June Winchester headed down the hallway with an urgency she had never before experienced. How could this have happened? What was her brother thinking? Scratch that, he hadn't been thinking clearly for about five years now.
June came to an abrupt stop outside Room 415 of the pediatric unit of St. Carmen's Hospital in Ashton, Michigan. There was an unusual group of men gathered outside the door engaged in hushed and intense conversation. June caught the words "we don't know anything about her" and "he never should have used the kids" coming from a couple of the men.
"Excuse me," June needed to get by these men and into room 415. "I'm here to see my nephews." The entire group froze and glared at her in unison. Well, June thought, if looks could kill I'd be six feet under for sure.
"Listen guys, you are in my way. Excuse me." She moved to brush past the group and entered the room. Two young boys were sitting on the hospital bed, both looked dirty and bruised. The youngest looked up and dropped the hand of the other boy as he jumped off the bed and launched himself at his aunt. "June!"
June bent down and lifted the young boy who had latched his arms around her neck and legs around her waist. He dug his head into her neck and sobbed. "Shhhh, baby, it's okay." She cooed as she smoothed soft circles on his back and dropped kisses into his dirty hair.
"June…daddy's dead…Dean won't talk to me… Junie why won't Dean talk to me?" Sam's little five year old body was wracking with sobs so hard that she could hardly make out what he was saying. She kept muttering soothing noises into his ear as she moved slowly to the bed. Walking with the boy attached to her like a turtle shell on backwards was not easy. She managed to make it to the side of the bed and eased herself down to the older boy. "Dean? Dean, honey?" She asked.
Dean's expression was blank. He was staring off to a spot on the wall as if his eyes were drawn there by a powerful magnet. He didn't acknowledge her presence, he said nothing, registered no emotion.
"See…he won't talk to me!" Sammy wailed and clung even more tightly to his aunt.
June could see that Dean was most likely in shock. What she couldn't begin to understand was why her nine year old nephew was perched on the side of the bed, in filthy clothes and looking battered and bloody. It had taken her nearly 6 hours to get to the hospital after the phone call from someone named Jim who claimed to be a friend of her brother's. He had told her that there had been a terrible accident and John was killed, the boys were in the hospital and needed her. What the hell had been going on for the last 6 hours that no one had helped her nephew?
Just then one of the group hovering at the door came forward. June registered that he was wearing a clergyman's collar and had the look of genuine concern. June automatically placed one hand on Dean's shoulder and held fast to Sammy with the other. "Who are you?" she asked.
"I'm sorry, I should have introduced myself sooner." The man slowly approached and drew a chair forward so he was sitting in front of June. "My name is James Murphy, I'm a pastor at The Church of the River in Blue Earth, Minnesota. I'm the person who spoke with you on the phone." June inclined her head slightly indicating he should continue.
"John Winchester was a good friend of mine. We were involved in the same…organization…for lack of a better word. I'm very sorry but your brother was killed yesterday by a very disturbed individual who had abducted Dean. John died saving his son." June tried to process what she was hearing. She felt the slightest tremor run through Dean at his words and turned her head to see that his gaze had shifted away from the invisible magnet on the wall to his muddy socks instead. Hot, fat tears were dropping from his eyes as he wept soundlessly.
June moved her arm from Dean's shoulder and reached around him, pulling him to her side. Dean tipped into her shoulder, burying his head under her chin his tears dampening her shirt and mixing with those of his little brother. June closed her eyes, causing the dampness that had built up to run down her own face. She held each boy tightly to her and allowed them to shed the tears that she knew needed to be shed. Answers could wait. She needed to help her nephews and right now this was the only thing she new to do, hold them, murmur loving words to them and let them know she was there.
While June's mind was occupied with comforting her nephews she failed to notice the doctor and two hulking orderlies until she heard speaking in the room.
"The older boy, hold him down." The doctor indicated to one of the orderlies who in turn approached the bed.
Dean released his aunt and backed up to the head of the bed, his eyes wild with terror.
"Just who are you and what in the hell are you doing?" June asked while setting Sammy gently on the bed. "Stay with your brother Sammy." Sam immediately scooted up to the head of the bed and put his hand protectively on Dean's shaking shoulder. June turned back to the doctor and pegged him as a weasel. She had no patience left to deal with a little weasel.
"Who are you?" the weasel asked.
"I'm pretty sure I asked you first. But if it will help speed things along I'll introduce myself. I'm June Winchester. John Winchester was my brother. Sam and Dean are my nephews."
The weasel again indicated to the orderly with a nod of his head that he was to restrain Dean.
"Listen bucko," June said advancing on the weasel, "I have just driven like a crazy person for over 6 hours to get here. I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm the last adult member of my family left alive on this earth to care for my nephews. I'm pretty sure I have one nerve left and you are bouncing on it like a trampoline. I want to know what is going on, NOW!"
Jim Murphy had moved back to the doorway, joining the other hunters holding their impromptu vigil guarding John Winchester's young sons until they were sure they were going to be safe. They all watched in awe the scene unfolding before them.
"I'm Dr. Timms, the resident on call." Well, the weasel speaks, June thought. "Your nephew has been combative since arriving here and refuses to let anyone near him. He injured one of my nurses earlier, gave her a bloody nose. We need to restrain him, sedate him and then evaluate his injuries."
"Did you just here that snap?" June asked the confused looking doctor. "That was the sound of that last nerve I had left breaking." June advanced on the doctor, poking him in the chest as she spoke. "I don't give a rats rear end if Dean gave some stupid nurse a bloody nose." Poke. "He is a nine year old you who just witnessed his father's murder." Poke. "Six hours! I know for a fact that these children have been here for over t six hours!" Poke. "You are actually telling me that these two injured children, these two traumatized children, haven't received medical attention, IN A HOSPITAL, because you were afraid to approach them after they gave a nurse a bloody nose? WHAT THE HELL KIND OF PLACE IS THIS?" June had built up a full head of steam now.
