Word Count: ~3,000
Summary: They say it's more painful than childbirth. Dean believes it.
Warnings/Spoilers: sick!hurt!pained!Dean, potty mouths, nebulous time period.
Note: A get well present for my dear lovely triquetralmoon, who requested Dean with a kidney stone. Here's to you, honey <3
by wave obscura
Dean's piss is not piss-colored.
He's standing in front of the toilet staring into the bowl and yeah-- not piss-colored. Not at all.
He looks down at his dick-- which is still dick-colored, thank god, and zips up and pats himself down like he expects to find something unusual.
Cause also? He barely went. In fact he still feels like he has to go.
"The fuck did I do last night?" he mouths to himself.
Probably got knocked against a wall too hard or something. Bruised a kidney.
Except they haven't done anything. They're between hunts, and last night nothing went on but pool and drinking, his hand wandering down the curve's of some girl's ass-- but he'd pressured Sam into shots of tequila, and Sam had been way too drunk and was losing way too much money, so they'd stumbled home and gone to bed. Dean remembers tugging Sam's boots off his smelly-ass feet, putting the trash can by the bed in case he puked. He remembers falling face first into his pillow.
His back is aching-- which is less than unusual because that's what bad backs do. Except it's not in the right spot. In fact it's nowhere near where it usually aches.
And it hurts worse. A lot worse, actually.
From outside the bathroom door he hears the TV click on, the uniform annunciated babbling of a news reporter.
"Are you taking a shower?" Sam calls, "Lemme piss first."
"Uh." He almost just comes right out and says it-- Sam, my dick is bleeding-- like he would report any other injury. "Uh..."
He hears Sam's bare feet pound across the floor. The bathroom door jiggles and flies open. "What's wrong?"
Dean steps in front of the toilet to block the view. "Nothing."
But Sam's too smart for that. He shoves Dean out of the way, looks into the toilet. His eyes bounce back and forth from Dean to the bowl a few times.
"Shit. You in any pain?"
"No," Dean says automatically.
"Maybe something you ate?"
"Yeah, maybe. Probably."
They stare at each other for a moment.
"Let me know if you start feeling any pain," Sam says.
"Cause piss isn't supposed to be that color."
"Yeah, but... why, uh... why would it be?"
Sam's nostrils briefly flare. "Where are you having pain, Dean?"
"Nowhere, damn it," Dean snaps, and even has he says it, his back and left side begin to burn, enough that he bends forward a little, but not enough that his expression changes.
So Sam doesn't notice. He nudges Dean's shoulder with his knuckle. "Get out. I gotta piss."
Dean stretches out carefully on the bed. The pain is still there, not roaring or anything, just there, pounding a little, swelling and unswelling.
And he still feels like he has to piss, an uncomfortable pressure coming from somewhere he can't really pinpoint.
The toilet flushes. "You wanna shower first?" Sam shouts.
"Go 'head," Dean answers.
While Sam does that, Dean tries to convince himself that the pain is lessening, even as the weird pressure continues to build.
Then it begins as a wave near the left side of his spine, spreads out from there, and he expects it to peak but it doesn't, it just gets bigger, stinging hotter and hotter. Every muscle in his body tenses until he's trembling, his stomach bubbles, he presses his tongue to the roof of his mouth to keep from biting it but the pain is not stopping, it's getting worse and fucking worse until he can't help it-- he groans, loud and long, sounds like a whale in mourning, a dying moose, and he hears Sam's voice but JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, all he can do is twist the corner of the pillowcase, clench his teeth, try to remember to keep breathing. Then there are hands on his head, on his side, sliding dangerously close to where it hurts--
"Don't!" He wriggles off the side of the bed to get away from Sam's hands because it fucking hurts so bad. He falls to his knees, clutching at Sam's bedspread so he has something to hold on to; the pain's going to send him through the floor, or make him explode, or--
And then, suddenly, it eases off. Not all the way, probably not even that much, but compared to what he was just feeling it's like someone shot him up with morphine.
He pants, rests a hand over his racing heart. His teeth feel loose from clenching them. "What the fuck?"
"Dean what the hell? What's wrong?" Sam is crouched over him, pulling on his shoulder, trying to turn him around.
"I have to piss," Dean says, fumbling with his hands and feet because, yeah, actually, he's going to pee his pants if he doesn't get to the toilet like five minutes ago.
Sam stands in the bathroom doorway, watching, and Dean doesn't give a damn because ohjesuschristinfuckingheaven it hurts. He grips the edge of the counter and tries to bend over but the pain in his back won't allow it, and almost nothing is coming out, drip drip drip, and surely someone's kicked him in the sac and shoved something huge and burning into his belly.
After a couple of minutes he's out of breath, and still almost nothing comes out, but it's something, and the pain seems to subside, at least enough that he can think clearly.
He looks at Sam, who's just standing there in the doorway with his mouth hanging open.
"Hospital," Dean says.
Sam leans forward a little. "Huh?"
"Fucking hospital!" Dean roars. He wants to move, to lay down, but he's trapped where he is, the pain freezing his stomach muscles. "Help... help me."
