Author's Note: To quote Arthur Darvill, 'Best of luck cry babies.'
In the parking lot of the facility, Mary and John had the arduous task of trying to keep Dean, who was climbing the walls of the Impala, calm. The call had come through last night. '12:32' to be exact. An hour earlier, Sam had been found in an empty room of the ward, wrists cut neatly and precisely, lying unconscious on the floor. Visiting hours of the ward dictated that they had to wait until ten the following morning before they could visit. Luckily, the head doctor had given them permission to come at 7AM, which was why they had been camped out in the parking lot since 6AM. None of the Winchester's had been able to do anything after receiving the phone call.
John had been the one to answer the phone and had then softly relayed the news to Mary. The worst part had been having to tell Dean that his little brother had tried to kill himself an hour prior. Obviously the eldest Winchester did not take the news well, which had resulted in the smashing of numerous items that had been on top of the chest of drawers in his emotional rage. But they didn't care. How could they? They nearly lost one of their boys, things so meaningless and replaceable meant nothing to the Winchester's compared to the idea of losing their youngest.
When the clock reached ten minutes to seven, the Winchester's walked into the hospital where they were given directions by the receptionist and rode the elevator to the stated floor.
In the elevator, John turned to Dean. "Dean..." He began.
"Don't talk to me." He stated in a stern tone.
"No!" Dean turned to him. "You persuaded me that this was the best thing for my little brother and I was stupid enough to let you. That's on me!" He paused. "He begged me not to leave him here. Not to leave him, but I did, because you told me that he was gonna' get better...I don't care what you have to say, 'cause I'm the one that's gonna' have to try and rebuild his trust, not you. Me and Sam have always been close. Looked out for each other, and then I left him in here. Do you know what he's gonna' think?!"
John didn't have a chance to say anything in response as the elevator chimed to signal that they had reached the floor selected. Dean walked out.
Everything about the hospital screamed depression. There was nothing about the place that suggested that it was a provider of help and rehabilitation.
As they reached the main corridor, the doctor who they had met when admitting Sam was waiting for them upon their arrival.
"Mr. and Mrs. Winchester." He initiated. "I wish we were meeting again under better circumstances."
"How is he?" John asked getting straight to the point.
"Resting." The doctor answered. "He had a long night last night."
Mary found her husband's hand without moving her gaze away from the doctor. Tightly gripping it in fear and worry for her youngest son, John squeezed it gently in reassurance, trying comfort his shaking wife.
"Each patient here is assigned a Doctor, Sam's is Dr. Paige." He explained. "He was the one who made the discovery of what Sam had done and then proceeded to patch him up, and offer support to Sam. He has been with Sam since last night, helping him, calming him down and talking to him about what happened. He is in the day room currently. We didn't think it would be best for Sam to be around the other patients right now, so the room is off limits to all other residents of the ward, and all staff members have been informed of this."
"Can we see him?" Mary asked in a soft, weak tone.
"Like I said, Sam is still resting, so I wouldn't suggest waking him up just yet. I will however go and get Dr. Paige so he can talk to you. If you would just wait here."
They nodded and the doctor took off in a brisk pace. John turned to a distraught Dean. His expression was stoic, but John could see right through it. He gently placed a hand on Dean's shoulder.
Another doctor walked down the corridor and over to the Winchester's. He had obvious dark bags under his eyes from lack of sleep and looked spent. "Hello, my name is Dr. Paige. I was assigned Sam when he was admitted to the facility. If you could follow me, I think it's best if we talk in my office."
Following the doctor down the corridor, each Winchester felt sick with guilt and worry. Once inside the office, the doctor closed the door before motioning to the seats on the other side of his desk and sitting down.
"You obviously have a lot of questions."
"How could you let him do that?" Mary began. "You...we admitted Sam in here to help him. You were supposed to help him get better. He wasn't suicidal when he was still living with us, he was depressed. He had good days and bad days, and the good tended to outweigh the bad. The reason we admitted Sam in the first place was because you told us that you could provide somewhere for him to feel safe, so that he could open up about his past and how he feels. We got a call last night..." She paused, unshed tears threatening to fall as her voice broke up. "...that he'd tried to..." She just couldn't say it. "...my little boy did that to himself..."
"No! My little boy probably thinks that we abandoned him, just like everyone else in his life. I don't want your apologies, Dr. Paige...I don't want anything from you...you're the reason he did this, you and all the other doctors who clearly messed with his head in here..."
