and the doctor went running to Sam' room.
Now there were more carvings and they were on Sam's left temple and both Garth and Benny knew damn well that Dean and Cas were the only ones there and that neither of them would ever do something like this to Sam.
"What in GOD'S name happened here? Who did this?" The doctor demanded.
"That's what we were hoping you could tell us." Garth said in exasperation as even more slices were carved into the flesh of Sam's left forearm right before everyone's eyes.. Including the doctor's.
The doctor rushed to Sam's side as other medical personel made there way into the room.
People were jostling and shoving to jokey for position as the medical staff tried to work around the people who were refusing to leave Sam's side and the doctor was no help because any time any of the other medical staff tried to usher Dean, Garth, Benny or Cas out of the room the doctor would sternly bite out the words "They stay." then proceed to continue working on getting Sam's vitals as stable as possible.
Once the alarms were no longer blaring and the doctor was satisfied that Sam was in as good as condition that could be hoped for he ushered everyone but Dean, Garth, Benny and Cas out of the room.
"Tell me I wasn't the only one to see what just happened." The doctor demanded in a hushed tone that said he feared for his own sanity along with the fact that he feared that just admitting that he saw what he saw was going to cost him his career.
"We saw." Dean replied all too cooly. "Now can you explain what just happened?"
"How am I suppossed to explain that?.. You said you saw it to.. The cuts just formed out of thin air!" The doctor hissed in a bewildered tone. Just then another slice appeared on the left corner of Sam's forhead, then another and soon "11,958" was carved into Sam's left temple as the next slices formed on Sam's left forearm again to form "14,387".
"Dear Lord they're numbers!" The doctor exclaimed to more to himself than anyone else, in fact the doctor had seemed to forget that anyone else was in the room besides him and Sam because he was in shock from seeing what not every rational mind can explain unless that rational mind knew about the existence of all the very real things in the world.
"Any idea what they could mean?" Dean asked sternly as he looked around the room waiting for anyone to offer an explanation.
Everyone shook their heads "No." because all of them honestly had no clue.
More slices began to form on Sam's right forearm and Garth noticed how Sam's face made a grimace of pain. "Is he in pain?" Garth asked.
"Well research shows that coma patients do react to pain stimuli." The doctor replied.
"So my brother's feeling all of this?" Dean growled.
Just then blood began to seep through Sam's hospital gown above Sam's chest.
Dean pulled the fabric of the hospital down to reveal more slices on the center of Sam's chest. After several agonizing slices into Sam's skin the number "135,764,389,474" finally formed on the space in the center of Sam's chest.
And as those slices formed numbers even more slices began to form on Sam's right forearm until the number "192" was carved into the flesh on Sam's right forearm.
The doctor who had already paled so much that he was whiter than a piece of white copy paper looked like he was on the verge of passing out. But he still moved with purpose to try to stop the bleeding of all the wounds that had formed and that were continuing to form as well as the ones that were continuously appearing at random. Each time a slice formed in a new area the carvings would continue until a ledgible number was sliced into that area of Sam's skin, while others sporatically formed in other locations on Sam's body and those slices would also continue until numbers were carved into those spaces.
"634,977,986" was carved into the space of skin on Sam's bottom lip. While "3,247" was carved into Sam's right temple.
Just as new slices where being formed in the flesh of the areas of Sam's left Pectoral Muscle and on the flesh in the middle of Sam's forehead, Garth's phone started to ring. Dean shot Garth a murderous scowl and Garth took that as a cue that he had better leave the room because Dean hated his ring tones at the best of times and right now Bobby Brown's "My Perogative." was going to get him killed. But it was an important call that Garth had to take while in Dean's pressence because that particular ring tone meant that one of the local hospitals was calling "Marshall Baxter" about one of the coma patients that had survived an attack by the spirit and Dean would need to know what was going on.
"You're saying that someone has been attacking Ms. Trunestead? How so?" Garth asked. Now his conversation had Dean's, Benny's and Castiel's attention
"Someone's cut her up?" Garth repeated what he heard to the others as he gave them a face of bewilderment. "They carved numbers all over her skin?" Now Dean was marching at Garth with intent. Dean snatched the phone from Garth and growled out "This is Marshall Taylor, I'm working on this case with Marshall Baxter and I want you to tell me everything you know, right now."...
By the time the sun rose the following morning Garth had recieved sixteen more calls all saying the same thing about some of the other coma patients and unfortunately four of those calls had informed him that some of the coma patients had died. Also Sam's skin had new numbers carved in various places by the time the sun rose and that plus all the new information on most of the coma patients that had survived an attack by the spirit had Dean in a rage filled panic.
"We need to figure out what all the people that the spirit has attacked have in common." Dean demanded. "Garth you go to all the hospitals the victims are in. I want you to talk to their families, their friends, everyone you can find that even knows the victims. Benny I want you to use some of your thieving skills to get a look at all of the victims' medical records and see if any of them are conected that way. Cas I need you to stay with me and see if you can help with healing any of the things that are wrong with Sam."
Benny and Garth both nodded and left the room to go do as they were told and Cas went to Sam's side and started trying to heal Sam's various ailments.
"I can't heal any of it." Cas stated with sorrow. "There's nothing I can do."
Dean was about to demand that Cas keep trying until Sam was back to a hundred percent when suddenly his phone rang.
"Dean, I just got a call. One of the surivors is awake." Said Garth in an relieved tone. "Maybe that means that Sam will be okay to."
"Is the survivor who woke up one of the ones that has numbers carved into their skin?" Dean asked.
"Yeah and from what I understand she told her doctor that she knew what they meant but she wouldn't tell him what they meant or how she knew because she was afraid he wouldn't believe her."
"You go talk to all the people who know the victims like I asked you to. I'm gonna go talk to the vic that just woke up. Which one of them is she?" Dean asked.
" ." Garth replied. "She's in the Fairlake Memorial Hospital room five-o-two."
"Got it." Dean said as he jotted down the information. "Cas I need you to stay with Sam. Don't let anyone but his doctor in the room, we don't need too many questions and call me if there's any change in his condition or if more carvings start forming."
"Sammy." Dean said in a soothing voice as he placed his hand on Sam's right cheek because so far it was the only spot on Sam's face that hadn't been carved into. "I just want you to know that I.. I.."
"I gotta go try to figure out why the spirit targeted you so I can figure out how to help you come out of this coma and as soon as.. There's a lot of things I need to tell you when you wake up Sammy. Some of them are things I should have said a long time ago and one of them is something that I never should have stopped saying."
"I'll be back Sammy. So please don't.. Don't go anywhere. Okay kiddo?" Dean whipered. Then he gave Cas a look and said "Don't let him out of your sight.".
After Cas said he wouldn't leave Sam's side for anything Dean exited Sam's room and headed for the parking lot. He hoped like hell that this Ms. Trunestead lady really had the answers he needed because Sam's life might literally depend on it...
Upon arriving at the visitor's desk at the Fairlake Memorial Hospital Dean flashed his U.S. Marshall's badge then he headed for Ms. Trunestead's room.
When he was just around the corner from her room he heard the obviously irritated voice of a woman saying "I already told you people that I can't remember anything."
Not only did that feminine voice sound irritated, but it sounded very european and very familiar..
"You have got to be joking." Both Dean and the woman laying in the hospital bed said in unison as Dean entered the room.
"U.S. Marshall boys. I need a word with." Dean gave the woman in the hospital bed a wrathful snear as he growled out "Ms. Trunestead.. In private."
The local police that had been there to question the woman who laid in the bed gave simultaneous groans of defeat as they left the room and shut the door behind them.
"Alright Bella." Dean snarled "You better start talking or so help me.."
"Go away Dean. It's none of your business." Bella stated somberly as she turned to face away from him.
"Oh you better believe that it's my business. Why aren't you on a rack, roasting somewhere in the flames of Hell where you belong?"
"I never went to Hell. Apparently I never even really made a legitament deal.. I was tricked into believing that I had so that those bastards could use me. They needed a human to do the things they couldn't and I was the perfect sap. The night my deal would have come due I found I'd been given a second chance at life."
"Yeah right..I'm not buying it and second chance or not I will start ripping you to pieces like the Hellhounds should've if you don't start talking. What ever you've gotten mixed into this time has put my brother in the hospital. He's in a coma because of you."
