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Christmas Hunts and Hurts
, Sam runs away after a fight with John
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
Hey! I went to post the next chapter of this one and discovered I hadn't posted it here. I know its after Christmas but I thought you guys might like it anyway.(the first 10 chapters are already written so you shouldn't have to wait long for updates.)
Christmas Hunts and Hurts
Disclaimer: Supernatural and all its characters belong to Kripke and the CW. I own nothing.
Summary:John blames Sammy for a hunt gone wrong. After days of extra training and a blow up by John, Sammy leaves thinking he is no longer wanted. Dean- 16, Sammy- 12
Sammy Winchester carefully read over the tear stained letter in his hand making certain it was just right. Certain that he had said everything he needed to say he slid off his bed and shuffled over to Dean's. He gently set the note on his big brother's pillow where it was sure to be seen and then turned, grabbed his duffle, and hurried out of the room. Trudging down the hall he looked in each room he came to wanting to remember every part of this place; the last home he would ever have with his family. Making it to the front door Sam reached out a shaky hand and grabbed the doorknob before pausing for a moment. Glancing around at the room behind him he started to have second thoughts. Maybe he didn't need to leave after all; maybe he'd been mistaken. But then the morning's events came flooding back to crush him once more.
Sammy slowly shuffled into the house behind his father with his head hung low. He'd done worse in training this morning than the past two days combined. He hadn't even been able to hit any of the targets his dad had set out and the only thing he had managed to do in sparring was set the record for most times knocked on his behind, not to mention most bruises in one session. And he didn't even want to think about the obstacle course or the running drills. He knew his dad was furious with him; had told him so in no uncertain terms out in the field and in the car but he knew that was just the beginning. His father always saved the worst for when they got home and it was just the two of them.
Not wanting to prolong the inevitable Sam quietly shut the door before hanging up his coat and hat and going into the kitchen to face his enraged father. Getting to the table he stood at attention and waited for the yelling to begin. He didn't have to wait long.
John Winchester took another swig of his coffee as he glared at his youngest. The kid had done an awful job out there this morning. He didn't think he'd ever seen someone that uncoordinated and sloppy in his life. Even recruits on their first day of basic turned in a better performance than the boy in front of him had, and he'd been training for over two years now. Sometimes he wondered if the kid didn't do things like this just to spite him. He wouldn't put it past Sammy; he knew the boy was mad about not being allowed to see his brother the past few days. But he didn't deserve to visit Dean in the hospital, not when it was his fault his brother was there in the first place. John was not going to feel guilty about it and he didn't feel bad about all the extra training either. It was time Sammy learned to suck it up and get with the program before he got someone killed. No more coddling or excuses. And it needed to start right now. Slamming his mug down on the counter he smirked as the kid jumped. "Good, he's nervous" John thought as he rounded on his son.
John stomped over to his youngest and leaned down getting right in the boy's face. "What the hell do you think you were doing out there, boy?" he growled. I've seen six year olds that were more coordinated than you! You were pathetic out there! If we'd been on a hunt, Dean and I would both be dead right now! God, you're worthless as a hunter! I can't believe you're mine!"
"Save it! I don't wanna hear your excuses! You've always got some excuse or another for your screw-ups! Well it ends right now! Winchesters don't make excuses and they don't screw up hunts! You aren't a Winchester or a hunter!" John bellowed. "Now get outta my sight before I do something you'll regret!"
"I'm sorry sir" Sammy mumbled as he turned and walked dejectedly toward the doorway.
"You should be" John fired back. "I'm going to the hospital to get MY son now, you know the one you almost got killed. Move your crap into my room while I'm gone. Dean and I will bunk together from now on. Oh, and make yourself scarce when we get back. I don't want my son to see your worthless hide when we get here."
Wiping the tears from his eyes Sammy glanced around the room once more and then turned and walked out the door.
In the impala
Dean shifted in the passenger seat trying to find a position that didn't pull on the stitches across his chest. Being clawed by a Wendigo was definitely at the top on his list of things to never do again. Finally finding a comfortable spot he glanced over at his dad. The man had been pissed from the moment he stepped into the hospital room and that was never a good thing. Dean knew he should tread carefully; that his dad was as mean as a rattler and twice as deadly when he was in a foul mood. But after three days in a boring hospital room with no little brother for company Dean simply didn't care. Sammy hadn't been the only one punished by their dad's refusal to let him visit. Glaring out the windshield the teenager thought for a moment and then gruffly asked, "Where's Sammy? Why didn't he come with you?"
"I told you Dean. Sammy's being punished for getting you hurt." John huffed.
"And what am I being punished for?" Dean threw back as he turned his glare on his dad.
"Dean" John warned.
"No dad, I won't shut up!" Dean growled. "I sat in that crappy hospital room alone for three days while you had your little hissy fit and I've had it! You're going to listen to me this time! My getting hurt wasn't Sammy's fault!"
"Like Hell it wasn't! His gun jammed! You could have been killed because he didn't take care of his weapon!" John shouted.
"That wasn't his gun!" Dean yelled back. "That was yours! Sammy had never touched that gun before you put it in his hands that night, dad!"
"What?" John gasped. He didn't remember that. Actually he didn't recall much of anything about the hunt besides seeing the Wendigo attacking his eldest after Sam's gun jammed.
"He got his gun outta the trunk and you switched it with yours, remember?" Dean told his father. "You told him it was time he used a man's weapon."
John ran a hand across his face. "Oh God!" he whispered. "I've been…crap, Dean! Why didn't you tell me three days ago?!"
"I tried but every time I mentioned Sammy or the hunt you cut me off; told me to keep my mouth shut that it was being dealt with." Dean grumbled. "And with all those meds in my system I didn't exactly have the strength to fight with you about it. Most of the time I could barely keep my eyes open."
"Hang on Dean." John instructed as he floored the accelerator. He needed to get home and see Sammy. He had a lot to make up to the boy for. He just hoped it wasn't too late.
The bus station
Sammy confidently walked up to the ticket counter. "Round trip ticket to Blue Earth, please." he stated laying out most of his snow shoveling money. He didn't plan on coming back but he knew a one way ticket wouldn't be very convincing.
The ticket attendant took one look at the scrawny little boy and frowned. Pushing the money back towards the boy she said, "Sorry son, you're too young to be buying a ticket by yourself."
Sammy gave the older woman his best puppy dog expression. "I'm not alone. My dad's right over there on the phone." He said pointing over to the row of pay phones where a man was staring their way. He was actually staring at the young lady behind him, but Sam wasn't about to tell the attendant that. "He got a page from the office and had to call them so he told me to buy the ticket."
"Your dad's sending you away on Christmas Eve?" the attendant skeptically said.
"He doesn't really want to, but its mom's year to have me for Christmas" Sammy told the woman smiling as she took his money back and handed him a ticket. "Thank you, ma'am. Merry Christmas!" Stuffing the ticket in his pocket he picked up the duffle at his feet and raced across the station. Making it to his bus with only a couple of minutes to spare he quickly handed his ticket to the driver and walked to the back of the bus. Taking a seat at the very back of the bus he set his duffle on the empty seat beside him and settled in for the long ride ahead. He just hoped Pastor Jim wouldn't be too disappointed in him when he got there.
Back at the house
"Sammy!" Dean called as he shuffled into the house. "Hey Sammy! Come on out! Big brother's here!" Getting no reply he glanced nervously over at his father.
"Go check the bedroom. He's probably just in there sulking." John said ignoring the pit in his stomach and the daddy sensors that were screaming at him that something was very wrong.
"K" Dean replied. Injuries forgotten he ran down the hall to their bedroom. Throwing open the door he hurried inside to find an empty room. Glancing around the spotless room he saw none of Sammy's school books or papers and only his own duffle sat on the floor by the wall. Dropping on the bed as the implications of what he was seeing sank in Dean angrily reached for his pillow quickly shifting his gaze when his hand hit paper instead of cloth. Looking down at his little brother's messy handwriting he quickly read the note growing more upset with each word. Leaping to his feet he raced out of the room and down the hall hollering for his father the whole time. Rounding the corner of the living room he ran right into his dad.
"Dean, what is it? What's wrong?" John questioned leading his breathless son to the couch.
"H-h-he's gone, da-dad! Sammy's, Sammy's gone!" Dean stammered.
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
And the next chapter.
"What? What are you talking about Dean?!" John growled.
"SSSSammy ran away, dad. He, he, he left us!" Dean stuttered. Dropping onto the couch he turned away from his father to stare at the front door as if expecting his little brother to come bounding in any minute.
"You're wrong, Dean. Sammy wouldn't do that. He wouldn't…" John broke off midsentence eyes focusing on the crumpled notebook paper clutched in Dean's hands. He recognized the untidy scrawl of his youngest immediately. Sitting down beside his son the father carefully extracted the page from Dean's hands and started to read.
Dear Dean and dad,
The last few days have taught me a lot. I figured out what my place is in our family. I'm not a hunter or a sidekick. I'm not John's son or Dean's little brother. I'm not even the youngest Winchester. The only thing I am is a burden and a screw-up. And that's something I refuse to be. So I'm leaving. You guys can go back to your two man hunting club without having to worry about what to do with me. You'll be safer that way.
I know you're disgusted with me and I don't blame you. I've tried to be like Dean. God, I tried. But I just can't be him. I'm too slow and too clumsy; not a natural like you and Dean are. I think maybe you were right about me. That night I was born the nurses must have mixed up the babies and given your son to some quiet couple and stuck you with me. Maybe you'll find him one day and the three of you can be the perfect hunting family you've always wanted.
Dean, I'm sorry I got you hurt. I must have done something wrong. That gun would never have jammed if Dad had it. I'm sorry, too that you got stuck taking care of me all this time. You had to give up your whole life just to take care of my sorry a$$. You missed out on so much; playing with friends, parties, even hunts with dad all cause of me. I'm sorry you had to do that. But most of all I'm sorry I took your mom and your wonderful life away from you. If it wasn't for me, mom would still be alive and you and dad would be safe and happy.
I've got to go now. You guys will be back soon. I just want you to know that I love you Dean and daddy. And I'm sorry for everything. You don't have to worry about me anymore. I'm sure there's something that this worthless waste of space can do.
The paper fluttered to the floor as John's hands shook. Dropping his head he whispered, "Oh God Mary! What have I done?"
On the bus
Sam thoroughly scrutinized the people that slowly filed onto the bus alert for any threat. Besides himself, there was an elderly couple sitting toward the front with a bag full of presents, a long haired young man holding a guitar case, and an old raggedy man that kept talking to himself. Hearing the bus doors shut and feeling it start to back up Sammy reached over to his duffle to get his book. He had read Dickens's Christmas Carol before but his teacher Mr. Bentley had decided that it was the perfect winter break assignment. Feeling the bus stop suddenly he looked up as another group of passengers climbed aboard. His face fell as a young father and his two small boys hurriedly took a seat across from him. The younger of the two, who looked to be about six or seven, sat on his dad's lap while the other boy who was maybe three years older took the seat by the window. Watching the small family Sam couldn't help but remember happier times; times when his dad was just his dad, not his drill sergeant. Fighting back tears he turned back to his book and settled in for the long trip ahead. It wouldn't do him any good to dwell on the past. He had a future to figure out.
Back in town
John tromped through the snow back to where the impala was haphazardly parked. Climbing in the warm interior he slammed the door. "Find anything, Dean?" he asked as he started the car and pulled back onto the road. "Where else did his friends say we could look?"
"Sammy hadn't made any friends yet, dad. We've only been here a week and a half." Dean huffed glaring at the older man.
"Dean, you're not helping." John growled tightening his grip on the steering wheel. "You wanna be pissed at me. Fine! But save it till we find your brother. Biting my head off isn't going to get us anywhere right now."
"I know" Dean admitted. "I'm just worried, alright. Sammy's been gone four hours now and we're no closing to finding him than when we started."
"Then we just keep looking. There must be somewhere we missed." John replied.
