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13 April 2012 @ 07:54 am
Killing Me Softly: Bad Moon Rising (Chapter 7)  

Hunters don’t process terror the way civilians do.

Killing Me Softly

Chapter Seven

Bad Moon Rising


Hunters don’t process terror the way civilians do. That natural flight-response that has normal people shrieking and running for their lives has been dulled over the years by constant, repetitive conditioning to the contrary. Hunters are almost all ‘fight’ and Sam was no different. Ghosts, spirits, black dogs, shapeshifters, hell, even evil muses are far more likely to evoke anger and hatred rather than terror. Creeping through cold-spots in the dead dark of a haunted house didn’t faze him in the slightest anymore. Breaking into a crypt to open a coffin and set a corpse ablaze was just another quiet evening at the office. At this point, Sam didn’t think there were any conditions under which he’d be able to experience terror in the traditional way. But the doctor’s finger on that green button proved that assumption entirely wrong. He could feel fear. Real, honest to god, run for your life, dive-under-the-blankets-and-cower—terror. Everything in Sam was screeching for him to turn-tail and bolt as fast and as far as he could. Anything to get away from the horror of that green button. The only thing that kept him rooted to the floor was the unshakable knowledge that his brother needed him here more than Sam needed to flee.

Here we go,”…

Sam’s heart galloped wildly as the doctor depressed the button. A few seconds had lapsed since, but nothing seemed to be happening. Sam wondered if something might have gone wrong. With the exception of the strange, sci-fi mewling sound being emitted from the machine, everything remained still and quiet in the room. Dr. Liron patted Sam’s back and walked over to the end of the table and turned to him.

“He’s doing fine, Sam. The seizure will last just a little over sixty seconds,” she said.

Sam furrowed his brow and watched his brother closely. “What do you mean?” He asked confused. “Is it…It’s happening right now?”

Dr. Liron nodded and beckoned him over. “Yes,” she said. “See?” She gently lifted Dean’s foot and Sam finally noticed that his toes were curled downward and trembling slightly. “He has approximately forty seconds left.”

She was right. This wasn’t what Sam had expected, but it did little to assuage his fear and anxiety. Whether or not his brother was visibly writhing, Dean’s brain had just been violated in one of the most brutal ways that Sam could think of. Intellectually, he knew that the muscle relaxant was keeping Dean’s muscles from straining and preventing his bones from breaking, but he almost wished Dean could physically purge the anguish that he must be feeling. Sam hated to think of his brother being trapped inside himself with no way to communicate his pain. He had to keep reminding himself that the anesthesia was preventing Dean from being aware of any of this. He internally counted down the seconds, willing them away… forty seconds…thirty seconds… He had to find the muse as quickly as possible, because no way in hell would he put Dean through this a second time. No way in hell would he be able to watch his brother go through this a second time…twenty seconds… He prayed that this would buy them the time needed to find and finish her. They just needed a couple more days, just a couple more…ten seconds… He kept his eyes fixed on Dean’s foot, pleading for the tremor to stop, for this to just be over with…three seconds…two seconds…one second… His countdown was complete but Dean’s seizure continued.

Sam had had enough.  He looked at Dr. Liron and shook her arm.  “Make this stop.  Make this stop right now!”  He grabbed his brother’s foot and tried to rub the seizure out like a cramp.  

“Calm down, Sam.  He’s going to be…” just as she was speaking Dean’s foot relaxed and the creepy electronic trilling ceased. 

Sam looked to Dr. Liron, “Is it over?” 

“It’s over, Sam.  See?  Not so bad,” she said, completely oblivious that it had, in fact, been one of the worst minutes of Sam’s entire life.  Several quiet moments passed as they monitored Dean.   

“Is anything wrong?” Sam asked, worried that they were just waiting around. 

