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Chapter Twenty Seven
Sam knew something was wrong. Dean was sitting at the end of the bar, nursing a coke that had to be warm by now. He looked hunched, pale and feeble. He was coughing more and more, and it seemed like it was getting harder for him to recover from a fit. He’d come out of the bathroom earlier looking like death warmed over.
“Sam,” Riley called, “Get the lead out.”
Sam went back to serving. Business had picked up in the last hour or so. He tried to sneak glances at his brother every now and again but a crowd of young kids celebrating some sort of event had flooded the place and it was getting longer and longer between visuals.
“Hey, need some help in here!”
Sam’s head shot up. A guy was half hanging out of the men’s room.
“Somebody call an ambulance!”
Sam spilt beer on his hands, the cup in his hand running over.
Sam’s glanced around briefly, looking for Dean. When he caught Riley’s eyes she’d been doing the same thing. Dean wasn’t sitting at the bar anymore.
Sam dropped the glass and it shattered, he jumped the bar and ran towards the men’s room.
“It’s like he can’t breathe or something.”
Sam burst through the door, pushing people out of the way.
“Sats are 88%, resp rate 34...”
“...BP’s 160/80, heart rate 127.”
“I need a salbutamol nebuliser… Dean? It’s Dean, right?”
“I’m right here, buddy. I’m right here. You gotta let these guys help you, okay?... Good. That’s good, man. You’re doing great.”
“Let’s get that nebuliser going…”
“Dean, just slow down your breathing.”
“I got a wheeze in the upper lobes and lower right, absent breath sounds on the lower left.”
“He had pneumonia and pleural effusion.”
“…They’re gonna need to prep a chest drain. Call emergency and let ‘em know we’re on our way.”
“Dean, hey, calm down.”
“Heart rate 145.”
“I need you to calm down. We’re gonna help you, alright?”
“He’s not calming down. Resp rate 38.”
“Okay, Dean, this is going to sting a little bit…”
Dean felt like his head had been disconnected from his body. He could hear them talking around him, feel the movement, but he couldn’t speak, couldn’t fight back.
“Just, relax, Dean.”
“I need a bolus of propofol.”
“Don’t fight the tube, Dean, it’s helping you breathe.”
“Can someone get restraints?”
“I need someone on this side to hold that arm down.”
Dean drifted in and out, sometimes it felt like only a minute. Sometimes it felt much longer than that. At first there were lots of people around him, lots of talking, a soft voice in his ear occasionally telling him not to bite down on the tube. But despite the voice being soft the grip was strong on his arms, holding them down by his sides. He wondered if he was back in hell. Sometimes they spoke nicely to him then. They spoke so nicely, and those voices cut even deeper.
“You ready with the drain?”
He felt the pressure on his ribs, but it didn’t hurt. He couldn’t feel a thing.
Sam sat in the small empty waiting room of the ICU on the edge of his seat, hands clenched tightly in front of him, his fingers turning white. Bobby was across from him, running his hand across his beard nervously back and forth, back and forth.
Scratch, scratch. Scratch, scratch.
“Would you stop that?” Sam snapped.
Bobby’s expression remained level, but his hand ceased movement.
“He’s gonna be fine, Sam.”
“Stop saying that. Stop saying that everything’s going to be okay. It’s not. Dean’s not okay.”
“You can’t lose hope now, son.”
“Dean has a tube down his throat! He needs a machine to breathe for him!”
“Sam, sit down.”
“And where’s the angels, huh? Where’s Cas in all this?” Sam looked up at the ceiling, “You hear that, Cas! You get your ass down here and fix my brother!”
“Sam,” Bobby was up at his side, hand on his shoulder.
A fluttering of wings.
Sam spun around, almost ready to swing a punch.
“Fix Dean,” he ordered through clenched teeth.
“Don't, Cas. Just don’t.”
“Sam!” Cas said firmly, “I can’t be here right now. I shouldn’t even be talking to you. Things are… complicated.”
“What the hell’s that supposed to mean?” Bobby interrupted.
“I will heal your brother.”
“I just need some time… I will return.”
Sam blinked and Cas was gone.
Bobby let out a breath, “Well, he’s one cryptic son of a bitch.”
Sam stumbled back a few steps and let his ass find the seat. He felt like he’d had the breath knocked out of him.
“Did you hear that, Bobby?”
“I heard it, son.”
Sam laughed despite himself, “He said he’d –“
“I know what he said,” Bobby muttered curtly.
Sam looked up at that, “What’s wrong? You don’t believe him?”
“Believe me, I want to. But the way that man skirts around the truth, Sam,” Bobby shook his head, “I ain’t counting chickens before they hatch.”
“You know what? It doesn’t matter either way, because we’ll get through it. With or without Cas.”
Sam smiled a little.
Sam was standing before he knew it, looking at the young lady in the doorway.
“You can come and see your brother now.”
