Eye of the Storm
Disclaimer: See just about any other chapter.
Author's Note: This is it, the end of Eye of the Storm. The time the baby has to spend in hospital if they're born premature is probably inaccurate, but hey, this is fanfiction, not to mention an AU, so it's allowed to be a little inaccurate.
FireZombie – Yay, great, thanks.
EmSyd – Thanks, great, thanks, here's more (here's all).
The Kiss of Death – Thanks, great, thanks.
Spuffyshipper – Thanks, this soon enough? Oh, good, I was a little worried about how that'd be received. Glad to see you liked it.
Epilogue: The Calm Within the Storm
"I've lied about a lot of things, but believe me when I say: you're the one thing I would never lie about."
"Why would you tell me this?"
"Why do you think?"
Silence, for a long minute as he considered this. And then he asked a new question.
"You'll know when it's time."
Sam's eyes opened; he was in bed, in his room.
"I'll be waiting."
He blinked, and then sat up, breaking whatever connection had allowed the dream he'd just as experience as the last fragments of sleep lost its hold on him.
"Sam?" Dean's voice came from the other side of the bedroom door. "Sam, you awake in there?"
"For how long?"
"Whatever." Dean interrupted. "If you're not up and ready to go soon I'm leaving without you." Sam sighed, rolling his eyes.
"Dean, the baby's barely a week old." He said. "I don't think he's going to mind if his uncle's away from the observation window for more then a few hours."
"Yeah, but his uncle does." Dean shot back.
"Dean, please don't refer to yourself in the third person, it's very disconcerting." Sam said.
"Uh-huh." Dean said. "Anyway-"
"Dean, you can come in you know." There was silence for a minute. Then…
"Yeah, it's not like there's anything in here you haven't seen before." Sam said with a mischievous grin. The door flew open.
"Now I'm worried." Dean said. "Since when are you so offhand about your modesty?"
"Since my wife gave birth to an adorable baby boy who turned my brother into a caring human being." Sam said with a grin.
"You tell anyone that and I'll deny it, then I'll kill you." Dean said, shooting his brother a grin of his own. "Now hurry up, I was serious about leaving you behind."
"Give me ten minutes to shower, get dressed and eat breakfast."
"Five minutes; skip the shower and eat in the car."
"Seven; I'll eat in the car but still have a shower." Sam said. Dean narrowed his eyes at Sam.
"You drive a hard bargain."
"Don't I know it," Sam said. "Just remember whose son it is you're so lovingly attached to." Dean considered this, or pretended to, and then gave a long, exaggerated sigh.
"Fine, I'll put the toast on; you'd better be down there in seven minutes." He said, turning and leaving the room. Shaking his head, Sam couldn't help but smile and how much better life had gotten. Although Haley was back in the hospital (her heart was still weak from the drugs she'd been given during the miscarriage, and the doctors had said it was a miracle it hadn't given up during the birth), she was at least in a much better mood now that the baby had been born. And Dean was happier then he had ever been before in his life, even though Meg was currently spending more time at the hospital to keep Haley company then with him (which, Sam realized, didn't mean much, considering how much time Dean was spending at the hospital lately).
Missouri was also an almost-constant presence around Haley, and even John managed to make an appearance every couple of days, and when he did he stayed for at least a few hours, getting up-to-date on how Haley and the baby were doing. Sam had been surprised when he'd overheard his father talking to Haley about wanting to actually be a part of his grandson's life. Trying to make up for the shitty way he'd treated his sons, no doubt. And as far as Sam was concerned, it was the best news he'd had since the doctors had told him that the baby stood a very good chance of survival.
"Six minutes." Dean shouted. "I'm not hearing any running water."
"Okay, I'm showering." Sam shouted back, getting up out of bed, grabbing some clothes from the semi-clean pile in the corner (where else were they going to go? The baby's nursery took up the closet), and headed for the bathroom.
His gaze passed over the mirror briefly, but he quickly turned back to it. All he saw was his own face and the bathroom reflected in it. But he had been sure there was someone else, like a shadow.
He was reminded of the dream he'd had. Not a dream, a memory. Of what had happened while he was possessed. The memories had been flooding his dreams relentlessly for the past seven nights. Always the same conversation.
His reflection stared back at him, and Sam suddenly felt like it was taunting him somehow. Without warning, his eyes went wide and the mirror shatter, spraying jagged pieces of glass at him as though it had been struck from behind. His hands went to his head as soon as the glass had broken. The headache beating against his skull made it feel like his brain was trying to explode. The pieces of glass seemed to hit an invisible wall, because they came within a few inches of impaling Sam, and then simply fell to the floor.
Sam was on his knees without even realizing it, rocking back and forth with his head in his hands. He heard the door open, on the edge of his perception, and then a pair of strong hands had taken hold of his shoulders.
