When Sam wakes up, he could swear that his body is still vibrating from the impact of the truck. Everything's resonating at a painful frequency, and he wishes it would just stop. He can feel his own pulse beating insistently at his temples, and it's too strong, it's making his head pound, and he knows better than to want that to stop, but he still wants to turn the volume down a little. As he grows accustomed to the throbbing, he becomes aware of a disturbingly unpleasant sound, a wet sucking wheeze, coming from his right.
His neck feels like it's been pulled too tight and lacerated by wicked blades, but he manages to flop his head around enough to see the source of the noise. It's Dad, unconscious and bleeding from pretty much everywhere, his lungs fighting for air and his hand clenched tightly around his thigh. He can see Dad's chest rising and falling – a hitch every third breath, not quite smooth – and beyond Dad but in the same line of sight he can make out the figure of the truck driver, his torso hanging out of his window, blood and glass pooling on the ground.
Dad's still clutching his cell phone with his other hand, and Sam braces himself to try to reach for it. Every inch he shifts costs him, and he's sweating and shaking, not allowing himself to think beyond getting the phone into his own hand and praying that it's still functional.
He's palmed the phone and set it down on his lap when he realizes the only sounds in the car are of Dad's uneasy respiration. He can't hear Dean at all, can't turn far enough to check, and the rearview mirror's lost somewhere near Dad's feet. Dean, you better be doing what you spent a lifetime perfecting he thinks, but that cool, logical part of his brain sees fit to cut in at that point and lay out just how unlikely it is that Dean's mimicking Dad so precisely as to breathe in time with him. He tries once more to turn, but his body simply refuses to bend or twist, so he drops his heavy head, and painstakingly directs his thumb to dial 911 and press send. He can hear the ringing and a click as the line connects, but after that it's just a soft sound in the distance as the steering wheel comes up to pillow his cheek.
There are half a dozen people in yellow and blue rushing all around, shouting like comrades in arms to each other, and he can't get them to quiet down and answer his questions. "Dean?" he keeps gasping, and they just continue chattering as they get his stretcher into an ambulance, and then the sirens drown everything out.
He's surprised that so little of their code is intelligible to him; after all the time he's spent in hospitals, hanging out in ERs and near admitting desks, he thought he'd learned the lingo, but their crisp words are curiously elliptical, like not all of them are getting through. He still doesn't know if Dean is alive. "Brother," he tries, figuring it's probably safer to give no names for now.
"Take it easy, buddy," a big guy says, leaning over him, his shaved head stubbly and pale. His eyes look black and Sam chokes and arches up, fighting against the restraints. The guy moves to hold him in place, and in the shifting light, his eyes are blue again. One touch of the guy's fingers against his ribs, though, is enough to knock Sam out again.
He's tucked in a narrow hospital bed, his ribs taped up tight and small gauze squares dotting his skin. He aches all over like he's got the flu; if this is the worst he's got, he knows he's incredibly lucky. It's still easier to turn his head right than left, and when he surveys the room, he sees Dad in the bed next to his, clean and pale yet somehow still sturdy-looking, with a brace around his neck, a cast on his leg, and a sling holding his right arm close to his chest. Dad's breathing much more easily now, quiet and steady. He fumbles a bit and presses the button for a nurse.
The one who comes in has a kind smile and messy hair. Her nametag says "Anne." She smells like face powder when she leans in close to try to hear him. "I'm sorry, Mr. McGillicuddy, I can't make out what you're saying," she says, and he gives up on verbal communication, instead making his eyes as pleading as he can. She rocks back a little at his look and busies herself in drawing his blanket gently up, smoothing it down with soft little pats. "You've got three badly bruised ribs and minor lacerations. Your father" – she spares a glance for Dad, faint frown lines appearing on her forehead – "in the accident, he wrenched his neck quite badly and broke his right arm and leg. He also had a bullet embedded in his leg." She looks vaguely puzzled, but he can't come up with a story for her at the moment. "You'll both be just fine." She steps forward again to fluff his pillow and he growls low in his throat. She drops her eyes and his heart sinks. "Your brother's not doing so well," she admits quietly. "His injuries aren't consistent with yours, so it's been difficult to know what to do for him." He thinks of Dean being torn apart from the inside, just like his visions of Monica, of Jess. Even if he could explain it, he doesn't know if Dean can be fixed.
The entire room seems to shimmer and sparkle suddenly, and he braces for a vision before he realizes that his eyesight is simply being distorted by the tears standing in his eyes. When they spill over onto his cheeks, Anne settles into the chair next to his bed and reaches for his hand. He holds hers like a lifeline.
Word count (today): 1011
Word count (total): 2303 (7.68%)
Still gen. Still R-ish.
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