"Listen here miss." The weasel doctor stammered. "I don't much care for how you are speaking to me."
"Really? I don't think I could care less if I'm hurting your feelings. Listen here, Dr. Timms, I don't want you or your goons anywhere near my nephews. Do you understand? I want a pediatrician in this room in 10 minutes. I want the attending physician you report to in this room in 10 minutes! I will start calling the media, the American Medical Association, the Michigan Board of Medical Ethics, and anyone else I can get on the phone to report the gross negligence these children have received at your hand. Do I make myself clear?" June threw in one final poke for good measure. "I want to know what the hell is going on here and ..NOW!"
The doctor and orderlies scurried past the men in the doorway, if they had tails they would have been firmly tucked between their legs. Jim reached out and put a hand on the shoulder of his friend. "Bobby, I don't think we have to worry about the boys." He said with a smile.
June felt like she had walked into the middle of some bad movie. After more than six hours in a hospital how could an injured child not receive medical attention? She watched the weasel scurry down the hall and glanced over to the group of men hovering near the door. After giving each of the boys a reassuring hug she quickly ventured toward the door and addressed the men, being careful to remain within sight and hearing of her young nephews.
"Okay, what's the story with you guys?" She glanced around the semi circle at the unique gathering. The pastor was still inside the room near a stout and sturdy bearded man wearing a greasy trucker cap and well worn clothes. He watched her carefully, only breaking eye contact to glance at the boys. The others were a variety of scruffy, tired looking men.
"Well, I'm waiting." June could hear the edge in her own voice but really didn't care at this point. At the moment she felt as if her life was the white sand in an hourglass and six hours earlier all the sand had slipped into the bottom of the glass, with the phone call from Pastor Jim the hourglass had been turned upside down and she was in a whole new world.
Pastor Jim stepped forward and placed his hand gently on June's back. "Ms. Winchester, we were helping your brother after Dean was abducted. We represent a unique organization that your brother was a part of. Another good friend of your brother's, Bobby Singer." Jim nodded toward Bobby, who in turn tipped his hat in June's direction . Each of the other men in turn nodded to the young woman, seeming to take direction from Pastor Jim and Bobby Singer.
"Any chance you can tell me why the boys haven't received medical attention?"
"Yeah," Bobby answered, "Dr. Timm is a dick."
June gave a tired smile. "No argument here. I would like to know what happened to my brother though. I especially would also like to know why no one told me my nephew was missing in the first place." June didn't miss the glances exchanged between the men.
"We can explain everything in detail after the boys are taken care of." The last few days were catching up with Pastor Jim and there was an undeniable weariness in his voice. "The abbreviated version is a very bad man named Dick Johnson abducted Dean from the playground at the apartment complex John was living at with the boys. The authorities weren't having much success finding them. John called us, our organization sort of specializes in helping people in situations when the normal authorities can't. We all underestimated the evil Johnson was capable of. We don't really know the details of what happened. We know John found where he was keeping Dean and stormed the cabin without waiting for back-up from us or the authorities. Things went wrong. John was wounded trying to save Dean, Johnson was killed. John died of his injuries before medical attention could arrive." Jim finished and pinched the bridge of his nose, he felt a monster headache coming on.
June looked back into the hospital room at the two boys huddled on the bed. Something was definitely off about this whole thing but her concern for the care of her nephews was more important to her than the bulldozer sized holes in the story she was just told. "How long was Dean with this Johnson guy?"
"Three days." Bobby replied. "Child Protection Services haven't allowed us to talk to Dean, they threatened us with arrest if we tried to speak to him. That's why we are hovering around the room like a bunch of idiots. Pastor Jim here was given a little more leeway being clergy and all. The CPS woman will be back shortly I'm sure."
Just then they were interrupted by a group of men in white coats stomping down the hall in their direction. The leader of the pack was an elderly and tired looking man with a stethoscope draped around his neck and black rimmed glasses sliding down his nose. His name badge indicated he was William Schwebel, M.D.
"I understand there is some sort of disturbance here?" Dr. Schwebel said approaching June.
"Dr. Schwebel," June began "my I ask your position here?"
"I'm head of pediatrics. Dr. Timms said you were causing quite a bit of trouble." Dr. Schwebel was not pleased at having his early breakfast interrupted. He was even less pleased that it was interrupted by Dr. Timms, his least favorite resident.
June was completely fed up with the situation. "Dr. Schwebel are you aware of the situation involving my nephews? I arrive after traveling for over six hours to find my traumatized nephews alone in a room having apparently received no medical attention."
Dr. Schwebel glanced past June to the two young children huddled on the bed. He looked back at Dr. Timms and wondered what he had done to deserve being saddled with such a poor excuse for a pediatrician. However, Dr. Schwebel was also aware that he needed to tread very carefully with the young woman in front of him. It was obvious there was a serious potential for future legal action here.
"Winchester. My name is June Winchester. I am the sister of John Winchester, the boy's father."
"I see. Would you mind telling me what your concerns are Ms. Winchester?"
"Dr. Timms felt it was necessary to deny my nephews medical attention because Dean, in his distraught condition, gave a nurse a bloody nose. I would appreciate my nephews receiving medical attention. I also want to make it perfectly clear that Dr. Timms is not to be involved in any way." June was trying to be restrained, it was obvious the elderly doctor had no idea what had transpired earlier.
"Ms. Winchester, I will personally see to the medical needs of these children. I assume you would like to be present for the exam?" Dr. Schwebel was himself trying to restrain the increasing anger he was feeling toward Dr. Timms. What the hell had he been thinking?