How Long Ago Did It Happen?
Disclaimer: No money has passed hands; only naughty thoughts have passed in imagination.
Medical Disclaimer: I have no formal medical training, so forgive me if I get things wrong, I based all of the medical stuff on research on the web and some simple medical books, personal knowledge and experience: stuff like that.
Author's Note: This is the first time I have written a reply to a challenge so it will be both an adventure and good fun. MysteryMadchen posted this challenge on the CWESS and it was too good to pass up. So this story is dedicated to MysteryMadchen for her wonderful reviews to my stories and for posting this fantastic challenge/prompt.
Challenge/Prompt: Blind Sam story, either of him as a teenager or an adult where the blindness is John's fault. It could be him accidentally hurting Sam, somebody seeking revenge, or as a result of John's lack of attention to his son. Multi-chapter. Involving at lease Sam, Dean, and John.
November 2nd 1984
Sioux City, South Dakota
All of the witnesses said the same thing; the one sound that none of them would forget was the sound of the baby's cries coming from the crashed car. The driver shaken but unhurt sat staring blankly out of the windscreen, the small boy in the backseat had a small cut on his forehead and what appeared to be a broken arm. 'Such a tiny little thing, with long fair hair and the greenest eyes, he was so sad and silent.' One lady told the police officer investigating the crash, 'it was the baby though, his cries were heartbreaking and blood covered his little face, the poor little tyke he must have been terrified.'
'The car came from nowhere, the driver … he was lucky to swerve when he did or they'd all be dead.'
'I saw the car officer, it was a big black truck with no licence plates, and tinted windows.'
'Couldn't get a look at the guy driving the truck.'
'It headed straight towards the impala, almost as if it meant to crash into it.'
'Those poor babies, so tiny and so frightened.'
'Shot through the red light.'
The reports kept coming, witness particularly vocal when they saw the children in the car, the scene unfolded in the police report with detail and precision. A large black truck with tinted windows and no licence plates ran the red light and appeared to try and crash into the impala as it entered the intersection. The male driver of the impala managed to swerve and mounted the footpath crashing into a pole but avoided the head on with the truck, subsequently the driver of the truck fled the scene. The occupants of the impala a Caucasian male aged 25 – 35 years, two male children, one aged approximately 5 years of age and an infant of 12 months.
The officer took his hat off and scratched his head, he was in agreement with the witnesses it looked deliberate and was time to issue an APB for the truck and driver.
'Johnny?' A man's voice called out cutting through the waiting room, eliciting silence from the various patients and family all trying to remain calm and patient in the hopes of medical attention. 'Johnny Winchester?'
The dark-haired man sitting against the far wall with a small boy on his lap finally lifted his head and focused on the man calling his name, 'Bobby,' he finally acknowledged his new friend. They barely knew each other but he was the only contact John had in Sioux City. In fact, the small family were staying with Bobby Singer at his salvage yard, and had been with him for two months now. 'Thanks for coming.'
'What happened man?' Bobby sank down in the plastic chair next to John and then suddenly realised the missing family member, 'John where's Sammy? Where's the baby?'
'They … they took him for x-rays and wouldn't let us go with him.' John mumbled as he cradled his five year old son against his chest. 'Dean fell asleep about five minutes ago.'
'What happened? You were just picking them up from the sitter's place …'
'I ah was on the way back to your place and … and … and a black truck ran a red light…'
'John?' Bobby pushed back the ragged trucker's cap and swore under his breath, 'you and Dean okay?'
'Yeah, Dean's got a new cast … he broke his wrist and a small cut on his forehead …'
'They're doing x-rays just to be safe, they said Dean prevented him from serious injury by putting his arm across him and held him tight. He ahh got fragments of glass in his eyes and a nasty cut just above the hairline.'
'Dammit Johnny, what do ya think? Deliberate?'
'I-I don't know what to think but he definitely came straight for us and the first anniversary of Mary's …' John shifted Dean slightly and lifted his weary bloodshot gaze to the doctor as he approached them. 'Doctor Johnstone, this is Bobby Singer my ah brother-in-law, how's Sammy? How's my baby?'
