Warnings: Language Chapter: Sam
The day was a perfect summer's day, not too hot to chase them indoors, but just hot enough to have people buying cold drinks at the concession stands. The picnic started at 11:00 am with games, food and drink stands, and a flea market. Young and old filled the park, laughing, playing, visiting, and relaxing.
John was making the rounds helping here and there. He seemed to be enjoying himself but Doc J saw a quality of uncomfortableness that held the young man back from truly engaging the crowd. He covered well with his easy smile and quick laugh, but he never lingered or touched. That was the biggest thing he still had to overcome, he could not stand for anybody to get too close, let alone touch him.
Doc J was talking with Brother Fred when Sheriff Smith came up to them around five pm. "Happy 4th there Doc, Brother," she greeted.
"Happy 4th to you as well Carrie," the retiree returned the greeting to Sheriff Smith. Doc J knew this was not a casual meet, he could tell it in her eyes. "What can I do you for?"
"Well Doc, I just wanted to you to know that I hear tell that someone has been asking around about the McAllaster place and the men who died there during that tornado," the sheriff's eyes followed John as he moved around a bunch of kids playing tag. She had taken it personally when she found out about the young man and what he had been though.
Concerned, the Doc looked Carrie in the eye and asked, "You think he was one of them?" despite his control his fear crept into his voice.
"Don't know, but we have our eye out on the rough fella. He didn't say what his plans where but he has been avoiding my deputies all day. He just drove out there, so be on the look out in case he slips past. He is about 25-30, driving a big, black, older model sedan," the sheriff said looking at the Doc intently. "I am going to go do a patrol out by the McAllaster place and meet up with Daniel, he was the one who finally talked to the man," Sheriff Smith was not as pleased although she did not seem as tense. "From what he said the man was just looking for places to rent, but I am thinking he might be looking for his friends and our boy." She inclined her head toward John.
"Watch out for our boy, Doc. I might just have to bring that fella in for a bit of a chat,■ she was already lost in thought when she waved good bye.
"I will," he answered and moved to keep a better look out for the black car and John.
"What do you think Joe?" Br. Fred was concerned, as anyone would be.
"I think I will find out how he is fairing. I may have to rescue him," he said chuckling when he saw were John was now. The retired doctor walked over to the young man.
John was now sitting with the local chapter of the Red Hat Society nodding and smiling at the attention he was getting. He did not appear too uncomfortable but flicked his eyes to the doctor with a pleading look. Doc J just smiled as he joined the group.
Word spread quickly until by 6 pm all in town were watching out for strangers. More and more people cam to talk with John and Doc J, informing the retiree that there were on guard.
It was around 8 pm and the picnic was in still full swing. Doc J and John were sitting with the contingent of WWII vets. The retiree was taking to his old friends telling them a lively story when he noticed a deep rumble of a V8 engine. He quickly looked at John to find him still, his expression blank. He had tilted his head as he often did when he was concentrating, turning to find the source of the sound.
Curious and alarmed, Doc J looked to see a huge, black 4 door drive past and park at the hotel. Feeling John move, he got up and asked, "Who is it?"
John stood and watched as a black four door car drove past and stopped at the hotel down the street. He did not take his eyes off the car for one second. Doc J was growing more alarmed. He turned to Benny, an old friend and vet, and asked him to call the Sheriff. He nodded and moved away dialing his cell.
By this time Doc J saw that a man in a green, long sleeved shirt and jeans had gotten out of the car and was rummaging around in the trunk. John was still staring. They watched as the man slammed the trunk closed then walk into the hotel. Not twenty seconds later he came out and looked around.
The doctor saw that the man noticed the Fourth of July picnic that was going on, how could anyone not see it, and started to walk towards them. By this time he had rolled up his sleeves and the doctor saw that he was wearing a black t-shirt under the long sleeved one. Not exactly the proper clothing for this time of the year. Granted the temps had dropped but not by much, it was still in the lower 80s.
'Rough customer,' Doc J thought to himself as he took in the military type haircut and the biker boots. He glanced at John again and noted that his young charge was not frightened, but had an aura of being scared. He barely heard the whispered, "Dean," that John breathed out. 'What now?' the Doc still could not put meanings to every nuance of that word.
Looking back he saw that the stranger had taken notice of John and was making a beeline towards him. At this moment he also noticed that most of the town's folk had quieted down and was staring at the stranger and the young man. The stranger did not seem to notice the attention, too focused.
John took a few steps toward the stranger and then stopped when they were within twenty feet. The man taking his lead from him stopped as well. The retired doctor could see questions in the man's green eyes along with hope and a flash of fear.
The silence was almost complete except for the occasional barking dog or the mummers from conversations too far away. There was tension in the air that threatened to choke everything out until John broke it.
"Dean?" he asked in a normal conversational way, with a hint of wistfulness. His body language still said keep back and his face was guarded.
The stranger blinked then cleared his throat and said, "Sam?" in almost the same conversational tone but was betrayed by the longing undertones.
John relaxed a bit but still held himself in check as he crossed his arms across his chest and tilting his head, questioning, "Dean?"
The stranger relaxed a bit as well and mirrored the stance but pulled his head back, answering, "Sam?"
The crowd watched this weird parody of a conversation playing out in front of them. Doc J could follow as much to deduce that they knew each other and it was good. He was beginning to worry all the other man could say was 'Sam.'
John blinked rapidly then almost melted, a smile touched his lips when he said, "Dean," dropping his arms to his sides.
A smile spread across the stranger's face lighting up his whole being, "Sam!" he exclaimed with tears falling from his eyes. He took a step and was met half way by John.
"Dean!" he said when they embraced to reinforce that the man was still there. They hugged for minutes then pulled apart.
At arms length the stranger, Dean, now the whole town had a face to go with a name, said, "Dude, I'm sorry."
Sam, who would forever be thought of as John by Doc J, shook his head and responded, "I knew you would come," quietly, a small sad smile replaced the overjoyed one that was there only moments before. He wiped the tears from his face with the back of his arm.
"I missed you, Sam," Dean now held the same sad smile.
Sam's smile renewed it's joy, "I missed you to, jerk."
Dean laughed and responded in kind, "Bitch."