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Title: Normal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating/Pairing: PG/gen
Summary: It takes them a year and three months to find the right combination of medications. Written for the spnflashfic "something new!" prompt. AUish. (D)

It takes them a year and three months to find the right combination of medications: it's primarily antipsychotics, but they have to find the right ones, and it's a long and exhausting process. Some of the drugs make him more violent, some send him into a strange fugue state where he mumbles something continuously (and not in English), some make him practically manic; they try standard drugs first, and then move on to newer ones, with the numb patience of having done this a thousand times with a thousand other people.

And then they get something that works.

At any rate, it seems to. He gets calm, almost mellow, and stops living in a world in his head. No more talk of demons or monsters, no more protests that everyone's going to die if I don't get there, no more talk of apocalypse. In fact, there's pretty much no talk at all.

It's weird, having silence from his cell. He's usually pretty talkative, that one, and sometimes it makes sense and sometimes he's rambling about angels and demons and monsters. He's been known to fight, and fight dirty; he's been known to yell at nurses for being possessed; he's been known to chant things that sound like Latin, and maybe they're prayers and maybe not.

But now he's silent. Not unaware; he looks up when the doctor enters his room (it's officially not a cell, but it may as well be, with the locks and guards and all), and there's nothing crazy in his eyes. He tracks movement just fine as she crosses over to sit next to him on the neatly-made bed. "Hey, doc," he says, finally.

"Do you know your name?" She starts with routine questions, not quite sure what to expect.

"Dean Winchester," he replies obediently.

"Do you know where you are?"

He makes a show of looking around -- there's a hint of a smirk that the medication hasn't numbed out entirely -- and then shrugs. "I'm guessing some kinda medical jail."

The doctor almost corrects him (it's an inpatient psychiatric facility) but lets that slide. "Do you know why you're here?"

"Because..." He trails off, looking baffled. Rubs his head, like it hurts, and maybe it does; she makes a note to ask about that later. "I, um."

"That's all right," she says, and smiles at him; he relaxes. "Let's start somewhere else. As a matter of fact, if you're feeling up to it, I have a visitor that's been asking to see you."

He perks up at that. "Yeah? Who?"

The doctor doesn't expect him to go quite as pale as he does when she tells him.

"That's not possible," he whispers. "He's dead, I saw it happen, and he told me to take care of--" He stops, frowns, rubs his hands restlessly together. "What about Sam?"

"We've been over this, Dean," the doctor says quietly, because they have. Some of the aspects of the psychosis have been stubbornly consistent for as long as he's been here; you could tell him that he has no brother, and five minutes later he'd be insisting that Sam needs me, dammit--

But the new medications work.

Over the course of the next few months, Dean manages to make steady progress. He no longer mentions any of the strange mythos he'd built for himself. Not a word about saving the world or about saving a brother he doesn't have, not a flinch at the sight of his dad (who, contrary to Dean's earlier insistences, is alive and doesn't even have a hunting permit), not a hint of Latin. He doesn't have anything to replace it in his enthusiasm, but that will come with time.

He's normal now, and that's all that counts.


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