No time for gender swap but I had an hour for the boys to spare. Thanks to Jink I didn't put a bullet to this one like a textual old yeller. (Actual stories with plot take me a little longer than the one-shots. Sometimes.)
Title: Natural Disaster
Rating: PG - Gen
Spoilers: General (for aired episodes only)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam has an foreseeable accident.
Some towns never had any decent radio stations.
Dean had found the actual size of the place didn't even factor into the grading curve of soft rock and the hectic Latin channels. Some of the largest metropolitan areas had about as much to listen to as the tiniest backwater that got nothing but fuzz and some guy on a short wave reading choice phrases out of his bible. Then sometimes before you even knew what exit you were at you'd get about a decent thirty minutes of some college Indy tower broadcasting out of a dorm with some of the sweetest B-sides you'd ever heard.
Looking down at the well worn tape sitting in the player, he sighed and tried twisting the dial again. The names changed and the sound wavered over the years but the level of craptastic had pretty much remained on an even baffling soulless plain.
Lauper. Winwood. Aguilera. Hilton.
Frankly he was embarrassed that he knew the names most of the computer laid regenerated beats that passed for music these days anyway. Keeping up with the trends was never anything he’d ever been particularly good at. Dean knew that that kind of thing was probably supposed to make him feel out of touch or old but he never experienced any of that stuff. He felt just plain lucky most of the time that he knew what the hell was worth bothering with and what was nothing but a waste of time.
Focused on the radio he softly swore when he looked up and had to brake hard for a red light.
The high screech as the tires floated back and forth lasted for a few exciting moments until he tilted to a halt right at the yellow line. The small crowd of people waiting at the crosswalk all stared at him cautiously as they started to walk by. He avoided their looks by pretending to do something else. No longer in speaking terms with the radio he found himself at a loss for moment.
Lucky for him his phone rang.
The number wasn’t one he recognized.
Hello, is Mr. Otto Gibson available?
Dean thought hard for a second.
Am I speaking to Mr.—
“What can I do you for?” Dean decided to cut to the chase.
Your name and number was listed under the emergency contact information for Mr. David—
“Shit. Right. David Gibson. Who is this?”
Sir, your uh, cousin… Mr. Gibson? He was involved in an accident and has arrived in the Charlton Regional emergency room.
Dean found himself staring up at the dull red circle of the stop light. About one million years ago they had heisted some bogus insurance under the illustrious guitar label name and he hadn’t thought about it again once since they were mailed the formal plastic cards.
For some reason his thoughts went directly to the Impala although he was sitting directly in it. What the hell other kind of accident was there?
“A-Are you sure you’ve got the right guy?”
Sir, if you’d like directions to the hospital, I’d be happy to—
“Wait, wait, he would have called me, he would have—“
No cell phones are allowed in the ER, he asked that we contact this number. I don’t know the details of his current condition but he is listed as a walk in—
Dean glanced up into the rear view as several cars started honking at his noncompliance with the now green traffic light hanging above. He looked up to check the cross street.
“I’m on Main, how do I get there from Stratton?”
Dean walked up the sidewalk and tried dialing again even though he had gotten nothing but voice mail the past ten times he’d attempted it.
The broad sliding doors that could fit the back end of a truck rumbled open to a very empty and quiet room. It was the middle of the day and apparently a slow time for health care. There were only a scattered few seated in the teal pleather padded chairs that sat in rows like some kind of antiseptic bus terminal. There was absolutely no one waiting around in front of the desk with the planes of glass making a barrier directly over it.
It didn’t take long for the triage nurse to check his ID. But instead of showing him through the mysterious swinging doors to his left, she handed him a clipboard with about a dozen papers attached to it.
“What is this?”
Dean looked down at it feeling like someone had just handed him a dead cat.
“He can leave as soon as you fill out the following Insurance information sir.”
Dean took a good look at the young woman in the tightly coiffed pony tail and pepto pink scrub top. Her name tag identified her as Diane.
“Diane?” He pulled out one of the pens that sat in a cup by her window. “You wouldn’t happen to be the one that called to give me the good news?”
“How about I fill this out right after I check in with my cousin?”
Dean watched her consider him and his best hopeful smile. He knew when he had to push a little harder and when to ease off. By the look in her eyes and the lack of human tragedy around them he saw that he wouldn’t have to do much more than he already had. With a small much more genuine inner sigh of reprieve he saw her shoulder the phone and hit some extension.
“Someone will be out in a minute.” She told him reluctantly.
