Sequel to: Isochronism part 1 & 2
Rating: R - Gender Swap
Warnings: Violence & monthly women's issues
Spoilers: General (for aired episodes only)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sequel to: Isochronism part 1 & 2 - Sam discovers he's been marked by the same Goddess that cursed his brother.
He pushed his hand up under his shirt, feeling the flat hard muscle of his stomach and the defined line of the bone of his hip.
Sam didn't usually admit pain, especially to himself. Like most men, he could handle it. Pain for guys was something to ignore until it brought them down. New pain, however was prime education. It was valuable, a thing to be catalogued and endured. Despite the thousand inexplicable and mysterious ways he had come to interpret his own body's discomfort, age and the hazards of life as he now knew it had schooled him well for the unexpected. There would always be something new to hurt in some fresh and baffling way. But this pain wasn't a thing like what he had come never to expect.
He did, however, have a few logical if unsettling theories.
It was completely inward. Slow and subtle. At times barely an afterthought, easily confused with the ordinary complaint of a skipped breakfast. Sometimes it intensified, a gnawing ache that traveled low into his thighs and made him break out in a nervous sweat. Still, this pain he could rationalize to himself. Overexertion. Exhaustion. A midnight scuffle the morning after. It felt comparable.
Sam was never a great believer in ignoring something until it went away but there was a first time for everything. He should have told his brother as soon as he suspected but he didn’t want Dean to start watching him. He didn’t want some wordless nightly lock down inside one of their motel rooms. Most especially, he didn’t want it to happen at all. Besides, there was the slim chance he could be wrong. He’d searched all over his body and had not found even a trace of the straight edged dark blue that had punished his brother only a month before.
Until he knew for sure, he could deny and he could distract himself. Unconsciously he passed his hand faintly over his lower belly, shutting his eyes against the glass window of the Impala.
They had work to do anyway.
"You know who you look like?"
Her eyes were wide, the strange cast to her tell tale artificial blued contacts as plastic as the red cup of the beer she had tilted thoughtfully against her forehead.
Sam wondered how many more times he could keep taking his hands in and out of his pockets. He'd found a hole in the right side. He could get his entire middle finger through it and flip anyone off without them even knowing.
"N-No?" Sam answered because he had no idea how to really answer that question.
"You look like this guy I met last year at the Winter Snow Carnival at the Theta house!" She smiled up at the small group that surrounded them in semi rapt attention. "Are you from Theta House?"
"Ya hear that Sam?"
The back of Dean's hand whipped hard into that spot right below his diaphragm that always emptied his lungs almost to the point where he started seeing white lights.
"You look like a guy she banged."
"Y-yeah, I h-heard."
Dean tipped back his bottled beer and grinned at her. Sam wondered where his brother scored an actual glass beverage in a sea of foam cups and juice laced with grain alcohol.
"Who do I look like?" Dean asked her.
She considered him for a second before pointing at him in accomplishment.
"You look like that guy in that movie!"
"Oh yeah?" Dean liked that. "What movie?"
Sam smiled behind his own plastic cup, slipping back more of the cheap warm foamy beer. Although he knew his brother’s fondness for the cinematic piece, he was hard pressed to guess which of the various cast of mostly heinous characters had reminded this girl of his brother. It was fun to watch Dean think about it though.
For a little while.
It was easy to back away, melt into the crowd even though his stature didn’t always let him do so gracefully. It wasn’t too late but the mob was already half way to plowed. The sound of laughter and screaming punctuated by car horns in the Fraternity house’s opposite parking lot churned as steady as a locomotive. It was one of those houses that had just been converted from a dorm so it didn’t have all those classic details Sam thought of when he thought about them at all.
The trashed front yard with a lingerie dressed mannequin. The Greek letters hanging proudly over the door. Beer cans lining the porch rails. All that stuff he’d probably absorbed from seeing Animal House one too many times. Ah, now Eric 'Otter' Stratton… now that was a movie guy Sam could see some of his brother in. Kind of.
The back yard was nothing more but packed dirt with some grass clinging on around the edges. There was a volley ball net set up almost in the middle of the throng but its use was more for the tangle of blinking Christmas lights that someone had thought to decorate with.
