drop and roll? That was it wasn’t it? No, that’s
what you do when you’re on fire, any second-grader
knew that! Okay, maybe it was "jump, tuck and then
roll?" Hmm? Was there a recommended way to launch
oneself from one rooftop to another and land correctly?
Must’ve missed that chapter in “How to be
Dean barely stifled a
grunt as he dropped the five feet gap from the lowest
rung of the fire escape to the ground. The jolt of the
landing sent a wave of pain through his right shoulder
and swept across his chest despite Sam’s hands
placed on either side of his waist to steady him. The
sudden gulp of air did not go unnoticed by the younger
hunter either as Sam watched Dean protectively draw
his injured arm in towards his body.
Sam could read Dean’s
body language as easily as he had his textbooks at Stanford.
Although he hadn’t seen his brother’s landing
on the asphalt-covered rooftop, he had seen the aftermath
of it. He recognized the stoicism that accompanied pain,
the tense set of the jaw when his brother was attempting
to restrain an audible groan, the rigid carriage of
his body when he was trying to act as though everything
was alright. After all the time they had spent on the
road together and the countless injuries, Sam could
tell when Dean was hurt and Dean was definitely hurt
“You gonna let me
look at that arm?” he finally asked as they moved
slowly between the line of row houses that were so common
to the city of York, Pennsylvania.
never stopped, his head tilted down, eyes tracking his
feet as he slowly plodded forward. Yet another sign
to Sam that his brother was on autopilot.
his brother refused, looking up finally as they approached
the waiting Impala.
For the briefest moment
the siblings’ eyes met and despite the shadows
cast by the sodium vapor streetlights, Sam could see
the taut lines of stress on Dean’s forehead, the
perspiration that clung to his brow. The hollow look
that stared back out at the younger hunter belied the
physical pain underneath.
Sam insisted. He wasn’t about to ignore the signs
any longer, no matter how much his brother protested.
“Dude, lay off me!
It’s just bruised. It’ll be fine in the
sweating like you’ve been laying in a sauna and
I haven’t seen you move that arm since we lost
track of the creature.”
Exasperated at Sam’s
never-ending smothering concern, Dean fumed as he tried
to fish the keys to the car out of his right pants pocket.
Every miniscule movement was pure agony in his shoulder,
yet his hand actually felt numb and thick, detached
from the rest of the appendage. Try as he might, he
couldn’t force his fingers to grasp the metal
of the keys. A strange dichotomy, it was like his hand
was stuck in a bucket of ice while his shoulder was
being bathed in acid. Switching over, he dug into the
denim with his opposite hand, another move that did
not go unobserved by Sam. Glancing up as he caught the
dark knowing eyes of his brother piercing through his
well-crafted exterior, Dean did his best to glare back.
we just spent the better part of the night chasing a
friggin’ stone gargoyle around the rooftops of
York. Well, ok, the thing isn’t exactly stone
anymore, but the point is, I’m tired, I’m
hot and I really just want to go back to the room, get
a shower, maybe a cold beer and do my very best to forget
Dean moved to the trunk
and inserted the key with his left hand trying to hide
the awkwardness of the movement. Sam noticed, but he
knew that any comment he might make would just be turned
against him and filled with his brother’s irritated
denial. As he watched Dean fuss about the trunk replacing
weapons, his right arm hanging limply at his side, Sam
quickly plotted his next action.
“Okay bro, whatever
you want. I’ll even spring for the first round.”
Moving up behind his brother,
Sam drew back his hand and with an open-palm, slapped
Dean on the back of his right shoulder. The older sibling’s
reaction was immediate. Dean sunk to his knees on the
pavement, the string of obscenities pouring from his
mouth broken only by the gasps of air he sucked in to
combat the excruciating pain that was washing over him.
Dean gripped the Impala’s rear bumper with his
left hand, struggling to gather the energy to rise to
his feet, if for no other reason than to make a valiant
effort to beat the smug look off his baby brother’s
face. Unable to muster the power to stand, he instead
chose to focus his effort in a verbal assault.
“What the hell,
Sam! Why the hell did you do that? Are you freakin’
insane, you bastard?”