"Dad, we've been through this town with a fine tooth comb. We've checked all his usual hangouts." Dean pointed out keeping his attention on the town in front of him. "Everything's closed or about to close and nobody's seen…DAD! Stop the car! I know where he went!"
Pastor Jim sat down in his beat up recliner and reverently placed his worn Bible in his lap. Opening it to the passage he intended to read for the service in a few hours he smiled. The midnight Christmas service was always his favorite service. Everyone was always smiling and joyous. It was almost as if all their troubles and problems were gone for that one moment in time. He just wished he could see those happy faces all year long. Seemed as soon as Christmas was over the sour dispositions and frowns magically reappeared along with all the world's problems and trials. Course if there were no more trials and tribulations then there would be no need for people like him. Shaking his head at that ridiculous notion he took a sip of his hot tea and leaned back in his chair to read the passage he knew by heart. He had just grasped the lever on the chair and started to recline when a soft knock sounded. Standing and heading to the door he snatched his silver knife off the mantle sticking it under his jacket. While it wasn't unheard of for visitors to come to his door at any hour of the day or night, Christmas Eve was always an extremely quiet day for him. Easing up to the door he peered out a side window before throwing the door open wide. "Samuel, I didn't hear your dad drive up." he said as he glanced around behind the boy, "I thought you three were on a case and couldn't come this year? And where are your father and brother? Are they parking the car or did they drop you off?"
"I, I, I c-c-came by my-myssself" Sammy stammered shivering as another ice cold breeze slammed into him.
Noticing the youngster's trembling Jim hurriedly stepped aside motioning for the boy to come in. He shut and locked the door behind them and then led Sam into the living room and to the fireplace. Pulling his old rocking chair over in front of the roaring fire the minister sat the shaking teenager down and helped him get out of his flimsy coat. Jim handed his mostly full mug of hot tea to him and raced out of the room returning seconds later with a fleece blanket that he tossed around the littlest Winchester's shoulders. Taking the towel from around his arm the pastor started drying Sam's hair. He waited until the shivering started to subside before questioning the boy. "Care to tell me what's going on, Sammy?" he asked. "What were you doing out in the cold by yourself and where are your father and brother?"
"I, I left them, Pastor Jim." Sammy hesitantly admitted. "I caught the bus to blue Earth and then walked to your house."
"You did what? Samuel Winchester, the bus station is three miles from my house! What on Earth did you think you were doing walking that far in the freezing cold with that flimsy little jacket on? I'll be surprised if you don't end up with a cold or worse." Pastor Jim sternly scolded. Dropping the wet towel on the floor he walked around in front of the boy and kneeled down. "What's going on son? Why are you here?"
Sammy glanced at his friend for a moment before dropping his gaze to the floor. "I left Dean and dad." He tearfully stated. "I had to. I've been a burden to them long enough and I won't…"
"Sammy, you're not a burden to your family." Jim broke in. "John and Dean love you very much. You're part of their family, not some obligation."
"No, no, I'm just a useless waste of space." Sam argued with a shake of his head. "Dad said. And he's right. I almost got Dean killed cause I was sloppy. I can't let that happen again."
Starting to get the big picture Pastor Jim mentally cursed John Winchester. The stupid old fool had been riding the boy for two years now and it looked like he'd finally broken the child. When he got his hands on that man, he'd…Stopping that very unchristian thought he turned back to the problem at hand. He thought for a moment and then asked, "Sammy, what does Dean say?"
"I don't know. Dad wouldn't let me see *yawn* him." Sam quietly replied.
Seeing the boy's eyes droop the good pastor decided to save the rest of the conversation for later. Standing he helped Sam to his feet and started back towards the stairs. "Okay Sammy, here's what we're going to do. You're going to go upstairs and get a nice hot shower and get into bed." He softly instructed. "And then tomorrow we'll call your dad and Dean and I'll send you…"
"No, please don't send me away, Pastor Jim!" Sammy cried. "I don't have anywhere else to go!"
"Sammy, Sammy son, it's okay. I'm not going to send you away." Jim assured the panicking boy.
"Promise?" Sam pleaded.
"I promise" Jim replied as he started up the stairs with the youngster in tow. "Now come on. Let's get you settled in."
Outside the bus station
Dean climbed into the impala slamming the door in frustration. "Dammit! I really thought we'd find him there!" he growled. "Or at least somebody who'd seen him."
"Don't worry, Dean. We'll find him. We always do." John assured his oldest. Taking in his son's pale complexion and hunched position he made a decision. "I think it's time we go home and regroup. Come back out in a few hours."
"Dad, we can't do that! Sammy's still out there somewhere!" Dean shouted.
"I know Dean. But we're not doing anything here but spinning our wheels. We've already looked everywhere we can think of." John reminded him leaving out the part about Dean needing to rest. "Besides, if he's been picked up by the police, we need to be by the phone. It's just for a couple of hours, Dean. That'll give us time to go over the city maps for spots we might have missed and call a few people."
"Okay" Dean grudgingly agreed. "But only for a couple of hours."
"Promise" John replied.
Weary and hurting Dean leaned against the passenger door and stared out at the frozen wonderland flying by. "Where are you little brother?" he whispered as a lone tear rolled down his cheek.
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
Bec- Thank you! Sure, he definitely deserves it.
Akinom- Thanks! I agree. Pastor Jim's is the perfect place for Sammy to be right now. He'll be safe and well cared for there.
Yep, John's in for a shock when he finds out just how far his youngest has gone. Man never did give the kid enough credit.
Pastor Jim walked back into the dimly lit guest room and smiled down at the sleeping boy. As exhausted as he was Sammy had managed to eat about half of the chicken noodle soup and drink most of the hot chocolate before drifting off into dreamland. Going over to the bed the minister picked up the metal Transformer's tray table and set it on the nightstand. Taking one end of the sheet he lovingly pulled it up to the littlest Winchester's chin. Repeating the action with the handmade quilt Jim brushed the boy's bangs out of his eyes and stood up. "Goodnight Sammy" he whispered. Reaching into his jacket pocket he took out the bottle of children's Tylenol and thermometer and set them on the nightstand knowing he'd probably need them before morning. He glanced down at the sleeping Winchester once more before picking up the tray table and silently shuffling to the door. He had a call to make.
A few hours away
John eyed Dean critically as they sat at the kitchen table with the city map spread between them. The pain lines around his son's eyes and mouth told him the teen was hurting. But the kid had refused all attempts to get him to rest. All John's suggestions and orders had fallen on deaf ears. Dean had even waved away the glass of soda his dad brought him; which meant the Winchester patriarch had wasted his time and two pain pills when he crushed and mixed them with the drink. He had to hand it to the kid though. Dean could out stubborn a mule when he was in 'solve Sammy's problem' mode. Really the only times he and Dean ever argued was because of Sammy. He should have listened to Dean in the hospital. The boy rarely protested John's punishments for himself or his brother. In fact the only times he spoke up was when John himself was in the wrong. He should have listened when Dean told him the gun jamming wasn't Sammy's fault. But he had been so scared and worried about Dean. He could have easily lost his oldest that night. And as always those emotions quickly morphed into anger which he then unleashed on the closest target available; Sammy. And now his youngest was gone without a trace and if John didn't find him, he had no doubt that he would lose his oldest as well. Hearing the phone he turned and strode toward the living room right behind Dean.
Dean raced across the living room and snatched up the receiver. "Sammy" he hollered into the phone.
"Dean, its Pastor Jim" Jim replied. "I'm calling to tell…"
"Oh" Dean interrupted. Handing the phone to his dad he simply stated, "Pastor Jim" before trudging back into the other room.
"Jim, I'm gonna have to call you back later. Sammy's missing." John told his friend.
"I know" Jim said as he sat back in his chair.
"Good, then you know I have to…" John stopped as the little light bulb finally went off. "Sammy's with you, isn't he?"
"Yes, he arrived a little while ago. Care to tell me what happened?" he asked fighting to keep his voice level.
"That's between me and my boy. Now put Sammy on the phone." John gruffly ordered.
"I most certainly will not." Pastor Jim ground out. "Samuel is upstairs asleep and I'm not about to wake him up to…"
"He's sleeping! It's not even eight o'clock yet!" John bellowed. "There's no reason for him to be in bed already! We didn't even get a full day's training in this morning! I had to cut it short to go pick up Dean! I've told that boy that he has to…"
"So help me John if your next words are 'suck it up', Bobby won't be the only one with a shotgun waiting for you." Pastor Jim warned. "I saw the bruises from your so called training. The poor boy's chest and back are nothing but one huge bruise! I've tried to tell you before that you're being too hard on Sammy. He's too young for the full contact sparring you've been doing."
"Now listen here! You don't…"
"No, you listen!" Jim shouted. "I don't know what happened to bring that boy to my doorstep. All I know is that I have a physically exhausted little boy upstairs who thinks he's a burden and that his family would be better off without him. And I'm not going to let anyone hurt him again, especially not you. Now you have a choice to make; you can either get your act together and treat Sammy with the love and respect he deserves or you can get out of his life for good. The choice is yours."
"You can't…" John stopped as a click sounded. 'The damn jacka$$ hung up on me!' he thought as he slammed the receiver down. Grabbing the coats off the rack by the door he stormed into the kitchen where Dean was busily circling the areas they had searched. "Let's go, Dean. Sammy's at Jim's." John ordered tossing the black leather jacket to his son. Turning he snatched his keys off the table and headed for the front door. Nobody kept his son away from him. Nobody.
Pastor Jim's house
Sammy awoke to a hand carding through his hair. "De'n?" he sleepily called out.
"Sorry runt, Dean's not here." Caleb replied grinning down at the boy. "Looks like you're stuck with me."
"What are you doing here?" Sammy asked. Struggling out of the covers he sat up and leaned against the headboard. "Where's Pastor Jim?"
"Relax short stuff. I always spend Christmas with P.J., remember?" the older boy said. "And Jim's just downstairs. He's getting ready to leave for the midnight service. He told me to stay with you till he gets back."
"No" Sammy adamantly stated shaking his head. "No, I won't be a burden to you guys, too. You don't have to stay. I can take care of myself."
"Shhh, Sammy. Don't say that too loud, P.J. will hear you." Caleb shushed with a finger on his lips. "And you're not being a burden, dude. You're saving me from a fate worse than death. You know how much I hate sitting through that stupid service."
"But nothing, runt" Caleb broke in. "Just lie down and let me stay and pretend to take care of you, okay? Consider it your Christmas present to me."
"Okay" Sammy agreed as he slid back down in the bed and closed his eyes.
"Hold on Sammy. P.J. said for you to take these when you woke up." Caleb said handing Sam two Tylenol and a glass of water. Seeing the boy's confused look he added, "You've got a fever. Think you kinda made yourself sick walking here from the bus station." He watched the younger boy wash the medicine down with a drink of water and then took the empty glass and set it on the night stand. "Get some more sleep, Sam I am. I'll be right outside if you need me." He whispered before tiptoeing out of the room. He walked down the hall to the stairs and slid down the banister jumping off at the bottom to land in front of Jim.
"Sammy asleep?" Jim asked as he put on his hat and heavy coat.
"Yeah, he took the Tylenol and conked back out." Caleb informed the pastor. "You call papa bear yet?"
"Unfortunately" the older man huffed. "I almost called Pastor Logue to take my place after I talked with that blasted fool! Do you know he was still ranting and raving about Sammy when I talked to him a few hours ago? No worry or remorse in his voice at all; only anger. I've got half a mind to put Sammy in the car and just take off. Keep him away from John for a while."
"That would kill Dean, P.J., Sammy, too." Caleb pointed out. "Those boys can't live without each other."
"I know. I just wish there was something I could do." Jim conceded. Picking up his Bible he reached for the doorknob. "I'll be back as soon as I can. Bobby and Josh are on their way. Hopefully they'll make it before John gets here. But keep the shotgun handy just in case. And whatever you do, don't let John anywhere near Sammy."