Automatically apologizing to someone who almost knocked him over, he swore under his breath when he felt an entire cup of tepid beer slosh over onto the front of his shirt. Sighing, he knew he’d now not only have to taste the Busch Light or whatever crap these kids had bought by the keg full, but he was going to have to freaking reek like it too.
Looking around he spotted his brother still in conversation with the girl with the fake blue eyes and a small group of her cohorts. It was a little strange, his brother was on his way to pushing thirty but he still had more to say to these people than Sam ever had.
It didn’t really bother him. It was something he’d always found unpleasant and something he couldn’t even force. Listening to small talk and responding to it in kind was one thing, but basing an entire evening on the same premise of bullshit made only slightly more tolerable by the addition of an economical buzz was quite another.
The sky above was a weird shade of blue. The sun had gone down about half an hour ago but it left a dull glow, reflecting off the sparse long rows of clouds that settled just above the tree line. Sam hadn’t noticed before but the moon was out. The perfect sharp sliver hung bright white but he could still make out the full black circle that continued around the hidden circumference.
He hadn’t realized he was staring until he got into someone’s way again.
Sam watched the two girls stagger away wobbling in their heels, and heard somewhere above all the jumbled noise his brother’s laughter clear and unhindered. They had been on the campus for a week. Sam had thought at first it would be hard to find at least two parties a day to get lost in to start talking to the people they needed the most, but he found that if the state school lacked anything it wasn’t liquor stores and kids with fake IDS. The crowd surged back closer to the house as some music came on, loud enough for a small concert. Sam stepped back to avoid the stream of traffic trying to get back through the sliding doors. The air was electric with voices and some unflagging energy fueled by the aluminum kegs lined up on the lawn’s edge.
The students attending sure didn’t act like three murders had occurred here in as many months.
Weird mix too. An 18 year freshman girl was first. The early rush of morning classes found her laying wide eyed in the grass out in the middle of the science quad. A third year grad student came next. A security cop found him slumped over in his car in an empty parking lot at about sundown. The last was a member of the janitorial staff, a guy in his 50’s out in the gymnasium after hours on a weekend.
It was the date and times that had brought them here. It was still too soon to separate the sometimes fine line between what human hands could do in the dark just as well as their counterparts. They’d covered just about every inch of campus so far, but all they’d managed to accomplish was hitting every event where a keg was tapped. Dean hadn’t spent one night back in their motel room yet. Sam didn’t mind at all. He enjoyed the privacy as much as he did the silence he could spend for as many hours unbroken as he wanted. Even if half the time he had been spending it in bed.
It was easier to hide it all that way anyway. An indefinable lethargic daze. Too sleepy to read. Too worn out to get any real rest. He wondered if he should use one of his private mornings to go see a doctor.
“Excuse me?” Sam was always surprised when girls came out of nowhere to address him. Even the really drunk ones.
“Line art is so huge this year, but I like yours, it’s really simple and understated like a – like a Klee without the cats!”
Sam found himself smiling back her. An art major getting some good use out of her 101 famous artists rolodex. But Paul Klee aside, he had no idea what she was talking about.
“Like where you put it too.” She shifted on the stairs that made her almost eye to eye with him. “That must have hurt like hell.” She gestured faintly and Sam's hand flew up confused and hesitant.
"Back of the neck?" She supplied helpfully.
Sam instantly felt the area, breaking out into a sheepish grin.
"Oh, uh, right." He shifted uncomfortably with a laugh. "Ya know, forgot it was even there."
Sam’s gaze wandered back to the moon and wondered if this girl was just seeing things or some old scar he’d forgotten about that looked like it had all been done on purpose. Some of them turned out that way, all that pain healed into a shape that was almost something agreeable. It had been exactly a month since he’d seen the moon looking like that.
And for some reason the sight of it was making him sick to his stomach.
Chucking the plastic cup sideways into an over flowing trash bin, Sam moved through the crowd, finding the relative sanctuary of the back staircase that went to the house’s upper floors. He wanted a bathroom and a sink with flowing water. He wanted a brief moment away from cigarette smoke and the underlying scent of pot.
He felt the sudden burning need to be completely alone.
Sam knew he was going to be sick.
The cold sweat and that knowledge that he had to find someplace to do it in relative privacy taking over every other thought in his head. The stall banged shut behind him and he felt himself stutter to his knees, almost as if he’d stepped through the floor, or that sick sensation when you expect one step too many on your way upwards.