"You think all this is happening because of me?" Bella asked incredeously.
"Hell yes I do. Sam is in a coma like every other person who survived an attack by this spirit. He's even got numbers carved into different spots of his skin like some of the other survivors. So you better tell me what's going on. What'd you do Bella, mess with some kind of cursed object this time? Cause whatever you did set a pissed off spirit lose and it's hurt and killed several innocent people."
"I didn't do this. I haven't messed with anything from the supernatural realm ever since I got a second chance."
"You can quit it with the second chance crap."
"It's true Dean. And I swear the second I realized my life was my own again I started turning things around in my life. I'm no longer a thief, I no longer mess with things I never had any business messing with I'm a completely.."
"If you say that you're a completely different person so help me I will start beating the living hell out of you." Dean snarled.
"Go ahead." Bella said in a challenging voice "I'm sorry about what's happened to Sam, but I'm not going to help you and if that means you'll kill me then do it."
"Still the same cold bitch you always were." Dean stated venomously.
Bella gave a sigh and said "It's just you won't.. You wouldn't believe anything I can tell you anyway."
"That's for damn sure. But right now you're the only survivor to wake up. So talk."
"First off. From what I know each number is a number of times that something happened to a person and where it's carved... It's hard to explain.. There's things I'd have to tell you that I'm not comfortable with anyone knowing about me.. But it's the only way I can make it make any sense."
"Well I haven't got all day. My brother could die because of this thing!" Dean snarled out through clenched teeth. "So whatever issues you've got, you better get over them and tell me what I need to know! NOW!"
Bella gave a nod and Dean could see the tears start to form in her eyes but he wasn't moved. He knew Bella was a viperous bitch that could turn on the crocodile tears whenever she wanted. She drew in a shaky breath and began to speak.
"I could feel the slices forming on my flesh. There was a voice in my head that told me what each number meant as it was carved. It told me the story behind the numbers. Each was a story I already knew. The first cuts where made on my left thigh." Bella pushed the cover down and pulled her hospital gown to the side to reveal the number "13,145" carved into her left thigh.
"This is the number of times I was raped before I turned eighteen." Bella stated sounding numb as she hid her face in her hands.
"When I argued that there was no possible way it could have happened so many times the voice told me that everyday since I was six up until I turned fourteen really added up and that since my father let three of his friends join the fun on most days sometimes making it a total of at least four times a day and that's when they all only felt like using me once a piece.. Well it really added up... This." Bella said with a shuddering cry as she rolled enough to show Dean the back of her left thigh where the number "11,897" was carved "Is how many times they sodomized me."
Dean couldn't see her face but he could hear the tears in her voice and he knew her tears were genuine and that she was telling the truth.
"This." Bella held a hand to her left cheek where the number "8,768" was carved "Is the number of times my father hit me.. I was hit by him up to four times a day.. Most of the times he hit me was because I always tried to fight back when he and his friends.. And this.." She rubbed her right cheek where the number "3" was carved "Is how many times my mother hit me.. She slapped me and called me a lying whore every time I tried to tell her what my father was doing..."
"After the last time she hit me I shut down and stopped trying to tell her. That night my father came to me alone and.. He never stopped no matter how much I fought or begged or cried.. I couldn't take anymore.."
"The next day after school I stopped at the park that was on my way home.. I sat on the swing and decided that I would never go back home.. I was going to run away and then out of nowhere there's suddenly this little girl who's sitting on the swing next to me. And she tells me she can take care of it for me. I thought she was sent by GOD.. I thought she was an angel sent to save me even when her eyes flashed red I thought she was only there to help. I thought she was only going to make my father stop, or make my mother believe me, so I said yes and she gave me this evil smile that said she was nothing but cruel and suddenly I didn't think she was so benevolent anymore. I felt very afraid and ran home."
"The very next day both my parents died and so did all three men who.. And as relieved as I was to not have to live like that anymore I knew that my family was dead because of me.. I never wanted them to die.. I just wanted it to stop.. I began to hate myself because I was the reason they were dead and I tried telling anyone who would listen how their deaths were my fault, but no one understood..."
"I got sent away for a few years because everyone thought I was crazy... But I knew that I wasn't crazy.. That little girl really did come to me in the park and I somehow knew that it wasn't really a little girl.. She wasn't.. I knew she wasn't human.."
"When I turned eighteen I was released from the home for troubled youths that I'd been sent to live in. Then I received my inheritence. I could've done anything I wanted with my life but that money felt tainted with my mother's and father's blood so I only used what I absolutely needed to stay alive at first. I did as much research as possible trying to figure out what sort of being had come to me when I was a child.. I ended up figuring out that it had been a Crossroads Demon and so I started thinking that I had inadvertantly sold my soul.. And as much as I felt I deserved to be punished for what I had done I didn't want to have to go to Hell.. And then I realized I only had six years to figure a way out so I started doing everything in my power to appease the Crossroads Demon who had made the deal for a chance to barter back my soul only to find that Crossroads Demon that had made the deal with me wouldn't be the one to own my contract."
"The night my deal would have come due I heard a Hellhound baying.. I'd been hallucinating and everything.. So I thought surely I was about to be ripped to shreads when the clock struck Midnight. Then a Hellhound burst into my room, but it made no move to kill me. Suddenly this short, round fellow appears behind the Hellhound and tells me that a mistake was made and that my contract was Null and Void.. My soul was my own again. I asked how. He said that even demons had rules and there are very clear rules that they're not allowed to make deals with anyone under the age of consent. Then he told me that since I'd never kissed the demon I'd never sealed the pact anyway, so even if I had been over eighteen the deal still wouldn't have been legitament... I realized how lucky I was and turned over a new leaf after that. I've been trying to live under the radar ever since.. And now this." She cried.
"This." She whispered as she placed a hand to the bend on the right side of her neck where another number was carved "Is all the times I've felt guilty about the things I've done."
Dean gave a stiff nod of understanding. He wanted to be sympathetic.. But Sam was the sensitive one. Sam was the one who was better at these sorts of things. Dean was almost always at a loss when it came to trying to help others through their pain.
"What about the other numbers?" Dean asked reluctantly. Suddenly he didn't want to cause her any more pain.
"This is how many times I was neglected." Bella replied as she put her hand to her left temple where the number "17,685" was carved into her skin "I guess that since I was being raped everyday, sometimes several times a day and the damage it did was never taken care of, plus the fact my mother didn't listen and no one ever cared to hear what I had to say after my mom and dad died all counted as times I was neglected... And this.." She pointed to her right temple "Is how many times I was abandoned by my family."
"This." Bella put her hand to the center of her chest "Is how many times I've had my heart broken... And this.." Bella pulled her hospital gown over to reveal her right thigh "Is how many times I was raped after I turned eighteen.. And the number on my top lip is how many times... It's how many times I was orally raped as a child.." She said with a humiliated whine as she burried her face in her hands again. "And the number on my bottom lip is how many times.. After I turned eighteen." She sobbed.
"There's another number on my chest here." Bella said as she placed a hand to her right breast. "It's how many secrets I used to have... But now I've told you most of them. So they're no longer secrets."
"What about the numbers on your arms?"
"The number on my left arm is how many times I thought about suicide while the number on my right is the one time I was successful.. I was ten and had just tried to tell my mom what was happening for a second time and when she hit me I.. I.. It actually hurt me worse than anything that my father could ever do to me.. I took a few handfuls of some of my mom's Valium and took like six drinks of my dad's whiskey to make sure it was done right... While the doctors worked to try to save my life, my heart gave out and stopped beating, they couldn't get it beating again for seven whole minutes.. So I guess technically I was dead.. The number on my right bicep is how many times I only got as far as an attempted suicide."
Bella wept as she continued "The number on the center of my forehead is how many things that are wrong with me because of all the things that have happened to me throughout my life."
"What sorts of things?" Dean asked as he tried to keep his own tears from falling. Yes, once upon a time he had REALLY, HATED Bella.. Well okay.. Once upon like fifteen minutes ago he had still really hated her, but now that he knew even just part of her story he understood why she had become the way she had been almost five years ago and he couldn't bring himself to hate her anymore.
"I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression."
"That's two things. You have the number nine hundred fifty-two carved into the center of your forhead."
