Disclaimer: I own nothing. No copyright infringement intended.

Thanks go to SnarkyMuch2 for beta'ing this.

This chapter is for SPNxBookworm and Mandacie. Without their encouraging and persuasive PMs this chapter wouldn't exist.

Parting Gifts ~ Part Two

Dean saw his brother's eyes slide closed, and panic gripped him.

"Sam! Sammy!" he said loudly, patting his cheek.

Sam didn't respond. His eyes remained closed and his face lax.

Dean turned horrified eyes to Bobby. "What do we do?"

"He's losing too much blood," Bobby said as if he hadn't heard Dean's question. "We need that damn ambulance."

Dean was terrified. His brother was bleeding out in front of him, and there wasn't a thing he could do.

He shifted Sam so his head was resting in Dean's lap, and he carded his fingers through Sam's hair.

"You're okay, Sammy," he said in a soothing voice. "We're gonna take care of you."

It didn't matter to him that Sam couldn't hear what he was saying; he was talking for himself. It comforted him to speak to his brother.

Bobby pressed more gauze to the wad that was stained crimson on Sam's wound, and he cursed under his breath. For all Dean's talk, they were doing all they could and it wasn't enough.

Dean rested a hand on Sam's chest. He could feel the steady rise and fall as Sam breathed. It grounded Dean in the moment. As long as he could still feel that movement, Sam was still fighting.

In the distance, they heard the approaching sounds of the ambulance's sirens.

Bobby pushed himself to his feet and went to the door to let them in.

Two EMT's rushed into the room and dropped down beside Sam and Dean.

"What are you doing?" Dean demanded as one of the EMTs reached for Sam.

"We're just laying him down. We need to protect his airway."

Against Dean's protests, they moved Sam from his lap and laid him flat on the floor.

An EMT tilted Sam's head back and looked to the other. "Intubate?"

"Yeah, best we get him prepped now."

"Prepped for what?" Dean asked, but they didn't answer.

A clear plastic tube was threaded down Sam's throat. Dean winced as he watched. Sam was connected to a heart monitor and gels pads were placed on his chest. Dean recognized them as defibrillator pads and his heart contracted painfully as he realized they were preparing for the worst.

"Prepare to load?"

The EMT that was working over Sam's wound nodded. "I can't stem this bleeding here. We need to get him to General fast."

Dean watched with his jaw gritted as Sam was loaded onto the gurney and wheeled out of the house and into the ambulance.

"Is someone riding with him?"

Dean jumped to his feet. "I am!"

The EMT nodded and stepped back so Dean could climb into the back of the ambulance.

"I'll meet you there," Bobby said, grabbing his car keys and pulling on a jacket on.

The ambulance doors were slammed closed, and with sirens screeching, they pulled away from the house.

Bobby watched them go with a heavy heart. He wasn't a man given to praying, but in that moment he was praying that Sam would be able to hold on until they got him to the hospital.

Dean stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. His eyes were wide and glittering—a side effect of the adrenaline coursing through his system—and his skin was pale.

He had been encouraged by a nurse to go into the bathroom, but now he couldn't remember what he was doing there. Looking down at his hands, he remembered. His hands and forearms were drenched in his brother's blood, and she had told him to clean up. He appreciated her telling him, as he couldn't seem to think for himself at the moment. All his thought was focused on his brother in the operating room down the hall.

When they arrived at the hospital, Sam had been rushed into a trauma room and Dean had followed. He had watched silently from a corner as doctors and nurses shouted orders and information at each other. Then Sam had been wheeled away to surgery, and Dean had been left standing there, bereft of the most important person in his world. It was then that a kindly nurse had taken pity on him and encouraged him to clean himself up.

He smothered his hands in liquid soap and held them under the steaming water. The heat of it stung his hands, but he relished the burn. It was washing away the blood, turning the water pink. He scrubbed at his hands long after they were clean. He couldn't rid himself of the soiled feeling the blood had left behind.

The door opened behind him and he turned. Bobby came in and looked at him with concern.

"What are you doing here?" Dean asked.

"I asked a nurse where you were. She said you came in here almost half an hour ago."

Dean wasn't shocked to hear it had been so long. Time seemed to move in lurches now. One moment his brother had been fine, and then time jumped and he was bleeding to death in front of him.