'Sleeping now, we managed to remove the glass fragments during the scans and x-rays and his cut is being stitched as we speak.'
'What about his eyes?' John asked his voice wavered with his still pent-up emotions and the unshed tears filling his own eyes.
'For now, we are cautiously optimistic that there is no lasting damage Mister Winchester…'
'John, call me John.'
'John, with the way it stands his sight is not compromised but you will have to have his eyes checked regularly for any irregularities in his vision or if he complains of headaches. For now, if he cries when he moves his head or looks as though his eyes are unfocused and not tracking then bring him back here immediately or to your regular paediatrician.'
'When … when can we take him home?' Bobby asked as John fell silent lost in his own thoughts.
'I'd like to keep him at least overnight to make sure that there's no complications arise and if all goes well you can take him home in the morning.'
'Thanks Doc,' Bobby shook hands with the doctor, 'ah can we see him?'
'Yes of course the nurse will be out as soon as they finish the stiches. I must say John, you and your boys are lucky relatively speaking yours and their injuries could have been significantly worse.'
'Thanks doctor.' John mumbled lifting Dean to his shoulder and mindful of his cast he slowly stood up and passed the sleeping child to his friend, 'do ya mind Bobby?'
'Nah pass Tiger over,' Bobby took the silent little boy and cradled him in his arms, eight weeks, just eight short weeks and two little boys had stolen his heart.
May 2nd 1993
Cobbler Rest, Nebraska
Sam kicked at the loose stones and mumbled under his breath, he hated this new school, he hated this hole of a town, he hated his dad for bringing them there and most of all he hated the fact that he couldn't read the small print and was laughed at in English class. All on his crappy birthday, 'happy freaking birthday Sam!'
'Yo Sammy wait up.' His fourteen year old brother yelled and ran to catch up with Sam, 'hey birthday boy what's the rush?'
'Nuthin' just wanna go home.' Sam mumbled keeping his head down and eyes hidden from Dean's stare.
'What happened at school Sammy?' Dean gripped Sam's arm and made him stop walking, 'hey dude what's going on?'
'Dean … can we just go?' Just then to Sam's mortification and continuing humiliation two of the bigger bullies in his class were loitering on the corner and there was nowhere else to go, it was the only way to their current home.
'Hey look it's blind Sammy Winchester, poor widdle Sammy can't see the words,' the bigger of the two boys laughed, 'Hey Winchester how many fingers am I holding up?'
'Aww look Trent the baby's gonna cry,' his friend started to laugh but stopped when he caught a glimpse of Dean's face, 'ah shit it's his older brother.'
'What of it Gordon? You blind too Winchester's big brother?' Trent taunted unaware of Dean's reputation as Sam's personal bodyguard.
'Let's just go home Dean,' Sam whispered seeing his brother start a full on temper explosion.
'What did you two idiots call my brother?' Dean asked tugging his arm out of Sam's grip.
'Poor widdle blind Sammy,' Trent chuckled, 'whatcha gonna do about it?' Before Trent could blink Dean was so close their nose tips were practically touching.
'What … did … you … call … my … brother?' Dean enunciated his words slowly and kept his voice low, even though he was only fourteen Dean was tall for his age and muscular in build, also trained well in hand-to-hand combat and physical training with his ex-marine father. Even though Sam was small for his age and suffered intermittently from headaches he trained alongside his brother and father, he was reluctant to fight anyone at anytime preferring to remain in the background and tried not to call attention to himself or his own perceived weakness with his headaches and failing eyesight.
'Dean let's go please.' He begged his brother once again but Dean ignored the plea and gripped Trent's shirt tightly pushing him up against the light pole, a small tight smile played on his lips when he felt the younger boy start to tremble.
'I'm only gonna say this once so listen good, if I ever hear of you bullying Sammy, laughing at him or doing anything at all to upset him in any way, I won't be as nice to you as I am now.' He emphasised his threat by repeatedly pushing the boy against the pole, not hard enough to injure but just enough to rattle him and then he shoved him to the ground, he turned a furious glare at Trent's friend Gordon but he had already runaway. 'Come on Sammy let's get home and have some birthday cake.'
'Thanks Dean,' Sam blushed and kept his gaze averted from Dean's very perceptive one.
