AN: Thanks a lot for the reviews guys. It seems like I don't really have free time anymore, I mean apart from the time to eat, a nap and checking my emails—something like that. I can't finish my chapters, I can't finish my videos. I can't do anything like I used to anymore. But I'm still trying so here goes the new chapter. Hopefully the next chapter will be here as soon as I can.

Beta'ed: Green Raven 212. Thanks girl. You're like half of this story to be done.

Summary: See Chapter 1

Disclaimer: See Chapter 1


Distant and Faded

Chapter XIV

John pushed the door with Dean's fake name on it, for the first time not feeling too tense like every other time he'd stepped into Dean's room before. His son was getting better and he got a new room—a regular one for post-surgery patients—because the recovery room was making him sick, with its odour and the fact that people in there might end up in ICU if they were not making good progress. But thank goodness that his son dodged the bullet very well. Atta boy.

Everything seemed to be fine. He even got his appetite back, making a decision to shove real food called breakfast down his throat after he was kicked out of Dean's side to give room for Dr. Wilson and his nurses to poke and prod his son—that was what Dean would call it even when they actually just changed the bandages and checking up his broken bones. After spending about twenty minutes in the café—even managed to read the newspaper—he made a decision that there was enough time he was there.

So here he was, walking down the doorway, expecting to see his son to finish his breakfast—just like what the nurse said. But the scene in front of him was rejecting the idea on the spot.

Dean was lying down flatly on his pillow, posture bended up mirroring the bended bed—obviously to help him to have his breakfast—face turning to his left, exchanging the glance with the outside view. There was a tray of food—could also be called Darwinism—abandoned lonely on the trolley. John still couldn't see his son's full face but from his sight, he could see that the young man was feeling troubled about something.

And somehow, he felt nervous about it. There were a lot of things that could be bothering his son—he even preferred it has something to do with their previous cold relationship than anything from the accident—because one thing for sure, he knew Dean was not ready to hear anything about the other people's death caused by the same accident he was involved in.

"You want me to get you something more decent to eat?" Yeah, food was just about the right thing to start a conversation with his son.

"Don't feel like eating." So, he was talking. That was good enough.

But that was just it. No more words. As John put his rear to the chair, nothing audible came out from both sides. John was waiting for his son to say something and Dean was waiting for nothing except maybe something interesting would jump from outside of the window. His unfocused stare was unchanged from the previous state and it made John feel more and more uncomfortable.

"So, how do you feel?" Yet another try wouldn't do any harm.

A slight movement from the right shoulder answered.

"Don't you wanna say anything?" No response.

"Or ask anything?" At the moment, John just cursed himself because despite that the question was successfully pulled the attention from Dean, John was putting himself in a risk—a risk of answering something he didn't want to. Dean took his gaze off the window and looked down to the mattress on his waist down. He was deep thinking.

"Maybe you know something…" John was practically gulped at the sudden stare Dean threw him in along with the question.

Here it comes.

"How bad is he?" The sincere concern was plastered all over Dean's face. But the eyes, they were something different. It wasn't only concern, but he was sure, there was also a glimpse of guilt in the green hazels.

"The guy in the truck, how bad is he?" Dean asked again. His voice raw but stern, making sure his father knew what he was talking about when the first question seemed less in information.

John was chanting in his head, torn between the truth and the lie. He couldn't choose so he thought maybe it was better if he could drag the conversation a little while longer until he could come up with a better idea. "So you remember?"

A sigh was audible in John's ears. Disappointment. How could it be the only thing he did to his son, even with a simple question as that?

"Yes dad, I remember. I wanna know how bad is he? Dr. Wilson said he was in a bad condition but he didn't want to say more than that. Nobody wanted to tell me anything." The guiltiness in Dean's face deepened with each word.

Didn't miss the sorrow, John couldn't help but surprised with the news. So if he lied, it wasn't totally his fault. The doctor started it. John was sure that the doctor's medical opinion made a better judgment than his own. Dean was in no condition to learn about the truth yet. So, he could just play along with a story made by the orthopedist.

"Bad, Dean." John said, while his head was stamping a note to confront the doctor about the lie, later.

"I wanna see him." Shit. He should expect something like this earlier. Now what?

"You can't Dean. You're in no condition to move around yet. Just take it easy for a while. When the time comes, I'll let you."

"I can walk." The pleaded look was something John rarely saw. Dean was not really a person who asked a lot from him as his father and when he did once in a while, it wasn't an easy task to say no. 'No' was shorter than 'yes' but at this time, it was impossible to say it. He felt so guilty but he still needed to deny the request.

"No, Dean. You are not well yet."

"I know I'm getting better. The doctor said it. You know how to judge it right. You can see it yourself. Please, I just wanna see him. I promise, I'm not going to move a lot. I'd use the wheelchair if it's going to make you feel better." John was barely successfully holding a snort out from his throat. Hearing Dean's request to use the wheelchair was something really new. He never thought it would happen.