"Sam." Dean's voice reached out to him through the pain. "Sam, are you there, are you with me?"
"Yeah… argh." Sam gasped out. Clenching his hands in fists, tangling his fingers up in his hair, and forced himself to look up into Dean's eyes. "It'll pass… I just… lost control."
"Okay, I'm gonna go get you some water. I'll be-"
"No!" Sam cried as Dean had started to get up. One hand left his head and seized Dean's shoulder. "Don't… go." He whispered. "It… it hurts more when I'm alone." Dean stared at his brother, took in the pain etched into his face, the barely contained tears in his eyes, and slowly nodded, kneeling back down in front of him. Sam leaned forward and rested his forehead on Dean's shoulders, his breaths fast and shaky, and Dean put a reassuring arm around him. Slowly, ever so slowly, the younger man began to relax.
"You okay?" Dean asked after a few minutes. The half-hearted nod against his shoulder wasn't very convincing, but he figured it was better not to push. "Mind telling me what that was about?" He asked. So much for not pushing.
"I lost control." Sam whispered meekly. "I just… I had a dream last night, and when I looked in the mirror…" He looked up. "You have no idea what it's like to be forced to look in the mirror every day for over a month and know it's not you that's staring back."
Dean stared at his brother for a minute. Sam had been avoiding talk of the possession all week, to the point of leaving the room whenever someone so much as mentioned the Demon. To have him suddenly talk about it without anyone prodding surprised Dean. But then again, Sam had always been better at something if he was allowed to do it in his own time. One of the reasons why he'd disliked their life as hunters so much.
"Okay, you go downstairs and have your shower, I'll clean this up." He said finally. Sam nodded, and slowly got to his feet, walking out of the room slowly, his hand absently rubbing his head, as if as an afterthought and not actually for the pain. Dean didn't really notice, having gotten the broom out of the cupboard and started sweeping up the bits of glass into a small pile, and then into the dustpan, which he then took down to the kitchen, dumping the broken bits of glass into the bin.
Sam joined him not long after, his hair damp, dressed in a blue t-shirt and a pair of old jeans that Dean thought he gave to Sam for his eighteenth birthday.
"Hey, you feeling better?" Dean asked.
"Yeah," Sam said. A few minutes of awkward silence later, he said, "Look, Dean, I'm sorry you had to see that. I… I thought I'd gotten it under control, but when I saw the mirror, I just-"
"Hey." Dean cut across his brother. "It's fine. I mean, if nothing else, I'm there to catch you when you fall. What else are brother's for?" He gave Sam a smile that was all-too uncommon these days. It was the kind of smile that had no strings attached. Sam returned it gladly.
"So, where's my drive-thru breakfast?" Sam asked. Dean pointed to the toaster, which had two slices of bread in it, and then to the bin, which had two slices of toast in it.
"The first two went cold." He said with a shrug.
"Please, please, please tell me you're here to bust me out." Haley said as soon as Sam walked into the room.
"Haley, this is a hospital, not prison." Sam said with a grin.
"The food sucks and I'm not allowed to leave. That's prison in my books." She shot back, lying back against her pillows.
"I hope she hasn't been too much trouble." Sam directed at Meg as he took a seat on the chair closest to Haley's bed.
"Oh, you know, some thrown food here, a fist-fight there, nothing to major." Meg said with a cheerful grin on her face.
"Well, so long as she wasn't hurt." Sam said, giving Haley a quick kiss on the lips, which she returned whole-heartedly. Then she put her hand on the back of his head and wouldn't let go, forcing the kiss to continue. He didn't make any attempts at breaking away.
Until he heard the distinct sound of someone clearing their throat, and he pulled back, much to Haley's disappointment. They both looked over to the door and saw Haley's doctor standing there. Sam gave him a sheepish grin, and then stood up.
"I'm going to go see how Dean's going. Chance's are, he's found his way to the baby again." Giving Haley another quick kiss (this time really), he turned and left the room.
As he'd suspected, Dean was standing at the observation window looking into the room where all the babies were.
"Did he miss you?" Sam asked, causing Dean to jump nearly a foot in the air. Turning a startled look towards his brother, Dean shook his head.
"Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" He asked.
"No, not really," Sam said, his face with a look of total innocence that could only mean guilt. Chuckling, Dean turned back to the window.
"You know, I can remember when you were in there." He said.
"Me?" Sam asked incredulously.
"Yeah," Dean said, a small smile on his lips. "Same place, Sammy. We were both born right here in this hospital." He thought for a minute. "Well, you were. Apparently I was a little over-eager, and Mum gave birth to me in the car." Sam laughed at that. "Dad brought me up here a couple of days after Mum gave birth to you. He brought me right up against the window, pointed to you, and he said 'You see that, Dean? That's your little brother. That's Sammy.'" Sam smiled solemnly at the memory Dean was giving him. Then he noticed something he thought he'd never see up close.
