ACTS OF MERCY
“Holy Mother of Fucking Pricking Nature!” Dean blared in the middle of the once quiet and peaceful forest.
“What now?” Sam asked with little curiosity behind it.
Since they’d started following the trail of a possible Tentirujo -a forest goblin that had been causing all sort of nasty problems to hikers in those parts of the woods- Dean had already complained about the heat, about the mosquitoes, about the owl that had crapped on his shoulder, about the squirrel with the wonky eye that had been following them for half a mile and about the yucky substance that had been stuck to his fingers ever since he’d touched a ‘funny looking tree’, back at the beginning of the trail.
Dean extended is hand, holding he corpse of the latest offender to his skin. “Do you see the size of that mother?” He asked, a undignified and offended look on his face as he showed the dead mosquito to his brother. “Any slower and this sucker would’ve sucked me dry.”
Sam rolled his eyes, turned his back on his brother and took one more step. The laces of his right boot had been slowly coming apart and when he spotted a good place to put his foot up and re-tie them, Sam did just that.
Dean, still muttering and cursing at Mother Nature, forged ahead, his eyes searching the tree tops for signs of the their prey. Tentirujos, unlike their domestic counter partners, had a nasty tendency to hang from high branches and jump on the backs of their unsuspecting victims, chewing on their ears. Dean liked his ears un-chewed.
The metallic click was ominously muffled by the silent forest. The scream that followed wasn’t.
“Dean!” Sam shouted, raising his head just in time to see his brother drop, both hands desperately clutching at his left leg.
“Oh God,” Dean whispered, his voice faint, eyes scrunched shut, beads of sweat already taking over his pale face. “Get if off Sam... get it off- please... get it off-getit-“
Sam’s hands hovered over the contorting figure of his brother. He didn’t knew where to touch.
Finally deciding that he needed access first and foremost, Sam placed his hands over Dean’s deadly grasp of his jeans leg. The faded blue denim was already soaked through, turning in to a dark purple. “Let me have a look Dean... it’s ok... just-“ Sam coached, gently prying finger after finger until he could see where the steel teeth of the bear trap were entrenched above his brother's ankle.
The car was maybe two miles, a mile and a half away and Sam knew that there was no way that he could carry Dean that far with that thing putting pressure and sinking further in to his brother’s leg’s muscle. He had to get it out.
Sam looked at the trap, trying to figure out the best way of opening it. There was no spring-release mechanism that he could see, which meant that there was only one way he could really do it.
Dean’s eyes were pinpoints of green, sunken in to his face with pain, silently asking Sam to make it stop.
Sam knew that, even though that didn’t seemed to be case yet, one wrong move from Dean and his bone would snap clean in two; Sam also knew that there was no way that Dean would be able to keep quiet while Sam pulled what was basically ten small knives from Dean’s leg, which, from the look of them, where long enough to have actually reached the bone. Sam knew what he had to do... he just felt lousy for doing it.
Slipping behind Dean’s body, his chest supporting Dean’s weight, Sam grabbed his brother’s flailing hands in one of his, his grasp supporting and strong, while his other slipped to Dean’s neck. “It’s gonna be ok... I’m gonna get you out of here, ok?”
Dean wasn’t listening anymore. His head turned from side to side, the same words ‘get it off... get itoff... getit-’ whispered over and over again, like a fervent pray.
Placing one finger on each side of Dean’s neck, Sam felt for the double points of his brother’s racing beat heart. Five seconds should do it... just like their father had taught them.
Sam squeezed and held his breath, hoping that Dean would slip in to unconsciousness fast enough and long enough for him to do what he had to do.
When Dean’s body grew heavier and softer in his hold, Sam let go of his neck, gently lay his unconscious brother back on the forest floor and set himself to work, fast.
The sickening sound that the bear trap made has it unhooked its jaws from Dean’s mangled flesh was not enough to mask Sam’s growl of pain.
For once, Sam could tell the truth when the hospital staff asked what had happen. Hiking accident with a bear trap that was where it wasn’t supposed to be, probably left forgotten from lord knows how many hunting seasons ago.
The waiting room was a bleak little thing, with peeling grey sand-paint and a couple of cracks hidden behind some president Bush-era posters. The older Bush.
The room was empty, save for Sam and a young mother with a small boy loudly eating a strawberry ice cream. From her whispered words, they were waiting for the kid’s older brother.