"You got it, P.J." Caleb agreed. "Now go before you're late to your own service. And don't worry. I've got everything under control."
Hearing the distinctive rumble of the impala's engine Caleb groaned. He really didn't want to deal with an irate John Winchester on his own. But since Jim wasn't back yet and the other hunters had yet to arrive, he had no choice. There was no way he was letting John near Sammy. The kid was like a little brother to him and he wasn't about to let him be hurt again. He just hoped Little Bit slept through all the racket they were sure to cause. Caleb picked up the shotgun at his feet and slowly stood. Going to the door he peered out the window watching as the impala skidded to a stop and Dean leapt from the car. Caleb opened the door just as Dean made it to the porch and stepped aside. "Sammy's in your usual room." He told the teen as he hurried past him and headed up the stairs. "Let him sleep, Dean. The kid's not feeling well." His only answer was a nod of Dean's head. 'One Winchester down, one to go.' He thought as he turned his attention back to the door. Walking backwards until the back of his legs bumped the stairs he took a deep breath and raised the shotgun. "Hold it right there, John" he called as the older man walked through the doorway. "That's far enough."
John froze in the doorway for a second staring at the gun pointed at him. Plastering on a smile he slowly shut the door behind him and raised his hands in surrender. "Caleb, it's me. You can put the gun down now." He calmly said.
"Don't think so, man." Caleb replied.
"Come on Caleb, I just came to get Sammy. I don't want to fight you. Just let me get my sons and leave." John argued voice rising. "I'm giving you a chance here, junior."
"Sorry John, I can't let you do that. Sammy is not going anywhere with you. Not till I'm sure you won't hurt him again." Caleb coldly ground out.
"You won't let me!" John growled. "That's my son you're talking about! I have every right to take…"
"Problem, Caleb?" Bobby asked as he and Joshua walked in from behind the stairs.
"No dude. I've got everything under control." Caleb called back keeping his focus on the Winchester patriarch. "John and I were just about to go in the living room and wait for Pastor Jim. Right, John?"
"Right" John grudgingly agreed. Pushing back his anger at the situation he trudged into the living room and dropped onto the sofa to wait for Jim. He just hoped the pastor would be in a better mood than he was on the phone.
Dean silently snuck into the bedroom he always shared with his little brother and closed the door. Stepping up to the bed his attention was drawn to the nightstand where an empty glass, a pill bottle, and the thermometer stood. Worried he carefully sat down on the bed and placed the back of his hand on Sam's forehead frowning at the heat he found there. His dad hadn't said anything about Sammy being sick. All he'd told Dean was that the kid had run to Jim's. Stifling his own yawn he pulled back the covers a little and lay down beside his brother. Wrapping an arm around Sam's back he gently tugged his little brother closer to him snuggling the boy to his side.
"D'n?" Sammy whispered as his eyes opened to slits.
"Shhhh, go back to sleep Sammy. I'm right here." Dean assured his brother as he carded a hand through the younger boy's long chestnut locks. "Big brother's right here. You're safe now."
Pastor Jim hurried into the house slamming the door to let the others know he was there. Tossing his coat and hat in the direction of the coat rack he walked into the living room and had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. There on his couch sat the mighty John Winchester pouting like a toddler denied their favorite candy. How he wished he had a camera to capture that expression. Then the next time the man complained about his younger son sulking, he could just pull out the picture instead of wasting his breath. Schooling his expression the pastor walked over by the fireplace to stand with the others. "Hello, John" he greeted. "I see you've met Sammy's bodyguards."
"Bodyguards? Jim, what the hell is going on?" John asked. "Why are you keeping me from my son?"
"Oh, so now he's your son." Bobby growled.
"Look, I screwed up. I'll be the first to admit it. I was worried about Dean and I let my anger get the better of me. But Sammy is my son and I love him. Please, you can't take him from me." John brokenheartedly pleaded.
"And why should we believe you? How do we know you won't blame the kid next time something goes wrong?" Joshua questioned.
"I, I, I don't know." John honestly answered. "There's nothing I could say or do to prove to you that I won't let it happen again. I'm not even sure I can prevent it. But my boys are all I've got; they're the only bright spot in this whole nightmare. I can't lose them. I just can't."
"John, I want to believe, I do. I don't think you meant to say those things to Sammy. We all know that you speak before you think. But we have a heart broken little boy upstairs. And we have to make sure we do right by him." Jim said as he walked to the couch and took a seat by his friend. "Right now, I'm not so sure being with you is what's best for him."
"Jim, please" John begged.
"I do think he needs you though. Sammy needs your love and support just as much as you need his." Jim told his friend. "With that in mind I've decided on what I hope is the best course of action. I think all three of you should remain at my house for the rest of Christmas break to try to work things out. I'm not going to lie to you John. This is not going to be easy. You'll have to find a way to reign in that infamous temper of yours and you're going to have to take your cues from Sammy. If he's uncomfortable in any way, you'll have to back off. And absolutely no training or hunts."
John glanced at each of his friends before focusing on the ceiling knowing his boys were in the room above him. "We'll do it." he said with a nod. "We'll stay here as long as we need to. I just wanna get my boy back."
"Good, cause I really didn't wanna shoot you." Caleb muttered lowering his shotgun. "Now if you guys don't mind, I'm gonna go upstairs and hit the hay. I'll be in Dean and Sammy's room if anyone needs me."
"You're sleeping on the floor?" Jim asked in surprise.
"P-lease" Caleb grumbled rolling his eyes. "I'll be in the bed by the door. Knowing Dean he's in Sammy's bed with the little monkey snuggled into his side."
"He's right about that Jim. Now that he's found Sammy, he's not gonna be letting him out of his sight anytime soon." John pointed out.
"Right" Jim agreed with a yawn. "Why don't we all turn in for the night? It's been a long, stressful day for all of us."
"Sounds good to me." Bobby replied as he stood and stretched. "Josh and I will head back to the motel for the night. We'll catch you guys in the morning."
"Alright, Night gentlemen" Jim called. Shutting and locking the door behind the two hunters he turned and made his way over to John at the bottom of the stairs. "John, I think you should take my room for a while. I'll take the upstairs guest room."
John half heartedly nodded his agreement. He really didn't want to be that far away from his boys. "Can I at least look in on them first?" he quietly asked.
"Of course" Jim agreed. He walked up the stairs with John stopping at the boys' bedroom. Pushing the door open he peered into the darkened room smiling at the sight of Sammy snuggled into his big brother's side.
John stood and watched his boys sleeping for several minutes. It hurt to see how young and innocent they looked in sleep. Both his boys had been through so much, way more than they should have. And through it all they never complained. Sure there were always tears when they moved but they never once made a fuss over designer clothes or the latest toys, there were no temper tantrums at stores if they couldn't get anything. They were always thrilled with what little John got them. And they both practically beamed anytime he offered up a small word of praise for a job well done. They deserved so much more. And starting tomorrow he was going to make sure they got it. "Night boys, I love you" he whispered before shutting the door and walking down the hall. He had a lot of thinking to do.
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
I'm headed out of town for a funeral tomorrow. I won't make it back home until sometime Saturday. didn't want to leave you hanging, so here's chapter 4.
John walked into the kitchen the next morning and headed straight for the coffee maker on the far counter. After a night of almost no sleep, he desperately needed the caffeine. He poured himself a mug and turned to lean against the counter. Staring at the three hunters sitting around the long, oak table he attempted to gage their moods. Swiftly figuring out that the men were still mad as hornets the Winchester patriarch decided he would have to tread very carefully. He couldn't afford any mistakes. Walking across the room he sat down at the table across from the others and drank a sip of his coffee to calm his nerves. Clearing his throat John waited until he had Jim's attention and then asked, "Boys still sleeping?"
"Yes" Pastor Jim replied. "They had a rather rough night last night and none of them got much sleep."
"Rough night? What happened? Is something wrong with Dean?" John questioned rising from his chair.
"Is something wrong with Dean?" Bobby mimicked under his breath as he glared at the worried father.
Pastor Jim sent the junk yard owner a warning look before turning his attention to John. "Dean is just fine." He angrily said. "Sammy's the one you should be concerned about. He…"
"Yeah, you know Sammy? Your other son?" Bobby spat.
"Bobby" Jim warned.
"Fine" the furious hunter conceded. Stabbing a sausage link on his plate he stuffed it in his mouth.
"Jim, what's wrong with Sammy?" John asked.
Ignoring Bobby's snort and Joshua's whispered 'you mean besides what you did to the kid?' the minister bit back his own retort. "Sammy's sick, John. He started running a fever shortly after he arrived yesterday. I thought he was just getting a cold from walking all the way here from the bus station in that flimsy little jacket of his but I don't think that's it. He started coughing last night about one o'clock and his fever shot up. We gave him Tylenol for the fever and it lowered the fever but the children's cough syrup I had didn't even put a dent in the coughing. I ended up sending Caleb out to get something stronger. Thankfully that seems to have helped. He finally settled down a little while ago." Jim explained. "I called one of my parishioners this morning and asked if he could take a look at Sammy. He's a pediatrician. He said he'd meet us at his office in about an hour."
'What about the bruises, Jim? How are you going to explain those?" Josh broke in.
"Luckily, I won't have to. Dr. Best knows all about the supernatural and hunters." The pastor told the others. "He won't be happy about all the bruising but he'll understand."
"Good" Josh sighed. "Cause the last thing the little guy needs is to have to deal with a suspicious doctor or worse a visit from CPS."
"I agree" Jim agreed as he got up and took his dirty dishes to the sink. "John, I think you should have a talk with Dean while Sammy and I are gone. See if you can't work things out with him."
"You really think Dean's going to let Sammy go somewhere without him?" Bobby asked.
"Dean doesn't have choice in the matter. With those meds of his coursing through his system I don't think he'll be waking up anytime soon." Pastor Jim replied.
"You got Dean to take his medicine? All of it? The pain pills, too?" John questioned gazing curiously at the minister.
"No, I didn't do a thing." Jim told the others. "That was Samuel's doing. Sammy could see Dean was hurting so when Caleb got back with the cough medicine, he refused to take it. Said he wasn't taking anything else until Dean took his meds."
"That sounds like Sammy" Joshua said. "Kid always has had a knack for getting his big brother to do things he didn't want to."
"That he has" the pastor agreed before turning back to the oldest Winchester. "I imagine Dean will sleep for a couple more hours at least. And it'll probably take over an hour for Sammy and me to finish at the doctor's, get whatever medicine he needs, and get back here. So you should have plenty of time to square things with Dean while we're gone."
"Just one thing wrong with that" John said. "Dean and I don't have any problems we need to work through, Jim."
"John if you think you and Dean are alright after everything that's happened, then you're more clueless than I thought." Jim growled. "Sammy's not the only one who's suffered from your antics. Dean's biggest fear has always been that he would lose part or all of his family and that's just what happened. That boy's angry that you hurt his brother so badly and he's worried that he's going to lose one of you because of it. And if I know Dean, he's probably also shouldering a mountain of guilt for getting hurt on the hunt that started all this mess. He always has blamed himself when things go wrong."
"Jim's right, man" Joshua softly stated.
"You've got to talk to Dean; get him to see that what happened was in no way his fault." Jim instructed. "And you need to make sure he understands that you intend to work things out with Sammy; that you're not going to cut and run like you usually do."
"Shut it Winchester!" Bobby bellowed. "You do and you know it so just cut the innocent routine!"
"Bobby's got a point" Caleb yawned from the doorway. "Would have been nice if he'd toned down the volume a bit, but he's got you there, Johnny."
"Fine, I get it. I'll talk to Dean." John grumbled.
"See that you do." Jim ordered as he headed for the door. "Now, I need to go get ready. So if you gentlemen will excuse me?"
"Jim, wait" John called. "I've got a problem."
"Only one" Bobby mumbled earning himself another heated glare from the pastor.
"What is it, John?" Jim asked.