Sam looks very, very uncomfortable. "Dean," he says, then licks his lips. "Um... can you? Can you put... back in your pants?"
Oh yeah. He'd forgotten about that. His embarrassment gives him a burst of strength, he's able to reach down and stuff everything back where it goes, and as soon as he does Sam's arms are around him, helping him walk.
The pain abruptly falls away as he's about to get into the Impala, and he wants to tell Sam never mind, whatever it was, it's over.
But he gets in the car anyway, because feeling pain like that again?
No fucking way.
"No fucking way," Dean says, slamming the passenger door, crushing his bag of prescriptions in one fist. "We're going to a different ER."
There's a family milling around outside the motel; they stop what they're doing to stare. Sam puts his arm around his brother, tries to guide him to the front door. They get as far as the Impala's hood before Dean stops and shakes Sam off, his face set in a stubborn scowl.
"I want a fucking second opinion. I'm gonna pass a fucking boulder through my dick and they tell me to go home and wait?"
Sam tries his best not to roll his eyes. "It's just a little kidney stone. People deal with them all the time."
He goes around to the trunk and pulls two gallon jugs of water out of the backseat. He can feel Dean's scowl burning the back of his head. He knows his brother wants to say all sorts of things he's not going to say, about how painful it is, about how he doesn't care that it's just a little run-of-the-mill kidney stone, he's scared shitless anyway.
"It's gonna be okay, Dean." Sam slams the trunk and steps toward the door of their room, hoping Dean will follow. "You're gonna take some drugs, drink some water, and we're gonna wait it out. It'll be fine."
Oh, but it's not fine.
Sam assumed this whole kidney stone thing meant Dean would be all assed out on painkillers, sleeping or groggy and out of it for a few days and that would be that.
For the first hour on the first day, yeah, he just kinda lays on the side that isn't hurting, and stares into space. Sam's on his laptop and forgets Dean's even there for a while, except when he reaches over to sip from the plastic cup on the nightstand.
Then Dean's breathing goes hard and measured. He sits straight up, perched and trembling on the edge of the bed. His eyes are wide and his breath keeps catching.
Sam knows that look. His brother is trying his damnedest not to vocalize any pain.
And also trying not to barf.
"Oh god," Dean says, and Sam gets the trash can under his mouth just in time.
It's really, really not pretty. Sam has seen his brother in terrible pain, he's seen his brother sick to him stomach but he's never seen both at the same time. At the end of each heave Dean makes a fucking hideous, strangled squeal, like pain's being ripped right out of his throat.
"Okay. Okay okay okay," Sam mutters, for lack of anything better to say. "Alright Dean. Easy. You're okay."
He transfers beds, and reaches for Dean's shoulder.
"No," Dean says, flinching away. "Don't... don't touch me. Oh God." He tries to clutch his side, but that seems to hurt, so instead he white-knuckles his knees. "Fuck."
"Jesus. Does it really hurt that bad?"
"No, I was hoping you'd give me a fucking Oscar. How'm I doing? Oh holy shit. Can you--?"
"Yeah." Sam rummages through the prescription bag, hoping to God the drugs work as well as what they gave him at the hospital.
Day two. Dean paces back and forth in front of the beds, back and a forth, his fists clenching an unclenching.
"Fucking relentless," he's muttering, "Fucking... fucking..."
"More water, Dean."
"I don't want any fucking water, I want it to stop."
"Water is gonna help it stop."
Dean continues to pace, his eyes wild. Every so often his face crumples and he freezes, every muscle clenching in a spasm.
"Don't fucking... oh god. Fuck."
"Shut up, Sam. Shut the fuck up. Oh shit. Oh my fucking..."
Sam closes his laptop and throws it aside, but stays where he is. Jesus, he's never felt s o helpless in his life. Dean paces the length of the room again, fisting opening and closing, opening and closing.
"Sam. Oh, fuck. Sam?"
"What, Dean? What?"
"I... I need. Fuck. Fuck."
"No pills, Dean. Not for another two hours. Drink some water? Please?"
Dean reaches the end of the room, turns, walks it again.
" I know it hurts, okay, but you have to drink."
Dean stops his pacing. He turns stiffly, his eyes blazing with hatred.
It's just the pain, Sam reminds himself. It's just the pain.
"You have no fucking idea," Dean snarls. "Just a little fucking kidney stone, huh? You have no fucking clue. I'd rather have buckshot shot straight up my ass. Anything but this. I keep thinking, I keep thinking it can't get any fucking worse and then it does. It fucking does. Holy fucking--"
Day three. Dean is too tired to pace. He lays down on the side that doesn't kill and Sam prays to god that maybe, somehow, he'll be able to fall asleep.
Instead he sweats, and pants, and grunts, and makes little moaning noises that stab at Sam's heart.
He can't just sit here and fucking stare anymore. He wants to put headphones on, go for a walk, a drive, something, anything, but the idea of leaving Dean alone like this makes him sick. So he sits on the other side of Dean's bed, just sits there.
