Title: Strange Kid
Summary: A trip to the emergency room teaches John a lot of things about his youngest son.
Disclaimer: If you were mine I certainly wouldn't be sitting at a computer...
Of all the things that could happen while Dean was away, a trip to emergency room wasn't on John's 'to do' list. He grumbled under his breath as he made his way from the receptionist's desk back to his seat next to Sam. He had a clipboard in hand and enough paper to keep him busy for the next several days. A simple look at Sam told him that the boy was in a world of his own, lost deep within the pages of his book, miles away from the crowded waiting room filled with screaming children and whiny old people.
Sam had his book in his left hand, his right was held protectively to his stomach, wrapped in a white towel from the motel bathroom, some blood had seeped through.
Dean was off with Caleb, a gift for his birthday was a hunt without his old man. Sixteen brought some bittersweet changes in Dean. In a lot of ways Dean was ahead of the game for his age, he could easily take care of himself and his brother, he was tall and strong, still had some filling out to do, but he was no scrawny teenager, never had been, and he could talk himself out of just about any situation he got himself into. In other ways, John thought Dean was a bit behind, until recently his biggest act of rebellion was staying out too late with girls and sneaking a joint here and there, he hadn't ever been put out by watching Sam. Up until recently that is. He could be so moody, not just with his brother, but he'd even copped an attitude with John a couple times, mostly about babysitting, although he was quick enough to back down. John had expected it, in fact he'd been waiting for it, and to be honest he was relieved to see that Dean finally wanted some independence.
Sam was actually taking it better than John thought he would. His youngest boy was pretty smart, maybe Sam had been excepting it also. Sam was content sitting in the motel room reading or finding a shady tree to sit under, never bothered by being alone like Dean could be. Even with Dean giving Sam the cold shoulder recently John couldn't help, but think he'd be getting an earful about this latest incident from his oldest.
Then there was Sam, seriously that kid needed to get his priorities straightened out and quick. Just that afternoon he'd been arguing with John about going to the emergency room, of course, that was only after he'd given up on trying to convince John that he was fine, while blood dripped on to sidewalk. Apparently, he had to finish his book and write a paper on it, knowing Sam the book report wasn't even due for a week or more, but Sam had been diligently reading it all weekend, hardly setting it down for a minute, except when John forced him to. He seemed a little more frantic than usually about finishing it, even by Sam's standards of homework OCD.
"How about we go after school tomorrow?" Sam had suggested.
"Are you joking?" John asked.
"We don't usually have much homework on—"
"We're going right now, get your jacket."
Sam huffed. "Fine, let me get my book."
Now John sat, paperwork in hand, and Sam was reading so fast that if it had been Dean, John would have thought he was pretending. How did he even see the freaking words?! Strange kid. He was having a hard time turning the pages with only one hand, but he was managing. John shook his head and turned his attention back to the paperwork.
Patient's name: Samuel Anderson
Date of birth: May 2,1983
Hair color: _
John started to write 'blond', but chanced a discrete look at Sam. His hair was getting darker, never as light as Dean's had been as a little kid, but definitely more blond than brown up until recently.
John mumbled to himself. "We'll just got with..."
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Uh...also Brown...?
Reason for visiting: Oh thank his lucky stars! One he knew. My stupid dad slammed my hand in the trunk
He felt something nudge his arm. When he looked up he saw that it was Sam's book, which Sam had closed over his finger to hold his place while he looked down at the eraser smudged forms in John's hand.
"Want me to do it?" Sam asked and John raised his eyebrows and looked pointedly at Sam's right hand. "I could help...4 feet." John cleared his throat. "Well, almost. 55Lbs."
"You're a runt." John said teasingly, ruffling Sam's hair.
Sam laughed. "Shuddup." He looked up shyly to make sure John wasn't mad. "Pastor Jim says I'm gonna be taller than Dean."
"Oh? And how does he know?"
Sam shrugged and stretched out his right leg. "He says I have long legs." Sam looked back down at the clipboard and gave a snort of laughter.
"What?" John demanded.
Sam looked up at John with an amused expression and pointed to his eye. John quickly erased 'brown' for eye color, he rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment, and looked back at Sam's blue/green eyes...what the hell did he even put for that? Strange kid.
"Dean puts green, because he thinks green is awesome, but I kinda think they're more blue. You can put whatever color you want." Sam offered.
List any allergies: N/A
Any surgeries in the last 12 months: N—
"What?" John gives Sam a sharp look.
"Tonsils." Sam enunciates the word like he's talking to a three year old. "You know those useless things in the back of your throat." He sets his book face down over his thigh, opens his mouth and points to the back of his throat.
"Yeah, I know what tonsils are."
"Well, I don't have 'em."