"All of our stuff is still back at the house. We thought we were just coming to pick up Sammy. We didn't plan on staying." John told his friend. "Dean and I are gonna need to go get our clothes and things from the house."
"Alright" Jim agreed. Cocking his head he thought for a moment and then said, "You go ahead back to the house and pick up whatever you need. That should give you time to think. Dean can stay here and rest."
"What about our talk?" John asked.
"It can wait till you get back." Jim replied. "Dean's still recovering; he doesn't need to be stuffed in a car for that long. Course if you don't want to go alone, I'm sure one of the others wouldn't mind riding with you."
"I'll go" Bobby broke in grinning mischievously over at the Winchester patriarch.
"No" Jim told the salvage owner. "The boys need their dad back in one piece."
"I'll ride with him" Josh offered.
"Okay, let's go" John replied as he dumped his mug into the sink. "The sooner we leave, the sooner I get back to my boys."
Jim followed the other two hunters out of the kitchen and headed for the stairs. "Go slow and be careful on the road. It's really slick out there." He cautioned.
"You too" John called back. Snatching his coat off the rack he shrugged it on. "And Jim, thanks for everything."
"No thanks necessary. Families help each other." Jim replied as he started up the stairs. "And you and the boys are family whether you like it or not."
"Yeah, you're the black sheep." Joshua chuckled. Ducking the swat John leveled his way he trudged out into the cold still laughing.
Shaking his head at his friend's sense of humor Jim walked the rest of the way up the stairs and down the hall to the boys' room. He tiptoed into the room and silently made his way over to the bed furthest from the door. Taking a seat on the edge of the mattress the pastor reached out and lightly shook the youngest Winchester's shoulder. "Sammy, Sammy wake up son." He softly called.
"J'm?" Sam whispered as he slowly opened his eyes.
"Morning Sammy" Jim greeted smiling down at the sleepy youngster. "Sorry to wake you but we need to get you dressed. You have a doctor's appointment to get to."
"No do'tor, T'red" Sam protested. He closed his eyes and started to turn on his side only to be stopped by the pastor's hold on his arm.
"Oh no you don't, young man" Jim gently scolded as he grabbed the boy's arm. "I know you're tired but you can sleep when we get back from seeing the doctor. Now come on and get dressed. I'll help you." Picking up the shirt he'd already laid out Jim helped Sam change into a clean shirt and jeans. Kneeling down he quickly slipped on the boy's socks and shoes before standing. Wrapping an arm around Sammy's waist he pulled the boy up and slowly walked him out the door.
In the truck
John snuck glances at Joshua as they inched down the road. The tense atmosphere in the old pick up was stifling and he wasn't sure how much longer he could stand it. There wasn't even any music playing to distract him from the situation. He gazed out the window for a while but since the only thing he could see was a sea of sparkling white, it didn't take long for him to get bored. Casting another glance at his companion out of the corner of his eye John decided to try to talk with Josh; make him understand that this was all a big mistake. He cleared his throat and said, "Thanks for coming with me, Josh. I appreciate it."
"No problem, John" Joshua replied.
"You know I didn't mean what I said, right?" John asked keeping his eyes focused on the road ahead.
"Don't matter what I think." Josh gruffly answered. "All that matters is that Sammy thinks you meant it. You hurt him bad, Johnny and that's not something I take lightly."
"Yeah, like you never hurt him." John grumbled.
"Are you ever gonna let that go?" the young man hollered hitting the steering wheel in frustration. "That was years ago, man! And it was an accident! I didn't know Sammy was at the door!"
"I know and I forgave you." John pointed out. "All I'm asking is that you do the same."
"Don't know if I can do that." Joshua honestly said. "What I did was an accident. I didn't even know I was about to scare Sammy until it was too late. You knew what you said was gonna hurt the kid; Hell that's why you said what you did. You meant for it to hurt."
"Josh, you know me. You know I'd never intentionally hurt my boys." John pleaded. "I was just so angry! I didn't mean to hurt him."
"You wanna get angry, fine! Go for a run! Or hit a tree! Do something, anything to keep from spouting off!" Josh angrily suggested. "You gotta do something about that temper before you lose those two boys for good."
"I will Josh. I'm not gonna let my mouth get away from me again. I promise." John told his friend.
At the doctor's office
Sammy lay on the short exam table shivering as he waited for Pastor Jim and the doctor to come in the door. He glanced around the room staring wide eyed at all the various instruments along the wall and on the counter. Pushing back his fear he slowly calmed himself down. If he wasn't going to be a burden anymore, he needed to grow up. He shouldn't be freaked out by a doctor's visit. He just needed to suck it up and act like a man, not some little baby. Hearing the door open he glanced up to see his friend walk in along with a burly older man with black hair. He watched as the leather clad man came up to the table and extended his hand.
"Hey there Sammy. Name's Dr. Best, but you can call me Bubba." The doctor greeted as he shook his patient's hand. "Jimmy here tells me you had yourself a bad night. How about telling me what hurts and I'll try to fix it for ya."
Sammy smiled despite himself. The doctor reminded him of Bobby without the ball cap. Realizing that the doc was waiting for an answer he shrugged. "My head hurts a little, and my chest. It hurts when I breathe." He told Dr. Best.
"Okay buddy, let's see what I can do about that." The doctor said as he grabbed a few instruments off the counter.
At the house
"Need any help, John?" Joshua called as he trudged over to the couch and plopped down.
"No, I got it!" John shouted back as he lumbered down the hall to his son's bedroom. Throwing Dean's duffle on the bed he began hastily shoving things inside.
Joshua glanced around the living room in surprise. This was definitely one of the better places the Winchesters had stayed. Seeing a car magazine on the small table beside him he reached over to grab it stopping as a half crumpled piece of notebook paper lying on the floor caught his eye. Bending down he picked up the paper and straightened it out. Recognizing the youngest Winchester's handwriting the hunter skimmed the page growing angrier with each word he read. Making it to the end he slammed his fist into the couch cushions. He'd known it was bad but this worse than he'd imagined. This was way more than a few cross words. Needing to do something to keep himself from beating the oldest Winchester to a pulp, Josh pocketed the note and headed into the kitchen. Dean always kept some snacks for him and Sammy and he was sure the boys would want some when they woke up. He rifled through the drawers and cabinets till he found the large bags of M&M's and Skittles. He stuck them in the pockets of his coat and started for the swinging kitchen door smiling when he heard John's footsteps headed his way. Creeping to the door he listened as the steps got closer and closer. He waited for just the right moment and then slammed the door open smirking at the muffled thud on the other side. Walking out the swinging door he looked down at John who was blinking up at him from the floor. "Did I do that?" Josh innocently asked.
John pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and dabbed at the blood running from his nose. Glaring up at his not so innocent friend he grabbed the two bags at his side and slowly stood. "What the Hell was that for?" he barked.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Johnny." Josh replied. "Guess my hands just got away from me. You know, like your mouth does."
Rolling his eyes at his friend John bit back the reply that was dying to come out. Figuring this was a test he forced a smile on his face. "That's okay, Josh. Could happen to anybody." He said as he headed toward the front door. He couldn't get home fast enough.
Pastor Jim's place
Hearing the pastor's car pull up outside Bobby jumped out of his chair and hurried to the door. Opening the door he went out onto the porch frowning as his friend climbed out the driver's side and walked around to the passenger door. Taking the stairs two at a time he quickly made it to the car. Seeing the littlest Winchester peacefully sleeping he smiled. "I'll get him." He offered. Opening the door he carefully scooped the boy into his arms and trudged back up the steps and into the house. Once inside he quickly walked up the staircase and down the hall to the boys' room. He crept across the room and gently settled Sammy in bed next to his sleeping sibling before removing the boy's shoes. After covering the youngster up, the salvage owner silently made his way back out of the room. He hurried down to the kitchen where his friend was pouring himself a cup of coffee. "What'd the doc say?" he asked as he took a seat at the table.
"Dr. Best said its walking pneumonia." Jim replied. He shuffled over to the table and dropped into a chair. "He also said Sammy's been getting sick for at least a couple of days now."
"Figures" Bobby growled. "So, do I need to go pick up some prescriptions for the kid?"
"No, it's already been taken care of. Dr. Best called them in to the hospital pharmacy and he sweet talked one of the nurses into bringing them to us." Jim told him. "He gave Sammy a breathing treatment and a shot of antibiotics so he won't need to take anything for a few hours."
"Glad I missed that." Bobby joked. "One experience with Sammy and needles is way more than enough for me."
"You know I always thought the crying and screaming was the worst but I was wrong. The boy's still terrified but he forces himself to suck it up as his father would say. That's ten times worse." Pastor Jim said. "At least when he was little you could hold him and comfort him when it was over."
"Yeah, I know what you mean." Bobby agreed. "Just hope that's not Johnny's solution this time."
"It won't be. I meant what I said. If John sets so much as a toe out of line, I won't hesitate to take the boys and disappear." Jim adamantly stated. "I just hope it doesn't come to that."
"Me too, Jim. Me too"
Several hours later
Sam slowly opened his eyes and glanced around the room. Finding himself back in his room with Dean he mentally groaned. Somebody had had to drag his lazy ass up here. He'd been a burden again. God, couldn't he do anything right? Okay, from now on he was going to do things for himself. No more being a burden. He was twelve after all. Decision made he reached over to the nightstand for some water but his glass was empty. Resigning himself to a trip to the kitchen he peered over at Dean to make sure he was sleeping and then slid out of bed. Standing he had to close his eyes for a few minutes to let the dizziness pass. He then tiptoed across the room and out the thankfully open door. He padded through the hall and carefully made his way down the stairs. Sammy had just reached the bottom step when the front door opened and his dad walked in carrying a duffle.
"Dad, what, what are you doing here?" Sam asked staring at his father. "I thought you were…" he stopped as he spotted the familiar duffle in his dad's hand. "Oh, I get it. You're here to get Dean."
"No, Sammy, I…"
"I understand, Dad." Sam continued. "I knew Dean couldn't stay with me."
"I'm sorry" Sam apologized. "I didn't mean to take you away from the hunt. I'll just go get him and you two can…"
"Sammy, will you shut up for a minute and listen!" John shouted. Mentally cursing himself at his son's flinch he softened his tone. "Sammy, I'm not taking Dean away." He told his youngest. "Dean and I aren't going anywhere. We're staying right here so you…"
"You're making me leave?" Sammy cried breathing heavily. "But, but I don't have any-any wh-where to, to go! Please, you, you can't…"
"Sammy, Sammy calm down son" John instructed as he headed for his hyperventilating son. "Come on buddy, slow it down. Nobody's going anywhere. We're all staying here toget…" Seeing Sammy's eyes roll up in his head and his knees buckle John ran the last few feet and caught his son before he could hit the floor. Picking up his youngest he hurried into the living room and gently laid the boy on the long couch calling for Jim the whole time.
Jim dropped the can of soup he was opening and dashed into the living room at his friend's frightened shouts. Seeing John leaning over an unconscious Sammy he stormed over to the two. "What the Hell did you do?" he demanded pushing John away from the couch.
"I didn't do anything, Jim. Sammy saw me coming in with the duffles and freaked out. I tried to tell him I wasn't going to take Dean away from him but he wouldn't listen." John hastily explained. "I finally yelled at him and I told him we were staying here. But he started hyperventilating. He was begging me not to kick him out and then he just passed out."
"I can't believe you! How could you be so stupid!" Jim growled. Hearing a groan he raised a hand to John to stop him from coming closer and turned his attention to the youngest Winchester. "Sammy? Sammy, open your eyes son." He called as he stroked the boy's cheek. He smiled as the boy's eyelids fluttered several times before opening.
"Pastor Jim?" Sammy rasped.
"Right here Sammy" the pastor replied. "You gave me quite a scare young man. How are you feeling?"
"Okay, I guess" Sammy said as his eyes roamed the room. He squirmed around for a moment before settling back down. "Umm, Pastor Jim, do you think you could turn on some lights? It's too dark. I can't see anything."
