Author: Kiara Sayre
Summary: A hunt goes wrong and Dean is left injured, paralyzed, and really, really bored.
Notes: Contains spoilers up through the premiere of season three, and vague spoilers for Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. Could be read as pre-Wincest or gen. First Supernatural fic.
The thing was, despite being essentially in a cursed coma and completely unable to talk, communicate, or actually in any way move while still being completely aware of his surroundings and perfectly able to maintain an inner monologue and not being able to do anything at all to console Sam (who sounded like he was flipping some serious shit), Dean was really fucking bored.
Apparently, being in a coma meant his body didn’t have to sleep, and if his body didn’t have to sleep, neither did his mind, which meant twenty-four hours a day of having absolutely fucking nothing to do, which meant there were only four things keeping Dean from losing it and going completely batshit loonball crazy:
1. Sam, who came to talk to him every now and then (actually pretty often, but he still fell asleep when all Dean wanted was some goddamned entertainment), saying things like "I’m working on this" and "I’m not sure if you can hear me, but I’m going to fix this" and, if he was tired and punch-drunk enough, "I love you, man." Which made Dean snicker a bit (without the actual physical snickering) and picture Sammy in pigtails and a pink frilly skirt (which was a mental image that made disturbingly more sense than it should have).
2. Sponge baths, even if they weren’t as interactive as he would’ve hoped.
3. Elly, the nurse giving the sponge baths, and who didn’t think Dean could hear her and thus gave him raging invectives about her life, her ex-boyfriend, and her ex-boyfriend’s lack of skills in certain...areas.
4. Thinking the lyrics to Carry On Wayward Son really emphatically.
And yet none of these could possibly counteract the sensation of the feeding tube going down his throat, the indignity of not even being able to twitch an eyelid, the restless frustration of being completely immobile, and most importantly the neverending Godforsaken motherfucking boredom.
On day three of Dean’s Sleeping Beauty impression, Dean heard Sam’s footsteps in the slightly-dulled way that meant he was pacing outside the door to Dean’s room. After a few minutes, they got louder and clearer, and then there was the scrape of a metal chair being pulled back across tiled floor, and the rustling of clothes indicating Sam was sitting down and leaning forward (probably with his elbows on his knees and that serious look in his eye, because Sam was the type who would take such a stance and speak very quietly and gravely over spilled milk).
"Dean," said Sam, very quietly and gravely. Had Dean been able to control any of his motions, he would’ve rolled his eyes. "I found something. I went back and talked to that witch in jail, and she admitted she cursed you, so at least we know what’s going on - and I know you can hear me."
That got Dean’s attention.
"I know this isn’t comfortable, but I’ve called Bobby, and we got the details of the spell from the witch - she didn’t know how to reverse it, but at least we got a lead. Just - hang in there." And then a heavy, warm hand on Dean’s shoulder.
Christ, Sam was such a girl.
Day four and Dean was in the middle of a sponge bath and in-depth description of Elly’s ex’s shortcomings.
" - gotta wonder if he never took a look around in the locker room, because every time he’d take off his pants it’d be like he thought it was a freaking yard stick, and I’ve seen ninety-year-old men going saggy everywhere with more to be proud of than him. When we broke up he said he knew I’d miss having a real man, so I told him he was making a mountain out of a molehill and if he really needed more security about his sex I could direct him to a couple good surgeons who knew how to make poles out of nothing. That was when he said he was moving out, thank God. His mom and I still play cards on Tuesdays. She’s damn good at poker - dunno how the hell she ended up with that for a son."
Dean felt the sheets tucked back against his chest.
"Well, Mr. Koslauski, you’re a damn good listener, I’ll tell you that much." Elly patted his chest. "Wish I could say the same about the old rat bastard. See you tomorrow, same time." One last pat, then the muffled tapping of her footsteps as she left.
Dean would’ve sighed, if he were physically able, but then he heard more footsteps - Sam’s.
