I don't think I posted this here before - and I hope schmoop counts as sunnyside up!
Title: Scrambled, Extra Crispy
Characters: Sam & Dean (Gen)
Word count: c2500
Summary: Season 2, not too long after Born Under a Bad Sign. A job has gone awry, and Sam is coping with the consequences of Dean’s brain being totally addled.
Warnings: Not sure how schmoopy this is…or if it is too much. Unbeta'd so all errors are mine, sadly the boys are not.
Author's Notes: For the silverbullets prompt A Night at the Club, given to me by disneymagics. Thanks honey, this was a tough one!!
Intellectually, Sam was prepared for Dean eventually emerging from the coma.
He had absorbed everything the head trauma consultants had told him. He had researched to the hilt – he’d mined out Google and the world-wide web, trawled the local library’s medical tomes, eaten up and spat out every tiny bit of information he could find in Bobby’s dusty archives. He now knew everything there was to know about the areas of the brain affected by this latest smashing of his big brother’s thick skull. As Ellen had pointed out, trust Dean Winchester to not only take a blow to the cranium from the wendigo but also contrive to land head first on a pile of rocks when said blow knocked him backwards of the small cliff. Yup. No half measures there.
So Sam was ready – intellectually – for short- and long-term memory loss, personality disruptions, aphasia, you name it, Sam knew all there was to know about it and what strategies could be used to manage each condition.
What Sam was not prepared for was the emotional roller coaster ride that was Dean without inhibitions, without emotional boundaries. A Dean suddenly bereft of all his carefully constructed, decades old walls.
So far there had been two major freak-outs featuring furious fighting Dean, where Sam had been compelled to first restrain Dean from severely damaging a burly orderly, then to stop hospital security from beating his crazy brother up in spite of his injuries, closely followed by deploying all his finest puppy-dog begging skills to persuade the doctors not to strap his still raging brother to the bed.
Sam had managed to get round the consultant brain surgeon’s misgivings by explaining away Dean’s obviously lethal combat skills as army training, and his temperamental firework display as a result of PTSD gained whilst on active service in Afghanistan and Iraq. Only a small lie, in the Winchester scheme of things, but Sam hoped that the hospital administration would not make enquiries with the USAF to check for Dean’s fictitious service record and non-existent military medical history. It did serve as a useful explanation of some of the older Winchester’s other injuries – like the just healing gunshot wound to the shoulder and the yellowing bruising to his cheekbones.
Somehow Sam thought that telling the medical staff that he had shot his big brother while he had been possessed by a demon was only likely to have him hospitalised alongside Dean. As it was, the consultant had insisted on scheduling a psyche consult for Dean on the following Wednesday, and Sam was not looking forward to explaining that one to his brother, if they were still there.
Today had been much calmer. Dean had slept a lot, though he had been delighted to see Bobby and Ellen, who had visited for several hours before returning to the motel they had been crashing in for the last few days. Sam thought it was highly likely Dean was exhausted from his exertions the day before, when he had ripped out his drips and tried to exorcise the patient in the room next door, convinced that the old man (who must be ninety if he was a day, and looked as if the slightest breath of wind would blow him away) was the Yellow Eyed Demon. Sam had explained that particular delusion away by spinning a tale about Dean having been kidnapped and held hostage by the Taliban who had tortured him. He had to admit, this whole ex-army thing was gaining them a lot of sympathy points, though it did make him rather uncomfortable. Impersonating FBI or police seemed like fair game; this felt vaguely dirty. Like claiming to be heroes or something.
So anyway, Sam had felt it was safe to leave Dean alone for a little while, as the elder Winchester was out for the count; just long enough to get himself some decent coffee from the all-nighter across the road, instead of the tan coloured, tar tasting crap served at the hospital café. Sam gave Judy a wave on his way down, receiving a huge smile in return from the long suffering night shift nurse.
He supposed he should not have been surprised when his phone started buzzing when he was only half way through his double vanilla latte. The caller ID was Judy, and for a brief moment Sam wished he hadn’t given her his number. He just wanted a few moments peace, free from worrying about what Dean was getting up to, and when (not if, if was not an option) his brother would fully recover. He flipped the phone open.