The smile faded from Sam’s
face as he realized the full extent of his brother’s
injury. From his higher vantage, towering over his kneeling
brother, he could now see the sudden slope of Dean’s
right shoulder. Drooping significantly lower than the
left and jutting forward, Sam was sure that it was dislocated.
In that moment, he knew why Dean had been reluctant
to move the limb; chances were he couldn’t have
moved it even had his life depended on it.
down, gently placing one hand under Dean’s left
arm and the other gripping the belt loop on his jeans,
Sam pulled his brother to his feet, maintaining his
hold until he was sure Dean was steady. Breathless and
angry, Dean pushed away from Sam with his left hand,
slumping back against the car, eyes still wide and staring
in disbelief at his brother.
“Dean, your shoulder
is dislocated,” Sam stated matter-of-factly.
“Dude, it was fine
until you decided to punch me with that friggin' big
paw of yours! I am so gonna owe you for that. You just
wait. When you least expect it, I’m gonna …
“Shut up Dean!”
Sam interrupted sternly. “I’m tired of playing
this game with you all the time. Why do you have to
be such a stubborn ass? It's total bullshit and it just
Caught completely off
guard by his brother’s blatant tirade, Dean could
do no more than stand with his mouth open, his anger
at Sam halted mid-sentence. Before he had a chance to
regroup, Sam determinedly moved forward and began peeling
off Dean’s outer shirt. Once unbuttoned, he pulled
the thin layer off the damaged shoulder eliciting an
audible groan from his sibling. Sam halted briefly as
he considered the next layer of T-shirt. Without a second
thought, he pulled the pocket knife from his jeans and
in a single fluid motion, he flipped it open with his
thumb and slipped it under the sleeve of the shirt.
Dean began to protest,
but before the first syllable escaped his lips, the
damage had been done. Sam continued his hasty alteration
until he had cut the shirt from the injured arm. Once
removed, the obvious deformity to the shoulder caused
Sam to take a deep breath. The round cap of the joint
was now pushed forward in front of Dean’s collarbone.
Even the appearance of his musculature looked painful
dislocated, if not worse!” Sam announced. “I
can’t fix this!”
I’m gonna kick your ass for cutting up my t-shirt.
Not to mention, what I’m gonna do to you for hitting
me. That’s two I owe you for,” he countered,
a thinly veiled attempt to deflect the conversation
from its inevitable direction.
His turn to be exasperated,
Sam slowly shook his head. Dean could be such a jackass
when it came to admitting any vulnerability and while
Sam had come to rely on his brother’s stalwart
determination during a hunt, times like this made him
want to shake Dean until his head rattled.
“Okay! Are you done
now?” he began. “Now listen to me, we are
going to the hospital; you’re gonna get that shoulder
fixed and the only thing I want to hear come out of
your mouth is “Yes Sam.” You got it?”
Stunned by the sudden
commanding tone coming out of his brother, Dean paused
then slowly nodded. Although he wouldn’t admit
it, deep down he knew Sam was right. In fact, despite
his earlier insistence that the arm was merely bruised,
the more time that passed, the less he could feel his
lower arm. By now, everything south of his elbow was
heavy and numb. He was pretty certain that the current
lack of pain was not necessarily a good sign.
As if reading his thoughts,
Sam reached down to touch Dean’s listless hand.
The cold radiating from the extremity shocked him and
he retracted his touch as if he had been bitten by a
crap, Dean! Your hand is freezing. Can you move your
fingers at all?” he asked.
the soft reply. “I can’t feel them or my
hand anymore either,” he admitted, reaching over
to protectively draw in the injured arm to his body
His charade completely
unmasked, defeat evident in his pain-filled eyes, Dean
looked up at Sam. He reluctantly held out his left hand,
sullenly offering the Impala’s keys.
“You win, let’s
go.” Rare acquiescence in those four words, his
brother submitting, Sam suddenly felt like he hadn’t
really won at all.
* * * *
For an early summer Friday night, the Emergency Department
of York County Hospital was surprisingly quiet. Upon
their arrival, the staff quickly sprung into action,
seemingly eager to finally have a patient to tend to.