"Hey, Dean," said Sam, and he sounded happy about something - or at least not completely miserable, which was probably a step up from Flipping The Fuck Out. "Bobby and I are still working - we’re thinking of calling Ellen, just to see if she knows anything - but I thought you might be getting bored in there."
Fuck yes I damn well am!, thought Dean emphatically, hoping that Sam The Wonder Psychic might be able to hear him, but apparently not.
"I brought you something, just in case. Uh. Well. You said you’d been meaning - well, okay, you didn’t say you’d been - well. This is probably better than nothing."
There was something in Sam’s voice that unsettled Dean. Something...younger-brother-ly, and Dean was suddenly reminded of having a beer bottle glued to his hand.
"I just hope you’re not going to get sick of Jim Dale’s voice," Sam said, and then there was a soft click, like a tape player being turned on, and then a voice Dean had never heard before.
"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of Number Four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much..."
Dean had no great knowledge of popular children’s literature. On the other hand, Dean wasn’t a complete dumbass, either, and he knew damn well what that line was. (The British accent also helped.)
Had Dean control of his limbs, he would have flipped a coin: heads for his first action coming out of the coma involving the swift and painful death of his brother, tails for his first action being smashing the tape recorder into tiny, easily-ignitable pieces (immediately followed, of course, by the swift and painful death of his brother).
The worst of it was that Sam wouldn’t leave. Occasionally he would step out if he got a call from Bobby or needed food (and damn it, Dean could smell the coffee, he could hear the soft sloshing noises of Sam drinking the coffee, and Dean had never wanted a Starbucks more in his life), and more than once the pattern of his breath and the not-quite-snores told Dean that Sam was asleep, but each time the tape ran out Sam would wake up again and change it.
A little over two days and a shitload of cassettes later, Sam finally left (probably because he was beginning to smell and had really only had a few sandwiches and some coffee from the hospital cafeteria), and Dean was mostly glad, because it was obvious he needed the rest. But mostly mostly he was distracted by the fact that Cedric Diggory was dead, Voldemort had just risen, and now there was this fucking crazy thing going on with the wands and holy shit those were Harry’s parents (kinda).
Not that Dean was enjoying it, ‘cause those were kids books.
But he did feel a certain sense of loss as Jim Dale explained that what would come would come, and Harry would have to meet it when it did, if only because now he had nothing to occupy his time.
At least until Elly’s next visit; over the scraping plasticky noises of the tape being changed, she explained, "Your brother asked me to change these for you," and then once more it was Jim Dale, this time informing him that "The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive."
That lasted him another long while (though Dean couldn’t tell how long, and the only way he could tell night from day was by the cessation of noise in the hallways) until Elly was back again, taking out the last tape and Dean was more than a little hung up about the gleam of triumph (what the fuck was that about?) and Sirius (why?) and those brains (creepy as fuck).
"Sorry," Elly was saying, "apparently your brother hasn’t had time to pick up the next audiobook, so it looks like you’re getting some quiet time for a while."
And that was when Dean discovered that Sam had come back wrong; Sam had come back an ungrateful, sadistic, evil, sadistic bastard who needed to die a slow, painful death, preferably bludgeoned by a copy of Half-Blood Prince.
"Whoa," said Elly, and Dean heard the papery sounds of his chart being taken out, "your heart rate just spiked."
Dean was utterly unsurprised.
There was the soft sound of Sam’s footsteps (and how a gigantic evil bitch like Sam could walk so softly was beyond Dean’s comprehension), and then Sam’s voice.
Elly sighed, quietly. "You signed the papers, didn’t you."
"I just don’t want him to go on like this. He wouldn’t want it."
Another soft, slightly disappointed sigh. "I’ll get someone to take the feeding tube out."
Footsteps - Elly leaving, probably, and Dean wondered what the fuck was going on.
Rustling of cloth and scraping metal - Sam sitting down. "Dean," he said, and Dean could tell he was in that exact same this-is-serious-business pose, only he had the feeling this was slightly more serious than spilled milk. "I have a plan, don’t worry - Bobby and I called Ellen and we figured out how to reverse this, only you kind of can’t have the feeding tube in there for it." Once again, the hand on his shoulder. "Everything’s gonna be okay, Dean."