"I don't think there's classifications to diagnose all the ways my mind and spirit are broken because of all the things that happened to me." Bella replied with a shaky sob.
"I felt every cut and every time the voice spoke and made me remember what each number represented I felt the pain of everything that ever happened as if it was happening all over again.. It made me feel it all even more intensely than when it happened, all the pain.. All the guilt, the loneliness, the heartbreak, the sadness.. All of the despair."
"I've told you everything I know. Now please.. Just leave me alone." She whimpered and Dean could hear the frightened little girl that still hid inside her crying out for her father to leave her alone and he felt angry for all the ways she had suffered.
Dean swallowed the lump in his throat then he gave a stiff nod as he turned to leave the room. The second he was out in the parking lot he knelt down next to his beloved Impala and vomited out all of the contents of his stomach as it hit him what some of the numbers that were carved into Sam's flesh might mean...
He needed to know and he wanted to know now. So he broke the speed limit driving back the hospital Sam was in.
Luckily a speeding Impala hadn't been enough to attract the attention of the local police and Dean raced to Sam's room to find Castiel exactly the way he had left him. Apparently the angel had taken not letting Sam out of his sight very seriously as Cas was staring at Sam without even blinking and honestly Dean found it a little creepy.
Just as Dean entered the room Sam made a face that said he was in pain again and Dean started to search for new cuts in Sam's skin. This time the cuts were forming in the middle of Sam's forehead to complete the number "279,864,389,574"
"Oh god." Dean cried in a shaky breath. "How the hell are all these numbers so high?"
Dean looked at the number on Sam's bottom lip and remembered what the numbers on Bella's bottom lip had represented and suddenly he felt like he was going to vomit again. Just then Sam made another pained face and Dean looked for where any new cuts might be forming only to see blood start running from under Sam's lower half.
"No." Dean stated in stern denial. "No.. Not you Sammy.. Please god tell me you haven't ever been.."
Dean clenched his fist and let out an angry cry as he pulled back the blanket. He rolled Sam jus enough to get a look at the back of Sam's left thigh to see the number "2" carved into the back of Sam's thigh.
"NO!" Dean wailed "God please no not this."
"Dean what is it?" Castiel asked.
Dean couldn't answer because he felt like he was about to hyperventilate because as he cleaned the cut on the back of Sam's left thigh more cuts began to form on the FRONT of Sam's left thigh until the number "4" was formed and now Dean was ready to go berserk as another cut began to form on Sam's top lip.
"I need to know if Sam was ever.. Do you know if he was ever?.. I mean you took all of his crazy away so you had to have seen some of the things that were in his mind.. So can you tell me if he's ever been?.." Dean choked out the words "Do you know if Sam's ever been raped?"
Everyone knew that when it came to expressions that Castiel didn't have many, but now the angel bore a clearly shocked expression as he said "I thought it was something that people weren't supposed to talk about."
Dean visibly deflated, then sunk to the floor and began to cry until his body was wracked by sobs. "Tell me Cas. Tell me everything you know. I need to know."
"Everything I saw was from Sam's time in The Cage.. Dean there is no way that you could even begin to comprehend the magnitude of everything that.."
"Tell me." Dean growled.
"Please understand.. I only caught glimpses.. I don't even know the full extent..."
"TELL ME!" Dean commanded. "Tell me everything you can.. Just please tell me." Dean cried in a whisper.
"I only know that Lucifer and four other Princes of Hell split Sam into several thousands of multiple selves and that they violated several of those multiples of Sam in unspeakable ways numerous times. I also know that Michael tried to keep every part of Sam as safe as possible, but The Cage is infinite and it's Lucifer's domain so Michael continuously failed to keep any part of Sam away from them."
As Castiel spoke more blood began to form on the bed.
"Dean he's bleeding again." Cas stated worriedly.
Dean was on his feet and by Sam's side in a flash. The blood was coming from under Sam's right leg so Dean rolled Sam enough to see the back of Sam's right thigh where the number "1,267,953,871" was carved into Sam's flesh. And just as Dean finished cleaning those cuts more appered on Sam's top lip to reveal the number "2" and Dean ran to the bathroom. He barely made it to the toilet in time to release the bile and stomach acid that was being expelled from an otherwise empty stomach.
"Dean." Cas beckonned from the room.
"No." Dean groaned.
"I can't.. I can't." He panted in a breathless plea. "I don't know how to deal with something like this."
"Dean." Castiel said in a commanding tone "Sam needs you. Right NOW."
Despite the fact that his head was spinning and he felt weak in the knees Dean struggled to a stand. If he felt like this from just knowing about only SOME of the things that Sam had gone through then he could only imagine how Sam was feeling right now. Thinking about how Sam might be feeling only made Dean feel even worse because Sam had obviously been through so much and Dean couldn't even begin to fathom what having gone through things like that might have done to Sam's mind, body and soul.
Much to Dean's relief there were no new cuts yet. But Sam looked distressed as he hoarsely cried out for Dean in a voice that couldn't get any louder than a raspy whisper.
"Sammy?" Dean pleaded and he hoped his voice could break through the depths of Sam's unconsciousness so that Sam could find his way out of the darkness. "Sammy I'm here. I'm not gonna leave you."
Sam made one more fruitless attempt at rousing but then he was forced to surccome to oblivion once again.
"What am I supposed to do?" Dean asked in a shaky voice "How do I help you Sammy?"
More blood began to seep through the fabric of Sam's hospital gown in the area of Sam's chest and even more blood came from the front of Sam's right thigh.
"STOP HURTING MY BROTHER YOU BASTARD!" Dean shouted at the seemingly empty air that surrounded Sam.
Dean felt so helpless as he watched more blood spring from the back of Sam's left hand as more slices appeared simultaneously with the ones that were completing the number "1,762,953,842" on the front of Sam's right thigh.
"Bella didn't have any numbers on her hand." Dean whispered sounding frustrated as he clenched his fists. "What the hell could these mean?"
Dean's phone started ringing and when Dean pulled it from his pocket Benny's number appeared on the caller I.D..
"What'd you find on your end?" Dean asked the second he answered his phone.
"So far every survivor whose records I've checked all have had some kind of mental illness like anxiety disorders, Depression.."
"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?" Dean interupted.
"Yeah. That and ten out of the sixteen I've checked out so far had some kind of problems with substance abuse that derived from one or another of their mental illnesses.
"Substance abuse?" Dean asked. Suddenly he had an idea what the number that was beginning to form on Sam's left hand might mean. "I need you to call Garth and find out if any of the survivors with substance abuse has numbers carved into their left hands."
The number "3" finished forming on Sam's left hand and Dean started doing the math in his head if it did represent what he thought it did then maybe it wasn't how many times that Sam had drank demon blood because he knew for a fact of at least four times that Sam had drank demon blood. So maybe it was the number of things Sam had become addicted two?.. Dean did the math well demon blood was one and Sam had once admitted to having a drinking problem.. So what was the last thing that Sam had become addicted to?
"After you do that." Dean continued "I need you to compair the numbers on their left hands with the number of substances they've abused or how many addictions they've had. If you can."
"Got it. So I take it ya have a theory on what the numbers mean." Benny stated.
"Well for now a theory is all it is. I need to know everything I can about all the victims before I can know it's more than that. For now I want you and Garth to comb through EVERY victim's past and poke around for any hints that any of the people the spirit has attacked suffered any kind of abuse as children. I also need you both to find out if any of the victims ever made any aligations of being sexually assualted.."
"Whoa.. Hold on.. Are you saying that Sam's been?.."
"Like I said all I have for now is a theory. But the one victim to wake up said that's what some of the numbers represented for her and it's a lead.. So we have to follow it. Just.. Just find out if any of the other victims have any other things in common. Also I need for Garth to make sure he documents the numbers that are carved into the flesh of all the other victims and each of their locations so that I can compair the numbers with what you both find out about them using the info "Ms Trunestead" gave me. Also another thing to look for.. I want you to see if you can find out if any of the victims were ever suicidal."
"Alright brother I'm on it." Benny stated as he hung up.
According to the number that had just been carved on Sam's right pectoral muscle Sam had a lot of secrets.. Well over a few billion in fact if the carvings in Sam's flesh and where it was located meant the same thing for Sam as it had for Bella.