Every few minutes Dean's eyes go glassy, roll up in his head a little, and Sam hopes and prays that maybe he's passing out, losing consciousness, whatever. Then his face pinches up with pain and he clenches his teeth and fucking squirms, reaching out for something to hold onto, which so far has been the headboard or the pillow case or even just the side of the mattress, but this time Sam catches Dean's hand, and Dean squeezes so hard Sam thinks his knuckles might turn to goo.
"Urghhhahhhh," Dean says.
"I hate to see you hurtin' like this, man," Sam whispers. "I wish there was something I could do."
"Fuck," is all Dean answers, and tears leak from the crease of his eyelids. "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck..."
Day four. The pain isn't bad, but Dean is a zombie, almost comatose except for his fingers around Sam's elbow, squeezing every so often as the pain hits him in waves.
Sam's fingers go numb. He watches The People's Court on mute and ignores it.
"Dean, you have to drink it."
"Noooooo. No no no god fucking damn it."
"Dean. Drink some fucking water."
"It's not helping. OH shit. Fuck me. Oh christ."
"The more you pee, the faster it'll come. Come on. Drink."
"It's just gonna keep me alive longer. I don't wanna be alive, Sammy. I just wanna--"
"I said drink it, Dean. Now."
"Just a little fucking kidney stone, Sam, fuck you. Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you--"
"Sam, please. Please. I can't... I can't fucking-- Please. Fucking please I'm your big fucking brother and I'm fucking begging you help me please."
"Dean-- give it to me."
"If I give it to you will you do it? Please?"
"No, Dean. Give me the fucking knife."
"Sam-- Sam fucking please."
"Sam-- oh god-- Sam please. Do it. Just fucking do it."
Sam doesn't answer, because he keeps waiting, keeps fucking waiting to go numb or angry but none of that happens, he just feels helpless. Maybe if he ignores Dean for a while he'll stop asking. It's just the pain, he repeats to himself. It's just the pain.
"Please, Sam? Oh shit. Fucking shit. Sam, please. I'm fucking begging you."
Sam slams his laptop closed. "I am not taking you to the crossroads demon."
"Then gimme my keys. I'm fucking serious, Sam. I'm fucking serious gimme my fucking keys."
"Dean stop it. Stop. Here," he picks up the glass of water. "Drink. Go try to pee again. It'll make you feel better."
Dean's face falls into something beyond pathetic. So pathetic, in fact, that for a split second Sam thinks about actually doing it, putting his brother in the car and driving him to the nearest crossroads.
He's about ready to go by himself and say goddamn it just put the fucking stone in my body.
"I hate you, Sam," Dean moans. "I fucking hate you. "
"I know, Dean," Sam says. "Drink."
Sam wakes up to a pitch black room. The clock on the nightstand says 3 am, and Dean is snoring next to him.
He takes the barfy garbage can to the bathroom. It's mostly bile so he dumps it in the bathtub and rinses it out. Then he splashes cold water on his face and takes a long, healthy, satisfying piss and feels guilty for doing so.
The net they bought for Dean to pee in, to catch the stone, sits in the sink. Sam examines it, hoping to find something to indicate that this is all over, but it's empty.
Outside in the main room he hears Dean's bed sheets rustling.
"Hey," Sam says, searching out his brother's form in the darkness.
"Pills?" Dean croaks.
"Are you... how are you?"
"You seem... better."
Dean drags himself up on his haunches, yawns and scratches his head. "A little. Pills?"
Sam braces himself for more pain, but Dean takes the pills, arranges himself carefully on his good side, burrows his face into the pillow. After a minute, he's snoring.
Sam stares at the dark ceiling and hopes.
Day nine. Birds are chirping. And there's hissing. Like a snake. Or water. Like a fountain. Maybe a waterfall. Or maybe--
He sits straight up in bed. "Dean? Are you...?"
"Fucking FINALLY," Dean calls triumphantly, but his voice is very hoarse. "Couple hours ago. You gotta see it, Sammy. I can't believe a tiny little thing hurt so fucking bad."
Sam practically sprints to the bathroom.
He has to admit, after all that he expected Dean to pass a fucking two-year-old. But it's an itty bitty thing, no more than a few millimeters, brown and jagged like a piece of cereal. Dean holds it up rather proudly, lets it roll around in his palm.
"Congratulations," Sam says, "It's a Grapenut. Thank god that's over."
"Seriously, man. I felt terrible. You were so--"
"Shaddup," Dean interrupts. "It hurt, okay?"
Sam can't hide his smile. "Apparently."
Day twelve; they get in the car and drive away. The sun is shining and Dean's got his window rolled down. The fresh air is a jarring contrast from sweat and vomit, the sun blinding after so many days in the dark motel.
Sam tries to read, the pages of his book flapping ridiculously under his fingers until one of the pages rips and he gives up, tossing it into the back seat.
Dean's singing at the top of his lungs like nothing ever happened, and for a minute Sam wonders if anything did. Maybe it was all some hideous nightmare.
But two hours down the road they pass a sign for a rest area.
"Can we stop?" Sam asks, "I have to pee."
"Hold it," Dean says, and steps hard on the gas.