'For being you and for not hitting him.'
'Happy birthday kiddo.' Dean laughed and wrapped his arm around Sam's neck squeezing gently, 'so what's this about your being unable to read in class?'
'I ahh had to read some of the … I couldn't see the words properly Dean they went all blurry.'
'Did you get a headache?'
'Yeah kind of, the school nurse gave me some tablets and they helped.' Sam glanced up at Dean; his own green eyes shaded and appeared almost black, 'what's wrong with me?'
'Aside from the usual?' Dean grinned but stopped his teasing when he saw the look on his brother's face, 'do you remember dad telling us about that accident we had when you were a baby?'
'Yeah, you got your first broken wrist,' Sam nodded, 'so?'
'Well Squirt, if I remember rightly, you had glass fragments in your eyes the doctor got them all out but he said that you might have problems with your sight and headaches. We gotta tell dad Sammy.'
'Coz the doc said that if you did then dad had to get your eyes checked out.'
'I don't wanna wear glasses Dean,' Sam all but whined, 'I get picked on enough.'
'Better wearing glasses than getting laughed at all of time, and what happens if I'm not around and …'
'Alright I guess …' Sam pouted and started to walk ahead of his brother.
'Hey Sammy, want ya birthday present?' Dean called out feeling bad for his baby brother; he would hate it if he had to wear glasses so he couldn't blame Sam for getting upset about it.
'You got me a present?' Sam turned around and grinned at his brother, his dimples making an appearance.
June 2nd 1999
Dean sat in the hospital waiting room, head held in his hands with elbows resting on his knees, he could still see everything so clearly. The exact minutiae, the fractured pieces slotted together in a horrific vision and yet it happened it had happened. John, he no longer deserved the title of dad, or father, not even sir now; John did the unforgivable in Dean's eyes and he has seen more than anyone could imagine in their worst nightmares during his short life. He was too much of an expert in the matter of John Winchester hunter of the supernatural and now a piss-poor excuse for a father.
'Dean?' The familiar baritone, cracked and dry whispered but Dean refused to acknowledge it or allow the speaker access to his own thoughts. With dull, tired green eyes, bloodshot from refusing to let tears fall lifted almost of their own volition to the speaker. No warmth, no love just indifference in the carefully schooled features of the twenty year old.
'Go away,' Dean's own voice matched the cracked and dryness of the other, 'just leave.'
'No, he is my son Dean … I know what I did was wrong but …' John tried to explain to his eldest, although how could he explain what he didn't even understand, he reached out to place a hand on Dean's shoulder but dropped it when he saw the flinch.
'What you did wrong?' Dean laughed humorously shaking his head, 'you put your sixteen year old son in hospital. You did the unthinkable Dad!' Dean spat the word out, even though his voice was barely above a whisper. 'You knew, you knew about Sam's eyes, the doctors have told us repeatedly what could happen if Sam suffered a head or an eye injury.'
'I lost my temper Dean, I didn't think.'
'No, no you didn't and now Sam is paying for it yet again.'
'Family of Sam Singer?' A sallow faced man dressed in a white lab coat with a haggard expression stood in the doorway tapping a clipboard impatiently with his pen as he scrutinised the people in the waiting room. 'Family of Sam Singer?'
'Yeah, yeah I'm his father John,' John heaved a sigh of relief hearing the doctor calling out for Sam's family, a brief stay of execution being delivered by his eldest son. 'This is Dean his brother, how is Sam?'
'Please sit down Mister Singer, Dean.' The doctor inclined his head towards the plastic seats as he pulled one up for himself and dropped onto it wearily. 'My name is Doctor Vincent Saint I am the attending physician with your son.'
'How is my brother doc?' Dean asked ignoring his father, 'how are his eyes?'
'First, Sam was brought in with severe bruising to his left eye, cheek and temple with the possibility of a fractured cheekbone.' Doctor Saint paused and glanced at the two men and noticed how tense the air between them was, sighing heavily he made a mental note to keep an eye on them for the sake of his patient. 'You reported that Sam was attacked on his way home from school?'
