Cursed Chapter 2

This is Dean Winchester. Leave a message…

"Damn it Dean! Where the hell are ya?" Bobby had called Dean's cell phone numerous times, always with the same result. Damn voicemail!

After he'd talked to the cops, Bobby had sat in the waiting room for hours before Sam's doctor had announced the boy was out of surgery. Considering the night so far, he was quite exhausted by the time he approached Sam's room.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

For a start, he'd held Sam close whilst waiting for the paramedics, making sure his airway stayed open, which was an ominous task in itself. Blood continued to pool in Sam's mouth and nose, threatening to choke him until Bobby was able to clear it.

Bobby Singer was by no means soft, but seeing Sam like this, knowing the boy's heart was as broken as his body…he didn't think he'd seen anything so tragic, and it pulled at him. These boys were the closest he'd ever had to actual sons and watching them suffer in any way was to be likened to a dagger through his heart.

He'd kept up a soothing litany of "it's ok, helps on the way Sam" and "We're soon gonna get you fixed up" to "Shhh, it's ok" whenever Sam whimpered in pain. He wasn't sure how

much Sam could hear, but surely it was bad sign if he was able to feel so much pain despite being deeply unconscious.

The paramedics had taken over immediately, asking questions, setting up IV lines, shouting out BP and cardiac readings. Bobby stared numbly as Sam was swamped by medical machines, wires and baffling terminology.

A temporary splint was added to Sam's left arm and Bobby blinked. Neither he nor Dean had guessed it was broken (from being thrown against the shelves perhaps?), but then their minds had been too preoccupied with keeping the kid alive. A medic checked Sam's other arm; it was badly bruised and swollen where he'd tried to fend off Dean's blows.

One of the medics examined Sam's jaw carefully and frowned. "He's bleeding a little too much for my liking, probably from multiple punctures caused by splintering jaw bone fragments," Bobby had winced openly at that, "but there may be internal injuries. I'm gonna have to intubate him before I try to set his jaw; with the amount of blood in his mouth it's little wonder the poor kid can't breathe properly."

Bobby had felt his concern hit the roof as blood was suctioned out of Sam's mouth and a plastic tube inserted in its wake, but he relaxed a little when Sam's breathing began to sound a little easier and less strained.

The medic gently but firmly secured Sam's jaw around the tube with a special support, before encircling his neck with a cervical collar.

Bobby followed along behind the ambulance in his truck, hoping like hell Sam could hold on for a little longer.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Once the dogs had been called off, with a promise (or was that a threat?) to return once Sam had woken up, Bobby had tried to call Dean, urging him to get to the hospital. Sam was in for a rough time and he needed Dean with him.

The story Bobby gave the cops wasn't exactly water tight but it also couldn't easily be disproved. He gave them the same spiel he'd given the paramedics when they arrived to take care of Sam.

The lies had slipped smoothly of his tongue as he explained that he and his youngest son, Samuel Singer, had been passing through when they saw the flames rising out of the chimney stack. Sam had been out of the truck before it even came to a stop and ran to the house to see if anyone was trapped.

My son always has to play the damn reckless hero! He'd even wiped his eyes a little at that point, really laying it on thick.

Bobby had checked the upstairs rooms, but by the time he got back outside his son had already been attacked and badly beaten, by two men that Bobby had assumed to be the guys that set the blaze. When Bobby yelled at them to leave Sam alone they'd taken off into the tree line. The cops had been sceptical, but when they asked for more details or came up with more in-depth questions, Bobby just acted as the back-water hick most people took him for on meeting Bobby Singer for the first time.

Bobby had to admit it wasn't the best of explanations, and when the cops came back to question the younger brother, Sam would have to pull the usual traumatised "I don't remember much" routine. Though Bobby suspected that wouldn't be much of a lie.

But right now, Sam needed his brother, and Bobby had already written Dean into the script as the doting older sibling that was away on business, and was even now making his way back to be by his brother's side.

The question was: where the hell was he?

And what was he going to tell Sam if his brother didn't show up?

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

The doctor explained about the tests, the scans, the x-rays, and eventually moved on to the surgery.

Bobby heard it as this:

Sam had a bleed in his stomach – surgery had fixed it. For now, but they were keeping an eye on it.

His was jaw was badly broken, as was his nose, and his cheekbone was fractured.

