I must have fallen asleep at some point because the next thing I knew was that the sun was up and Sam was shaking my shoulder. My eyes snapped open and I had a confused look around.
Why was I sleeping propped up against a tree? Then everything rushed back to me. Sam injured, Dean missing, our nightly hike and the gory monster cave complete with dead monster. With a groan I slumped back against the tree.
"Luis?" Sam asked softly.
"'m awake." I mumbled and closed my eyes again. I was so not ready to face reality right now.
"See?" Came Dean's sleep-raspy voice from the other side of the fire. "That totally counts as awake."
With closed eyes I listened to them bickering for a moment. My whole body was stiff and cold and moving seemed just as unappealing as staying where I was. In the end it was my bladder that decided that I better started moving.
When I came back to the brothers I was more awake and the stiffness had mostly left my limbs. I was still cold, though, and the fire was out. Terrific way to start the day.
"How do we feel this morning?" I asked in my best doctor voice, straining the we I never use with a real patient. Not that Sam and Dean weren't my patients, kind of, but the situation felt anything but real.
"Fine." Sam was already busy serving breakfast. Energy bars and water, the breakfast of the champions. I added some painkillers for both of them.
"Better." Was Dean's answer and he looked better. Which didn't have to mean anything. The water bottle in his hand shook tellingly.
I insisted on checking them over and they both weren't as fine as they claimed to be. However, Sam wasn't worse than the day before when we'd started our rescue mission and Dean was still running a slight fever and felt like shit, though he'd never admit that.
"We good to go, doc?" Dean asked with barely hidden annoyance in his voice.
"Do we have another choice?" I sighed and took the bag while Sam took over Dean's backpack. With his sprained ankle the last thing Dean should do right now was hiking through the woods but we still had no reception out here so we had to get out by ourselves.
I had noticed that I was the only one who'd even checked his phone and somehow I doubted the Winchesters agreed with my plan to put them both in hospital beds for at least a day or two. But we would cross that bridge later. First of all we had to get back to the cars.
The brothers fell into an easy rhythm, walking shoulder to shoulder, and after a while they seemed to have forgotten about me trailing behind. They both were injured and far from being on top of their game but somehow they managed to put that aside and focus on walking. Not very fast and with Dean using every tree for support but they walked without giving in to the pain and exhaustion. I'd seen bits of that the night before on Sam but now Dean was the skittish one, constantly scanning the area, and his hand, hanging loosely at his side, twitched like he was longing for a weapon.
"Frigging hate camping." Dean muttered when we stopped for a moment to catch our breath. He sat down on a log and stretched his leg but didn't complain about the pain in his ankle. His bravado hadn't covered up his prominent limping, though.
Next to him sat Sam, elbows on his knees and head hanging. The lines of pain were on his face, too, but he didn't complain either. His head and his side had to be killing him but he only sat there and waited for the pain to abate.
"Here." I took out the bottle with the painkillers. "Doctor Luis has the good stuff."
They shouldn't take something for at least another two hours but desperate times and all that. They washed the pills down with a shared bottle of water and then we were good to go.
"When we're outa here I want to sleep for a week." Dean announced when he got up and tested his leg. "I'm so done with sleeping in the frigging forest. I'm done with the forest. Period."
"I have nice hospital bed with your name on it." I bribed but the glance he gave me told me that bed would stay empty. I sighed.
I still had no clue if we were even walking in the right direction but both Winchesters seemed sure of where to go.
A few minutes later I seemed to be forgotten once again.
"What were you thinking?" Sam started out of nowhere.
"What?" It snapped Dean out of his thoughts.
"Going after that thing alone." Sam clarified and I have to admit I wondered what had taken him so long.
"I killed it."
"You got poisoned." Sam reminded him. "And you got stuck in there."
"But you came to get me out."
I wished I could see their faces but the emotions in Dean's words and the set of Sam's shoulders spoke for themselves. I was itching to ask but Dean quickened his pace, completely ignoring his limping, and I had to hurry to keep up with them.
Lost in my own thoughts, mentally I was already wording my resignation, I startled at Dean's "There she is!".
Next to his car stood mine and I'd never thought I'd be so happy to see my car again.
"Baby, you missed me?" Dean patted the hood and Sam couldn't hide a grin. Not that he was trying.
What followed was an awkward silence. I wanted them both in a hospital bed as soon as possible but something told me that if they got in the car, they'd pull the same disappearing stunt they'd pulled last time. And they knew that I knew.
"Luis …" Sam started and exchanged an unsure glance with his brother. "Thanks, man. For everything."
I nodded to that. So this was goodby.
"At least give me your number." I got my phone out. "And I give you mine."
"No offense, dude." Dean spoke up. "But we're not exactly the social type."
"Figured that much." Now it was my turn to throw him a glance. "But you might come in need of a doctor some day so take my number. I'm leaving before questions about my old college buddy Sam Carter and his fake insurance can come up but I'll send you my new address as soon as I know where I'm going next."
Sam cringed at my last words. "Sorry for getting you in trouble."
"I was getting restless anyway." I shrugged.
We exchanged our numbers and said our goodbyes and I admonished them to take it easy for a while, doctor's orders.
And then I stood there in the middle of nowhere and watched once again that big black car driving away but this time I thought that I might hear from Sam again.
"Nancy is going to kill me."
We're finally here. Thanks to everybody who enjoyed the ride with me, you're awesome. I'd love to come back to Luis (the pattern in the titles is screaming for another part) but so far I have no idea for another story with him.
So next week I'm starting something completely different. Have a look if you like:
Summary: After a werewolf hunt gone wrong the Winchesters have to deal with the aftermath.