Jim's stomach clenched as he glanced at a panicking John across the brightly lit room. Sammy was blind!
AN- for anyone wondering about the conversation in the truck between John and Josh, they're talking about an incident that happened in the story "Sammy and the Clowns".
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
lcaron3- Thank you! You're right about Dean. He's definitely going to be upset by this latest turn of events. Hope John can run fast.
I finally made it back home. Chapter 5
Sammy's brow furrowed as a gasp echoed through the room. Wondering what was wrong he lightly squeezed the hand holding his. "What's a matter, Pastor Jim?" Sam asked. "Did I say something wrong?"
"Of course not" Jim assured turning his attention back on the littlest Winchester. "You didn't say anything wrong, Sammy."
"Then what's wrong? I know something's not right. What is it? What's going on, Pastor Jim?" Sammy questioned his breathing increasing with each question.
"Sammy? Sammy, I need you to calm down. Can you do that for me, son?" Jim asked. Seeing the boy struggling to comply the pastor swiftly sat the teenager up and slid in behind him. He settled Sammy back against his chest. "It's okay, Sammy, just breathe with me. In, out, in, out." he coached smiling as the young man's breathing began to slow down. "That's it Sammy. You're doing great." Hearing the kitchen door open he glanced up to see Josh and Bobby entering the room. Motioning for the two to stay back Jim focused back on his young charge. "That's better Sammy." He said. Hearing footsteps he looked up to see Dean stomping down the stairs with Caleb right on his heels.
"What's going on?" Dean bellowed as he stormed into the room followed by Caleb. Spotting his little brother lying against Jim he hurried over to the couch. He gave the pastor a moment to move and then slid in behind his sibling. "Sammy, you okay, kiddo?" he asked.
"Yeah, I think so." Sam replied gazing up in the direction of his brother's voice. "I just wish somebody would turn on the lights."
"Lights?" Caleb questioned. "Sammy the lights are…"
"Caleb" Pastor Jim interrupted shaking his head in warning at the younger man, "I think I left one of the stove burners on. Could you go turn it off for me?"
"Burners? Why would you…" Caleb stopped suddenly as he figured out what was going on. "Oh, the burner! I'll just go turn that off now. Be right back."
"Thank you Caleb" Jim called over his shoulder. Turning his attention back to the ailing boy on the couch and his freaked out older brother the pastor mustered up all the strength he could manage for the coming conversation and the reaction he knew would follow. Retaking the younger boy's hand in his Jim cleared his throat. "Sammy, do you remember if you hit your head when you passed out?" he asked flinching as Dean yell of 'Sammy passed out?' was followed by Bobby and Joshua's twin growls of 'What the Hell did you do now, old man?'. Giving Sammy's hand a reassuring squeeze the minister turned and leveled a glare at his friends that would have made even the most fearsome Hell hound run away. "Quiet you three!" he ordered. "You're not helping!"
Bobby and Joshua glared at Jim for a moment before taking a baby step back away from John. Crossing their arms both hunters eyed their prey waiting for just one wrong move.
Seeing his distraught boys John finally found his voice. "Sammy didn't hit his head on anything, Jim. I caught him before he could." He told the pastor.
"Are you sure, John?" Jim questioned. Seeing the father nod Pastor Jim sighed and turned back to his young charge. "Sammy, I have something I have to tell you. And I need for you to be calm." Jim instructed. "Can you do that for me, son?"
"I, I guess" Sammy stammered. He knew what was coming; had known ever since he heard his father's voice. Jim was about to kick him out just like his dad had. He didn't want to be burdened with some useless little kid either. Blinking back the tears that were forming he pulled away from Dean and leaned against the back of the couch. Steeling himself he asked, "What is it?"
"Sammy, son, there's something wrong with your eyes. For some reason they're not working." Jim began, "All the lights are on. I thought maybe you'd hit your head…"
"No! That can't be right! I can't be blind!" Sammy hollered as he leapt off the couch. "You, you're lying! The lights aren't on! Why are you lying?"
Dean jumped up and wrapped his arms around his swaying brother. "Sammy, Sammy it's alright. Everything's gonna be okay." He soothed as hugged the younger boy to his chest. When Sammy's knees buckled Dean quickly adjusted his stance to accommodate the change in weight and lowered both of them to the floor. Once on the ground he slowly began to rock his little brother. "Shhh, Sammy, I've got you. You're alright. Everything's gonna be okay." He whispered.
"P.J., what's going on?" Caleb quietly asked as he walked up beside the pastor. "Sammy's not really blind, is he?"
"I don't know, Caleb." Jim replied patting the younger man's shoulder. "But I'm going to find out. Watch over the boys for me. I've got a call to make."
Unable to stand seeing his boys in pain any longer John started to make his way over to them only to be blocked by Josh and Bobby. "Get out of my way" he demanded as he tried to side step around them.
"Not happening, John" Bobby ground out. "You're not getting anywhere near Dean or Sammy right now."
"But my boys need me." John protested. Seeing Jim coming his way he called out, "Jim! Tell these two to let me by! I need to get to my boys!"
Jim walked over to John. Scowling at the younger man he said, "No, John, I will not tell them to move. Bobby and Josh are doing exactly what they need to do; they're protecting the boys. Sammy can't handle another run in with you right now. Now I'm going to call Dr. Best and have him meet me at his office. Then the boys and I are going into town to get Sammy some help. You are staying right here."
"No! You are not taking my boys anywhere!" John barked voice rising with each word. "No matter what happened, Sammy is still my son and he will go…" the rest of his rant was cut off as his youngest's soft voice silenced him.
"Please don't make me leave" Sammy begged as he tightened his grip on Dean's arm. "Please! I promise I'll go as soon as I can see. Just please let me stay here a little longer."
"Sammy, you aren't…"
"staying." Sammy finished for his father. He slowly pushed away from Dean and pulled himself up. "I understand. I'll go now. Thank you for everything Pastor Jim."
"Get him outta here!" Dean hollered at the older men. Turning he gently grabbed his little brother by the arm before the boy could take a step. Wrapping his arms around his struggling sibling he rushed to reassure the young boy. "Sammy, you can't leave. Your place is here with me." He assured his brother.
"Dean's right, Sammy. You belong here with us. " Caleb agreed as he walked up beside the two Winchesters and placed a hand on the boys' shoulders. "There's no way we're letting you leave."
"No buts" Dean adamantly stated as he led his little brother back to the couch. Ignoring the scuffling and heated words coming from the other side of the room he slowly lowered himself and his brother to the sofa and pulled Sammy in for a hug. "You're staying right here where you belong. Got it?"
Sammy melted into his brother's embrace. He knew it wouldn't last; knew his dad would take Dean and the others away from him. But right this minute he couldn't care less. He was content just to sit and bask in his big brother's love and support for as long as he could.
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
Caleb watched as Dean worked to calm his little brother down. Unfortunately Sammy's trembling seemed to worsen no matter what the older boy did or said. Knowing that the scuffling on the other side of the room was what was agitating the youngster Caleb glanced over at the older men scowling as they continued to fight oblivious to what it was doing to the teenagers on the couch. Their father was so damn concerned with his right to his sons that he wasn't even thinking about what his actions were doing to the boys in question.
John Winchester was his friend and mentor and the man had taught him a lot about hunting and the world in general but he was a complete jackass when it came to his own children. He treated his boys like foot soldiers, barking orders and doling out punishments whenever he saw fit. Dean had thrived in that atmosphere. The kid would jump through hoops for his old man; always trying to please the mighty hunter. And he did make his father proud, not that his dad told him that. John was stingier with praise than Scrooge was with money. His praise was few and far between while his scalding lectures and punishments seemed to happen all the time usually to the youngest member of the family. Sammy was a good hunter in his own right but he wasn't the natural that Dean was. Not that that was surprising; Sammy had only been training a couple of years while Dean had been at it since he was four. Nevertheless John expected Sammy to be exactly like his brother in every way even though the boys were as different as night and day. Anyone could see that; anyone whose name wasn't John Winchester that is.
A wheezing sound drew Caleb out of his thoughts. Looking down at his charges he noticed that Sammy's breathing was beginning to speed up again. Cursing the fighting idiots on the other side of the room the older boy snapped. Turning he stomped over to the fireplace where the three men were still struggling and punched John square in the jaw stunning the older hunters. "Would you stop thinking about yourself for one damn minute and look at what you're doing to your boys?" he bellowed glaring at the surprised man. "Sammy's freaking out because of you! Can't you see that? Can't you see what you're doing to him?"
"Now listen here you little…"
"No, you listen, you self-righteous son of a bitch! You've got five seconds to get outta my sight!" Caleb shouted as he pulled his pistol from the back of his jeans and leveled it at John. "Five…four…three…"
"John, he's not kidding." Josh warned tugging on the Winchester patriarch's arm. "Come on"
"Fine, I'm going" John huffed as he backed out of the room. "But this isn't over. I will get my boys back."
"Not if I can help it." Caleb growled. He watched for the kitchen door to shut and then lowered his weapon. Handing his gun to Bobby he grinned before turning and walking back to the couch. Dropping down beside Dean he patted the teenager's back. "How's Sammy doing?" he whispered.
"Not too good but he's hanging in there." Dean replied keeping his focus on his little brother.
Caleb glanced up as footsteps heralded Jim's arrival. "Did you get a hold of the doc?" he asked.
"Yes, he said he'd be waiting for us at his office in the hospital." Pastor Jim told him. Kneeling down in front of the couch he handed Dean his shoes. He then slipped Sammy's shoes on his feet and stood intending to fetch the boys' jackets. Turning he found the jackets being handed to him instead. "Thanks Bobby" he said as he gave the coats to Dean. Pulling the other hunter aside a little he whispered, "Dr. Best wants to admit Sammy so he can run some tests and keep an eye on the pneumonia. It would just be for overnight; a day at the most. Considering the circumstances right now I think it's for the best. We'll be able to keep a closer watch on Sammy and Dean there and we won't have to worry about any more misunderstandings."
"And what's to keep Johnny boy from going there and raising a ruckus about seeing his boys?" Bobby gruffly asked.
"Oh, I'm afraid John will be far too busy chasing a red herring to do that." Jim said with a sly smile. "You see, I'm going to call back here about an hour after we leave. After the call you and Caleb are going to gather up our things and take off. John will assume you two are headed off to meet me and the boys and follow."
Bobby held back a laugh. "John's gonna be pissed when he realizes it's a wild goose chase."
"That he will" Jim conceded. "But hopefully by then Sammy and Dean will have had several days to recover and get their strength back."
"Oh you can count on that." Bobby replied winking at the minister.
"Thanks Bobby" the pastor said before turning to the boys. "You boys ready to go?"
"Yeah" Dean softly answered. Wrapping an arm around his little brother he slowly stood bringing Sammy with him. Biting back a groan as the movement pulled on his healing stitches the teenager let out a relieved breath as Caleb placed Sammy's other arm over his shoulder taking on most of the younger boy's weight. Giving his friend a grateful smile Dean slowly shuffled after Jim.
Jim hurried down the porch stairs and over to his light blue family car. Opening the back door he tossed a pile of old books and papers into the front before setting a blanket on the bench seat and heading around to the other side of his vehicle. Climbing in the driver's seat the pastor started the car revving the engine a few times. He turned the heater on full blast to warm the freezing interior for his passengers. Hearing the back door close Jim glanced up in the rearview mirror frowning at seeing three boys instead of two. "Caleb, what are you doing?" he asked. "I thought you were staying here."
"I was, but Sammy here seems to have a different idea." Caleb replied pointing to his left arm that was being held in a vice like grip against the younger boy's chest.
"Oh" Pastor Jim said with a smile. "Well then, let's get this show on the road." He put the gear shift in drive and slowly drove out of the driveway and down the snow slick highway.
