Howdy-ho All! This is a recycled older story that for whatever reason, the site booted off. One of the first ones I wrote, I believe, so be kind!
I don't recall what I originally called it or the description so if it seems familiar, you probably read it before. Those who've been with me for a while, will recall my old laptop crashed and I had to convert from works to words and I'm not computer savvy…so….found this on a thumbie and waa-laa!
Anyway, it's set in season six, after Sam was re-souled but before the wall fell.
And, oh yeah, I created my own mythical creature, symptoms and cure.
Bobby paused in front of the hospital room, frowning in confusion at the closed door in front of him. Privacy when needed, was provided by a sheet drawn around the bed. He gave his head a shake and heaved a tired sigh. So what the doctor had warned him about with Sam upon his arrival was undoubtedly true.
He'd gotten the call from hospital personnel, not Sam. He'd yet to hear from the youngster but that hadn't stopped him from setting out for the hospital upon hanging up the phone. All he knew was Dean had been brought to the hospital by his brother who was both distant and uncooperative. In fact, the woman had continued, the doctor was confused by Sam's hostile, rude attitude and his refusal to answer any specific questions about what happened and they would appreciate any assistance they could get in getting answers.
Bobby eased the door open and poked his head in to take a look around the room. The room was a double with only one bed occupied. Sam slouched in a chair next to the bed, head laid back, hands stuffed into the pockets of his jacket; he didn't move or speak when Bobby entered. Having been warned Sam was not in a receptive state of mind, Bobby for verbal battle.
"Sam?" Bobby stepped into the room and let the door close behind him. "Hey kiddo, you awake?"
Sam recognized the voice, just wasn't expecting to hear it. The nervous jouncing of his knee stopped and his head rolled on the back of the chair, eyes blinking open. He took a moment to focus in the dim light of the room before letting his eyes come to rest on Bobby. No warmth, no flicker of welcome.
"Anything you want to tell me Sam?" Bobby asked with a calmness he didn't feel.
Sam pushed his ass back in the chair and sat up; his hands remained fisted as he rubbed his eyes then his fingers splayed as he combed them through his hair. Bobby waited to see how Sam was going to respond to him.
"Bobby." was what he finally said, eyes diverted to the floor.
"That's it? My name? That's all you can manage?" Bobby fought to contain his temper. Sam's appearance alone was cause for concern. He obviously hadn't seen soap, shampoo, a razor or water for a couple of days. Nor did it appear he'd had any decent sleep or food lately. He was dirty, disheveled, somewhat bruised and, yes, upon closer inspection, and though it was now dry, bloody.
Bobby pushed down his worry and let his ire build. He wanted to scold the boy, wanted to yell actually, wanted to rant and rave and berate him for being selfish and stupid and demand an explanation. He wanted answers and dammit, no matter what it took, he was going to get them.
"Dammit Sam, I thought we were past this? What the hell? You couldn't call me? One damn phone call? How hard wudda that been to do? You wouldn't evena' had to dial my number, I'm on speed dial, ain't I?!"
Sam's hazel eyes flashed with hurt and he lowered his head. He expected to be yelled at and squared his shoulders to take it. Bobby could easily read his body language so when Sam hung his head and kicked a toe against the bed leg, his anger fled faster than it had come. Sam was always expecting rejection and it never failed to tug at Bobby's heart to see his reaction.
"Sam." he didn't speak again until he was sure he could speak without anger lacing his tone. "Are you ok?" Sam glanced up through his bangs, still hesitant, prepared to defend himself against another tongue lashing. He didn't really make eye contact before resuming his study of the floor, giving Bobby a slight shrug in answer. "Is any of that blood yours?"
Sam shook his head. He was in no condition to explain himself to anyone. He wanted to curl up in a corner, ignore the world and dissolve into a puddle of emotion. He deserved it, he had earned it and dammit, he was entitled to it. He was barely hanging on to his composure and any control of his emotions was gone. His way to deal was to shut down and shut everyone out.
"Would you…." Bobby glanced at the bed, Dean still slept. "Can I get you anything? Coffee? Maybe a sandwich?"
"I'm not hungry." the words were so softly spoken Bobby thought he'd imagined them. Wasn't like he could see the kids face to see if his lips moved.
