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Also, I'm so sorry for the late update; I'm really busy with my exams and even now I'm still not free! But I started to work on this chapter as soon as I found some free time! Hope you like it. :D
Dean wasn't exactly aware of his surroundings; he felt exhausted and the pain was coming back full force.
He vaguely acknowledged a tall, slim woman with short curly hair, appearing before him. She had kind eyes and if he was feeling just a little bit better, he sure would've flirted with her.
'Do the nymphs have a private number you can use to call them later?' he mused absently.
Everything else might've been a blur, but he could clearly remember her touch on his face and her voice, telling him that he was a good guy and that she'd never wanted this for him. That should've been the moment when the pain eased off and he felt relieved, but when it came to Dean Winchester, nothing would ever go as expected. So instead of feeling some sort of comfort, right then the pain washed over him so fast that he wasn't able to stifle the cry of agonizing pain when Kyle tried to lay him flat on his back.
Soon Sam was there, too, and man, it really looked like he was crying, what with his face being wet and all. That couldn't be true, though; he must've been hallucinating; because well, Sam hadn't cried for years. In fact, he couldn't remember the last time that Sam had cried. But it definitely was nice to see the softness back in his baby brother's eyes; even if it was just his imagination. He sometimes missed the old Sammy.
"Dean, please. Help is here. Just hang on." Sam had said and it was then that Dean realized Kyle and Sam weren't the only ones around him.
People were hovering over him, attaching wires and tubes to his body. He was feeling lightheaded but the pain wasn't as bad as it was just five minutes ago, and he guessed that it had something to do with the needle that had been inserted under his skin.
He wanted to pat his brother's hand to reassure him and really wanted to open his mouth to tell him that everything would be alright, but he didn't find the energy to do so and as soon as the paramedics moved him to put him on a stretcher, his world exploded in pain and a few moments later he slipped into unconsciousness.
Sam had been left behind the closed doors of the OR for hours and pacing the waiting room's floor hadn't helped his cause any.
He couldn't even tell exactly how long he had been there; he just knew that Kyle hadn't left his side for a moment.
They had whisked Dean away more than seven hours ago, and in an operating room, even one hour was too long, let alone seven.
Finally when he thought he was about to pass out from the amount of stress he was under, the door opened and a tired looking man in surgical scrubs walked out.
"Mr. Riley?" he asked and Sam just nodded numbly. "May we sit down? I can hardly feel my legs." he smiled tiredly and led Sam to one of the chairs.
Kyle wasn't sure if Sam wanted him there, but when Sam looked back and tried to locate him, he knew that the younger man needed him there, so he sat down too.
"I'm not gonna lie to you, your brother's listed in critical condition and his situation is really worrying." The doctor began. "But he's finally stable. During the last few hours, I with the help of two other specialists have been trying to save his life. We've managed to save his liver; he'd been lucky as the knife had just nicked the organ. But a broken rib had penetrated his spleen and it was beyond repair. I'm sorry, but we had to remove it. He suffered a great deal of blood loss and has been given 3 units so far and is being given another one as we speak."
Sam didn't know what to say. None of those things were good news in general, but the fact that Dean was still alive to lose his spleen was good; after all, you can live without a spleen, you just have to be more careful.
"The blow to his head has caused some problem and unfortunately we discovered a fracture in his skull and some minor bleeding. He's being closely monitored for that and we're hopeful that it won't need a surgery to be fixed." he took a look at his notes and shook his head. "Dang, the list is long." he sighed. "He has three broken ribs, and as I said earlier one of them ruptured his spleen and one another punctured his left lung which fortunately we've been able to repair. He's on ventilator but we'll wear him off the machine when he starts to wake up. If he wakes up." The doctor didn't want to give them false hope. The situation was really dire.
'If he wakes up.' Damn, those words were too familiar for Sam's liking and suddenly he saw himself back in many other similar situations when he'd almost lost Dean. Just how many times would his brother be able to cheat Death? Heck, Death, the horseman, knew Dean better than many of their acquaintances.
"His left collarbone was broken and so was his left humeral bone," The doctor continued and brought Sam's mind back. "But those were clean breaks and we set them easily. His left fibula and anklebone were also broken which we set."
"Jesus Christ." Kyle finally blew out; he really couldn't keep quiet anymore.
"Told you the list was long." The doctor agreed remorsefully. "But he's clearly stubborn, which is a great thing. With those injuries he shouldn't have even made it to the hospital. I really wasn't optimist before the surgery, but now I know better." he smiled. "The next few days will be the true test; if he makes it through the next 48 hours and wakes up on his own, then I'm cautiously optimist that he'll make a full recovery. He's gonna need some extensive physical therapy, but we'll get to that later."
That's a lot of ifs. Sam thought somberly, unable to feel relieved yet. He didn't even realize when the doctor left; his mind just came back to the present when Kyle gently shook his shoulder and handed him a cup of warm coffee.
He hadn't taken more than a gulp when his eyelids started to feel heavy and he lost the battle with the darkness; not realizing it when Kyle first took the cup from his hand and then gently helped him to lean back.
When he opened his eyes, Sam found himself lying in a cot with Dean lying in a bed in front of him, hooked to as many IVs and machines as possible.
He slowly pushed himself up and looked around. Kyle chose that moment to enter the room. "Oh, hey there."
Sam rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "How's he?"
"Holding his own." Kyle sat on a chair. "How are you?"
"I'm fine. How long was I out?"
"About 18 hours."
"What?" Sam jumped to his feet but instantly sank back to the cot when the blood rushing from his head caused the room to spin. "18 hours? I slept that long? You slipped something in my coffee, didn't you?"
