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22 April 2012 @ 04:23 pm
The Patient in ER Bay 3 (short story)  

Just my luck, I got stuck with the patient in ER Bay 3 because everyone claimed I was good with the combative types.


Just my luck, I got stuck with the patient in ER Bay 3 because everyone claimed I was good with the combative types. Funny how you suddenly become "good" at shit no one else wants to be a part of.

The pair had come in just over an hour ago. Both had been covered head to toe in dirt and grime. And blood. The taller one unconscious, unresponsive…concussed for sure, possibly a fracture. They'd already whisked him away for scans and X-rays. I had the lucky job of trying to tend to his buddy or whoever the hell he was.

"I want to see my brother, right now." he said acidly. Alright, brother it is, then.

It looked like he'd been swimming in soil; dusty granules showered his sandy hair like grimy pixie dust. Dirt grains clung to every pore on his face and neck, mingling with sweat and giving his skin a smudgy, lightly airbrushed appearance. His shirt had ripped just below his ribs where blood and dirt pooled to form a dark, gritty paste. And it was all so chillingly familiar, the dirt, the blood, and those damned angry eyes. It's been more than nine long, agonizing months, now. My thoughts flowed.

"Ok, you'll get to see him. Let's just clean you up a little, first." I bargained casually. I even reached up and palmed his shoulder gently. It's a lot harder to be a dick to someone who's offering a comforting touch. He subtly shrugged off my hand; perhaps not so much an act of anger as it was an attempt to demonstrate the lack of need.

"I'm fine. I just need to see Sam." He left no real room for argument, but I'd had years of experience with that same fucked up attitude. Would you hold still and stop fighting me? I swear to god, David, this bullet won't take itself out!

"Well, look," I said unfazed, "they're doing tests and that's going to take a little while. He's in good hands. Why don't you let me just take a look while you wait?" He looked to be weighing his options between being a prick and just giving in. He sighed and started removing both of his shirts. 'At a boy…

He pointedly avoided eye-contact as I scanned his body for injuries. My own sudden intake of breath wasn't so much surprise as it was affirmation. The dirt, the blood, the attitude—and now the scars. An old puncture wound in his side, one…make that two gunshot wounds in the shoulder, one relatively new. Surgery scars, bet that one had been his spleen. And, fuck, was that a burn or brand mark? Vicious claw marks ran down his back that, by the look of them, had gotten dangerously infected and had scarred badly. Jesus Christ, David, how did you manage to skewer yourself with your own silver stake?

"So, what did you and your brother tussle with tonight?" I asked as I gently examined his newest wound. It was going to need several stitches. I started to irrigate the wound, clearing away the grime and waited for the lie.

He winced, either at the question or from my probings. I'm not sure which. "Septic tank." he said. Septic tank. Good one, I thought.

"Septic tank?" I repeated and leveled a dubious glance at him. "At two o'clock in the morning?"

"Well sister, when you gotta go, you gotta go." He shrugged me off. I continued to bathe the wound and test the waters.

I hesitated and cleared my throat, uncertain whether to proceed, but too damned curious, too damned desperate, not to. "You remind me of my brother." I waded in.

"Oh yeah?" he said "He a handsome devil, too?"

That earned a chuckle. Charming rogue, I thought. "No, not like that." I smiled and then sobered. "The scars. Lots of scars." I nodded, indicating his bare chest.

He immediately folded in a bit, defensive—self conscious. "Oh yeah? A klutz or a superhero?" he asked without appearing to give much of a shit about my answer, eying the door. His mind was elsewhere, probably down in the X-ray room, and our small-talk seemed to be an annoyance and an intrusion. He wriggled impatiently. I adjusted my grip on his shoulder a little more firmly. I didn't even care if he didn't want it. I needed the contact because I was eying a pretty hefty drop-off.

"No, he does a lot of hunting." I said as I searched his startled eyes and watched them run for cover.

"Hunting?" he scoffed through slitted lids, deliberately obtuse. "What? Bambi and Thumper get the jump on him?"

"Not that kind of hunting." I could see the truth flit across his face despite his sarcastic twitting. I plunged in. "He's a Hunter." I emphasized the word—my meaning clear to anyone with that dark secret. He continued to stare at me blankly, making no move, either too distrusting or too unwilling to acknowledge my statement. I, however, was no longer in doubt. I stopped even trying to dissemble. I gave his shoulder a little shake in solidarity.