Sam was emotionally shot and physically exhausted. Bobby wasn't too sure about Sam's mental state either. The kid was scared, upset, worried and tired and Bobby knew San's way to deal with those feelings was defense and denial.
"Well, tough, you're going to eat, so pick something that sounds good or I'll bring back a tuna sandwich."
"Turkey's good guess, doesn't really matter…. just not tuna." he grimaced in distaste. "Coffee sounds good."
"You should wash up, use the sink here in the room, I'll go out to the Impala and get you a change of clothes. The car is here, isn't it?"
"Yeah, out back, what are you doing here anyway?"
"Someone from the hospital called me. My number's listed as an emergency contact on Dean's cell. I take it you took the necessary precautions to hide both you and him?"
"Yeah." he pushed to his feet, stretching to ease the kinks out of his back. "He's safe as I can make him."
"When was the last time you got any sleep?"
Sam thought back, starting to pace, he'd just had a nap in the chair but he knew that wasn't what Bobby meant. "Um, dunno, it was…" he paused. "Sunny out."
"Don't suppose you'd go to a motel and get a shower? Lay down for a couple of hours?"
"Later." Sam had stopped near Dean's bed and stood, looking down at him while talking to Bobby.
"The doctor said he's gonna be fine. I'll stay with him."
Sam shook his head, resuming his pacing.
"Ok." Bobby decided not to push. "You don't look so good Sam, you're not ok."
"Probably not." Sam agreed, too tired to keep up the front with the man who knew him so well.
"You should rest."
"When he wakes up."
"You can wake him up if you want to."
"Well, I don't." Sam snapped.
Bobby took a breath, held it, and then blew it out. No sense pushing at Sam now, he'd give it some time and try again later. "Okay, I'll be back in an hour or so, you wash up." he wasn't too sure about leaving Sam alone but the kid needed something to eat and a change of clothing more than he needed company, so Bobby reluctantly left.
Dean knew where he was, knew when Bobby had come in, knew Sam was in the room, knew Bobby had left; what he didn't know was why he was in the hospital, why his eyes didn't want to open or why his tongue was too heavy to move. Trying to concentrate made his head hurt and trying to focus demanded far too much effort so he gave up without much of a fight. There would be more than enough time to figure it all out later. He heard Sam move about the room, heard the running of water then the snick of the bathroom door, all familiar sounds and let himself drift back off.
Hands and face washed, hair wetted and finger-combed, Sam resumed his slouch in the chair. Now that Bobby had mentioned coffee, it was all he could think about. He wasn't hungry but coffee sounded great. He sighed, letting his mind wander to Bobby's suggestion of a hot shower and a nap in an actual bed.
Dean was fine; there was no need to remain at his bedside 24/7 in the hospital. Hell, there was really no need for Dean to stay at the hospital either. He hadn't been expecting Bobby, had planned on giving Dean until the following morning before taking him and leaving because they both needed a period of rest. But now that Bobby was there, he could stay and even if he didn't want to, Dean didn't need someone with him. Decision made to leave and find a motel once Bobby returned; he let his eyes close and dozed off.
"Hey Sam." Bobby returned with sandwich, change of clothes and coffee, pleased to see Sam had washed up. "Coffee, lots of cream, even that shitty French vanilla flavor you like so much."
"Huh." he sat up. He could smell the flavored creamer and a soft grin tugged at his lip, knowing how much Dean hated his preference for it. "Thanks."
"He wake up?"
"And you haven't made him." soon as he said it, Bobby knew he shouldn't have. Sam sighed, hot cup of coffee that only an hour ago had sounded so damn good, now making him nauseous. He set it aside without taking a sip. If it wasn't the nurse scolding him, the doctors tone of disapproval, it was criticism from Bobby.
"Sam, I'm sorry, but… "
"What's it hurt Bobby? Huh? What difference does it make if he sleeps until he wakes up on his own? Hasn't he been through enough? Can't he just be left alone and allowed to have some time to himself?"
"The doctors don't know him like you do Sam. They don't understand what we know. To them, it's a medical problem. They will soon start looking for other problems. Do you want him to go through further tests and procedures? Be here longer?"
"I won't let that happen."
