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Scripted On my Fingers

For the Sammy Big Bang
Scripted On my Fingers
Author: Crucis
Artist: The incredibly talented Jenn Shep. Thank you for all your hard work! A writer can create a story, but an artist makes the written word come to life.
Artwork: https://imgur.com/f2ishnR
Rating: GP for some language
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters. They are the property of Eric Kripke and others of the alphabet squad. No money is being made. It’s done purely out of love for the characters and the show.
Summary: A seemingly routine hunt has horrific consequences for Sam when he is critically injured. While waiting for rescue, he contemplates his life, his history and relationships.

*Hawks Nest State Park is located on 370 acres (150 ha) in Fayette County near Ansted, West Virginia. The park's clifftop overlook along U.S. Route 60 provides a scenic vista of the New River, some 750 feet (230 m) below

Mngwa* – East African – A large gray cat, stronger than a lion and able to move without a sound. It’s covered in bald spots, because its victims are sometimes found with tufts of its fur in their hands*

Fingers of One Hand by Sonny James and Carole Smith
//////////////////////////////////////////////

They thought they had killed the Mngwa and had headed back down the hiking trail. Taking a moment to catch their breath, they had stopped for a quick view of a gorgeous night sky found only in the mountains away from the cities.

It had taken 2 days with an overnight stop to travel from Kansas to Hawk’s Nest in West Virginia, but once they’d gotten wind of several suspicious deaths in the popular tourist area, including two who had large tufts of hair in their hands, they knew it was time to move.

Sam’s ‘laptop dancing,’ as Dean was prone to call it, had coughed up the legend of the Mngwa. While the brothers couldn’t figure out how it had gotten in the Appalachians, everything fit, even the bits of hair.

First stop has been the coroner’s office. Only one of the victims was still there, but the brutality of the death has shocked even these seasoned Hunters for whom death was a daily companion.

Next the brothers had pulled their gear, i.e. weapons, holy water, salt, extra ammo and casually headed up the trail. They’d chosen one of the lesser traveled ones to avoid awkward questions and quickly reached the 750 ft summit.

When Sam had won the “Who will play bait argument?” Dean had waited a few feet in the dense forest undergrowth for their target to show.

Both had felt when the donkey sized predator had begun to draw toward its target. Each knew the large, catlike creature had to be dealt with fast as there was no exact knowledge on how to kill the thing.

It had been decided to simply shoot it with everything they had to weaken it, then move it off trail so they could decapitate and burn.

The plan had worked like a charm. When it had approached Sam, the two had hit it with all the guns they had. The weakened creature had fallen to the ground and quickly decapitated. As it was after 11 pm, no one had been around to hear the gunshots or see the final end of the Mngwa.

They simply didn’t know.

300 or so, feet from ground level, the second Mngwa had leaped from a tree and knocked both men to their knees. Sam, being the first one to rise and therefore seen as the greater threat, was attacked more strongly than Dean who was attempting to get up to go to his baby brother’s aid.

Unfortunately, he’d gotten to his feet just in time to see Sam tumble off the side of the trail and down toward New River.

He could hear:
His brother scream
The underbrush being torn up due to Sam’s passage
Sam’s body hitting rocks and trees and he tumbled headlong toward the bottom…
New River rushing below.
The sound of Sam’s screams until they were abruptly cut off, the last one sounding far, far away…
//////////////////////////////////////////////////

Sam knew he was in trouble the moment he could no longer feel ground beneath his feet.

He felt the broken ribs from the large rocks protruding up from the cold ground.

He felt the broken leg from the massive tree it had twisted against.

He felt the broken wrist and dislocated shoulder.

And he knew he was heading toward a river that the bitter November weather would have made iceberg cold.
////////////////////////////////////////

Finally coming to a stop, Sam could hear the rushing of the churning river to his right and was grateful his fall had stopped before entering the churning water.

Sam Winchester hated falling.

Oh sure, falling down on your fanny was one thing, but a fall of any distance ranked close to Dean’s Death (yes capital letters) or Gabriel and the Mystery Spot.

In spite of Gabriel finally taking a stand, Sam still hadn’t quite forgiven him. A life built on blood, sorrow and loss hadn’t come close to prepare him for the agony of his brother’s death.

So, falling:
Out of a chair, no big.
Off a bed, okay.
From one story to another, dealt with by gritting teeth and tight smile.

But a long fall took him to a place he never wanted to return to, a place of pain, of sorrow and regret. Mostly though a place of extreme soul destroying torture.

The Cage.

For all eternity Sam knew he would remember the feeling of his body out of control, the loss of gravity and light as the ground closed over him and Adam.

After a fall of forever, and yet over all too soon, they’d wound up in a place no one should ever be.

Images of pain and agonized screaming, sheer terror and unimaginable horror flashed like quicksilver through his mind.

Adam

He quickly forced his mind from his younger half-brother. Dwelling on that loss would drive him crazy. Those memories had played a large part in his insanity after the wall had fallen.

Guilt drove Sam Winchester and he was a master of that particular emotion.
/////////////////////////////////////////

Mentally pulling himself into the present, Sam made a quick assessment.

Multiple broken bones
Dislocation of right shoulder
Broken leg or possibly legs
Sprained wrist
Definite concussion
Broken right arm
Bleeding from mouth and nose – oh yeah internal damage an absolute.

Unable to move, he knew he’d have to wait for Dean to find him.

But it was cold, so very cold due to the November weather and a light snow on the ground.

Knowing the average temperature was around 35, the brothers had dressed warmly. Warm for walking on the cold ground, not tumbling down and lying on it.

As the chill seeped in, he took a look around and realized rescue would be a bitch. Still above the tree line, he knew he’d never be able to move more toward the more level ground of the riverbank.

All he could do was wait.
/////////////////////////////////////////
f2ishnR


Realizing he ran the risk of falling unconscious, Sam slowly turned his head to his left. He saw his left arm caught between his side and a sharp edged rock projecting out of the ground.

His elbow was bent with his forearm and hand reaching toward the sky. His hand was open as if to catch a softball preventing a home run.

Seeing his hand upwards brought a memory of visiting Jess and her family one year for a holiday.

Jess’ dad had loved old country music and Sam, while not a huge fan recalled one of the songs she had really liked.

Oddly enough, it seemed appropriate.

On the fingers of one hand on the fingers of one hand
Life can all be counted on the fingers of one hand

Count your little finger on the day you born
See the fingernail it's protection from the thorn
Protection from the thorn of life it shields you as you grow
The nail is a guardian until you're a child no more

Protection
Dean, his shield and protection. Whether it was a bully at school or dad on a drunken rampage, Dean had protected him even from himself. He may have raged and fought against what he thought at that time to be his brother’s refusal to see him as an adult, but he always knew, always, Dean was there.

Even during their worst of times, the two had always come back together, sometimes cracked and broken, but he always felt protected.

A child no more

He could admit he’d always been Dean’s child. Compliant at times, rebellious at other’s, Dean was his brother first and then his dad.

While he could no longer be considered a child, he was still Dean’s kid. Dean’s to love, shield and protect even when Sam fought ‘against the goads’.

He had and would always have shelter wherever Dean was.

He wondered if Dean knew how much his younger brother loved and needed him. Did Dean know that Sam respected more than he had anyone else? Did Dean understand he was as vital to Sam as Sam was to Dean? Did he truly understand what he’d meant when he told Dean he had looked up to and wanted to be like him since he was four years old?

Count your second finger as you come of age
Right and wrong is clearer when you reach this page

Exactly when one came of age was unclear as Sam continued to study his fingers.

Was it when you could walk and talk? Dress yourself? Understand the consequences of your actions or when you began to question the actions of others?

‘Funny’ thought Sam. He’d walked and talked early, but the world had still been an exciting place with new places to explore with each move. He’d still seen everything through eyes and a life unjaded by the shadow world the family inhabited.

Then had come the questions.

Why? Why didn’t they have a mom? Why was it necessary to constantly be on the move? Why did this creature they were looking for have to die if it wasn’t killing?

Why wasn’t anyone listening to his silent screaming about feeling unsafe, unsecure? His fear of one day waking up to the news his brother or father had died while he was helpless to do anything?

All he had wanted was answers, answers to ensure his family’s safety. To make sure they returned alive.

His fear had turned to belligerence and outright disrespect at times. He knew this and deeply regretted the fractures that had occurred within his family because of it.

He had hated living with constant fear and nightmares. The stress of worrying about his and his family’s safety and been a driving force behind his leaving for Stanford.

Unfortunately, while trying to rescue himself, he’d lost Dean for a few years. While they’d had the rare occasional contact, their original closeness had been lost.

It had taken the loss of Jess to bring them back together, at least he and Dean back together. His dad had still been there, but generally circling the periphery.

He was more adult, but still his soul was in pain. Pain that had only been multiplied, not only by the hunting, Jess’s death but by his own selfish foolish mistakes.

So many regrets. So many wrong decisions had been taken up and brutally defended. While he knew he and Dean had been led ‘down the garden path’, he had to acknowledge he had been at fault for a lot of things gone wrong.

Jess

His greatest mistake was becoming involved in her life. If he’d never, never allowed himself to believe he was out she would be alive today. Probably married with kids, happy with someone else but alive.

God, he missed her. Even with other women moving in and out of his life, Jess remained the only part of his heart not given to Dean.

He could see her long blond hair, smell the unique scent of her. Her laughter and smile were what he’s held on to help survive the vicious existence he led.

His memory of her sense of humor had often given his spirits a much needed boost when things were harsh.

He wished he’d never met her, was happy he had and wondered if he’s told her of his nightmares would it have a difference?

Maybe, but who really knew?

While he didn’t love Dean the same way he’d loved Jess, those two were his everything. Jess’s death had damn near killed him, Dean’s permanent death would finish him off. He would not, could not survive that.

Ruby

Beautiful, oh so helpful, lying black hearted Ruby.

He’s given her his body, his trust and maybe the beginning of his love. He had wanted to believe her sweet lies of remembering being human, wanting to help Dean and helping him destroy Lilith.

She’d played him like a harp and he’d allowed it. He’d known she was a demon, but in desperation, he’d believed every pretty lie that fell from her lips.

Wanting to believe he could save Dean, he’d danced to her tune. Even with the threats of violence and pain on her person, he’s played puppet to her puppet master.

Sam knew he had stepped where told, moved as directed and played Ruby’s game to the bitter end.

He’d lost and lost spectacularly. The price for losing could have been the world, but instead cost him himself.

He’ screwed up, hadn’t managed to save Dean and almost damned the human race to genocide.

The best of intentions to begin with, the worst results achieved.

Lilith

The queen bitch herself.

Even today, the most dominant emotion when he thought of her was anger. Anger at her having Dean’s contract and his brutal death from the hell hounds.

Watching that savage death had left emotional marks that had and never would heal.

He knew Ruby had built that anger up, stoked it to full flame and kept it going, but she couldn’t have accomplished that without the anger already being present.

Anger had long been a constant and sometimes welcome driving force for Sam Winchester and at least to himself, he could admit that.

When Lilith died, he’d felt…vindicated in what he’d been doing with Ruby. He’d felt justified until the awful truth had come out.

