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Fic: Life Goes On

 Title: Life Goes On
By Faithdaria
Prompt: GEN Double Amputee!Dean. I'll take any version and any type of amputation
But would prefer pre-series Dean hiding the fact that he has lost several limbs until Sam, who wants him to be his best man at his wedding, tracks him down determined that his brother is there at the wedding. Cue Sam anguish at Dean's condition BUT Dean has become super competent at handling his disability bar a few things that he'll never be able to do again (go wild!). I even have this picture of Dean with no legs from the knee down working out of some garage in Montana, or running a bar while he's in a wheelchair with massive upper body strength. Or Both! Sigh. Page 10 of comments.
Crossposted @ hoodie_time 

It had taken Sam almost a month to find his brother, once he’d started really looking for him. In the end he’d had to plead with Bobby, apparently the only one of his father’s old friends that knew where Dean could be found, to get here.

The Impala sat outside of the garage, gleaming in the late afternoon sun. Sam was willing to bet it was probably some of the best advertisement they could get. At least he knew he was in the right place. Where the car went, Dean went as well. He trailed a hand across her sun-warmed black skin, fighting back the feeling of home that this car always brought, and headed inside.

It wasn’t quite as pleasant inside the building. The bay doors were all open in a futile attempt to catch a cross breeze, but it remained stuffy and a little too warm. It was also incredibly noisy, between the hard rock blasting out of one dilapidated radio and the power tools in use, and it took a minute or so until someone noticed Sam.

The noise level dropped a little and one of the workers headed over to him, wiping rough hands on a shop cloth. “Can I help you?”

“I’m looking for Dean Winchester,” Sam told him. He knew he looked out of place here, in his law-student clothing instead of the worn flannel and denim that he’d grown up in. He’d almost changed to fit in a little better, but decided not to. This was who he was now.

The man grunted and gestured toward the corner, where the radio was located and two booted feet stuck out from underneath a minivan. Sam headed over in that direction, feeling the eyes boring into his back as he approached what must be his brother.

He had been beyond surprised when Bobby had told him that Dean wasn’t hunting, that he’d settled down in a garage in Montana. Bobby had refused to tell him why, or where John Winchester was. Sam was willing to bet that Bobby didn’t know and didn’t care about John. His dad and Bobby had problems with each other, but then John Winchester had problems with just about everyone. “Dean?” There was no response, so Sam reached over and turned down the music. “Dean?”

“What? I’m almost done.” Sam fidgeted for a minute or two, looking down at the boots in front of him, before the dolly rolled out from underneath the vehicle, opposite the direction of Dean’s feet and Sam. His brother took his time climbing to his feet, hidden by the vehicle, and Sam held his breath. This was the moment of truth. He could have called Dean; Bobby had his number, but Sam had wanted this face to face meeting. Dean took one step, moving from the driver’s side door to the hood. He was still mostly hidden by the bulky thing, but Sam could see his face now and could see the moment his brother realized who was standing there. “Sammy?”

“Hey, Dean.” There was more that he wanted to say, a lot more, but it got lost in the overwhelming joy of being in Dean’s presence. “Been awhile.”

Dean snorted and walked around the front of the minivan, catching his brother in a hug that probably smeared grease and oil on Sam’s clothing. The small part of his brain that wasn’t caught up in ‘Dean’ and ‘home’ noticed something wrong with Dean’s slightly stiff walk, but that was a distant concern compared to everything else. When he finally let go, Sam could swear he saw tears in his brother’s eyes for just a second, but he dismissed it. That wasn’t Dean’s style. “Ralph! I finished the Wilson soccer-mobile, heading out for the day.”

The man who had pointed Sam towards Dean grunted in acknowledgement and waved them out the door. Dean walked over to the oddly neat work bench against the wall and grabbed a cane that Sam hadn’t noticed until now before walking out with the same oddly stiff gait, Sam trailing behind.

Of course his brother had been injured. He would never have given up hunting otherwise. Sam tried to see if he could tell what was causing the slightly stiff walking, how Dean was leaning on the cane and which leg was the bad one, but even with shorter legs and some sort of injury slowing him down he beat Sam to the Impala. Dean unlocked the passenger side door before walking around the front and sliding into his own seat, lifting and adjusting first one leg and then the other. He hooked the cane over the back of the bench seat and then turned to Sam. “So what is it you want, Sammy?”

Sam tore his eyes away from the hand control that had been put into place by the steering wheel. “What makes you think I want something?”

There was a raised eyebrow look, the kind that used to be incredibly familiar and also the one that indicated that he was being a dumbass. “I haven’t heard from you in seven years, Sam. You took the time to track me down, which, believe me, couldn’t have been very easy, and then came instead of calling ‘cause you know I have a hard time saying no to your face. You want something.”

