The title is from "Hey Jude" by the Beatles, which is of course the song Mary sang to wee Dean when he was sick, and has very little to do with this fic, but I find titles troublesome and problematic and ask that you roll with it.
It takes Dean a second to remember that he's Mr. Thomas. "Here!" he says. He stands, stiff and awkward from both the uncomfortable waiting room chair and the beating he took before he ended up in the uncomfortable waiting room chair. "I'm Dean Thomas. Is Sam okay?"
The doctor is young and tired-looking, and she eyes him warily. "You're not Sam's father..."
"I'm his brother. Is he okay?"
"Sam is going to be fine." She looks Dean up and down, and he doesn't know what she's looking for, but he knows he doesn't like it. "Why don't you come with me?"
He eagerly follows her, but she doesn't take him back to the patient area. Instead she leads him to a small office labeled Consultation Room, where Dean freezes. Because if anything screams we need a private place to tell you your brother's dead, it's a room off the ER called "Consultation Room," and if he walks in there, she's going to say it. He stands motionless in the doorway and tries to swallow, but his throat is as dry as the old bones he just burned.
"Sam," he croaks. "You said he was going to be fine."
Luckily, she gets it immediately. "Yes. He is. He's going to be just fine." She puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder and steers him into the room. "I just want to talk to you for a minute." Dean slumps into a more comfortable chair across from a small desk and waits for the awful adrenaline rush of Sam is dead to subside. The doctor - and he doesn't even know her name, which seems unfair, considering that she probably saved Sam's life - takes a seat behind the desk and places her hands on top, nervously drumming with her fingertips. "Are your parents here?"
"Oh, is that what this is about? It's okay. I'm twenty-one." It's a lie, of course, but he's got a pretty good fake ID that will back it up. "Our dad's out of town, but I've got a letter authorizing me to make decisions about Sam's care. I don't have it on me, but I can go get it."
"No, it's not that." She looks him up and down again, and he tries to assess his condition from memory. Jeans - torn and dirty, possibly stained with Sam's blood. Jacket - same. Hands - bruised, blood under the fingernails. Face - possibly scratched, probably not bruised or badly cut.
"So..." she begins tentatively. "Do you and Sam live with your parents?"
"With our dad. Like I said, he's out of town right now, but I've got a letter -"
"No, no, that's fine. That's not. The thing is." She sighs. "Okay. Sam was pretty badly injured, but my biggest concern was the possibility of a spinal injury, and I don't see any evidence of that on his x-rays. All of his injuries should heal with time and treatment. However, he's got several older injuries that I'm concerned about." She leans in and holds eye contact for an uncomfortably long time. Dean sees and raises her on the eye contact, because now he knows where this is going, and he knows his role. "Broken collar bone, both arms broken, multiple rib fractures. When I asked him about them -"
Dean interrupts. "You talked to him? He's conscious?"
"Yes. And when I asked him about his injuries, he said 'I'm clumsy' and then refused to speak further."
Damn. Sam must have really been knocked loopy if he couldn't think of a better story than that. At least he was smart enough not to take it any further.
"Can I see him?"
"Mr. Thomas. You have to understand that these injuries are suspicious. They're not the kind of injuries you get from being clumsy. And the fact that he refuses to discuss them is also potentially indicative of... " She stops and sighs again, clearly uncomfortable with what she has to do, which works in Dean's favor. "And you, yourself, look like you've been... Dean. Are you and you brother safe at home?"
Oh, concerned doctor lady. You have no idea.
"I got banged up finding Sam. When he fell through the floor of that old house, he took a lot of lumber with him. I had move it all to get to him." He has to shove down the memory of running downstairs, calling out to his brother and getting no response, pulling the rotten lumber off him piece by piece and finding him pale and broken underneath. If Sam's hurt that bad, this isn't going to be a sneak-out-at-shift-change situation, this is going to be a smile-and-convince-them-you're-not-being-a
"Mmm hmm. What about Sam's previous injuries?"
Dean gives her a well-practiced sad little half smile. "It was a car wreck. Sam was in a really bad car wreck in Mexico a few years ago. He almost died."
She narrows her eyes. "And all of his injuries were from a car wreck a few years ago?"
Shit. Of course a recent injury would look different on an x-ray. Which arm did Sam break this year? "Yeah. Like I said, it was really bad. And his right arm wasn't set straight, so he had to get it re-broken and re-set a few months ago. Don't even get me started on Mexican doctors." He sends a silent apology to the doctors of Mexico, who are probably perfectly fine doctors and don't deserved to be badmouthed just because Dean needs an international incident to excuse why the medical records from Sam's horrible car wreck aren't available, and why one of his injuries is fresher than the others.
"So why do you think he didn't tell me about it?"
Might as well go all the way. "Our mom was driving. She didn't make it. Sammy's been pretty messed up since then. Won't even talk about it with me and Dad, let alone you guys."
"I'm sorry," she murmurs, and Dean knows she has taken the bait. Just gotta reel her in.
"He's been acting out a lot lately. Getting into trouble. Dad got this new job offer and thought a change of scenery might do him good, but. Well."
"Oh, is that why he was in the old Buell place?"
Dean affects a touch of confusion. "The Buell place? You mean the house I found him in?"
"Yes. The EMTs said they picked him up there. The local kids say it's haunted. It's a popular hangout for all kinds of troublemakers." She claps a hand over her mouth. "Oh, not that your brother, I mean -"
"No," Dean laughs, "it's okay. He's been kind of a troublemaker since we moved here. He was seeing a counselor back in our hometown, but he hasn't got hooked up with a new one here yet."
"Mmmm, I can help you out there." She rummages through the drawers of the desk until she finds a small box. "Here's some people who specialize in troubled teens" she says, handing Dean a couple of business cards. "I think either of them would be really good for Sam's issues."
Dean smiles brightly and stands up to tuck the cards into his pocket. "That's awesome. Thanks so much. Can I see him now?"
"Of course" As she leads him away, rattling off the list of Sam's new injuries (it's an extensive list that makes him realize she probably did save his life, and Dean feels a pang of guilt for lying to her), he makes a mental note to teach Sam the awesome story of the Mexican car wreck. Life is going to be so much easier when the little shit can pass for eighteen.