Although not a life or death crisis, Sam was shocked
at the response and attention that was being paid to
Dean. In a relatively short period of time, Dean had
been examined, x-rayed and returned to the treatment
room, his face even more haggard from the radiologist’s
positioning of his injured arm for the films. More than
once, Sam had heard a familiar string of curse words
as he hovered outside the x-ray department doors.
As he sat next to Dean
now, Sam could feel the exhaustion slowly begin to creep
into his own body. It was nearly two in the morning
and this had been the third straight night that they
had spent the better majority of the dark hours patrolling
the skyline of the old city. Not usually one to need
much sleep, worry over his brother combined with the
let down of adrenaline from finally seeing and chasing
the creature across the rooftops and Sam was now feeling
the beckoning call to close his eyes.
Dean had said little since
arriving at the hospital which Sam chalked up to part
pain and part anger directed at him. Tired of the silent
treatment and desperate to stay awake, he attempted
to break Dean’s icy wall with talk about the hunt.
what do you think we should do next?” he asked,
hoping the phrasing of the question might feed his brother’s
need to be in charge.
Dean grumbled something
first, but then recognized the apologetic look on Sam’s
face and he knew he couldn’t remain angry at his
brother any longer.
“I dunno, dude.
S'pose we need to see how this turns out first,”
he replied, motioning with his head toward the right
arm that lay limply at his side.
“You know, I was
thinking, Dean. Some of the lore about gargoyles says
that they’re only animated at night. Maybe we
have been approaching this all wrong. Maybe we should
be scoping out the architecture around town during the
day when the thing is solid stone,” Sam suggested.
“Yeah Sam, that
would make sense if every freakin’ rooftop in
this town wasn’t sporting the damn things. These
people must’ve had some serious issues with warding
off evil back in the day. Problem is my geeky brother,
that there is also lore that says gargoyles can become
animated continuously with the right spellwork, so we
don’t know that this thing isn’t out there
roaming around twenty-four seven.”
the older hunter continued, “did you get a good
look at that thing? 'Cause I sure didn’t and I
hate to break it to you, but the damn things all look
the same to me. I don’t suppose the good people
of York will sit by and watch us take a sledgehammer
to all of their statues?”
a voice interrupted, startling both Winchester boys
as they looked up at the white-coated physician that
had just entered the room. “What would you be
planning on smashing?” he asked apprehensively.
Sam stammered, not sure
how much of their conversation the doctor had heard.
“Oh, nothing like that. My brother here doesn’t
appreciate art in any form. He was just voicing his
rather strong, but uneducated opinion, on some of the
The young physician seemed
appeased with that answer and his expression changed
from suspicion to concern as he stepped further into
the room, closing in on the gurney where Dean lay.
with introductions. My name is Dr. Ebersol, I’m
the ER resident tonight,” he said, offering out
his hand to both Dean and then in turn to Sam.
shoulder doc?” Sam asked excitedly, earning a
glare from Dean who once again did not appreciate his
younger brother’s incessant need to mother-hen
as I’m sure you’re aware, that shoulder
is most definitely dislocated. The good news is that
we can probably reduce it without much problem, but
we need to do it pretty quick. From your earlier exam,
it would appear that the dislocation has impinged on
the nerve bundle in your upper arm. That’s why
your hand and fingers are cold and numb. Once we get
the shoulder back into anatomical position, feeling
and circulation should return.”
“And after that?”
Sam intervened again, voicing the question that he knew
Dean was reluctant to ask. “Will there be any
wouldn’t think so,” the young physician
continued. “He’ll have to keep it immobilized
for a while, but most dislocations heal very nicely.
Of course, we’ll know better as it heals if there
is any significant ligament or tendon injury, but I
wouldn’t expect any permanent damage.”
get on with it doc,” Dean chirped in, preferring
to direct the conversation away from any discussion
about "permanent damage." “Sooner you
fix it, the sooner I can get outta here!”
“Not one for hospitals
huh?” Ebersol asked.
Dean smirked, “Let’s
just say that I’ve had my fill of them over the
I’m not the orthopedist. That would be Dr. Blane.