Joshua leaned against the counter keeping a close eye on the extremely agitated man sitting at the table. Taking a gulp of his coffee he sighed as Bobby entered the room. Knowing that the eldest Winchester was just seconds from exploding it felt good to have someone watching his back.
John slammed his hands on the table in frustration. He couldn't believe Caleb had pulled a gun on him! The kid was supposed to be his friend for cripes sake! He had thought that they all were his friends. So why were they trying to keep him away from his boys? And more importantly why was he letting them? He was a Winchester dammit! And Winchesters didn't back down from a fight! He was going to get his boys and he was going now! Sneaking a glance at his opponents he sized his two friends up as he quickly formed a plan. Decision made John leapt to his feet and spun around coming face to face…with two loaded guns?
"Sit down Johnny" Bobby ordered grinning at the surprised expression on his old friend's face. "You ain't going nowhere."
"But my boys…"
"Are fine" Josh finished for him. "Pastor Jim will make sure of that."
"But they need me, not Jim" the angry father spat.
"No, they need their daddy." Bobby corrected. "Not the mule headed hunter/Marine I'm seeing now. Sammy's dealing with more than enough as it is. He can't handle father dearest railing on him too."
"I wasn't doing that. He didn't let me finish; just kept twisting my words around." John protested.
"And just where do you think he got those ideas from, huh John? Sammy didn't come up with that leaving crap all by himself. Somebody had to have put those notions in his head and I've got a pretty good idea who." Josh growled.
John glared at his two friends. "You don't know…"
"Like Hell I don't!" Joshua hollered as he pulled a rumpled piece of paper out of his pocket. "It's all here in this note Sammy left!"
"Note?" Bobby broke in reaching for the paper. "What note?"
Dr. Best walked into his office smiling at the sight of the three men protectively standing around their youngest member. He shook hands with Jim before walking over to the teenager sitting on the exam table. "Hey Sammy" he greeted as he noisily stepped up to the table.
"Hi Bubba" Sammy rasped.
"Bubba?" Dean snorted.
"Dean" Jim warned shooting a glare at the young man.
"Lighten up Jim" the doctor chuckled. Turning to Dean he said, "My little brother gave me that name years ago. See when he was just a tiny mite Steven couldn't say my name. He tried to say brother but it always came out bubba. By the time he could say brother it was too late; the nickname had already stuck. I've been Bubba ever since."
"Sorry man, I didn't mean…"
"Not a problem." Dr. Best broke in waving off Dean's apology. "Now what do you say we concentrate on finding out what's going on with Sammy here?" Getting a nod in reply Bubba smiled and turned back to his patient.
Several minutes and one thorough exam later Dr. Best looked at his patient and cleared his throat. "Sammy, I'm gonna need to admit you to the hospital for a little while." He told the youngster. Seeing the boy open his mouth to protest he quickly added, "It'll just be for a day or two, sport. Just long enough for me to get some tests done and figure out what's going on with your eyes. Your little entourage can stay in the room with you and everything. I promise. Okay?"
"No" Sammy croaked shaking his head. "No please! I don't wanna stay!"
"Sammy, I don't like it anymore than you do but you gotta stay dude. You gotta give the doc a chance to get you better." Dean pointed out. "And I'll be with you every step of the way. Come on kiddo, it'll be alright. I promise."
"Dean's right Sam I am." Caleb agreed as he carded a hand through the boy's mop of hair. "Don't worry, Dean will be right there to make sure you're okay and I'll be there to protect you both. You have nothing to worry about."
"See Sammy, you'll have two bodyguards at your side twenty-four seven. You can't get better than that. Nothing for you to worry about but getting better." Dean pointed out. "Okay, Sammy?"
"You won't leave me?" Sammy whispered toying with the hem of his shirt.
"Not a chance, buddy." Dean promised.
"Okay" Sam softly agreed. "I'll stay."
"Good" Dr. Best said. He walked over to the cabinet in the corner and pulled out a handful of clothes. "I'm guessing that you wouldn't wear one of those open backed gowns. Most boys your age don't. So, I won't even try to talk you into one. This sleep shirt and pants should be about the right size. Why don't you change into those while I go get the paperwork done?"
"Thanks Dr. Best" Dean said taking the offered clothes. He waited for the doctor and Jim to leave the room and then motioned for Caleb to turn around. "Okay Sammy you can change now. The coast is clear." He told the younger boy as he set the clothes on the table.
"Bubba" Jim called out as he hurried up to the physician. "Did your exam show up anything?"
"No" Dr. Best replied. "But I didn't really expect it too. I have an idea what it might be from what you've told me but I don't want to speak out of turn."
"Anything you say would stay between us. You know that." The pastor assured his friend. "Now spit it out. What are you thinking?"
"Well, it could be a lot of things, but" Bubba began, "everything is pointed towards it being a case of hysterical blindness."
"What?" Jim worriedly asked. "You mean Sammy is…"
"I'm not saying anything at this point Jimmy. I said it could be, not that it is." Dr. Best quickly backtracked. "There could be a physical reason for the blindness. We won't know for sure until the tests are done."
"I hate to say it but I hope you're right and it is something physical. It'll be much easier for Sammy and everyone else to deal with." Jim sighed. "Besides, that boy is already struggling to deal with more than enough emotionally. He doesn't need any more."
"I hear ya" Bubba muttered. Walking behind the nurse's desk he grabbed a clipboard full of papers and handed them to the minister. "Here, you fill these out for the kid while I get the admitting paperwork done." Snatching pens off the counter both men silently went to work.
Dean and Caleb looked up as the door opened and a nurse walked into the room with an IV bag. "Umm, can we help you?" Caleb asked as he watched the motherly figure head their way.
"Afternoon boys, my name's Nurse Betty." The old lady greeted as she walked over to the counter and rummaged through the drawers. "Dr. Best wanted me to start an IV on Sammy before we take him up to his room."
Seeing his little brother tense at the mention of the IV Dean started rubbing his hand up and down Sam's arm. He eyed the nurse as she shuffled over to the table supplies in hand. Dean was pleasantly surprised however as Nurse Betty immediately put Sam at ease by warning him whenever she was about to touch him and before inserting the needle. Nurse Betty was definitely one of the better nurses he'd met. He hoped she'd be the one taking care of his brother. Noticing that the nurse was filling a syringe Dean frowned. "What's that for?" he asked pointing to the shot in the woman's hand.
"It's an antibiotic." Nurse Betty explained. "Pastor Jim told Bubba that Sammy hadn't taken his medicine yet. So Dr. Best wanted a dose added to the IV. It'll probably make him sleep for a while but sleep's the best thing for him right now." She injected the medication into the port in the back of Sammy's hand and then tossed the used needle in the red box hanging on the wall. "I'll see you boys upstairs." She said before walking out the door leaving the boys alone once more.
"Dean" Sammy called out as he fought the sleepiness that was suddenly overtaking him.
"Right here" Dean replied lightly squeezing his little brother's hand. He chuckled as Sam's eyes closed only to pop back open again. "Go to sleep Sammy. I'm not going anywhere."
"Ooookay" Sam yawned. "Love you Dean" Sammy fought to stay awake a moment longer before closing his eyes. He held back a sob knowing that when he awoke his brother and friends would be gone and he'd be all alone.
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
cindy123- Thank you! Too true. John loves his sons more than anything. He just does a crappy job of showing it.
Akinom- Thanks! I can slow down if you want.
Actually, I'm already up to Chapter 10 so you guys will be caught up soon.
I think the others are going to do their best to knock some sense into that hard head of John's.Chapter 7
"I should've just kept my big mouth shut" Josh thought as he stood between his two furious friends. This was the last place he wanted to be. Most days he would have happily paid to see Bobby beat the crap outta John. In the best of times the Winchester patriarch was damn near infuriating with his cocky attitude and smug smile. As for the rest of the time the man thought he was God's gift to hunting. That John was the most arrogant, bull-headed SOB Josh had ever met. The man thought he had all the answers and could do no wrong. Winchester had lost more than a few good friends with that attitude. There was no denying Johnny had had this coming for a long time now. The eldest Winchester needed to be knocked down a peg or two. But this was neither the time nor the place for that to happen. Dean and Sammy were gonna need their daddy to get through this mess. And that was the reason Josh found himself stuck in the middle of a battle zone.
Keeping his arms out as he stood between the warring parties Joshua glared at both men. He was not about to let these two get any closer to each other. He so did not want to be in the middle of a free for all. Knowing that Bobby was the more level headed of the two he decided to work on him first. "Don't do it, Bobby" he pleaded.
"Get outta my way, Josh!" Bobby growled. "I don't wanna go through you but I will."
"Yea, Josh! Let him through!" John challenged.
"Shut it John!" Josh ordered not taking his eyes off Bobby. "Come on, Bobby. You know I'd love to see you knock some sense into the jackass but it's not the time. Think about Dean and Sammy."
"I am thinking about them!" Bobby bellowed.
"No, Bobby, you're not. You're thinking about getting revenge for what happened to the boys." Josh corrected. "There's a big difference." Seeing that his words weren't having the desired effect the older hunter huffed out a frustrated breathe. Sometimes the junk yard owner could be just as stubborn and ornery as Winchester. Knowing that this was one battle he couldn't afford to lose Josh tried a different approach. "Look, Bobby I know how you feel. I felt the same way when I read the note. I know you wanna pound the life outta John; I can't blame you. I like to do that myself. But we've gotta think about Sammy and Dean right now. Those boys love their daddy no matter what. And they're gonna need him whether we want to admit it or not. Those bruises aren't the only things hurting Sammy and you know it. Whatever John said to him is killing the kid and the only way Little Bit can heal is for his daddy to man up and tell Sammy how he really feels about him."
"This ain't no TV show Josh. A few words from dear old dad here aren't gonna magically solve all the boy's problems." Bobby huffed.
"And this will?" Josh fired back.
"No, but it'll make me feel better." The salvage owner muttered.
"Well, bully for you." Joshua sarcastically stated pinching the bridge of his nose to ward off the headache that was starting to make itself known. These two stubborn cusses were more aggravating than the snot nosed brats that kept sneaking onto his property looking for moonshine. Sighing he glanced at his two angry friends. It was gonna be a long night.
Sammy awoke to the soft murmur of voices above him. Hoping the afternoon's events had been a dream he slowly opened his eyes. He had to hold back a sob as the ever present darkness still surrounded him. What was he going to do now? With his sight gone he'd be no good to anybody. How was he going to take care of himself now? How would he even survive when he couldn't…?
"Hey sleepyhead" Dean softly called as he took a seat on the edge of the bed and took his little brother's hand in his.
Sammy's head snapped around in the direction his big brother's voice. He couldn't have heard Dean. His big brother had left with his dad while he was sleeping. Hadn't it? Mustering up the courage to find out he whispered, "D-D-Dean? You're still here."
"Course I'm still here. Where else would I be? Vegas?" the older boy teased smirking at his ailing sibling. One look at Sammy's face quickly wiped the smirk off Dean's face. Stunned he eyed his younger brother searching the boy's face for any sign of teasing and frowning when he found none. "Wait, you're serious, aren't you?" he asked his shock clear in his tone. Sam's head turning away was the only answer he needed. Reaching out he gently grasped his brother's chin turning the boy back to face him. "Sammy, I don't know what dad did or said to make you think we'd abandon you. But whatever he said was wrong. I will never leave you, buddy. You're my little brother and I love you. Nothing's ever gonna change that."
"Dean's right, squirt. No way you're getting rid of him. That goes for the rest of us too." Caleb piped up as he stepped over to the bed. "Afraid you're stuck with all of us, kid."
"Caleb! You're here too?" Sammy disbelievingly called.
Biting back the sarcastic comment just dying to come out the older boy smiled. "I'm right here Sam I am." Caleb replied running a hand through Sammy's hair. "Jim's here too. And we're staying right here until Dr. Best releases you." Seeing the littlest Winchester's expression change from happy to fearful Caleb mentally kicked himself at his choice of words. "Then we are all going back to Jim's for a late Christmas." He added making sure to stress the word all.