What he’d done…

What he felt he was…

Unclean was a word familiar to him. As he lay on the icy ground, he thought about the demon blood that ran through his veins.

He was almost grateful for Billie’s threat of the empty cause he knew he’d never make heaven and the idea of returning to hell terrified him.

Dean and even Castiel and tried to reassure him he’d more than made up for any mistakes or grievous sin, but he had never been able to make peace with that thought.

Dad

And wasn’t that multiple papers for a therapist to make a name for themselves writing.

He loved his dad but despised the person he became.

He had at one point in his life resented everything his dad stood for. The hunting, constant moving and overall danger had made him angry to the point of despair over his life

He’d hated he and Dean not being first in John’s life. Their safety and care should have been top priority.

It never had been. There had been too many nights of not enough foods, too many days of hiding from motel managers and CPS for him to ever feel any measure of comfort with his childhood.

If it hadn’t been for Dean, he firmly believed he’d have been dropped off somewhere and conveniently forgotten. But with a built in mom, dad and babysitter, John had never exercised that option.

‘Wonder how that would have turned out?’ came unbidden. The answer would always be a question unanswered. He did know if he and Dean had been separated, things would have gone oh so much worse.

Keeping he and his brother together had been one right thing he could credit his dad for.

After Jess, he’d gotten a better understanding of his dad, and could respect his decisions better. He’s understood better his desire to find yellow eyes and revenge.

The cost of the search had been too high and while he had learned to respect his dad, he had never quite been able to forgive.

With a small wry smile at that thought, Sam recognized he was his father’s son.
/////////////////////////////////////////////

Cold. He was so cold he was shivering.

He could no longer feel his legs. Please God, no paralysis.
////////////////////////////////////////////

Bobby

While his regrets were fewer with Bobby, there were a few.

He loved Bobby, he really did, but he sometimes wish they’d never contacted the other man.

If they hadn’t maybe, just maybe Bobby would still be alive. On the other hand, he and Dean would be dead a dozen times over if not for Bobby.

He regretted Bobby’s death more than even John’s. He’s supported not criticized, taught not bullied and simply saw them as Sam and Dean not soldiers in an unending relentless war.

John taught them shadows, Bobby allowed them to see light.

And here was another deep mark on his soul: he’s tried to kill him. While intellectually he realized it had simply been a matter of survival for his soulless self, emotionally he held himself to complete blame.

He knew Bobby had forgiven him, God knew he knew that. He just had never been able to forgive himself.

He missed the man who over the years had been a father figure to them, who fed them when they were hungry, placed a roof, however temporary, over their heads, provided info as needed and kicked their behinds when necessary.

He hoped Bobby had been allowed back to whatever his heaven had been before he’d given it up to once more help them.

He wanted Bobby to be happy. He’s like to see that, but he firmly believed heaven wasn’t for him.

He’d regret never seeing Bobby Singer again.

Castiel

So many conflicted feelings ran through him every time he thought of the angel.

While he was grateful for all the help he’d given them over the years, he also harbored a lot of anger toward Castiel.

Anger over how the angel had helped to manipulate them into almost ending earth and its people.

Anger and shame over their first meeting where the angel had looked at him as if he wasn’t fit to exist.

Anger over his threats of sending Dean to hell again if he didn’t do as he ordered him.

Anger over Castiel letting him out of the panic room. Would things have worked out as they had if he’d stayed locked up? He honestly couldn’t say, but he did believe it would have made things harder where Ilchester was concerned.

Would he have listened? Maybe, maybe not but it would have been another roadblock in “The Plan”.

Cas’ breaking of the wall had left him twitchy around the angel. If Cas came upon him unexpectedly, the memories of the cage and his soulless self rose like a tsunami and momentarily threatened to overwhelm him. He’d always managed to push them down but always wondered if the angel knew how he reacted to him. If he did, did he care? Had he brought him back soulless on purpose to try to completely split the two brothers up?

Lying there, Sam thought he may have done the soulless thing as a carpe diem, but the wall was intentional. He’d never forgive or get over the damage done in the name of Castiel’s ‘greater good’.

The big one though was getting Lucifer out of the cage. He would never forgive what he saw as complete disloyalty of every apology, usually made to Dean, every instance of help, every word of friendship Castiel had ever made.

Even if he moved past his own feelings, the betrayals of Dean and his willingness to lent the angel a helping hand when he stumbled would never be forgiven.

Unacceptable.

Cas had always been Dean’s friend and protector first and he been sorted of accepted by osmosis. Then again why would angel want to buddy up to the Boy King? He was, “after all an abomination”.

That was okay with him. It wasn’t…painful just a little sad.

Funny that it took lying smashed like a pinata on the cold, wet ground for him to have a moment of bitter sharp clarity; he never had and probably never would trust the angel.

And wasn’t that just the icing on the cake?
////////////////////////////////////////////
He was getting sleepy but knew had to stay awake.

He wanted to be warm again, to not hurt.

He wanted Dean.
/////////////////////////////////////////

And when you meet a girl you love accordin' to life's plan
The day you age you count the middle finger of your hand

Funny how so much in his life had lead back to Jess.

For two plus years she’d been his all. Then her death had been his reason to continue. The hunt for her killer had been all consuming but finding out she’d been set up to die had killed a part of him that had never resurrected.

He could concede and accept that about himself now. It was ugly maybe, but real life was that way he supposed. It was messy, ugly and often seemed too hard to bear.

He’d had every intention of marrying her, settling down and having kids. Blond kids with her smile and personality, her smarts and compassion.

He’d gotten her killed but prayed she had forgiven him and was happy. Maybe, if she ever thought of him in her hereafter, she remembered him lovingly. He hoped so. It would be nice to be thought of with kindness by her.

His Jess. So strong and beautiful.

He’d cared for Madison, lusted after Ruby and knew in time he could have loved Sarah. He also knew no one could have ever completely taken her place in his heart.

It would have been so unfair, he mused, to have given himself over in a relationship he knew he’d never be able to fully engage in.

Would any serious relationship have withered and died because the other person would have to share him with a ghost? Probably.

Maybe it was a good thing he’d never truly fallen in love again.

He wondered what she was doing, who she was chatting with or what book maybe she was reading.

His Jess, his everything.
//////////////////////////////////////

Giving a small laugh, which hurt like hell, Sam pondered his philosophical turn of thought.

He knew if help didn’t come soon, he was going to die bleeding and broken on icy ground.

Funny, he always knew hunting would cost his life.

Knowing it and going through it were two different things.

He remembered a friend from Stanford who once remarked she’d never trust a promise from the universe itself cause the universe didn’t know how to keep one.

She also claimed fate was a fickle bitch who deserved no trust or respect.

Maybe not fickle, he decided but a definite bitch. She’d certainly been a bitch in his life often enough.

Whatever could a group of 6 month olds have done to deserve the fate that had chased after them? Not just himself, but Andy, Max, Ava and all the other ‘special’ children.

‘Special’ his ass; damned before conception was more accurate.

The reason had been the apocalypse, but the why them, why their mothers had never really been answered and never would.

Tired, he was so tired but had to stay awake. He felt so fuzzy headed, so weak.
///////////////////////////////////////////////

As he lay there, Sam slipped into the second stage of hypothermia.

His pulse and respiration had slowed and were getting slower.

His temperature was dropping.
Thought processes were becoming woolly, difficult to keep clear.

He just wanted to sleep, but knew he had to stay awake and wait for Dean. He wasn’t sure why, but he knew he had to wait. Somehow it was important.
//////////////////////////////////////////

Deciding to concentrate once more on his fingers, he thought about the song that had been dancing through his head.

Furrowing his brow, he struggled to recall the next verse of it.

It took a few minutes, but finally he was able to remember.

When the Lord has blessed you with a tiny air
Count the final finger say a thankful prayer

He’d never really been sure what this meant exactly. Maybe air was supposed to mean heir, a new life coming into being?

He wasn’t sure.

Sam knew he had no heirs, no child to carry on any legacy he may leave behind.

Maybe that was a good thing considering his past and the demon blood. What a thing to pass on to a child.

He couldn’t do that to an innocent, so during a time he and Dean had separated he’d had surgery to make sure he couldn’t commit what he felt would be an atrocity to a child.

The knowledge of no children had left a major unrelenting ache in his heart. Being a father and having his own family had been an even bigger dream than graduating university had been.

Jack was as close as he would ever come to fulfilling that dream. He knew Jack counted Castiel as his dad, but he felt he’d had some part in helping Jack become who he was.

While Jack struggled with this world, and his place in it, Sam wanted so much to believe he’d played a role in helping him deal with who and what he was.

He hoped Jack would be okay when he was gone.
//////////////////////////////////////////

Feeling something brush softly against his face, Sam opened his to see a starlight sky with a light snow falling.

The one thing he didn’t need. More cold to add to his misery
////////////////////////////////////////

So much was swirling through his head, he didn’t hear the voices, especially THE voice desperately calling his name as rescue units searched the dark for him.

He didn’t hear Dean screaming his name in sheer panic as he tore through the area looking for Sam.

He didn’t see the emergency lights as they flashed on the ground looking for where he had stopped his downward plunge.

He didn’t see the searchlight from the helicopter flying overhead as personnel tried to peer through the dense trees to see him.
////////////////////////////////////////////

Last of all you're countin' on the day your life is done

Sam didn’t want to die, but he knew he was minutes from slipping away.

Once more looking at his hand, he hoped Dean would be okay with what was happening. He wanted to beg a god he wasn’t sure he believed in anymore to not let his brother do something stupid.

Promises had been made to let each other go, but Winchesters were kind of notorious for breaking promises as easily as they broke laws.

He wanted to see Dean again but he
Was
Just
So
Tired
////////////////////////////////////////////////

Ground Rescue and Emergency Services were moving as quickly as possible across the snow covered ground looking for Sam.

When the frantic call had come in to 911, everyone knew this was going to be a rough one due to the terrain and biting cold.

The hysteria in the voice, who’d identified himself as the brother, had the units moving as fast as they could up the mountain to begin the process of finding the victim.

As the helicopter flew overhead providing much needed light, ropes were attached to trees so searchers could repel down searching every inch of the slope for what they hoped would be a living person.

More searchers had converged by New River to search along the river bank and into the tree line moving up to meet those coming down.

They all knew he was going to be in rough shape after such a fall.

As most of the rescuers began their desperate search, the rescuers left waiting above tried to think of everything they could possibly be dealing with when Sam was brought up for triage for the Life Flight.

Both were keeping a close eye on Dean who they feared would do something foolish if this turned from a rescue to recovery mission.

All tried to keep a watch, but somehow Dean had managed to take off down the trail to the riverbank. Hoping they wouldn’t have two rescues on their hands, a radio was used to inform the ones below he was on his way.

It only took a few minutes, that seemed to stretch forever, for Dean to reach the bank and begin searching the tree line.

Walking a few feet in, but not so far as not to lose sight of the river, he began to yell Sam’s name while doing a slow jog.

Dean was terrified. Losing Sammy was simply not an option he could or would accept.

Being alone wasn’t his greatest fear, it was being alone because he’d screwed up and lost Sammy.