Then suddenly two things happened at once.
That nagging pain that had been eating away at his edges for about a week suddenly swelled full and strong right at the base of his belly. It was so unexpected, Sam doubled over and clutched at it thinking somewhere in the back of his mind of all the stories he’d heard about girls at these parties picking up date rape drugs. Figured he’d picked up the wrong beer and now he was going to be drugged without the rape part.
But then right after that, he felt all his limbs, all his muscles all his bone and everything in between spasm violently. It was so painful and abrupt, that he cried out and fell up against the wall, his hands clutching down hard over the tops of his thighs just to keep himself upright.
A shock of lightheadedness that Sam thought for sure meant his head was about to send him on another trip again sent him careening into the stall wall again. He clutched his head waiting for a vision to appear right here with the toilet, but when it passed he was kneeling on the hard uneven tiles of the floor.
He grasped for the toilet seat.
The taste of cheap beer was no better the second time around and he felt his head start to throb as soon as his panting was over. Fumbling for a wad of tissue to wipe across his mouth he froze when he saw his arm reaching out for it. More importantly, it was his jacket sleeve and he was moving it, but that was in no way, his arm. Staring at the white delicate hand that emerged from the bottom of the sleeve, he blinked at it.
The stall door opened up behind him.
“Clean up in three!“ A guy dressed like a J. Crew ad called out like the nonevent it must have been. “There’s some chick puking in the guy’s can!”
A chick. Sam had been mistaken for a few things before but a woman had never been one of them.
So this was it. It had happened. Squeezing his eyes shut, he quietly called himself every name for stupid he could think. He should have stuck to the motel. He should have warned Dean. He never thought it would happen this quickly.
Sam urgently felt at the back of his neck where the girl had claimed to have seen a tat. He couldn’t feel it but he knew it was there. Straight and long, up into his hair, down the base of his skull and down the back of his neck. If he looked in a mirror he bet he’d see it was a nice dark blue.
Lower jaw trembling, he realized he had been marked all along too. It just took a few cycles around for when it had decided to hit. Maybe it just liked taking its time. Maybe that was the only way it worked. Sam gripped the stiff roll of toilet paper on its ring and did his best with his new found lack of power to crush it. He managed a nice dent. Whatever mystical logistics he’d missed, it really didn’t matter much at this point.
A girl with a pony tail ducked her head in and gave Sam the once over.
She shouted back over her shoulder. “You guys are the assholes that let in the highschool townies!”
The guy who had walked in on him in the first place came back into view and decided to address Sam directly as if he were a real live person this time.
“You from the highschool?” His baseball cap was on backwards, words slurred just enough to pass for being probably the most sober person within the nearest square mile. “Who you come with?”
Sam used his elbow to right himself up from the toilet bowl, trying not to think about the floor he was sitting on or anything else that might have contaminated his immediate vicinity. His brother’s name was on his lips but he knew if Dean was still even out there and not half way to some sorority girl’s room, he might not be the one to mention. Being informed that some girl who knew his name was yakking in the bathroom might just send Dean running in the opposite direction.
The tone in the guy’s voice made Sam look up at him in alarm. He was looking down at Sam’s jeans. His really big jeans. Spreading his thighs a little he saw the source of the Frat boy’s horror. The denim was almost black in the crotch of his pants, seeping slowly out in a circle down his thighs.
He was bleeding.
Sam stumbled to his feet, realizing he had to hold his jeans up to keep them from falling down. The bathroom door he had been able to look over the top of was now over his head. He swallowed and squeezed his eyes shut for a second trying to keep his shit together long enough to find his phone.
He’d call his brother. That was all he had to do right now. As soon as that was done he would figure out what to do next.
“Maybe you should take her to your dorm?” The guy suggested quickly to the girl standing next to him.
“Do I look like a fucking babysitter?”
The phone was ringing in that slow steady ring. Sam noticed his phone felt larger, harder to hold.
“No, but you look like a girl that can take this fuckin’ townie outta here and dump her ass before the cops come and fuckin’ bust us with some 12 year old chick around ODing on—“
“She’s not 12 you dumbass, she’s about uh, what... 16?” The girl with the pony tail gave Sam a look. “You’re about 16 right?”
