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“I still don’t understand why I can’t go see Dean.”  The seventeen-year-old’s tone bordered on a whine.

John sighed.   Patience, Winchester.  “I don’t exactly understand it, either, Sammy.  Somethin’ about a police detective sniffin’ around, but also not wanting the ‘Cubi to know who all we’ve got workin’ with us.”

“But Rufus -- “

“I get the impression Bobby doesn’t consider him family.  Or maybe there’s something Bobby knows about the man’s ability to withstand a Succubus attack that he ain’t sharin’.”

John set down the gun he’d been cleaning to give Sam his full attention.  “I gotta be honest, Sam, I don’t like it either, but I’ve known Bobby a long time, and the man is smart.”  He flashed a rare smile at his younger son.  “Almost as smart as you, genius.”  Not so long ago he would have rumpled Sam’s hair with that compliment, and received a smile in return.   Miss those days.

“Anyway, the point is, he may not be telling us everything, but I trust him.”

John watched Sam’s eyes fill, and he knew where this was going.  “But he’s in a coma, Dad.  What if he….” the boy’s words were a harsh near-whisper.

John sighed.  “According to Bobby, the doctor says Dean’s body is gettin’ stronger and his brainwaves are increasing, so he’s gettin’ better.  It’s just takin’ a while.  And we all know your big brother could use all the brainwaves he can get, so I’m not gonna try to rush things.”  He’d meant that as a joke, but from the look on Sam’s face, he hadn’t taken it that way.

“I shouldn’t have left.  Maybe I could’ve stopped it.”

“Or got chewed up by it yourself.  And what were you gonna do, go on his date with him?  Hand him a condom?  C’mon, Sam!  Dean’s a big boy, he oughta be able to take care of himself.”  John knew the minute he heard himself speak the words that he was going to pay for that remark.

Sam stood, angry.  “He should, and he would, if we got to be normal people!  Normal people don’t have to worry about getting their life force drained by a freakin’ demon in the middle of the night!  But we aren’t normal people, and you won’t let us be!”

John watched his sensitive younger son snatch up his bag on his way to the bathroom.  Not a lot of options for storming off in a huff in a hotel room.  He could tell by the sound of the tap that Sam was running a bath, and the father sighed.  Might as well get to work on the stuff Caroline gave me.  He’s gonna be in there a while.

 


 

Detective Hedley chose that moment to enter.  “Bait for what?”

“Jus’ plannin’ a little fishin’ trip now that the boy’s awake,” Bobby punted.

The police officer pulled up a chair.  “Oh, yeah?  What are you after?  Salmon?  Trout?”

Bobby answered “Rainbow” at the same time Dean claimed “Sturgeon”.

Bobby glowered at his “nephew”.  “We haven’t decided yet.”

Hedley lifted his eyebrows.  “Clearly.  Anyway, I wanted to talk to you a bit more, Dean.  I think it’d be best if we started this conversation off privately.” He looked to Bobby, who set his jaw and crossed his arms over his chest.

Dean shifted uncomfortably in his blankets.  “Why?”

“Your uncle tell you the hospital ran a test on your hair?”

“Yeah.  Tryin’ to figure out why I went into a coma.  Lookin’ for drugs, but I’m not a user.”

“Didn’t figure you were, being an athlete and everything, but you never know.”  He shrugged dismissively.  “You’ve had a lot of injuries over the years, and pain medications can be addictive.”

Dean blanked for a second, then caught up.   Oh, yeah.  Bobby told ‘im I was a boxer.   “And?”

The detective held up a folder.  “We got the results back.  Confidentiality laws dictate that I go over them with you privately first.”

Both of the hunters could tell that there was more the man wasn’t saying.

Bobby looked to Dean, who shrugged.  “I could use a cup a’ coffee,” the older man conceded.

Hedley waited until the door had closed before he began to speak.  “You seem like a straight-forward guy, so I’m going to get right to it: They found rohypnol.”

Dean stared at him blankly.  

“Roofies?” the detective provided.

A cold flush washed over Dean.