As he jogged along screaming his brother’s name at the top of his lungs, Dean had gone from fear to sheer terror since Sam wasn’t answering.
////////////////////////////////////////////
As Sam moved into 3rd stage hypothermia, the blood which had pooled into his organs to keep them working, suddenly rushed back into his extremities causing his body to feel the heat he’d been longing for.

He didn’t realize he lay on the very cusp of death.

Just before falling unconscious, Sam tried to remember who he was waiting for and why.
/////////////////////////////////////////////

So frightened, Dean almost didn’t hear the yelled “Found him!”

Turning slightly to his left and inward, running full out, he came upon a scene from his nightmares

Flashing lights as people moved toward Sam with handheld flashlights, trees bending in macabre shapes twisting with the freezing wind, snow on already covered ground with more dancing in the chilled air. A dark ebon sky. The murmuring of the nearby river.

A person unmoving on the ground, bloody and broken.

Words, so many words

Bp
Pulse
O2 saturation
Broken bones
Bleeding
Hypothermia
Unconscious
Temp 89 degrees
Crisis

Dean would never remember the short run over uneven ground to get to Sam. He’d never remember reaching his side or falling to his knees on the freezing wet ground.

He would remember blocking out everything but his brother lying there still, still as death.

That had him reaching a shaking hand to touch the person he saw, cause it couldn’t be Sam.

Sam was never still, never not moving when awake. He was always moving, never this quiet.

Sam talked, even when reading. He walked, tapped fingers, moved his chair around. His bed was always a mess where he twisted and turned while asleep.

Even when eating, silverware twirled in his hands as he made a point about whatever they were talking about at the time.

This NotSam was so quiet, so still, so static not even his chest could be seen moving.
////////////////////////////////////////////

The next minutes, hours, days? passed like a series of photos to Dean, a series of flickers like snapshots in a scrapbook with nothing between them.

Flicker
At the helicopter as Sam was being loaded with out any idea how either of them got there
Flicker
In the air heading for CAMC, not realizing that he was actually flying. It would a couple of days before he knew they were at Charleston Area Medical Center, the nearest trauma center.
Flicker
Talking to two Doctors, mentions of surgery, repairs, what was Sam Courtland’s blood type, allergies, so many questions he’d never remember all of them.
Flicker
White walls, an uncomfortable orange chair, magazine and hours and hours of waiting.
Flicker
Fear, so much fear that this time neither would recover. If Sam went, he knew he wouldn’t last long. He’d never want to.
Flicker
Not calling Castiel. After Gadreel’s possession, Dean had taken a long hard look at some things Sam had said or hinted and realized Sam didn’t trust the angel.
Maybe he needed to take a different look at a number of things.
Flicker
Cups of hospital swill passing as coffee until a nurse took pity on the man barely hanging by his fingertips and showed him the staff room with better stuff.
Flicker
Knowing the staff was watching him because if he received the worst news he too would need care
Flicker
Magazines, bathroom, and waiting always waiting.

And underlining everything, every breath was sheer unadulterated fear. Fear that death chased after Sam, relentlessly drawing closer each second.
//////////////////////////////////////////////

Night passed to day to afternoon before there was any word.

Broken leg, set. Broken arm surgically repaired, internal injuries including a tear in the liver and damage to intestines repaired, lung reinflated, ribs wired as needed and the patient on a respirator, core temp up to 96, kidneys under close scrutiny etc., etc., etc.

Prognosis: Call family and friends to ‘see’ the patient as soon as possible for possible goodbyes.

There was no one to call.

It was time to wait.
///////////////////////////////////////////

Time is a strange thing when waiting with a life on hold.

At times it moves as slow as molasses on a frozen January day. Others, it speeds so fast you think you’re going light speed and feel bewildered.

Even routines lose their newness over time. You know things segue from one routine to another, but lost in feelings, memories and flat out grief, they become predictable.

They become everything.
//////////////////////////////////////////

Blood pressure checks, oximeter checks, respirator checks were measured in 15 minute increments.

Respiratory and traction checks every 2 hours meant Sam was still alive.

Cleaning wounds and turning Sam became reminders about 4 hours had passed.

Doctors visits meant Sam had survived another 6 hours.

Blood being drawn meant repeated 24 hour sections with Sam still in this realm.

As segments of time moved forward, the prognosis for ‘the patient’ changed from a wait till the end to a slight change for the better, to ‘Sam’ stands a chance of living.

Intervals moved from Sam not breathing on his own to weaning off the respirator over a period of days.

Phases moved from a silent, unknowingly compliant Sam to occasional twitches and slight groans of agony as his body began to register its injuries.

Twitches eventually turned to moving limbs, groans became grunts in attempts to respond to the voices around him and unconsciousness grew into long periods of deep sleep broken by brief periods of disorientation.

Stitches were gently removed and physical therapy started when it finally became obvious Sam would survive.

It became a waiting game to see when he would awaken and respond to the world around him.
//////////////////////////////////////////////

By his beside had sat a looming sentinel with many questions, many concerns and great anxiety. A sentinel who refused to leave the room, showered in the adjacent bath and been bribed with threats of being kicked out to eat or rest.

A sentinel with ever watchful eyes.

Eyes that had watched with a predator’s focus on every move anyone had made upon entering the room. Assessing everyone for ill regard or bad intentions.

Eyes that had questioned every step of every procedure to make sure everything was done correctly each and every time.


Eyes that showed the greatest compassion when assisting with his brother’s care.

Eyes that carried a haunted burden of responsibility, worry and deep, deep love.

Eyes that gradually lightened as the days passed and hope rose within the confines of the small room.
//////////////////////////////////////////

Nineteen days later, pain laden hazel eyes would finally open to steadily meet the emerald green ones that had waited for Sam to fully awaken.

Snow was pouring down and covering Charleston in a blanket of white. Overhead grey skies with heavy laden clouds loomed with the promise of more harsh weather.

Inside a particular hospital room, the day had never been more beautiful.

Moraff's Majong

Software Diversions/Moraff's Majong - please do not buy from these people! I've been trying to get a response from customer service for over 24 hours and cannot get a response! They didn't mind taking payment, but seriously I cannt get a valid registration key or response?!?

Bye Mom

Bye Mom. You will be missed. Such a strong woman. You raised 4 strong women who learned so many lessons from you that we have been proud to pass on to your grandkids and great grandkids. We had our fights and arguments over the years, but I always knew you loved me and my sisters. I'm glad you are no longer in pain and are at rest, but I want you here for my own selfish reasons. I love you Mom.

Counting Coup

For the SammyBigBang 2017
With tremendous thanks to muchness - and - stars for your beautiful artwork that means so much to this story! Thank you for making it better!

At Masterpost http://muchness-and-stars.tumblr.com/post/158172154154/it-was-a-honor-to-illustrate-crucis1-s-ficPlease check it out! It goes so well with this story!

Counting Coup
By Crucis
Art by muchness-and-stars. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Rating G, PG
Disclaimer: I do not own, unfortunately, Supernatural or any of its characters. They are owned by Kripke, the CW and other alphabet beings/companies. No money or other compensation is being made from this. It’s done out of love for these characters.
Mentions of past torture

IMG_9788
The Mngwa is a gigantic cat, about the same size as that of a pony.
It has creepy yellow eyes, sharp deadly teeth and huge razor like claws. Its fur is a dark grey with black stripes and spots, similar to a nowadays domesticated tabby cat.
Its body is said to sport some hairless spots from victims clutching and ripping patches as they attempted to free themselves.
This feline was so strong and ferocious that it could kill a person with a single bite or strike of its paws. It is mightier than the powerful lion, faster and deadlier than a leopard.

Many bloodied and mangled bodies have been left strewn about, clutching tufts of grey fur in their hands without explanation.

Counting coup refers to the winning of prestige against an enemy by the Plains Indians of North America. Warriors won prestige by acts of bravery in the face of the enemy, which could be recorded in various ways and retold as stories.

‘’ show thoughts



The hunt for the Mngwa had been a difficult one as few survived an encounter with the vicious cat like creature. How it came to be in Colorado from east Africa was something they hadn’t been able to figure out. It was only after talking to a couple of recent immigrant families who were familiar with the legend had they been able to track and gank it.

Fighting with the creature had been hard and bloody. Scrapes, claw marks and bites could be found on both Winchesters. Fortunately, they had won, but that win had come with a price tag attached stating do not remove.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
David Collier Hospital was having its usual night in the ER. People moving, hustling about taking care of patients, writing up records, cleaning up blood, vomit, urine…the minutiae of a busy emergency needs area.

At first, no one noticed the dark blond who entered half carrying, half dragging a dark-haired man with him. It took a loud yell of “Help!” for people with a gurney to head toward him in a run.

The answer to the inevitable question of what had happened, wild animal attack, didn’t come as a surprise. Locals knew to be careful in the woods, but there were always a few problems every year with campers from out of area.

Upper state New York was beautiful with full, lush trees, lakes, and places where people just went to escape for a few days.
Camp grounds were common enough for locals and tourists to benefit from, but civilization tended to forget or downplay the dangers in the wild.

Hospital personnel were familiar with camping accidents from burns to breaks to occasional animal attacks, so hearing what had happened really raised no eyebrows.

What did cause surprise was the extent of the injuries. Bites and claw marks could be clearly seen, but the respiratory problems were setting off alarms among the staff.

And the blood, so much blood.
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
It’d taken three hours for over 100 stitches to be stitched, IVs to be started, blood typed and cross matched just in case, ex rays and lab work to be completed before the younger man, ‘Sam Wellson’ was admitted to the fifth floor.

While not ICU, the floor was a critical care unit. So, while, Sam wasn’t in imminent danger of death, he was in serious condition.

Three broken ribs had raised concerns about lung stability, but had proven to be non-life threatening. Breathing treatments and strong pain medication had helped to relieve Sam’s painful inhales.

A wrenched ankle, myriad stitches, broken ribs, IVs and a unit of blood, as well as possible infection, had been given for the reason for admittance to the critical care floor. If, as expected, Sam did well during the night he would be moved to a regular floor the next day. Hopefully, he’d be discharged in just a few days.

All of this had been explained in great detail to the patient’s brother, Dean, who’d hovered about like his brother’s own shadow while Sam was being treated.

Upon reaching the fifth floor, Sam had been wheeled into 503 where a rather stern woman was waiting for her patient.

Monica Momerie was not a deliberately cruel person. 5ft 3 inches, dull brown hair and eyes made her a physically unremarkable person. However, a rough childhood and abusive marriage had left her expecting, and usually finding, the worst in people even if only in her own mind.

“Ok Sam, let’s get you settled. I have a few questions to finish your paperwork. Perhaps your brother could wait outside?”

Seeing Dean open his mouth and trying to avoid a confrontation, Sam spoke “No! I want him to stay.”

Meaning to cut off a problem before it began, Sam had no idea he had just opened a Pandora’s Box.

Things were going to get ugly.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Monica really did care about helping others, but that help was based upon what she thought was best. Her compassion had become twisted by bitterness and distrust.

So, when she heard Sam ask for Dean to stay, she didn’t hear a brother asking for a brother.