"Christmas?" Sammy repeated eyes widening as he remembered what day it was. "I'm, I'm sorry Caleb! Today's Christmas! I messed it up for everybody! You, you guys should go, go back to J-Jim's and celebrate. I'll, be, be okay h-h-here by my, myself." He stammered as he began to cough.
"You're not getting rid of us that easy, kiddo." Dean emphatically told his sibling. He eased Sammy into a sitting position and patted his back as the coughing spell continued. Once it was over Dean helped his little brother take a sip of water before settling him back on the bed. "You okay, Sammy?"
"Y-yeah" Sammy rasped turning his head toward the sound of the opening door.
"Evening gentlemen" Dr. Best cheerfully greeted as he walked into the room. Noticing Dean sitting beside his brother Bubba went around the bed and stepped up on the other side of his patient. Pulling out his stethoscope he asked, "How are you feeling, Sammy?"
"Better" Sammy softly answered jumping as the cold instrument landed on his chest. He followed the doctor's directions taking as deep a breathe as he could manage and letting them out. As soon as he heard the rustling of Bubba's coat he blurted out, "I'm sorry I ruined your Christmas."
Dr. Best stared down at the boy in surprise. "You didn't ruin anything Sammy." He assured the young teen.
"Yes, I, I did." Sammy argued. "You should have been home celebrating with your family. Instead you got stuck taking care of me. I'm sorry I messed up your time with your family."
Taking a seat on the bed Dr. Best self-consciously rubbed the back of his head. "You didn't mess up my Christmas, son. In fact being around you and your family is one of the best presents you could have given me." Bubba assured the youngest. "You see, my family was killed a long time ago. It happened back when I was a resident here. It was Christmas Eve and I was stuck working so my wife decided to take the kids to her mother's house for the holiday. She figured we could have a family celebration in a couple of days when I got off work. Anyway it was snowing and the roads were rough going which made driving hard especially with three excited kids in the back of the car. But my Julie was an excellent driver. She had almost made it to her mom's before some drunk driver veered into her lane. His big rig slammed into her little family car; killed Julie and our kids on impact."
"I'm sorry" Sammy whispered.
"It's okay sport. I made my peace with it years ago." Bubba quietly said. "The holidays still get to me, though. It's tough going from a full house to an empty one. This is usually one of the worst days for me. You, my dear boy, have changed that. You kept this old man from wallowing in his grief. Being around you and your brother has reminded me of just how wonderful it feels to be part of a family, even if it is just for a little while. And for that I thank you."
"Bubba" Pastor Jim called out breaking the silence that had enveloped the room after the doctor's speech. "Do you still have that cabin up by the lake?" he asked already knowing the answer.
"Yeah, I'm headed up there tomorrow after I get Sammy here taken care of." Bubba replied. "Why?"
"Oh, that's right. I forgot you go up there every year." The pastor fibbed. "Just ignore my question. I'll figure something out."
"You're not getting out of it that easy, Jimmy." Dr. Best said shaking his head. "Now spill. Why did you want to know about the cabin?"
Jim fought to keep the smile off his face. His friend had fallen right into his trap just as he knew he would. "Well, I thought when Sammy was released, I would take the boys somewhere to rest and recuperate. And I thought your cabin would be the perfect place. But don't worry, I can find another…"
"Y'all are more than welcome to come with me!" Bubba broke in eyes lighting up at the prospect of having children under his roof once more. "I'd love the company."
"Are you sure?" Pastor Jim questioned. "We wouldn't want to intrude."
"P-lease" Dr. Best said rolling his eyes. "You'd be doing this old man a favor. I bet Dean and Caleb could chop more wood in a day than I could in a week. And you could do the cooking. I could actually sit back and relax for once. Come on Jimmy. What do ya say?"
Pastor Jim ran a hand across his face pretending to consider the offer for a minute before smiling at his friend. "I think you've got yourself a deal, old man." He agreed.
"Great! I'll call a friend of mine and make sure everything's ready for us." Bubba replied as he stood. "I've gotta go finish my rounds now. You boys don't keep Sammy up too long after supper. He's got some tests to do first thing in the morning. And then with any luck I'll be able to spring him by lunchtime and we can head to the cabin then."
"You mean it? I can leave tomorrow?" Sammy hesitantly asked.
"As long as the tests come out okay, you're good to go, sport." Bubba assured the young teen. "You just follow my orders and you'll be out of here and back on your feet in no time."
"Thanks Bubba" Dean said as he watched a dimpled grin light up his little brother's face.
"Anytime, dude" Dr. Best replied. He high fived Dean and then turned and made his way to the door.
"Hold up, Bubba. I'll walk you out." Jim called from his spot on the couch. Looking at Dean and Caleb he whispered, "Be right back boys. I've got a call to make." Getting a nod from both boys the pastor hurried over to the door and followed the doctor out. Things were working out perfectly.
Woman in White
Member No.: 1,974
Joined: 1-February 06
Akinom- Thank you! That's exactly what he needs; to know for sure that he is loved. It won't be easy but Dean and company aren't going to stop until the littlest Winchester is assured that he is a loved and important part of the family.
cindy123- Thanks! I agree. Christmas at the cabin should be just what the doctor ordered. And you're right everything's not going to be peachy.(hint, hint)
Morning came far too soon for Sammy’s liking. Being sick and in the hospital was always an ordeal for the preteen. But this stay was turning out to be the worst ever. The mere thought of being separated from his big brother while strangers he couldn’t see did God only knows what to him terrified the youngest Winchester. He knew he shouldn’t be scared; knew Dean would never let anyone hurt him. But even that reassuring thought didn’t help now; not when everything was so different. Not being able to see what the doctors were doing or what they were about to use on him upped his childhood fear sending it skyrocketing. He shivered as he thought about the exams and tests to come.
“Sammy, are you cold kiddo?” Dean worriedly called out after he felt the tremors running though his little brother. Picking up the edge of the blanket he pulled it up a little more and tucked it tightly around his sibling.
“Yeah” Sam fibbed not wanting his big brother to know he was afraid.
“You should’ve said something, buddy.” Dean lightly scolded as he grabbed the extra blanket one of the nurses had brought in last night. Unfolding the thin sheet he placed it over his ailing brother pulling it up to the boy’s chin. “There you go, Sammy. That better?”
“Yeah, thanks Dean.” Sam replied giving his brother a small smile.
“No problem man” Dean said as he adjusted the younger boy’s covers. “Just hang in there a little longer Sammy. The nurse is gonna take the IV out once this bag finishes and it’s almost through. Then you’ll be able to really warm up.”
“Did, did she say, ummm” Sammy stuttered stopping as the door creaked open and squeaky shoes announced the arrival of one of the hospital staff.
“Good morning boys. I’m Nurse Rene.” The heavyset brunette greeted. She walked over to the small table in the corner, placed the tray she was carrying onto it, and rolled it over to the bed. Taking the cover off the breakfast plate she set it aside before moving over to the IV pole. “I’m going to take the IV out now sweetie.” She warned before stopping the flow and unhooking the youngster from the equipment. “Dr. Best wants the port in your hand to stay for now just in case. He said he didn’t want to have to stick you again if he could help it. And he wanted you boys to know that he’ll be coming to get Sam for the tests in about an hour. He wanted you to have time to eat something first. Would you like me to help you with your breakfast honey?”
“Thanks, but I’ve got it.” Dean told the motherly nurse.
“Alright, I’ll be going then.” Nurse Rene stated as she headed for the door. “If you need anything, just hit the call button, okay?”
“We will.” Dean assured. He waited for the nurse to leave before glancing down at the plate of food. Grimacing at the runny eggs and watery grits he stuck at his tongue in disgust. He was glad Sammy didn’t have to look at what he was about to eat. “Well, this looks, ummm, it looks…”
“Nasty?” Sam suggested scrunching up his nose at the smell that wafted up from the nearby plate.
“Well then it’s a good thing you don’t have to eat it.” Caleb broke in as he entered the room McDonald’s bag in hand. Setting the bag on the table he quickly snatched up the offending plate and placed it on the small dresser on the other side of the room. He turned back around to find Dean already opening two of the Styrofoam containers. Chuckling at the older brother the family friend added, “No, green eggs and ham for you today, Sam I am. You get the best fast food has to offer; pancakes, sausage, and hash browns.”
“Cool! Thanks Caleb!” Sammy called out taking an enormous bite out of the hash brown his brother handed him.
“Not a problem, runt.” Caleb replied sitting down on the couch and slicing into his pancakes. “Just don’t get use to the curb side service. Once you’re back to your old self your gopher here is retiring.”
“Yeah right” Dean scoffed dodging the swat Caleb sent his way. Hearing giggling he glanced over mentally cheering at the sight of his little brother’s smiling face. Knowing Sammy was worried about the tests the older brother decided a little distraction was in order and he knew just how to do that. After giving Caleb a silent heads up he teased, “Getting slow old man.”
Seeing what his friend was up to the young man swiftly joined in. “I’ll show you who’s old.” Caleb growled. Jumping off the couch he grabbed a surprised Dean forcing him back against the hospital bed. Holding the older Winchester in place with one hand Caleb began tickling the teenager with the other. “Come on Sammy! Help me out!” he called. He pushed Dean onto the bed beside his little brother who quickly reached out to help with the tickle attack.
Pastor Jim walked into the room a few minutes later to an all out tickle war. Eyebrows raised he stared at the boys for a moment before loudly clearing his throat halting all three in their tracks. “What in the world do you think you’re doing?” he demanded settling his hands on his hips. “Caleb, I’m surprised at you! I thought I’d taught you better than this!” The preacher shook his head at the younger man. “I’ve told you over and over” he paused breaking into a smile, “you eat your food before you lay into Dean for whatever he’s done.”
“Hey! That’s not fair!” Dean whined. “How do you know I started it?”
“When don’t you?” Jim asked laughing at the glare the comment received. “Now come on boys, eat up. There’ll be time to finish the war after you’ve cleaned your plates.” He watched as his three charges dutifully picked up their plastic forks and dug into their food once more. He was glad to see Sammy looking so calm and happy. Unfortunately Jim knew it wouldn’t last long; not with the doctor coming to get him.
As if summoned by the pastor’s thoughts Dr. Best appeared in the doorway moments later. He walked over to the youngest Winchester’s bed followed by another doctor. “Good morning gentlemen” he greeted. “I see you boys wisely chose to go out to eat this morning.”
“Yeah, I figured Sammy might like something with a little taste to it.” Caleb explained ruffling the youngster’s hair.
“Great idea young man. Just wish you’d thought to bring me some. That cafeteria breakfast wasn’t fit for dogs.” Bubba joked.
“Come on Bubba. It wasn’t that bad.” The tall dark haired physician beside Dr. Best argued.
“Says the guy who’ll eat anything.” Bubba good naturedly fired back. “Guess introductions are in order. The human garbage disposal here is Dr. Fredrick. He’s going to be helping with Sammy’s tests today. That alright with you, son?”
“I g-guess so” Sammy replied trying hard to remain stoic and failing miserably.
“Well then if you and Dean are ready, we’ll get this show on the road.” Dr. Best said.
“Dean’s going with me?” Sammy softly questioned. “Really?”
“Yes, he is.” The doctor confirmed. “Unless you don’t want him…”
“No!” Sammy shouted. Blushing he quickly stammered, “I, I mean, its okay if he goes.”
“Glad that’s settled.” Dr. Best teased stepping back a little as a couple of orderlies came into the room with a gurney. “Now let’s go get these tests done so we can get outta here.” He turned to Pastor Jim as Dean got Sammy situated on the gurney. “The tests are probably gonna take a few hours. Why don’t you guys go out for a little while? I hear there’s a big after Christmas sale going on at the mall.”
“I think we’ll do just that.” Jim replied with a knowing smile. “Have someone call us when the tests are almost done. I don’t want the boys coming back to an empty room.”
