Sam sat on the bed with his head in his hands. Thoughts of the night ran through his mind; Dean and Castiel seeing him drink blood, driving to Bobby’s, and finally being locked in the panic room by his own brother. He was angry and upset but most of all he was scared. He needs blood; he could feel the want in his body. He could feel the need. He stood up and stumbled to the door. “Dean?” He asked tentatively. “Dean please.” No reply, “DEAN!” he yelled. He turned his back on the door and slid to the floor, “Please don’t leave me in here.” He sobbed. His vision suddenly blurred, pain spreading through his veins, intense, white hot pain, a strangled cry escaping his lips.
The pain subsided after a moment, Sam’s breath coming rough and ragged. His throat was raw. Looking around, he saw a jug of water on the table by the mirror and dragged himself on his hands and knees towards it. When he reached the table he pulled himself to his feet and looked in the mirror seeing himself for the first time in days. His hair was greasy and lank. His skin was pale and bruised. And his eyes, his eyes were dark, almost black. He looked away quickly reaching for the jug. He stopped, staring at his wrist, almost able to see the dark blood pumping through his veins. He fell to the ground remembering that day at cold oaks. The day he disappeared. The day he fought Jake. The day he died. That was the day the yellow-eye demon showed him that night so many years ago. Showed him that he had demon blood running through his veins. The realisation hit him like a slap in the face. “No.” he said quietly. “No, no, no.” he repeated. He walked away, pushing the heels of his hands into his eyes. He dropped onto the bed with his eyes closed trying to think of other things. Desperation hit him in waves, forcing him to open his eyes, “NO!” he shouted. He pushed himself up, stumbling to the mirror; staring into his own eyes seeing pain and lust. He looked down at his clenched fists, seeing the raised veins in his forearm. He clamped his teeth together and squeezed his eyes shut. The hunger grew inside him, flowing through his veins, his muscles, his bones. His eyes shot open, a yell tearing through his throat, his fist slamming into the mirror in front of him, sending shards of glass flying in the air around him. Blood trickled from cuts on his fist. He raised it to his lips, and tested a small drop on his tongue. It was weak, but it was there. He licked the rest of the blood off his hand and sat on the floor, closing his eyes enjoying the short rush it had provided. It quickly wore off, leaving Sam feeling unsatisfied. His eyes fell upon a large shard of glass not far from him. He reached for it slowly, trying to fight the urge in his mind, knowing what he was about to do was wrong and dangerous. He held it loosely in his hand. Then impulse overtook and moved the glass to his arm, dragging it across his skin. Sam gasped at the pain but focused immediately on the flow of blood. He dipped his head, licking at it, tasting all the blood he could. Eventually the flow stopped and Sam had to make another cut. He consumed as much blood as he could, but it was nothing compared to pure demon blood. More, he needed more. He made the decision in a split second, the need choosing for him. He sliced deep along his forearm, the blood spraying all over him. He immediately began sucking at the wound, tasting the iron in his own blood. He wanted the rush and couldn’t get it through his diluted blood. He screamed in frustration, knowing he could never get a good fix this way. He closed his eyes and dropped his head to his chest. Feeling suddenly tired, he dragged himself slowly across the floor, his lack of energy slowing him down. He barely reached the bed, and was only able to sit against the side. He closed his eyes and drifted into unconsciousness.
Dean took another swig from the whiskey bottle and leaned against the wall. Bobby rushed into the room, “You hear that?”
“I don’t hear anything.” Dean replied.
“Exactly! That’s too much nothing!” They both ran down the stairs to the panic room.
Dean reached the door first, yanking the small window open, “Sam?!” He looked in, seeing a large pool of blood on the floor. “SAM!” he unlocked the door, yanked it open and ran inside. He dropped to his knees beside his brother, taking his face in his hands. “Sam? Sam! Sam wake up, look at me. Please don’t do this. No, you have to stay with me! SAM!”
Dean paced in the family room, his fingers laced on the back of his head. The past two hours had been gut-wrenching, waiting for any information about Sam.
“Boy, sit down, your pacing is making me anxious.” Bobby said.
