The din is deafening but Sam can still make out some of the words clearly - smoke, violence, broken, sir. But they fade into insignificance as he ponders the sign on the ceiling. Was it Dad who left it or the Demon, using Dad as a puppet? Is it a plea for help or a taunt to mock the powerless?
Someone on the staff has clearly alerted the police, because now there are cops in the throng surrounding him, and new questions come in an insistent tone. “Mr. McGillicuddy, sir, we have to ask you some questions.” He nods vaguely, eyes still fixed on the ceiling. This might be the first time he’s ever blessed his father for his shitty parenting skills. Dad didn’t know Dean’s room number, would have had no information to offer even if the Demon had simply raked through his mind instead of asking or threatening. Dean is still safe, if only because of Dad’s neglect. It isn’t fair that Dean’s life should hang on being overlooked like that, that what ultimately protects him hurts him all the same.
The questions keep mounting, but all of his interrogators subside when he inches toward his own bed and gets into it, drawing the blanket up over his bare legs. The movement seems to remind them all that he is a patient too, and he honestly doesn’t know how much of what he’s doing is for the benefit of his audience. His voice, when it comes out, is wavering with worry and exhaustion, not all of it spurious. “Please, can you tell me what happened?” he asks, his forehead wrinkling with anxiety, his eyes wide and ready to believe.
There are too many significant glances to count, between the doctors and the nurses, the nurses and the security staff, the guards and the police officers, no one sure whose story it is to tell. Sam can see Anne at the back of the huddle of nurses, looking straight at him with her kind eyes, nodding encouragingly at him. One of the doctors, a man Sam vaguely remembers seeing before, finally begins to speak. “Sir, your father apparently got out of his bed and began to attack the staff. He fought his way to the exit and left. Now there are quite a few concerns that his behavior raises. The first, of course, is the damage he caused; he inflicted serious injuries on one of my colleagues and at least two members of the hospital’s security personnel. Secondly, it’s unclear how any of this was physically possible for your father, given that he had broken both his arm and his leg, and yet was moving as if he was not aware of either injury.” The doctor takes a deep breath and looks around; it looks like he’s seeking encouragement or support to get this last part out. “Lastly, sir, several people noted that your father’s eyes were yellow, which makes us suspect that perhaps there may be a medical explanation for all of this - a reaction to one of his medications, perhaps, or maybe a chemical imbalance of some kind. We . . . we don’t have a lot to go on at this point,” he admits, his voice trailing off a little.
“Which is why we need you to answer some questions now,” one of the cops cuts in, asserting official authority.
Sam does his best to look shocked, to let out a shaky “Oh my God” or two, to fumble artfully with the pitcher of water on the tray near his bed. His mind is racing. There can be no doubt at all that the Demon is back inside of Dad and that it wanted Dad out of the hospital sooner rather than later. What he doesn’t know is why it wanted Dad again, if not to use him to kill Dean and seize Sam. And he also doesn’t know how long Dad will be useful to it, and what will happen when it no longer needs Dad. He has to think. The phone call Dad made had to be related to the Colt; it’s got to be Bobby who’s got it now. He needs to call Bobby.
He blinks and Anne is standing by his bedside holding out a cup of water, keeping herself between him and the crowd of interrogators. “I’m sorry,” he says, choking a little as he sips. Anne takes the cup back and steps out of the way when he nods. The best defense is a good offense, Dad used to say, and he picks out the one admission of weakness the doctor made. “I . . . I don’t know how that could have happened. I’ve never seen him go crazy like that. You said maybe he had a reaction to the medication? What were you giving him that could set him off like that?” He knows he’s the very picture of outraged earnestness, scared for his father but determined to tell the truth. He can almost see Dean in the doorway, applauding his performance.
Having the accusation turned around on them makes the hospital staff back off, and without them the cops’ hands are tied. There’s a lot of unhappy muttering and he gets back out of the bed; the shake in his legs is real and Anne steadies him. “I have to tell my brother,” he says and she nods.
Dean is still awake, though he’s clearly hanging by a thread. His eyes are soft and dim when he opens them, and Sam curses his father again for living up to his old tricks, this constant pattern of failed love and disappointment. “Sam?” Dean manages to gasp out, his voice rusty from disuse, his throat clenching painfully around the plea, and Sam shakes his head, slowly, as if that will lessen the blow.
“Dad, uh,” he stumbles, unsure about what Dean needs right now - the truth or a little delay - but seeing Dean looking so defeated, he just opens his mouth and hopes that what comes out will be enough. “Dad’s gone, Dean. The Demon came back for him. So he’s out there right now.”
Dean doesn’t leap out of bed, guns blazing, shouting about a rescue. Dean doesn’t even move, just sighs a small, shuddery sigh and waits for Sam to meet his eyes. “Bobby,” he says, and Sam nods in agreement. They’re back on the same page, where they belong.
Still gen, still R-ish.
Word count (today): 1076
Word count (total): 9320 (31.07%)