"I...I..." A shaking stutter was all he could manage. Sam almost told them he was turning 24 soon and he was not only older than both of them, he was—
“Hey, what’s wrong with her?”
Sam groaned and sank back down into the corner of the stall.
Hey, you’ve reached Dean, I can’t talk right now so leave a message and I’ll hit ya back.
Sam heard the tone sound to prompt him to leave a message but when he started talking he couldn’t make any sense of his voice. He used it anyway trying to force the high wavering noise coming from his throat into words that made sense.
“Dean, Dean it’s me, I think I’m in trouble, I’m— “ Shit, he didn’t even know what building he was in. He looked back up at the two students that were standing over him. “Wh-what, building is this?”
Unfortunately, the two students were too busy in the middle of their own conversation as to what to do with what they found ill in their midst.
Sam took a deep breath, aware that the voice mail was still recording him just sitting there silent on the line. He thumbed it off, squeezing the metal in his sweaty palm and willing it to start ringing back right away. Sam started wondering what exactly he should do next that didn’t involve sitting for one second longer on a disgusting bathroom floor, but it turned out the Frat boy had already come up with a plan.
“Look, just take her downstairs,” He despondently checked the low level of beer in his cup. “There’s no way she’s sleeping it off in here. And um, not my room ok? I don’t want that on my sheets.”
Hands were pulling him up, the pain in his middle grinding like glass, his vision flashing white and bright. There was some vague panic that his well being was now under the jurisdiction of two wasted teenagers that thought he was some problem to get rid of.
“Come on townie, that’s right, this way, you’re doing great.“ The girl with the pony tail mumbled. “Just don’t puke on me or I’ll let you pass out on the sidewalk.”
“W-Wait—“ Sam struggled, tripping over his clothes, his jacket falling off one shoulder and slipping onto the ground.
“I got it. I got it.” The girl said leaning down to scoop it up. “Geeze, where the hell did you get these clothes?”
Sam staggered to keep up with her, her grip under his elbow rock solid. She obviously wanted her errand over and done with so she could get back to the party at large. He had no shoes, just socks, his jeans were only covering him because he’d grabbed two handfuls of the waist and was holding them up like his life depended on it. The t-shirt he had on was now baring one of his shoulders. A very thin slight shoulder.
“Wait-wait please just stop a second—“ Sam stopped his handler by halting at the top of the flight of stairs. “I--I have to find my brother.”
She looked hopeful for a moment. Her tedious task maybe not necessary at all.
“What’s his name?”
“Dean-Dean Winchester, we came here together, he—“
Her eyebrow went up in vague recognition. “Is he Sigma Alpha?”
“No-No, he was just out back, if I could just look for him-aH--“ Sam felt the polished tile floor under his knees again as the pain grinded sideways across his pelvis.
“Damn, hon, you got it bad.” She noted gesturing to his soaked jeans. “I think you just need to go home. Do you- do you want me to drive you home?”
“Don’t-don’t live here—“
“Okay, look, I don’t know, maybe you can call your mom or something okay?”
Sam felt himself being jerked down the steps, unable to even twist his arm out of a grip that didn’t seem like much at all.
The hallway through the front double doors was fully mirrored on either side.
Sam felt his mouth drop open when he saw the thin gawky girl being dragged behind the well shaped co-ed in the jean shorts and halter top. His hair seemed longer but that was only because he was so much shorter, skinny, his shocked face nothing that he recognized, but his eyes, his eyes were exactly the same.
It made sense that they had assumed he was some party crasher from one of the local high schools. He looked young and confused. And bleeding. Fumbling with his jacket, he tried to wrap it around his waist to cover it up. His thoughts flashed to when he had been staring at his brother in that shower. The moment he knew that the strange woman he’d found confused and delirious wasn’t any woman at all.
They were suddenly going down another hallway and the girl was fumbling with some keys to open up a room.
“Hang out in here for a while.” She told him curtly, readjusting her hair in a long mirror and checking her teeth. “It’s totally cool. I’ve got a key.”
Sam looked around the cluttered room uncertainly. There were two single beds along either wall but the place didn’t look like it was a girl’s domain. It was too stark and too undecorated. The sheets blue and brown. The laundry in a half hearted folded stack on the desk instead of put away.
“It’s my boyfriend’s room.” She explained as she kicked open a small half fridge. “Girl’s aren’t really supposed to crash here but, ya know.”