“Sitting down won’t do Sam any harm.” Dean looked defeated and took the seat next to Bobby. He was instantly back on his feet as a woman in a white coat walked in.
“Is he OK?” Dean asked anxiously.
“Please sit.” She said sitting opposite them. “I’m Doctor Wood; I’m dealing with your brother’s case. When Sam was brought in, he had lost a lot of blood, almost too much, but we were able to stitch him up and replace the fluids that he had lost.”
“So he’s OK.” Dean breathed a sigh of relief.
“What do you mean not exactly?” asked Bobby.
“Losing that amount of blood is not healthy. Oxygen wasn’t able to circulate fully around the body, and wasn’t able to reach the brain. The brain can survive without oxygen for 4-6 minutes, after that brain cells start to die. Sam’s was with minimal oxygen for over 30 minutes. Now we have no idea how this has affected his brain as in these cases it is different for everyone. Normally we would find out when the patient wakes up but for now we are going to keep him sedated and we are going do some scans, run some tests, just to make sure that he is physically fine.”
Dean’s hand was over his mouth, his eyes full of shock. How could this happen? Sam was really hurt. His Sam. His Sam that was always there. His Sam that helped him through everything. His Sam that never let him down. He didn’t realise he had been crying until the doctor pushed a box of tissues towards him. He wiped at his eyes hiding his face.
“Can we see him?” asked Bobby, standing in front of Dean.
“Sure. We’ll be starting his test soon but you can have a couple of minutes with him first. I’ll show you to his room.”
They walked out of the room slowly, Dean keeping his head down, hiding his red rimmed eyes. When they reached Sam’s room the doctor left them.
“Can I go in on my own?” Dean asked Bobby.
“Sure. Go ahead.” Bobby patted Dean’s shoulder as he walked in.
Dean stepped slowly into the room, letting the door shut behind him. He scanned the room before letting his eyes fall onto Sam’s still form. He was dressed in a hospital gown with the blanket up to his chest and had bandages from his wrists to his elbows. He had a tube coming out of his mouth that was attached to a bleeping machine.
Dean ran his hands over his face, the tears beginning to flow again.
“What happened Sam?” Dean whispered. “I don’t understand. Why would you do this to yourself?” Dean took Sam’s hand in his own, “Just be OK. Please be OK.” The door opened and a nurse walked in, “We need to take him for his tests now.” She said. “You can wait in here if you like.”
“Yeah, Ok” Dean replied wiping his eyes, “Thanks” He watched as two nurses wheeled the bed out of the room, “Please be OK” he whispered once more before dropping into a chair.
Dean and Bobby sat in silence. They had been waiting for over an hour for the Doctor to bring Sam back. Bobby had tried to start conversations with Dean but stopped after the third time of him not responding.
The door to the room opened and Sam was wheeled inside. A lump rose in Dean’s throat seeing Sam again. The nurses checked all of Sam’s wires and tubes, and when satisfied, they left. The Doctor remained and sat down in the chair opposite Dean and Bobby.
“We did a brain scan on your brother, looking at his brain activity and his brain waves. Luckily, we didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. He's a fighter.” Dean looked up, his eyes wide.
“So he’s gonna be OK?” Dean asked softly.
“We’re sure he’s gonna be fine. We’re still going to keep him sedated for a few days; give his wounds a chance to heal. ” The doctor replied smiling slightly. Bobby let out a sigh of relief and wiped his hand down his face.
“Thank you.” Dean said.
“I do however suggest that Sam see our therapist-“
“Ha! Sam in therapy, he’d love that, talking about his feelings!” Dean smiled, genuinely amused.
“Well it’s just a suggestion but we think it will help. I need to go now so any questions just ask a nurse and if they can’t help they’ll page me. Goodbye.” She shook their hands and then left.
“So he’s OK.” said Bobby. “Man, I’m glad that’s over.”
“I guess, but still, he did this to himself. I’m supposed to protect him, look after him. Instead I locked him in a room and he ended up doing this.” Dean stood up, running his hands over his face.
