Okay guys, this is it. The final chapter. I want to thank each of every one of you for sticking with me on this. For all of the wonderful reviews, thank you so very much. For all of the story alerts, favorites, etc...thank you, thank you, thank you! To MysteryMadchen...thank you for the wonderful prompt for this story. I really hope I did it justice. Anyway...on with the story.
John shook Bobby's hand before turning and making his way down the steps. He strolled toward the Impala where Dean stood waving at his surrogate uncle. Sam stood beside his brother, the bruises that circled his neck almost faded from sight now. John had brought his sons back to Bobby's once Sam was strong enough to travel and the family had spent nearly two weeks there, but now it was time to leave. There was a poltergeist in Wyoming that was causing all sorts of trouble and they needed to hit the road before the nasty spirit could seriously hurt anybody.
"You take care of those boys, Johnny," Bobby called from the porch.
John turned to his friend and nodded. "You know I will," he called back before turning back to his sons. "You two ready?" he asked.
"Yeah, Dad," Dean answered as he pushed away from the Impala.
John smiled at his eldest then turned his eyes upon Sam. "How 'bout you, kiddo? You ready?" he queried. He reached forward and cupped the nape of Sam's neck and pulled him to his body when Sam lifted his face up and nodded. He held his son close for a moment then stepped back. He glanced over at Dean, who nodded then reached for his brother.
"Come on, Sammy," he said as he led Sam to the back passenger door. Once Sam was deposited safely in the backseat, Dean climbed into the front seat. He rolled down the window and leaned his head out. "Bye, Bobby!" he shouted as he once again waved to the old hunter.
Bobby waved back and stepped down to the top step of his porch. He watched as John strolled to the driver's door and slid behind the wheel of the Impala. The roar of the engine signaled that the Winchesters would once again be out of Bobby's sight, but never, ever out of his mind. John honked the horn, waved out the window and then the Impala and its occupants were speeding down the road away from the junkyard. Bobby watched until the car was out of sight before he turned around and disappeared into his house, the front door shutting heavily behind him.
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Dean sat in the front seat of the Impala, his head leaned back to rest upon the seat back as he stared out the open window. He relished the feel of the cool breeze that washed over him as the Impala moved down the road. He rolled his head the other way and glanced over the back seat to where his little brother sat. His heart hitched in his chest as he watched the boy's fingers slowly move over a page of the book of Braille that John had found for him. Sam wore headphones where no doubt instructions on the basics of reading Braille played. Dean sighed as he turned back to stare out the windshield. He brought his hand up and brushed it over his face. He turned his head to look out the side window when he suddenly felt tears well in his eyes. He jumped when John's deep voice cut through his thoughts. He wiped hastily at his eyes then turned to his father.
"Huh? Did you say something?" Dean quickly asked.
John glanced over before returning his gaze to the road ahead. "I asked if everything was okay," he answered before once again glancing over at his son.
"Uh…yeah. Everything's fine," Dean answered, his green eyes wandering to the backseat.
"Dean…come on. I know that's not true," John said.
Dean turned back around and dropped his eyes to his lap. "It's…it's Sam, Dad," he finally said as he looked back up at his father.
John looked over at the miserable look on his son's face and frowned. "What about Sam?"
"You bought him a book of Braille, Dad. He's learning to read Braille," Dean answered softly.
"Yeah…you know how much your brother loves to read, Dean. I wanted to give that to him. What exactly is bothering you?"
"You…you don't think he's gonna see again, do you? You think that he's going to be blind forever, Dad."
"You bought him a how to read Braille book! Why would you do that if you thought Sammy was gonna see again?" Dean's eyes shone bright as he stared at his father, those eyes begging his father to make everything okay again.
John swallowed deeply then looked for a spot to pull off the road. Once he had the Impala stopped he turned in his seat to face his eldest son. "Dean, I…"
"Why are we stopped? Is everything okay?" Sam's voice interrupted and both older Winchesters turned to see Sam staring straight ahead, the headphones pulled down and hanging around his neck.
"Uh…everything is fine, Sam," John answered. "I just heard a noise in the engine. We're gonna check it out. You stay here, okay?"
"Oh…okay, Dad," Sam answered before moving the headphones back up to his ears and relaxing back against the seat.
John looked over at Dean then turned and opened the door. He climbed out, walked to the front of the car and opened the hood. He waited for Dean to join him and when the teen did, he turned and sat back against the front of the car and sighed. Dean sat next to him, his eyes staring at the ground at his feet.
"Look, Dean. I'm not going to give up on Sam seeing again, but…but I have to think about the possibility that he may not and I want his life to be as close to what it was before. Reading is very important to Sam…you know that," John explained, his dark eyes watching as the muscles in Dean's jaw twitched as the teen took in the words his father was saying to him.
Finally, Dean glanced over, his eyes glistening before a single tear slipped down his cheek. "Dad…I want him to see again. I don't want him to be blind. It's not fair! What did he ever do but…but be the best little brother anybody could ever ask for? He's blind because of me and…and I can't do anything to help him," Dean cried, the tears coming in full force now.