“What happened to your leg?” Sam asked, changing the subject. He did want something from his brother, of course. He and Jess were getting married (and wow, did that both excite and terrify him) and he wanted Dean to be his best man. But if he admitted as much to his brother now, he’d never hear the end of it.

Dean chuckled. He reached down with his right hand and rapped lightly on his right leg, a few inches below the knee. He repeated the action with the other leg, then shrugged. “Was a little too slow one time, and that one time was more than enough.”

“God, Dean.” Sam was horrified, probably as much by his brother’s matter-of-fact approach to the subject as anything else. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Dean shrugged and started the car. “What was there to tell, Sam? Sometimes the job goes sideways and then you pick yourself up and move on.” He started the car and pushed in a Zepplin tape. “We’re heading over to my place. I’ve got to take care of a few things tonight, but we can order pizza and have a couple of beers while I work.”

Sam watched as his brother manipulated the hand control with his left hand and steered with his right, his manner casual and practiced. “Didn’t you just get off work?”

“The second job isn’t the kind you get paid for,” Dean said, grinning. “I’ve been working on a few projects for some hunters. I get paid in favors for those, mostly, but it’s good to keep my hand in.”

“You’re hunting?” Sam stared at his brother, open-mouthed in astonishment. Was Dean trying to get himself killed?

“Not like I used to,” Dean admitted. “I lend a hand when I’m needed, but my days of chasing through the woods in the dark are over. Too hard to adjust to uncertain terrain. Mostly I build things for other hunters to use.” He signaled left, pushed down on the hand control, turned the wheel and eased the lever back up, all in a smooth series of motions. “Here we are, Sammy.”

Sam had been halfway expecting a motel, their familiar standard of living, but Dean had pulled into the parking lot of a modest one-story apartment building. He parked at the end of the row, got out one leg at a time, and reached for his cane. “You coming?”

Sam nodded and followed his brother as the older man walked up the sidewalk and unlocked the door to his apartment. The inside was . . .tidy. It flew against everything that he thought he knew about his brother. It was an efficiency apartment, with a bed shoved up against one wall and several bookshelves and tables on the other. A television was sitting on a cheap stand at the foot of the bed, and there was an armless chair and a table at the head.

The tables held a variety of open books and electronics, all organized and laid out. There was nothing overtly illegal left lying out, though Sam knew his brother had such things. “ Nice place.”

“It’ll do. There’s an old lady down the street. I take care of her lawn on weekends and she makes me pie.”

“You can do that?”

Dean shot him a look. “Yeah, Sam, I can do that. It’s not like it’s hard to push a lawn mower or work a set of hedge clippers. Even a high school dropout like me can figure it out.”

“No, I mean . . .” he gestured towards Dean’s legs. “Isn’t it hard to walk?”

Dean shrugged, taking off his jacket and tossing it on the back of a wheeled office chair. “You get used to it. As long as the ground isn’t unfamiliar, poorly lit terrain I can handle it.”

“But . . .”

“Sam!” Dean sat down on the office chair and pulled the legs of his jeans (worn more loosely than Sam remembered) up, rolling the denim up past his knees and exposing the prosthetics there.

They were ungainly things, a plastic socket cupping the end of his brother’s leg tapering into a bare metal rod, with a pair of his brother’s heavy boots laced up on the feet, tied in close to the rod. Dean pushed a button at the bottom of the socket on his right leg and lifted the stump of his leg out of the socket, repeating the action on the other leg. Once he’d rolled off the socks and liner he handed the right leg to his brother. “Here. Take a look at it.”

Sam didn’t want to touch it. Taking that thing from his brother seemed like an admission that Dean Winchester, his childhood Batman, was now permanently disabled, and it was all his fault for leaving Dean without backup on a hunt. Dean scowled and glared and shoved it into his arms. “It’s not contagious, Sam. Take the goddamn leg.”

Sam did as he was instructed, hands clasping the cold metal. Dean nodded. “Put it over by the table next to the bed. This one too.” He handed the second leg up to Sam, who reluctantly took it and did as his brother had asked. “All right, Sam, listen up. I don’t want to have to tell you this again.” He gestured for Sam to sit in the chair next to the bed, which he did gingerly, and used his cane to push the office chair over within easy reach.

And then he slapped Sam across the back of the head.

Sam ducked his head away. “What the hell, Dean?”

“That’s for being an idiot, Sammy.” The man looked unrepentant. “Now, first off, I am not the moron you seem to think. I know I can’t do everything I used to be able to do. I can’t run through the woods at night with a gun loaded with silver bullets, or dig a grave. But I can wait with a sniper rifle while someone else flushes out the werewolf, or stand guard with rock salt while the grave is being dug. Hell, I can even run if I want, so long as the surface is flat. So why don’t you let me worry about what I should be doing. I’m a grown up, Sammy. I can take care of myself.”