"And just how the hell do you intend to stop it?"
"I'll take him out of here Bobby."
"Take him out how?"
"I'll call Cas."
"Um, hi, is this a bad time?"
Bobby turned around and Sam looked over, eyes widening upon sight of mother and son in the doorway. "Lisa." Bobby managed. "Ben."
"You called her?" Sam demanded, ignoring Lisa as he leveled Bobby with a mixed look of hurt and betrayal. "You would do that?"
"You seriously think that?"
Sam threw his hands wide, arm waving an arc in her direction. "Yet, there she is!"
"Are we interrupting?" she asked uncertainly, glancing between Bobby and Sam.
"Uh, no-no, course not. Good to see you Lisa." Bobby managed a smile. "Hey there Ben."
"Is it all right if we see Dean? I don't want to intrude." Lisa wasn't able to relax with the way Sam was glowering at Bobby. It was obvious they'd walked in on an argument.
"Sure-sure, come on in. He's asleep." Bobby lowered his voice.
"The nurse said infection from a puncture wound." Lisa approached the bed with Ben, keeping a wary eye on Sam. He had yet to greet her or extend any show of acceptance. She half expected him to stop her and send her from the room. "Is it?"
"It's how the symptoms present." Bobby explained. "Don't be scared Ben."
"But you know for sure what it is, right?" Lisa asked Bobby, reaching out to finger Dean's un-gelled hair and caress his cheek with her thumb. "He looks good."
"Dean wouldn't ignore a cut from a rusty or dirty surface and iffin' he did, he'd be in far worse condition from the beat down Sam would give him for doin' so."
"The doctor did say it looked like he'd been beaten."
Bobby snorted, tugging his hat tighter on his head. "Damn woman, if Sam had beat the stuffin' outta him, he wouldn't be fine and he is. That bein' said, you didn't need to drive all the way out here." Bobby said eyes on Sam.
"And he hasn't woken up since he came in, right?"
"He would should someone make him."
"I'm not ready Bobby." Sam scowled. "Leave him alone."
"This isn't about you."
"Not now!" Sam's fists clenched, daring Bobby to push him in front of Ben. A challenge Bobby took up.
"Sam, wake him up."
"No." he thought he was being quite firm that he wasn't changing his mind so he didn't understand why Bobby didn't see that and stop pushing.
"Just wake him up, you know damn well…."
"That's the problem Bobby! I'm always asking him to do something he doesn't want to do and it's always something for me! I'm done, ok? Can you understand that?" he wasn't exactly shouting, but his voiced and anger clouded his eyes and creased his forehead. "Just….just leave him alone."
"Shit boy, he'd do anything for you."
"Yeah." he barked out a harsh huff. "I know and that's the problem."
This was not going well, Bobby sighed. "You wanna tell me what happened?"
"No." Sam rubbed his hands across his face. "He's ok Bobby, let it be."
"You sure of that?"
"Yes, Bobby, that is so! I know because he's not yelling and calling my name and ordering me to get him outta here. It's so because he's content to lie quietly and sleep without being medicated. I'm sure because he didn't need sedation for fighting the IV's nor has he insisted on getting out of bed and leaving on his own. This past week was…" he suddenly caught himself and shut up, seeing Ben's face whose eyes were wide and his jaw slack. "He didn't have a good week Bobby." he spoke more calmly. "I'm not putting him through anything else."
Ben backed away from Sam and hid behind his mother. She gave him a hug, hiding her own desire to put more distance between herself and Sam.
Bobby wanted to push Sam more, see if he could get the boy to crack and completely lose his temper, maybe then he'd open up and Bobby could find out what'd happened. Sam was so near the edge Bobby was sure he could push him over, because whatever happened, Sam hadn't come through it unscathed himself. Before he could reach a decision and act upon it, Sam pulled himself together and turned to Lisa.
"So, um… Lisa, what are you doing here?" while his tone wasn't overly friendly, it wasn't hostile either.
"A nurse from the hospital called me."
"Emergency contact on Dean's cell?" Bobby guessed. "Surprised you let them get that Sam."
"He has three Bobby, or four, so I missed one. I had other things on my mind."
"I called you Sam, it went to voicemail." Lisa said cautiously. "Several times."