"Mrs. Winchester." The doctor's tone was stern and sharp. "Your son was psychotically depressed to a suicidal ideation. You're right that the separation may not have been the best move under the circumstances of his past and the effect that those events have had on him, we realize that now, but your son was depressed before he came to this facility. We monitored him constantly and gave him the opportunity to talk about anything he felt he needed to talk about with medical professionals. He received the best care we could give, but sadly it doesn't seem to have had the desired effect in Sam's case." Dr. Paige, who clearly was upset by their failings, paused momentarily as he took a deep breath before continuing on. "Therefore we suggest that Sam is discharged from the facility and returns home with you. It is up to you whether you wish to continue any form of sessions with a medical professional, or whether you wish to instead just provide your own support to your son at home. I personally believe that Sam would respond better when talking to you, Mr. Winchester or even Dean, just don't push him about it. If Sam wants to talk, he'll talk. If he doesn't, he won't. If he does talk, just listen to him, don't try and force more from him about something he might say."
Mary looked to John, clearly seeking support from her husband. John was quick to offer it by wrapping an arm around her back.
"Can I see my brother now?" Dean spoke up.
"Sam is...fragile right now, so we are only allowing one visitor in the day room at a time."
"We'll wait outside." John said softly, turning to Dean and offering a small smile.
Dean, thankful for them allowing him to see his brother first, offered an equally small smile back.
Dr. Paige walked to the door and talked to someone outside before turning back to Dean. "If you'd like to follow me."
All Dean could think about as he walked down the corridor after the doctor was Sam. His brain had created all sorts of images, and he just couldn't shake them.
"Like I said, Sam is fragile right now. I will come and check on you later, but for now, the day room is free for you and your brother only." Dr. Paige stated as they reached the day room.
Dean nodded before he slowly opened the door and walked in.
It didn't take him long to locate Sam. He was lying on one of the couches, bundled against one of the arms. His brown hair was messy and out of place as his head rested upon a plain white pillow, while his body was covered by a thin blanket that was spread over him and fisted in one hand. From what he could see past the light blue blanket, Sam was wearing a long sleeved plaid shirt and a pair of jeans. Not the same outfit he had came dressed in, but one of the ones they had packed.
Taking a deep breath, Dean walked softly across the day room before approaching his brother.
Sam looked up at him with tired eyes as he walked over, clearly having been woken up by the guy Dr. Paige talked to outside his office.
Dean didn't know what to say, so started with a simple, soft. "Hey."
"Hey." Sam's reply came. Dean took note of the raw tone of his brother's voice. A tone that backed up what the doctor had said about Dr. Paige having to calm him down. Sam's voice sounded painfully raw, and carried a tiredness that also clearly showed under his eyes. It was obvious that Sam had lost weight, looking more like he did when they were still out on the streets as Dean could clearly see the outlines of bones through the skin of his neck, and was sure that he would see ribs if his blanket and shirt weren't obscuring the view. His skin itself was also a sickly pale. It had been just over a week since they had admitted Sam into the facility, but as Dean looked over his little brother, he couldn't help but notice how worn down he appeared. He didn't want to think about how Sam had come to look so exhausted during his time at the facility, and so instead forced his eyes away and looked around the room for something to sit on. Noticing a stool, Dean picked it up and placed it down in front of the couch. Sitting down on it, he shuffled forwards on it so that he was beside his little brother.
Sam changed position slightly, clearly not comfortable in the one he was in. As he moved, the sleeves of his plaid shirt pushed up slightly meaning Dean caught sight of the bandages on his brothers wrists. He felt sick upon noticing them, although he knew it was guilt eating away at him rather than nausea. As Sam noticed where his gaze was lying, he shuffled his arms across his body weakly so that the sleeves slid back down, covering his bandaged wrists once again.
There was silence for a few seconds before Dean spoke up.
"Sammy..." The weakness in his voice surprised even Dean. He quietly cleared his throat. "...I'm so sorry...I let them put you in here, and I shouldn't...I shouldn't have listened to them..."
"Dean they were right."
"I feel like shit all the time...and I'm sick of always being scared. Always thinking that someone's gonna' hurt us, or take us away." He paused, tone breaking up slightly. "I can't..." He paused. "I'm tired, Dean...I'm so tired..." Sam paused. "And I hate it here..." He admitted in a saddened tone before sighing. Curling his legs up, he weakly attempted to move the blanket so that his legs were once again covered, but didn't have the strength.
Noticing this, Dean reached across and moved the blanket for him.
