Chapter Twenty-One

As soon as Dr. Greene came to tell the small family that the surgery had gone well and Sam was in the recovery room, Dean demanded to see his brother.

He had promised Sam he'd be there when he woke up and no one was going to stop him.

Although the doctor looked ready to argue, clearly about to remind the young man that it was against hospital policy, he nodded and instructed Bobby and the Winchesters to follow him.

Dean resisted the urge to run ahead of the doctor in his desire to see his brother.

Even though Dr. Greene had said everything had gone according to plan, Dean was still worried about his brother. The last thing he wanted was for Sam to wake up all alone.

As soon as the doctor opened the door to the room, Dean was at his brother's side, running a gentle hand over Sam's short hair.

"Your son should wake up very soon," Dr. Greene told John, "The anesthetic wares off quickly."

"Can we take Sammy home now?" Dean asked, glancing at the white bandages covering his brother's left arm from wrist to elbow.

Dr. Greene frowned, "I'm afraid not. He-"

Dean interrupted, "Why not? We don't live far. Why does Sam have to stay here?"

The doctor addressed John and Bobby instead of the irritated older brother, "As I was saying, Sam should remain here until we can start him on dialysis. His kidney is functioning at less than fifty percent and I do not want it to go into complete failure while he's home. By keeping your son here, I can monitor him to make sure he does not become more seriously ill."

John nodded, "We understand, doctor. Don't we, Dean?"

His eldest son nodded, "Yeah, I guess. Sam's not going to like it though."

Dr. Greene's expression turned sympathetic, "We are trying to move as quickly as possible to prevent Sam having to stay here any longer than necessary."

Dean peered at his brother and took hold of his right hand, squeezing lightly.

"How long until you can start dialysis?" Bobby asked the doctor.

"Normally it takes a fistula four to six weeks to mature but I am going to start Sam on dialysis the day after tomorrow," Dr. Greene explained, "Unfortunately, we don't really have the convenience of time."

"I've already put Sam on the donor list," the doctor assured them, "So hopefully we should hear from them soon."

Fishing in his pocket, the doctor pulled out a small black beeper and handed it to John, "When this goes off, that'll mean we have a kidney."

Dean left his brother side and walked over to his father, taking the device from his father's hand, "I'm with Sam the most. I'll look after it for him."

Dr. Greene nodded; ignoring the frustrated look John gave his eldest son, "If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call a nurse. As soon as Sam's wake I'll have him moved to another room."

W

"Hey Sammy," Dean encouraged as his brother's eyelids began to fluttered, "C'mon, Sleeping Beauty."

"D'n?" Sam muttered thickly and Dean grinned, "I'm right here, just like I said I would be."

Sam's milky eyes opened halfway and he lifted his right hand, searching for his sibling. Dean grabbed Sam's hand in his own and squeezed.

Sam closed his eyes again, his expression calm.

"Hey," Dean reached out with his free hand and smoothed down Sam's short hair, "Haven't you rested enough?"

"D'n," Sam replied and opened his eyes again, "M'tired."

"I know," Dean told him, "But you've gotta wake up."

Sam sighed and his grip on Dean's hand tightened as he struggled to sit up.

Carefully, Dean helped ease his sibling into a sitting position, two pillows against Sam's back, on the gurney.

"Thirsty," Sam muttered and Dean frowned, "I don't think you can have anything to drink just yet but I'll let a nurse know you're awake."

Sam's eyebrows knitted together as his muzzy brain tried to understand everything his brother had just said. Dean smirked and pushed the 'call button' before sitting back to wait.

SPN

Over the rim of his coffee cup, Bobby watched John. The man looked tired and sad and angry.

"Penny for your thoughts?" the grizzled hunter asked, setting his drink down.

The father sighed and ran a hand through his salt-and-pepper hair.

"I'm worried about Sam," John began and Bobby gave him an incredulous look.

"I know you don't believe me," he continued, "But I do. This is serious."

"Yer damn right it's serious," Bobby agreed gruffly.

The younger man looked down, chagrinned, "I never wanted Sam to get hurt."

"Well he did," Bobby reminded him, "So what're you going to do?"

John looked up, slightly confused, "What do you mean?"

Bobby leaned back, lacing his hands together behind his neck, "Way I see it, Johnny, you can do one of two things. You can step up and start acting like the boy's Daddy or you can carry on as you were."

John grimaced at the accusation in his friend's voice.

He shook his head, "I'm not going anywhere. Not with Sam this sick."

Bobby frowned. So he was fine with abandoning his youngest when Sam had only been blind but now that his kidney had gone for a shit, he decided to act like a real father? That was rich coming from John Winchester.

The younger hunter seemed to know what Bobby had been thinking because he spoke up again, "At least Sam could have taken care of himself before… but now-"

The were interrupted when Bobby's cell phone chirruped to signal a text message had arrived and he glanced down at it.

"Sam's awake," he read out loud, "They've moved him to a room on the third floor."

John stood slowly, his expression disappointed, clearly upset that Dean hadn't texted him.

The two men grabbed their coffee cups and set off towards the elevators that would take them to the third floor.