She heard someone afraid of another, someone in emotional pain, someone being hurt someway.
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Giving a calculating look at Dean, she moved protectively between him and his brothers. Watching carefully as she asked her questions, she didn’t realize she was almost eagerly waiting for the answer of scars.

Sam knew he had a lot of scars. After his life, who wouldn’t, but it was until he began to list them that he realized just how many he carried.

Back: check
Stomach: check
Arms: check
Legs: check
Feet: check
Hands: check
Face and neck: check, check, and add a few more checks

As she listed the information, Monica knew immediately the man in front of her was obviously abused. ‘Extreme Sports’ was just a cover up.

Someone was hurting this sweet, helpless man and she was going to make sure it stopped.

Monica knew just who was to blame. No spouse, no parents, no emergency contact outside of his brother…well, she would do everything in her limited power to fix this!
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Briefing at shift change 11:pm
5th Floor
Shift change involved passing info to the oncoming shift. Names of patients, medical information and treatment, and upcoming procedures were all passed on to facilitate proper care being given. Personal observations were also part of the process. Patient interactions with staff and others, family issues, patient preferences, etc. were passed to help staff and patients as well.

Monica Momerie was known as someone who cared greatly about those under her care. She was regarded as a fantastic caregiver, so when she spoke, others listened.

The scars, the fear of his brother not leaving, the injuries in general with her whispered words and condemnation, made her words a living, viable thing.

No one grasped the bitterness she held like a warm blanket in cold winter.

No one grasped her self-righteousness she used to justify her ugly behavior.

No one would understand the pain they were about to cause.
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Two days had passed since his admission and Sam was already restless. Wanting to stretch, he was about to sneak out of bed when a small, diminutive woman, showing a lot of teeth in her smile, walked quietly into his room.

Raising his eyebrow, Sam was about to ask her who she was when she introduced herself.

“Hi Sam! My name is Ida Mayhew and I’m with Social Services here in the hospital. Now, I understand often adults have problems discussing issues affecting their life, but I am here to help you.”

Making a whirling motion with his hand for her to go on, Sam was bewildered when she continued. Whatever he had expected, it wasn’t what he got.

“Sam, I do understand what you are going through and aren’t here to pass judgement. I know these situations can be difficult, but you can get out of a dangerous relationship. I can help you if you’ll let me.”

“Huh?” came the less than intelligent answer.

“Sam, we’ve become aware of the scarring you have and believe your brother may be responsible.”

“What is happening is not your fault. We just want to help you, if you’ll let us” was chirped in what she supposed to be a comforting way.

“You think Dean is hurting me?!? What the fuck, lady? Are you out of your mind? Dean’s my brother and has never physically hurt me. Yeah we argue and maybe throw punches on rare occasion, but I give as good as I get! Where are you getting off?”

“Now Sa….”

“GET OUT! Get out now and don’t come back!”

Leaving some pamphlets on the bedside table, Ms. Mayhew turned to go. “I’m sorry, Sam. If you change your mind, please let me know. If not me then someone else help you.”

Lying back, Sam was dumbfounded by the conversation he’d just had. Trying to figure things out, he decided to try for the nurses’ station to get some answers before Dean came for visiting hours.

Struggling up with a grunt, he maneuvered his way into the wheelchair by his bed. Rolling toward the door, he stopped at the voices outside. Recognizing Ms. Mayhew, he waited to hear what she was saying.

“I tried, but he refused any help. Hopefully, he’ll change mind the poor boy.”

“I know Ida. That man had been so mistreated! Those horrible, ugly scars! How could someone do that to another person? No wonder he was wearing so many layers of clothing when he came in. He’s probably ashamed of what’s happened to him!” came a voice he didn’t know.

“I know. It’s a shame. He has such a handsome face and build. Having to cover up that way.”

As the two voices moved down the hall, Sam sat in shock.

He knew he was scarred. The lifestyle he led, plus the torture he had undergone had left marks, marks he covered up and tried to ignore. He’d gotten so used to hiding them, he generally ignored they were there.

Unlike Dean, who had to have his body rebuilt to house his soul, Sam had been returned from Hell in his own form. Cas hadn’t needed to make his a new body as he still had his own.

But now, hearing the words ugly, a shame, horrible brought some nasty thoughts to the surface.

Sam Winchester had never paid much attention to his looks except for his height. He knew it was intimidating so he tried to downplay how tall he was to make people he was dealing with more comfortable. As for his face, he’d never really considered himself especially attractive. Jess had often called him handsome, but he’d figured that was the voice of love. Yeah, he was muscular, but keeping fit was necessary to survive a Hunter’s life.

He’d had a few lovers, but that didn’t make him over the top attractive. No, that was Dean.

Now, hearing those words whispering through his head over and over, Sam rose and made his way to the bathroom.

Limping to the sink, eyes lowered, he slowly shrugged off his robe and hospital gown. Moving his eyes to the mirror, he studied his chest and upper arms.

So much of his life was written on his skin and not just the protection tattoo. Bite marks, claw marks, cuts, scrapes, and oh yeah, his favorite, torture scars liberally were scattered over a human palette, painted in tears, sweat and so much blood.

So very much blood.

Between the injuries from the latest hunt, a lifetime of depression, and PTSD, everything seemed to crash into Sam at once.

From his prospective, time slowed to a crawl while his respirations sped up.
Feeling his heart pound, he turned to go back to the bed, to cover up, to hide, to keep attention away when his vision became spotty.

Knees wobbling, he headed toward the floor only to be caught in the safest things he knew – his brother’s arms.

Dean didn’t say anything just quickly returned Sam to his bed while pressing the call light.

Asking for his brother to have some pain medicine, then proceeding to chew the nurse a new because Sam had been up when he was supposed to be on bedrest, Dean either ignored or didn’t notice the reserved tone she used to talk to him. More than likely, thought Sam, he didn’t care.

Sam had just begun to drift off when a nurse entered carrying gauze, tape and other things signaling time for dressing changes.

“No.” came out before he knew he’s spoken. “I want Dean to do it. Only Dean and no one else is to touch me.”

After giving Sam an intense look, Dean shrugged and the nurse and asked her to teach him what to do unaware this only intensified the negative view the staff had of him.

Deciding not to say anything at that moment, Dean changed the dressing and settled into a chair to see if Sam had anything he wanted to say or talk about. When Sam remained quiet, Dean began to worry.

Just as he was about to try to get a conversation going to see if he could get to the problem, another person entered for another treatment.

Again, Sam refused and demanded Dean take care of him. Quietly, he took care of Sam, wanting to fix whatever it was that needed fixing. Something was wrong and it ate at him while he waited for privacy to talk the problem out.
IMG_9786


/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Once Sam was settled, Dean tried to coax him into explaining what was going on, but Sam was having none of it. He angrily rolled over and pretended to sleep.

Sighing, Dean sat back and racked his brain trying to figure this puzzle out. Normally, Sam was a good patient for a day or so then began to agitate to leave. This, though was something different.

Waiting till he thought Sam was asleep, Dean walked to the nurse’s station to see if they had some answers. A few minutes later, he was back in the room somewhat bewildered by the attitude he’s been shown by the staff.

Being ignored was one thing, but the rudeness when he was finally answered was a shock. Thinking back, he realized the staff had been acting strange for a couple of days, almost since Sam had been admitted. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t think of anything to have caused the situation. Sure, he’d been abrasive when they first came in, but he’d behaved since then and he knew Sam wouldn’t have deliberately done anything to cause this sort of problem.

With a jolt, he heard soft crying coming from under the blankets his baby brother had rolled himself into like a life size burrito.

“Sammy? What can I do? Please let me help.”

Dean was devastated when a broken “No, you can’t. it’s me, it’s always been me.” Came in such a sorrowful tone he felt his heart was aching.

Try as he would over the next few days, Dean couldn’t get Sam to open to him. He watched with an aching heart as Sam fell further quiet and more withdrawn.

Sam began to refuse to eat anything brought by the staff, so Dean took to bringing salads and other foods he knew Sam would eat. Even then, his brother often left more than half the meals uneaten.

He coaxed and cajoled Sam into drinking juice and water as much as possible.

Dean Winchester was experiencing a feeling he was not accustomed to: failure.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The next three days went much the same way. Sam refused all treatment unless Dean did them, refused to eat any meals brought by staff, and continued to bundle up in his covers like they were a cloak of invisibility.

In his mind the words went on and on.
Shame
Cover
Ugly

Except they had morphed into
Shame he’s alive after all he’s done
He should cover up and hide from everyone
Ugly, ugly soul

Sam had always carried guilt on his broad shoulders, along with remorse, grief and sorrow. They were comfortable, familiar old friends.

This time, he was spiraling down into a dark place he was afraid he couldn’t leave.


//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Sam was reaching the point of being hysterical when staff entered the room by day four of his stay. He wasn’t seeing the compassion or concern in their eyes. No what he saw was disgust, unwillingness to help, or out and out hate.

Finally, he demanded Dean get him discharged or bring the paperwork for him to sign himself out.

Not wanting to upset his brother further, Dean hunted the Dr. down and asked about a discharge. When the Dr. became vocal about Sam staying in the hospital, he quietly walked to the station and demanded A.M.A. paperwork. After minutes of argument and plain old runaround, it was finally handed over.

As fast as he could manage, Sam dressed and left the room. Without stopping, he walked to the elevator, waited for Dean and left without a single word.

What neither brother knew was the hospital and Social Services were looking at possible ways to keep Dean from Sam.

They didn’t realize that would completely break the two brothers.
IMG_9787
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The ride back to the bunker took two days with the brothers stopping at night for a few hours’ rest at less than fashionable motels. Food had been drive through as Sam refused to stop. When Dean tried to push the issue by pulling into a diner, Sam simply refused to leave the car.

Sam also refused to have his dressings changed except in the privacy of their room. Dean had offered to stop along the way but the answer was an adamant “NO!”

Shame he’s alive after all he’s done
He should cover up and hide from everyone
Ugly, ugly soul

Sam tossed and turned at night hearing the words over and over. He couldn’t explain to Dean cause the thought of his brother perhaps feeling the same was more than he knew he could bear.

Being away from the hospital was helping though. Without the staff being around as a constant reminder of what he’d heard, he felt his head was clearing a little.

Still, all he wanted was home. Home seemed to have become a mental good luck talisman to him.

Sam found it funny in a sad sort of way that he’d never realized he thought of the bunker that way. He knew the Impala was home, but somehow the bunker with its doors and locks and mystical protection had hit that magic button as well. He felt safe there, even after Lucifer/ Cas, Billie and all. He just wanted to get there to try to regroup.

Sam wasn’t stupid by any means. He knew he was having a depressive episode. Intellectually he understood what was going on, but emotionally and physically he was caught in a vise of hurt.

He was scared he wouldn’t be able to climb out of the dark hole he felt he was in. He felt raw, as if everything was exposed for anyone to see.

He didn’t want food as it had no taste, he didn’t want to look Dean in the eyes afraid of what he’s see. It felt like trying to swim through jelly and knowing you were going to drown anyway no matter how hard you fought against the current.