"You might want to get your shoulder looked at while we're here," Bobby advised.

"I'm fine," Dean said automatically. "Jo took care of it." He didn't even feel the pain of the wound anymore. All his focus was on his brother.

"Sam really knocked you around. Are you sure there's no more damage?"

Dean shook his head. "I'll sort it out later."

Bobby wasn't satisfied with Dean's response, but he knew it was better to leave Dean be for the moment. He had enough on his mind without Bobby adding to the pressure.

"There's a room they said we can wait in," Bobby said.

Dean nodded and shut off the water. Bobby led him out into the hall again and into a small room with bland pastel walls and plush looking seats. Dean allowed himself to sink into one of the chairs, and he rested his elbows on his knees.

"You want coffee or something?" Bobby asked, wanting to feel useful.

Dean shook his head. "I don't want anything."

Bobby sighed and sat down beside him. "Sam's going to be okay, you know."

"You know that for a fact?" Dean asked. "'Cause I don't."

"I believe he will be," Bobby said. "The nurse said they've taken him to surgery. They'll be fixing him up right now."

Dean hid his face in his hands, thinking of all that had happened. Intellectually, he knew it wasn't Bobby's fault that Sam was hurt, that was all down to Meg, but if Bobby's hadn't burned that mark from Sam's arm, Sam wouldn't have almost bled to death.

"Why did you do it, Bobby?" he asked. "You saw what she did to him."

Bobby tugged off his baseball cap and ran a hand through his hair. "Because it was the only thing to do. Sooner or later, Sam would have got away from us, and God only knows the number of people Meg would have killed while using him as a meat suit."

"But at least he would be safe," Dean said. "He wouldn't be stuck in a hospital, fighting for his life."

"He would never have forgiven us if we hadn't exorcised her when we had the chance," Bobby said. "You know that."

Dean knew Bobby was right, but it didn't comfort him. He was so wrought with emotion, being able to blame Bobby for what had happened helped him to manage it.

Four hours later, Dean was led into his brother's hospital room.

He had to stop to catch his breath as he caught sight of his brother lying in the bed. There was a sheet covering his legs, but his stomach and chest were bare. There was a clean dressing covering Sam's wound. A cannula was threaded under his nose, and there was an IV in the back of Sam's hand connected to a bag of blood.

"Oh, Sammy. What the hell did she do to you?" Dean said in a tone laden with sadness.

At the sound of Dean's voice, Sam's eyes opened. He looked at his brother and a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.

"She stabbed me," he said simply.

"The bitch. How are you feeling?" Dean asked.

Sam's smile widened. "Pleasantly stoned. This hospital has the good drugs."

Dean smiled. "Apparently they do."

Sam looked down at the dressing on his stomach. "So, they tell you anything?"

Dean nodded. "They said it was quite a mess in there, but they have fixed you right up. They're worried about infection, though, and they'll be keeping you here a few days to keep an eye on you." He looked down at his clean hands, imagining that he could still feel the blood there. "You lost a lot of blood."


Dean huffed a laugh. "You're apologizing for bleeding?"

"No, well, yes, but for more than that. I'm sorry for Meg. I should have been more careful."

"You can't help the fact you got possessed," Dean said. "There's nothing you can do to fight them off."

Sam nodded. "I guess. It still feels like my fault."

"What are you talking about? It wasn't you in there; you were just a passenger. Meg had the reins."

"I was awake for some of it, Dean." Sam sighed as the memories rushed over him. "I watched myself kill Wandell with my own two hands; I saw the light go out in his eyes.

Dean looked sympathetic. "That must have been awful."

Sam shook his head. "That's not my point. I almost carved up Jo, too. But no matter what I did, you wouldn't shoot."

"It was the right move, Sam. It wasn't you."

"Yeah, this time. What about next time?"

"Sam, when Dad told me that I might have to kill you, it was only if I couldn't save you. Now, if it's the last thing I do, I'm going to save you."

Sam smiled and nodded. "I know you'll try."

"No, Sammy. I will save you. There is no alternative for me."

Sam rested his head back against the pillows, taking comfort in his brother's words. If Dean said he would save him, he would. Sam trusted his brother.