"Most of this has to be from The Cage." Dean whispered sorrowfully as he tenderly cleaned and bandaged the cuts "It has to be.. But what about what isn't Sam?.. What are those secrets?.. If some of the numbers mean what I think they mean..." Dean wiped the tears from his eyes as he cut away the bandage from Sam's left thigh so that he could change the dressing. He grimaced as he looked at the number four that was carved into the front of Sam's left thigh and then his body shuddered with anger as he thought about what the numbers on the back and on the front of Sam's left thigh possibly meant.
"Sammy." He whispered imploringly "Sammy if these numbers mean what I think they mean.. I need to know.. I need to know when it happened.. I need to know who it was.."
After he redressed the cuts on both sides of Sam's left thigh Dean started to methodically remove the bandage from the ones on Sam's left cheek so that he could put a fresh bandage there as well.
The number two that was carved there really pissed him off and he growled out "And this Sam. Did dad really hit you?" His growl ebbed out into a sob as he whispered in a whining cry "Why didn't you tell me Sammy?"
Cas placed a comforting hand on Dean's shoulder. Dean pulled away and rounded on Castiel giving the angel a murderous glare as he shoved Cas back until Cas was against the wall then he got in the angel's face and snarled "Did you know about what my father did?"
"Dean I don't know what you're.."
"You don't know what I'm talking about?.. Cas when you shifted whatever you shifted when you took away Sam's hallucinations of Lucifer you had to have seen more than just a few glimpses of the stuff from The Cage.. Was any of it.. Any of it at all possibly from Sam's childhood?"
"No Dean.. I already told you as much as I could about what very few things I saw when I shifted what would have been blocked off by the wall DEATH built.."
"But you're a friggin angel!"
"Dean we've had this discussion before. Just because I'm an angel doesn't mean I'm all seeing or all knowing."
"You can take me back in time. We'll go back to when Sam was born and go day by day until I find out everything I need to know."
"Dean there's no way you'll be able to get close enough to Sam to find out anything."
"Then get me inside his mind. I'll find out that way."
"It's not safe."
"You took Sam into Fred's mind."
"But Fred was only catatonic. He wasn't in a coma like Sam."
"Damn it Cas!" Dean bellowed. "Is there anything you can do?"
"De?.." Came a hoarse whisper from the bed.
Dean immediately rushed back to Sam's side. Sam was still unconscious but he was clearly distressed by the expression on his face. "Sammy?" Dean implored beggingly.
"Sammy please wake up."
"De?.." Sam whispered again and then Sam began to take in sharp hurried breaths as if he were panicking.
"Sammy it's okay I'm here. I'm right here. Please open your eyes."
"De!" Sam whined out sounding like he was in pain then he began to thrash around as if he were having some sort of seizure. The monitors began to blare as Sam's heart rate skyrocketed and his oxygen levels began to plummet...
It was touch and go for a while. Sam had flatlined four times making Dean's already frayed nerves finally break apart.
He was beginning to get jumpy and aggressive.. Well more than he usually was. And this horrible ache had settled into his bones from the way he kept himself so ridgid.. But he had to be ready to spring into action for if Sam cried out for him again.
Cas had tried to get Dean to go get some much needed rest with a promise to call if there were any changes with Sam. But Dean had refused and now it had been sixty-two hours since Sam had last uttered a noise and Dean hadn't slept a wink and Sam hadn't showed any other signs of waking. In fact it seemed like Sam was in even worse shape as even more numbers had been carved into various areas on Sam's skin.. Benny and Garth were beggining to whisper amongst themselves about the actions that would need to be taken with Dean should Sam be amongst the victims to not survive whatever it was the spirit was doing now as three more victims had died without ever coming out of their comas and two of them had numbers carved into their skin like Sam.
If Dean heard Garth's and Benny's plans about putting him on suicide watch if Sam died he made no mention of it. Which means that he most likely hadn't heard them because they were both still alive after even implying that Sam might not make it.
Of course Dean had laser focused on Sam so he wasn't very aware of much of anything that was going on around him.
It was like a lightning strike.. So fast if Dean hadn't been staring unblinkingly at Sam's face he would have missed it.
"Sam." Dean huffed out in relief as Sam's eyes shot open. But Sam made no other move than that.. And his vacant stare was focused on the ceiling. "Sam?" Dean asked worriedly.
Then Sam's eyes closed again.
"No. No. No. No... Sam.. Open your eyes again kiddo.. Look at me.. Sammy open your eyes." Dean pleaded.
"Damn it Sam! I'm begginging you to please open your eyes and look at me!" Dean sobbed out shakily.
"Do you want me to say it right now? Huh?.. Before you're even awake to hear it?"
"I'm sorry Sam. Okay? I'm so sorry I was such an asshole to you. I get it now. I get why you didn't look for me while I was in Purgatory. To be honest I always got it.. I was just.. I just wanted someone to be pissed at about every screwed up thing in my life and you were an easy target."
"De?" Sam whispered and this time Sam's eyes rolled a few times behind his eyelids as Sam groaned and his head started to weakly roll side to side. "De?" Sam groaned out.
Sam's mouth started to open and shut and Sam made a harsh swallowing noise, then his head listed forward and his eyes opened again. This time he looked around the room blinking blearily as he called out in a tired pant "De?"
"I'm right here Sammy" Dean replied as he reached for a glass of water that Garth had brought him.
Dean placed the straw of the cup to Sam's lips and Sam began to drink greedily. "Easy kiddo. Not to much at once you'll make yourself sick." Dean chided in friendly reprimand as he pulled the cup away.
Sam gave a displeased noise and his head fell further forward as he tried to follow the straw as it left him. Dean placed a gentle hand to Sam's right cheek as it was still the only space on Sam's face with out a mark on it, which made sense because their mother had never hit Sam and gently whispered. "Come on Sam lay back before you hurt your neck."
Sam's head rolled back in attempt to comply but Sam was like a newborn as his neck seemingly wasn't strong enough to hold Sam's head up.
The wild and confused look in Sam's eyes worried Dean.. But it was Sam's weakened state that was really terrifying Sam's big brother.
"Okay.. Sammy.. Can you tell me where you are?"
"De." Sam groaned out in what seemed like annoyance as his head rolled forward again.
"Okay.. How about you just tell me how many fingers I'm holding up?" Dean asked as he held two fingers out for Sam.
Sam forced his head to roll somewhat to the side so that now his head was resting on his left shoulder at a very uncomfortable angle so that he could see Dean's face. This time he made eye contact with Dean.
"Hostipal." Sam slurred out sounding like he had bitten his tounge. "Two fwinguurs."
"I think I should go get the doctor." Garth stated worriedly, then he cringed as Dean shot him a disapproving glare.
"It's because of the pain medicine you moron!" Dean growled frustratedly.
"What's tause th pain medcine?" Sam asked as he gave Dean a look of innocent bewilderment.
"Nothing Sammy. You're alright now. Garth's just being a dumbass. Ya want some more water?"
"Yeah I turtsey." Sam slurred drunkidly.
"Okay but drink slow kiddo." Dean said lovingly.
"O..Tay De." Sam said with a yawn. Dean smiled as Sam's eyes started to droop. He pressed the straw to Sam's lips and Sam began to drink, but not as greedily as before.
"Good job Sammy." Dean said in joyus approval. "How about I go tell the doc that it's safe to cut back on the good stuff? What do ya say kiddo?"
"Good thuff?" Sam asked blearily.
Dean had an amused smile on his face as he pushed the call button.
"How may I help you." Came a chipper voice over the intercom.
"My brother just woke up and we'd like for the dose on his pain meds to be decreased cause they're making him a bit loopy." Dean replied and now he was full out grinning because Sam was awake..
"I'll let his doctor know he's awake and if he says that your brother's pain meds can be decreased then I'll send someone right down." The chipper voice replied.
"Thanks. Oh and could you call up some food for him to?" Dean aked.
"If his doctor says it's okay for him to eat I'll have a tray sent to his room."
"Awesome. Thanks so much."
"You're welcome. Have a nice day."
"You to." Dean replied before the intercom clicked off again.
When Dean sat back down Sam was giving him a huge smile.
"What?" Dean asked.
"Dude." Sam laughed out still sounding hoarse "Are you fwirrtting wif my nurswess?"
