I floated in and out of consciousness. Only briefly catching words like "infection" and "liver failure" I was too drugged up to really care or understand the meaning those words carried. When I did finally wake up I came back to reality in stages. One sense at a time. First smell, which, gah, was awful. Then touch, was somebody holding my hand? Then hearing, I could only hear distant people muttering in what sounded like a foreign language. Then I opened my eyes.
"You just love scaring the shit out of me don't you?" Dean. Of, course it was Dean, "My parent's are outside talking with the doctor now."
"What'd they say?" my voice sounded scratchy and my throat raw. At least I wasn't feeling nauseous any more.
"Infection," Dean replied.
"Abdomen, they think they caught it though."
"You don't have a fever anymore," Dean explained, "You don't have a liver anymore either."
"What?" I sat up, or tried to sit up in bed.
Dean just chuckled and lightly pushed me back down, "Kidding, it's Sammy's liver. He died trying to give you another chance-"
Just then Sammy poked his head threw the door, his eyes widened, "You're alive!"
I flipped Dean off as he started guffawing in his seat, "You are so full of crap, do you know that?" I demanded.
But Dean was laughing too hard to reply.
Sam ignored his brother as he practically skipped over to my bed.
"Why aren't you guys in school?" I asked trying to draw the attention away from myself.
Dean just rolled his eyes.
"It's Saturday," Sam explained, "You've been out for a long time!" he threw up his arms for effect.
"How," I cleared my throat to help make my voice clearer, "How long was I out?"
"Couple days, no biggie," Dean replied.
Mary and John entered the room, they both smiled when they saw the three of us on the bed. The boys sitting next to my feet.
"Look who's awake and talking," Mary said, her smile widening.
John reached over and ruffled my hair in a fond manner, "You have quite the knack for scaring us, you know that?"
I smiled bashfully and shrugged, unsure how to respond.
"What'd the doctor say?" Dean asked, voicing the question that I was pondering.
"They'd like to keep Lily under observation, only for a couple more days," John replied, "Then she can come home."
"Yes! We get to celebrate your birthday!" Sam said pumping his fist.
"My what?" I questioned.
Sam deflated a little and looked at me curiously, I was pleased to note that his bruising was all but gone now, "You're birthday, April seventh, remember?"
"Oh," I said slowly, touched by the notion that he had remembered. In all actuality my birthday had been the last thing on my mind these past couple of weeks, "That's right, I had forgotten about that."
"We can discuss the party plans later," Mary intervened gently, much to my relief. I have always detested birthdays, well mostly the attention that came with them, not that I could crush Sam's hopeful expression by telling him that.
"Yes, you just focus on getting better," John agreed, wrapping his arm around Mary's shoulders.
His words triggered an unwarranted feeling of guilt. I knew it wasn't really my fault, being injured, but I glanced at the circles that were starting to form under Dean's eyes, the way John's shoulders hunched forward when he sat down and couldn't help but feel guilty about it. And gosh, the hospital bill must be huge by now, and the meager insurance that foster children had definitely wouldn't cover it all. I leaned my head back, exhausted from the small conversation, exhausted from being helpless, those two days couldn't pass fast enough.
The phone had been Dean's idea, one that my parent's had gratefully helped with. The birthday party had been mine. I wasn't sure what to make of Lily's reaction, but I wanted to make her birthday special nonetheless.
"I don't know what to get her," I admitted to Dean on our way back home from the hospital.
Dean tapped the steering wheel thoughtfully, for once his idiotic music wasn't turned on.
"Well, what do we know she enjoys?" he asked. I wasn't sure if he was asking me personally or just thinking out loud, so I answered just in case.
"I don't know," I didn't care if I sounded whiney.
Dean continued to think, "We can look in her room for hints I guess," he finally mumbled.
"I don't think Lily would be too happy with that," I said, although I knew we didn't have many other options.
"It's not like she's hiding something," Dean reasoned.
"And we don't have to search everywhere, just like what she's put on top of her dresser or something like that," he continued.
We parked in the driveway.
"Okay," I said, feeling that guilty pleasure you get whenever you commit to something you know you shouldn't do.
Dean was right. We really didn't have to look through anything personal. We just glanced at her bookshelf mainly. Thinking about getting her a gift card to Books a Million or Amazon or something like that.
I remained by the bookshelf, looking for any series that she might not have the whole set to while Dean looked for any other hobbies.
"Sam," Dean called. I walked over, he was holding the picture that Lily had shown me once. The one with her and her siblings and her pets.
"Yeah," I replied, "She already showed me it."
"Huh," Dean looked like he was lost in thought again as he placed the picture back on the nightstand where he had found it, "Did Lily say what happened to her dogs?"
I shook my head, "Not that I remember, why?"
Dean had that look. The 'I have an idea but we need to talk to mom and dad first look' that had gotten us into trouble more time than I could remember. We usually just went along with idea instead of consulting with our parents. Dean glanced back at the picture.
"If mom and dad say yes, than I think I know what we should get Lily for her birthday."