Hey y'all – okay, so I know its been forever since I've posted anything (and I'm sorry for those reading my chapter stories…they're all on an indefinite/probably permanent hiatus due to lack of interest on my part – I'm thinking I'm more suited to one-shots). Anyway, here's a little one shot I wrote a while back after…I believe it was Blood Brother? I was sick of Sam and Dean not getting along (although I am in LOVE with this season, it is just incredible) and I have a thing for Sam when he's hurt, so here we go. The first few lines of dialogue are borrowed from the episode.
The title, by the way, is based on the song 'No Room for Doubt' by Lianne Le Havas. It hasn't got any real connection to the story itself, but I thought the title fit so I went with it.
Completely pointless disclaimer: honestly, do we really still need these? Would we really be here if we owned any part of these shows? No, I'm not Jeremy Carver or Ben Edlund in disguise. I don't own Supernatural.
ALSO: I'm not really sure where the Amelia scene came into this, but I decided to leave it in just because it kind of fleshes the issue out. I was mixed in my feelings about Amelia when I wrote this (and whether or not she was real), so if it seems a little confused or whatever I'm sorry. I am also my own beta, so any mistakes are on me.
"Did you have a stroke?" Dean asked sarcastically as he threw his bag into the backseat of the Impala. He didn't, however, notice the flinch Sam gave at the question, nor did he catch his mumbled response of "not exactly". Sam picked up on this, and it was one more thing to add to the seemingly never-ending list of differences and distance between him and his big brother that had come about in the past few years – ever since they were kids there hadn't been anything Dean had failed to notice about his younger brother.
"Vocabulary – personal," Dean continued, "as in my own, grown-up…I don't know, crap!"
"Dammit," Sam began, lifting his hand to touch his forehead without trying to draw too much attention to the gesture, although he needn't have worried as Dean interpreted it as a sign of his brother's stubbornness.
"What, Sam?" he asked angrily. "Last I counted, you took a year off from the job," he pointed accusatorily across the top of the car at Sam, "I need a day." And with that he got into the Impala and backed out of the parking lot, leaving Sam stood holding his beer alone in front of their room.
"I need you here," he muttered, absently fingering the plastic container in his pocket with a single tablet left inside and trying to ignore the pounding in his head.
Amelia sat at the desk in the reception of her practice, filling out yet another stack of paperwork – this time, however, for her own dog. Thinking about Riot made her think about Sam, and this brought the worry about her boyfriend to the front of her mind again. It had been weeks since he had walked out of their bedroom and left their home in Texas and she hadn't heard anything from him. It wasn't so much that he had just disappeared – no, it was the container of medication sitting on their kitchen counter that was scaring her. She knew that he had only had about a month's worth of his pills with him when he had left, and he must have nearly finished them by now if not already. Was he getting some more from a doctor? She prayed he had the sense to go and get a refill on his prescription, but a nagging feeling in her mind told her that it was wishful thinking. She knew Sam – he wasn't exactly the 'pop a pill when told to' kind of guy. The only reason he had been consistent in his medication taking was because she had made him take it every morning with breakfast, a habit he soon developed on his own without prompting and it was one she hoped he had continued to fulfil.
Sam frowned at the book he was reading at his seat in the library, squeezing his eyes closed as he tried to ignore the pain that was building up inside his head. When he could finally take it no longer and knew he had to do something before it was too late, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the single pill enclosed in an orange bottle, taking the top off and shaking it out into the palm of his hand. He brought it up to his mouth and dry-swallowed it, praying that he hadn't waited too long to take it and that it would still stop what he knew was coming. Trying to focus back on the book on mythology on the desk in front of him, Sam breathed a sigh of relief five minutes late when the pain began to subside.
He knew that he had to tell Dean sooner or later – either way, he'd need more medication and there was no way he was going to be able to get that and take it on a daily basis without his brother noticing. Dean had always been extremely protective over Sam when it came to him taking medication and his reasons for it – if Sam got caught taking so much as an ibuprofen, knowing his little brother's pain tolerance and how bad it had to be for him to do that, it would take a lot of convincing that Dean didn't need to take him to the hospital.
Well, maybe he wouldn't notice, it seems like he's got other things on his mind after everything, Sam thought to himself, a sad feeling rising in him, it's not like we're as close as we were before he went. He probably wouldn't notice, even if I took it in front of him.