He knew he was worrying Dean almost to a panic point, but he wanted HOME and wanted it now. Something was driving him to get to the bunker where he would be safe and out of sight.

Sighing a deep heartfelt sigh as the Impala pulled into the underground garage, Sam could feel relief thrumming through him as if it were a living, breathing entity.

He was so comforted to be home. He felt as if he could breath for the first time since this nightmare hunt had begun.

Opening the door into the bunker proper, the brothers walked through the kitchen and started toward their rooms.

Both were quiet, almost reverent in their steps.

Dean was grateful to be back in a familiar place after the past week or so. He wanted downtime to strategize how to deal with Sam and take care of whatever was bugging his younger brother. Make it better! Make it better! Make it better! Was something he lived and breathed body and soul where Sam was concerned. He knew his brother was an adult, capable in his own right, but the big brother prerogative never slept and never would.

Sam was just glad to be back in familiar surroundings where he felt he could take a deep breath properly for the first time in days, someplace where he could let his guard down somewhat and try to deal with the whirlwind in his mind. Calmer now, he needed to decompresses and get back on an even keel.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Sam Winchester trod slowly down the hallway of the MoL bunker mentally swearing that it got longer each time he went down it.

Tired, worn out, and less than deadly injured, all he wanted was a hot shower, something light to eat and drink and his bed.

As tired and hungry as he was, the siren call of strong water pressure, unlimited time with sore muscles under the hot spray and a clean hair of head came first.

‘Priorities Sam’ wryly came into his mind loud and clear. ‘Priorities.’

Walking past Dean’s room, he saw his older brother has simply walked in, laid down, and immediately gone to sleep still in his clothes and boots.

Softly laughing that he wasn’t the only one exhausted, he trudged to his room, grabbed clean towels and hit the showers.

Relaxed, and feeling much better, his mind clearer, after his shower, Sam padded his way to his bedroom after brushing his teeth and hair.

Walking over to the dirty clothes hamper, he happened to pause in front of one of his few indulgences. He never really understood why he had wanted the old full length mirror he saw in one of the thrift stores in Lebanon, but it had appealed to him.

The mirror seemed to carry pieces of history within it carved wood and polished reflective surface. It seemed to Sam to be, well dignified. He’d often wondered what stories the mirror could tell if it could talk.

Looking in the mirror, wearing nothing but a towel, he studied his reflection contemplating what the mirror might tell others of him. Smiling slightly at the flight of fancy, he went to turn away when something caught his eyes.

That something was a long scar on his left side from shoulder to navel. Cocking his head, he began to catalogue others he could either see or knew were present on. His body.

Scars, so many scars.

Long scar on left torso from a Chupacabra age 12.
Small scar right lower quadrant from appendicitis age 12.
Claw mark scars right side over lower ribs from a Werewolf age 13.
Scar over right eyebrow after being thrown by a witch into a curio cabinet age 14.
Left thigh jagged scar from a Wendigo age 15.
Right knee, a scar that looked like it had been made with a steel wool pad, Crocotta age 16.
Bite mark scar left neck, Ghoul age 16.
Right calf, Skinwalker age 17.
Right shoulder, Poltergeist age 22.
Small scars everywhere from Demons, Women in White, Black Annis, Rugaru, Vetala, Wraith and so on and so forth.

When Sam was growing up, he’d always dressed in layers to hide the multitude of scars and bruises one inevitably carried from hunting. What no one could see, no one could question or draw wrong conclusions. He felt less… vulnerable.

He’s continued that habit of dressing at Stanford. He knew Jessica had been shocked when she saw him naked the first time and never understood why she hadn’t asked. What could he have told her? The truth, a lie, pretend he didn’t know what she was talking about?

The truth was, he believed Jess thought he came out of an abusive home and since he never talked about his family, it had just seemed best to never correct her assumptions.

Jess. Even today, after so many years, just thinking of her caused an almost unbearable sadness. He’d loved her more than he had ever thought he was capable of loving anyone except Dean.

Along with the sorrow came regret. Regret for the lies, lies of omission, half-truths and keeping so much of who he was from her.

Regret for entering her life, believing he inadvertently caused her death.

Regret for what might have been if she’d lived and their lives had worked out as planned.

‘Scars, so many scars both physical and mental.’

Facing himself in the mirror, Sam, for the first time, visually contemplated the other scars his body carried. Those he rarely acknowledged and never discussed.

The scars from the cage. Unlike Dean, he hadn’t had his body rebuilt. It had come back to Earth bruised and bloody from his ‘lessons’ with the Archangels.

Keloid scars from whip marks marred the broad back, sharp, precise cut marks all over from having his skin removed, scars from beatings were littered everywhere. Random scars from cut marks made for fun or for the removal of internal bits and pieces. Scars above his eyelids because they were so often removed. Bloodied soles of his feet and palms of his hands showed the damage done. Scars all around the wrists from being restrained and fighting for his freedom. Scars from ice cold burns. A thin scar around his neck from strangling.

Scars from having sharp talon like claws randomly rip chunks of skin away or tear into his body to get to internal organs.

Mental scars from the agony he’d endured both physical and mental. Lucifer was the master of psychological abuse.

Being told “You’re useless, worthless, nothing,” eventually became a belief. The constant belittlement became gospel. The “Why didn’t you just accept your destiny?” became mantra. Sexual assault became routine.

Centuries of abuse were still being dealt with, often at night after nightmares of being trapped, abused and unable to escape. Many times, he awoke shaking in sheer terror before remembering he was here and not there.

Scars he couldn’t and wouldn’t ever talk about. His…penance he felt was to carry this alone since he’d never been able to forgive himself for the past.

Oh, he knew Dean had, Cas acted as his friend even if not on the same level as Dean. He could count Jody and Donna as friends. His mother, who he missed.

Grateful, he was so grateful for the people in his life who treated him as Sam, not as someone to distrust or be afraid of. Someone not to view with disgust.

Small mercies so treasured and held close in the dark.

There were others, though who hadn’t forgiven or forgotten. If they couldn’t, how could he?

Scars. So many scars. So many times, he asked himself which were worse, those he could see or those he could feel.

Thinking about it, Sam realized, with a shock, his scars recorded the story of his life. A life spent fighting evil things that preferred pain and suffering. Life that told of battles fought and battles lost and won. A life of sorrow and pain. A life with death as a constant companion.

Yet it was also a life of laughter with a much loved brother playing pranks on each other. A life of feeling safe so long as his brother was by his side supporting him and holding him steady. A life of joy for each person saved by their actions. A life of happiness when he spent time with friends, or reading in the vast library. There were times of contentment, pleasure, and glad of being alive.

Looking at his scars, his mind was barraged by other thoughts crowding in.


Long scar on left torso from a Chupacabra age 12. Angelo Moreno, victim rescued

Claw mark scars right side over lower ribs from a Werewolf age 13. The Mendelsohn family rescued, mom, dad, three kids

Scar over right eyebrow after being thrown by a witch into a curio cabinet age 14.
No more victims brutally murdered.

Left thigh jagged scar from a Wendigo age 15. Two campers rescued, one critically injured but she lived.

Right knee, a scar that looked like it had been made with a steel wool pad scrubbing vigorously, Crocotta age 16. Victoria McKee rescued. They still received Christmas cards from her at one of their many mail drop boxes.

Bite mark scar left neck, Ghoul age 16.
Donnie Holloway, injured but alive

Right calf, Skinwalker age 17. Billie tall Trees, last of his family saved from a vicious vendetta.

Right shoulder, Poltergeist age 22. The Jackson twins would never be harmed by the creature again.

So many other names and faces flashed into his memory. Men, women, children so many faces People HE had either saved or helped to save.

Scars from Lucifer and Michael meant no Apocalypse, the world saved for another time.

As he remembered the ones he had helped save, a small thought crossed his mind. As he turned it over and over to analyze, he reached revelation.

For the first time, Sam realized he was a SURVIVOR!! From that simple and complex acknowledgement came a sense of peace in longer than he could remember.

He’d endured the worst that could be thrown at him and he was still standing. He’d faced his enemies, and though often felt beat down, he was still in his feet.

Drawing up to his full height, Sam did something he rarely did. He looked straight into his own eyes, searching for what he might see.

Pain was there.
Grief and sorrow resided.
Suffering could be seen.
Guilt, a constant companion, was always present.

But, for the time in a long time, there was something else.

A sense of peace, acceptance, and a touch of self -respect shone in the hazel orbs as well. Small it may have been, but nonetheless present for him to see and perhaps grow.

Unaware Dean had woken, and was leaning on his doorframe, he startled at his brother’s voice.

“Sam, what are you doing?” was softly asked as if Dean realized something profound had happened.

Suddenly, he remembered an anthropology class he’d taken about Native Tribes. When studying the Plains Tribes, he’d learned about Counting Coup. Warriors won prestige by acts of bravery in the face of the enemy, which could be recorded in various ways and retold as stories.

Looking over his shoulder, Sam gave a joyous smile that seem to go on forever.

“I’m counting Coup, Dean. I’m counting Coup.”

IMG_9788

Sept 11, 2001

The September 11 attacks killed 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000 others. Most were civilians, 71 law enforcement officers and 343 firefighters in NY, 1 law enforcement officer in Shanksville, PA, 55 military personnel who died at the Pentagon, and the 19 monsters who did this. 2,605 U.S. citizens of whom 2,135 were civilians. More than 90 countries lost citizens including the United Kingdom who lost 67 people, the Dominican Republic who lost 47 and India who lost 41 of her people. These non USA deaths made up about 12% of the total lost that day. 1140 people have been diagnosed with ca related to exposure to toxins from the attack, 1400 first responders have died of related injuries. 11 or more unborn babies were lost. We must never forget.

West Virginia Floods

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10843362_GFriday, June 24, 2016 09:33PM
CHARLESTON, West Virginia --
Powerful photos and video are emerging amid historic flooding in West Virginia that's left nearly two dozen people dead.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a state of emergency Thursday night for 44 counties in the state. Friday, the death toll grew to 23 across the state, West Virginia Homeland Security confirmed.

Significant flooding occurred in and around the state's capital, Charleston, where at least three of the deaths have been reported. But the most fatalities occurred in rural Greenbrier County in the southeastern part of the state, where officials said 15 people were killed.

State officials said the flooding is likely going to be the worst West Virginia has seen in 100 years.13498039_10208230143324246_7240672900292455398_o
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Kern Co. Fire

Good thoughts asked

My best friend lives in Kern Co. here in California. There is a savage wildfire in the area, 2 confirmed dead, 3 firefighters injured. There are currently 800 firefighters on scene with several hundred more being rushed in. Over 19,000 acres burning and zero contained. Jill had to evacuate this am. The fire happened and spread so fast that people were literally fleeing for their lives. She has been informed her home is in the direct path of the fire and she will lose everything but what she was able to throw in the car and go. Please keep her in your thoughts.

West Virginia is suffering from severe flooding across the state. My aunt, cousin, and cousin in law so far are safe in Hurricane but that could change at any time. Please, also keep them in your thoughts.

Thank you.