“He’s doing fine.  The muscle relaxant makes it impossible for Dean to breathe unaided, so they have to wait for the affects to wear off and for him to start breathing on his own again.  It won’t be long.”  A few minutes passed before activity resumed around the table, and the anesthesiologist began bringing Dean back up.  He’d stopped the IV drip and adjusted the gas coming from the breathing mask.  Moving close and speaking directly into Dean’s ear he told him that the procedure was over and prompted him to open his eyes. The doctor removed the mouth guard and began tapping certain muscles, ensuring that his reflexes were returning. They spent a couple of moments just patting and rubbing him, stimulating him with touch until he started to respond with slight movements. They kept a close eye, too, on the heart monitor to make sure his heart’s rhythm had not been affected by the electric shock, but everything seemed to be fine. Sam watched his brother’s eyes flutter open and close several times before he succeeded in getting them to stay open for a few seconds at a time. Sam tried to move toward the head of the table so that he could let Dean see him, but Dr. Liron held him back. “Just give them a minute, Sam.”

Dean emerged slowly. At first his focus was little more than that of an infant, his eyes meandered aimlessly with no apparent programming or set destination. Then, when his pupils finally fired with thought, there appeared to be little organization to it. Minutes passed and he seemed to grow more alert and responsive, but his disorientation grew right alongside his returning senses.

“Whhh th’fuu?” Dean struggled to get his mouth to work, but the words came out such a garbled mess that Sam was sure that he was the only one who could have translated them. It was far easier to pick up on Dean’s meaning from the expression of annoyance and perplexity that washed over his face. Sam could see Dean trying to right himself as he looked from doctor to doctor. The anesthesiologist bent close to Dean’s face again and tried to reassure him that everything had gone well, but having a strange face that close to him in his present state of confusion only caused Dean to go into battle-mode. He tried to headbutt the doctor and spring away. Luckily for the doctor his headbutt was no more than a lethargic thump and his ‘spring’ a sluggish flop. However, the outburst caused a sudden and decisive flurry of action. Within seconds, several hands were grabbing and pinioning his brother’s arms and legs. Sam heard the word “restraints” being shouted out. The hunter instincts in Dean took over and despite being drugged out of his body and mind, he began fighting for what he thought was his very life. He seemed truly surprised that he had no strength or control over his limbs. When he saw the restraints being brought out, he let out a heart-wrenching primal wail of helplessness and frustration as he continued to fight. Sam’s instincts also kicked in at that moment and he sprung immediately into the fray.

He tore himself loose from Dr. Liron and pushed his way to get to Dean. “Stop! Don’t do that! Let me through!” he shouted. “Dean!” He bent down toward his addled brother. Dean flung out a hand that had escaped the grip of the doctor during the melee over the restraints, and he tried to bat Sam away. Sam caught the hand and turned Dean toward him. “Dean!” Sam said in a stern tone. “It’s me. It’s Sam. Don’t fight me, man.” Dean squinted and looked suspiciously at Sam and then recognition flooded his face.

“S’mmy?” he said trying to work the word around a half-paralyzed tongue.

“Yeah, Dean. It’s me. You’re safe, I promise you. Just don’t fight us. You’re going to be OK. I’m right here, Dean,” Sam soothed, gently pushing his brother back down onto the gurney.

Dean’s face reflected a thousand questions, but he trusted his brother and allowed Sam to guide him back down. “Wh’r m’I?” he fumbled.

“You’re in the hospital. You’re going to be fine, but you can’t fight these people, Dean. Be good and let them help you.” Sam patted his brother’s chest and rubbed his shoulder.

“M’head h’rts. D’I fall?” he asked.

“Something like that, man. Don’t worry about that right now. Just lie still for a minute.” Dean relaxed and nodded to Sam, promising his cooperation. Sam turned to the doctors. “I’m sorry. He’ll lie quiet now, please, please don’t restrain him.”