The wound was cleaned and disinfected. I began to sew. He said nothing, but his posture changed perceptibly, opening ever so slightly. He was now looking at me, sizing me up.

I settled in and tended him quietly for a moment. "It was a vengeful spirit," I quietly offered finally, pausing to make eye-contact before resuming my work and continuing on, "when we were teens. I was 18, he was 16. It got both our parents." He regarded me with the slightest of nods, the first honest acknowledgement he'd made. I probably couldn't expect more. I continued to gently dab the blood away as I sewed. "We both kind of went off the deep-end for a couple of years afterwards. Researched, met people, traveled around. We eventually salted and burned that fucker, though it didn't help much. Not my brother, anyway. He was still hell-bent." I knotted, snipped and moved onto the next stitch. I had to smile ruefully. The hunter had been more communicative when we'd both been hiding. "So," I asked, nodding toward his wound, "that 'septic tank', did you get it cleaned up?" He nodded affirmatively but said nothing. "Good job." I said. I guess he didn't feel the need to talk. I did. "His name is David Johnson. My brother. Do you know him?" I was so fucking hopeful. Please…please know him.

He shook his head. "No." I tied another knot.

I tried to hide my disappointment. I nodded. "We hunted together in those early years," I paused and wiped some more blood away, "until we fought a Wight in a New Orleans crypt. I took a hard blow to the head, concussed so bad I spoke nothing but gibberish for three straight days afterwards. Scared the hell out of him." I laughed in spite of myself. "He put his foot down after that. Told me if I really loved him, I'd go back home." The hunter nodded, no doubt siding with David on that one. I sighed. "And so I went back to school. That was ten years ago, now. Figured I could do more good for David this way." I gestured about me. "I have a room in my apartment completely outfitted and supplied, ready for when he stumbles in. Stitched him up too many damn times to count. Others, too. I've had a few midnight knocks on my door, hunters with no names who David had sent my way." The hunter hissed a little as I pulled a stitch. "Sorry," I soothed.

"'S'OK," he said.

I stopped my work a moment. I felt my dam about to burst. "I'm worried." I confessed. The hunter eyed a question. "I haven't seen or heard from him in nine months. It's not like him." I received a slow nod in response. "He always checked in after a hunt. Always. No phone calls, no turning up bloody outside my door—no nothing for months, now." Fuck, my eyes were welling. I couldn't pull the next stitch without stopping the leak. I grabbed a tissue. "And you know? I get it. I do. The Life is hard. I know. I did it for a while. I always knew one day he wouldn't come home again." I shrugged in an attempt to minimize my loss. It wasn't this hunter's problem. Had nothing to do with him. "I always tried to accept that, but it's difficult, you know? The hardest part is not knowing, not having any clue. What happened? What got him? Had he been alone? Had he been scared? Did he have any fucking idea how much I loved him? Did that help him at all when the end came?" My voice hitched, and I strove to master my emotions. The hunter's green eyes turned sympathetic. He even touched my arm lightly, offering an anchor. I was grateful. I looked down at his fingers resting on my arm, dirty and bloody—each and every finger had been broken at one time or another. Oh God, David... I took a deep, quivering breath. "The last time I spoke to him was late last spring. He'd finished up some hunt, was drowning it all away at some bar, somewhere." The hunter smiled at that and squeezed my arm just a little harder. "He'd been more than a little wasted at the time. 'Got the fucker, Jenny. You should'a seen it. Big, ugly mother! I'll call you tomorrow.'" I laughed grimly. Just one more stitch left. "Hell, the last thing I heard him say wasn't even directed at me. He was yammering at some barmaid just before he hung up, 'Ellen, you're fucking out of pretzels!' Not quite what I would have chosen as our last moment together, you know?" I felt my patient's body go rigid and his hand slipped off my arm. I absently taped the bandage and turned toward his sudden shift in posture.

The hunter looked stricken. His eyes had widened and his lips parted as he let out a slight huff of air—in stunned disbelief, perhaps? Or was it pain? I looked at him questioningly, confused by his strange response. Just then the doctor pulled back the curtain.

"Your brother's awake. He's calling for you. I'll take you to him," he said.