Sam felt himself nodding, the damp discomfort between his legs forcing him to think how he wanted nothing more than to just sit down somewhere but at the same time, not sit anywhere at all.
“Here.” She handed Sam the tall thin bottle she’d retrieved out of the fridge. “You look like you could use a little.”
“Thanks.” Sam mumbled.
“You remind me of my cousin.” The girl said somewhat randomly. “I’d kill her ass if she ever showed up at a Theta party, but you know.”
It tasted like drinking pure mouthwash. Sam choked down the first swallow unsure of what exactly it was that he had just done. Looking at the bottle for a label he didn’t see one.
“It’s my own little concoction.” She smiled, slipping out of her shorts and digging through the open closet for something else. “Peppermint schnapps, Goldschalger and Sambuca.”
Sam shrugged and took another swig. If he had ever had a time when he could use a drink this would definitely be one of them.
“Look, there’s only 20 more minutes before all the jello shots are gone and I’m not missing it,” She swung open a sliding door that revealed a small bathroom in the corner of the room. “Take a shower, and um, here…”
Digging back in the closet, she tossed out a few pieces of clothing out on the unmade bed.
“You can have those. I never wear them anyway.”
Sam looked down at the clothes and then back up at the swaying girl who had way more to drink than Sam realized.
“I’ll drive you later okay? Just-just hang out here. Listen to music. Whatever.” She zipped up some jeans she found to wear instead and checked her face in the mirror again. “If I see your brother Jean I’ll let him know you’re around.”
And just like that, Sam was left standing alone.
The bathroom was cramped.
He knew this was a perfect opportunity to make a break for it but the promise of a shower and some different clothes was too powerful to pass over. He’d gone through some real moments of scuzz in his lifetime and waited for more days than he could comfortably admit in the same digs, but this… this was too much for even another fucking minute.
More than a little dizzy, he undressed slowly and took in the long willowy limbs he now owned. He had to reach up to hang his clothes on the door hook. He had to get up on his toes just to get the water on in the shower. Pulling up his hair with trembling hands he used the mirrors to get a good look at what he could only before feel for with his finger tips. There it was.
A straight blue line.
As he wet his hair and watched the run of red darken the water around the drain he started to feel more and more at unease. If Dean hadn’t called him back by the time he was dried and clothed, he had to find the car and just get the hell out of here. He had to arm himself and then get back to the motel. Sam looked down the length of his leg, slim and hairless. He weighed and dropped the bare suggestion of breasts that sat on his chest. With the palm of his hand he smoothed over the light brown hair between his legs, feeling further at the slick soft flesh beneath. The shower seemed to tilt on its side for a moment, his hands going out onto either side of the tile to steady himself.
Maybe Dean never even had to know about any of this. He could just text him that he was taking off for a few days. Maybe Sam could wait like Dean had and let this all blow over— Crouching down, he pressed his forearm against his belly, willing the twisting muscle inside his flesh to settle long enough for him to accomplish at least this task of showering.
When he finally turned the hot water off he found a somewhat clean looking towel and quickly went looking for the clothes the girl had left behind. Looking back in her closet he quickly found a lavender zipped bag of maxipads and to his happy disbelief an unopened plastic package of women’s underwear. Tearing it open he pulled it on hoping that its shape would be more conducive to keeping one of those pads on then those boxers he’d observed his brother attempt to deal with.
He quickly put on the faded jeans that were a little long at the bottoms and a little loose at his waist until he realized they were supposed to fit around hips instead of what he considered his middle. The shirt was some white long sleeved thing that had the State School logo down the middle. He found some socks and a ratty old pair of sneakers that fit him almost perfectly. Finally feeling clean, his jacket reeked even worse when he picked it up off the chair he’d left it on. He hopefully checked his phone. No messages.
Another wave of dizziness made him sit down hard on the bed. Looking disdainfully at the bottle he had drank almost half of he wondered why the hell he had done it in the first place. The stuff was probably 100% proof. Laying back on the mashed pillow he groaned as the room slid and slightly rotated above him.
Since when had booze ever hit him like this?
“Since you became a 10 pound 16 year old girl.” He grumbled to himself.
It felt good to just lay still for a moment. His immediate needs taken care of. The party thumping on the other side of the wall and seemingly far away.