“Ah.  I see that one rings a bell.  Care to tell me about it?”

Dean turned his head and began an intense study of the ceiling.

“They did a pretty thorough exam that first night, Dean.  Found some injuries, minor compared to the ones you needed surgery for, that had happened a few days before these others.”  He waved a  hand to encompass the younger man’s entire body.  “Bruises, abrasions, nothing too serious.  Given where some of them were and the fact that they were already healing by the time you sustained the near-fatal ones, we just chalked it up to some rough but likely consensual sexual activity.”

The man he was questioning may as well have been turned to stone.

“But then we found the rohypnol.  Date-rape drug.  And this is a college town; we deal with that kind of thing way too frequently, and we take it seriously.”

Absolutely no reaction from the man on the bed.

Hedley leaned forward, intent.  “So, I have to ask you: were you conscious for either of those events?  Or did you have a drink and wake up all beat to hell with no idea how or why?”

The kid didn’t even blink.

The detective leaned in even closer, breath fanning the boy’s ear. “Or is it in your hair because you’re the one doling it out, and you accidentally dosed yourself?”

The readings on the monitors never waivered.  

The officer blew out a disgusted sigh.  “Still not talking.  Someone else is going to go through this because you’re too stubborn or stupid, or have some misplaced sense of loyalty.”  He stood up, tossing a business card onto the blanketed figure currently imitating a statue before him.  “You know where to reach me, and I’ll be watching you.”

Dean held perfectly still until he heard the door close, and then he began to shake.

 


 

 

Bobby walked into the room and nearly collided with Dean.  “Well, nice to see ya on yer feet again, even if I wasn’t really expectin’ it so soon.”

The young hunter was dressed in the clothes Bobby had brought for him, plastic bag with the ones that had been cut away dangling from his fist.  “Let’s go.”  His voice was terse, and he shouldered past his friend.

“Well, shit.”

Bobby glanced around the room, hoping they weren’t forgetting anything, and then hurried to catch up to the long-legged hunter.  “You sign yerself out?”

“Yeah.”

Bobby was puffing a little and trying not to show it.  He was grateful when they reached an elevator, and Dean pressed the ground-floor button.  “Dean, what’s this all about?”

Dean slanted a glance at him briefly.  “Damned detective’s askin’ too many questions.  And I been here way too long.”

Growing impatient, he turned for the stairs.  

Bobby sighed as he followed.  “Damn pig-headed, impatient Winchesters.  I have a heart attack, it’s your fault!”

Dean’s cheeks flushed.  “Sorry, Bobby.”  He turned back to the elevator just in time to watch it close.  “Shit.”  He leaned against the wall, thumb once again depressing the ‘down’ button, and sighed.  “Just really want to get back to a normal routine, ya know?”

And Bobby knew that wasn’t it at all, but he was willing to play along.  “Sure, kid.  I know.”

The elevator opened, and Dean found himself face-to-face with Dr. Kim.

Her eyes widened, and memory flooded him.

 

Full breasts heavy in his hands, her skin silver in the light of the monitors, her body so hot and tight around him --

 

“Zellynnexia?”

Her brows dipped.  “Excuse me?  I’m Dr. Kim, remember?  Nice to see you up and about.”  She glanced down at the bag in his hand.  “You’re leaving?  Aren’t you supposed to be ridden out in a wheelchair?”

Dean was staring, face flushed, fighting for equilibrium.  “I...uh…”

The doctor glanced down at her watch.  “Sorry, but I really need to get going.  Were you waiting for this elevator?”  She slid smoothly past them.

Dean stared after her, dumbstruck.

Bobby tugged on his sleeve.  “Dean?  Now’s not the time, buddy. C’mon.  We’ll talk in the car.”

Dean turned glazed eyes and an open mouth on Bobby.

The older man looped his arm through his young friend’s and tugged him into the waiting elevator.  “Looks like ya got yer memory back.  Hope ya got more than porn to share with the group.”

The elevator closed, carrying them towards a Winchester family reunion.  “Yippee,” Bobby muttered.  “I can hardly wait.”