"Cell's…" he paused as he tried to recall where he had left his phone. "In the car, I guess."
"They were hoping I was his wife. Apparently, you haven't been very cooperative." she chose her words carefully.
Sam snorted. "How the hell can I be? So, what? Tell them the truth? It's not a puncture wound, it's a bite? Convince them I didn't ignore his oh-so-obvious injury? Didn't deliberately delay getting him medical treatment? I know what they think Lisa. They're convinced I gave him those bruises and stabbed him with a rusty nail."
"Then why haven't they called the police?" Lisa questioned, looking at Bobby for an answer who shrugged in response.
"And why is he still here?" Bobby scratched his beard; more to keep his hands busy so he wouldn't give in to the urge to throttle Sam than because his chin itched. Oh, he had an itch alright, an itch to bodily shake Sam until he spit out all the details about what he'd been through with Dean.
"Because they can take care of him." Sam spat. "I can only do so much Bobby…. I needed to know if there was any internal damage." the effort it took for him to keep control was obvious. "And the police weren't called, because be it my voice, his ability to see me or the feel of my touch, he knows me."
"But Sam, dammit, they think someone beat the shit outta him, they think maybe you did it!" Bobby's voice went up several notches in ire. "You don't start answering some questions they're gonna call the police."
"Oh, he got the shit kicked outta him alright, but it wasn't by me!" Sam blew Bobby off.
"THEY DON'T KNOW THAT!" Bobby threw his hat, fighting the urge to imitate Gonzo and become hopping mad. "If Dean shows one sign of fear, you'll be in jail. All they need is to see him flinch and I'll need bail money. They want him to wake up and talk to them. They want their questions answered, their curiosity satisfied. They want to see if his story matches yours and the way you refuse and deny their requests makes it look like you're hiding something! I'm only trying to protect you Sam."
"Hell Bobby, I am!" Sam yelled right back. He didn't care where he was or who could hear him. "I'm hiding the fucking truth! You of all people should understand that!"
"Then man up and wake him the hell up! Get him the hell outta here." Bobby grabbed the front of Sam's jacket and gave him a shake. "What the hell are you waiting for?"
"Just giving him some time Bobby, that's all. I'm too tired to deal with him by myself."
"What the hell?!" Bobby gestured at himself. "I'M RIGHT HERE!"
"I didn't know…" Sam paused with a scowl. "I mean…you….."
"Can't you see what you're doing?"
"What Bobby? What exactly am I doing?" Sam threw his hands up. "I did nothing but order him around and demand he do things my way. All I did was make him more miserable than he already was. I guilt tripped him into doing whatever I wanted from him. I held him down, I held him still, I poured alcohol over that bite, I choked him with antibiotics that made him sick. I ignored the countless times he vomited because he swallowed whatever I shoved down his throat. I'd wake him up just to talk to me and told myself the circles under his eyes weren't because I wouldn't let him sleep. I knew he was in pain and I denied him the painkillers he knew we had. I let him shiver in the cold and turned a deaf ear when he begged for a blanket." he spun away to pace, nearing the door, but not leaving.
"He hurt Bobby! He hurt and he was sick and in pain and he was fucking miserable. I couldn't give him comfort or respite or relief. I couldn't give him or do anything for him to make him feel better." Sam gulped, shoulders heaving. "And now that he is here, now that he is warm and safe and content and not in pain and now that I can let him sleep without fearing he won't wake up…." his voiced broke and he took a moment to regain control. "He can sleep as long as he wants and no one, not even you, is going to make me wake him up. I'm sorry, I don't care what your reasons are, I can't, I just….no, just no, I can't." he took a deep breath. "I won't."
"Sam" Bobby tried but Sam cut him off with a palm in this face.
"I watched him go through that! I put him through that!" Sam pushed past Lisa and left the room. Bobby remained where he was, it was best to let Sam have some time to himself.
"Well, that went well." Bobby cursed. "Dammit."
"Sam's upset." Lisa had watched Dean through Sam's tirade but he hadn't twitched an eye.
"You think?" Bobby muttered. "Balls."
"Have you tried to wake him up?"