The slurping sound that the boy’s mouth managed to produce every time he sucked on the iced candy was too similar to the sound that the trap’s jaws had made as the pointed teeth were removed from Dean’s leg, blood gushing immediately in their wake, like the body was desperately trying to fill the void with something, anything.
The minute Sam had tried to put pressure on it, a stronger, more defined surge of deep, vibrant red had started to spill from the back of Dean’s leg.
The damn trap had hit an artery.
Sam jumped from his seat, more on account of the fact that the scrubs clad woman was looking at him than him remembering which name was on the fake insurance card that he’d provided at admission. “Yes?”
The tiny letters on the card she wore pinned to her breast pocket identified her as Nurse Trenchard, but the thing Sam focused on foremost was a bit further south: on the knee of her scrubs was a fairly large splatter of blood. They were small dots of bright red that looked nauseatingly fresh against the green fabric of her pants.
It could be anyone’s blood, but the only thing that Sam’s mind registered was the red that had cover his hands when he was done tying up Dean’s leg the best he could before thrusting him over his shoulder and racing to the car.
“... do you know?” She finishes the sentence that Sam should’ve probably been listening to.
“I... sorry... know what?”
The sympathetic look on her face made him think of dead brothers rather than sympathy.
“I was telling you about our low stock of rare blood types and asking if by any chance you have the same blood type as your brother,” she said one more time.
Sam blinked, trying as fast as he could to change tracks from blood covered hands to AB’s and B negatives and- “Yes, I’m O negative, just like Dean.”
The nurse smiled, the honesty of her wide grin telling Sam more than he wished to know. It told him of how much blood Dean had lost, of how low his chances of surviving were if Sam had had any other type of blood racing through his veins. Family blood to the rescue, Sam grimly thought as he followed the nurse through the florescent lit corridor, the harsh light managing to give the ancient gray paint a green, out worldly tinge.
“Can I-” Sam cleared his throat, his voice sounding too raspy and desperate to his own ears. “Can I see him?”
The nurse barely paused in her hurried steps. “As soon as we start putting some real blood in to him, ok honey?”
Real blood looked too fake to be doing any real good.
The nurse had been true to her word, however and as soon as Sam had given as much blood as the hospital staff had dared to take –and forced down his throat the sweetest and most disgusting piece of cake that Sam had ever eaten in his whole life- she’d taken him to a curtain-surrounded stretcher where they were keeping Dean.
As soon as Sam sat by his side, Dean greeted him with a “Hey lil’bro,” and a loopy smile that spoke of utter relief and heavy-duty drugs.
Trenchard had already set the dripping red on a pole by Dean’s side, a clear tube connecting it to the back of Dean’s forearm.
His leg was sticking from outside the paper-thin sheet covering the lower half of Dean’s body, raised a couple of inches from the mattress and supported by a pile of adult diapers serving as a pillow.
Dean’s face looked paler in there than he had been under the canopy of trees, courtesy of the naked white light above them. People always looked their worst under hospital lights, right?
“How you feeling?” Sam asked, whispering for some reason that completely escaped his grasp.
“Like frigging Ronald McDonald just tried to make a McDean out of my leg,” Dean replied with an attempted smile that failed so miserably that it could be classified as a mild snarl.
Sam smiled for him, grateful for his brother’s shot at trying to get things back to normal. The sight of two finger-shaped bruises on each side of Dean’s neck, however, did little to grant any rest to Sam’s heart. He’d done that. His brother had been hurt and in pain, and he’d done that, he’d put his fingers around Dean’s neck and hurt him.
“Hey,” Dean said, calling Sam’s attention. “It’s ok... in fact, I’m glad you did it,” he said with a sigh, closing his eyes to hide the memory of past pain from the current one. He knew what Sam was thinking... somehow, he always knew.
“You did what you had to do,” Dean cut in. The fingers of his free hand searched out and found where Sam's hand lay resting against the stretcher’s covers, and latched on to them. “But if you ever again dare to pull me in to your lap and hold my hand like you did there... I’ll end you, bitch!”
Sam’s smile was deeper and more carefree this time around. “Jerk,” he said, instead of ‘you’re the one holding my hand now.’
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Betaed by the most awesome Jackfan2! Thank you!