Sam couldn't speak, because they'd had to wire his jaw shut. This in itself had complications because it was gonna have to stay that way for at least eight weeks, may be longer. Most patients could feed through a straw during that time, but Sam's face and mouth had been so badly damaged that he was on a nasal gastric tube. At any time, if Sam grew ill and tried to vomit he ran the risk of choking himself to death, so a pair of pliers had to be kept beside his

bed at all times. Yawning and sneezing would be tricky, but with the punishment his mouth had taken, talking would be nigh on impossible.

And that was really the crux of the matter, because Sam's eyes had been so badly wounded during the attack that more tests had been needed, along with some kind of treatment that sounded painful and downright intimidating. His eyes had to be covered over to prevent infection and would remain so for almost as long as his jaw was wired shut.

So he couldn't see and he couldn't talk.

Shit!

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Bobby glanced nervously at the door to Sam's room, dreading what was waiting for him.

He swallowed hard at seeing the boy and felt his heart breaking.

Sam's eyes were indeed bandaged tightly, the thin gastric tube looked uncomfortable, and his jaw….oh god.

His jaw, though loosely covered by an oxygen mask, looked horrendous. The bruising stood out sharply against the white sheets, but the wires holding his mouth in place, keeping his jaw from falling apart, made Bobby feel sick.

When Sam shifted on the bed, his breathing picking up speed, Bobby realised that Sam had awakened, and moved to his side grasping his bruised hand gently.

"Hey Sam. It's Bobby." Bobby thought carefully about what he was about to say. "You ok son? Just squeeze my hand once for yes, twice for no."

When no answer came, Bobby frowned and repeated the question.

But there was still no response, yet Sam was quite clearly awake and getting more and more agitated, trying to rip his hand away from Bobby's.

Bobby turned to the doctor who was checking over Sam's charts. "Why can't he answer me?"

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Dean didn't remember the journey back to the motel. He had no memory of placing the key in the lock, opening the door, or of grabbing the whiskey bottle out from the mini-bar.

He was in too much shock, and guilt rode him hard.

He did however remember slugging back several more miniature whiskeys before reaching a decision. He also remembered emptying the first aid kit onto the floor and taking out every bottle of pain killer he could find.

A little while later his phone started ringing, but he never heard it as he lay motionless on the motel bed.

On Sam's bed.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

To put it bluntly, Sam was scared shitless.

He'd come round slowly to find that not only could he not see, because something had been bound tightly over his eyes, but he couldn't move his neck. It had something securing it in place, but that wasn't the end of his terror.

When he tried to open his mouth to call out, intense agony shot through his jaw and neck and all he could get out was a pained whimper. His jaw was locked shut!

He'd been somehow gagged and blindfolded.

Oh god! I've been kidnapped again!

Panic set in and he started breathing hard and fast through his nose.

But then other sensations became apparent. He could move his arms though his left was heavy as lead and his right felt as though someone had hit it repeatedly with a small hammer.

He felt something in his nose, winding down his throat and what felt like something else lightly covering his mouth and nose.

He'd been injured enough times on various hunts over the years to know what those 'somethings' were. Which lead him to the conclusion that he was in hospital.

And he was trying to figure out what was causing that irritating ringing in his ears.

Someone grabbed his hand which shot his panic quota up another few levels, until he realised that the touch was gentle.

Dean? Is that you?

Someone was trying to speak to him but he just couldn't make out what they were saying above all the noise.

Something was shoved gently into his ear and he tried to unsuccessfully to pull away.

After a few moments the same happened in the other ear, before he felt warm breath against his neck and he finally made out what was being said to him.

"Sam? Can you hear me? Squeeze your father's hand if you can." The voice was kindly, female and unfamiliar.

Sam managed a weak squeeze before her words caught up with him.

Father? My dad's here?

No. It can't be him. Dad's dead.

He was truly distressed now; he couldn't make sense of anything that was happening.

And oh god his head hurt!

Again he felt the sensation of warm breath on his face, but the voice was different.

"Hey son. Try to calm down, everything's gonna be ok."

Bobby?

And now he remembered.

"Sam, I'm gonna put a pen in your hand so you can communicate with me. Squeeze my hand if you understand ok?"

Sam fought for calm and squeezed lightly. The second something was gently pushed into his hand he started writing.

Where's Dean? Is he ok?

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Bobby should have guessed that would be Sam's first question, but in truth he didn't know how to answer it. So he politely asked the doctor to leave.

Time for Bobby to lie his ass off again.