And somehow it made him wonder, if the accident was really the boy's fault. He seemed so keen to see the man and the guilt in the face was so deep he could read it right away.

"I'm not sure it's a good idea, Dean. So it's a no."

"Why not, Dad?" As he said it, Dean stretched up his back, like he wanted to sit properly but he winced as the pain kicked him in the ribs. Gritting his teeth, he drew a deep breath, leaning back to the bed, trying to shove the pain away as much as he was trying to hide it from John—even when he knew it was already revealed, thanks to the loud machine right on his side.

"Because I'm not sure, Dean. Would you please stop asking me?" God, Dean. Please. I just don't want you to be hurt anymore. John thought, making sure he kept his temper in check. A hurt son was the last thing he wanted to see again—not like he wanted to see it—not just physically as he could see right now but also emotionally.

"Ehem…" Suddenly the argument was forgotten. Both attentions turned to the voice at the door. John locked his eyes with the pair of older ones from the capped man who stared at him briefly—warningly. He wasn't even aware of the appearance which made him somehow kick himself with a curse on how off guard he had been. No matter how good any hunter or creature were, he usually could sense their tail.

But now, right in front of his nose—especially in guarding his own son—he had neglected it.

"Hey Dean, how are you doing, kid?"

"Fine." Dean answered it half-heartedly, looking down at the mattress with an annoying stare. But he never stopped himself from mumbling ahead. "I can talk, I can eat, I can move, I can walk."

Bobby frowned, looking for the older Winchester for an answer.

"He wanted to see the guy. He thinks he's well enough." John said, with a signal in his voice and eye movement. Bobby shook his head with a sigh.

"I don't think you have time for it, Dean." Bobby said but in a clear tone that he wasn't finished yet when Dean moved once more to argue but he was clearly in pain. "But-"

"I'm not finished yet. And make sure you take care of those ribs of yours right there." Dean snickered down at Bobby's stern command.

"There are two guys out there who want to talk to you, take your statement about the accident. Are you up for it?" Bobby's voice turned gentle as he asked.

Dean looked thoughtful. But as the time passed, his frown was formed, little by little. Did they know it? Did they already know that it was my fault?

Bobby turned to his left, sticking his sight to John's as their worried face masked each other. The machine was beeping louder, frequenting the second. Their concerns turned deadly when they could see how pale Dean was as he just stared ahead unfocused.

"Dean." John shook his son's shoulder, trying to pull him out from the state.

"Dean!" at the second call, John's loud voice managed to startle his son from the lost world.

Bobby, at the other end of the bed, let out a sigh of relief when he could see Dean's eyes started to trail their faces in recognition. The BP was started to slow down a bit. Again his eyes locked with John's as the boy's father turned to him, asking silently if they shared the same thought—that the boy suffered the sign of an early stage of anxiety. He nodded with a signal of the eyelids.

John turned his head back to his son, gripping the broad shoulder harder—gaining a full attention from Dean. "Are you okay, son?"

Dean seemed hesitated, "I… I'm…"

"Don't worry, if you're not ready, it's okay. We can do it later. They can wait. I'll make sure of it." John's hand chased the contact from the shoulder to Dean's right head. His palm rubbed the hair gently, praying silently that the contact might send a brief bit of confidence back to his son.

The look of the green hazel eyes back to him wrenched his heart, aching more as the boy unconsciously leaned back to the touch.

"It's okay Dean." John smiled before twisting his view to Bobby.

"Tell them to come back next time." Bobby nodded.

He was just about to reach the door when Dean looked up at the old friend. "Wait."

"I… I'm ready."

"No, no, no, no. Dean, I don't think it's a good idea. It's okay. They can wait." John said worriedly. Dean turned to him, looking better from before.

"No, dad. I think I'm okay now because I don't think I can do it again." His raw voice full of plead.

John sighed. He could hear the same utterance from the other side of the room too—Bobby. He didn't know what was really in the boy's head—what was really happened in the accident. And because of that, he was afraid that Dean was saying the truth—that maybe this was the only time he managed to do this—even if this will reveal the truth about the dead guy.

"I think he's right."

"John-"

"No, Bobby. I believe him." John threw a look to his friend, demanding some understanding—which ironically, he usually the one who didn't and Bobby on the other way round, did.

Bobby sighed, shaking his head unbelievably. "If you say so." He moved back to the door, walking to the hallway, back to the persons who waited for him.

But an uneasy feeling kicked his gut along the way to the three standing guys, knowing this will lead to bad news.

TBC

I wrote Chapter 16 first because another big thing happened in there and I can't wait for it but Chapter 15 is still on hold. As soon as I can write it, I'll update. Also, review will make me happy :)