Hello all! So, as a lot of you may know, I'm burning the candle at both ends and in the middle too! That's right I have not one, not two, but three stories going right now. I have had the most amazing reaction to the first two so I decided why not start posting this one too. This just happens to be the sequel to The Deal. This deals with Sam's continuing blindness and how it has impacted he and his family. I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: Still don't own 'em...wish I did, but I don't!
And The Deal Goes On
Two Years Blind
No sixteen year old kid should have to feel left out for any reason, but to be left out because he couldn't see just made it that much worse. Especially when considering the reason the kid was blind. Dean watched his brother, solemn and slumped as he stood alone on Pastor Jim's porch, and the older teen just wanted to cry. Dean wanted to cry out to his father to turn the truck around, that it wasn't right leaving Sam behind. That it wasn't Sam's fault he'd been hurt on the last hunt…that it had nothing to do with Sam's blindness. Yes, he wanted to cry out, but he knew it would do no good. John was set on doing this hunt without Sam. His youngest son's serious injuries, courtesy of the werewolf they had hunted a month ago had scared the man beyond words. It was too dangerous, John had said in the face of Dean's and Sam's protests. Sam is still healing, he had said. And yes, Dean had been scared out of his mind too, but that was beside the point. Sam hadn't been hurt because he was blind, Sam had been hurt because Dean and John had been arguing…very unprofessional, thank you very much…and it was all John's fault. Stubborn, never wrong John Winchester had been just that and Dean had said as much and the fight was on. Sam paid the price for his father's stubbornness...and he was still paying.
"Dad…you promised we wouldn't leave Sammy behind…ever," Dean muttered, the teen unable to keep silent even though he knew it would do no good. He turned his head toward the man in the driver's seat, green eyes staring pleadingly at his father.
John glanced over and sighed. "We're not leaving him behind," he insisted. "We'll be back within the week. We've been over this, Dean…this one is too dangerous for your brother."
"This is how it starts, Dad. You taking on more and more dangerous hunts…Sam being dumped off at Jim's or Bobby's. Why can't we just do like we've done the past two years?" Dean queried, voice tinged with anger.
"We can't keep taking all the easy, no brainer hunts and leaving the bigger ones to others even though we're the closest ones to the action," John shot back, the man irritated at the direction the conversation was taking.
"Yes we can. You said Sammy came first. You said…"
"And he does! That's why he's staying at Jim's for a few days while we take care of this banshee. We're the only ones available and people are dying, Dean…Sam's feelings will just have to be hurt a little."
John wouldn't admit to Dean how much it hurt to leave Sam behind. How much it hurt to know that he had broken his promise to his baby. The look on Sam's face when they had driven away…yes, John had been watching too…had nearly killed the man, but better that then to lose his boy altogether. He knew he was in hot water with his sons…Dean mostly, as Sam was more hurt than angry…but he did what he had to do. He had to keep both of his sons safe and if that meant leaving Sam safely at Jim's then so be it. Just like the werewolf hunt that had nearly cost him his baby, there was nobody else available for this hunt. He had to take it and he needed Dean. He'd made the mistake of taking Sam into the deep woods the last time, he wasn't going to make that mistake again.
"You don't even get it, Dad. You don't understand how terrified Sam is that eventually he's going to be left behind for good. This isn't just about hurt feelings," Dean finally said, his voice breaking John from his thoughts.
"Sam will be just fine, Dean. You're just being dramatic," John rebuffed.
"Really? So, Sam crying himself to sleep last night was him being fine? Me having to wake him up after listening to him beg not to be abandoned? Whether you see it or not, he's terrified, Dad."
"So, you'd rather put his life at risk…"
"No! I'd rather we stick with the plan we laid out two years ago. No dangerous hunts and lots of down time so Sammy can go to the proper schools!" Dean shouted.
John turned toward his son, dark eyes flashing angrily. "Don't raise your voice to me! You know there is no such thing as no dangerous hunts…anything could happen at any time. Sam can't see…"
"Then we quit hunting."
"You know we can't do that. There are few enough hunters as it is, Dean. We can't just quit so that Sam can have a cushy life. He's going to have to get used to sometimes staying at Jim's or Bobby's. Not all the time, just sometimes," John snapped.
Dean huffed bitterly at his father's words. "Cushy life? Are you freakin' kidding me? Sammy doesn't want a cushy life…he just wants to be included. He wants to be treated like an important and needed member of this family!"
"And he is! I just can't needlessly put him in danger, Dean! Why can't you get that through your thick skull! Man, I thought Sam was the stubborn one!"
"Dad…have you forgotten why Sam is blind in the first place? He deserves to be treated with respect…he doesn't deserve to be shoved to the side like he's disposable or something!"