"Just a sleeping pill." Kyle admitted. "But you haven't even drunk half of that coffee before dropping off. Your body clearly needed the rest."
Sam wanted to tell him that he still didn't have the right to drug him, but strangely enough, he found himself grateful; so he kept his mouth shut. Looking over the other bed, he checked his brother. The older hunter's body was covered with bandages and cast literally from head to toe. Gosh, what a mess.
Looking up, Sam realized that Kyle looked beaten, too. "You need to rest, too. You know?"
Kyle shrugged. "I've been taking naps."
"I've been resting for ten years. It's time I moved around." he smiled.
"So? You plan to go back to your cave?" Sam said and thought that it sounded a lot like something that Dean would've said.
"No," Kyle smiled. "Actually, I plan to move to this town and continue with my studies."
"Your studies?" Sam looked confused.
"Right, friends with medics." Sam smiled. "That's great man. And you know, I never thanked you for your help. You helped us a lot. Without your help-" he trailed off, not willing to think about how worse everything could've been if they didn't have Kyle with them.
"Not really." Kyle shook his head. "I mean, if it wasn't for you two, I'd still be hiding behind closed doors of my house. You opened my eyes and I had the chance to remember my past and move on. And Dean... Well, he made sure that my girl's finally resting and he saved my life. So I guess it's me who owe you guys."
"You just call us if you ever need anything else." Sam offered.
"No offense, but I really hope that these kinda things never come up again. The same goes for you, though. In your line of work, I'm sure you'll need a personal medic." Kyle chuckled.
"You have no idea." Sam shook his head. "But I can say that we've become experts. We can take care of things as long as they don't get this bad." he ruefully motioned towards Dean. "The idiot." he sighed. "He knew all along that he was going to die, and yet he managed to send me away. So many years have passed and I still can't figure out how he does that."
"Older brothers have that power."
"So has he said." Sam chuckled. "So has he said."
The next 48 hours came and went without any major incidents, but that also meant that Dean hadn't regained consciousness.
Sam had started to worry if his brother was going to wake up at all. The doctor had told him that the bleeding in his brother's head had stopped and he was healing nicely, but Dean had yet to come around.
Sam had forced Kyle to go get a room and rest and Kyle knew that Sam needed some time to be alone with his brother, so he had left. He'd just come back twice a day to bring Sam some food and coffee.
"Dean, don't you think that you've had enough rest?" Sam asked quietly. He'd been talking to his brother a lot, but so far nothing had changed. "I mean come on, it's three days that you haven't moved an inch; you're gonna lose all those muscles that you're so proud of if you don't wake up soon."
"You know, I was thinking; next time I see Cas, I'll punch him in the face. He's never there when you need him." he sighed. "But then I realized that I'd probably just break my own hand if I tried that." he chuckled. "Maybe we could trap him and torture him with the angel knife. Huh?" He leaned back in his chair. "Yeah, you probably won't agree. After all, he's your personal angel." he frowned. "I want my own angel. That's not fair..." he went quiet for a few moments and then added, "It's the moment when you say 'you had your very own demon.'"
His eyes glazed and all traces of humor left his tone. "Dean, please. Please wake up. I can't take it if you don't." he closed his eyes. "I know I didn't look for you when you were gone and I know I've been acting like a jerk since you've come back and... And I know it seemed like I didn't care that much, but you know me better than anyone; it's just my defense mechanism. It's all because I can't take losing you again. I keep thinking that if I keep my distance, next time that you disappear or die, it'd hurt less. But man," he chuckled bitterly. "I'm telling you, it's not working. Whatever I do, it always hurts the same. No, in fact, it always hurts more; because I have to ask myself 'what if this is it? What if he stays gone for good, this time? What if we've finally run out of luck?' Dammit, you always put yourself in the harm's way for me and I've lost you so many times that I'm not sure how I'm still going. I just..." his voice shook. "Dean, please don't die." a tear left his eye and he abruptly stood up from his chair and left the room to clean himself and well, to regain his composure.
An hour later, when he slowly walked back towards his brother's ICU room, a commotion around Dean's room made him feel dizzy.
Automatically thinking the worst, he dragged his feet to his brother's room and was shocked to find the ventilator replaced with an Oxygen mask. He looked around and found Kyle standing there and when he caught his eyes, the other man broke into a broad smile.
"He woke up about forty minutes ago. His doctors decided it was safe to remove the ventilator." Kyle explained.
Sam wasn't sure if he wanted to cry or laugh. He just looked dumbfounded as he stood there for a couple of minutes and observed the scene before him.
Quietly he walked to his brother's bed and grabbed his right hand and gave it a gentle squeeze; he didn't really expect a reaction from Dean and just wanted to show him that he was there, so when Dean's eyes fluttered open, he actually felt overjoyed.
Although Dean's eyes were hazed with pain and exhaustion, it was clear that he was aware of his surroundings and for a second Sam thought about pinching himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming.
Dean moved his hand and grabbing Sam's, he squeezed it back; too spent to utter any words.
But that was OK; his brother had once again found his way back to him. Like he always had. Nothing could keep Dean Winchester down for long. Not even Death itself.
Sam smiled broadly for the first time in days and patted Dean's hand. "Welcome back, man. Thanks for not giving up."
... The END ...
A/N: Alright everyone. That's it. Hope you enjoyed this story.Tell me what you think of this last chapter?! :)
Thank you for all your support, alerts and favorites. Special thanks to those who left me reviews or PMs and encouraged me with their words.
Thanks to my anonymous reviewers; I wish I could thank you one by one, but well, you know that it's not possible.
Sorry for any mistakes.