Dean let out a chuckle and shook his head grinning from ear to ear. He felt so relieved that Sam was awake and talking that he couldn't stop smiling.
"I wish I had a way of filming you right now. It would make perfect blackmail for later." Dean joked.
"Why ith my haiwr meth up'r stumthing?" Sam aked dazidly.
"Dude you were in a coma for five days! Of course your hair is messed up!" Dean exclaimed.
Sam raised his hands to feel his hair, then as he started to lay them back in his lap he noticed the bandages around both his arms.
"What wrong wif my arms? Was we in an acc..ss..ident?.. De? De wast anybody ewse hurt?"
"You don't remember what happened?" Garth asked worriedly.
"He'll start remembering once he gets all the pain meds out of his system."
"Membring what?.. De what happ..p.p.p..ened?"
"We were on a hunt and the ghost we were hunting started a fire. The roof caved in and one of the metal beams landed right on top of you." Dean bit out sternly.. All evidence of the lighthearted and happy mood that Dean had been in for a few brief moments after Sam's waking was all gone.
"Dean you have to.." Garth started to say "Tell him about the cuts."
"Not till after the meds are out of his system." Dean interupted. "If I tell him now he won't remember it later and I'll have to tell him all over again and I can't go through that twice."
"Go th..th..through what twice De?" Sam asked worriedly. "What..t. .ss wrong?"
"Sam I can't talk to you about it while you're like this."
"Did I do stumthing wrong?.. De did I mest up on th hunt?" Sam asked in confusion.
"No kiddo. It's nothing like that." Dean said soothingly as he carded a hand through Sam's hair. "It's just you're drugged up to your eyeballs with a pharmacy's worth of pain meds. Which is kind of my fault cause I kept threatening to cut the doctor into little bits if he didn't make sure that you weren't in any pain.. I just can't talk to you while you're all drugged up like this especially when in about three hours you won't even remember this conversation."
Sam didn't respond and when Dean pushed Sam's hair away from his face again he could see why. Sam was sound asleep.
"See. This is why it has to wait." Dean stated in a gentle and knowing tone as he laid Sam back against the pillows, then he made sure that Sam was in a comfortable position before he pulled the blankets back up to Sam's chest.
"What the hell were you thinking?" Dean growled out as he rounded on Garth.
"I was just worried about him because we still don't know how much the damage to his brain could be impairing him." Garth replied as he stood up straight and crossed his arms over his chest to show Dean that he wasn't intimidated nor should he be because he only had Sam's best intrest at heart.
"Fine." Dean said in frustration. "Just don't go freaking Sam out over all this stuff. He's already gonna be dealing with too much once the memories of whatever things the voice told him about each number starts to come back."
FIFTY-EIGHT HOURS AGO...
Garth had gone past Dean's expectations and had started photographing each cut as well as recording the interviews with each of the victims' friends and family members and when he did so he'd managed to capture some very interesting things..
He had caught what looked like an apparation in the act of clawing a number into a victim's skin with it's hideously long finger nails. And in one of the recordings he had caught an E.V.P. that had sounded like a young woman or older girl's voice saying "Liar. All lies." during an interview with one of the victims fathers when he'd asked about whether the victim he was aking about had ever been abused. And if Dean was right about what the numbers that had been carved into the left cheek of some of the victims' faces meant, then the man had indeed been knowingly lying when he'd told Garth "No." because that particular victim had the number fifty carved into his left cheek.
Three hours later Garth had been able to record an interview with another victim that had woke from their coma.
Mr. Stone had never been abused as a child and according to Mr. Stone's mostly clear face it was beginning to look like Dean's assumptions were right.
The only numbers that were carved into Mr. Stone's flesh were in the center of Mr. Stone's forehead, his left arm and the back of his right thigh.
Mr. Stone spoke of feeling the pain as each number was carved into him. And he spoke of how the voice had made him feel the pain of everything even more intense than when he'd first felt it. Then he spoke of the saddness.. The loneliness.. The despair...
To Garth's surprise Mr. Stone hadn't been the only one to wake up that morning. Another victim named Ms. Wittiker had also come out of her coma.
Ms. Wittiker was an elderly woman who bore numbers carved all over her face, legs, arms and chest. The only area she had numbers that Sam didn't was her stomache where the number nine was carved.
Her tale had been one of horrible childhood abuses. She had been raped and sodomized by her father and uncle every night from the time she had turned four until the day her father sold her to a man who turned her into a sex slave. She had only been ten at the time and she didn't get free from that torementer until she was over thirty years old and by then she had been forced to bear nine children that were fathered by that deranged bastard or one of his "clients" that had been allowed to use her and to this day she still didn't know what had become of those children because back then no one could help her and now no one cared to even listen when she tried to talk about what happened.
Garth made a solomn vow to help Ms. Wittiker find out what had happened to her children as he listened to her story of her brave struggle to make her way in the world as a thirty-three year old woman who could hardly speak and had no education what so ever. It had been a stroke of luck that a nun had found Ms. Wittiker and had thought her to be mentally ill. The nun then told a paritioner of her church who ran an asylumn about Ms. Wittiker and the paritioner had taken Ms. Wittiker into their asylum and gave her a name as she couldn't remember what her real name had been after having been called "Slut" for so long. And then through the asylumns many programs Ms. Wittiker had learned how to speak and how to read and write. Once she knew how to communicate she had told the people who ran the asylumn about what had been done to her and though they had cared there hadn't been anything they could do to help her because she didn't know the name of the man who had held her captive because he never allowed any of "his slaves" to call him or any of his "clients" anything but "Master".
Garth felt her pain as she wailed in agony about how much pain, lonliness, saddness and despair the voice had made her feel as she remembered and felt everything more intensely than when it had happened.
There were two more people that woke from their comas that very same day.
One was a man who had come from Florida for his vacation and he had numbers carved into the flesh on the back of his left hand, his right cheek, the center of his his chest, his left and right temples and the center of his forhead. Which meant that his family had neglected and abandonned him, his mother had slapped him, all of those things had broken his heart and caused him a mental illness which in turn lead him to develop an addiction to Heroin.
The other was a man who had been sodomized, orally raped and forcefully brought to several climaxes by his priest on numerous occasions when he was a boy. But other than the numbers on the front and back of that man's left thigh and the number on his top lip his flesh was clean.
Both men reported the same thing as the other victims to wake up.. A voice that made them remember what it had felt like to be in so much pain, how it had felt to feel so alone, how it had made them feel like they could never be happy again.. And both of them spoke of an overwhelming sense of despair...
Once Dean had heard that all of the coma patients had been in intense pain during all of the times the spirit carved the numbers into their flesh. And that they had all felt even more pain during all of the times "The voice" spoke because of how it made them remember and FEEL everything more intensely than when it happened. He had then threatened Sam's doctor with a painful death if Sam felt anymore pain and the doctor had ordered that Sam be drugged with the strongest non-dependence forming pain medicines that the hospital had to offer.
The next day word came that there was yet another coma patient to wake up and she had numbers carved in the flesh over her right breast, the front of her right thigh and the center of her forehead. Her name was Rebecca Parker, her boss had raped her and she'd never told anyone and now she had Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of what had happened to her.
Another coma patient to wake up later that day was a man named Anthony McCtavesh who had numbers carved into his left cheek and right pectoral muscle because his dad had hit him several times as a boy and he'd kept it a secret.
Both Anthony and Rebecca also spoke of how the voice had intensified their feelings of pain, sadness, lonliness and despair as they were forced to remember the things that had happened to them in more vivid and intense detail than when those things had happened to them.
By the time the sun set that day yet another patient woke up.. He had numbers carved into the center of his forehead, the center of his chest, his left arm and the right side of his neck right in the juncture of his neck and right shoulder.. His name was Harry Warden and he'd been in an accident that had taken the lives of his wife and daughter and now he was suffering from Depression. The voice had made him think about all the guilt as well as all the sadness, lonliness and despair that he'd been feeling everyday since he'd lost his family. The poor man confessed to having had several thoughts about taking his own life because the heartbreak was sometimes too much to bear.
That night had brought the news of the deaths of three more victims and hearing that news had put Dean even more on edge as he kept vigile over his little brother.