Personal Opinion

Nomination Reaction
Yes, this is going to tick a lot of people off.
I have, as a general rule, voted conservative since I was able to vote. I have a habit of reading the speeches, watching the videos, etc
Bluntly Donald Trump scares me. His words, actions and the actions of some, not all, but some of his supporters remind me of another demagogue, (a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.) who came out of the extreme right.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-mocks-reporters-disability/

Back in July, in an interview with NBC New reporter Katy Tur, Trump teased a wheelchair-bound opinion writer who had called the candidate “a rodeo clown.”

“I went out, I made a fortune, a big fortune, a tremendous fortune,” Trump told NBC News. “Then I get called by a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants, I get called names?”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/donald-trump-mocks-asians-broken-english-speech-article-1.2338344

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8qIhgOHcuY

mentally and physically disabled in the holocaust search browser
Action T4 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated." –Donald Trump on his performance with poorly educated voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus, Feb. 23, 2016
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=196_1457722433#3xOW0fwYHjAtCqHO.99

How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think. Adolf Hitler
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/adolf_hitler.html

"What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. (Press statement, 2015)

Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it? If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light - a kike!
Adolf Hitler
Mein Kampf

Obersalzberg Speech - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Poland's fate)

Riots at Trump Rallies
Riots at Hitler Rallies or rallies of his political enemies

There are other things I could say, but I think this is enough. DO I think he could cause another Holocaust or World War? No.
People say things like that can't happen in a democracy. I would like to remind people, Germany WAS a democracy until a racist, bigoted man took power.

Yes, you have the right to disagree, BUT I also have the right to disagree with you.

Blood Red Roses for SammyBigBang

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Author: Crucis
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural. That privilege belongs to Eric Kripke, his company and the CW network. No money is being made by this project, It's done for love of the show, characters, and enjoyment they have, and continue, to provide us!

Summary: The town of Lawler's Pond has a legend. A legend whispered in the dark of lost children. A legend of two heroes who came to fight a horrible beast. A legend of blood and roses.

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ARTWORK BY THE WONDERFUL tarienemrys! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words and patience!

Earth ceased spinning on a Thursday night for one person. The rest of the world neither noticed or would have cared. One person did though.......
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Running through the woods at night was never one of Sam Winchester's favorite things. Running without a flashlight in the dark in the woods was even higher on that list.

However, running through the night woods, sans flashlight, with a badly injured brother across his shoulder was in a special HATE TO HAVE HAPPEN list unto itself.

Nothing, absolutely nothing had gone right on this one and now, now things were even worse...
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Eve, the Mother of all monsters, knew she was dying the moment the Phoenix ashes entered her system. In anger, she sent out on last blast of energy, one last creation that would wreck havoc wherever it landed. Her children had been murdered. So be it then, so would others feel her loss.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sam and Dean Winchester were hunkered down in the bunker of The Men of Letters, steadily working their way through one of many storerooms located throughout the facility.

Rain had kept them inside for several days and both were feeling the need to move out and hit the road.

Dean,the elder Winchester was always up for a road trip and a good hunt. Being raised from the age of four on the road had left him feeling wary of being in one place for any length of time, even the in the bunker the brothers called home.

As for Sam, he was often amused at his own willingness to hit the rod and travel after years of yearning for stability. He had accepted that 'normal' for his family had a different meaning than for others. While he still looked wistfully at families who looked happy when they were traveling he knew that was not in his future. Besides, passing on his demon blood to another generation was not something he wanted to pass to a possible child.

After clearing out the current storeroom they were working in, both decided it was time for lunch and a break.

Barely had they walked into the living area of the bunker when a phone rang. Before they could answer, the caller hung up but left a message.

“Sam, Dean, this is Krissy. Listen we heard of a problem in Lawler's Creek, Mississippi. We can't get to it, but some kids are missing. Could you guys check it out? Thanks.”


“Rain is supposed to stop tonight. We can be on the road early in the morning. If we drive straight through, we can be in Mississippi early evening. Lawler's Creek is just over the border.' commented Sam as he checked his laptop.

“Sounds good,” replied Dean with a sigh, “though I wish we could talk Krissy out of hunting. It's already cost her her dad and I don't want to attend her funeral.”

“Not a salt and burn either of us want, Dean. Unfortunately, we can't stop her.”

“I know. Suppose I fix us some lunch, you check the weapons and we'll get a 3 or 4 am start.”

As Sam nodded, both men went their respective ways.
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Driving into Mississippi the next evening, the first thing they noticed was the humidity. Next, the trees. Tall, stately Spruce Pines along with Lob lolly and Long leaf Pines grew thickly along the road. Driving by, and crossing over bodies of water showcased beautiful Bald cypress.

Less than hour into the state showed them pulling into Lawler's Pond. Checking for a motel, they pulled into Tall Pines EZ Sleep, quickly got a room and settled in to go to work.

Ignoring the generic décor, Dean started cleaning the weapons while Sam hit the internet, slipping in and out of official records and sites without leaving a trace behind.

“Okay, here's what I can find so far. Three children under the age of six have disappeared over the last two years. That may not sound like much, but the population here is only 1548 so it's an incredibly high rate. Also, withing a 75 mile radius, there are more missing kids, but the center seems to be here. It's been kept quiet but local and state agencies have no clue. Multiple jurisdictions means no one has put it together yet. So far, the Feds have not been called in.”

“Any clues or ideas? Any specific area of investigation?”

“Nope. Parents, care givers, teachers, minister, etc have all been checked, double checked and cleared. Kids have gone missing from playgrounds, yards, houses. The only common thing is several parents found water in a few of the room, like someone walked through water then across the floor.”

“So a Kelpie? Water Sprite? Naw, too active for either of those. There's been no demon signs so what are we looking at?”

“I don't know. Could be something new. I've not run across anything like this in the bunker. No bones or body parts have been found.”

“So definitely not a Kelpie since they go for the liver. Sprites only attack if they feel threatened. Wrong type of water for Selkie. Too irregular and too old to be a witch. So what are we looking at?”

“I have no clue, but I figure we really need to check out the pond And see what we can see.”

Giving a quick nod, Dean put the clean weapons away and both men prepared for bed.
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The next morning saw two men in a black classic car drive out of town while munching down on drive through breakfast food.

Twenty minutes found them scoping out the area around Lawler's Pond. Walking a grid pattern found nothing until “Sam! I got prints!”

Jogging over, Sam saw swatches of grass mashed down in a semi regular pattern that led directly into the water. Uneasily they looked over the dank, dark water of the pond. Tall reeds and overgrown grass surrounded the pond, but nothing else alive could be seen or heard.

In silent agreement, they left and returned to town.

As night came on, the brothers continued to research, trying to find a clue to what they were chasing.

Finally, pizza was ordered to fill hungry stomachs. After thirty minutes or so, the expected knock came at the door. Rising quietly, Sam made his way over and opened it. Rising his hands, he backed up slowly causing Dean to go “What the f...” before flinging his own in the air.

“Howdy boys! Got your large Supreme with a salad here. Hope your hungry!' was the cheerful announcement from the delivery man, who happened to be wearing a Sheriff's uniform.

“Now why don't you two boys have a seat and let's have us a chat. By the way, name's Sheriff David Mosely.”

Carefully the Winchester's sat, careful to keep their hands in sight of the lawman.

“Now boys, we have us a problem. See this is a small town and everyone know everybody. You can't spit in a small southern town without everyone knowing it in a matter of a few minutes. Hell, the great grandmas around here could probably even tell what brand of underwear I got on.”

Taking a seat, Sheriff Moseley continued. “ We've had some kids around her disappear, and guess what? Another kid's gone today and you are the only strangers in town. You get my drift here?”

Bolting up and walking back and forth in agitation, Dean yelled, “Another one? Son of a bitch, it's speeding up it's kills!”

Knowing Dean tended to lose his cool when cases involved kids, Sam still gave a wince hearing a low voice say in a deep drawl, “It's?”

Sighing, Sam figured this time, the truth was the only thing keeping them from a chain gang. Moving to the table, he picked up their research and silently handed it over.

David Mosely wasn't a stupid man by any means. He'd earned an academic scholarship to 'Ole Miss' and graduated with honors. A degree in Criminal Justice had served him well, helping to get him elected Sheriff for three terms.

Still, he was a product of the deep South where ghosts, evil omens, and old wives tales were passed from generation to generation. While most proclaimed not to believe, he knew most still held a kernel of fear in their souls that there was some truth there. As did he.

After reading the material he'd been given twice, the Sheriff sighed, laid the papers down and stated in a no nonsense voice, “Explain”

Sam begin by telling the Sheriff what they knew, the number of children missing the his city, the surrounding areas, how they had copies of the lab work showing the water was from the pond, as well as the multiple jurisdictions that were involved.

While Mosely knew abut the kids from his town and the local area, he hadn't been aware how far reaching the disappearances had actually been. Sickened, he asked “Are y'all reporters looking for a story? Cashing in on people's grief? What are you doing here?”

The brothers looked at each other, holding a quiet conversation in a matter of seconds. Fascinated, Mosely waited for a reply. He knew the moment a decision had been made. As to what is was, he had no idea.

“No”, spoke the older one in a quiet voice. “We're not reporters, try to avoid them if we can. Sheriff, I can't explain, but we think we can stop this.”

Taking off his hat and scratching the back of his neck, David Mosely looked at the two younger men, studying them closely. “How?”

“At this point, we don't know. But, we have some...unusual knowledge that may let us figure it out. Sheriff, whatever is taking these kids isn't human and I think you know that. If we can figure out what it is, we can kill it and stop this.” came the answer.

“Boys, are you Hunters?”

“How..what... did you...? Whadyasay?”

A piercing whistle put an end to the quick questions coming from both Winchesters at the same time.

“Knew someone once upon a time. I don't think that matters right now. Now answer the question. You know what? Never mind, you are what you are. Now, can you stop this?”

“We will one way or another.” came a soft reply from Sam.

Looking at the two in front of him, Sheriff Mosely studied their eyes and realized these two may look young, but in experience were old souls who had seen much. Trusting his gut and nodding slowly, he headed for the door, throwing out, ”I'll let people know You'll be left alone.”

“Come by the station tomorrow. I'll have copies of what we have waiting for you.”
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Still convinced after a night of tossing and turning, Dean played the older brother card and refused to let Sam accompany him to the station. He even left 'Baby' in case Sam needed a quick getaway. He was halfway convinced he'd get the station only to have the FBI jump out and yell "FOOLED YOU!" and take them into custody.

Instead, a Deputy had cheerfully handed over several files, copies of forensics and a basket of food. “Thought you might get a bit hungry going out to the Pond today!”

Sam laughed so hard he fell off the bed at Dean's bewilderment. “Dean, these people are losing their children, They/re desperate and we are trying to help. Man, when it get so hard to accept kindness from people?”

With a sour look, Dean replied “Birth!” sending Sam into another laugh filled fit. Secretly, Dean was pleased. It'd been a long time since he'd heard Sam sound so happy. Of course, Sam wasn't to know that.

Reading everything over and over, neither brother could figure out what they were facing. Finally, they decided one gun with silver bullets, one with iron, salt shells for the shotgun, knives of silver, cold iron, brass, and a couple of machetes. They felt one or the other would work and decapitation was usually terminal.