It didn’t take much to lull him into something close to slumber.
He wasn’t sure why he woke up.
The guy was sitting on the opposite side of the room. The one that had found him puking and looking a lot less like a J. Crew ad than Sam remembered. He wasn’t doing anything but just sitting there with a beer bottle in his hand and staring in Sam‘s direction.
Sam sat up on his elbows and studied him back. He didn’t like the looks of this. He didn’t like the looks of this at all.
“Your girlfriend—“ Sam stopped, realizing he knew none of these people’s names. ”…she-she loaned me some clothes.”
The weight of him surprised Sam. He was so accustomed to his body’s ability to move, to lift, to avoid and push…. His form now did almost nothing at all. The weight might have surprised him, but the hands drunkenly groping between his legs and grabbing painfully at the hair at the base of his neck just made him angry. But he knew that size wasn’t the only thing that made any difference. He hadn’t always been who he was. In both senses of the term.
The sharp blow he struck up and under the guy’s chin took him completely off guard. The subsequent knee that came up between his legs with the flat of Sam’s fist jamming down into the solar plexus did the rest of the trick. Sam got out from underneath him as he rolled over to try to breathe and clutch himself at the same time. Rolling on top of him, Sam slipped out the belt the guy had already undone and made a quick slip knot around one of his wrists with the buckle. Looking around quickly, he spotted a low laying pipe that ran down the length of the floor. Tossing the other end of the heavy belt buckle over the bed’s side, he met it as he slipped under the bed frame, lashing it to the bolted duct.
Bracing his sneakers against the wall, he leaned back to tug at it a few times to test it. The knot didn’t need much muscle behind it to make it harder to get out of than a Chinese finger trap if you didn’t know your stuff. Sam figured, this guy wouldn’t get himself free until his jello shot girlfriend found him there.
Backing out from under the bed, Sam appreciated how fast he could move like this. The spaces he could suddenly use without restriction. The lightness to his movements that he surely had once as a kid but had long since forgotten.
When he stood he stumbled a little when all the blood rushed back to his head. He didn’t feel quite so sluggish anymore though. Whatever he drank left him feeling almost like laughing. He heard himself make an embarrassing squeaky sound that resembled some kind of amusement.
“What- what the fuck?”
The guy had just kind of figured out that his hand was trapped in some way or another. He pulled on it in a vague confused way that the inebriated did. Sam slipped his hand over the car keys that were sitting by the door. Shrugging his huge jacket on, he regretfully kissed the rest of his clothes goodbye.
“What color is your pick up?” You didn’t need any special cognitive perception to know that this guy’s ride was something that could haul and tow in four wheel drive.
“Your pick up?” Sam asked again impatiently. “Red, blue, green?”
Sam closed the door behind him twisting and breaking the room key off in the lock.
By the time he had gotten out into the back parking lot he didn’t say a word to the curious party goers as he climbed up into the driver’s seat of the 4x4 truck. It took a moment for him to figure out how to get the seat up as far forward as it could go.
As the engine started, he considered trying Dean’s phone one more time. Sam wasn’t quite sure what exactly he should say. I’m leaving town. Call you back in a few days. I’m going to be on the road. Be in touch as soon as I can.
None of it was something Dean would buy. Especially with this voice.
He was interrupted by of all people, the pony tail girl who had not only donated her clothes, but unknowingly, her sneakers and some underpants too. She pounded on the window twice. Since he was wearing her drawers he figured he might as well have the decency to roll it down.
“What the hell are you doin’ in Josh’s truck?”
Sam shifted the giant truck’s gears so he could safely go in reverse and not mow down half the student population that had a cumulative blood alcohol level of a swimming pool of malt liquor. Speaking of alcohol levels, Sam winced when he heard what sounded like a parking meter go down, loud and unwillingly under the back of the pickup’s flat bed. He leaned out the window to get a better look.
Nope, it was a stop sign.
“Uh,” Sam tried to smile at the shocked face of his benefactress who was standing speechless on the corner. “He said I could borrow it?”
It turned out he’d hit a stop sign and wedged the bottom of the truck nicely over a fire hydrant.
Campus security didn’t quite know what to do with a young girl with a nice bruise on her head from banging into a steering wheel and who didn’t seem to know her own name.