After several minutes of continued monitoring, they wheeled his brother into the recovery room. Dr. Liron stayed with them. Once Sam had reassured Dean that he was safe he had closed his eyes, surrendering to the drugs and his complete exhaustion. He hadn’t opened them since. Knowing that Dean hadn’t had any proper sleep in days, Sam was grateful that is brother was finally resting, but he still needed to know if the procedure had worked. Dean had spoken directly to him, which was more than he’d done almost all day, but he was anxious to find out his brother’s current state. “Can I talk to him?” Sam asked.

“Sure, for a minute, but he really needs to get rest now. Keep in mind that he’s not going to remember much at first.” She situated his IV line and injected something into it. “For pain and nausea, she said. Best to be safe,” she explained. She gave Sam a cup of water and a straw. “Give him a little of this if he wants it. I’ll be right back,” she said, leaving them alone.

Sam bent down and gently rubbed his brother’s cheek with the back of his hand. “Dean, wake up for just a minute for me,” he softly tapped his chest. Dean opened his sleepy eyes. “Hey man, how you doin’?”

“W’s gonna ask you that,” Dean licked his dry lips with a thick, sluggish tongue. He slowly reached up and rubbed his jaw as though he’d taken a blow to the face. “Wh’r m’I?”

Sam held the cup of water that Dr. Liron had given him and helped him drink. Dean drank more than half of it in one go. “You’re in the hospital, man. You’re name is Dean Berkowitz, try not to forget the last name. What’s the last thing you remember, Dean?”

“Uhhnh, I th’nk I fell?” Dean guessed, letting the weight of his eyes get the better of him.

“Yeah, you did, but that was days ago. Listen Dean, I know things aren’t going to make much sense for a little bit, but you have to trust me, OK?” Sam gently patted his brother’s chest to get him to open his eyes again. “Open a second, Dean.” His brother did has he was asked. “You hear me? You just relax and don’t fight anyone, OK?”

“OK, S’mmy,” he agreed. “I’mma sl’p now, K?” He nodded and closed his eyes.

“Dean, wait. I know you’re tired. I want you to look at me for just a moment.” Dean opened his eyes and looked. “Do you see anything?”

“Jus’ yer fr’kish face.” Dean gave him a sloppy grin.

“Cute,” Sam placated. Dean’s eyes closed again. He shook him slightly until Dean responded and looked at him. “Anything? Any colors?” Dean’s brow furrowed and he stared at Sam as though he was speaking Chinese. Sam tapped his brother’s chest. “Do you hear anything funky? Any bells? Do you hear any music, Dean? I need to know.”

“Th’fuck ‘r you on, dude?” Despite his complete exhaustion, Dean looked at his brother worriedly. “You OK?”

“I’m fine, Dean. Just humor me. Nothing? You don’t see or hear anything strange?” Sam saw it coming. “Besides me, dude.”

Dean looked at him a slow, drowsy moment. “I dun h’r or see anythin’ odd, Sam,” he gently condescended. He didn’t know what he’d done to earn it, but Sam’s face splintered into the most genuine smile he’d seen in a long time, since before he left for Stanford, in fact. Christ, how he’d missed that. It was pure, golden sunlight in a cold, black night.

“That’s good, man.” Sam felt a little faint as a tingling pang of relief surge through him. He took just a moment to stand there and sponge it up, to just feel his overwhelming gratitude. “That’s awesome.” Sam looked at his watch. Two hours until moonrise. He looked back to Dean who had faded and was nearly asleep. “Listen, Dean. I have to go for a little while, but I promise I’ll be back in just a few hours. You get some rest, man. OK?”

“K S’mm…” He slurred as sleep stole his last syllable.

Dr. Liron came in just as Sam was pocketing Dean’s small baggy with his amulet and other jewelry for safe keeping. “Did he wake up for you?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Sam looked at her gratefully. “I think it worked. He isn’t seeing any colors or hearing anything. Of course right now he doesn’t remember that he ever had. And he’s sleeping now, that’s something that wasn’t possible for going on two days.”

