Sam stared in dumbstruck horror at the dark stain on his brother's flank and swallowed back a wave of panic, pulling off his overshirt and pressing it over the wound.
"Dean; oh God, Dean … wake up … please," he croaked frantically.
Inwardly scolding himself for panicking, he forced himself to think straight; right, first off, what did he know about treating poisons?
OK, first, don't let the patient move around, don't get the blood circulating round the body any more than was necessary – check;
Keep them breathing – check; Dean was doing that seemingly okay;
Call the emergency services – check. Sam almost laughed when he imagined the conversation … "Hello 911, how can I help you?" "Oh hi, my brother's been bitten by a mythological poisonous twenty foot creature from medieval folklore that represents an allegory of Man's insignificance in the face of nature's power …"
Ok, may need to pass on that one …
He looked down to see his brother's eyes fluttering open.
"Hey Dean," he murmured softly, one arm instinctively travelling up to rest on his brother's shoulder to prevent him trying to rise.
Dean looked up at Sam, "… got … cuddled by a snake …" he croaked, a lopsided smile playing across his face.
"Yeah, you really scored there;" Sam choked, trying to keep a levity in his voice that wasn't there.
"stomach hur's …"
"Yeah, I know dude, don't move, I'm gonna sort that out," Sam continued to keep a gentle downward pressure on Dean's shoulder, "I'm just going over to the trunk; I've gotta get you some medicine, dude"
Dean looked down at his exposed belly. "bit me?"
"Yeah" sighed Sam, pulling Dean's hand over the bloody cloth on his wound, "hold that." He heaved himself to his feet and headed towards his rucksack in the trunk, "just going to get the medicine – stay put."
Dean nodded, wincing as the tiny movement somehow triggered a twinge in his stomach.
"Came over so fast. Din't see it or hear it." Dean muttered absently staring at the dawn sky as he remained laying flat on his back.
Sam was back at his side, "neither did I dude, I was lookin' in the trunk, the next minute I looked up and you and the impala are gift-wrapped in a giant snake".
Dean turned his head, "did it damage the impala?"
Sam shook his head with a wry smile. Only Dean could be lying on the floor, belly awash with blood, worrying about his car.
"No dude, she's fine!" Sam shuffled round to Dean's head, and slid his hands beneath his brother's shoulders.
"Can't feel my feet Sammy." Dean's eyes darted around, looking for his brother. Sam leaned over the top of Dean's head; "I'm here bro'!"
Dean looked up from his horizontal position at his brother's upside-down smiling face and floppy fringe.
"Get y'hair cut …" he muttered.
"I'm gonna lean you up, 'cos you need to drink something for me," Sam didn't give Dean time to argue and lifted his shoulders, shuffling his knees under them. He leaned forward so Dean's head was propped up against his chest, trying to ignore the pained moan that escaped his brother during the movement.
Sam unscrewed the top of the bottle and handed it to Dean, cringing as the foul, acrid smell assaulted his nostrils.
"Drink it dude" he coaxed, "Uh, down in one, I'd suggest!"
Dean took the small bottle in his hand, looking in disgust at the black syrupy liquid and snorted, his nose wrinkling comically. Sensing Dean's hesitation, Sam grasped the bottle too, and gently but firmly guided it towards Dean's mouth. Dean tried to recoil, but his head was pinned against the rock hard wall of Sam's chest.
"M'okay – don' need help," snapped Dean irritably. Sam reluctantly let go, but his hand hovered near the bottle.
Dean took a shuddering breath and lifted the bottle to his lips, gulping noisily and messily, small grunts escaping the back of his throat as he choked the foul liquid down trying to suppress his overwhelming urge to gag.
He dropped the empty bottle to the ground and went limp, coughing and gasping, his throat convulsing as he fought to keep the vile drink down. Sam's hovering hand moved to rub his chest, when suddenly Dean lurched to the side and vomited violently, his body convulsing as he retched and gagged the Lyndworm blood back out.
Sam sat by helplessly, rubbing Dean's heaving back in a desperate attempt to provide comfort; for whom, he wasn't sure.
By the time, the heaving subsided, Dean was spent; he sunk heavily back onto Sam's knees, gasping for air, shivering miserably, and soaked in his own sweat.
Sam was numb as he reached for his phone, shaky fingers dialled a familiar number.
"Bobby," Sam's voice was shaking so hard, he could barely get the words out, "the Lyndworm, it got Dean, he can't drink the blood. I-I gave it to him, an' he's just sicked it all back up." He hesitated as he fought back rising tears, the words came hard; "Bobby, I don't know what to do …"
"Jeez Sam, I ain't never dealt with one of these before." There was a silent pause for thought, "I think Tom treated a Lyndworm bite a couple of years ago, I'm gonna call him and ask him what he knows; call ya straight back."
Sam clicked the phone shut, and looked down at his brother's pallid face; eyes closed, perspiration beading across his forehead. Sam's trembling hand returned to Dean's chest, gently rubbing; a soothing circular rhythm to bring comfort and reassurance.
"How ya doin' dude?" He was almost scared to ask.
"Good," Dean lied, "feel bit better."
"Liar," whispered Sam, his hand still tracing circles through the soaked material of his brother's T shirt.
"'cept can't feel my feet 'ny more."
Dean's eyes opened a crack and from his elevated position, he saw, for the first time, the Lyndworm's carcass. "C'n get y'self a Lyndworm skin laptop bag," he murmured, trying to bring humour to the situation.
Sam allowed himself a weak smile.
"an' matchin' shoes …" Dean added, barely more than a whisper.
Sam jolted as his phone rang.
"Sam," Bobby's voice was sharp, verging on panicked. "Tom's dealt with this before; you can't make him drink that stuff, it'll burn clean through his stomach." Sam's heart lurched as he heard Bobby's words, "The lore says it has to 'mingle with his blood under three moons." Bobby continued, "Tom interpreted that as it has to go directly into his bloodstream for three days."
Sam nodded silently, shaking so hard he could barely hold the phone as Bobby continued.
"It can't just be any Lyndworm blood; it has to be the blood of the one that bit him – hair of the dog, Sam."
Sam fought to hold back the tears.
"Listen Sam, Tom's on his way over to me, get your brother and a shitload of that thing's blood in the Impala and get your asses over here now."
"Ok Bobby, Sam croaked, looking down through the haze of tears at Dean laying helpless in his lap, "we're on our way."
"Sam, you need to be prepared." Bobby's voice was solemn, Sam could hear the pain just below the surface, "apart from what the venom will do to him, Tom says this stuff is a powerful hallucinogen; as bad trips go, this is the holiday of a lifetime. This ain't gonna be easy."
Sam heard the despair in Bobby's voice.
"For any of us."