SPN

Sam sighed as the ice chip in his mouth melted, sending cool water trickling down his throat.

"You want some more?" Dean asked and Sam nodded.

"How's your arm feeling?"

Sam inclined his head and reached out with his good hand to touch the gauze bandages and surgical tape covering his left arm, "Hurts a little."

"Let me know if it gets bad," Dean's voice spoke up, "And I'll get Dr. Greene give you something."

Sam looked up when he heard the door open and the familiar footsteps of Bobby and his father sounded in the room.

"How you feeling, son?" the veteran hunter's gruff tones asked and Sam shrugged.

"His back's still hurting," Dean spoke for him, "And his arm… but he's okay."

"Has Dr. Greene come to talk to him yet?" John's voice asked and Sam turned his head in Dean's direction.

"Uh… no," Dean said and Sam reached out, touching his brother's hand.

"What?" he asked, his throat tightening in fear.

He felt Dean pat his hand for a moment; "The Doc just wants to keep you here for one more day. Day after tomorrow he'll start you on dialysis."

Sam's eyes widened for a moment.

"Hey!" Dean's voice cried and Sam felt his brother's hand on his shoulder, "It'll be okay. I'll be here the entire time, alright? I'm not leaving you alone."

Sam nodded, feeling slightly better.

"Okay, Dean," he said quietly.

SPN

Dean stared down at his brother's lunch and frowned. He knew his wasn't exactly gourmet but it looked a hell of a lot better than Sam's.

Dr. Greene had come by to check on Sam and explained the dialysis process. Sam would have to come to the hospital four times a week for around five hours each time.

"Why so often?" Dean asked, knowing it was probably a stupid question.

"Sam's kidney is hardly functioning," Dr. Greene reminded them, "He could become very ill if the waste were to build-up in his blood."

Dean nodded, feeling tears prick the corners of his eyes.

"Also, because of your brother's size, it will take longer for the dialysis in general."

The doctor had informed them as well, that Sam should adhere to a strict diet while on dialysis, staying away from salty foods, excess protein and fluids.

So that was why Sam was forced to choke down bland tomato soup, apple juice and lime Jell-O instead of the usual hospital fare.

And I thought the food here was already made out of cardboard, Dean thought sarcastically, apparently I was wrong.

"Don't worry Sammy," Dean assured his brother, nudging the younger man's shoulder as he did so, "I'll try and sneak some McDonald's in here for you."

Sam smirked at the comment and continued eating.

SPN

Randall Gorman crossed the state line into South Dakota and sighed, rubbing his eyes with a thumb and forefinger.

He was exhausted from all the driving he'd been doing and after the hospital in Iowa; he wasn't so sure he wanted to go through with this.

Sure he was a hell of a good tracker- the best, if he could say so- but this wasn't really his idea of a job.

He preferred to sniff out husbands who ran away from home with their twenty-year old interns to Jamaica or the odd foolish sap who thought they could hide from the mob.

He didn't look for poor teenagers who'd been kidnapped by criminally insane doctors and chopped up like Thanksgiving turkeys.

The North Hall, although it had had the Feds go through it with a fine-tooth comb, still looked as though Findlay's doctor friend had just stepped out for a moment and would return from a nice coffee break.

Randall shivered as he recalled his journey through the residence.

The place had been spooky as hell and so emotionally charged that Randall had to force himself to remain until he'd followed the kid's trail.

The feelings of sadness and fear were so prevalent that Randall hadn't even needed to use his powers to sense them.

At first glance, the North Hall had looked exactly like the insane asylum it was pretending to be; but as he walked deeper into the building, Randall saw the truth.

He traveled downwards first, into the basement levels of the residence. There, Randall saw a large room that was clearly some sort of laboratory. There were beakers and test tubes everywhere, some of which were broken and lay scattered in pieces on the white tiled floor and on the stainless steel countertops. Across the far wall were a half-dozen open shower stalls, similar to those found in prisons or high school change rooms. There were a couple of chairs in the room- one that had been tipped over- with leather straps on the arms.

Deciding that he had seen enough, Randall traveled upwards…

W

The man wiped a hand tiredly across his face, trying also to wipe away the memories and feelings associated with Dunhill Psychiatric Hospital.

Randall had seen the operating room, splatters of brown covering the steel table; he had stepped into the room he was sure the boy had been kept in, with its white tiled floors and white padded walls, a depressed-looking cot sitting across from the door.

Just find the kid, Gorman told himself, and after that he won't be your problem anymore.

Randall found tears welling up unbidden into his eyes at the thought of the North Hall, the emotional residue in the place affecting him more than usual.

Blinking his eyes, he focused his gaze on the thin golden thread trailing down the road, leading him directly to the boy.

Pressing his foot down on the accelerator, Randall found himself wanting only for this job to be over.

He didn't want to do something like this ever again.

Author's Note:

Thanks to SPN Mum, Ghostwriter, mandancie, BranchSuper, mara-isamoose, MysteryMadchen, CommChatter, reannablue, Lucy, Elishab68, 3DBABE1999, murphy9202, L.A.H.H, and SamDeanLover28 for reviewing.

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