“Dean, you can’t really think that.” Bobby replied softly. “Don’t blame yourself, this isn’t your fault Dean, it will never be your fault.”
“Thanks.” said Dean. He turned to the chair and ended up with his face millimetres from Castiel’s.
“Dude, you scared the hell outta me!” said Dean, his hand on his chest calming his wild heart.
“Sorry.” apologized Castiel without moving. Dean looked awkward and said, “Remember Cas? Personal space?”
“Right, sorry.” Castiel moved and stood by Sam’s bed. “When I returned, you were gone. What happened?” Dean Told Castiel everything, including that clearly Sam had been drinking blood from himself. Castiel looked shocked, “This isn’t good Dean. We have to stop him drinking demon blood. Now.”
“Do you think I don’t know that?! When he wakes up I’ll do everything I can to stop it, but I can’t do anything whilst he is asleep."
“I understand,” Said Castiel, “I must go now.” And before Dean could ask where, he was gone. “What a surprise.” He muttered as he sat back down next to the bed.
“Well,” started Bobby, “Guess we’ve got some more waiting to do.”
“Yeah, guess so”
Dean sat in Sam’s room staring at his little brother. It had been two days and Sam was still sedated. He couldn’t bare looking at Sam’s still form, the tube sticking out of his brother’s nose, he stood up and headed to the cafeteria to get a cup of caffeine.
When Dean returned Doctor Wood was waiting in Sam’s room for him. She smiled at him and Dean released the breath he hadn’t realised he was holding.
“Hello Dean. I’ve decided it’s time to wake Sam up.”
“Really?” Dean’s eyes we’re wide.
“Yes. It’s been two days, and I feel that Sam’s body should have recovered enough to be taken off sedation. All we have to do is remove this tube,” She gestured at the needle in Sam’s right hand, “We’ll stop the sedation and then it shouldn't take long for him to wake up.” She turned around and Dean watched as she removed the needle from Sam’s hand. “OK so I’ll leave for now. Call for a nurse when he wakes up and they’ll page me, and I’ll check on him.” She smiled and left. Dean called Bobby quickly and then took the seat beside Sam’s bed.
Dean tapped his foot on the floor, each second ticking slowly by. Bobby arrived in 20 minutes and sat down next to him.
“Anything yet?” Bobby asked. Dean shook his head and looked back at Sam. Another 20 minutes passed before Sam’s hand moved. Dean jumped up, and took the hand in his own.
“Sam?” He asked softly, “Sammy can you hear me?” A minute passed before Sam’s eyes twitched open. “Sammy. Welcome back.” He said with a genuine smile.
“What happened?” Sam asked closing his eyes again against the light.
“Urm, don’t worry about that now, the doctor needs to check you out first. I’ll just go tell a nurse you’re awake.” Dean left the room and paused outside the door taking a deep breath to steady himself. The thought of talking about this with Sam was tearing him apart inside. He took another breath then headed to the desk.
Bobby put his hand on Sam’s shoulder, “Good to see ya awake boy. How ya feeling?”
“A bit groggy I guess.” Replied Sam.
“Don't worry about it.” Bobby replied simply.
The door opening caught his attention and he looked up to see the doctor walk in followed by Dean.
“Hello Sam, I’m Doctor Wood. I’ve been handling your case. So tell me how your feeling.” She said as she picked up Sam’s chart at the end of the bed and checked all the machines for his vitals.
“I feel fine, a bit tired, but otherwise fine.” Said Sam. The doctor pushed a button to raise the top of the bed so she and Sam would be able to talk eye to eye.
“Sam,” the doctor started, “You’re very lucky, you lost a lot of blood and we weren’t sure how this would affect you. But we did some tests and they showed that you’re fine.”
Sam nodded in relief, happy that he was okay, the details of what had brought him to this clearing in his mind.
“Well I’ve got rounds to do, so I’ll be back in a few hours to check on you.”
“Thanks.” Said Sam as the doctor left.
Dean took a deep breath and walked over to Bobby “Can you urm, give us some time to talk.”
“Sure. I’ll get some coffee.” He left Sam and Dean alone to talk.
“So Sam,” Dean started.
