Sam wakes up for the third time, five hours after surgery. He feels kinda horrible, even though he was lucky not to have any complications, and the nurse who was in briefly assured him that everything had gone well. Or at least he thinks he talked to the nurse, it’s all still a bit blurry and he can’t be sure.
And despite the fact that he’s miserable, he’s also incredibly relieved. It took a while, and he basically had to throw all his morals overboard that he still had about insurance fraud, but he did it. He can finally cross ‘have top surgery’ off his bucket list.
They won’t allow him to look at the result until the bandages have to be changed the first time, and right now his whole chest is just sore and he can barely move his arms. Hell, just staying awake at this point is hard enough. Not that it really matters, there’s no one around he could talk to anyway. Despite the two elderly man who, so far, have shown no interest in talking to him, he is utterly alone.
The thought of his brother makes him tear up a bit, which is bad, he can’t imagine that crying right after surgery is very comfortable. He manages to swallow it back again, and tries to concentrate on the positive things. Yes, he’s alone, but he’s also free. Free of being someone he’s not, of hating his body the way he did before, of expectations he would have never been able to fulfill. It’s not yet the normal, apple pie like, life he wanted (because who spends spring break in the hospital getting top surgery? He does, apparently), but for god’s sake, he’s getting close. And yes, his whole body is sore, and he can actually feel the drains and the IV needle in his body, and being alone through all of this absolutely sucks, but at least he got this far. And with that thought in mind, he drifts back to sleep.
Two hours later he feels a bit better, actually being able to sit up in bed now without his eyes immediately starting to droop. There’s a knock at the door but he ignores it, thinking that it’s another sister or wife or grandkid, looking for his bed neighbours.
He knows the voice, even though it’s usually not that timid, and turns to the door in surprise. It’s Jessica, a girl he knows from his classes, and one of the few people he’d gotten closer to over the last semester. She sends him a blinding smile when he reacts and walks in, still looking a bit unsure but apparently happy to see him.
Noticing his confusion she explains that he’d mentioned the surgery and the hospital in a conversation a few weeks ago, and since she knew a bit about his family situation (she knew nothing, but he had felt the need to tell her something), she’d decided to come and visit him. And yes, maybe she’d had to lie about being his sister, but that didn’t really matter, right?
Sam doesn’t answer at first. He’s still too baffled by having any visitors at all. For the first time he realizes that, maybe, he isn’t as alone in this as he thought. He hadn’t even told her why he was here, and the comment about the surgery had been off handed and not really a central part of a conversation… and yet here she was.
They spend the next hour playing cards, not talking much because he was still very exhausted, but listening to her just going on about small things, just to fill the silence, was better than anything he could have asked for. When he eventualy got too tired and she left to let him sleep, it was with the promise of returning the next day. And if she was already coming back, she could just as well give him a ride home, right?
As he drifted off this time, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was better than before. Something fit now, like he had been supposed to find it.
Someone was watching his back now, and even if it wasn’t Dean, it still felt pretty good.