Dean was unconscious for four days while they resolved the effusion. His lung had partially collapsed by the time they’d got him in. But Sam had been reassured that it had healed okay. He was on strong antibiotics, a combination of a few different ones to try and finally kick this particularly nasty bug, and on his most recent chest xray the pneumonia had almost completely gone. Dr Reid was optimistic, so on the fifth day the tube was removed. It took Dean a few hours to settle down but his breathing seemed to ease. He was getting morphine through his drip so he didn’t complain of any pain, but Sam could see a haunted look in his eyes. There’d been no word from Castiel since he’d promised to heal Dean so Sam kept quiet about it. He wasn’t going to fill his brother with false hope.
Dean shifted in his bed and a look of what Sam could only describe as fear dawned on his face. He swallowed and turned his head towards his brother.
“There’s… something in my side, isn’t there?”
Sam nodded at his brother, “They had to get the fluid out, but it’ll come out tomorrow probably.”
Dean swallowed again.
“You feel sick?” Sam asked.
“… Tired,” Dean muttered, eyes closing.
“Get some rest, dude. I’ll be here.”
Dean let his eyes fall shut. He was numb all over. It wasn’t a nice feeling. He almost missed the pain. That felt normal, at least. He’d been in and out of it for the past day, and he was sick of waking up in a freaking hospital without knowing how he got there. He had tubes everywhere, in his arm, in his neck, in his ribs, and, god forbid, in his penis. At least he could breathe easier. That awful death rattle that he’d had in his lungs for weeks was gone. So he didn’t understand why he felt so awful. It just felt like things were building up, jumping on the pile and he was slowly drowning under the weight of it. He couldn’t keep doing this. He couldn’t keep this up. He was just so damn tired.
Sam watched his brother lie there with his eyes closed, seeing a tear roll out the corner of his eye, carving a line down to the bottom of his ear. He took a deep breath. Dean wasn’t okay. Maybe medically he was now stable, but mentally he was far from it.
Sam’s phone buzzed in his pocket and he pulled it out, thinking it would be Riley or Bobby. It was not.
He got up and crossed the ICU to the door.
“I told you not to call me.”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Sam. This is important.”
Sam exited and loitered in the hall.
“What do you want, Ruby?”
“Not that you and your invalid brother care, but Lilith broke another seal yesterday… She’s getting closer.”
“What do you expect me to do?”
“I expect you to get off your ass and fight! You’re the only one that can do this, Sam.”
Sam sighed, “Well, I can’t do it alone.”
“And what am I, chopped liver?”
“I mean, I can’t do it without Dean.”
Ruby sighed on the other end, “Look, I’m sorry about Dean. You know I am. But if you had a choice between saving the world and sitting around worrying about your brother, which one do you think Dean would want you to do?”
“Dean doesn’t approve of my… methods.”
“Sam, I know you love your brother, but you need to start making decisions for yourself. I need you to help me stop Lilith… to save the world, okay? If the world ends it won’t matter that your brother’s slightly mad at you, will it? Because everyone will be dead.”
“Alright, that’s enough.”
Sam rubbed his fingers over his forehead, “Give me a few days here. A week tops. We just gotta get Dean home, okay? I gotta be here for him now.”
“Cool, I’ll just tell Lilith to stop breaking seals until you’ve finished your little vacation.”
Sam scrunched his face up angrily, “Dammit,” he whispered.
A/N: That was an intense little chappy! Sorry about that (not sorry). I can't seem to keep this boy out of hospital. And I'm sorry but I thiiiink this fic is wrapping up... soonish. But as always I am super grateful for all the love and support. Have a great day. x
OKAY SO FIRST I JUST WANNA SAY THAT I'M HALFWAY DONE WITH THE NEXT PART AND I'M REALLY SORRY THAT IT'S TAKEN ME SO LONG. Ugh, terrible writer's block for a while. I got past it though, finally lol. I should be able to post it in a couple of days.
But I was just going to ask... have you seen Tokyo Ghoul? Because ohmygosh if you still want to write me something and you can write me a Kaneki fic, I will worship the ground you walk on lol.
Somewhat often when I read sneezefics, my nose starts getting itchy/irritated when it wouldn't otherwise (or, at least, a lot more often). I was just wondering if this happens to anyone else? I'm pretty sure that I'm not only remembering times my nose tickled because I happened to be reading a sneezefic at the time lol because I don't have a very sensitive nose. Hence, I'm kind of convinced that it's related to reading about people having to sneeze and also actually doing it too. Or maybe I am just biased haha. Anyway, does this happen to any of you guys?
Oh, my god, this pushes all of my buttons. I was going to quote or mention one or two parts that I really loved, but I can't because there are too many of them. There is one that I will mention just because it was throughout the entire fic, the warnings of "careful" that is one of my main weak spots for giants. Also, I love your writing in general and your sneeze descriptions and everything basically. Please continue -- reading this made my day week. (Sorry for fangirling, lol, I just -- this is pretty much the most perfect original sneezefic I've ever read.) Lars is adorable!! I already re-read most of this immediately after commenting haha.