He should be here within forty-five minutes and then
we’ll get it taken care of. In the meantime, this
can be pretty uncomfortable so I’m going to order
a hundred milligrams of Demerol to help reduce the pain
and take the edge off when we do the procedure. Okay?”
Ebersol informed him.
Dean looked suspicious,
but he’d been down this road once before with
a dislocated finger. If putting his shoulder back in
place was proportional to the finger, he was game for
whatever drug the doctor wanted to push. He nodded in
agreement and Ebersol scribbled something onto the chart
and left the room.
“I’m so proud
of you,” Sam teased, ruffling the short strands
of his brother’s hair. “What a big boy you’re
Dean attempted to retaliate
by reaching over to slap at Sam’s silly grin,
but the movement sent a wave of pain throughout his
upper body and he sank back onto the stretcher, an audible
groan escaping his mouth, his eyes crimped tightly closed.
The humor deflated, Sam felt instantly guilty.
sorry! Look, it’s just that you can be such a
stubborn pain in the ass sometimes about being hurt.
Well, actually, you can be a stubborn pain in the ass
about nearly everything, but dude, I just worry, okay?”
Sam rambled, the seriousness in his eyes complimenting
the concern in his voice.
whatever, just don’t go all Erika Kane on me alright.
No tearful hospital death scenes okay?” Dean replied,
eyes rolling at the sincerity in his brother’s
Sam contemplated a well
placed slap to Dean’s head when an older woman
in scrubs entered the room. She held a small tray of
supplies which she placed on the Mayo stand beside the
stretcher. As the two young hunters watched, the nurse
methodically assembled tubing and finished by inserting
it into a large bag of IV fluid. Without a word, she
grabbed Dean’s left arm and began prepping an
area on the top of his hand. Alarmed and less than happy
about her cold demeanor, Dean yanked his hand away,
throwing the woman the nastiest "oh no you don’t”
glare he could currently muster.
she began, “We have to get this IV in place so
that we can get our pain medication.”
shouted, his patience already worn thin. “I don’t
think I have a squirrel under the sheet here with me!
I thought this was gonna be just a quick shot or something.”
“No sir, doctor
has ordered an IV started in case something goes wrong
during the procedure and we need to administer anything
Hazel eyes flashed in alarm. “What the hell are
you planning on going wrong?”
that nothing will go wrong sir, it’s only a precaution.
Now you just take it easy and I’ll be done in
a flash. It’s just a little stick,” the
woman continued, brandishing the needle.
“Just a little stick
she says, nothing can go wrong she says. Everybody’s
so friggin' optimistic around here,” Dean mumbled.
The nurse smiled knowingly
as she proceeded and for his part, Sam could barely
stifle a snicker at his brother’s sudden panic.
The man could hunt every conceivable horrific thing
from the pits of hell, but get him anywhere near a hospital
and he freaked every time.
continued to watch as the needle was buried under the
skin of Dean’s left hand and the clear tubing
was connected. After checking to see that the fluid
was dripping, the nurse then produced another syringe
and needle, this one smaller and filled with liquid.
His brother’s eyes widened for a moment, but as
the woman inserted it into the plastic hub attached
to the tubing and began to slowly depress the plunger,
a look of relief spread across Dean’s face and
his body visibly relaxed.
“That was the Demerol,”
the nurse announced. “You should be feeling it
pretty quick this way. I’ll check back with you
in a few minutes and see how your pain is doing.”
Finishing by taping the
catheter and tubing down against his hand and forearm,
she gathered her tray and casually strode from the room.
Before she was even out of the door, a feeling of warmth
had spread up Dean’s arm and was washing over
his chest and abdomen. His vision blurred for a brief
moment and the noises of the emergency department distorted
in his ears. Dean shook his head, clearing both his
sight and hearing. The warmth had blanketed his entire
body and his limbs now felt suddenly heavy.
he slurred, his head lolling as he tried to focus on
the blue-green eyes nearly hidden under the mop of brown
hair. “Whaddahell they gimmmmeee?”
