Title: It Comes At A Price (commentary)
Summary: That which does not kill you...
When Sam arrived at Stanford he had: six ribs in varying degrees of broken and healing, a black eye, a split lip, and torn, bloody knuckles ending in equally broken fingers.
This came from the idea that Sam arrived in Top Winchester Form (beaten and bloody and looking like dead).
Exactly how Sam got these injuries is a favored betting pool among his friends. Theories include everything from him being attacked by rogue ninjas to getting in a drunken brawl to getting the snot kicked out of him by a twelve-year old girl scout.
Sam's friends are an awesome bunch, the first time he met his roommate the guy poked his black eye to see if it was real.
Sam's friends are under the mistaken assumption that they are funny. They are also under the mistaken assumption that all of these injuries were received at the same time.
Because come on, if you see someone who looks like that are you gonna think they had a bad day or a bad week? Exactly, you assume it was a bad day.
The truth he'll never tell is this.
I hate most of what I do but I kinda like that line right there.
Sam, Dean and John were in Idaho chasing after this ass-wang ("Shut up Dean, it's pronounced oz-wine-g.") when he got tackled out a second story window. He pinched enough nerves and bruised his spine bad enough to be paralyzed from the chest down for almost three weeks. The only thing that kept his neck from snapping like a twig was him bracing himself by curling before he hit the pavement.
That's an "actual" creature. I have no idea what it is but I read the name and then heard Sam's little parenthetical flashback speak right there and had to use it. Also? This injury right here kinda screams "I WAS IN LOTRIPS! I WAS IN LOTRIPS!" because it's a very slightly different version of the story of how Orlando Bloom actually broke his back in real life. Sammy's a lucky, lucky boy. And? In my head it's this right here, him sitting in the hospital after this waiting to here from the doctor as to whether he would walk again when he decided for sure he was going to Stanford. He had applied and been accepted but didn't know if he actually wanted to go until then, until he was a brand new eighteen and staring at the possibility of never being able to control his bowels again because of a hunt.
That's how he broke his ribs.
Told you he was lucky.
The black eye was caused by Dean throwing an elbow in his sleep and catching Sam in the eye. No fighting, no anger, no purpose at all, just an older brother with an arm cramp.
Okay, I hate the show I Love Lucy but I remember this one episode where Lucy got a black eye from walking into a door or something and no one believed her when she said that was how it happened; everyone thought Ricky had hit her. That was always kind of funny to me because it's true, people don't think of things happening like that. I just like that idea of Sam having this completely random and mundanely-cause injury in the middle of all this.
The split lip was also caused by Dean, but this time it was caused by a fist and was done on purpose. It happened the day Sam left for Stanford, which just happened to be the same day he told them about it. He and John had their big fight and he stormed out. Dean found him like he always does and tried to "talk some sense into him."
Twenty minutes of bitching, eight minutes of yelling and one incredibly stupid instance on Sam's part of saying something bad about John later and Sam had two loose teeth, a headache and a split lip. Dean didn't offer to drive Sam to the Greyhound station and Sam didn't beg for Dean to understand.
This is how My Sam leaves for Stanford. He waits until the day he has to leave because he doesn't want to give them any time to try and talk him out of it. Dean doesn't drive Sam to the bus station because that would be like okaying it, like saying Sam can go. It'd be like giving his blessing. This is why I can't stand reading leaving for Stanford fics; because they don't mesh with what's in my head. I can't make sense of Sam telling John he's going to Stanford, them having the blowout, John telling Sam to stay gone and then Sam staying three more months until he goes. I cannot stand seeing Dean drive Sam to the bus station and saying goodbye. That's just not Dean to me. I read enough of those fics and got fed up and did this.
The knuckles and fingers came next.
Sam managed to navigate his way to the Greyhound by city bus and arrive with forty-five minutes to spare before his bus left.
Sam spent his first half-hour beating his fists into the painted brick wall of the bathroom, only stopping when both hands were numb and the wall was red with his blood, and then spent his last fifteen minutes crying and sobbing like he hadn't since he was six.
This is the big Sam part right here. He wants to leave, wants to go and have his own life and be safe but it's not like it's easy for him. Dean and John and that car and that truck are everything he knows; they're his entire life and he's walking away from it. He's scared and alone and his Dad just told him it was the end. Gave him a choice and said, "be your own man alone or stay and be ours." And Sam chose. And it hurt.
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