The End


Title: The Patient in ER Bay 3
Characters: Dean Winchester, OC
Genre: Gen Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Rating: Teen
Word-count: 1,800 words (approximately)
Spoilers: Spoilers for S3 up to and including “Jus in Bello"
Warnings: Language.
Summary: Nurse Jenny has the night-shift, a cranky patient, and a secret.
Disclaimer: Not mine
Note: This story was completed in July of 2011 and appeared on Fanfiction.net.

 
 
 
randomstasis: AB swirlrandomstasis on April 26th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
oh, jesus, and how is he going to explain that?
otoh, David may have saved Ellen's life, right?
maybe that would help...
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on April 27th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, David really kind of did save her. I'm sure the boys would not leave the hospital without giving the poor nurse some peace, that's for sure!

Thanks so much for the review! I sincerely appreciate it!
fangirl29fangirl29 on May 3rd, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
You're good! The way you draw the reader in thinkin' the story is the typical SPN h/c iand then you change it all up. And to write it from the OC's point of view...brave. And I don't normally do fics with OCs in 'em, just so you know, but yours is so sweet and subtle that it kinda lulled me in and then I was hooked. So well written!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on May 3rd, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I always remembered Ellen saying that a lot of good hunters died in the Roadhouse fire. I wanted to know a little more, and so I wrote that. Also, I was trying to figure out how to upload a story (I have this weird phobia/fear of posting something wrong), so I wrote that short piece to play around with posting a story. Incidentally, I completely posted it wrong and tried to fix it and then wound up posting it twice. /facepalm.
beckydaspazbeckydaspaz on May 23rd, 2012 01:44 am (UTC)
I forget just how much I really love your words, until I am waist deep in them. I could drown in your words and it would be a happy death.

This one is SO different than the other wonderful stories you have written and it just goes to show you that your talent is not limited.

I ADORE that you were brave enough to write in an OC's POV, it's always very lovely (for me anyway) to be able to see Dean or Sam from an outsiders POV, and you wrote it so very, VERY well.

Ex:It looked like he'd been swimming in soil; dusty granules showered his sandy hair like grimy pixie dust. Dirt grains clung to every pore on his face and neck, mingling with sweat and giving his skin a smudgy, lightly airbrushed appearance. His shirt had ripped just below his ribs where blood and dirt pooled to form a dark, gritty paste. And it was all so chillingly familiar, the dirt, the blood, and those damned angry eyes. It's been more than nine long, agonizing months, now. My thoughts flowed.

Gorgeous!

I also really enjoyed the nice little surprise of her brother being a Hunter, because we all know in the SPN world there has to be people like this out there. It was so damn lovely and then the Roadhouse reveal...Jesus Kat, how in the world could you ever tell someone that you know their brother is dead? I don't know. I know you posted this some time ago, but have you ever thought of a sequel where she finds out. If not, this little gem is a-okay without it, I was just wondering.

well now that I have sufficiently gushed over your story and your words have once again saved me from a spectacularlly bad mood, I guess i'll be off.

Thanks for sharing your gift!

*hugs and the like*

-Puddin'
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on May 23rd, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
No! No bad mood, Puddin'! Look...OK...look...you can totally use the word "Bro" (/twitches.../flinches.../spazzes.../overcomes the spasms). See? I'm good! (I'm so not).

Thanks for the review! Um...I think I used the outsider POV, because I was too naive to know any better at the time. /snort! So my "bravery" was nothing more than stoopidity. But I'll totally pretend I had it all under control the whole time. Fwah!

Um, a sequel. Huh. Never gave it a thought. Maybe. But knowing me, the story would then turn into a 150k word self indulgent epic. /averts eyes. So I just don't know.

You're a cutie for leaving me the review. I appreciate you so much!
tifachingtifaching on May 27th, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
I know I left a review on this at ff.net, but I wanted to leave one here too. This was gorgeous and brilliant. I loved the twist at the end.

I saw some comments above referencing the outsider POV and I've got to say, I loved it. There is, in fact, a comm devoted to outside POV spn fics. I know you are relatively new to LJ. Have you considered crossposting your fics to some of the comms? I belong to a bunch and could help you out, if you are interested. Exposing your marvelous stories to more readers could only be a good thing!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on May 27th, 2012 07:07 pm (UTC)
First off, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I totally saw what you did. I noticed a spike in my visits over the past 48 hours and bumbled into your rec. Thank you, T. Truly. I'm speechless and so very grateful. And just so you know, I did get a noticeable surge from your site, so I appreciate it very much.