Sam laughed easily. There
were few things currently funnier in his world than
a stoned brother. He watched as Dean’s movements
became sluggish and uncoordinated and for a moment he
worried that perhaps the dose of the narcotic had been
a little too high.
“Just relax Dean.
How’s your shoulder feeling now?”
“Shoulder? Um, feels
fine. Everything feels fine,” the older man answered
in a sing-song voice.
suddenly shifted forward, his attention grabbed by something
just beyond the open door. Sam watched as Dean feebly
tried to sit up, becoming concerned as a look of fear
spread across his brother’s face.
“Dean, what is it?”
Sam asked, his own heart picking up a beat in response
to Dean’s obvious increased concern.
“Sam, it found us!”
Dean replied, tossing aside the thin blanket from across
The younger man strained
to see whatever had captured his older sibling’s
attention, but only the normal scurrying of hospital
staff filled the exterior hallway. He looked back at
Dean, but his brother was still intent on something
beyond the doorway.
“What is it Dean?
What do you see?” Sam asked again, standing and
moving closer to the door, trying to follow his brother’s
you see it? Right there! The friggin’ gargoyle!
It followed us here!”
Sam moved to the doorjamb.
Looking out into the rest of the emergency room, he
saw nothing but the usual activity and knew instantly
that the medication was responsible for Dean’s
nothing out there. It’s the pain meds. You just
think you’re seeing gargoyles, but it’s
only the hospital staff.”
“No! No, it's right
there dude! Sammy, be careful. It might see you! Where’s
my .45?” he yelled, struggling to swing his legs
off the side of the stretcher but hampered by the metal
rails that had been raised on either side of the bed.
Sam recognized the mounting
stress in his brother’s face and voice and while
Dean’s present mental status was more than humorous,
he knew that he needed to get Dean out of hunter mode
before he destroyed the ER and likely hurt himself further.
“Dean, its okay!
It’s the medication they gave you. It isn’t
real. There’s nothing there,” he soothed,
his hand resting lightly on his brother’s left
shoulder as he gently pushed him back down onto the
Hearing the raised voices,
both Dr. Ebersol and the older nurse hurried into the
room. Their presence only incensed the delusional hunter
more and he lashed out with his uninjured arm in an
attempt to repel whatever monstrous visage his drug
induced mind was causing him to see.
“Sammy! Run! Get
out of here!” he shouted. “What the hell
you have to calm down!” Sam insisted, still trying
to calm his panicked brother as Dean struggled even
more to escape the confines of the stretcher.
you see them?” Dean pleaded. “There’s
a werewolf right there,” he insisted, finger pointed
at the shocked physician. “And she has fangs!
I knew it, a freaking vampire!”
the medication. You’re seeing things, it’s
just the doctor and nurse,” Sam stressed. But
his brother would have nothing of it as he recoiled
further against the mattress.
Stunned by the ranting
of the previously stoic patient, the young resident
moved to the bedside in a textbook attempt to calm the
“Mr. Hammett, uh,
Dean is it? Look, some patients have adverse reactions
to pain medications, but what you’re experiencing
is not real. Okay?” Ebersol stated “You
need to calm down before you injure yourself further!”
As the doctor’s
hand came in contact with his arm, Dean could feel the
sharp talons of the werewolf close in on the skin of
his wrist. He could see the saliva dripping from the
gaping maw of the creature as it leaned in closer to
tear out his throat. Survival instincts accompanied
by fear caused him to shout out, his voice echoing throughout
the small space as he swung a closed fist that connected
with the physician’s jaw. Ebersol fell backwards,
knocking over a nearby stand as he landed on the floor
rubbing the side of his face. Turning to Sam, he saw
the uncertainty in the young man’s expression
as his patient continued to yell about demons and ghosts
and assorted other creatures.
Recovering, the young
resident pulled himself up slowly, avoiding the side
of the stretcher and the still ranting young man. Drawing
Sam to the doorway he spoke in a low tone as Dean rambled
“I don’t have
to tell you that this is a pretty strange reaction to
the Demerol,” Ebersol began. “I mean, I’ve
seen people think the room is moving or that there are
strange noises or lights, but your brother thinks he
see monsters everywhere. Has he ever had any ‘other’
medical problems in the past?”