"Sammy, we came here to bring you home. The doctors think it's best for you too." Dean explained softly.
"Why?" Sam asked.
"Why do you want me back?"
Dean's heart wrenched as he spoke. "You're my little brother."
"I'm broken, Dean. I'm not good to be around...I'm not good for anybody."
"I don't care."
"Well I don't..." Dean stated firmly. "No more facilities. No more therapists." He paused. "Please, Sammy..."
Sam nodded before letting his eyes fall closed.
Dean noticed his brother shivering slightly. "You cold?" He walked over to the other couch and picked up a blanket before draiping that gently over the existing blanket.
Dean watched as his Sam bundled up, making himself as small as possible as he crammed into the space of the small couch before he fell asleep.
A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Dean then noticed Dr. Paige peering around it.
"Dean..." He called quietly to not wake Sam.
Dean turned, thankful that the man had the sense to lower his voice.
"Maybe time to swap?"
Dean looked at Sam before nodding. He then turned back and carded a hand through Sam's hair with a soft smile. "I'll be back once Mom and Dad have been in, okay? When we take you home." He explained before walking out of the day room to see Mary and John sat nervously in the corridor.
John stood up instantly. "How is he?"
Dean didn't answer, his expression said it all. Dean had left that room looking twenty years older than when he'd entered. Their son looked both terrified and furious at the same time. One hand clenched in a tight fist, John noticed this immediately and gently placed a hand on Dean's shoulder. "Come with me a minute."
Dean looked at him with a confused expression but followed regardless.
They walked until the corridor lacked as personal or patients. John then turned to his eldest. "Hit me."
"What?" Dean asked, raising an eyebrow.
"You heard me...hit me."
"No." He shook his head, turning away from John.
"Dean...do it. You're angry and scared, and you're keeping everything bottled up. Let some of it out. Come, it's better that it's me than anyone else. I mean, you look like you'd happily land one on any of the doctors in here...I would too, but that's not the point. Let it out."
Dean shook in misery and rage, taking short, angry breaths before he turned and punched John.
John smiled. "Nice." He put a hand to the skin just below his eye. "Nice one."
Dean shook his head with a smirk. "You're fucking insane, you know that?"
"It's been said." John smirked too, wrapping an arm around Dean's shoulder and pulling him close momentarily. "Better?"
Dean nodded, his fist no longer clenched.
"Good, then it worked." John paused. "Now I need to go and see your brother, you go and help Mary, see if she needs any help with anything."
John patted a hand reassuringly on Dean's shoulder before walking off down the corridor to the day room.
The sight of his youngest looking so pale and broken brought tears to the eyes of the hunter. He couldn't get his head around everything that had happened. It had all happened so quickly that John was still trying to catch up. One minute the facility had been the best option for Sam, and the next is was nearly the reason for his youngest's...
He didn't want to think about that...not anymore. All that mattered was lying on the couch in front of him, long, unkempt brown hair flopping down over tired eyes as he slept. Sam's head was resting half on the pillow and half on one of his arms, causing him to wince every time he moved around slightly in his sleep, his slit wrists obviously painful to the touch. His soft breathing indicated to John that he wasn't fully asleep yet.
Sitting down on the stool, he gently placed a hand on Sam's shoulder. "It's okay, Sam...everything's gonna' be okay. We'll make it work. I don't care how long it takes, we're gonna' help you through this. Just us, no one else." He paused. "I'm so sorry." John sniffled slightly as he wiped away tears with the back of his hand. Looking at his little boy one last time, he got up from the seat he was sitting in and walked out into the corridor.
Mary was in the process of signing various forms while a duffel lay on the floor beside her feet. Dean was seated on one of the green plastic seats, head in his hands, clearly trying to hold himself together.
"Mr. Winchester, I need you to fill in these forms. Mary, you can go and get Sam ready to be discharged if you wish. I'll have one of the nurses come and help you out in a couple of minutes." Dr. Paige stated before handing him a copy of the release form.
"Thank you." Mary smiled slightly, mentally debating with herself as to if they really deserved that thank you or the smile. Still feeling that the blame rested on the shoulders of the doctors who had been with her boy during his time in here, she picked up the bag before walking into the day room. The sight of Sam made her tear up. He just looked so small as he curled up on the couch. Come on, Mary...you have to be strong for him. She told herself as she walked over to him, slowly placing the duffel down so that it didn't slam. "Sam...Sam, honey..." She called softly, lulling him from his sleep.