Dr. Liron smiled. “That’s good, Sam. I’m going to let him rest for a while before I wake him for any tests.” She looked at him as he was collecting his things. “Going somewhere?”

He tore out the page with the list on it from the sketchbook and pocketed it. “Yeah, I have to leave for a few hours. I have a lead on whoever is doing this. I’ll be back later tonight. You have my cell number if anything happens. I hate to leave with him not understanding what’s happening, but I have no choice.”

“All right, Sam,” she said. “I was figuring on staying late tonight to finish up some paperwork. I’ll keep an eye on him and get him settled in his room in a little bit.”

“I appreciate that.” He turned at the door. “I want to thank you for everything you’ve done. Really. You’ve been more help than you’ll ever know.”

She smiled. “It’s no problem Sam. I’ll be here when you get back.”


Sam didn’t have much hope, but this was all he could think of with time running out. He ran back toward the motel and drove around the corner to where they had walked home from the poetry reading the other night. He spied the store he’d seen a few nights ago, Erato’s Wiccan Apothecary, and parked the car.

The store was mostly as he feared, New Age gimcrack and gimmicks. There were, however, several jars of spell ingredients and herbs behind the counter. He walked up and nodded to the exotic, young woman tending the till. Her hair was as long as Jessica’s but jet black and partially swooped up in a knot behind her head, leaving several tendrils to frame the plethora of amulets and charms she was wearing around her neck.

“Hail and well met!” She said to Sam. “I’m Era, how can I help you this evening? Her smile was warm and genuine and even though Sam didn’t put much stock in mainstream, New Age crap as Dean would say, he was, he hated to admit it, oddly attracted to her ‘energy’. OK, if he had to be totally honest, she was sexy as hell in her light tank-top and form-fitting hip huggers, but still.

“Hi Era, I’m Sam. I am looking for a few items, I’m really hoping you might have, or if not, maybe you know where I can get them?” He smiled.

“Sure, Sam. What do you need?”

Sam got out his list that Caleb had given him and rattled off the items. “Um, I need dragon’s blood ink, green laurel, linseeds, black hen feathers, charcoal, some candles, a hanging sieve and a censer. Oh, and I need some hemp rope if you have it.”

“I can help you out with everything but the hemp rope, but that shouldn’t be a problem. There’s a shop just a couple doors down that sells hemp fabric. I think they carry hemp twine and rope,” she said. She busied herself about getting the items. “So you’re looking for a thief?”

“I’m sorry?” Sam asked confused.

“A thief?” she asked. “You know,” she nodded, “the ingredients? Aren’t they for the thief-revealing spell? I assumed that’s what you were doing. Are you trying to find out who’s stolen something from you?” She began to collect the items and set them on the counter.

“Well, in a manner of speaking yes.” Sam wasn’t sure what particular spell Bobby had given Caleb, but he supposed it was a related spell in any case. “Well, no, somebody who’s stolen something from my brother, actually,” he corrected himself.

“Ah, I see. Well if you’re going to be casting the spell, don’t forget to have one of his personal belongings on you when you do the ritual, otherwise it won’t work properly.” She bagged up the ingredients and smiled. “Anything else for you Sam?”

Sam looked at his watch. He had just enough time to run next door and grab the rope and get back to the motel. “No. Thanks very much Era. You’ve been a huge help.”