He spoke slowly and carefully into Sam's ear.

"Dean's fine Sam. I had to send him on to another hotel until the dust settled; the cops were sniffin' round a little too much for my liking. But he's on his way back now. He's coming for you Sam, so just hang on."

Sam seemed to think for a moment, obviously seeing the sense in that but not liking it.

Why can't I see and why can't I hear properly? What's wrong with my jaw?

The poor kid was clearly terrified and panicking. And who could blame him?

Bobby leaned in close again. "You took quite a beating to the head Sam. The doctor said that your hearing loss is only temporary, but you just have to be patient. Your eyes were badly damaged and have to stay covered until they heal. But your jaw was broken in several places and had to be wired closed in order to set it properly."

He rattled off the list of other injuries and Sam grew still.

It sounded like he'd spent more time under the knife than a Jack The Ripper victim.

Bobby now had a question of his own, and he had to be very careful how he went about asking. "Sam, Dean had to split pretty quickly so all your stuff was left behind. Can you remember which motel you were booked into before the hunt?"

Sam wasn't fooled for a second, and Bobby felt it in the way his body went rigid.

The pen scratched away at the writing pad, Sam's hand visibly shaking with the effort.

You're not telling me everything! You don't know where Dean is! TELL ME!

Sam's breathing rate increased again, and Bobby just didn't know what to say.

More writing.

The rest of that curse Bobby. Remember what I told you about the suicides! I think it'll try to play itself out one last time in Dean before it's lost forever. You have to go to him!

Oh shit. Bobby suddenly realised what Sam meant. "Just tell me where and I'll go get him ok? He'll be fine Sam. I promise."

The Blue Note Motel, room eight. Hurry Bobby please!

Bobby reached out and laid a hand briefly on Sam's shoulder before dashing out of the room. He stopped briefly to talk to one of the nurses, who nodded in understanding. She fetched a syringe, a phial of sedative and headed towards Sam's room.

Bobby was determined to keep Sam safe for when Dean showed up, and if Sam didn't stop worrying he was gonna make himself sick.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Bobby pulled up outside the motel room and jumped out leaving the truck's engine still running. He didn't stop to knock and just kicked down the door.

"Dean!"

Dean was lying on the bed furthest from the door unmoving. Moving quickly across to him, Bobby placed two fingers to Dean's neck and sighed in relief when he felt a sluggish thump-thump.

But then he spotted all the empty pain killer bottles lined up by the sink in the bathroom. Some were for pretty hefty prescription pills. And then there were all the miniature whiskey bottles on the night stand…

"Damnit Dean" he growled, grabbing the kid under his arms and dragging him to the shower. Tearing off Dean's leather jacket, he turned the shower on full to the coldest setting then hauled Dean bodily into the tub, holding him up under the spray.

Shit it's cold!

After about thirty seconds Dean began to stir, his eyes fluttering open.

To be faced with an extremely wet and hairy face.

"Holy shit!" Dean yelled out, nearly toppling the two of them to the floor of the tub in shock.

"Just take it easy Dean…"

"Take it easy? Dude! We're in the fucking shower together!" Dean spat out a mouthful of water. "Or had you really not noticed that little detail!"

"I thought you'd tried to kill yaself ya damn idgit!"

"What the f…?" And noticed with some relief that he and Bobby were both fully clothed.

"What was I supposed ta think Dean! I come in here, find you passed out on the bed, and then this…" Bobby swept a hand out to indicate the empty pain killer bottles.

Dean glared at him, water dripping comically off his nose and chin. "I tipped the whole lot down the crapper, then got drunk! I didn't expect to wake up in the shower with a grizzly bear in a baseball cap! And seriously man, you ever take that damn thing off?"

Bobby grinned. "Not even in the bath."

"How did I guess?" Dean smirked. "Now get me the hell outta here before I freeze to death!"

A few minutes later, with much cursing and swearing on Dean's part – after all, he was still a little drunk – they were drying off in the bedroom. The two were silent as Bobby checked out Dean's head wound and bandaged his hands.

Dean had been staring at his own evidence of his brutality to Sam, then eventually glanced at Bobby and asked in a soft voice. "How's Sam?"

"He's worried as hell about you." Bobby took in Dean's worried face. At least Dean had the sense to know what the curse was doing to him.

"That's not what I meant."

"I know kid…"

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

By the time Bobby had finished filling him in on his little brother's condition, Dean was a horrifying shade of white.

