He grabs Dean, remembering too late how hard his hands can be when he’s panicking; Dean winces – can’t help a wince – and he’s so pale that all of the red lines on his face seem fresh and glistening, threatening to tear Sam’s heart out all over again. But he steels himself and braces Dean against the wall, looking him over carefully. All of the cuts on his face and neck and arms look terrible, but they’re superficial. The car crash really didn’t do much to Dean, tucked away in the back seat, away from the side that took the brunt of the impact. Sam can’t help feeling like the Impala itself - herself Dean’s voice in his head corrects, simultaneously irritable and amused – did everything it could to protect his brother. What had gotten Dean and stumped the doctors, of course, was being scooped out from the inside like a melon, shredded into chunks by the Demon. And it’s that damage that Sam wants to wash away with hot water and a bar of Dove. He curses himself for being an idiot and puts all of his sincerity into a prayer that Dean won’t ever suffer again for having him as a brother.
Dean’s leaning stiffly against the wall, his eyes never leaving Sam’s face. “You done beating yourself up?” he rasps, aiming for his familiar, jocular cadences. “Cause some of us aren’t gettin’ any fresher, waiting for you to figure out how to work a shower.” He doesn’t answer; he’s dumbstruck that Dean is still trying to lighten the mood, even when he’s pretty much panting after every third word. “Sammy?” Dean asks, his voice still rough but growing sharper. “You gonna have a vision-fit?” Dean’s voice is getting higher, approaching scared; he’s probably trying to figure out how he’d be able to catch and support six-plus feet of flailing baby brother.
Sam stares at Dean and then laughs. “I hadn’t even thought about that,” he admits softly. “My guess is, no visions while the Demon’s got Dad to play with.” Dean tilts his head to the side, asking silently what Sam is thinking. “Just – I really am trying to figure out the logistics here.”
Dean rolls his eyes. “Me. Shower. You. Soap. The end, genius.”
Sam rolls his eyes right back. “I’m telling you, Dean, it’s not going to be that simple,” he says, but steers his brother gently to the bathroom.
The bathroom is small and blue and Sam pulls back the shower curtain to find a sparklingly clean tub; Eve apparently is good at her job. He turns the water on as hot as it can go, knowing that too hot for him is just right for Dean. He keeps one arm around Dean and pulls the Colt out of his jeans with his free hand; he sees Dean’s eyes track the weapon as he lays it gingerly next to the sink. He nods, a promise that they will talk later, and Dean gives him a small smile.
Dean’s hands come up to rest on Sam’s shoulders; he bends to pull off his brother’s shoes and socks and jeans. He looks up at Dean’s bruised face and closed eyes before stripping him of his thin hospital underwear too. The shirts are the last things to go and he guides Dean’s hands to the wall before he shucks everything he’s wearing except for his boxers. Dean is shaking against his hands as he tries to climb into the tub; his teeth are gritted against the pressure of the water on his battered body.
Even discounting the cool shadow the blue and grey shower curtain casts over Dean, Sam can see his brother’s skin go instantly pink when the water hits it, the color coming sudden and sharp like a little girl smearing her mother’s rouge on her face with too heavy a hand. His own skin is tingling from the temperature of the water, even though just his arms are inside the tub, and he’d wonder how Dean can stand the heat if Dean weren’t relaxing under his steadying hands, his cold and stiff body growing warm and supple like magic. Sam lets him bask under the spray for a moment or two, before realizing he can’t trust Dean’s legs to hold him up for too long. He soaps his brother down, running the bar of Ivory over skin and scalp, until Dean is lost to view – all that’s visible is a mass of shining white bubbles. He rinses the foam off of Dean and shuts off the water, making sure Dean’s still balanced on his own two feet before turning away to grab a towel.
He wraps it around Dean and lifts him out of the tub. He’s about to make some stupid remark about Dean being a secret cuddler after all when Dean’s stomach rumbles loudly. He remembers having eaten something a few days ago, but Dean’s only had an IV for sustenance, and that was discontinued after he woke up and Dad’s rampage made Dean suddenly invisible to the hospital staff. He clenches his fists and curses his father out for a solid minute, and then himself for another. He finishes drying off his brother and knots the towel around Dean’s bruised waist. “Sorry, Dean,” he says, pulling his own clothes back on quickly. “I’ll take care of you, I promise.”
Dean looks tired again – still – and puzzled too. “I know, Sammy.”
Still gen, still R-ish.
Word count (today): 908
Word count (total): 19,796 (65.99%)