“We need to talk?” Sam finished closing his eyes and leaning back.
“Yeah, I urm, worked out what you did.” Dean said looking down at his feet, “Wasn’t hard really, you had blood all around your mouth.” Sam turned his head away. “Sam, why would you do this to yourself?” He said looking directly at Sam, “You could have died. What were you thinking?!”
“I... My mind was all over the place in there, all I could think about was blood and it hit me that... That there’s demon blood in me and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, eventually I broke the mirror and...” Tears shone in Sam's eyes, “I’m so sorry Dean.”
“You can say that but you still did it!” Dean snapped, “The reason you were in there was for you to stop drinking blood and you just did it anyway! It’s as if you’re trying to hurt me!” Dean looked blankly at his brother, challenging him to deny it.
“It’s not like that. I...It’s an addiction, I can’t help it.”
“You can’t help it?! You started drinking it in the first place! You listened to that tramp Ruby and you believed her lies! So you started drinking this stuff that is killing you! Not just that, it’s killing me to watch you! I just...” Dean fell into the chair beside Sam’s bed, “I just don’t understand how this all makes sense in your head. How you think that drinking this stuff is a good thing.”
“Because I’ve seen it work for myself Dean. I drink this blood and it gives me power I’ve never had before! I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m faster, better than I’ve ever been. Dean, I can exorcise demons without any Latin! How does this not make sense to you? I save the victim more times than not, and it’s quicker and easier than all the Latin.”
Dean pushed himself up quickly, “And what about you? I get that it saves people, but it won’t save you. I’ve seen the nose bleeds you get when it’s too much! And how weak you get afterwards. Even the way you twitch like a junkie when you haven’t had your ‘fix’. It’s demon blood Sam. Demon. The things we’ve hunted our entire lives. They’re evil, lying sons of bitches, but you’re just so willing to trust one of them and drink her blood just because she says she isn’t like the rest! It’s crap Sam.”
The room fell silent and seconds later Bobby came back with coffee for himself and Dean, saying Sam shouldn’t drink coffee when he’s just woken up after being sedated. Bobby, not knowing what had gone on but not wanting to say the wrong thing, stayed quiet, so they sat in silence.
After 10 minutes of silence Dean pushed himself up, “I’m gonna get some food, I’ll be back.”
“Urm, wait. I’m hungry too.” Bobby said following him out the room nodding to Sam.
Bobby stopped Dean as soon as the door had closed behind them, “What did you say to him?”
“It doesn’t matter Bobby.” Dean said walking down the corridor.
“No, you’re gonna tell me everything you said boy!”
“I told him the truth!” Dean said, spinning to face Bobby, “I said everything that needed to be said.” He walked away, leaving Bobby shaking his head behind him.
Sam shook his head, knowing exactly why Bobby had followed Dean out the door. He felt so bad about what had happened, but he knew that Dean would never understand. Not about the blood, or Ruby, or even his powers. He shut his eyes and grimaced realising how thirsty he was. Not for water. Thirsty for blood, for Ruby.
He pushed himself out of the bed, pulling off any wires, and grabbed his clothes from the cupboard next to the bed. He stopped suddenly realising what he was doing. He was about to sneak away, find Ruby and get his ‘fix’ as Dean had called it. Dean. Dean would hate him for doing this, for running off to Ruby, but he had a job to do, a demon to kill, a demon that only he could kill. He pulled on his clothes and stuck his head out the door to check the coast was clear. Seeing it was, he walked briskly down the corridor and out the front doors, all the time thinking about how Dean was right, he was a junkie.
Dean and Bobby quietly walked back to Sam’s room after getting another coffee from the cafeteria. Dean opened the door, and looked at the bed. “Sam?” he asked after seeing the empty bed. He looked into the bathroom quickly and saw that it too was empty. “Crap.” Dean exclaimed.
“Right, we need to get back to my house and figure out where he would have gone.”
“He’s gone to look for Ruby. But I’m gonna find her first, and I’m gonna kill her.” Dean stalked out of the room, followed by Bobby. No one hurts my little brother and gets away with it, he thought, no one.