He sank down onto the bed. "Oh god." He whispered.

And in spite of Bobby's assurances that Sam was worried and needed him, Dean felt sick to his stomach at the thought of his baby brother in so much pain and distress.

A part of him wished he'd finished off the curse and taken his own life, because he wasn't sure he could face his little brother after what he'd done.

Instead he'd fought it and tipped away all the pain killers, then got himself drunk so damn fast that he cut out the maudlin stage and passed out. That way he wouldn't be in a fit enough state to stand let alone drive the Impala into a brick wall, which was what every false instinct had been telling him to do.

But now he wondered if those instincts had been right.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Dean stood in the doorway to Sam's room and watched his brother in shock. He didn't know what he was expecting, but the state Sam was in….

A little while ago Bobby had gotten real mad when Dean told him that he couldn't do it. He couldn't see Sam.

Sam's lyin' in that room, he can't see, can't hear and can't talk, not even to call for help. How could ya leave him all alone in the dark, not knowin' where you are, and wonderin' if you're all right?

Because I did that to him Bobby!...

Tears welling up his eyes, Dean shifted further into the room but kept well back in case he startled Sam. He didn't want him to know he was there.

To let him hear you ya have get right up close to his ear. Make sure you squeeze his hand first so you don't scare 'im.

But although he hadn't made a sound, Sam's head turned slightly towards him, his breath hitching a little.

Sam knew he was there somehow, because he lifted his bruised right arm, reaching out to Dean, his breathing quickening alarmingly.

Dean hung his head and turned to leave. He didn't deserve any of Sam's forgiveness and he certainly didn't want his little brother to feel obliged to give it.

Sam seemed to know his intentions because his breathing became even more erratic, and Dean's heart broke when he heard his brother's whimpers of pain as he tried to call out to him.

When he took one final look back at Sam, all plans to leave evaded him as he strode across the room to the bed.

"Sam no!"

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Sam felt his brother's presence and waited for Dean to sit beside him, to make the fear and loneliness leave. He'd never suffered like this before, had never been so helpless. It was like

being trapped in a dark world with only himself for company. So when the seconds seemed to stretch to minutes and Dean still hadn't moved closer, Sam started to panic.

He strained to hear above the constant ringing noise in his ears, but it didn't help.

Why won't he let me know he's really here?

Dean? Please don't leave me!

But he knew it. Dean had no intention of staying.

Dean! You can't go!

Sam started to hyperventilate through his nose, and still he couldn't get enough oxygen into his starving lungs. If Dean left now Sam was terrified the after-effects of the curse would cause his big brother to do something stupid.

Desperately wanting to breathe properly through his mouth and speak to Dean, he reached up and started frantically trying to tear at the wiring in his jaw. Pain blossomed all round his face, but he didn't care. He needed to breathe.

Someone grabbed his hand pinning it to the bed. Sam felt himself losing consciousness from the panic attack, when a gentle hand reached out and stroked his head.

Then a soft familiar voice, close to his ear, a voice he'd been waiting to hear for too long, spoke to him.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

"Sam don't! Don't do that!" Dean tried to stop Sam from removing the wire, fearful of the damage he was doing. Then he realised that his little brother was trying to free himself because he couldn't breathe in enough air. "Shit! Sammy come on, you have to calm down ok? Sam!"

Sam's struggles weakened.

"Oh Christ. You can't hear me can you?" Dean reached out a hand to Sam's soft brown hair, watching him sadly, wishing he could see his eyes.

Dipping his head to Sam's ear, Dean murmured "Calm down. I'm here Sam, and I'm not going anywhere."

Sam, trying to do as he was asked, turned his head a little more towards Dean. He reached out with his broken arm.

"What is it Sam? What do you need?"

Sam's hand turned to touch Dean's face, startling him.

Dean suddenly realised what Sam was trying to do: reassure himself that Dean was actually there. It hadn't really occurred to him 'til now just how frightened and frustrated Sam wouldfeel not being able to see or speak. He let Sam explore his face, before his hand came to rest against Dean's heart, the steady beat seeming to calm him further.

Then Sam was reaching out his other hand searching for something, and Dean frowned in confusion.

Sam made a small growl of frustration, as his hand sped up its movements, then eventually he found what he was looking for amongst the folds of the blankets.

It was a small writing pad and a pen. Dean watched as Sam's shaky hand spelled out a question for him.