"And when were you planning on telling me?" John snapped, Sam shrugged. "When the hell did this happen?"
"When we were staying at Pastor Jim's a couple months ago. Then we went to Uncle Bobby's for a bit because Pastor Jim had to go out of town. I guess he forgot to mention it?" Sam explained timidly.
"No one thought to call me? Your own father doesn't need to know when you have surgery."
"It's a standard procedure." Sam stated trying to placate his father. "The complications weren't ser—"
"Complications?!" John shouted causing a number of people to turn and look at him.
"Just, the pills they gave me made me sick and when I threw up it dissolved the stitches so I was coughing up blood. Dean and Pastor Jim freaked out a little, but the doctor said it's pretty common. They just had to cauterize it and I was fine."
Sam delivering the news like a god damn textbook and not an elven year old kid was just upsetting John more. His nostrils were flaring and his face was turning red.
"Why didn't anyone call me, Sam?" He asked. His jaw was clench, to keep himself from yelling.
"Dean tried a couple times." Sam flipped his book open again. "We just figured you were busy."
Well wasn't that just a kick in the gut? John looked back down at the forms, last question.
List any medications:
Not that John knew of, but hell, turns out there was a lot he didn't know about his kids.
"Any medications I should know about?"
"No, sir." The light-hearted teasing tone they'd both had earlier was gone.
John pushed himself to his feet, muttering something about about turning the forms in.
When the nurse finally called Sam's name, John had to shake his knee to get his attention and even then Sam didn't look up, he stood book in hand. "You can wait here."
"Yeah right." John said herding him towards the nurse.
In the exam room Sam only put his book down when the doctor started probing his hand. John already knew from his own examination that Sam's pink and ring finger were broken, maybe dislocated and he was pretty sure a couple bones in his hand were broken also. Besides that the gash across his palm would need stitching.
While waiting for the x-rays the doctor came back in to sew up his hand and the nurse, was treating Sam like...well, like he was eleven, which Sam absolutely hated. Strange kid.
"Alright, Sweetie, the doctor's going to give you a shot to numb your hand before we start. You won't feel a thing and your daddy can sit right here next to you and hold your hand."
Sam found the grace to give the nurse a tight smile and then gave John a look that clearly conveyed what would happen if John even thought about holding his hand, before turning back to his book.
"Gosh, that must be really good book." The nurse said to John when the doctor had finished stitching and left the nurse to clean up. "Does he just like to look at the words?"
"What?" John looked at nurse and then to Sam, he was elven, not five. Even if he was a little strange, John and Dean were definitely the only ones who were allowed to say anything about it. "He likes to read."
"What book is that?"
Sam had to stop himself from rolling his eyes as he tilted the cover up towards the nurse. "Great Gatsby." He replied. "I have to write a paper."
"Wow, I didn't read with until I was well in to high school."
What a minute, Dean came home from school with The Great Gatsby a couple days before he left on his trip and he was supposed to write a paper. "Sam are you doing your brother's homework again?"
"Yes, sir. It's okay though I've been wanting to read it so when Dean brought it home we made a deal."
"Yeah, I could read the book if I wrote his paper."
"Soooo, what do you get out of it?"
"I get to read the book."
God, his kid was freaking strange. "What's the report about?"
"The disillusion of the American dream."
John wandered down to the cafeteria to get coffee since Sam was too busy reading to be any sort of company. When he made it back to the room Sam's hand was splinted. A piece of padding running from his hand halfway down his forearm with a piece under his pinky and ring finger and then was wrapped in an ace bandage so that only his index, middle finger and thumb were visible. The nurse was fitting him with a sling and the doctor referred him orthopedic hand surgeon.
Yup, Dean was definitely going to rip him a new one.
The next day John breathed a sigh of relief when the hand doctor announced that she thought she could set the breaks manually, without surgery. It took what seemed like forever with Sam's poor hand in some sort of medieval torture device.
Sam was laying on his back with a pole next to him that had a string that came down and connected to a metal finger trap that wrapped around his pinky and ring finger holding his hand and forearm straight up in the air . The doctor wrapped a band around Sam's bicep, just above his elbow, which had a good sized weight tied to it. All this was meant to straighten the displaced bone in his hand out so that the doctor could pop it back in to place, which she did after two tries.
Sam spent the time reading and pouting about missing school. After the doctor put a cast on, hand to forearm, encasing his two broken fingers, and gushed about Sam being the best patient she'd ever had. She sent them home with a prescription after pain pills and anti-inflammatories.
John looked over at Sam who was sitting in the passengers seat eying the clock.
"I'm not taking you to school."
Sam sighed. "I could still make it back in time for math."