“Consider it done” Bubba agreed. He patted his old friend on the back and then went over to his patient and his brother. “Okay gentlemen, let’s go.” He said as he walked to the end of the gurney. The doctor held the door for the orderlies and their load before going out the door himself leaving Jim and Caleb in the empty room alone.
Bobby glanced up as Joshua wearily trudged into Pastor Jim’s modest kitchen. Dropping his gaze back to the newspaper in his hands he asked, “John okay?”
Glaring at his old friend Josh grumbled under his breath as he grabbed the coffee pot and poured himself a cup of the strong brew. He replaced the glass pot and shuffled over to the table dropping onto the chair across from the junk yard owner before answering. “He’ll be fine, no thanks to you. Won’t be winning any GQ awards anytime soon but he’ll live.” He muttered taking a swig of his coffee. “Did you have to hit him so hard?”
“Hey, you can’t blame that on me. I barely swung my arm on that one.” Bobby argued. “I can’t help it if the pansy lost his balance and used a glass top table to break his fall. The man’s a hunter. He should be able to take a little love tap without keeling over.”
“A little love tap!” Josh scoffed slamming his coffee mug down on the table. Hissing as the scolding liquid sloshed over the lip of the cup and splashed onto his hand he grabbed a handful of napkins from their holder and hurriedly wiped the hot coffee off his fingers. Tossing the used napkins across the room he glared over at Bobby. “You hit him with a frying pan!”
“It was a light weight one. Sammy hits harder than that crappy thing.” Bobby shot back.
“It’s a metal pan!” Josh hollered.
“Well, you told me not to put my hands on the fool!” Bobby reminded crossing his arms. “So I had to improvise.”
“You knew what I meant!” Joshua growled.
“Maybe” the salvage owner replied smirking.
“crap!” the older man exclaimed throwing his hands in the air in frustration. “Are you sure Dean’s not yours cause you sound just like him?”
“Thanks, I’d like to think I had some influence on the boys.” Bobby snarked.
Shaking his head Joshua ran a hand across his face. He closed his eyes and slowly counted to ten then twenty to calm himself down before speaking again. Seeing the mischievous grin on his old friend’s face he sighed. “Are you done?” he huffed. “Got it all out of your system now?”
Bobby cocked his head to the side in thought for a moment. “Yeah, I think so.” He replied.
“Good” Josh said, “Then can we get back to the problem at hand?”
“Which is?” Bobby prodded.
“What to do about John?” the older man clarified. “With the bruises on his face and the stitched cut above his left eye we’re gonna have to keep him away from the boys for longer than we figured.”
“Why? Dean and Sammy have seen him hurt before.” The junk yard owner pointed out.
“Yeah” Josh conceded. “But if Johnny goes to see Sammy looking like that the kid’s not gonna believe a word the man says and you know it. Hell, its gonna be hard enough to get Little Bit to believe John as it is. You know how the little guy’s mind works.”
“Crap! I didn’t think about that!” Bobby muttered. He looked down at his coffee mug as he slowly turned it around in his hands. “I should have just taken him away when I had the chance. Sammy wouldn’t be in this mess if I had.”
“What?” Joshua questioned. “What are you talking about old man?”
Keeping his gaze on his mug Bobby let out an angry breath and began. “It, uhhh I guess it was about five months ago now. I got an early morning call from Johnny saying they were headed my way; about a half hour away. I knew something had to be seriously wrong so I got myself outta bed and prepared for the worst. About twenty minutes later the impala barreled up to the porch. Before I could even get to the steps a pissed John was on his way up dragging Sammy along behind him. He was holding the kid’s arm so tight that Sam had a hand shaped bruise around his bicep for days after. Anyways, he storms into my house yanking Sammy in behind him. He yelled at the little guy to “get his ass up to their room” and that he’d “deal with him later”. John didn’t even wait for Sam to get out of the room before telling me that Dean had gotten hurt on their hunt because “his youngest disobeyed his orders”. He said he needed to take Dean to get a broken arm cast and could I keep an eye on Sammy till they got back.”
“Why didn’t he stop at the hospital first?” Josh asked.
“I asked the same thing. John told me he couldn’t sit in the waiting room with Sammy; that the kid needed to get out of his sight before he did something they’d both regret.” Bobby explained. “I must have been really tired that morning ‘cause I didn’t lay into him about what he was saying. I just told him to go get Dean taken care of. I waited for him to leave and then went up to check on Sammy. I knew the kid was probably feeling guilty about whatever happened and I figured he needed someone to talk to. When I didn’t find him in their bedroom, I went straight to the bathroom. I knocked on the door and asked if he was okay. Sammy called back that he was fine which we both know is Winchester speak for ‘Hell no’. Bobby paused for a moment trying desperately to reign in the flurry of emotions the memory was bringing up. After a few deep breaths Bobby raised his head allowing his friend to see the anguish on his face. “You know, to this day I still don’t know what they were hunting that night. But if I could have gotten my hands on the thing I would’ve ripped it to shreds with my bare hands for what it did to Sammy.”
Shaking his head at the muffled “I’m fine” from the bathroom Bobby grabbed the door knob and threw open the door. He sucked in a horrified breath as he stared at the youngest Winchester. Four long slash marks crossed the pre-teen’s back from his left shoulder to his right side. The angry red slashes were deep and still oozing blood in a couple of spots. Mentally cursing John Winchester Bobby hurried over to the injured boy. Gently taking hold of Sammy’s elbow he led the boy to the toilet and sat him down. “What happened Sammy?” he asked as he examined the obvious claw marks.
“D-dad and De, Dean had a hunt. I, I don’t know what they were a-after. Dad wouldn’t, wouldn’t tell me. I know it was k-ki-hurting kids cause I saw a couple of the news clippings dad was l-looking at. D-Dean told me it was a simple h-hunt but I could tell he was w-worried.” Sammy stammered.
“Wait you mean to tell me your daddy took you on a hunt for a creature that was taking kids?!” Bobby angrily growled. “Why the Hell would he do that?!”
“D-dad didn’t t-take me on the h-hunt. He, he made me go and s-s-sit in the car cause, cause he was worried I’d do something st-stupid and some-somebody would f-find out I was, was a-alone and call CPS.”
“I thought Dean told me you’d been out of school all week sick?” Bobby questioned as he held a towel to the bleeding gashes.
“I-I was” Sammy replied wrapping his arms around himself. “Dean said that’s why dad was making me go but I knew better. I, I’d heard them talking about it earlier.”
“Sammy, you know your daddy didn’t mean it like that.” Bobby assured.
“Yeah, right” the young boy whispered dropping his gaze to the floor. “Anyway, dad w-woke me up about mid-midnight and told me to get r-ready. We drove to the, the edge of town and p-parked on this dirt path by these w-w-woods. D-dad told me to st-stay in the car no matter what and then they, they left. I, I didn’t get outta the c-car. I swear I didn’t Uncle Bobby. I didn’t even touch the d-d-door. Honest!”
“I believe you kiddo. I know you wouldn’t do that.” Bobby assured the frantic youngster. “Can you tell me what happened next?”
“I don’t know” Sammy miserably admitted. “The last thing I re-remember is watching them walk into the trees. I musta fell a-asleep. I only w-woke up when that, that thing was dragging me outta the c-car by my legs. I st-started kicking and and punching and I musta surprised it cause the thing let go. I ran but it, it…”
“That how you got these?” Bobby asked already knowing the answer.
“Yes sir” Sammy automatically replied. “It drug me through the woods, u-used me as bait to get dad and D-Dean.”
“And that’s when Dean got hurt.” Bobby filled in when the preteen didn’t continue. Getting a slight nod in return the man sighed. “Sammy, what happened to Dean wasn’t your fault. You know that, right?”
“Yes, it was Uncle Bobby. Dad said Dean would have been alright if it wasn’t for me getting caught. ” Sammy refuted.
“Sammy you couldn’t have stopped what happened. It wasn’t your fault son.” Bobby assured his nephew.
“It got me cause I let my guard down. It wouldn’t have gotten the drop on Dean.” Sam softly mumbled.
Hating the defeated tone in the boy’s voice Bobby gently squeezed Sammy’s uninjured shoulder. He’d be having a conversation with John about this later on but right now there were more immediate concerns to deal with. Keeping the towel firmly against the seeping wounds the hunter rose preparing himself to help the youngster downstairs and out to his truck. “Come on Sammy, we need to get you to the hospital.” He softly said, “I don’t know why your daddy didn’t take you with’em in the first place.” Feeling the preteen tense Bobby stared down at the littlest Winchester in shock. “He didn’t know you were hurt, did he?” he gruffly asked. Getting a slight nod the surrogate uncle hit the roof. “You didn’t tell him?! Why the Hell not, Sammy?!”
Flinching at the angry voice Sam shrugged his shoulders. “It wouldn’t have mattered.” He frankly replied.
“Wouldn’t have…Sammy, son that has got to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard you say.” Bobby admonished kneeling down in front of the boy. “Of course it would matter; you matter. You’re his son.”
“No, no it wouldn’t” Sam argued shaking his head emphatically. “Not anymore.”
Genuinely confused by the teen’s conviction the salvage owner softened his tone and asked the only question he could think of at the moment. “Why do you think that, Sammy?”
“C-cause, it’s true” the youngest Winchester miserably stated. “Dad doesn’t want to hear about me getting injured anymore. When I started training, I’d tell him if I got hurt and at first he’d take care of it. But then he changed; started telling me to quit being a baby and to suck it up. He doesn’t even check to make sure I’m okay after a hunt; just calls out, “You okay, Sammy?” and keeps walking. You know he checks Dean for injuries after bad hunts? Dean so much as trips and falls and dad’s all over him once we get back to the motel.”
“That’s cause your brother has a bad habit of hiding his injuries.” The surrogate uncle pointed out. “Just like somebody else I know. Guess John will have to start checking both of you from now on.”
“No, he won’t.” Sammy argued. “D-dad already knows about me, he just doesn’t, doesn’t care. Dean’s caught m-me a couple of t-times and told d-dad. All it does is tick him off.”
Bobby mentally winced at the boy’s statement. He had no doubts it was true just not for the reasons Sammy thought. John had fallen back on his military training using the chain of command he’d been taught for hunting. Once Sammy learned about the supernatural world he’d started treating his sons like soldiers with Dean automatically becoming his second in command. Which meant John dealt with Dean and left Dean to take care of Sammy. No wonder the kid was such a mess. Sammy probably felt like he’d gone to bed one night with Dr. Jekyll sleeping in the bed beside him only to wake up and find Mr. Hyde in his place. Bobby’s heart broke as a tear slowly rolled down Sam’s cheek. He knew that Dean had to be bad off to allow his father to help him and that that would have freaked John out. But that didn’t stop his blood from boiling; not when he was watching the man’s youngest fall apart. He fumbled for something to say only to be cut off as Sammy spoke once more.
“You know, d-dad used to ask me about stuff all the time.” Sammy whispered. “Before I knew what he did that is. As soon as d-dad got back from a hunt he, he’d sit down with me and Dean and, and he’d ask about what we had done while he was g-gone. He, he always checked over every cut and sc-scrape I had. And he k-kissed every one even af-after I told him I was too b-big for it. Now, he, he barely speaks to me and the only time he touches me is when, when he’s mad.” Sniffing Sammy slid off the toilet seat crawling into a surprised Bobby’s lap. Leaning against his uncle’s chest the littlest Winchester quietly said, “I, I just want my daddy back.”
John’s hand dropped as he fell against the wall. He’d had no idea his baby felt that way. Bobby had told him about Sammy’s confession but he’d evidently left some key parts out. John remembered every detail of that hunt clearly. He also remembered spending the following week at Bobby’s. It had been one of the best weeks he’d had in a long time. Come to think of it that was probably the last time he’d seen his Sammy happy. Sinking down to the floor John dropped his head into his hands. “Oh God Mary! What have I done?” he cried.