Are you ok?

Dean had to smile. His brother was lying here in a critical condition, couldn't see, speak, could barely hear, and he was more worried about the very person who'd done this to him.

"I'm fine Sam. More worried about you right now." His smile fell as he continued "I'm so sorry. I should have been stronger for you. I don't expect you to forgive me, but just know that I would never…"

Sam held out his hand to silence him, then wrote something else. He was at it for quite some time and Dean waited patiently, marvelling that his brother could write so well without the use of his eyes.

There's nothing to forgive, Dean

It was a Rage curse, and no one, not even someone as strong as you could've fought against it.

I doubt even Matty knew what her spell would become after she died.

It wasn't you. I knew it then just as I know it now.

Dean stared at the writing pad for a few long minutes, considering Sam's words. His little brother didn't feel the need to forgive him, but Sam was asking Dean to forgive himself.

Feeling as though a heavy burden had finally been lifted, he glanced around the room, frowning.

When had it grown lighter in here?

Or rather, something in the room at the end of Sam's bed was growing brighter, until Dean had to turn his face away. After a few seconds the light dimmed slowly, and as he turned back he swore he caught a glimpse of a young woman staring right back at him. Her face was familiar and Dean realised she was old Aunt Matty. He thought she nodded to him, before fading out.

Feeling Sam's hand on his arm, he had the sense that, somehow, his little brother had seen her too.

And Dean also had the sense that this particular hunt was finally over.

Epilogue

In the end, all Aunt Matty had wanted was some sign of acknowledgement that she'd once mattered to her community, but also needed a gesture of forgiveness to set her free. It had sent her spirit crazy, as is so often the case with spirits that had felt wronged in life.

Sure, she shouldn't have cast that spell, but as Sam had pointed out, she probably hadn't meant it to go as far as it did.

But it still didn't make it right.

The cops had come back to interview Sam, and he'd acted the perfect victim.

No, he didn't remember what happened.

No, he didn't remember what his attackers looked like.

And no, he didn't think he would remember anytime soon.

Dean, standing behind the police officers had rolled his eyes.

And that would be because he was having the crap beaten outta him by his big brother!

When the cops tried to press Sam too hard Dean and Bobby had stepped in. Ok so this was all a cover, but Sam couldn't see, his hearing wasn't quite restored, and he had to write his answers on a piece of paper. He was tired and vulnerable, and that instantly sent Dean into the territory of this is my little brother and he's under my protection not your intimidation tactics mode.

Ok, so it wasn't the snazziest of titles, but he could always try to abbreviate it….nah. Too long.

How about FUCK OFF SAM NEEDS HIS REST?

Yeah. That could work.

It was strange, thought Dean. He had switched roles with his brother for a time. Now Sam was the optimist of the two of them. Whereas Dean had to see the scars of Sam's surgery every time he looked at him, Sam only had to see them when he looked in the mirror. Though they would fade with time.

For Sam it was a reminder that no matter what else, at least he had his sight back, his hearing fully restored and he could speak without too much pain or discomfort. It had been a long and frustrating recovery but he'd got there in the end. Bobby had been a rock for both

Winchester's throughout, and Dean had always been at Sam's side, right up 'til he left the hospital, his eyes still bandaged and his jaw still wired shut.

For Dean it was a reminder of what he'd done, though with Sam's help, Sam's strength,he was coming to terms with it and learning to forgive himself. As a side effect, Sam was now dealing with what had happened at the Roosevelt Asylum.

Dean had gone with him to his checkups, made fun of him for having to drink food through a straw once his mouth had started to heal, called him Jaws after the giant in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (let's face it Sam, your almost as tall as he is, and now you have the metal to match) and whenever he helped his temporarily blind brother round a difficult obstacle, such as a carelessly discarded soda can or (yes even) dead cat in the street, if his hand lingered a little longer than necessary on Sam's shoulder, no comment was made.

It was understood for what it was.

I gotcha Sammy. I won't let you fall.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Authors notes:

Again, medical facts have been taken with a pinch of (ha) salt for the sake of the drama.

If that got a little soppy at times then I make no apologies.

For those who liked the way I ended this, then I'm deeply grateful for any reviews you decide to leave.

For those that didn't, then up yours mate! The characters may not belong to me but the bloody story does! So I'll finish it the way I bloody well want.

But anyway, love you all for at least reading it…

Kind regards,

ST.xxx.