Ever since Dean had come back from Purgatory things had been different between the two of them, and Sam understood why – Dean felt betrayed that he hadn't looked for him, and Sam got that, but it was something else to. Dean was different – everything about him was different, but Sam couldn't quite put his finger on what. And then today, with Dean's 'personal issue' he had to deal with – before he went to Purgatory, he never would have left without an explanation. With the exceptions of during the apocalypse and after everything that had happened with Ruby while Dean was in Hell, they trusted each other implicitly and never left the other on their own without telling them why or a good reason for why they didn't. The way that Dean was acting – it was like he and Sam were colleagues, not brothers.
Maybe he wouldn't notice, Sam thought to himself again, but what if he did – maybe he wouldn't care.
Sam sighed, knowing he wasn't going to get anything else done, and stood up to pick his stuff up from the desk and start the walk back to the motel a few blocks away. However, as soon as he stood up everything around him began to sway, and his mind immediately fuzzed over.
He heard someone ask him something from beside him, but before he could ask them to repeat it he was on the ground, unconscious.
"Benny?" Dean hissed through the darkness, carrying the small freezer box filled with blood at his side as he looked for the vampire. "Benny, you here?"
Dean jumped when he heard the beginning chords to 'Smoke on the Water', cursing as he dropped the box to the ground and fishing his cell phone out of his pocket in the dark passageway. When he saw 'RYAN' lit up on the screen, the alias Sam was using in the town they were in, he rolled his eyes and hit ignore. He didn't have time to hear his brother bitch at him for leaving, nor did he have the patience or slightest inclination to. He would deal with it when he got back, but from where he stood he didn't see any right that Sam had to say anything to him about taking off for a day, when he had taken off a year.
"Not now, Sammy," he muttered, changing his phone to silent and stashing it away in his pocket again.
Later that night when he got back, Dean walked in through the motel door and braced himself for the yelling that he knew was about to begin. After everything that had happened that day he really wasn't in the mood to get into it with Sam, and he knew that if he did he would probably end up saying something he'd regret as his patience had been tested about as much as was possible already, both by the vamps in the nest and by Sam with his half-assed excuse of why he had stopped hunting.
However, Dean was surprised as he entered the room to find it, not only dark, but empty, with no sign of Sam.
"Sam?" he called out, inkling his head to look over at the bathroom, but the door was wide open and the light was off.
Flipping on the main light switch by the door, Dean took a once-over glance around the room and, seeing no visible signs of disturbance or any clues to something that might have happened to his brother, immediately got pissed. This was obviously Sam's way of throwing a bitch-fest about what had happened.
Angry, Dean pulled his phone out and dialled Sam's number, but just before he could start yelling at his brother when the dial tone ended as the phone was picked up, a voice came over the other end that was not Sam's.
"Is this Ryan Gates' brother?" a female voice asked, and at the sound of it Dean was on the defensive.
"Who is this?" he asked, his voice cagey.
"This is Dr Warren, your brother is here in the ER, brought in after he collapsed in the library. He's fine, but because of the nature of his case we can't allow him to leave without someone signing him out, so he gave us your number. We tried calling you earlier today, but when we couldn't get through he said to wait until you called him."
"Which ER?" Dean cut in before the doctor could finish speaking.
"St Anthony's, it's just past-" Dr Warren began giving directions, but was soon met with the dial tone after Dean received his answer and slammed the motel door behind him, getting into the Impala and heading to the hospital.
"Sam?" Dean called out as he walked through the doors into the ER of the small hospital, eyes roaming for his brother.
"Over here," a voice called out, and Dean was immediately following the weak imitation of his brother to behind a curtain. Pulling the material aside, he found himself face-to-face with Sam who was sat on a gurney and, despite looking pale and exhausted, seemed to be no worse for the wear.
"What the hell happened?" Dean demanded. "What could you possibly have done in a town this size to get yourself landed in the ER? And why didn't they let you go, what did the doctor on the phone mean by the 'nature of your case'?"
Sam held up a hand, looking Dean in the eye. "I'm fine, I just got dizzy when I was in the library and someone over-reacted and called the paramedics." At the disbelief on his brother's face, Sam sighed. "Seriously, I'm fine, I just want to go, so just sign the damn form and then we can leave."
Dean raised an eyebrow at the tone of his brother's voice and the obvious fact that he was hiding something, but since the two weren't in a 'sharing and caring' place at the moment he shrugged.