"Dude, are you crying?"
"No!" Dean said a little too quickly, wiping his eyes. "I'm just… no, I'm not crying." Sam grinned, and without warning, put an arm around his brother's shoulders, pulling him into a tight side-long hug. "You see that, Dean? That's my son. That's Tommy." Dean pulled out of Sam's hold, shooting his brother a filthy look. Then it softened, and he frowned.
"Tommy?" He repeated the name. "Where'd that come from, it's familiar?"
"Grandpa's name was Thomas. Mum's Dad." Sam's grin widened. "Haley somehow got her hands on our old family tree before the baby was born. I think Jenny's been passing on all of our old stuff to Missouri, because Haley found heaps of stuff in her basement." Dean nodded absently. There were a few times he could remember, before their mother had been killed, when their grandparents would visit. And a couple of times after she'd been killed, before John had really started hunting, when he'd drop Dean and Sam off to spend a few days with Mary's parents while he went out and dealt with her death as best he could.
"Sounds good to me," he said.
"Well, good, because you don't really get a choice in the matter." Sam said jokingly.
"Aw, what? The uncle has no say in the baby's name?"
"Not in this family."
The front door to the Winchester's home opened, and in walked Haley, baby in her arms. Right behind her came Sam, and then Dean and Meg hand-in-hand. Sam dumped their bags by the door as Dean closed it, and then the group moved into the kitchen. Haley inhaled as if trying to breathe the scene in.
"Home sweet home." She said. Then she turned on the other three. "Did I mention how happy I am to be out of there?" Sam laughed.
"Yeah, it only really sank in after you'd mentioned it for the fiftieth time on the drive back." He said.
"Well, as long as it sank in." Haley said with a smile. Tommy, obviously realizing everyone's attention was no longer on him, began to cry. Loudly. Sam couldn't help but laugh at the timing.
"I think someone might be hungry." He said, looking at Haley.
"That makes two of us." Haley responded.
"Well, that's good, because, you see," Sam and Haley both looked over at Dean, "Meg and I are going to be cooking dinner tonight. Sort of a welcome home meal for Haley." Dean looked a little embarrassed by the announcement. Rolling her eyes, Meg picked up where he'd let off.
"And what we're having is going to be a surprise. So until we're ready, neither of you are allowed in the kitchen. Or within smelling range." Sam and Haley exchanged smiles. "So, you two just… stay upstairs; spend some time with the baby. Dean and I will call you when we're ready." At mention of the baby, Dean suddenly had a look of indecisiveness on his face.
"Actually, you know, I could go up with them, make sure they don't-"
"What?" Dean's voice was close to a whine.
"Fridge, now." Meg ordered. A look of disappointment briefly crossed Dean's face. Then he grinned, shrugged at Sam and Haley, and then walked over to the fridge to get what they'd need for the dinner. Satisfied, Meg turned back to Sam and Haley, who both seemed to be struggling not to laugh. "And you two, you get out of here, go enjoy some time with your son. And no sneaking downstairs and spoiling the surprise."
With affirmative nods of obedience, Sam and Haley left the kitchen, Tommy still crying loudly in his mother's arms. Smiling at Sam, Haley handed the baby to him, slipped one arm out of her loose blouse so as to lower it, and then did the same with her bra. Sam's eyes widened in surprise and amusement, before Haley took back Tommy and held him to the breast she had exposed. A few seconds later, he was happily suckling, with Sam standing their, still watching in amusement.
"What? It's not like we're in public." Haley said with a shrug. Doing her best not to move the baby while he was suckling, she walked towards the stairs. Grinning, Sam followed. At the foot of the stairs, he swept Haley up into his arms, baby and all. "Sam, don't," Haley laughed. "Don't be crazy, you can't carry me and the baby up the stairs."
"Watch me." Sam said with a grin, already beginning the ascent. At the top, he set Haley gently down on her feet, grinning broadly. "Told you I could do it." He said in a child-like voice.
"Yes, you're my big, strong man." Haley said. "And if the baby wasn't currently feeding, I'd have my arms wrapped around you."
"Doesn't mean I can't have mine around you." Sam said, wrapping his arms gently around Haley, being extra careful not to put any pressure on the baby. She smiled up at him, content to be held by him for the moment.
"He's stopped." Haley said after a little while, looking down at the baby. "I heard some of them didn't take very long." Sam grinned.
"Why don't you go put him to bed," he said.
"And what are you going to do?" Haley asked, a look of curiosity on her face.