The hell if it wasn’t just like those doctors and nurses to jab you, poke you, prod you and then force you to wake up out of a dead sleep just so that they can give you something to put you right back down, for fuck’s sake. He was so very tired, but as hard as he tried to ignore her, she just wouldn’t shut up. He sighed and opened his eyes. Nice. Short, petite, big eyes, dark hair and dimples. He loved dimples. OK, maybe she had about ten years on him, but she was smokin’ hot and, really, age was no major barrier, especially if you looked like her. He pulled out all the stops and gave her his sexiest smile, the same killer smile that women had been falling for ever since he was fifteen years old. She said something to him, but he didn’t catch it. She was probably saying hello. “Heyyy sweehrrr,” he answered, but his tongue wasn’t working. He moistened his lips casually, with just hint of sensual suggestiveness. He’d learned that in most cases less was more. He tried again. “Sweeeee hhhhhhhrrrr.” Huh, he’d lost his T’s somewhere. Fuck it. It didn’t matter. Who needs ‘em? Suddenly, she was prying his lids open and flickin’ her Bic at him and saying something that made no sense. Doctors. Always with their damn lights. Jesus H. Christ. “Jeeees Ayyy!” He didn’t care how hot she was, he really let her have it and swatted both her hand and the offending light away. For being five-foot-nothing, though, she was probably one of the strongest women he’d ever encountered. She didn’t seem to have much of a problem pulling his hands away as she continued to babble and shine her damn light. His muscles were sore as hell. That must be the reason she was able to get the jump on him. Still, he wouldn’t want to arm wrestle her. Wouldn’t mind mud-wrestling her, though. Heh-heh. “Mu’wressle? Heh heh!” He gave her another winning smile. She smiled coyly in return and tried to make a move on him, caressing his ear erotically and drawing a suggestive, naughty finger down the length of his jaw and onto his neck. Putty in his hands. Every damn time. Man, he’d love to oblige her, but he just couldn’t keep his eyes open another minute. “M’be lat’r,” he offered with a sly, little wink before sleep latched on and yanked hard.


Dr. Liron quietly sat at a work table in the recovery room with several case folders in front of her. She thought she’d be able to catch up, but she just wasn’t into it. She couldn’t stop thinking about the young man laying four feet from her. Every once in a while a certain patient would catch her off guard, work on her heart strings and motherly instincts. She’d rarely seen such misery in a patient as she had seen in those green eyes. Just as rare was the absolute devotion and support she’d witnessed in his brother, Sam. He’d been unrelenting in his brother’s behalf this whole time. Fact of the matter is, she’d come to care about both of these two boys. She wasn’t necessarily sold on their story, but she was absolutely convinced of their sincerity. She looked at her watch. It was coming up on 9:00pm. She was tired, but she’d try to stay until Sam got back. She still had to get Dean settled in a room. She looked at her patient who was sleeping soundly and went to go check on him.

She touched his shoulder lightly and called his name. “Dean. I want you to open your eyes for me, OK?” She got no answer, but the heart monitor and the change in his breathing showed that he was hearing her. “Come on Dean.” She gently shook his shoulder. “Dean I need you to open your eyes for me for just a little bit, now.” She kept at it for another minute before he finally opened his eyes with a sigh. It took another moment for them to focus. His eyes passed over her and his mouth opened in an agonized, almost constipated-like grimace. “Dean, are you in pain?” she asked in growing concern.

“Heyyy sweehrrr,” he slurred. He looked baffled, sloppily licked his lips with a languid, flailing tongue and repeated, “Sweeeee hhhhhhhrrrr.”

Dr. Liron lifted his lids and flashed her penlight. She wanted to make sure there was proper pupil response. “Hold still for me a second Dean, I just want to check your eyes. You don’t like that much, I know. I’m sorry about that.” Hopefully it was just the painkillers, exhaustion, and post ECT confusion doing the talking for him right now. The poor kid didn’t need any more neurological problems or complications, he’d been through enough. Everything looked good, though. Ever the fighter, Dean started batting her away.

“Jeeees Ayyy!” he griped. Well, sometimes being combative was a good sign. Dr. Liron was actually encouraged by his response. She easily held both of his arms down with one hand while she finished her test.

“You’re doing really well, Dean. You’re going to be feeling much better in no time, you hear me?” She turned off her penlight and offered her patient an encouraging nod.