John stood and reached for his son. He took Dean by the shoulders and looked down into his wet, sad eyes. "Dean…first of all, Sam's blindness is not your fault and second of all, you help him everyday. Everything you do, you do for him and…and he knows it, Dean. He knows it," John said.
Dean shook free of John's grip and stared up at his father in disbelief. "How can you say that Sam's blindness isn't my fault? He's blind because he made a deal to save my life!" he cried.
John's gaze moved to the field beyond the Impala, his eyes sweeping over the high grasses blowing gently in the breeze. He sighed before returning his attention to his son. "Dean, Sam made that deal because he loves you more than anything. Do you realize that he probably expected to lose his life…to lose his soul? If he was willing to give up his life, I'm sure the alternative…his blindness…is something he can live with…if it comes to that," John said, the man quickly adding the last part when Dean's eyes widened at the very thought that Sam would remain sightless forever.
"He shouldn't have made that deal! It's not his job to sacrifice himself for me! Not for either of us, Dad! We're supposed to sacrifice for him."
John reached out and rested his hand on Dean's shoulder. He made sure Dean was listening before he spoke. "Dean, what do you think your death would've done to Sammy? Do you think he could have lived without you? Do you think because he's younger he doesn't feel the same kind of loyalty? The same kind of love?"
"No…of course he does, but he's…"
"He's your brother. He loves you just as much as you love him. You would have done the same thing as he did if the roles were reversed. How could you expect him to let you die when he has knowledge that he can save you?"
Dean stared at his father, his green eyes once more glistening as tears pooled in them. "Dad…I don't know how to handle this. I feel sick every time I look at him and wonder if he's ever going to see again. I…"
"Dean?" Sam's soft voice suddenly called, bringing Dean's words to a halt.
Dean hurried around his father until he was standing in front of his little brother. "Sammy…I didn't hear you get out of the car. You shouldn't be standing on the side of the road. You…"
"You need to stop blaming yourself, Dean," Sam interrupted as he shuffled closer to his brother. "I'm okay with it."
Dean stepped forward, grabbed Sam's shoulders and moved him away from the road. Once Sam was safely away from the road, Dean leaned him up against the front of the car then sat next to him. "How can you be okay with being blind, Sammy?" he asked as he turned his head to watch his brother's face.
Sam shrugged and turned his head in the direction of his brother's voice. "You're alive, Dean. I'm alive. Being blind is…well, it sucks, but it's better than either of us being dead. I'd do it all over again if it meant I wouldn't lose you," he answered softly.
"Don't say that, Sammy. Please don't say that," Dean said as he stood and faced his little brother.
"Dean, I can't help it. If there's something I can do to save you…to save Dad…I'm gonna do it. You put yourself in between me and that harpy and you nearly died. I made a deal to save you and I'd do it again, just like you'd put yourself between me and danger again."
"I…you…no, that's just wrong. That's…"
"Why's it wrong? Because I'm weak? Because I'm not like you?"
"What? No! You are not weak, Sammy. Just the opposite. It's wrong because it's not your job to sacrifice for us. You're my little brother. It's my job to protect you."
"And you're my big brother. It's my job to protect you."
"Sammy," Dean said as he watched his stubborn little brother. "Let's just make sure it never comes to that again, okay?" he continued as he reached out and took Sam's arm.
Sam allowed Dean to guide him back to the back seat of the car and smiled when Dean ruffled his hair. "Hey, Dean?" he asked before Dean had a chance to shut the door.
Dean leaned down and looked at his little brother. "Yeah?"
"I'm not giving up you know," Sam said.
"What do you mean?" Dean asked, his gaze drifting to his father who had come to stand behind him before returning his gaze to Sam.
"I'm not giving up on seeing again," Sam answered with a shrug of his shoulder. "Just wanted you to know."
Dean swallowed back the sudden lump in his throat and closed his eyes for a moment. "Okay, Sammy. That's good to hear 'cause I'm not giving up either," he finally said.
"I know. You never give up on me, Dean and I'll never give up on you either."
Dean reached in the car and gave Sam's arm a gentle squeeze. "I know you won't, Sammy," he whispered before backing out of the door and shutting it as quietly as he could behind him.
Dean glanced up at John before moving around to the front of the car. He shut the hood then walked to the front passenger door. He slid into the car and glanced over as John did the same. John smiled before turning to look at his youngest son in the back seat. "You two ready to roll?" he asked.
"Yes, sir," both Dean and Sam answered in unison.
John smiled and turned around. He turned the key in the ignition and listened as the engine roared to life. He pulled back onto the road and the small family was once again on the road. They may be a little more damaged than they were before, but they were still together and that was all that mattered. That was all that ever really mattered.
Okay, I know! I'm sorry. Please don't hate me. My gal really wanted Sam to stay blind, at least for a while and this was her story after all. Now, that being said...I can't leave Sam blind forever so...there will eventually be a sequel. I hope that you'll comment one last time and let me know how I did. Thank you all again! I love each and every one of you!