Oh, doesn't that just sound exhilarating—strange kid. John couldn't keep the look of disbelief off his face. "What? No. We're picking up you prescription and going home so you can rest like the doctor said." John said. Sam glared out the window. "You can brainstorm ways to keep your brother from trying to murder me in my sleep."
John congratulated himself, when he heard the brooding boy snicker. "Maybe he won't notice."
"Yeah and maybe I'll grow a second head."
"I've seen stranger things..."
John hummed in agreement, there was one sitting next to him. The pair lapsed into a comfortable silence, John left Sam in the car when he went in to the pharmacy and it wasn't until they our all the way to the motel parking lot that Sam put down his book and turned to John with big watery eyes.
"You alright, Sammy? Is your hand hurting? I bet it is, once we get some food in you, you can take your pills and lay down for a bit." John hopped out of the car hurrying around to Sam's door so he could help the boy inside. He supposed the ordeal and the pain had finally caught up with the boy, who had been so calm and collected through everything, John want to thank him for waiting until they got home to have his breakdown. John opened the door for Sam, but he didn't move. "Need a hand, kiddo?" John was about to reach in and pull Sam out.
"I know it hurts, but I can't do anything until we get inside—"
"How come Dean hates me now?" Sam asked meekly, picking at his cast.
John dropped down to crouch beside the car, he had to suppress a smile. For all his intelligence and maturity, Sam really was just a little boy, with little boy insecurities. It was funny to John that having his hand crushed, spending hours in an emergency room, getting his hand stitched up, sitting for forever in a torture device, and then having to have his hand reset hadn't phased him. Strange kid.
"He doesn't hate you."
"Yes, he does." Sam voice was shaking, John could tell he was desperately close to tears, something John hadn't seen in either of his boy in a very long time. "And I don't know what I did. If I just knew what I did, I could fix it..."
"Sam," John squeezed Sam's thin shoulder, massaging it with his thumb. "You can't fix it. Dean's just...he's a teenager."
"So? I've been leaving him alone, I brought him peanut m&ms, I, I..." He held up the book for John to see. "I was gonna do his report, but I..." raised his cast encased arm. "He's gonna be mad..."
"Not at you."
"Well, you don't slam your own hand in the trunk."
"He won't care." Sam tucked his head close to his chest.
"Are you kidding? Have you meant your brother?" John tapped Sam's cast. "As soon as he sees this he's gonna flip."
"Maybe if I tell him what to write, he won't be so mad?"
"Sam..." John sighed. He wanted to explain that Dean wouldn't care about his homework, hell, Dean had never cared about homework, but he could see he wasn't getting anywhere. "Yeah, I'm sure he'll be happy with that." He knew he'd said the right thing when Sam got a hopeful look in his eye. "Your handwriting is terrible anyway."
Dean made it home the next day. He was tired, but excited to tell John everything that had happened. He opened the motel door to find his dad sitting at the small table writing in his journal, he immediately scanned the room for his brother and didn't see him, but noticed the bathroom door shut.
"How'd it go?"
"Awesome! Caleb and I kicked ass! Dude was cremated, but turned out he had this old—"
The bathroom door swung open and Sam walked out, pulling his sleeve down looking nervous when he saw his brother. "Hey Dean."
"Hey Sammy, I was just telling Dad—What the hell is that?" Dean demanded, immediately zoning in on the stark white cast that Sam was trying to hid underneath was sweatshirt sleeve.
Dean practically pounced on Sam, pulling the sleeve up so he could see the cast. "Are you hurt anywhere else? What the hell happened?"
"I accidentally slammed his hand in the Impala's trunk."
"You what?" Dean didn't wait for an answer. "It's broken."
"Yup, I guess the old girl's still got some kick." John replied.
Dean glared at him briefly before turning his attention back to Sam. He inspected the cast thoroughly.
"Broke a couple fingers too, kiddo?" He asked, Sam nodded. "How's it feel? Are you taking your pills on time?"
"'s fine." Sam said.
"Come sit down." Dean tugged Sam into a chair.
"Dean!" Sam whined. "I don't need—"
Dean ignored him. "Are you hungry? I'll fix you something to eat. Just stay right there and call if you need something." Dean dug thru the mini-fridge before calling over his shoulder. "Dad can you go get some milk?"
John stood up ruffling Sam's hair. "I told you so." He whispered.
Sam looked up at John and smiled, his brownish blond hair almost completely hiding his blueish green eyes.
John shook his head. Strange kid.
A/N: This was not at all what intended when I started this story, weird how that happens. It started out inspired by a Home Improvement episode, were Tim takes one the boys to the emergency room and gets all the questions wrong on the forms and I couldn't help thinking that would definitely happen to John and Sam.
Sorry John's a sap again... I apologize for the spelling and grammar errors.
Hope you enjoyed it anyway, thanks for reading. Take care!