Sam paused for a moment,
contemplating the tone of the doctor’s question
and his emphasis on the word “other.”
you asking me if my brother has mental health issues?”
he voiced defiantly. Does my brother have mental
health issues? Well, let’s see. He saw his mother
pinned to a ceiling and burst into flames when he was
just four. He was raised by a man that spent more time
teaching him to shoot a gun than to shoot hoops. He’s
spent his entire life hunting and killing things that
would make you piss your pants.“No, I wouldn’t
say that he has any mental problems,” Sam continued,
but as his brother raged on about evil spirits and rock
salt-loaded shotguns, he felt certain that the doctor
wasn’t buying it.
Sighing deeply, Ebersol
cast a glance at the delusional young man on the stretcher.
Although he was in his third year of ER residency, he
had yet to see such a peculiar reaction to a medication.
Sure, patients often saw things while under the influence
of narcotics, but none he had ever encountered had been
so graphic and vehement about their visions. The little
voice in the back of his head told him that there was
much more to this patient than an adverse reaction.
Delusions such as these were much more deeply rooted
in the psyche.
Dr. Blane should be here shortly. I’m going to
order a sedative so that your brother doesn’t
injure that shoulder any further and so we can reduce
that dislocation once the orthopedist arrives. We’ll
see how he’s doing once he calms down. You seem
to be the only person he doesn’t think is straight
out of a horror movie, so perhaps you should stay with
him until we get him under control. But I have to tell
you, I am seriously considering a psych consult for
him if this behavior continues.”
Sam nodded warily and
returned to his brother’s bedside. Dean was nearly
out of control when the nurse returned to the room with
yet another syringe in her hand. Sam could only imagine
what his brother’s delusional mind must have been
seeing as the older woman came at him with the threatening-looking
thing in her hand. He tried to calm Dean and even went
so far as to restrain his uninjured left arm as the
nurse injected the medication into the IV port.
As quickly as the narcotic
had hit his system, so did the sedative and within a
few ticks of the large wall clock, Dean’s eyes
fluttered and his body relaxed once again. Sam let go
with a breath of relief and returned to his abandoned
seat beside the stretcher.
A few blessedly quiet
minutes passed before Dean looked over at him through
heavily-lidded eyes, the wild panic of earlier replaced
by glassy incoherence.
“Did you get 'em?”
he asked thickly. “Did you kill the werewolf?”
“Yeah Dean! I got
all of them for you!” Sam replied.
“Good. Thanks bro.”
Dean slurred, his voice a whisper as his eyes met Sam’s.
Despite the dull, nearly fully dilated pupils that stared
back at him, Dean's eyes held an innocent, sincere quality
that was generally reserved for those rare times that
he let down his usually well fortified guard. Sam smiled,
reaching out to gently touch his brother’s injured
be okay. Why don’t you just rest and wait for
the doc to come and take care of that shoulder. I’ll
stand watch, alright?”
There was a brief look
of panic as Dean tried to boost himself up in bed, struggled
to become more alert, refusing to succumb to the sedating
effects of the medication. Even in his less than coherent
state, the basic need to watch out for and protect his
younger brother overrode all else.
the end, his body lost the fight against the drugs and
for the second time that night he acquiesced. “Okay
Sam. But wake me up when it’s my turn. And watch
out for that big granite sonofabitch,” he reminded,
then quickly added, “and that damn vampire too.”
Sam nodded, trying to
hide the slight smile as Dean’s eyes drifted closed.
On one level, he wasn’t surprised that, given
the medication, Dean’s subconscious had turned
to the one topic that was nearly always on the top of
his mind. Yet, on another level, Sam was worried, had
always been worried, that his brother’s near obsession
with hunting, mirroring their father’s, might
sooner or later lead to something like this.
As exhausted as he was,
Sam stayed awake, standing watch as he promised, although
it was watching Dean and not for gargoyles. It was over
an hour and a half and not the forty-five minutes that
Ebersol had promised before the orthopedist arrived.
Dean mostly dozed the entire time, waking occasionally,
still looking for creatures, still groaning if he moved
the wrong way on his shoulder.