"Alright," he said, walking over to the nurse's station. When he approached it he asked the woman behind the desk for his brother's file and signed where he was told to without looking at the rest of it, not noticing the clear tension in Sam's body and the relief that came when he saw Dean paying zero attention to the rest of the sheet. A few years ago Dean would not only have analysed every piece of information on it but would be an expert on any condition and able to recite everything about it within a couple of days after some intensive research. Now, though, it seemed like his big brother could care less and while he was glad that he hadn't found out Sam's secret, it also hurt like hell.
Later that same night, Dean picked up his keys and jacket while Sam sat at the table with his laptop, researching possible cases in the area.
"Alright, I'm going out, want anything?" he asked, but Sam felt it was more out of habit than anything else.
He shook his head. "No thanks, I'm good."
Dean nodded and the walked out of the door, closing it behind him. Sam let out a sigh when he did, getting up and walking over to his jacket hung by the door. Reaching into the pocket he pulled out the plastic container he had managed to get his hands on at the hospital, and he felt the panic he had had yesterday with the prospect of only one pill left fade. The full bottle would keep him going for a month, and he was sure he would be able to manage getting hold of some more whenever he needed to without Dean noticing if his brother hadn't even bothered to read his medical file when it had been held out in front of him. It was clear that Dean was so pissed at Sam that he just didn't care anymore, and that hurt Sam far worse than he wanted to admit. It was even worse than the last two years at Stanford when he had heard nothing from his brother after a fight they had during one of his visits, because even then he knew Dean was still looking out for him and still cared about what happened.
Dropping his head into his hands, Sam scrubbed his eyes to clear the tears gathering, shaking his head. He got up, tossing the orange pill bottle into his duffle and burying it under a couple layers of shirts, before going into the bathroom and getting ready for bed.
"Shit," Dean hissed as the blood started to drip from the cut on the palm of his hand. He had been shaving and had dropped his razor when he caught it razor-first, making a neat slice into the flesh of his hand.
Walking out of the bathroom and noting Sam was still gone, having left to get coffee when Dean had woken up, he walked over to his bed and rifled through his duffle to try and find a bandage of some kind to wrap around his hand. The wound, although shallow, stung like a bitch and he wanted to wrap it as tightly as he could to get rid of the pain radiating from it. He let out a sigh of frustration as he came up without any bandages in his own bag and moved on to Sam's on the opposite bed. Sticking a hand in, he felt around the inside of it.
"Aha!" he exclaimed triumphantly, pulling a long cloth strand of elasticated material out of the depths of the army-issue bag. Wrapping it around the bleeding gash across his palm, he picked up the pair of scissors he had placed on the table and cut off the excess bandage, tucking the end under a layer to prevent it from unravelling.
He then walked back over to Sam's bag and tossed the unused bandage strip back in, but before he closed it again something caught his eye – an orange plastic container filled with white pills. Frowning, he lifted them out of the bag and sat down on the bed, squinting at the small label.
PRESCRIPTION ISSUED TO: RYAN GATES
DOSAGE: TAKE ONE PILL ONCE DAILY IN THE MORNING WITH FOOD
"Phenytoin," Dean mumbled under his breath, searching his brain for what the drug could be used for. Getting up, he went over to Sam's open laptop on the table and sat down, sticking the pill bottle in front of him and opening Google. Typing 'phenytoin' into the search bar, he opened the first link that came up.
Reading through the entry online, Dean paled with every word passing through his mind and immediately opened up a new tab with a new search, praying to God that this wasn't what was wrong with his little brother.
Sam knew the moment he walked through the motel room door that something was off – the atmosphere inside was tense, and when his gaze fell on Dean sitting on the edge of his bed next to his bag, he knew something was wrong.
"What's up?" he asked over his shoulder as he set the two coffees he had grabbed down on the table and sat down at his computer.
"How long?" Dean asked quietly, and the flatness of his brother's voice caused Sam to turn around in his seat, frowning at his brother.
"How long what?" he asked cautiously, unsure what kind of further accusation about his year off this conversation would lead to. It was then that he noticed the object in Dean's hand, and he felt his heart beginning to beat faster. "Dean," he began, but Dean cut him off.
"I found these but couldn't figure out what the hell they were for, so I looked it up," Dean answered, staring straight into his brother's eyes. "Phenytoin – used as an antiepileptic medication." He got up and walked over to where Sam was sat frozen, placing the container down on the table and sitting in the chair across from him. "More specifically, for temporal lobe epilepsy." There was a pause where Dean waited for Sam to cut in, but when he didn't the anger rose in the older Winchester.