"Something I'd prefer to do on my own." Sam said. Haley frowned, and then her eyes widened.
"Oh, okay." She said, nodding and turning towards their bedroom, realizing what he was talking about. Shaking his head, Sam turned towards the bathroom.
The mirror was still broken; Dean thought it would be a better idea to leave it like that until Sam was sure he'd gotten himself under control. Sam was inclined to agree with him.
He was just finishing his business when the beginnings of a headache started. Putting his hands to his head, he took a step back, zipping up the front of his jeans.
"Pulse is dropping."
Sam's eyes widened, and took a step back, finding himself against the wall. He groaned, putting his hands to his head and sliding down to the floor.
"No… not now…" He gasped out, his breath quickening. "Not now." He repeated.
His body heaved as the voltage rocked through it.
A small sob escaped him and his back arched, his head slamming lightly against the wall. Biting down on his lip to keep from crying out, he squeezed his eyes shut. Just out of the corner of his eye, he saw various objects beginning to float into the air. Tears formed in his eyes and the visions finally broke through his defences and took hold of him.
Dean was on the verge of tears as he stared forwards…
Haley put her arms around him, leaning against him, tears in her own eyes…
His body rocked for the third time as more electricity ran through it again…
"No… no… come on… don't give in…" Dean sobbed…
"I'll call it…" The doctor said softly. "Time of death… twelve fifty-three a.m."
"Sam?" His eyes opened, and with small crashes and bangs Sam hoped didn't make it out of the room, the various objects around the room fell to their original places. Leaning against the wall, it took Sam a minute to realize Haley was knocking on the bathroom door. "Sam, you okay in there?"
"Y… yeah." He managed. "Fine." He said a bit stronger. "I'll… I'll be out in a minute." He only just managed to keep the tremor out of his voice. Slowly, with one hand on his head, teeth clenched and eyes narrowed to slits, he forced himself to his feet.
Stumbling, he made his way to the sink, opening the cabinet above it and, hands shaking, took out a small bottle of pills, taking the cap off and tilting it down, a couple of pills dropping into his hand. He took one deep breath, two, three, and then dropped the pills into his mouth, filling a cup by the sink with water and washing the pill down with it.
His nose wrinkled in distaste as he swallowed them, but he forced them down, eyes opening just a little more. He sorely regretted shattering the mirror earlier in the week; it would've been a relief to be able to see a living, breathing person looking back at him and not the animated corpse he sure felt like.
Breathing slower, relaxing slightly as the pills slowly began to take affect, he closed his eyes against, leaning his head back. The images in his mind played over again and again, along with the aftermath of the migraine that continued to roll around the inside of his skull.
"You weren't kidding." He said softly. There were tears in his eyes, and he quickly wiped them away. Again, he wished the mirror was there; he wanted to make sure he didn't look like he thought he did. So he settled for splashing his face with water, wiping it with a towel, and hoping no one would look too closely. Then, putting a smile on, he opened the door, he exited the bathroom and headed down the hall towards the bedroom her shared with Haley.
"Daddy's back." He said, heading straight for the nursery. Haley looked up from where she was sitting, put a finger to her lips, and nodded toward the sleeping baby in his crib. Sam smiled, and Haley got up, gesturing to the rocking chair. Sam walked over and sat down, and then Haley sat in his lap, leaning her head against his chest.
"This is wonderful, you know?" She said softly. Sam nodded.
"It is." He agreed. He was thankful that his voice didn't betray the pain that was tearing him apart inside.
A/N: And just like that, Eye of the Storm ends. Hope this chapter was believable, particularly the way Dean was acting, and the last bit in the bathroom; I was having tons of trouble with the vision. Anyone want to make guesses at what's happening with Sam? And who it was he saw in the vision? Both those questions will be answered in 'Death of Hope' the next part of the Heart of Gold series, which may or may not make it out this year (depending how soon I finish the two fanfics I'm currently working on at the moment).
Now, onto the thanks to all my reviewers, in order of appearance:
Thanks to Spuffyshipper, The girl with no life, Cardboard Box AKA lil cwick, rockchick900, puplover77, erica222, EmSyd, Ghostwriter, AnimeFan918, FireZombie, The Kiss of Death, The Great and Powerful Oz, Anonymous, Miss Meehan, mollieclarke, Daughter of Ipswich.
And a big thanks to mysterychic, for beta-ing the chapters I was active enough to send her.
Thank you again to all. Those of you who like crossovers and Buffy, I'm currently writing a fic called Playmates. For those of you who like slash (and aren't bothered by SamDean), my other fic, Forever's Not Enough, will contain SamDean slash where they aren't related. If neither of these appeal to you, just hang in there and I'll do my best with the sequel to Heart of Gold/Eye of the Storm.
Until next time, Cyas.