Now, about this fic...SURE! You can send me any comms you think I should post to. I am utterly and completely naive about LJ. I never posted this one anywhere, because I just didn't think it really fit the h/c genre. I wound up just slapping it up in case anyone who came to read my other fics might want to read this one, too. Just PM me, darlin', and you can let me know, because I'm pretty much clueless.

Thank you again. If I could pinch your cheeks and gobble you up, I would. But that would be too creepy. So I won't. ;)
tifachingtifaching on May 27th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
I want everyone to read your awesome fic, so I recced it! I do that on occasion when I feel fantastic work isn't getting enough love. Lots of people don't read works in progress, so I'm sure when it's all up, you'll get even more of a surge in your visits.

I will PM you about the comms. Sweetie, there are comms for everything here, not just h/c. This would fit perfectly in the outside POV comm and the gen fic comm and the just plain spn_fic comm that covers all genres. That's just for starters. I haven't read Killing Me Softly yet, but when I have, if you haven't gotten the hang of crossposting yet I'll let you know where to send that one too!

LOL, I'm usually all about the creepy, but I'll skip the cheek pinching if you don't mind!
gypsy_atavarigypsy_atavari on January 28th, 2013 04:35 pm (UTC)
Just discovered this and wow! That ending there was an awesome blindside. Loved the outside POV and I think so far the only if I've read that has a medical personnel recognize one of the boys as a hunter. :-)
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 28th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! This was my very first story that I ever wrote. Was basically trying to figure out how to post! Hah. Yes...I always wondered who the other hunters were in the Road House when it burned. I figured they'd be missed by someone they loved. Wanted to highlight that a little.

Thanks so much for the very sweet comment!
askellington: Astroskullaskellington on October 5th, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
Oh very nice! What an ending!

I enjoy very much looking at the Winchesters from an outsider point of view and this was so very well done. The OC was very sympathetic and I can see Dean immediately responding to her. Thanks for sharing this excellent story!
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 5th, 2013 03:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so very much, askellington! This was my attempt to give a little dignity to the victims of the Roadhouse. I was certain that someone was surely missing those folks.

Kat
antraziantrazi on October 5th, 2013 01:16 pm (UTC)
Ouch. Should Dean tell her or not?
Great story, painful ending
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on October 5th, 2013 02:15 pm (UTC)
I always thought hat both Dean and Sam would have sought her out after Sam was released and given her...well...not piece of mind...but closure.

Thanks so much for the comment!

Kat
tarynelliotttarynelliott on January 10th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
What an awesome twist at the end. And wow, did you have Dean down to the T...or D. Whichevah. ;)

Lovely lyrical quality to the writing, and the pacing was really well done. Just enough action, introspection, and dialogue. I love how you tied it into the Roadhouse explosion. What a perfect short story.

I just found you on a recc from Spn_Gen. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Edited at 2014-01-10 02:39 am (UTC)
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 10th, 2014 03:42 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks so very, very much, tarynelliott! Yes, you know...I always wondered about those poor hunters stuck at the Roadhouse....who they were and who they left behind to mourn them.

I appreciate your words a lot...like a LOT--a lot. :) Thank you so much for the kind comment! You made my night.

Kat
tarynelliotttarynelliott on January 10th, 2014 04:01 am (UTC)
;)
Feedback is the nectar of the gods. When I find a talented writer, I always try to leave a little something.

I know each and every review I get keeps me going.

Keep on writing, and I'll keep on reading. Oh...and the kindle versions of your completed stories? LOVE. I just downloaded While Angels Watched to read.
sharlot1926sharlot1926 on January 10th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC)
So true, right? I always think of reviews as dropping a quarter into a guitar case. These poor artists are starving for just a little bit of encouragement; it's the only "pay" they receive for fanfic. So, I'm like you. I never pass up an opportunity to tell someone that I loved their work.

99% of the friends I've made in fandom has been through either leaving or receiving reviews and the discussions they spark. Which probably means that I really need to sign up for Twitter one day. LOL. But you know what I mean. ;)

Thanks again, and enjoy WAW!