When the cuts had started forming on Sam's skin again Dean had tried everything from iron and salt to banishing spells, none of it had worked to keep the spirit from carving numbers into Sam's skin.
All Dean could do was do his best to make sure that Sam felt as little pain as possible.
He'd gotten so desperate to keep Sam from feeling even an ounce of what had happened in The Cage. Because he believed if Sam had to feel over a hundred years worth of torture and according to Cas, rape all over again then Sam would surely die from pain alone were he to be made to feel it even more intensely than when he was there, that he told the doctor to go ahead and pump Sam as full of Morphine as possible even though it could make Sam form a dependency for it.
Yes, it made him feel like a total hypocrite to give the go ahead on giving Sam a possibly addictive substance especially knowing that since Sam had suffered from addictions in the past he was even more at risk for developing dependencies to other addictive substances. But Dean rather have Sam in the least amount of pain as possible for as long as possible and then deal with whatever complications that caused later, because it was better than letting Sam suffer or possibly even die from horrific amounts of pain that he should have never had to feel in the first place.
While Sam had been unconscious Dean had formed a habit of going over each number on Sam's skin over and over again. Each time he did so he'd think about what each one meant.
The intercom buzzed to life and the chipper voice returned saying "Mr. Taylor?
"Yeah." Dean replied into the speaker so that she could hear him.
"The doctor would like to come check on your brother before he gives the okay for any of his meds to be decreased or an okay on whether or not Sam can have anything to eat."
"Alright send him down."
"He'll be there in about ten minutes."
"You're welcome." The chipper voice concluded before the intercom went silent again.
"Hehem.. We're gonna mosey on out a while so you can talk to the doc in private." Benny stated as he coraled Garth and Cas then started nudging them to the door.
"But.." Garth started to protest.
"Something like this should be for family only. If Sam and Dean want us to know any details the doctor gives them, they'll tell us." Benny replied in stern reprimand but it came out sounding almost soothing when said with his cajun drawl.
"Thanks." Dean said with a slight grin as he nodded in Benny's direction.
Now that the others had given him some space for when the doctor came so that he could discuss Sam's condition in private Dean took a moment to just study his little brother while he slept. Dean lightly traced the numbers on Sam's right temple while whispering "I never thought.. Never once during all the times that I accused you of abandoning your family did I think about how you might have felt abandoned by us to.. I only thought about my own pain.. I never really thought about how much you might have been hurting because of us.."
Dean was startled from his revelry by a knock at the door.
"Damn ten minutes flies by fast." Dean groused with in a mumble before calling out "Come in."
"I hear Sam's awake." The doctor stated as he entered the room.
"Yeah. He woke up for a little bit but the pain meds pulled him back under." Dean gave a light chuckle as he said "The kid's always a lightweight when it comes to Morphine."
"Well he is on an extremly high dose." The doctor replied sounding slightly bitter. Apparently having his life threatened had rubbed him the wrong way.
"Yeah." Dean said looking guilty "I'm really sorry, I just didn't want him to be in any pain if I could prevent it. I mean you saw what was happening with the cuts."
The doctor seemed to soften a little as he said "Well I probably would've done the same thing if I were in your shoes."
"So how did he seem when he woke up?" The doctor asked.
"He seemed like he was really high." Dean replied sounding slightly amused.
"Was his speech alright?"
"Well he was hoarse and his speech was slurred a bit. But he had just woke up and he's on a lot of meds." Dean stated deffensively.
"Well.. While the pain medicines he's on might play a factor I'm still concerned that it may very well be an effect of the Stroke or the brain damage his scans revealed."
"What about his eyesight? Did he seem able to see alright?" The doctor asked as he started writing down the numbers from the machines at Sam's bedside and suddenly Dean was wondering if those machines were telling the doctor things that was making him ask such questions.
"He seemed to have a hard time focusing. But again he had just woke up and you said it yourself that the dose of Morphine he's on is extremely high."
"Hmm.." The doctor hummed in thought as he jotted down more numbers "Anything else that seems wrong with him that you think might just be the pain meds?" The doctor asked with a note of sarcasm.
Dean took a second to stare at the obscenely high number in the middle of Sam's forehead then blurtted out "His neck seemed really weak. And I'm afraid he might have some mental illnesses." because he wasn't going to risk Sam having something even just slightly wrong with his mind or body and it potentially go undiagnosed and untreated when there was something that could possibly be done about it to help Sam.
"Mental illnesses?" The doctor repeated sounding a bit taken aback.
"Yeah like Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, those sorts of things." Dean replied sounding defeated.
"Okay." The doctor said gently "For now I'll take Sam off the Morphine and make it to where he can get some real food in him and after about three hours I'll come back and see if Sam's eyesight and motor functions have made any improvement. Then we'll go from there."
Dean gave a nod and said "Yeah. I had a feeling that it'd take a few hours with him off the meds to know for sure. That's why I didn't.. Why I'd rather not jump to conclusion and start declaring my brother mentally impaired before he's even had a chance to prove everyone wrong."
The doctor gave Dean a kind smile then said "Maybe you're right.. Maybe Sam will prove to be stronger than anyone gives him credit for."
"Thanks doc." Dean said with a nod.
"Not a problem. Just keep believing in him and I'm sure he'll make a fast recovery." The doctor replied "After all if after seeing what I saw earlier wasn't a time to start believing that anything's possible then there never will be.. I'll be back this way in about three and a half to four hours. In the mean time you should try to get some rest cause I have a feeling that your brother's gonna be out for at least two hours."
"Thanks doc. I'll try." Dean said with a tired sigh as the doctor left the room.
The door didn't even have a chance to shut all the way as Garth appeared in the doorway. "Hey Dean?" he said with timid imploring. "I just saw the doctor leave. Is it alright if we come back in now?" Like the fact that he'd popped in the door the second the doctor had disappeared out of it wasn't evidence that he'd been hovering just outside the door the entire time.
"Actually do you think you guys could give me about two hours alone with Sam?" Dean asked without heat or sarcasm.
"Yeah. We can do that." Garth replied.
"Anything you want us to get while we're out?" Benny's voice asked from around the corner where Dean couldn't see him.
"Oh.. So Benny was hovering to.." Dean thought with a grin. Sam always did have a way of worming his way past someone's tough exterior and into their hearts.
"Um.. Yeah. The doc just said that Sam can have some real food and I don't count anything prepaired in a hospital as real food. So could you grab us some grub on your way back?"
"Sure. We'll see you in two hours." Benny replied. Then Dean heard Benny issue a not so subtle "C'mon Cas."
And by the shift in the atmosphear and the sound of rustling feathers it was evident that Cas had been doing WAY more than hovering.
"Wow. Way to give us some privacy." Dean said sternly as he fought to keep from laughing.
"Hey! I just noticed him gone. I swear." Benny stated innocently.
"Yeah. We did NOT put him up to that." Garth said sounding deffensive.
"Whatever. I just need two hours so if you guys have to put Cas in a ring of holy fire to keep him from eavesdropping on me then do it." Dean said with a tired chuckle.
"I can assure you that won't be necessary." Castiel stated in a thouroughly chastised voice from behind Garth. Cas still really needed to learn about sarcasm.
"Please go away so I can sleep." Dean replied with an annoyed groan.
"You heard the man." Benny said in a stern commanding tone and Garth stepped back and allowed the door to shut the rest of the way with him, Benny and Cas still on the other side.
After making sure the others were really gone he pulled the chair apart because it was the kind that made into a cot for the guests of the hospital patients. It was lumpy and uncomfortable. But no worse than over half of the hotel mattresses that he's slept on and within seconds Dean was out like a light.
When Dean woke up a little over two hours later Sam was still soundly asleep. He was about to call Benny and tell him that everybody could come back now when he saw that he had missed almost twenty calls from Garth.
At first he was annoyed that Garth was being so melodramatic then he listened to the messages on his voicemail. Garth had, had good reason to call. Apparently the spirit had changed things up again. Six more victims had died and this time four of them had been people to wake from their comas.
Suddenly the need to find out who this spirit had been in life so their bones could be salted and burned and the need to find out what object it was possessing to be able managing continuous, multiple and simultaneous attacks on it's victims so that the object could be destroyed was more urgent than ever before. Because once again, anyone the spirit had touched could be the next to die.. Including Sam..
