Title: Missing Pieces
Category: hurt/comfort, angst
Characters: Sam, Dean, Bobby, John, Caleb
Rating: R (language, violence)
Summary: Pre-series AU, Sam is seriously injured while saving a friend at Stanford and is left without a literal leg to stand on.
A/N: This was written as a fill for the oh_sam fic challenge and this prompt fromcaptclooless: Due to some incident at Stanford (fire, building collapse, Sam being an idiot hero, whatever you want~) Sam is left one leg short. You can read the full prompt here: http://ohsam.livejournal.com/340216.html?thread=2071544#t2071544. I tried my darndest to not stray too far from the prompt, but there are some elements that are different. However, I feel I stayed within the spirit of what was asked from the prompter.
Additionally, I have this story all written, but what started out as something I wanted to do as a one-shot, blew up in my face and turned out to be over 25,000 words. However, since I want my writing to at least resemble coherent English, I will be posting this fic one chapter at a time so I can edit this as I go along. Hopefully, I will be able to get a chapter up every day or two until it is all posted, but it will not be included with the fic challenge masterpost until it is all up.
10 months ago
The fight started at dinner on a hot, summer evening in early August.
After months of studying, planning, saving money and keeping it all a secret to himself, Sam finally found the courage within himself to let his father and brother in on his plans for college. After they all had eaten a dinner of take-out fried chicken, Sam suddenly found himself blurting out the offer for a full-ride scholarship to Stanford University and that he was going to go.
Sam wasn’t an optimist and he never expected his father to take the news well, but he hadn’t expected him to nearly upend the table and go right into yelling at him at the top of his lungs, his face beet-red with anger. Sam looked to Dean for help, but his brother shrunk back, shock and anger registering on his face over the news. Clearly torn between the two of them, his brother stayed uncharacteristically silent and out of the fight, doing nothing to break it up, and eventually leaving the room while Sam and his father traded hurtful barbs.
The final straw came when Sam made a break for the exit, having had enough of the back and forth shouting. His plan was just to go outside and cool off for a few minutes, then come back in and try to rationally explain his reasons for leaving. But, his father was on him before he could make it to the door, grabbing his shoulder, pulling him from the door and shoving him hard into the wall.
“You selfish little prick” His father shouted into his face, “We are your family and you want to just up and leave when we need you the most? You really want to do that to us – to your brother?”
Sam stared at his father speechlessly, his tongue refusing to work.
“Fine.” Dad hissed in disgust when Sam didn’t answer him, “You want to go – GO! You don’t want to be a part of this family then fine -- you’re out. Go do whatever the fuck you want, Sam.” His father’s eyes engaged Sam’s with intense anger as he delivered his final admonishment, “Just don’t ever come back.”
Sam broke away from his father and wordlessly headed for the bedroom he and Dean shared. His brother was already in the room, but he had heard every word of their fight.
“Don’t tell me you’re really leaving, Sam. Dad’s just mad that you kept this from us – he didn’t mean it.”
“Like Hell he didn’t.” Sam replied, shoving clothes into his bag while anger and a choking sorrow nearly made it impossible to speak. “You heard the man – I’m out of this family.”
Sam slung his pack over his shoulder and turned his back on Dean to leave when his brother grabbed his wrist and pulled him back.
“Sam … wait.”
Sam stopped and found himself face to face with Dean. His stoic, macho, ‘never let ‘em see you cry’ big brother had unshed tears glistening in his eyes, “Don’t get me wrong -- I’m pissed as hell that you didn’t tell me this sooner and I wish you would change your mind and stay. But, I get why you want to go – I know how much you hate hunting.”
“You could come with me, Dean.” Sam suggested hopefully, but Dean shook his head.
“I can’t. Dad needs me and what we do is important, even if you don’t see that. But … no matter what Dad said, Sammy -- You’ll always be family – and my little brother, got it?”
Sam swallowed convulsively and nodded, unable stop his own tears from falling when Dean pulled him into a tight hug. His brother let him go after that, literally as much as figuratively.
10 months later, Sam still struggled to push thoughts of Dean and his guilt over leaving him behind out of his mind. But, no matter how many times his fingers punched in Dean’s phone number, he just couldn’t bring himself to follow through with the call – too afraid that his brother might not answer because something terrible had happened to him or that he just didn’t ever want to speak to Sam again.
He tried to put his past where it belonged -- in his past. Yet, his thoughts often drifted to his family and he couldn’t help but think about what they were doing now – how they were …
Whether they were alive or dead…
He tried not to dwell on them – he had to believe that Dean and his father were alright, that they were the best at what they did and that they were damn-near indestructible. Throughout his freshman year instead, he studied hard, made good grades, got a part-time job at a convenience store near campus, and tried to live as ‘normal’ a life as possible.
But, it was on a rather ordinary day just as summer break had begun, that Sam’s life suddenly took a complete 180 and changed in ways that he never saw coming.
That afternoon, Sam was laying on his bed, reading a Tom Clancy novel when the door to his room suddenly opened and in walked Brady, his roommate since Freshman orientation and now his best friend.
Brady was planning on spending the summer back at his hometown in Minnesota and was supposed to be packing before his flight took off the next morning. However, he was a chronic procrastinator and never one to get anything done on time; he lived by the motto ‘why do today what you can put-off until tomorrow?’ True to his nature, Brady seemed in no hurry to start packing and sure enough, rather than grabbing his suitcase, he picked up his basketball from the corner of the room and started to dribble it across the tiled floor.