Later that Tuesday morning, they set out. Leaving town, they noticed people stopping to watch and realized the Sheriff had kept his word.
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Arriving at the pond, both were stuck by the unnatural silence. No birds chirped, no insects buzzed, there was no soft breeze blowing through.

Alert, once again they did a grid check, crisscrossing the uneven ground in a three by three grid. Stopping briefly to eat a quick bite, the search continued to later afternoon. Finding nothing of value, the brothers began to search the edge of the large pond hoping to find something.

Lawler's Pond, although deep, was narrow enough they were able to keep each other in sight while skirting the small sandy banks. Still, nothing was found at first.

Night came, flashlights were turned on when a gurgling came from deep beneath the surface of the stagnant water.

As long as he lived, Sam would never be able to completely describe the creature that broke the surface at the pond. The smell came first, dank and rotting, it was almost overpowering bringing up a gag reflex. It looked gelatinous, twisting and turning in on itself so that it's form seemed to change by the second. There were nothing that resembled arms or legs, just thick strands that seemed to move about then retract back into the body. One moment it appeared thin, then thick. There was no real color just an impression of transparent gray. The creature didn't walk as much as glide across the water to the shore.

Primal fear arose, temporarily freezing both Hunters.

In moves practiced since they were small, the two brothers drew and fired, Dean with silver, Sam with iron. When nothing happened, both men hit it with salt shells.

Nothing.

Waiting til it came ashore, Sam rounded one end of the water and both closed in to attack with machetes. Being closer, Dean made the first strike.

Striking the thing was like using a dull spoon to scoop solid frozen ice cream.
Knowing and dreading getting closer, the two drew knives and proceeded to attack.

Whatever this thing was, Sam's cold iron knife did not damage. As he'd strike, the body seemed to mesh back together with no damage.

However, Dean's silver knife brought forth a high pitched, shrill shriek that seemed to start at the base of their spines and vibrate upwards. Neither had heard such a sound and neither wished to again.

Drawing his silver knife, Sam moved toward the creature as it reached out a strand of itself towards his brother. He knew he was going to be too late to stop what was happening.

As soon as he saw the thick strand coming toward him, Dean turned to run, to try to find a better spot to take a stand. Unable to outrun it, he was grabbed from behind and lifted several feet off the ground.

As Sam watched in horror, he could see the tentacle tightening around his brother's chest and hear Dean begin to struggle to breathe. Reaching the appendage, he began to hack at it hoping to hurt it enough to get Dean released.

As the one tentacle released Dean, another grabbed him. Raising him high in the air, it slammed him down to the wet ground making a sickening thudding noise. Again, as Sam cut the tentacle, another erupted to continue beating Dean into the ground over and over.

The harder Sam fought, the worse things got for Dean. Finally, understanding nothing was working, that he was only making the creature angry, Sam lost it.

Dean was unconscious, bleeding, and he knew there were broken bones. What he didn't know was if his brother was alive.
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When Azazel died, Sam's visions had diminished. He knew he still had flashes, but nothing he could remember with certainty. He'd told Dean the visions were gone and so was all the other 'gifts' he'd been given as Lucifer's vessel.

He knew Dean had been relieved, so he hadn't told him that some abilities remained, ones he had been born with. The one's he had under control. The one's that had passed to him through his mother. The one's that had brought him and his mother to Azazel's attention as the demon had the ability to know who could bear such children.

Dean only cared the demon was dead, but Sam had been curious and kept digging. What he found would have upset the sometimes very fragile relationship he has with his brother, so he'd kept his mouth shut.

More than once, he'd 'frozen' Dean just for a second to save his life. He'd been careful, but now careful was out the window.

Standing tall, he threw out his hand, focused with all his being and felt power flow through him. As if it was time lapsed photography, he saw the creature move slower and slower til it seemed it was moving through molasses. Gritting his teeth together, and ignoring the pounding in his head, he reached deeper than he had ever before and concentrated.

Sound ceased as he opened his eyes to see the creature unable to move. He could still feel it's malevolence as he ran to it and began to rend it to pieces with the large knife he held.

Time lost all meaning as he hacked, unaware he was screaming the whole time for Dean not to die. Suddenly, his knife hit nothing. Looking down he saw the creature was dead. Throwing salt and lighter fluid on it, he lit it aflame and raced to his brother.

Reaching Dean, Sam was almost afraid to check for a pulse, He knew Dean was seriously if not critically injured from the blood coming out his mouth. Shaking fingers reached out and felt a faint, thready pulse in Dean's neck. He could see his brother breathing, but they were shallow and irregular.

Doing a quick look-see, Sam knew one leg was probably broken, probable internal injuries, but the worst was Dean's chest. One side looked normal, the other appeared as two separate sets of ribs. 'Broken' came a rapid thought.

Knowing time was of the essence, He picked his brother up and headed into the woods surrounding the pond, his goal was get to the car.

Running through the woods at night was never one of Sam Winchester's favorite things. Running without a flashlight in the dark in the woods was even higher on that list.

However, running through the night woods, sans flashlight, with a badly injured brother across his shoulder was in a special HATE TO HAVE HAPPEN list unto itself.

No more than five minutes had passed before Baby came into view, but to Sam it felt a lifetime. Every step seemed to take eternity. 'Don't die on me, don't die on me, don't die on me' over and over echoed through his mind.

Reaching the car, he gently laid Dean in the back, ran to the driver's door and took off.

Sam knew from his research into the area, the nearest trauma center was 37 miles away. Gunning the engine, he raced down the two lane country road straddling the white line. Scared, worried, he felt the trip was taking forever so it was relief that flooded him when he saw the sign Hosp this way.

Having to hit the breaks so hard to stop caused him to slide to the entrance of the E.R. Personnel came running as he threw open the back door to grab Dean.

“Please help! Please!” was heard as a gurney was raced out. Dean was on his way into the building with personnel already beginning to work to save a life.

As Sam followed, he attempted to answer the rapid fire question coming from all directions

No allergies.
Dean McClure
31
Brother

Asked to wait in the hall, Sam watched as his brother clothes were cut away even as a Dr. began to assess him. He could hear orders being tossed out:

Xray
Lab
Vitals

Then “We're losing him!”

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Sam moved from the door as people rushed in with equipment. Two steps back brought him against the opposite wall, where he slid to the floor. Words he didn't want to hear echoed in his head:

B/P 72/49 and falling
Heart rate decreasing
No pulmonary exchange
Intubate
Clear
Increase to 250
Clear

Then there was the one word he wanted so desperately to hear: “We got a pulse!”

Vaguely aware of someone trying to get his attention, Sam looked up to see one of the Drs standing there.

“Mr. McClure? We need to get your brother into surgery. He has internal injuries and there are signs of bleeding. I'm sorry, but we need paperwork signed.”

Gabbing papers and hurriedly signing, he stood up as the gurney was rushed toward the elevator at the end of the hall.

Attempting to follow, his arm was suddenly grabbed. Trained reaction caused him to pivot to strike when he realized he was facing a nurse.

I'm sorry, Mr. McClure, but we need this paperwork done and then I'll take you to the surgical waiting room. Also, I want a Dr to see you. You've have a pretty bad nose bleed. Please.”

'Well, hell!'

Getting checked out was easy. A quick exam, a few “I don't know how I got a nosebleed”, yessir yessir three bags full and he was suddenly in a chair in the waiting room writing.

Name: Dean McClure
Age: 31
Residence: 1818 Southway #9 Lebanon, Ks 66952
Allergies: None
Scars:

'Oh yeah' thought Sam, there were scars. And he knew where they were and what caused the majority. Left ankle was the Black Dog in OK, left calf the Chupacabra in Tx, back the Wendigo in Co, neck the vampires in New York, hands to many monsters to name.

Extreme sports always seemed to work as an excuse.

Turning in the papers, Sam was taken to the surgical waiting room on the second floor to wait for what he didn't know, but he prayed for good news.
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There are two constants in waiting rooms, loneliness and fear. Loneliness because even if someone is with you, you still feel isolated, fear because you have no clue what is happening.

What you are left with was memories. Memories of an older brother playing with him in motel parking lots, protecting him at school, teaching him to shoot and fight, making sure he was fed, saving his life and soul. So many memories that starred his older sibling that Sam was overwhelmed, not realizing he was crying.

It was Tuesday night and the Earth has ceased spinning.
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Hours can seem like eternity when waiting for news of a loved one. As Dawn began to break, Sam was edging into full blown panic. Knowing he had to keep calm to keep mind from releasing a devastating force, he took deep breaths, paced back and forth, worried, afraid. Too much time had passed for him to think Dean would survive.

He knew if Dean did die, he would follow soon. The only question was how?

As is thoughts became more morbid, he saw a Dr enter the room asking for family of McClure. When he responded, the Dr asked him to follow him.

Sitting down in a small room he impatiently waited. Before he could ask, the Dr stated, “I'm Dr. Gomez. I operated on your brother. He's alive, but in bad shape. His prognosis very poor.”

Taking a deep breathe, the Dr continued. “He has a collapsed right lung, lung contusions both sides, 4 broken ribs, one on the left, one on the right. We had to remove his spleen, part of his liver, and part of the small bowel. His kidneys are bruised and he has a fracture of his left pelvis bone.”

“You have to understand, he can live without part of his liver, but added to the other injuries, I..., well, if you have any family, I'd get them here as soon as possible.”

Looking at the obviously distraught young man in front of him, the Dr debated telling him the rest. He could tell the brother was on an edge and he didn't want to be the one the push him over.

Finally continuing “We lost him on the table once, but were able to resuscitate. He has other fractures and injuries, but these are the main ones.” Placing a hand on Sam's shoulder, he told him someone would be there to take him to his brother after he was settled in the SICU.

“I swear to you we WILL do everything we can for him. I just can't promise anything.”

As Dr Gomez left the room, he heard a small voice say 'There is no one else”

Minutes seemed like hours as Sam waited to see Dean. His nerves stretched taut, he kept acing like a wild caged animal waiting for the chance to attack his captors. Finally, a nurse asked him to follow her.

Sam's first look at Dean almost brought him to his knees. Pale and unresponsive, Dean seemed more mechanical than human due to the machines he was hooked up to.

Monitors and more monitors looked to cover almost ever square inch of room with multiple IVS, including blood, hanging from both sides of the bed. Bandages were everywhere, arms , legs, torso, even his head was wrapped.
Skeletal traction with a large pin was sticking out of his right leg and lower leg was in a cast. Both arms were immobilized close to the chest.

A catheter showed pinkish tinged urine while the noise of the respirator seemed to drown out his ability to think.

Feeling light headed, Sam didn't even realize he had gone stark white , his knees had buckled and he headed for the floor.

Dimly, he was aware of someone yelling “I need help here!” and the room suddenly was so crowded....
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Coming more aware, Sam knew he was sitting in a chair with his head resting on his knees. One person to his left taking his blood pressure, the one on his right was monitoring his pulse.

Embarrassed, he sat up and tried to give a smile. “I'm ok really. I just...seeing him...I'm sorry.”