“I know,” Sam said miserably. A part of him wanted to snap it out at his brother, meet tone with tone like he had when he argued with his father, but he was sitting there looking at the stumps where his brother’s lower legs should be and he just didn’t have the heart for that right now.

“Hey,” Dean said, reaching over and poking his brother in the arm. “Cut it out, Sam. It’s not the end of the world. I mean, I’m not exactly happy to be stuck living like a low-budget version of the bionic man, but I don’t have a bad life here.” Dean reached for his cane and used it to push the wheeled office chair through the small space into the kitchen area and opened up the refrigerator door. He pulled out two beers, nestled them between his knees, closed the door and pushed his way back. “Have a beer, Sammy. I’ve got to finish this EMF meter and then we can go out, get something to eat. Then you can tell me what you want.”

Sam drank his beer and watched as his brother pushed the makeshift wheelchair over to the table. Dean assembled a series of electronics with the ease of long practice, the precise motions reminding Sam of his brother cleaning weapons at whatever hole-in-the-wall they happened to be in. It was strangely soothing. “I’m getting married,” he blurted out. “That’s why I tracked you down. I want you to be my best man.”

Dean was quiet for a second, though he didn’t stop his tinkering. “Is she hot?”

“Dean!”

“It’s a fair question, Sammy.” There was a smile creeping up his brother’s face. “Can’t let my little brother marry a chick who isn’t hot.”

Sam sighed and dug the wallet out of his back pocket. He pulled out the picture of Jess and handed it to his brother. “She’s awesome,” he said. “She’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met.”

“And she’s a smoking babe! Way to go, Sammy!”

Sam rolled his eyes and took the picture back. “So, will you do it?”

“Of course, Sam.”

The younger man smiled. He still had questions for his brother. Wanted to know where his father was, for starters, and what exactly had happened to his brother’s legs. But for now, this was good.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
strgazr04
Feb. 12th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
LOVED THIS! I hope you make this a 'verse!
faithburke
Feb. 12th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
planning on it! There's just so much to write!
cnitouchurbeard
Aug. 2nd, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
did you ever make any sequels?
faithburke
Aug. 2nd, 2011 10:03 am (UTC)
This is actually going to be next year's big bang. So, on the plus side, the prequel/sequel will be huge, but you'll have to wait a year to read it.
cnitouchurbeard
Aug. 2nd, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
oh man!! well, I'm sure it will be well worth the wait :)
faithburke
Aug. 2nd, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
I hope so.
strgazr04
May. 30th, 2012 07:14 am (UTC)
so i have no idea how the big bang fic things run as i've never written fic, but has it been posted and i missed it? i'll have to keep an eye out!! :D
spn_4eva
Feb. 12th, 2011 07:37 am (UTC)
Yes yes yes! Definitely a 'verse!
Yay Dean <3
faithburke
Feb. 12th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
thinking about it. Once I've got a few of my other things worked through.
tari_roo
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:20 am (UTC)
\o/ Double arms of yay! \o/ You wrote it and it's awesome and I love it and you had Dean headslap Sam and just ... gah! Just Perfect. Just what I had in my head. Competent!Dean, Floored!Sammy. (hugs)

You rock and if you write more... \o/ to the nth degree!

Thanks so much! :)
faithburke
Feb. 12th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
I will probably write more, both with backstory and future. Thanks for the prompt, it really captured my attention!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 12th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
I honestly can not believe I actually read this. The idea was so horrific I was like well there's the one prompt I won't read and somehow here I am. I wonder if this is how men at the altar feel? But anyway, you somehow managed to do this with a Dean with dignity who was okay with his life and I didn't walk away pitying. The fact that you pulled that one off and didn't make me regret this weird impulse to be here is damn amazing!
faithburke
Feb. 12th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

True confession time: What attracted me to this prompt in the first place was the fact that my father is, in fact, a double amputee. He has been an amputee since I was twelve, and I never saw him as anything less because of it.
saphirablue
Feb. 12th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
This story is just awesome!

Sam's reactions are so realistic and Dean being so matter of fact of it too!

Thank you for this fic! :)
thruterryseyes
Feb. 12th, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
Excellent. I'll be waiting to read more!
faithburke
Feb. 19th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
More is coming. Just be patient!
lita_of_jupiter
Feb. 13th, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
this just needs some more awesome bobby and we are good to go!!
faithburke
Feb. 19th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
There might be awesome Bobby, later.
embroiderama
Feb. 13th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
I love this--Dean's pragmatism here is awesome.
faithburke
Feb. 19th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
Dean's always struck me as a practical guy. Also, he's had a couple of years to adjust before this story takes place.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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