Sam let it go for a minute or two, but soon the constant bouncing of the ball began to grate on his nerves. Sure, Brady was a great guy and he’d do just about anything for his friends, but he was always moving and could never be still. There were times when Sam just wanted to tie him up and pump him full of Ritalin just to get him to settle down.
“Brady …” Sam flopped his book down with a sigh, “Shouldn’t you be packing?”
“Nah – I’ll do it in the morning.”
Bounce, bounce, bounce.
Bounce, bounce, bounce.
“You think that maybe you could do that outside?”
“Oh – is this bothering you?”
Bounce, bounce, bounce.
Sam glared at him.
“Alright … I’ll stop, but you should come with me to the basketball court, there’s always a pick-up game or two going on and it’ll be fun … besides, you can’t spend all summer inside reading.”
Sam pulled a face. Despite his height, his athletic physique, and everyone’s belief that he had to be on the basketball team, he wasn’t terribly good at the game.
Brady continued to press Sam to come with him, “C’mon -- the weather’s nice and I’ll be gone for the rest of the summer. This is my last chance to get you out on the court.”
Sam sighed, beaten. He really would miss his friend over the break since he was one of the few people he had gotten to know the past year, so he settled on spending the rest of the afternoon with him; even if it meant playing that stupid game.
“Fine,” Sam relented and put down his book, “Let’s go – but just for a little while, I got to work the graveyard shift at the store tonight and I need to be able to stay awake.”
Brady grinned as Sam slipped on some sneakers and followed him out to the basketball courts across the street from the dorms. Surprisingly, Sam played pretty well and was actually enjoying the games and getting some exercise. They ended up spending several hours playing with a few other guys in a series of 3 on 3 games until the sun had set and darkness settled over the courts, making it too hard to play any longer.
By the time they were done, Sam was sticky and dripping sweat, but he felt really good.
Breathing hard after shooting one last basket, Brady slapped him on the back, “Great game.” He told him.
“Yeah … that was actually pretty fun.” Sam agreed, “But, I need to get back to the room and shower before going to work.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Brady grinned devilishly, “You stink.”
Sam laughed, playfully grabbed the ball, and started back for the dorms ahead of his friend. Brady quickly followed after him then suddenly snatched the ball from his hands and took off across the street without looking.
Sam saw the dark blue sedan before Brady did.
Given the speed of the car and the way it swerved dangerous all over the road, the driver had to be drunk or under the influence of something, and he was making a beeline directly for his roommate. There wasn’t any time to call out to his friend and it was pure instinct that propelled him forward as the car barreled down the road. Sam ran at a sprint, desperate to make it to Brady before the car made impact and he darted across the road just in time to push him out of the way.
He tackled Brady to the pavement and they landed in a heap, scraping across the rough pavement. For a split second, Sam believed they were in the clear, that the car would miss them. But, as soon as that thought went through his brain, the front wheels of the two-ton vehicle hit his legs with crushing force, bones audibly snapping under the weight as it rolled over them. Something caught on Sam’s foot and his body was dragged away from Brady across the blacktop and pulled underneath the vehicle’s hot chassis.
He could feel skin rip as the pavement tore through it.
Heat and searing pain erupted across his body while the car continued to roll and drag him along without stopping, but he was in too much shock to believe this was actually happening to him – it was like seeing it happen to someone else in a cheap, slow-mo action sequence from one of those Steven Seagal movies Dean used to make him watch; as though it couldn’t possibly be real.
The noise of the engine just above his head roared in his ears and suddenly, the car sped up and whatever had trapped him underneath it, snapped free. Sam had only one thought in his head and that was to roll away, but there wasn’t enough time for him to get both of his legs clear of the back wheels before the back driver’s side tire caught him in the middle of his left shin.
His leg exploded in renewed, white hot and blinding agony as it was torn to shreds.
The car never stopped – it sped off at top speed, never once slowing down while Sam’s body rolled until he was lying on his back and staring up at the clear night sky.
The stars above twinkled and shined then swirled together and spun dizzyingly until Sam had to close his eyes before he was sick. Every nerve ending in his body shot a chorus of signals to his brain that created an overwhelming cacophony of pain and fear as a sinking realization struck him:
He was going to die.
A wave of coldness swept over him and he wanted to move, to get off of the hard surface of the pavement since he didn’t want to die in the middle of the street. But, none of his limbs would respond and he was shaking and shivering too hard to control them. At the same time, his teeth chattered loudly in his head and he tasted iron-rich blood on his tongue and as it filled his mouth, it dribbled out from its corners and tried to choke him while it slid down his throat.
“Sam! Oh God, oh god, oh god …” He heard being repeated over and over as he felt warm hands on his face, cupping his cheeks, “Help’s coming – just hang on …”
He forced his eyes to open and the sight of the night sky was replaced by a blurry, darkened face, haloed by short, light colored hair that was lit up around the edges by a streetlight shining behind it. He couldn’t make out his features, but he could hear him speaking to him in a frightened voice that was drifting and floating farther and farther away.
“Stay with me, Sam.”
His eyes refused to stay open any longer and they slid shut on their own accord.
I’m sorry, Dean ….
To Be Continued ...