And if Dean had been in full possession of his faculties, he probably would’ve thrown up from estrogen poisoning right about now.
The feeding tube’s removal was almost as uncomfortable as its insertion, but at least Elly hung around to check his vitals after the other nurses left. Sam was also hanging around - Dean could tell because he wasted no time making an ass of himself.
"Nurse Johnson - can I ask you something?"
"Of course, Mr. Koslauski."
"It - no, never mind."
"No, what is it?"
"Well - my brother...he was kind of a ladies’ man, and I think - I think he might appreciate - "
Elly was silent, and Dean wasn’t surprised.
"Never mind," said Sam, in exactly the tone of voice that never failed to get whoever he was talking to do pretty much whatever he wanted. Dean was quite pleased to note that it wasn’t being used on him this time.
Elly sighed - again, because apparently she was pretty damn good at it. "You think he’d want one last kiss, huh?"
Sam’s voice came out slightly muffled, as though he had his head in his hands. "He was an ass," he said, "but yeah, probably."
First of all, Dean resented being called an ass. Second of all, what the fuck was Sam doing? And third of all, seriously, an ass? Was that really necessary right now?
There was a pointed silence from Elly, and Dean figured she was probably rolling her eyes. "I guess if it would be his last wish..."
"Definitely," said Sam.
There was some slight rustling, and then Elly’s lips, warm and dry on Dean’s own, and a whispered, "thanks for listening," and then the sound of Elly leaving.
Sam didn’t say anything for a minute, and obviously Dean didn’t either, and then it was Sam’s turn to sigh.
"Damn it," he said, "I thought that would work."
Rustling noises, like Sam pacing, and Dean suddenly had the unpleasant idea he knew where this was going.
Sam stopped pacing, right by the head of Dean’s bed. "Okay," said Sam, "look, I’m not exactly happy about this, but I don’t exactly have a ton of options, okay? So just - this doesn’t mean anything, and I - Jesus, I wish I didn’t have to do this. But look, I’m just trying this because the thing Ellen found just said love, not romantic love, so hopefully filial love - oh, fuck it."
If Dean had the ability, this would’ve been the point where he began inching backwards, or possibly running the fuck away. Actually, probably running the fuck away.
And then - Sam’s lips. And Dean’s lips. And then Dean was saying, "You are seriously fucked up, you know that?" and Sam was laughing and then kind of punching him in the shoulder (which actually hurt).
Elly called it a Miraculous Recovery (and despite her comments about her ex, Dean could now clearly see she was wearing a cross, which was kind of really hot), the Doctors called it Inexplicable, and Sam called it Sleeping Beauty Syndrome and laughed his ass off until Dean whacked him with the cassette case for Goblet of Fire.
They stayed in the motel they’d been in one last night, and Dean left early to run some errands, coming back with breakfast and coffee and dragging Sam’s ass out of bed.
When the time came to hit the road, Dean immediately went to the passenger’s side, and left Sam staring at him from the driver’s side.
"What?" asked Dean.
"You really want me to drive?" asked Sam.
And then Dean pulled out the Barnes & Noble bag, settled himself in the passenger’s seat, and opened Half-Blood Prince to the first page. "Fuck yes you are. Now sit down and start driving, there’s a war on."
Sam stared at him for a moment, then got in, obviously trying not to laugh.
"And if you tell me what happens, I’ll kill you, deal or not."
Sam’s lips twitched. "Neville becomes a badass."
"Kill you. In the face."
"Hermione and Draco realize their inevitable epic doomed love and get married before dying tragically in each others' arms."
"Do you have a deathwish?"
"Harry is made of chocolate."
Silence, but only for a moment.
"By the way, Sammy..."
"You're a shitty kisser."
"I'm just saying. Did you learn from making out with your pillow or something?"
"Oh, look who's talking, your lips weren't even moving."
"Hey, I was the one in the coma, I think that's a pretty damn good excuse."
And all was right with the world.