Still gen, still R-ish. I SWEAR ON ALL THAT IS HOLY, THIS IS NOT A DEATHFIC.
Sam shuffles back from the bathroom slowly; he's not really so hurt anymore that he needs to move like an ancient tortoise, but all that's waiting for him is a hospital bed so small it's making him practically claustrophobic and an update on Dean that will simply say, like all the others he's been demanding every hour, "No change." But when he gets back to his room and does his usual paranoid survey of each corner of the chilly white space, he sees his father, dark eyes glittering, snapping his cell phone shut.
"What's going on?" he asks, picking up the pace, one hand dropping to the metal rail that brackets the bed to steady himself; his coordination's been gone since the crash, and it's like he's sixteen again, growing like a weed and unable to calculate how much space he would take up at any given moment. Math was never his thing.
But Dad remains silent, his eyes merely flashing a warning since the brace won't allow him to do his typical dismissive head shake. "Dad," he says, hearing his own voice pick up steam and volume. "Tell me. What is going on." It can't be news about Dean; Dad wouldn't need his cell for that. And Pastor Jim and Caleb - memory comes flooding back and he's almost sick all over his father and wouldn't that just be hilarious - are dead, murdered by a demon masquerading as a pretty, flirtatious girl. Dad just keeps glowering at him like the hospital visit is all his fault. Well, fine. Two can play this game. He might have shot Dad and been driving the car when the collision came, but Dad was the one who'd left himself open to demonic possession, who had begged him to shoot, and who had never taught him how to avoid getting flattened by a Mac truck when it was being driven by a long-haul trucker who happened to have been possessed by a demon.
"Let's see," he says, pretending that he's merely musing, knowing by the way his father's eyes track him that his anger is apparent. "You haven't asked me how I'm doing. You wouldn't need the phone to ask how Dean's doing; you could push that call button for a nurse to find that out, but you haven't bothered to do that. Let me think - what could be more important than the fact that your son is dying somewhere in this hospital? Dying because of what you let that thing do to him. Oh, I know! The fucking Colt. The gun that's going to solve all of your problems. Have to make sure that's safe and warm, can't let anyone touch a hair on its precious head, right?" He's shouting, clutching the bed rail with both fists, jarring the bed with each sentence so that it scrapes against the wall, leaving gouges in the plaster.
Dad just stares at him with dark eyes, then closes them. "Well, guess I've been dismissed, huh, sir?" he spits, turning around to make his way back to the nurses' station to see if maybe today they'll let him see his brother.
Dean looks waxy and fragile, his skin nearly as pale as the bleached sheets tucked tightly around him. His eyebrows stand out like dark slashes, matched by the ugly and jagged gouges littered across his face and arms.
Sam stumbles a bit at the sight, but Anne catches him and guides him to the chair without a word or even a reproachful look. He tries to mumble a thank you but he doesn't think it comes out. Dean looks even worse than the last time he'd been in a hospital bed. Then he'd looked tired and bruised, his skin green and purple in patches, his freckles dark as dirt against his worn-thin skin. But weariness and bruising - those were things that could happen to anybody, things that someone could get over. This utter stillness, this complete shutdown, is new, and he clasps his hands together without thinking, shifting into an attitude of prayer. He doesn't know who he's silently imploring, but when he hears a soft sound, he looks up to see Anne with her eyes closed, chanting a prayer under her breath, her hand wrapped loosely around Dean's wrist.
He hasn't touched his brother since he carried him out of the cabin and settled his boneless, insubstantial weight into the backseat of the Impala, letting the car cradle the one who loved her best. He reaches his hand out, gingerly, aware of his own potential for clumsiness and absolutely unwilling to touch Dean any way but gently. It feels momentous, watching his hand - it looks dark and huge, destructive and deadly - descend inexorably toward Dean's milk-white form. Dean is cold beneath his hand, like his vitality has already been spent and all that's left is a cool shell, a chill simulacrum, and suddenly he can't bear to keep the contact going. He shakes his hand loose and stands, looking down at the small figure on the bed. This can't be Dean, who's got broad shoulders and a broader grin. But he knows he's lying to himself even as he formulates the protestations. He turns when Anne clasps his shoulder gently, his eyes locked on the prize in her other hand. He reaches out, shaky and unsure, and wraps his fist around the amulet she surrenders to him; it stabs the flesh of his palm as he rests his hand on his brother's chest to try to say goodbye.
Word count (today): 928
Word count (total): 4186 (13.95%)
[Newsletter girls, please don't bother linking these daily updates.]