“Yeah, Judy, what’s up?”
“Sam, can you get back over here please? I have a little ..um…situation, and I don’t want to call security…” Strangely, he thought it sounded like she was suppressing a laugh, then he heard what sounded like Dean mumbling something in the background, and Judy outright giggled.
“Erm, okay, I’m on my way,” Sam said, puzzled. He grabbed his coffee to go and made his way back to Dean’s room.
Dean was out of bed again, and had managed to remove all his lines and drips – again. Now he was on his feet, though swaying a bit, dressed in nothing but a pair of worn grey sweat pants he must have dug out of his locker. These left nothing to the imagination about the amount of interest his downstairs brain was taking in the proceedings, as he draped one bare arm round Judy’s neck. Sam blushed on his brother’s behalf as he saw how Dean was nuzzling at the nurse’s neck, whispering sotto voce unsubtle sweet nothings into her ear. As Sam appeared in the doorway, Judy caught his eye and grinned.
“Hi Sam. As you can see, I could do with a hand getting Mr Amorous here back into bed.”
“Aw don’t be like that, gorgeous!” Dean waved a hand in Sam’s general direction. “We don’t need him. I can give you a good time – no, scrap that – the best time of your life; little brother joining in would only cramp our style…,” He stopped for a moment, considering, head cocked to one side.
“Unless you really fancy a threesome, that is?”
Sam blushed even harder. “Judy, I’m so sorry!” He stuttered, rushing over to grab Dean from the other side, trying his hardest to avoid looking at the tenting at the front of his brother’s sweatpants.
Judy smiled at him from underneath Dean’s other armpit. She was a tiny woman, barely came up to Dean’s shoulder, and made Sam feel like a clumsy giant, but she was tough as nails, and if he’d ever doubted it, kept proving over and over she really did have a heart of gold.
“Don’t worry honey, I’ve had to deal with a lot worse than this, and at least our Dean here is easy on the eye!”
Dean nodded in agreement. “Yeah, Sammy knows I’m the pretty one,” he added, grinning that beaming smile that melted most women’s hearts, and that Sam hadn’t seen too much of since their Dad’s death. And God, how he’d missed it. Even if the memory loss was temporary, and came and went, it was a blessing if only because it meant that smile returned to his brother’s face.
“It seems he thinks we were at a club downstairs.” Judy was explaining as she and Sam tried to manhandle an increasingly recalcitrant Dean back towards his rumpled bed.
“Dude, you are so not cock-blocking me again!” Dean protested. “You’re fine sleeping in the Impala.”
Sam ignored him.
“He thinks he picked me up there and has brought me back to your motel room. I keep telling him this is a hospital but he won’t believe me.” Judy panted. They had managed to position Dean at the edge of the bed, but he was manfully resisting the pressure of Sam’s large hand planted in the middle of his chest, and somehow, in spite of his weakened state, staying upright. And – you know – still embarrassingly so, south of the border.
Not wanting to damage his brother any further, Sam tried not to shove too hard, but this just meant that Dean was all ready to spring back the minute Sam relaxed and stopped physically holding him down.
“And I can’t really let him wander round the corridors like this,” Judy added with another giggle and meaningful waggle of one eyebrow. “However pretty he is…”
Sam could see her point. Well, it was rather an obvious one, after all.
“Erm, perhaps the –um – situation - would calm down if he wasn’t being distracted by an attractive woman,” Sam said after a couple more futile minutes of the pair of them wrestling Dean back onto the bed only to have him bounce right back, this time aiming sloppy kisses in Judy’s general direction (one of which missed the nurse entirely and ended up with Dean’s tongue stuck in Sam’s ear, an experience the younger Winchester could really have done without).
Judy extricated herself from Dean’s latest embrace with a little difficulty and nodded, still grinning but looking a little flushed herself.
“Mmm you could be right there, Sam. You know where the call button is, if things get out of hand, don’t you?” She said, backing towards the door.
Dean leaned towards her, swearing at Sam in rather colourful terms but Sam simply placed his body in the way and tried not to notice how he was now literally cock blocking his over eager brother. Once the door was closed behind Judy, Dean seemed to forget she had ever been there, which was a huge relief. Perhaps this strategy would work, after all. Sam hoped. It was nearly 2am, and he was desperately tired.