“Thanks Diane.” The gratitude was real even if the insurance card he slipped her was all manufacture.
Whether she wanted to or not, she returned a little bit of his smile before turning back to the ring of her telephone.
Dean paused at the even more inactive room that he was sure saw more than its share of thrills.
Spotting a flowering potted plant sitting all by its lonesome on a countertop of a nurse’s station, he whisked it up as he passed by. He hadn’t waited for his escort like he was supposed to. Taking a few turns he inspected empty curtained partition after another. Dean hadn’t really felt anything much but some weird vague anticipation of wanting to see his brother. Like waiting for an airplane to land or listening for a knock on the door. But the sight of the quiet glossy floors had made him quicken his pace. They had said certain things that lead him to believe that he wouldn’t turn a corner and see something terrible.
Turned out he was almost right.
The sound of high-pitched angry shouting attracted him immediately. Dean frowned upon arrival. A hesitant, fed up doctor in an appropriate white coat and clipboard seemed to be waiting his turn to have words with his brother.
A middle-aged skeleton in a pin stripe suit and tie was very busy telling Sam with big angry gestures and big angry words just how sorry he should be.
Sam was doing his best to look the part.
He wasn’t even in one of those humiliating cloth gown things that did more harm than good. Seated cross legged in a plastic chair that sat in a row bolted to the wall, there was even a magazine sitting open in his lap. The doc with the clipboard met Dean's gaze as he approached. His brother was looking up at him with some relief of his own
“Dean. Thank freakin’ God."
Sam‘s left arm was hanging snugly in a pale blue cloth sling and there were some new bruises on the side of his face like someone had beat on him with a freaking telephone book. Other than that he looked fantastic.
"Yo. I'm the family." Dean waved in greeting.
The angry man swung his rage immediately in his direction.
"They shouldn't let people like him out on the street!" He foamed at the mouth.
“What the hell happened?” Dean posed to no one in particular.
The doc seemed like he wanted to speak but was quickly out-done by the frothing thin man who had some freshly bandaged damage of his own.
"This man is a menace, that's what! He's lucky I don't sue him and- and everyone he knows!"
Dean suppressed the reflexive grin that threatened his mouth, meeting his brother's eyes. Sam, however, was more interested in a quick getaway than filling in blanks.
"D-Dean, they wouldn’t let me outta here without my card, do you have your—“
“Just a sec.” Dean cut him off. “Me first.”
Sam abruptly shut his mouth and chewed at his lower lip. He looked unwillingly at the man who was threatening him even though he was just about looking the guy eye to eye from his seat.
“I uh, I was walking, you know, down town?”
Dean was waiting for the part where a piano fell out of the sky. Or a stampede of buffalo appeared. Maybe an open manhole. Perhaps even a rogue banana peel.
“I, uh, kinda wasn’t paying attention.”
The well-dressed skeleton took this opportunity to usurp the narration.
"Paying attention? What kinda dope are you kids on these days?"
Sam started looking back at his magazine like there was an article he really wanted to finish instead of saying whatever the hell it was he wasn’t saying. Dean was suddenly reminded of a much younger Sam, the same expression and guilt over one million stupid things that went inherently wrong with someone growing about an inch a day.
“I got uh, I was um…”
Dean decided for his own sake to just wait for it.
Sam cleared his throat.
“Y-You know those glass revolving doors?”
Dean held up a hand to stop any further explanation and redirected his stare down to the freshly mopped white glare of the floor. The doc finally seemed ready to raise his voice loud enough to be heard above the small man’s furious breathing. Dean did his best not to imagine the guy doing a full rotation in a spinning door that he had had the misfortune of being in at a very wrong time. He failed.
He set the festive plant on top of the gossip rag in his brother’s lap.
"Well, uh, the X-ray came out just fine, David here only has a sprain. Will you be driving him home?”
Sam kept his eyes pinned on his magazine.
"Uh-huh." Dean was inspired by finally hearing someone talking about an exit. "I’m just gonna go— go and spring him outta here.”
Sam sagged with an exhale of relief.
"This isn’t finished!" The man yelled behind him. “I have your number! You’ll be hearing from—“
“Yeah, yeah, I think he got the picture.”
He hauled his brother up by his good arm and started shoving him out towards the safety of the lobby, leaving the doc and his patient to come to some terms about money they would never see.
“Did you at least get a good prescription for some pain killers?”
Sam wordlessly held up a small slip of paper with a doctor’s unintelligible hand writing on it.
Dean patted him on the back.
“That’ll do Sam. That’ll do.”