Sam wasn’t sure why he hadn’t just said ‘Sam’. He thought for sure it was going to be nothing but police and a nice set of bars next but something strange happened. The two middle aged officers were oddly nice to him. They asked him things he had never been asked by law enforcement in his life.
Are you okay? Do you want a blanket? Are you thirsty? Instead of the back of a squad car he ended up at the brightly lit doors of the campus student Health Center.
The woman there was nice.
She was even extra nice when she realized Sam wasn’t just anyone completely blitzed and looking for someplace to crash but was in dire need of some assistance of a kind. Of what sort Sam wasn’t sure but he didn’t know what to do until he found a way out of here. After that every thing would be fine.
There was also the issue of Dean.
Sam started thinking more about his vanishing act and how exactly he should break it to his brother. He would get his confiscated phone back eventually. He could skip speaking all together and text the messages he’d thought about before he killed that fire hydrant. Maybe break into the motel for a few things if Dean wasn’t already back there. If he was there, maybe he could leave a note. Something in handwriting that Dean would really believe instead of some type on the display of his phone.
The nurse took his blood pressure again and asked if he took any prescription drugs. Had he skipped any doses? Anything that might leave him lost or maybe confused?
Sam explained his situation as calmly as possible.
Would it be okay now if he went and found his car because he was sure his mother was waiting for him a few towns over? It was weird that mom didn’t pick up with that number he gave the front desk but he could promise you that his mom sure was a sound sleeper—
The nice and very kind faced woman made it very clear that Sam was spending the night with her in the 34 hours 8 days a week holy sacred grounds of the Student Health Center until someone with legal guardian status arrived. Sam knew that meant a long wait for the local authorities to dig up social services when these people ultimately realized no parent was ever going to show.
Pulling his legs up and resting his heels on the chair he was in, he settled his forehead on one knee. The act itself was something he hadn’t been able to do since he was a kid. When he had been thin enough and small enough. He wondered vaguely why his age had been ratcheted down along with his change. Maybe Dean’s age had been affected then as well and he just couldn’t tell amongst all the other more startling differences.
He tried not to think how fragile his older brother had looked. So small. So fucking lost. He knew he owned all of that now for himself and maybe came off looking a little worse. He didn’t feel all that scared even if that was all anyone he'd met seemed to see. He felt more annoyed. And small. The grip around his legs got tighter when a group of boys on the other side of the room suddenly got louder. The sound of impending violence now confused him when it never had before. He’d always known on some level what his physicality provided him in regards to simple safe passage in the world. But he hadn’t quite realized how much it had. Sam sighed. When he asked about his jacket the fourth time it finally was returned to him, stinking like beer but his phone still right there inside of it.
He thought about spending the next five days alone. Trying to get a room somewhere. Staying by himself in some hole that wouldn’t ask for any ID to go along with the credit card he had on him. Sleeping there with the knowledge that the person who charged his card knew he was as alone as a person could be. Rolling up his jacket, Sam managed to squeeze himself in between two waiting chairs and make something of a bed for himself. He’d never fit in anything like that for as far back as he could remember and instead of making him feel safe, he felt the opposite. Snaking his hand into the depths of his jacket pocket he felt and squeezed the phone.
He’d be totally screwed unless he managed to get out of here before dawn.
Sam yawned, bunching up his arms closer to his chest, he let one knee fall over his two chair bed and let it rest over on a third. He would just close his eyes for a second. Just a few minutes and then when this lady had some minor campus student emergency, he was going to be out of the door so fast she wouldn’t even know he was gone until she thought to ask him if he wanted hot chocolate again.
And just like that, Sam fell asleep.
It was morning.
Sam could tell without opening his eyes that the front waiting area was flooded with harsh sunlight along with its washed out overhead fluorescents. Curling closer into the uncomfortable ball he’d made for himself, he listened to the people around him.
“Look, I was told that my brother was taken in here last night?”
"Do you have a name sir?”
“Yeah, Kevin, Kevin Howard.” The guy fidgeted back and forth trying to get his IDs out in a row as the nurse required them. “They said he took a header from a balcony down at Jackson Hall—“
“Ah! That Kevin Howard was taken by ambulance to the hospital.”
Sam burrowed his face further under one arm knowing there was a reason he had never applied to any State schools.
“Shit. D-Do you know if they’ll let a friend in?”