“Don't worry about it, sugar. We just want to make sure you are alright” came a slow drawl.

“If you're sure you are ok, well let you set awhile, but we'll be in and out checking on both of you. Here's some juice and a sandwich. Eat sweetie.” came the admonishment as they left.

“Well, Dean here we are again. I'll never get used to this, seeing you hurt. Please, please don't go. I won't be far behind you!”

Moving his chair closer, he hesitantly took his brother's hand, crying silently.

“ I know I don't tell you this enough, but I need you here with me. I need my big brother to keep me in line sometimes, even when I don't listen. I need you to keep me from going off the deep end. I don't want a world with you in it. Co-dependent doesn't even come close man. I won't survive without you.”

“Selfish much? Yeah, where you are concerned I am. Touchstone number 1, remember. You keep me sane when memories push in. Cause of you, I can push back and still stand.”

Falling quiet, he held on to Dean as if willing him his own strength.

People continued to rotate in and out. Vital signs monitored, urine checked, traction taken care of, the patient turned and all the endless tasks of a critical care patient dealt with.

Dr. Gomez entered, did a through check and told Sam there was no significant change, but he would be allowed to stay as long as he liked. Sam took this to mean they expected Dean to die soon.

They were wrong, Sam expected Dean to live.
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Minutes have the unfortunate tendency to turn into hours. Hours which passed with the bustle of people in and out of the room, the whirring of machinery, but total stillness from the figure in the bed.

That scared Sam more than anything. Dean was brash, loud, and when he wasn't hunting there was no way to miss his presence. This quiet was unnatural and more than anything he wanted his brother to make some sort of noise even if only a moan or groan. Anything to assure him this waking nightmare was almost over.

Wednesday passed the same way. No movement or improvement, but the staff cold still hear Sam whispering to his brother, begging him not to die. The only time he left Dean's side was a quick phone call, then immediately returning to his vigil.

Thursday was no different, except the bedside voice had become hoarse. Frankly, the staff was amazed the patient was still among them. All were worried about the younger brother though. Gentle plying had gotten some fluids and food down him, but all could tell he was at the end of his rope. If there was no improvement soon and Dean did die, most were afraid they would have two deaths on their hands.
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Friday dawned bright and early. As the sun began to shine through the open blinds, Sam awoke from a short nap stiff and sore. Once more he moved his chair to the bed and held a hand.

Quietly he began to speak.

“You know Dean, I've learned so much from you. You're a good man and the best brother I could have ever gotten. I should have told you sooner. If you wake up I promise, I swear on Mom's grave I will talk to you and tell you anything you want to know. Just please wake up!”

That evening, wanting to feel useful. He helped turn Dean and gave him a bed bath, the whole time teasing him about the pretty nurses he was missing.

The worst though was when they had to use suction to keep Dean's lungs clear. Just the sound alone was enough to make him gag, but he refused to leave the room.

Friday came and went with no notice from Sam. Lack of sleep, stress and worry were beginning to take a toll. He'd always been quick to lose weight so it was no surprise to him to feel his jeans loose. He simply didn't care.

Saturday, Dr Gomez finally told Sam he either went to the Drs lounge, showered, washed his hair and slept for two hours or security would have to remove him.

After pleading to stay, Sam finally gave him.

Two an half hours found him back at Dean's side. He had to admit being cleaner and getting a decent nap had helped.

Refusing any lunch, he swore he would try supper once Dean was bathed and turned.

He kept his word. He tried but he was too worried to eat much.

By Sunday, Sam had developed mild shakes in his hands from hunger. Already the sharp planes of his face were standing out even more.

The staff was worried they'd have another patient on their soon if something wasn't done. Dr Gomez walked into the room, handed Sam a pill cup with two large vitamins, a nutritional drink and bottle of water.

“Look you're worried. I get it. I do. But, if you don't take care of yourself, I'm going to have to admit you for your own good. As you are not critical care, you will not be admitted on this floor and will not be allowed to visit.. Do you understand what I'm telling you son?”

Nodding, Sam replied. “Yes, sir. I do. I'll take better care. You got to understand, Dean's all I've got. I had some...problems a few years ago and the only reason I'm alive is lying in that bed. I can't lose him,I just can't!”

Speaking softly, Dr Gomez told him he did understand as he had a brother and sister too. He told Sam that quiet honestly he believed the only reason Dean was alive was due to Sam.

He also told Sam that Dean would be going for some tests later and no, he could not go with him. He could go eat then nap again. Quiet agreement reached his ears.

When the attendants came and wheeled Dean out of his room, Sam rode the elevator down to the ground floor and followed the signs to the cafeteria. Ordering some vegetable soup, side of rice, and orange juice, he managed to eat almost every bite.

Walking back to the room, he could feel the saliva building up. Telling himself he wouldn't be sick, he made it back to his chair. Deep breathing keep the nausea down to the point he didn't lose his cookies, but it was close. That more than anything made him mentally agree to follow the dr's orders for himself.

Falling asleep, he quickly woke as Dean was wheeled back in the room. Standing patiently, he waited till they were alone before moving to what he was mentally calling 'his spot' and waited for the Dr.

When Dr. Gomez arrived, Sam's heart sank as the Dr was shaking his head. Trying to steel himself, he try to prepare for the bad news.

Then, a smile. “I don't know what to tell you, Sam, but there is slight improvement. His kidneys are trying to clear and his respiratory functions have improved. I don't know who's watching out for you too, but it looks like Dean's chances are greatly improved. Don't get me wrong. He still has a long way to go, but his chances are better. He's not out of the woods yet, so patience.”

A blinding smile greeted his words. “He'll make, he has too. Dean is the strongest soul I know.”

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By the next Tuesday, Sam's spirits had fallen again. While Dean seemed to be improving, he still hadn't woken or gave an indication he was aware. Once again, he had lost weight, became pale and stopped eating.

He'd stopped sleeping. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the attack that left Dean in such bad shape. He'd fallen asleep several times to awaken himself with a yell.

Logically he knew Dean was better. Emotionally, he felt swamped by worry. He'd been shocked in the bathroom to see his reflection. Circles under his eyes made it look as if he'd had then blackened in a bar brawl. His clothes were even more loose, and eating just made him ill.

Sam knew he had to get a hold of himself, but was finding it difficult to care about anything but Dean waking up.

Two days later, prayers to an absent God were answered. Dean became restless and began to make small movements.

Sam had more soup.

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Nine days after entering the hospital, a should be dead Dean was off the respirator. Although he'd woken, he still wasn't really aware of what was going on around him.

Sam, still not eating had began to sleep a little easier.

The next day, Sam saw his brother looking at him. With a slurred voice, he groggily asked “Sm, you loo li hell.” Dean Winchester wasn't out of the woods. But the footpath was clear.

That Thursday, the Earth started spinning again.
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Recovery for both brothers was a long process. Pin cleaning, turning, bed sore prevention, antibiotic therapy. Physical therapy....

Sam almost believed he could be a doctor by the time the two headed home. Knowing Dean would need a lot of care, he'd thrown himself in learning all he could about taking care of Dean once they got back to the Bunker.

It had taken a little over two months for the pin to be removed and the cast taken off. His arms were still sore, hips were sore, and he would need physical therapy for a long time to come, but finally Dean was on his way out the door.

The staff had listened indulgently as he fussed at Sam. “You need to eat, Sammy, you've lost too much weight” “Sam, get some sleep. What do you mean you're not tired? I said sleep!”

Every cranky comment only caused a smile and an “Ok Dean. I will.”

It took two days to get home. Sam made them stop and rest, causing Dean to mutter about' mother hens', but Sam was too grateful his brother was alive to comment. He just wanted to get home. Home where Dean would be safe and could finish healing.

Three months later, Dean had his last physical therapy appointment. All smiles when he got back, he noticed Sam was tense.

“What happened?”

Giving him a sad look, Sam replied. “Dean, we need to talk. I have something to tell you that you're not going to like.”

And talk they would. There may have been some screaming, yelling, slamming doors, but neither fell into the blame game trap. It took a couple of days, but unlike the secrecy they had a tendency to do before, they worked it out between them. Sam demonstrated, Dean grumbled, but they were all right. Both had learned lessons about secrets.

Dean was pleased to know that Sam had called Jodi Mills and she in turned had called Sheriff Mosely to have him mail the boys weapons and clothes to her. She'd dropped them off on one of her frequent trips to check on them.

The events of Lawler's Pond would last a lifetime. While he continued to hunt, Dean would always carry a slight limp and his shoulders would ache often.

As for Sam, it took a long time for the nightmares to cease. The memories of that long hospital stay would haunt him, yet make him more grateful for Dean.

He would never again allow them to take a case in Mississippi.

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Time passed on whether was wished for or not. Seasons came and went, people were born, people died.

As for the town of Lawler's Pond, it remained off the beaten path and never really left its small town ways behind.

And like most small towns, it had its own ghost stories,its own mythology that was passed around when tales were told late on summer evenings as warnings or to scare the younger children.

Lawler's Pond had been the home of a terrible, people eating monster that like to sneak into homes and steal small children for supper. According to the legend, about five had disappeared from the local area when two tall, handsome as heroes must be, strangers came to town asking questions no one could really answer.

According to the story, after a couple of days, the two men had gone into the woods, but were never seen again. No one was sure what had happened, but the killings had stopped.

It was said that on the darkest nights, if the breeze was just right you could hear the fight that took place. People swore you could hear the two men...

"Sam, behind you..."

"Try for its...!"

"To your right..."

"Silver..."

"Stay down, Dean..."


Locals also claimed you could hear one begging the other to live and not leave him.

It was also claimed the pond the town was named for was much larger than it used to be, but there was no proof.

Ones telling the story would say be glad because when it was smaller you could see where "The Incident" as it was locally known, took place and it was a terrible sight.

Families that had been there for generations could all go back to a grandmother's aunt, or an elderly second cousin's father who claimed to have gone out there and seen for themselves.

"Be glad you can't see it!" they would say with great sadness and regret. Voices would lower and whispers would start that the ground, now covered by the Pond had been irrevocably changed.

The once light colored ground that surrounded the pond had had so much blood spilled during the battle, they said, it was permanently stained peach blossom pink and bloody red.

You could find the area, it was whispered. Just look for the wild roses that grew where blood fell. You have to go deep into the woods where the trees grow close together and the weeds are so tall a child can stand straight up and still be hidden.

If you find the roses, you can't pick or cut them so don't even think to try. They grow tall, these roses. Tall, strong, with their stems so intertwined you can't tell which stem goes with which bloom. Tangled, wild and with thorns so thick they are a marvel unto themselves

There are never more than two blooms on the bushes no matter how many bushes you find, if you can find them.

Rumor says that no matter what time of year you go, if you are lucky enough to find them, they are blooming perfect and as vivid as the blood spilled there.

Two perfect blood red roses.

In the wood, roses blood red
bloom where once a hero bled.
Two stood together, one did fall
The other less injured did stand tall.
Two heroes came, one did bleed
among the grass and among the weed.
The roses remember the deeds did there
a battle most desperate for children to spare.
If you go into the woods and the roses you see,
Remember two heroes whose legends came to be.

The End