Dean looked at her. “Mu’wressle? Heh heh!” he bared his teeth, crinkled his nose and grimaced again. Dr. Liron was concerned about his pain level with all the grimacing and wincing he’d been doing, but she couldn’t give him any more pain meds for another hour. She smiled worriedly and checked him for fever. She felt the soft crease behind his ear but he wasn’t too warm. She moved down and checked the pulse on his neck, but that too it was fairly strong. The poor guy had just been through hell, he was just out of it with the painkillers and exhaustion, not to mention everything else. She’d keep an eye on him to make sure his discomfort didn’t get any worse.

“M’be lat’r,” he garbled as both his eyes began twitching erratically. He was sound asleep a few seconds after that. Dr. Liron patted him with motherly fondness. Poor kid was loopy as hell. Sleep was the best thing for him right now.


It was almost moonrise. Sam was still setting up the altar and getting everything ready. It had taken him some time to get the necessary runes written on the sieve with the dragon’s blood ink. Caleb had emailed him a copy of the characters but the script was unknown to him, so it took a while to copy correctly. He set up the candles and began burning the incense. He looked at the time. Moonrise had begun. Taking out Dean’s amulet he placed it around his neck, just to be sure. He poured the linseeds into the censer and began to heat them. According to the instructions Caleb gave him, everything was ready. He took a shaky breath and intoned, Dies Mies Yes-Chet, Bene Done Fet, Donnima Metamauz.

Nothing happened. Sam looked around the room expectantly, but everything was quiet. He waited another minute and checked the censer. The seeds were there and the heat was directly on them, so it wasn’t that. He said the words again, just to make sure, but the room remained quiet and still.

“Fuck!” Sam spewed. He let out a miserable sigh and went to grab the censer to throw in anger, when he heard a small popping sound. He stopped all movement and didn’t even breathe. The linseeds were finally popping from the heat applied to the censer. Grabbing it, he spilled the seeds onto the sieve where they shimmied and jostled around. “Come on, come on. Work!” Sam urged. The seeds continued to pop and stutter even after they appeared to have cooled, and over the course of the next minute or two, the seeds began to organize themselves on the sieve. The seeds slowly skipped and stuttered into letters. Two clear, undeniable initials took shape. Sam’s eyes narrowed and he released a maledictory hiss. “You Bitch!”


It was 9:15pm and Sam hadn’t shown back up. Dr. Liron would get Dean settled in a room and give Sam a call with the room number. She stretched her back. It was late, and she really could use a glass of wine or three. It had been a long, exhausting, but ultimately rewarding day. Dean was doing better, and all indications so far pointed to a full cessation of his Synesthesia, at least for now. It would probably be a long road to pinpoint what was causing it, but at least he wasn’t being tormented anymore. In the morning she would contact her colleagues that she’d been in touch with about the case and let them know that the patient was back under her care. This was going to be one for the journals.

She stood up and checked on Dean. He was sleeping soundly and peacefully. She patted him with genuine fondness and went to find some help getting Dean up to a room. The door opened just as she was reaching for it.

Expecting Sam she was a little confused and taken aback when she was met by a short, petite woman about Sam’s age. Thinking she was lost, Dr. Liron cocked her head to the side. “Can I help you find something?”

The young woman looked past her to the bed and then back. “No thanks,” she said flatly. “I found what I was looking for.”

Dr. Liron felt a strange pull in her solar plexus followed by a whoosh, like the nauseating centripetal force of a tilt-a-whirl and suddenly found herself being propelled backwards toward the far wall near the extra IV poles and medical miscellanea. Her head met the plaster wall and her breath was knocked clean away. She saw a burst of sparks before everything went gray for a moment. Thought and pain met somewhere in the middle and she shook her head to get her sight to return. Her first instinct was to reach up and touch where her head had hit the wall, but her hand wouldn’t budge. It was being held to the wall by some kind of force. Her thoughts were slow and stupid and nothing was making much sense, but she could see the young woman who had come to the door coolly approach her. She tried to ask her what was going on, but her throat wouldn’t process any sound.