Unfortunately, Dean had not forgotten about the non-existent party he thought was happening in the ‘club’ downstairs.
“Sammy, come on, we are missing the strippers,” Dean insisted, once again somehow ducking under Sam’s restraining arm and heading for the door. Sam finally threw up his hands and decided the only way to solve this one was show Dean what was really out there.
“Ok, hold up there, Romeo, you can’t go to a club dressed like that,” Sam pointed out, very reasonably, he thought. And it seemed that Dean agreed, as his brother stopped with his hand on the door and looked at his bare chest and grey sweats with a critical eye.
“Huh.” Was his verdict, and he happily allowed Sam to help him into a clean pair of jeans and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. Fortunately whatever logic Dean’s damaged lobes was deploying at the moment did not think to question what kind of club had a dress code quite that casual. Sam didn’t even have to bother getting his brother to wear shoes, which saved some time and effort.
Judy flashed him a surprised look as he led a barefooted Dean down the corridor towards the lifts. In his weakened state, Dean was not going to be able to manage the stairs.
“Just going to show Dean what’s really in his ‘night club’ downstairs,” Sam explained, steering Dean into the lift with a firm hand when he noticed that his brother was opening his mouth, no doubt to invite the rediscovered Judy to the party – again.
In the end, Sam had to stop the lift at every floor before Dean was finally convinced that not only was this a hospital, it was a hospital without any sign of a bar, or a dance floor, or, most heartbreaking of all, any strippers. It was a very tired, despondent and disappointed Winchester that Sam escorted back to his fourth floor room, where Judy was ready to reattach him to his drips.
“So. No party, no motel. Hospital, Sammy.” Dean sighed.
Judy had taken the opportunity to make up the bed with fresh linen while Sam was taking Dean on his tour of the facilities. Sam rubbed his face wearily as Dean gazed up at him from the clean white sheets, looking terrifyingly wide-eyed and young. It was disturbing how vulnerable his big brother was like this. Sometimes Sam felt as though he was looking right into Dean’s naked soul, and it was scaring the life out of him. He nodded and Dean’s face crumpled into a puzzled frown.
“So, what happened? Why don’t I remember anything?”
“Head injury, Dean.” Sam tried to compose his features and not show his irritation (or fear). “You were in a coma for three weeks, been awake for just a week now.”
“Right, right. You’ve told me that before, haven’t you. Okay, it’s okay, never mind.” A pause, then a look of consternation. “My baby! What’s happened to my baby?”
“Bobby’s looking after her at the motel, Dean, don’t worry.”
“Yeah, and Ellen. They were here earlier today, don’t you remember?”
“Bobby and Ellen, here – for me?”
Sam really couldn’t help rolling his eyes at that one. “Yes, Dean, they are here to make sure you are okay.”
Dean looked simultaneously shocked and moved by this, and Sam thought for an awful moment his big brother was going to break down. It had happened before a couple of times, and this version of Dean held nothing back. Sam found it hard to deal with, and had been relieved that on at least one of these occasions Ellen was there to provide Dean the soft shoulder to cry on. This time, though the wide green-glinting hazel of his brother’s eyes filled with tears, Dean was visibly making an effort to control himself.
“They’re in a motel. Right. Of course.” Again the pause. Then “But you are staying here, right?” said quickly and glancing away as if he was afraid that Sam would say no. Sam looked briefly and longingly at the pullout bed the nurses had brought in for him right from the start, and then back at Dean, who was picking anxiously at the edge of the blue hospital blanket, looking all of twelve.
“Dude, where else would I go?” Sam asked, nudging Dean over with his hip as he sat down on the bed. “Shift over, man, make some room. You’re getting fat on all this hospital food.”
When Judy looked in on the Winchesters before leaving off from her long night shift, she was not surprised to see the both brothers sound asleep on the too small metal-framed bed. Sam was still sitting upright, propped up on the pillows, while Dean was lying on his back squashed up against Sam’s long legs, his lips parted slightly, snoring softly. The young woman smiled as she took in the sight of Sam’s protective hand casually resting on Dean’s chest, grounded in his sibling’s heart-beat.