"No, thought I would try to take care of Sam first. Blew that." he sighed. "The doctor met with me when I got here. Dean's not unconscious. Few words from Sam and he'll rouse but doesn't respond. He's still not swallowing to good, so, they're giving him liquid Tylenol. Sam hasn't agreed to further treatment."
"They told you so much? They didn't tell me anything."
"I said I was their uncle."
"Will Sam be back?" Ben asked worriedly. "Where did he go?"
"Sure he will." Bobby assured the boy, watching him venture near the bed as Lisa leaned over the rail to grab Dean's hand. "He's not far Ben."
"Hey babe." she said softly in his ear. "Dean? It's Lisa, can you hear me? Ben's here, he'd like to say hi." she kept talking to him, one hand holding his, the other stroking his forehead and playing with his hair. She watched him intently for signs of recognition or response but she didn't even get an eye flicker. "Come on over Ben, he's asleep but you can say hi."
Ben crept closer to the bed, eyes darting at the door until he stood next to his mother. It wasn't just Sam that scared him. He didn't like seeing Dean lying so still and quiet. "Hey Dean." he tentatively reached out to touch Deans hand. "He's warm."
"Yes." Lisa hugged Ben. "It's hard to see him like this, isn't it? But he'll be up and around in a few days, you'll see." she turned her attention back to Bobby. "When did Sam bring him in?"
Dean stirred, startling Ben who snatched his hand away. He squirmed uneasily, breath hitching as his eyes blinked open and looked around the room. Bobby and Lisa watched him closely but his gaze never focused or settled on any one thing or person. What he was searching for wasn't there for him to see.
"Relax Dean." Bobby sighed tiredly. "Don't start this shit. I'm so sick of that battle waged between the two of you. He'll be right back."
Lisa had hoped her presence would've had some effect on Dean; that he would've heard her voice or felt her familiar caress and woken up so she was disappointed to realize that Dean was reacting to Sam's absence and not her presence.
"Why?" Ben asked Bobby. "Why does he miss Sam so much? He lived with us for a whole year and he was ok. He didn't need Sam then."
Lisa blinked at sudden tears and turned her face so Ben wouldn't see her distress. Bobby gave her a look. He remembered how well Dean had handled Sam's death after Cold Oak.
"Ben, honey, not all days were good ones for Dean when he first came to stay with us. You remember don't you? He didn't sleep well or eat much; he stayed to himself for a while."
"Yeah, I remember, you said he missed Sam."
"It was grief Ben, you take a while to get over loosing someone you love, and sometimes you might never get over it completely." Bobby offered in way of explanation. He would know, he'd lost Sam twice, buried Dean once.
"He's not grieving now."
"No." Lisa managed to keep the tears from her voice, lost in memories of the days Dean had wallowed in grief so deep she hadn't been able to reach him. The nightmares from which he woke screaming a name that wasn't hers, the paranoia, the excessive drinking, the days he simply sat and stared at nothing for hours and didn't speak. "But he's been hurt Ben and when someone is in that kind of pain, when there is fear, they tend to want who…..well…" she gave him a strained smile. "Dean wants Sam." she wiped at her eyes, taking the tissues Bobby offered.
"But we're here, doesn't he want us? Aren't we enough?"
"Not right now honey, no. Dean isn't thinking clearly, he's confused, he'll be better once he wakes up."
"So, why doesn't he wake up and talk to us? His eyes were open; doesn't he want to see us?"
"Yes, of course he does, just give him some time, okay?"
A nurse entered the room, coming in response to some monitor that had set to beeping. She gave them all a cheery smile as she flicked a switch to silence the machine. "Again Dean? Really? Hi, I'm Beth." she looked around. "Where's Sam?"
"He stepped out for a minute." Bobby explained.
"Oh-oh, which one of you said something to piss him off?" she grinned. "It's easy to do that, you know."
"That'd be me." Bobby grinned ruefully, waggling his fingers. "Guilty."
"Aahhh, well, you must be Uncle Bobby, and you must be Lisa." she chattered away. "These two are the talk of the floor, so, did either of you try waking Romeo?"
"No." Bobby admitted. "Sam wanted to let him sleep."
"Hey there Dean, wanna wake up and say hi to everyone?" she leaned over the bed. "Dean?"