“I want you to tell Sam something for me,” she said with simple indifference. Again, Dr. Liron tried to lift her head off the wall, to move, to say something but none of it was happening. “Tell him that Dean’s mine. He can’t hurt me. If he doesn’t want to be next, he’ll stay away from us.” A horrible smile bisected her face and she put her finger to her lips. “Now you be good and quiet for just a bit,” she said. Dr. Liron struggled to say something, but it was pretty apparent that silence was her only option, here. The girl backed away with a lighthearted shrug of malicious delight. She winked and pulled the curtain around the bed, blocking Dean from her view.


Again with the interruptions. Dean groaned as he fought against the heavy gravitational pull of sleep in order to get the constant shaking to stop. An earnest voice was calling him, distressed, worried. He could have sworn it said something about Sam. He wrenched himself into awareness on that basis alone. It took a moment for his eyes to focus. “Whaa?” he squinted at the face above him.

“Dean, I’m so sorry. You have to wake up. You have to. Sam’s in trouble, you have to help him,” the face said. Familiar. He’d met her somewhere.

“Wha’s goin’ on?” Dean rubbed his forehead. His head was killing him. “Sam?”

“He needs you, Dean. Something’s happened. He needs your help. Dean, can you hear me?” The girl was waving her hands in front of his face in an excited hurry. She had said something about Sam. “Dean, come on. We don’t have much time,” she urged.

Dean stared at her. He remembered now. It was that chick from the poetry reading last night, the one who didn’t like the poetry any more than he had. What was her name, again? “Leana?”

She breathed a sigh of relief. “Yes, yes, it’s me, Leana. Dean, please wake up. You have to come with me. We need to go find Sam. He’s in terrible danger.” Dean came alive at that and started struggling to sit up. She reached her arm around him and helped him into a sitting position.

“Where is he?” he asked as Leana tossed him a plastic bag of clothes that had been next to the bed. He started pulling out the clothes. He had to look closely to make sure they were his because everything was spackled with paint. He’d no idea how that had happened. Oh, right, he’d been painting a picture. Hadn’t he? It didn’t make a damn bit of sense. Something was so wrong, here. He wanted to slow down and think, but this girl was acting like the place was on fire and his head was throbbing.

“He’s at the concert hall where the composer died,” she said as she pulled off his heart monitor and removed the IV from his arm.

“Composer? He winced as she pulled at his IV line roughly. Blood ran down his arm in a little stream. He grabbed at it. “Wha’ composer?”

“Never mind for right now. I’ll explain everything later. You hit your head, so you’re a little rattled.” She helped him slip on his shirt and got his jeans up to his knees. “Do you think you can stand?”

He really didn’t think so, but he had no choice. Sammy was in trouble. He’d manage. “I can do it.” He swung his legs off the bed and nearly tumbled right to the floor, but Leana strove to support him.

“Hang on to me,” she offered. Breathing heavily, he leaned against her. His vision was snowy and his thoughts were swimming.  His head was just not right. With more effort than he thought should be necessary, he tried to reach down to pull up his pants, but every muscle protested the action. He started to tip over. “I’ve got it, Dean,” she offered. She pulled the jeans up high enough for him to be able to grab them without bending.

Dean was beyond humiliated. “Thanks,” he said and wondered what the hell had happened to him. She helped him to sit and held his shoes steady while he worked his feet into them.

She was nearly frantic. “We have to get out of here, now, Dean. Sam doesn’t have much time.” She draped his arm over her shoulder and forged quickly for the door, opening it and pushing him out into the hallway.

Dr. Liron had been listening with utter disbelief as she fought against whatever it was that was holding her fast. She saw Leana helping Dean out, but his back was turned away from her, and she could not get a single sound out. As the girl pushed Dean out, she turned and smiled wide, entirely unnatural. She put her finger up to her lips, mocking her silence and waved cheerfully. She turned back to Dean full of concern, reaching for him to offer a steady hand and shut the door behind her.

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