Dean called Garth and and told him to start scouring the entire city limits building by building, person by person in search of answers as there still were no real connections between the victims other than what reliving some of the things they'd gone through in their lives had made them feel, that and both Bella and Sam kind of knew one another but that didn't seem to have anything to do with why the spirit had chose to attack them.
As Sam started to wake again Benny called saying he had possibly found a lead but that Dean wasn't going to like it because there was no way they were going to find all of the remains of a body in the city's expansive sewer system. Especially when the body had supposedly already been down there for at least nine years without having been "Officially" discovered.
According to Benny's source a sewer worker had seen the naked body of a girl who couldn't have been any older than sixteen under the surface of the water but when he'd tried to get to her, her body had disappeared.
Benny's source had also reported that the sewer worker had seen numbers carved into various places of the girl's skin that he could see. The source had said that the man had reported the body and that an army of police officers had scoured the sewers only to find no sign of a body. The sewer worker had subsequently suffered ridicule for spreading "a deluisional lie" that was all too common for "the weaker minded sewer workers" with "over active imaginations". Thus the man was not only traumatised by what he'd seen but humiliated by the fact that he was telling the truth yet everyone believed he was either crazy or a sick liar so he'd quit his job four days later and according to Benny's source there were several rumors about what had happened to the man after that and none of those rumors had given the man a happy ending.
Dean told Benny to follow the lead as far as it would take him then he hung up the phone and grabbed a glass of water as Sam finally opened his eyes again.
"Hey." Dean whispered as he held the straw steady for Sam.
Sam took a couple of long greedy drinks then he let his head fall back onto his pillow as he hoarsely whispered "Hey." in response.
"How you feelin?" Dean asked.
"Like I've been fed into a meat grinder." Sam groaned.
"Sam I know about the numbers and the voice.. Now I want to know what the voice said to you.. I want to know what the numbers mean for you."
"It doesn't matter." Sam replied.
"Like hell it doesn't." Dean growled.
"It doesn't matter Dean. It never has and I'm not going to argue about it. I'm not talking about any of it because if you already know about the voice and the numbers then you have just as much to go on as I do. So me talking about what I saw, heard or felt isn't going to help the case in any way."
"Whatever information you have could be what ends up cracking this case wide open."
"Of course. Nothing ever matters more than the case." Sam stated bitterly.
"More people could die if you don't tell me what you know."
"Dean. Right now someone's getting shot by someone else. Another person, possibly a world away from them is getting run over by a drunk driver. Nothing we do here is gonna save them. There isn't anything I can tell you that's gonna save any lives here or anywhere else in the world. So it's pointless."
"Why do you always have to be so selfish?" Dean snarled as he tried to keep from just begging Sam to tell him.
"Selfish?" Sam said with a bitterly sarcastic scoff "There's no information I can give that's gonna help this case and I'm not gonna.. I'm not talking about it and if that makes me selfish.. Then FINE." Sam bit out angrily.
Just then Sam gave a pained bellow as the number on the center of his chest changed to increase by two.
"SON OF A BITCH." Dean growled angrily as the number on Sam's right pectoral muscle began to change as well but it increased by double making Sam writhe and whimper in agony.
"I'm fine." Sam hissed when it was over.
"Fine?" Dean repeated incrediously as he pointed to the cuts on Sam's right pec. "Sam I know enough to know this number represents secrets."
"Then stop trying to get me to talk about this stuff or the number's only going to keep getting higher." Sam stated sounding frustrated.
"What?" Dean asked in surprise.
"I said stop. Just stop Dean. Just let it go."
"You're unbelievable. Un friggin believable Sam! You know this thing could kill you to if there's something you know that could help this case that you're not sharing right?"
"There isn't anything I know that could help this case."
"So you're fine with this thing killing you?" Dean swallowed the lump in his throat as soon as the words had left his mouth his eyes had shot to the bandages on Sam's forearms where the numbers for suicidal thoughts and successful attempts at suicide were carved.
"If I die. I die. There's not a lot that can be done about it. It's gonna happen sooner or later. If not now then maybe on some other case where a monster decides to gut me. There's no point in.."
"Sam, you're going to tell me what the hell every single one of these numbers mean and I don't care if you think there's no point because you don't get to decide what matters and what doesn't when it comes to something like this."
"Well if you wanna play it that way, then fine. Who gets to decide what matters and what doesn't Dean?.. You? Because if it's you then you've already decided a long time ago that it didn't matter, so there. According to you it doesn't matter."
"I never made a decission like that!" Dean bellowed.
"Oh.. You did.. It's not my fault you don't remember." Sam stated angrily "If there was info I had that could break this case open I'd share it but I don't have any and I'm not talking about all the crap you have no business knowing about."
"No business knowing about?! I'm your brother!"
"Yeah and last time I checked nothing about us being brothers means I have to tell you every detail about my life."
"You know what? I've had it Sam. You don't wanna tell me that's perfectly fine. But just so you know I do know exactly what the numbers on your thighs mean to."
Sam visibly paled as Dean revealed just how much he knew. He gave a stiff nod as he said "Like I said. If you know what the cuts mean then there really isn't anything I can tell you that'll help the case."
Dean threw his hands in the air as Sam's stubborness finally won out.
"Alright. You don't wanna talk? Fine. I'm done. I'm not gonna keep asking you to talk about this."
Just then there was a knock at the door.
"Come in." Dean called as Sam's voice was still to hoarse to be heard from that far away.
"Hello Mr. Taylor. I'm Doctor Hughes. How are you feeling now that you're awake again?" Sam's doctor asked as he entered the room.
"Awake again?" Sam asked sounding confused.
"Yes. You came to earlier but you weren't very coherent due to the intensely high dosage of pain meds we had to have you on." The doctor replied.
"Intensely high dosage of pain meds? What sorts of pain meds?"
"Isn't that a potentially dependence forming pain medicine?" Sam asked as he shot a glare at Dean.
"Well it's not exactly like you're sharing either." Dean stated through clenched teeth "YES. I know that you obviously have had addictions in the past and that, that puts you even more at risk for developing other addictions. But it was better than risking you having to relive over a hundred years worth of what ever happened to you in Hell."
Sam looked shocked that Dean had just talked about Hell. Real Hell and in front of a civilian. But even more surprising was that the civilian, a doctor at that, wasn't jumping to have Dean commited right then and there.
"The doc here's kind of up to speed on the kind of work we do." Dean replied as the look on Sam's face wasn't disappating.
"Yeah and after seeing what I saw I believe every word your brother has told me." The doctor said with a slight cringe.
Sam raised an eyebrow then tilted his head in understanding as he said "So I take it that you saw the spirit manifest itself? Cause that's what it usually takes for someone to believe even a little of what we tell them about our real lives."
"No. I didn't see the ghost.. Spirit.. Whatever you wanna call it. No I just watched as some of the cuts on your skin appeared out of thin air." Doctor Hughes replied.
Sam gave a sideways nod as the doctor continued with "So.. Really how are you feeling?"
"Things are still a little hazy. But mostly I feel only a little worse for wear."
"So you're in pain?" The doctor asked.
"Yeah a little."
"How bad? On a scale from one to ten."
"About an eight."
The doctor gave a look that said "That's more than "a little"." But he only wrote a few things down on the paper attatched to the clipboard in his hand then said "Well your motor functions seem markedly improved. So I'll wait for about another hour or so to make sure that you don't have any complications from the brain damage we found on your head scans. If all goes well I'll start you on the prescriptions you'll need to manage your heart condition and M.S. as well as your other injuries."
"Whoa. Brain damage?" Sam asked in disbelief. "Heart condition?.. M.S.?.. What other injuries?" As Sam was shocked to find that the doctor had actually had a chance to really look him over.. Usually Dean or some one else would have swooped in by then and yanked him out of the hospital even if he had been unconscious. Then he vaguely remembered Dean saying something about him having been in a coma for five days and suddenly he realized that he hadn't been just unconscious.
"Oh.. I thought your brother had a chance to go over the extent of all the things we found wrong with you." Doctor Hughes replied apologetically.
"No he hasn't really had a chance. All I know is I was in a coma." Sam lied because he didn't want Dean to know that he had already known for a couple of months about the M.S. and heart condition.