Sam flickered his eyes open to see Mary standing beside the couch. He smiled gently at her.
"Hey, sweetie." She smiled back. "What'd you say we get out of here?"
Sam nodded simply in response before attempting to push himself upright.
Mary walked closer to Sam and tenderly wrapped an arm around his back and under his arms to help him into a sitting position.
"Thanks." Came a reply, although it was more of a frail murmur then anything.
"You're welcome." She placed the duffel down onto the stool. "I've got something for you."
Sam didn't look overly interested, but as Mary removed the object, a genuine smile grew on his face at the sight of it. Gingerly reaching out for it, Mary noticed how bad her little boy was shaking. She didn't know whether it was from being cold, probably from his current weight, or whether it was just from how weak he currently was from what happened last night. Mary put it down to a mixture of both as she handed him the blanket.
Taking the old, red blanket, Sam looked close to tears. He hadn't seen the thing in years, having presumed it to be lost during one of their endless travels across the country.
"Found it in the trunk." Mary explained, correctly reading her son's thoughts from his awe filled expression.
"Thank you." His response was much stronger this time, clearly thankful that she had remembered the blanket's significance to him. The blanket still looked as battered and threadbare as the day they'd left the streets after meeting Mary and John. The only differences between the blanket from those days and the blanket as he was holding it now, was the smell. The almost rancid stench that seemed to be as much a part of the thing as the fabric itself was gone, in its place was the soft perfume of flowery washing powder, reminding him of home as he breathed it in.
Mary laid out his clothes on the couch beside him along with a pair of his sneakers that she had placed onto the floor. "You ready to get up?" She asked.
He nodded. "Help me?" Sam asked, hating to be so reliant, but he knew that there was no way he was getting up from this couch by himself.
"Of course, sweetie." As Mary wrapped an arm around his back once again, Sam found the strength he needed to get to his feet. Once there, he placed a hand on her shoulder before he was handed a t shirt. He managed to put it on without much trouble, Mary only having to help get it over his wrists without disturbing them. The jeans weren't problematic either, it was just the shoes. Mary had helped him back down onto the couch so that she could help put them on. In the end, she ended up tying them too because there was no way that Sam wrists would allow him to do something as simple as tying his own shoes. It was too painful to bend his wrist even slightly, so Mary simply gave him a reassuring smile before sorting everything else out.
The embarrassment didn't stop there for Sam either. Facility policy meant that he wasn't allowed to walk out of the building, he had to be discharged in a wheelchair. Some bullshit regarding how long after an 'incident' such as Sam's the patient was allowed to be on his feet. Due to the time not elapsing, that was his only way out of the facility.
The nurse had wheeled the chair into his room with a cautious smile. It was clear that she must have had some interesting responses to this in the past as she seemed almost scared of how Mary and Sam were going to respond. When she was simply met with a smile by Mary, the nurse's expression turned to a smile too before she left the room.
Mary then turned back to Sam. "Don't worry, it's only till we get to the car. I parked it by the doors before I came in so it's all ready."
Sam sighed, looking at the ugly metal thing.
"I know." Mary responded, as annoyed about the facility's policy as her son. "But it means you get out of here now rather than in a few hours, and I think that's worth having to sit in this thing for a few minutes."
Sam nodded before Mary helped him into it. She then stuffed the clothes he had been wearing back into the duffel before picking it up and shoving it onto her shoulder before pushing the wheelchair out of the day room and into the corridor where John and Dean were waiting.
"I see you got yourself some new wheels." John teased before ruffling Sam's hair slightly.
Sam smirked in response, shaking his head.
Taking the handles, John took over from Mary and began pushing Sam down the corridor.
Noticing the bruise that was just starting to appear under John's eye, Mary furrowed an eyebrow. "What the hell happened?" She asked.
Dean looked up from the part of the floor he had been staring at, looking guiltily at John.
"Oh, I walked into a door." He lied. "Pretty stupid really."
Mary raised an eyebrow. "The revolving door?...Or the automatic doors?" She asked sarcastically.
John paused for a few seconds. "The revolving door..."
Mary scoffed. "You're an idiot."
Reaching the doors of the facility, a nurse was waiting to take the wheelchair from them. It was a delicate procedure getting Sam from the exit to the Impala, but they managed. With Sam laid across the back seat, head resting in his older brother's lap, Dean gently stroked a hand through his little brother's hair.
As the engine roared into life, the Winchesters drove off, leaving the facility behind them. Forever.