“Didn’t you just say you’re his—“
“Frat brother.” The guy stated proudly. “Pledged together last year.”
Sam groggily listened to the exchange, immediately checking to see if in fact, yes, his phone was now nice and dead. Perfect. So much for his text plan. Blinking away his haze of sleep, he was a little surprised at how crowded the joint had become. Sam woke up in a room of triage. Sitting up awkwardly in his seat bed, he pulled his jacket around himself like a blanket. His neck and his back hurt but he tried not to think about all the new aches and pains that were making him feel sore in places that only got that way when he’d been savagely kicked.
The place was like what-the-fuck-happened-last-night-centra
“Hey, I’m looking for my brother—“
The nurse on duty cut the voice off before it could go any further. Sam looked up sharply at the sound of the easy tone that he’d know just about anywhere.
“Only family are allowed to any and all those who made a trip to the hospital last night. No Frat bro-ha’s, no pledgies, no drinking buds, no—“
“No, no, he’s my real actual brother, um, you’d remember him, tall guy, can barely clear a door and—“
There he was, in the clothes he was wearing yesterday and about a day’s worth that hadn’t been shaved off his face. Sam noted with a small sigh that Dean’s Floyd T-shirt was on inside out and backwards with the tag sticking out at the base of his throat.
The plan to make a run for it until the curse cleared pretty much went out the window right then and there. The raw and utter relief at seeing his older brother sent a wave of lightheadedness through him that had nothing to do with massive amounts of blood loss. The sickening thought of being handed over to one single other person that would discuss his well being right over his head while he was forced to listen made him decide right then and there that he didn’t care what the hell Dean saw.
The sight of him brought back something he used to feel when he was a kid and the world was just one huge shifting place to get lost in. He saw Dean and it was suddenly like when they just got in for the night and locked the door. Like the engine had started and they were on their way down the road. There was nothing to worry about. There was not a thing to fear.
Sam quickly sat up, painfully touching his feet to the floor quickly without even having to bend his knees. He stared at his brother hard, willing him to see the connection like he had done, but knowing it wasn’t going to be that easy. All he wanted in all the world was his brother to get him the hell out of this place. Dean, distracted with the unhelpful front desk, had reluctantly turned in his direction.
“Dean.” Sam repeated, wondering if the tone of his voice would carry over everything else and his brother would just get it. “It’s me.”
“Hold on one sec,” Dean assured the nurse that had already moved on to the next person in line.
Sam watched Dean approach him warily. Sam didn’t have much on him to really prove he was who he said he was. He did have his jacket and his phone though. And the straight blue line.
“Aren’t you a little young to be uh,” Dean glanced around at the carnage. “Partying this hard?”
“Dean, just shut up and listen for a second.” Sam heard himself sound surprisingly just like himself. Sort of. However it sounded it did the trick because instead of walking away, his brother stayed right where he was. Sam held his arms out in exhausted resignation. “It’s me.”
“That’s-that’s my brother’s jacket.” Dean said in a strange low voice. “Where did you find that?”
Sam recognized it as it being caution but there was also some threat behind it. He couldn’t remember Dean seeming this big and tall to him in a real long time. The barely hidden warning in his tone made Sam ill that he was being regarded as some stranger. He dug out his dead phone and held it up.
Dean shifted in place, putting his hands in his jacket pockets. “You’re the one who called me.”
“Figure it out yet?” Sam asked softly so no one else would hear.
His head hurt, his lower body ached in ways he couldn’t explain and he was pretty sure he needed a new pad really soon. The nurse was eyeing Dean in a way that was making Sam nervous. He wanted to show him the back of his neck but he also didn’t want his brother tossed out of here for trying to pick up a 16 year old whatever girl.
The year Sam had been jolted back into brought something to mind.
“I remember your sixteenth birthday.” Sam blurted out.
“You thought you were going to get the car. But you didn’t. Dad didn’t even drop you a card. He was in Nebraska. We were in Saint Paul's.”
Dean blinked, uncomfortably acknowledging that fact by not answering it at all.
Sam slipped a strand of hair hanging in his eyes behind his ear and spoke down to the fine boned hands he had folded in his lap. “I thought for damn sure you were gonna cry but you didn’t.”
Sam waved because it felt like a sixteen year old thing to do.
“Weird night.” He explained.