Sam tried not to let the pain show when the number on his right pectoral increased by four. But Dean caught it and was just about to say something when the doctor started talking to Sam again and interceded anything he might've said.
"Yes. You were in a coma but that wasn't even close to the worst that things got with you."
"Oh yes I must apologize. But I have to tell you. You suffered a Hemorrhagic Stroke which means that you had some blood vessels inside your brain rupture causing bleeding of the brain."
Sam raised his bandaged hands to his head to feel that his hair was still there and still in tact then asked "How did you manage to fix something like that with out cutting into my head?"
"I went with a minimally invasive shunt to drain the blood then I ran a microcam into the drainage tube, found the burst blood vessels and repaired them.."
"Sounds complicated." Sam replied.
"Well it's actually a lot easier and safer than open brain surgery especially in a case like yours. But there may still be complications from the Stroke and/or the brain damage, so if you notice anything that feels even just a little off, like feeling numbness in your face or limbs, if your speech starts to sound impaired or if you feel like anything's wrong with your motor functions or cognitivity at all you let someone know as soon as possible."
"Okay, I will. Is that everything?"
"Unfortunately no." Said the doctor.
"Sam you also had two massive heart attacks and your heart stopped several times. There were several moments that by regulations I should have called time of death but your brother was very clear on what would happen to me should I fail to get your heart beating again."
"So.. My heart.. Is it weaker now?"
"Substantially. Yes. And I'm afraid that it wasn't as strong as it should have been to begin with as you had a condition called Atrial Fibrillation. Which means that your heartbeat was irregular and now the condition has progressed to Cardiogenic Shock which means that you're very lucky to even be alive as most people don't survive more than twenty-four hours after being diagnosed with Cardiogenic Shock as there's usually already to much damage to the heart for the person to be saved."
"Am I going to need surgery to fix it?" Sam asked.
"Well there are ways to manage the condition with medcations as you survived past the normal twenty-four hour time frame. But I want to stress how dangerous it will be if anything else happens that could effect your heart. You're going to have to constently monitor your heart rate and blood pressure from now on and you'll have to take all the medications that will be prescribed exactly how they're prescribed. You'll never be able to afford missing even just one dose. I'd also like to get you on the transplant list..":
"Transplant?" Dean asked sounding worried "He needs a transplant? I thought you just said his condition could be managed with medications."
"Yes it can be managed with medications for a while... But you have to understand how much damage Sam's heart sustained.. He will eventually need surgery.. Quite possibly an implanted Defibrillator or a Pacemaker and yes.. He will even have to have a transplant eventually. The medications are only a temporary solution. That's why it's best to get him on the list as soon as possible espescially considering his other conditions."
"I'm still in the room people." Sam said sounding frustrated that he was being talked about like he wasn't there.
"My apologies Sam." Doctor Hughes replied "Of course all of the decisions lie with you."
"Put him on the list." Dean commanded in an angry tone as he stood from his chair besides Sam's bed.
"Did you not just hear the man? It's my choice... I'll take whatever medications you prescribe.."
"Damn straight." Dean interjected.
Sam ignored Dean as he continued with "But I don't want on the list."
"Like hell!.. Sam I'm not gonna sit by and wait for you to die. Your name's going on that list if I have to write it myself!" Dean shouted angrily.
"There are other people who need a heart more than I do. People who matter.. That are worth something.. Who deserve it more than I do." Sam stated numbly.
"Sam. Like you just said.. People all over the world are dying.. You sacrificing your one chance at getting a healthy heart isn't going to save those people."
"Dean I also said I'm going to die sooner or later. If not now then on some other hunt when some monster decides to gut me. All putting a new heart in my chest is going to do is waste a perfectly good heart that could have went to someone who deserves it more."
"God damn it Sam!" Dean yelled as he slammed his fist into the wall above Sam for emphasis. "Why are you doing this?"
"Why are you being such a hypocrite?!" Sam snapped back sounding fed up.
Dean looked shocked and incredeous as he silently mouthed the word "hypocrite", then he threw up his hands and snapped "Fine. .. You wanna just lay back and let nature take it's course. Okay Sam.. But don't come crying to me when something else happens to cause even more damage to your heart!" He instantly regreted his abilitly to always manage to say the wrong thing at the worst possible times as he watched Sam deflate. His little brother was already broken enough as it was without his help.
Sam gave a shrug that said that he hadn't ever planned to as he turned to the doctor and asked "So if everything goes as good as you're hoping how soon can I be out of here?"
"Mr. Taylor, it's far too soon to even be thinking about discharging you. I doubt you'll be well enough to leave for at least two, maybe three more weeks."
"Even if I promise to do everything that I'm supposed to once I'm home?"
"I'm sorry Sam but with the condition you're in, you'll be more prone to illnesses and infections and even just a case of the sniffles or an infected paper cut would most likely kill you right now."
"Look. I get that I do. But that doesn't really... Could you just write the prescriptions and let me sign out A.M.A?"
"Well legally I can't stop you from signing yourself out.."
"No. Hell no.. Sam there's no way you're leaving in this condition." Dean said sternly "It's practically suici.." He let his voice trail off as he looked at the bandages on Sam's forearms again. Now the meanings of what they represented were really sinking in.
"Sam. Why do you wanna kill yourself?" Dean asked in a gentle tone as he sat back down beside Sam.
Sam looked away as he said "It's not about killing myself.. I.. I just don't wanna live anymore ..."
"Why Sam?.. Why don't you wanna live anymore?" Dean implored in a shaky voice.
"It doesn't matter." Sam whispered sounding broken.
Dean tried to stay calm as he realised just how bad it really was. Sam wasn't really saying ""It" "doesn't" matter." he was actually saying ""I" "don't" matter.". Sam thought that HE didn't matter.
Dean took a deep breath and tried to keep it from sounding like he was snapping as he said "It matters Sam." and he hoped like hell that Sam could hear the underlying ""YOU" matter" in his words..
But no dice because Sam just rolled to his side so that he was facing away from Dean and whispered "There's no point.. There's no way of fixing things anymore."
It broke Dean's heart because he finally understood, because he had heard the unspoken "Between us.".. Sam didn't want to live anymore because he thought their tattered bond couldn't be repaired. Sam didn't want to live anymore because he thought that he no longer mattered to his big brother..
Just when Dean was about to contridict Sam's way of thinking.. Just when he was about to tell Sam how much he DID matter.. How much he was loved.. There was a staticy noise, the lights began to flicker and the temperature in the room dropped to freezing within seconds. Then Dean was picked up and thrown away from Sam's bedside by some unseen force.
Suddenly a spirit manefested itself..It looked to be the spirit of a girl no older than sixteen.. She was completely nude and she had numbers carved all over her flesh just like some of her victims. She seemed sad and remorseful as she reached out her hand to Sam..
Sam's monitors began to wail as Sam seized up and he passed out when she touched him, then his heart monitor gave a long drawn out squeel as Sam went into Cardiac Arrest once more...
A/N: Mwuhaha... Mwuhaha (*evil laugh*).. That was so mean of me wasn't it?.. BUT I promise I won't leave people hanging for too long! Please review (Lots of good reviews motivate me to update faster! *winks*) and tell me what you think!
A/N: I know that Sam's little "Speech Impairement" earlier in this Chapter didn't seem very realistic especially seeing how quickly he recovered.. And YES I know that Morphine doesn't NORMALLY do that to a person's speech.. USUALLY it's a dental anestetic that makes a person act all loopy and talk funny like Sam was.. BUT I have a mother-in-law that suffered a massive Stroke over three years ago and STILL to this day when she gets tired her speech messes up (Like Sam's speech was messed up earlier in the Chapter) and she also gets to acting really loopy when she gets tired (Also like Sam was earlier in the Chapter)(And it was actually worse when she'd first suffered the Stroke) BUT once she's rested she's fine again (Just like Sam).. SO.. What I'm saying is it wasn't the pain meds that had Sam acting and talking funny (So now it makes it totally realistic..(Cause it IS, REALLY some of the complications from a Stroke)) and (Well this is about to give away that Sam isn't going to die.. ;-) But I did promise not to leave you hanging for too long!.. Right?..) But like I said earlier PLEASE review!.. It really will motivate me to update faster!).. you'll be seeing more of a speech impaired Sam later!...