'Yeah, found him lying in an alley when he didn't come home straight away,' John lied easily keeping his gaze locked with the doctor's, 'we rang the police and an ambulance and got him here straight away.'
'Yes, yes that explains a lot.'
'Explains what doctor? What happened to my brother?' Dean demanded his own anger building with the lack of information given and with the ease in which his father was able to lie his way out of culpability.
'We have done x-rays and scans of Sam's head paying particular attention to the left side, now there is a hair-line fracture of the cheekbone which should heal fine on its own as long as he doesn't receive anymore facial injuries. Now the bruising itself is minor relatively speaking, he is going to have a helluva shiner when he wakes up.'
'What, what about his eyesight?' John asked once again keeping his eyes fixed on the doctor and avoided any eye contact with Dean.
'Ah yes, now you did explain about his pre-existing problems with his eyes and sight, how long ago did the accident happen?'
'Fifteen years ago, he was eighteen months old,' John said and only then did he drop his gaze as the memories came flooding back. 'Sam had glass fragments in his eyes, back then the doctors thought that there was no permanent damage done but did warn us of possible changes as he got older, especially with headaches and his sight.'
'Did they tell you that there was a sliver of glass still embedded in his right eye?'
'No, no they didn't … the doctors told me that it was all out.' John cried out, his guilt meter now near bursting point. 'But if it is his left …?'
'The blow or blows have caused the fragment to move causing irreparable damage to Sam's optic nerve.'
'Which means what Doc?' Dean butted in, 'what does that mean exactly for Sammy?'
'I'm afraid that your brother is now legally blind Dean, we won't know the extent of his blindness until he wakes up and we can do some more tests. Doctor Chelsea Rand is an Ophthalmologist and an expert in optic nerve injuries, she worked alongside me during the examination and will come to talk to you tomorrow once the last of the results have been completed.'
'Hang on doc you said when Sam wakes up?' Dean asked, 'what do you mean by that?'
'We had to sedate him heavily during the scanning process to make sure that his head remained completely still for the procedure, he was in pain and even though he was unconscious he was moving quite a bit. I seriously doubt that he will wake until sometime tomorrow or the next day.'
'Oh, so can I go and see Sammy?' Dean asked already on his feet and with a determined look on his face.
'Certainly … Nurse Reilly can you accompany Mister Singer and Dean to Sam's room please?' Doctor Saint asked the nurse standing just to the side, ready to do anything needed but remained silent during the conversation between the doctor and family.
'Yes Doctor, if you'd like to follow me,' she smiled prettily at Dean, 'Sam's in the ICU ward until he wakes up and then he'll be transferred once the doctor says so.'
'So ah nurse you've been looking after Sam?' Dean asked as he walked with her, letting his father deal with the doctor.
'My name's Nicole and yes I'm Sam's nurse, well for this shift anyway.' Nicole introduced herself just as they reached the door to Sam's room, 'it looks worse than what it is, the bandaging is heavy and thick and he's connected to a lot of monitors, an IV and a nasal cannula for now.'
Dean nodded his thanks and stood for a moment with his hand on the door, not even realising the fact that Nicole had gone back to her station to give him some privacy, taking a deep breath Dean stepped into the hospital room.
His brother, tall and wiry suffering through a late growth spurt with his awkward balance and clumsiness looked small and frail in the hospital bed surrounded by all of the medical paraphernalia.
'He's going to be alright Dean.' John said quietly from behind him, startling the twenty-year old.
Spinning around Dean glared at his father and for a brief, second John actually felt a flutter of fear pass through him. 'Take a good look dad – take a good look at your handiwork. Sam's blind I really hope that you're proud of yourself.'
Author's note: I came across this ghost story while researching places for use in this story and it worked nicely. I have changed the names of the husband and wife and children, the motel name as well just to be on the safe side. Also the motel was demolished in 1993, which is six years before this section of the story is based so by changing names and a few things I have made the year of demolition 1999, setting it the week before it was due to be demolished, the cemetery is also mentioned and their grave. I have taken a few liberties but tried to keep it as close as possible to the original story. If you want to read it then go to: www(dot)hauntedamericatours(dot)com/hauntedstates/hauntedmississippi/Mississippimotel/