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the island of conclusions

Fic: "'Yet Still Steadfast'" (comment fic from the sick!Dean meme)

the island of conclusions

bright star

Fic: "'Yet Still Steadfast'" (comment fic from the sick!Dean meme)

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bright star
One more comment fic from the hoodie_time comment!fic meme. Apparently I had a lot of separated!boys stuff bottled up....This is the third fic I've written set between 5.02 and 5.04....

Sorry for the spamming--no need to read! Imma stop with the h/c now and go back to "Two Boys..."

Title: "'Yet Still Steadfast'"
Genre: h/c, gen
Rating: PG
Characters: Bobby, Sam, Dean
Word Count: ~1,400
Spoilers: Set between 5.03 and 5.04
a/n: From the prompt: Dean is hurt/ill after a hunt, and Bobby calls Sam.
a/n: Not exactly a happy reunion fic...
a/n: Title from Keats's sonnet, "Bright Star."



'Yet Still Steadfast'

That’s your ride?” Bobby can’t help shouting out, as he watches Sam extricate himself from the too-small door of a maroon late-model Sentra.

“Shut up,” Sam shouts back good-naturedly, “That’s some good gas mileage there, not to mention the reliability. Besides, it’s not mine—just borrowing it from a friend.”

A group of taciturn hunters who wouldn’t take thanks or payment had installed a ramp from his porch down to the yard before Bobby had even gotten out of the hospital, but he decides he’d rather wait for Sam up here. He can’t see much in the gathering dusk, but the kid looks alright, certainly hasn’t wasted away in the month since Bobby’s last seen him.

As Sam comes up the stairs into the pool of light from the door-lamp, backpack slung over his shoulder, Bobby thinks he looks better than alright—looser, somehow, than he’d seemed over the past year, face less stretched and hard, hollows rounding out.

And yet. There’s still something shadowed about the boy—haunted even, he thinks, as Sam stoops a little to shake his hand.

But all he says is, “Looking good, kid”

“You too, Bobby.” They pause, awkward.

“How is he?” Sam finally asks.

“Alright, considering. Be better if he could get some real rest.”

Sam nods. “Chupacabra, huh?”

“Yup. You know the filthy claws on those things, land you with a nasty infection before you can say Jack Robinson.”

Sam nods again.

“But we’ve been pouring antibiotics into him for twenty-four hours now—he’ll pull through—just mend faster if he weren’t so worked up.

Sam nods a third time, then asks, “Castiel still here?”

“He’ll be back. Likes to flit in and out, that one.” Bobby puts his hands together and flutters his fingers in the universal sign for angel.

“Bobby?” He looks up to meet Sam’s eyes, reluctant somehow, even though he’s the one responsible for getting Sam here. “Can I see him?”

:::::::

Bobby wheels down the hallway to the spare bedroom, Sam following in his wake. They pause in the doorway, the older man letting Sam get his mind around just how messed up his brother is.

A jury-rigged IV stands next to the bed where Dean is lying, not completely unconscious, but certainly insensible to whatever’s going on beyond his own body. A swathe of bandages covers one shoulder, and reaches halfway down his chest, almost meeting another set of dressings on the opposite hip. He’s flushed, a sheen of sweat over his face and torso.

The worst, though, is his disquiet. Bobby’s dosed him with as heavy a sedative as he thinks is safe and still Dean is restless, head tossing, hands fidgeting, lips moving repetitively.

A stranger would have no idea what word Dean is soundlessly forming. But Sam can tell. Bobby’s sure Sam can tell.

It’s all actually an improvement from the night before, when the fever spiked, pitching Dean right out the other side of rationality, and he’d screamed, literally screamed, his brother’s name ‘til he was hoarse. It had been a little scary, even for a Winchester.

Bobby had stood by, feeling ridiculously helpless, watching Castiel, with a strength that belied his slight frame, trying to stop Dean from ripping out the IV line and flinging himself off the bed. It had gone on for hours, and for the whole time, Bobby hadn’t been able to tell whether Dean was shouting out a warning or an imprecation.

That’s when he’d decided to place the call. He and the angel could keep Dean from hurting himself, sure—but they were never going to be able to calm him.

It had been a little better during the day, but only because Dean was exhausted, without the energy to buck the drugs.

Sam drops his bag, crouches down next to the bed and leans in so that his forehead is almost touching Dean’s. For a moment, he watches his brother’s pained, futile movements. Then he puts one hand on Dean’s shoulder, and lays the other along the side of his face, slipping his fingers into the short, damp hair at his temple.

“Hey,” he murmurs, in a low, sweet voice Bobby knows is reserved for Dean, “settle down, okay? I’m here now, and you’re good, you’re safe. But you need to rest, so you’re going to quiet down for me, right?

Dean doesn’t open his eyes, but he gives a small, relieved sound. And then, just like that, he does settle. His limbs still and some of the lines of pain smooth out of his face.