They ushered Sam from
the room when Dr. Blane arrived, the ortho looking less
than pleased about being called at such an early morning
hour. There was no mistaking when they woke Dean up,
the sedative not able to tame either the delusional
rant or the string of crude epithets that the doctor’s
examination of the injured shoulder caused.
In the end, they called
Sam back into the treatment room, essentially begging
his assistance in dealing with his less than cooperative
sibling. Fortunately for all those involved, Dr. Blane
was as good as Ebersol had promised and the reduction
of Dean’s shoulder went smoothly once they sedated
him once again and with Sam basically promising that
his brother wasn’t nearly as crazy as he was currently
With Dean quiet once more,
the doctors finished with his shoulder, x-rayed it again
and then, satisfied that it was in place, Ace-wrapped
it to his chest to splint it in place.
Sam waited outside the
doorway again, not intending on eavesdropping, but doing
“So, have you ever
seen behavior like this before?” Ebersol asked,
helping the orthopedist to wrap the last piece of elastic
bandage around an unconscious Dean’s chest.
The older physician looked
at the young resident wistfully as he held traction
on the injured extremity. “Had this old woman
once, post-surgically, that gave me a black eye. Thought
I was some old boyfriend from way back that had cheated
on her with her best friend. Popped me good I’ll
“Yeah, but demons
and vampires and werewolves?”
“So? The kid watches
too many horror flicks? Big deal. Could be worse. Not
like he’s amp’d up on crack or something
like half the kids I took care of when I did my ortho
residency in Baltimore.”
Ebersol looked less than
certain, still concerned that his patient’s behavior
had been more than just the overactive imagination of
a horror show junkie. In this day and age of lawsuits
being levied against doctors at the drop of a hat, he
was worried about turning someone loose that so obviously
needed help in the mental health department.
if you’re so worried, keep the kid here for observation
tonight. It sure won’t hurt to see how that shoulder
looks in the daylight before we cut him loose and you
could see how he is once all the Demerol was washed
out of his system. If he comes up lucid, then you can
write it all off to just a bad med reaction and tell
the poor fool to make sure no one ever gives it to him
again,” Blane advised.
Ebersol nodded. Keeping
Mr. Hammett for the remainder of the shift under the
guise of “observation” would give him plenty
of time to call in a psych consult. At least then he
could say he covered his ass if the case came up during
Outside the room, Sam
listened to the two doctors' conversation. At first,
he was indignant on Dean’s behalf, insulted at
the implication that his brother could be crazy or on
drugs. If either of these men even had an inkling of
the things Dean had seen or the creatures that he had
destroyed, they’d be kissing his ass. They should
be thankful that there were people like his brother
out there willing to put their own lives on the line
so that others like themselves could continue to live
oblivious to the many horrors that roamed the earth.
Still, there was one upside
to all this. If the doc wanted to keep Dean for observation
overnight, that certainly could work out to Sam’s
benefit. Not that having Dean hurt and in a hospital
was something that he preferred, but he knew his brother
all too well. As soon as Dean was free of the hospital,
he was sure to insist on jumping right back into the
hunt, injured shoulder be damned. At least with Dean
stuck in here for a day, Sam knew he might be able to
get a line on the gargoyle before his brother had a
chance to get out and be an annoying pain in the ass
about the shoulder; in other words, to be typical Dean.
Sam became alert when
Ebersol and Blane walked out of the treatment room.
Dr. Blane approached him first, the silver-haired specialist
smiled genuinely as he shook Sam’s hand, his earlier
irritation at having been called in seemingly having
shoulder reduced quite well. I don’t see any reason
to suspect any lasting problems, but we’ll see
how he moves it tomorrow. I’ll be back in doing
rounds in the afternoon and I’ll take a look then.
For now, we’ve basically splinted it to his chest.
The first several days are the most important, that’s
when it’s the weakest and most susceptible to
dislocating again. Over time, it’ll strengthen
and be just fine,” he explained.
Ebersol spoke next, continuing
as soon as the orthopedist finished. “Dr. Blane
suggested, and I concur, that it would be in your brother’s
best interest to stay here for observation. Again, as
he said, so that we can check his shoulder again later.