"Robert Steven Singer!"
Four pairs of eyes swung to the open door. Ben took one look at the woman, of an age with Bobby, who stood there and ducked behind his mother. Lisa didn't blame him; she wanted to hide behind Bobby. This woman did not look friendly and she was definitely not happy.
"What the hell did you do to that poor boy?" she demanded, hands on her hips. "Calls me in tears, tears Bobby! That kid just dragged his brother through hell and we both know how well they know what that is and he never once shed a single tear. You're with him one hour and you make him cry! What the hell is the matter with you?"
"Olivia." Bobby spat in disbelief. "Olivia Tanner, good Christ, ain't you dead yet?"
"Tell me what the hell's going on." she ordered, poking at his chest with a finger. "What did you do to him?" she noticed Lisa and Ben peeking around from behind her. "You must be Lisa, and oh, little Ben, aren't you a cutie! SAM!" she bellowed. "Call me Livy, I'm an old friend of their fathers, haven't seen little Sam since he was maybe six or so. Dean though, well, John brought him around while Sam was away at college." she glanced over at the bed. "He's looking a lot better."
"He's asleep, they say he won't wake up and Sam won't make him." Ben had yet to stop hiding, but he felt it safe enough to speak.
"Well, who can blame him? Let the boy sleep as long as he wants, it's what he needs."
Sam came to the doorway, eyes brightening at sight of Livy. He avoided looking at Bobby and entered the room to accept the motherly hug Livy offered him in greeting.
"Got your earlier message the doctor said he was ok but they wanted to keep him for a day or two for observation. So sleeping beauty here hasn't woken up yet? Can't say I blame him, so, you doing ok? Looking a little rough there kiddo."
"Well, they haven't arrested me yet, so guess I'm doing good."
"Arrest you for what?"
"Holding him down, beating him up, giving him all those bruises, stabbing him with rusty nails and denying him medical help." Sam rubbed his eyes. He was tired, tired enough that he was ready to find a motel.
"Huh, well, to be fair, you did kinda hold him down and give him a fair amount of those bruises so I can see where they might be suspicious, but if you've been here with him since you brought him in, his response to you should prove differently."
"It does, it's the only reason they've left me alone." he paused. "Though they did steal his phone and call Bobby and Lisa." he shot Beth a dirty look. She gave him a saucy grin back.
"They called Bobby, not you? Sam, you promised me you would call him." Livy scolded gently.
Sam shrugged. "Never said when."
Livy frowned, lips pursed in displeasure, "You need a shower and change of clothes, have you eaten anything?"
"Um, yeah. Bobby brought me a sandwich."
"You never touched it Sam." Bobby spoke up. "And I brought him clean clothes, what the hell's with you?"
"Are you letting him stay another night?" Olivia asked Sam, ignoring Bobby.
"Guess." he pushed his hands through his matted hair, fingers tangling in the clumps. "Until he wakes up."
"Might be best to let him have this time where he can ignore his pain and discomfort. He'll wake up on his own when his body is willing to pick up the fight." Olivia agreed. "He's not in a coma, and he knows where he is."
"What the hell kind of advice is that?" Bobby demanded in annoyance. "Good god, woman! I say, if he's good to go, we get the hell outta here."
"Bobby, you have no idea…." she began calmly.
"They were with you? You ….oh my god…..?" Bobby cut her off, horrified. He didn't know whether to be angry or upset. "You of all people? Why?"
"Dean suffered a bite Bobby, the symptoms…."
"What bit him?" Bobby asked, for the moment he was calm. "I understand Livy, I truly do, but I need to know what happened! I can't help Sam if I don't know what happened. What are they doing here with you? Does Sam even remember you? Why would Dean bring him to you?"
"Believe it or not, Dean has kept in touch." her arms crossed defiantly across her chest. "And I called them."
"You were close to John, I'll give you that, but dammit Livy….."
"You and me." she pointed a finger at Bobby. "Outside now." they didn't need to hash out their anger with one another in front of Sam. She didn't wait to see how Bobby reacted to her command. She strode out of the room, knowing damn well he would follow. Beth did as well; disappointed that Dean wouldn't be waking up, she was eager to meet the man who the face and body belonged to.