"What the hell were you thinking, Sam?" he exploded, shoving his chair back and standing up. "Not telling me about this? You could've gotten yourself killed – what would've happened if you had a seizure and I wasn't here? What would've happened if things went south and you needed to go to the hospital but I didn't know about this so I couldn't tell them what medication you're on?" Dean took another deep breath, trying to calm himself down and pinched his temple. "How long have you had this?"
"About a year," Sam answered quietly.
Dean gawked at his little brother's response for a minute before falling back into his chair, running a hand through his hair.
"You've had this for a year?" he asked as calmly as possible, making an effort not to freak out again.
"Well, when did it start? How often do you have, you know," Dean paused, trying not to wince at the word about to come out of his mouth and the fact he was associating it with a medical condition he had failed to notice his brother had, "seizures?" He took a deep breath. "I'm gonna need details, Sam, this is something I have to get used to now."
Sam sighed, picking up the orange container and turning it over in his hand, the pills inside it rattling around with the movement.
"I guess it was the day after you and Cas went to Purgatory," he began, keeping his eyes on the object in his hands rather than meeting his brother's. "One minute I'm in the Impala, wondering where the hell you could be, if you were even alive, the next thing I know I'm waking up in hospital and the doctor tells me I got into a car accident brought on by a simple partial seizure and a loss of consciousness." Just as Dean opened his mouth at the point, Sam cut him off before he could start. "A simple partial seizure is something that affects part of the brain and the consciousness. It shouldn't make me lose it, but I guess that's a side-effect from the Cage."
Sam sighed, continuing. "They ran some scans and came up with the TLE diagnosis and got me started on the phenytoin. It's not like I'm having a grand mal every day, they're just absence and simple partial seizures. No big deal."
Dean stared at Sam for a minute, processing what he just said. "No big…no big deal? Sam, this is a very big deal! How could you hide this from me?" The accusation in his tone barely masked the hurt at his brother keeping something from him, but it also attempted to hide the guilt at him not having noticed anything was wrong.
Sam looked down at his hands in his lap, refusing to meet his brother's gaze. "I thought you had enough to deal with, with everything you've been going through since coming back from Purgatory, and the last thing you needed was to deal with me and my issues."
He finally looked up at Dean and the look on his face caused Dean physical pain. It was so resigned and so hopeless, that it made Dean realise something.
"You didn't think I'd care, did you?" he asked quietly, the guilt he had been feeling multiplying by ten-fold.
The shifting of Sam's gaze and the way his thumb rubbed the old scar on the palm of his hand proved Dean's hypothesis to be trued, and without hesitation he got up and moved his chair around so that it was in front of Sam without the table between them.
Dean sighed, running a hand through his hair. "Look, man, I know I've been…off…since I got back, and yeah, I'm pissed you didn't look for me and it sucks, but it doesn't change the fact that you're my brother. It's been my job to look after you my whole life, and, as much as you may be a pain in my ass sometimes, I will never not care about something that's wrong with you."
Meeting Sam's hesitant and sad eyes, Dean realised that while he had been pissed and hurt at Sam, Sam had been hurting too. It was only in that moment that he realised his brother had spent the entire year alone – without Bobby, Cas or his brother. At least while Dean had been in Purgatory he had had Benny and Cas, but Sam had had no one until he found Amelia. While both brothers had lived without the other for a period of time, Sam had been forced to be without Dean the most and it was then that Dean understood how much his little brother relied on him for everything. Since they had been kids, when Sam had gotten hurt or needed someone he had always gone to Dean, but now Dean had made him believe he couldn't.
Standing up and sticking out a hand, Dean pulled his little brother up and grabbed their jackets, tossing Sam's to him before he grabbed the keys.
"What're you doing?" Sam asked hesitantly, his voice a little shaky.
"We're going out," Dean responded firmly, opening the door and gesturing for Sam to walk out, closing the door behind them both when he had. "We're going out to get something to eat, and you're going to tell me about everything you feel like you haven't been able to."
As they got into the Impala and Dean put the keys in his phone rang. Looking at the caller ID and seeing Benny, without thinking about it he pushed 'ignore' and stowed the phone away in his pocket, realising now that no matter what they had been through and no matter how many times Benny used the word, he would never be his 'brother'. Besides, Dean already had one, and although they had their moments, Dean wouldn't trade him for anyone else.
…so, first of all – I'm not a doctor. I did my research, but if you know anything in here to be wrong I apologize. Also, we're going to go ahead and ignore the double negative of 'never not' and not tell my English teacher, 'kay?