Plus, as I mentioned before, his reaction to the medication
was uh, pretty abnormal. This will give it a chance
to get completely out of his system and we can be sure
that he’s, well, back to normal.”
sure, that makes sense,” Sam readily agreed. In
his mind, he could already feel the lumpy motel bed
beckoning him, thinking to himself what a pleasure it
would be to go back and sleep peacefully, wake leisurely,
and shower without Dean pounding on the door to speed
“Alright then, I’ll take care of the orders
and we’ll get him sent upstairs as soon as they
have a room assigned. You can hang out if you want to,
but he seems to be sleeping now… thank God,”
Ebersol mumbled the last bit.
“Nah, to be honest,
it’s been a long night and I don’t want
to wake him up. I’ll just pop in and check on
him and then take off. I’ll check in tomorrow
and see how he’s doing,” Sam replied.
“Well, I do my rounds
right after lunch. He should be ready to go after then,”
Blane suggested, shaking Sam’s hand one final
time before walking down the corridor.
Ebersol nodded at the
young hunter as well and trailed the older doctor down
the hallway, jotting notes on Dean’s chart as
he walked away. Sam watched him go, still slightly irritated
at the physician’s somewhat callous bedside manner,
but too tired to challenge him.
He turned in to the doorway
to the exam room, leaning against the jamb and pausing
briefly to watch Dean in the dim lighting. His brother
lay there peacefully sleeping, a blanket pulled up to
his waist, his chest bare except for the lengths of
beige Ace-wrap that held his right arm snugly against
his ribs. A stark contrast to the man that had not long
before been wanting to wage all-out war on the denizens
of evil right there in the emergency room, Dean now
looked more calm than Sam could ever remember seeing
Sam moved quietly over
to the side of the stretcher. He bent over, his face
nearing the raised head of the bed. Dean groaned slightly,
his body attempting to shift in the depths of slumber
but the pain of movement halting even unconscious reflexes.
“Enjoy the sleep,
bro. You deserve it. And when you wake up, don’t
be mad at me. Just kick back, enjoy the pretty nurses
fussing all over you and I’ll be around after
lunch to pick you up,” Sam whispered.
Sam stood up, turning
to leave the room, when his eye caught on something
shiny. Dean's silver ring, removed when the doctors
had begun working on his shoulder, lay silently next
to his destroyed shirt on the nearby stand. For a second,
Sam considered taking the piece of jewelry with him
for safekeeping. But then he considered that, knowing
Dean, his brother would simply tear the hospital apart
in search of the possession if he thought it lost or
worse yet stolen.
Instead, Sam picked up
the silver band and placed it gently in his brother's
left palm, closing it tightly within Dean’s hand.
He watched Dean for a moment longer, then slipped silently
out of the darkened room and into the outer hallway.
Sam was nearly to the
ER entrance, the morning sunlight nearly blinding him
when a blond-haired man in a short lab coat strode into
his brother’s room. The newcomer took up Sam’s
abandoned post at the side of the stretcher, a patient
chart held loosely in his hand.
He quietly observed the
sleeping man for several minutes, watching as the patient
twitched in response to some sort of sleep-induced dream.
Picking up the chart, he scanned through the documentation,
stopping occasionally when he came across certain words
that caught his eye. Looking back at the sleeping form,
the doctor shook his head, a trickle of laughter escaping
his thin lips.
“Hmmm, it says you
need evaluated for a psych consult. You’ve been
seeing vampires, werewolves, gargoyles and demons? Isn’t
it just too bad that people always want to jump to conclusions
and label you crazy?”
the blond man walked around Dean’s bedside, circling
the stretcher like a shark circling a wounded seal.
He stopped when he reached the opposite side, crouching
down, so that his mouth was near to the young hunter’s
“Such a pity that
they are so blind to the evil that surrounds them every
day. Oh well, let’s talk about you. I wonder what
other nightmares you have stored up in that head for
me. But, that’s the joy of therapy. We have all
the time in the world for me to find out,” he
sneered, licking his lips as his irises flashed over
the episode here