Bobby shakes his head. He’s seen it before, of course—shit, it was the reason he’d called Sam in the first place—but the intense, tactile connection between the Winchesters, the way Sam’s voice and hands can reach Dean even under all those layers of drugs and pain and fever, always unnerves him a bit. He hates to think about the conditions that fostered that bond.

:::::::::::::::

He leaves Sam alone with his brother, only coming back in a few times during the night to check Dean’s vitals or to help Sam administer the meds. He brings Sam something to eat and drink, and some fresh damp clothes for Dean’s face.

Sam seems reluctant to break physical contact with his brother, keeping a hand on Dean’s chest, his arm, his face, even as he gratefully accepts a cup of coffee or a sandwich. Dean doesn’t wake, but the horrible, thrashing, anxiety of the past twenty-four hours has dissipated, and Bobby starts to believe he’s on the mend.

Every time Bobby comes in, Sam looks up at him and gives him a quirked half-smile, the sweet seriousness of his expression reminding him of the boy he was so long ago, and Bobby’s chest tightens at the thought of how much they all have lost.

:::::

He doesn’t want to intrude, but there doesn’t seem much point in going to bed, so Bobby putters around the house most of the night. At some point, Castiel returns, and the two of them sit silently and companionably in the kitchen for a bit. Bobby’s more or less forgiven the angel for not pulling a new spinal cord out of his bag of heavenly tricks; he’s willing to help in other ways, it seems, and his fierce, slightly off-kilter devotion to Dean is—well, it’s something else, is what it is—and it goes a long way towards making up for the other stuff.

He sees Castiel look into the spare bedroom, but if Sam has any kind of conversation with the angel, Bobby can’t hear it.

Towards morning he must doze off in his chair, even though it’s something he hates doing, because he wakes with a start to find Sam standing over him.

“Huh—“ he says, startled, “is everything--?”

“He’s good, Bobby,” Sam says, “doing better. Fever’s down some, and I think he’s sleeping for real now.”

Bobby suddenly notices that Sam has his jacket on, and his bag slung back over his shoulder.

“You’re--?”

“Yeah. I’m—I’m gonna take off now.” Bobby starts to say something, but Sam holds him off with a hand, “I know. And we will hunt together again, me and Dean, I know we will. But it shouldn’t start off like this. We should both be, well, at least coherent. Dean wouldn’t want it to be like this, you know that.

Bobby does know that, and mentally kicks himself, sentimental old man that he is, for even considering that it would all be solved by a group hug and some happy tears.

“Besides,” Sam is saying, “I don’t think I should be around you guys right now. It’s not…well, it’s not safe.” Bobby looks at him, alarmed. That thing, that shadowing or haunting, is back in Sam’s eyes, and Bobby believes what he says. “But I’m not disappearing or anything, okay? Something happens, you pick up the phone. We good?”

Bobby nods. And then, because he finds he can’t speak, he grabs Sam’s hand, and pulls him down into a rough hug.

“You watch out for yourself, boy,” he manages, after a moment. “You want I should tell him you were here?”

Sam shrugs as he pulls away, smiling that sweet, almost forgotten smile again. “He’ll know,” he says.

Bobby’s busy dabbing savagely at his eyes when he hears the front door swing shut.

  • (no subject) - a_starfish
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it--thanks so much for reading! For some reason, 5.03 gave me a big soft spot for Sam--I guess because he was more mature, but also more sweet than he's been for a long time....
      And I like the idea that they can have a relationship based on touch that doesn't necessarily jibe with their conscious selves....
  • Hey, just wanted to let you know that this has been recced here at hoodie_time. ;)
  • Just found this thanks to the above rec and OMG it's beuatiful. I love Sam taking care of a sick Dean, espcially when it's as bittersweet and emotionally heart tugging as this. That was a perfect bridge between those episodes.
    • Hey--totally flattered to be on the same list with your WIAWSNB story and all those other great fics! (such is my love of delirous!Dean that I had already read them all *g*).

      I'm glad you enjoyed this one--I was just looking at it and thinking I write too many fics where one person is unconscious throughout....

      Thanks for reading!
  • “Hey,” he murmurs, in a low, sweet voice Bobby knows is reserved for Dean, “settle down, okay? I’m here now, and you’re good, you’re safe. But you need to rest, so you’re going to quiet down for me, right?”

    Agghghghhh.

    ♥ ♥ ♥
    • Oh, Sam's Dean-only voice is so beautiful and so rare (I was thinking of the end of "Devil's Trap")--I had to include it!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks for reading and commenting!

      (also? totally flattered to be on that list with you and all those other great fics--I think I read "Weryl" before I had an lj account, so never commented, but I adore it!)
  • This would have been nice to have happened on the show. It gives a good transition for the being apart/getting back time.
    • This would have been nice to have happened on the show.
      *nods vigorously*

      Thanks for reading and commenting--I'm glad you enjoyed it!
  • Lovely and heartbreaking, really well done:)
  • i absolutely loved this!
    are you gonna make a post with the hug bit sequel? :)
    i'd love to save it to my memories too!
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it--thanks for reading and commenting! (the hug sequel will probably just remain over on the meme post, sorry!)

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