So with the holidays I hope you all can forgive me for my little lateness… Especially you Faye. Anyway, enough with the babbling.

Here is the next and final chapter of 'In the Shadows' I hope you all enjoy!

On with the reading…

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Dr. Meyer ran a tired hand through his hair, knowing that he shouldn't have to deal with this kind of thing after a sixteen hour shift. The kid had been in a football accident, with a fractured leg and rib, several bruised ribs, and a concussion. He needed good care for his leg and monitoring for the concussion, not to mention the ribs, and Meyer wasn't sure that a surgeon that had been on duty for as long as he had been should have been given the case.

He sighed and turned the last corner before the surgical waiting room. Looking up he spotted the brother that had came in with his patient almost immediately. Beside him sat a haggard looking man, and from the looks, what must have been the father of the two boys.

"Family of Samuel Winchester?" He asked, already knowing the answer as the two men looked up at him with fear. Both stood in acknowledgement.

"I'm his father, John, and this is Dean, his brother." The older of the two stuck out his hand, and Meyer gratefully shook it.

"My name is Dr. Meyer and I was Sam's attending surgeon." He answered, and let go of John's hand to shake Dean's.

"How is he?" John asked, drawing attention back to the matter at hand.

"Well, I'm happy to tell you that Sam should be fine marring any complications. We want to keep him over night to monitor his concussion, and to administer a full course of antibiotics for his leg, but other than that he can go home in the morning." Both men standing in front of him seemed to sag in relief at the news.

"So he's okay?" Dean asked, hesitant hope shining.

"Well he's going to be very sore for a while, with a broken rib and several bruised. He also had a metal plate and screws surgically put into his leg to keep the bone together; and concussions are nothing to fool around with." Meyer paused, making sure both men got the gravity of the situation, "But yes, barring any complications, he should be fine."

"Okay," John answered slowly, seeing Dean was incapable of any coherent sentences at the moment, as he tried to take in just how bad Sam had been hurt. "When can we see him?" He saw Dean's head shoot up at the question.

"Well as soon as he's out of Recovery, we'll get him settled in a room in PCU. Once he's settled, you can sit with him." Smiles lined both faces, and Meyer held up a hand to get their attention. "Though I should warn you, after coming out of surgery and the pain medication we're giving him, he won't be real coherent for a little while."

John nodded, a soft, "okay," slipping to let Meyer know they understood what he was saying.

"Okay, so I'll have a nurse sent to get you when Sam is settled," Meyer said with a smile, turning to walk away.

"Dr. Meyer," John called, and he turned back to the men, "thank you for taking care of my boy."

"No problem, I'm glad he's okay." He patted John's shoulder and walked away, turning back to see the men slump into the chairs behind him, before taking the corner to the locker room. He was just glad his shift was over and his patient was okay. Sam had looked so much like his boy; Jo; and he didn't know what he would have done if he had gotten the call that Jo had been hurt.

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Dean slumped back into the uncomfortable plastic chair behind him, relief making him feel a lightness replace the wrenching vice in his chest that had resided there since Sam had first been hit. He let his breath out in an audible 'whoosh' and turned to look at his father, trying to see how the older man was taking the news.

His father had slumped into the chair beside him, his head dipped into his palms in a very un-Winchester like display of emotion. Dean could tell he was relieved, but to actually see his father so 'open' almost scared Dean. In his twenty-one years of life he had only ever seen his father as "emotional" as he was now, the night his mother had died.

He watched his father draw in a shaky breath and push himself further up into the chair. He ran his hands roughly through his hair, and looked at Dean, offering him a crooked smile.

Dean smiled back, only a small quirking of his lips, but he knew his father got the picture. He wouldn't be completely happy until he was allowed to actually see for himself that his Sammy was alright.

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A small, graying nurse bustled into the small waiting room only twenty minutes later, and led the older Winchesters to the youngest member of their family. With a hurried smile, she left them outside Sam's room, and scurried off to get back to her duties. Neither man knew what to think about the little nurse.

John turned the handle and pushed the door open, mentally preparing himself for what he would find on the other side. He dipped his head and closed his eyes before looking up and taking in the sight of his youngest son. He heard a sharp intake of breath from beside him and knew that Dean was getting his full view of Sammy.

Their Sammy was so small and innocent it hurt.

Covered in the hospital issue white sheets, and laying on the white bed left Sam looking more vulnerable than he had ever been. The gown that clothed him was baggy, and concealed wires that ran under the collar. Tubes ran under his nose and hooked into the arm resting limply on his stomach, both sets of them disturbing as they ran into the youngest member of the small family.

Through the white gown John could see bandages tightly wrapping Sam's ribs, telling the man that the doctor hadn't been lying about the severity of the injuries. Small black stitches ran under Sam's hairline, closing the gash his youngest had received when the helmet had smacked into his head hard enough to give him a concussion.

John swallowed hard and scrubbed a hand over his face before finishing the scan of his youngest. The last thing John took in was the bulky white cast around the lower portion of Sam's leg. His leg was propped on a pillow, the blanket that covered him up over his waist, folded so Sam's lower leg was in full view. The cast ran from just below Sam's knee to just above his toes.

John sighed once again, and walked around the bed, stopping to place a hand on Sam's shoulder, and a light kiss on his forehead. The display was uncharacteristic of the ex-marine, but what wasn't about this night?

Keeping his hand on Sam's shoulder, John pulled the chair beside the bed closer, and slunk into it with an annoying squeak of the faux leather. He settled himself in, taking up a watch over his baby boy.

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It had been three hours since the Winchester men had been allowed into the room to see the youngest member of their family, and it was now nearing four in the morning. The two gruff men residing on either side of the bed, watched over the youngest as if their very lives depended on the health of the one lying on the bed.

It was a fact that their family did depend on the man lying on the bed.

Sam was the one that held the family together, by the very skin of his teeth sometimes, but he still managed to keep them together. No matter how many moves and fights, and no matter what run-down place they were living in at the time, Sam had always managed to hold the small family together.

So now the two men watched over him, making sure nothing else happened to him, making sure that he did in fact get better.

A small sound from the bed alerted both men to the waking of their youngest, and they both turned to look at his face. Dean stood from his chair, tentatively squeezing the hand he held in his own.

Sam's eyes rolled beneath the lids, and then flickered open, peering up at Dean with hazy alertness. His throat worked as he swallowed, opening his mouth to try to say something. "Dea-?" His voice croaked, hoarse and sore.

"Yeah Sammy, I'm here, Dad is too;" Dean answered, his head jerking to the man who stood on Sam's other side.

"Oh," Sam said in confusion, looking over to his father, "Hi dad." The simple greeting was enough to make Dean and his father laugh, both of them watching Sam with genuine smiles, glad that their youngest was okay.

"Hi Sammy," John squeezed his shoulder. "I'm glad you're alright," he said softly, startling Sam with the seriousness lining his tone. Sam swallowed again and nodded, not knowing how to answer his father. "Oh, and you're never playing football again."

END.

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So what did yah'all think? I hope you enjoyed, and take care.

DS aka OSS