And at that, John had had it. He swerved the truck toward the side of the road, slammed on the brakes and turned to his eldest son, face red with anger. "How dare you! I have not forgotten how Sam came to be blind! I treat that boy with respect and I most certainly do not treat him like he's disposable! I'd lay down my life without a single hesitation for him! I know it hurt him to have to stay behind…it hurt me so damned much to drive away, but I had no other choice in this situation! I can't lose him…I can't lose either one of you, but I can't leave those people helpless and at the mercy of that banshee either! If there was any way at all I could justify bringing Sam, I would." John shook his head and turned away from his son's shocked face. He could hear Dean's heavy breathing and he waited for the young man to let him have it. Instead…
"Dad," Dean said on a sigh. "I'm sorry…I shouldn't have said that. I'm just…I'm not there to protect him. This is the first time in two years we've been away from him. I don't feel good about this at all."
John sighed himself then turned to face his son. "I know…I don't feel good about it either, but what do we do? Do we leave that town at the mercy of the banshee? Tell me, Dean…what do we do?" he asked softly.
Dean dropped his eyes then finally glanced back up at John. "No," he replied. "We kill the bitch then we get our asses back to Sam where we belong."
"Okay then, let's kill this bitch!" John said with a grin.
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Sam stood on the porch and listened until he could no longer hear the sound of his father's truck as it drove away. He pushed away from the pillar he was leaning against and turned then carefully felt his way toward the front door of Pastor Jim's small house. He stepped into the house then reached beside the doorway for his cane. He hated using the cane, but it was necessary to avoid embarrassing and painful falls. He'd learned rather quickly that his safety was more important than his vanity. He made his way to the kitchen where he could hear the pastor rattling pots on the stove. He eased into his chair, leaned his cane against the table then rested his elbows on the table. He folded his hands together and rested his forehead on them. He sighed heavily as he leaned back in the chair.
"Samuel, is everything okay?" Pastor Jim called from his place in front of the stove. The old man turned to watch his young charge and smiled sadly at the look of pure misery on the young teen's face.
"I'm fine, Pastor Jim," Sam answered softly.
Jim shook his head and proceeded to fill a bowl with the stew he'd fixed for lunch. He placed crackers and a piece of honey buttered cornbread on a dessert plate then carried the bowl and plate to the table. He placed the food in front of Sam then returned to the stove to serve up his own lunch. He set his food on the table then took a seat across from Sam. He watched for several minutes as Sam fiddled with his stew, but frowned when no food actually made it to the teen's mouth.
"You need to eat, Samuel. Your father and brother will have my hide if you lose weight while under my care," Jim said evenly.
"Not really hungry…sorry you went to all this trouble," Sam murmured miserably.
"I know that you're worried, but your family will be back before you know it…"
"They left me behind, Pastor Jim. Dad promised he never would, but he did and Dean just went along with him."
"Your father didn't want to leave you here, but he knew the hunt would be too dangerous for you to go along. It's a one time thing, son," Jim explained.
"No…he thinks I'm holding him and Dean back. It won't be long before he leaves me behind for good. I should have known," Sam cried softly.
"Sam…you couldn't be more wrong. Your father agonized over this. He called me yesterday trying to find anybody who could take this hunt. There just isn't anyone else available. You know your father can't leave innocent people in danger. He asked my opinion about taking you…told me how scared he'd been when you were hurt by the werewolf. We both decided that you coming here would be the best thing. He'll never leave you behind for good," the pastor consoled, his heart going out to his charge.
Sam lifted his head and stared in Jim's direction. "Really?" he whispered, face filled with sudden hope, eyes still expressive despite their lack of sight.
"You know I wouldn't lie to you, Samuel. Your father loves you so much and he only wants what's best and safest for you. And Dean…he was so angry. I heard them argue about leaving you. Dean wanted you to go, but John finally won the argument. I don't think you realize just how much your family loves you."
"I know they love me…I know that they'd die for me. It just hurts, you know? I mean…I feel like I'm a liability or something."
"No…don't feel like that, son. Your father and brother don't view you that way. In fact, I've had a few conversations with John about how impressed he is with you."
Sam's eyes widened and Jim had to chuckle. "Samuel, the way you've carried yourself in the wake of losing your sight? It is very impressive. You could have felt sorry for yourself, but you didn't. Instead, you took it upon yourself to learn Braille. You've kept up on your studies and even help research on hunts whenever you can. You train with Dean and have become quite good at hand to hand despite your blindness. Your father is so proud of you."
"What? No…he didn't say that. He would never say that," Sam murmured softly.
"No…you're right," Jim stated, the man reaching out and squeezing Sam's arm when the teen slumped in his seat. "He didn't say it, but…I could see it in his eyes and I could hear it in the tone of his voice. Whether you believe it or not, your father is proud of you. He may not say it, but he feels it, Samuel."
Sam gazed in the pastor's direction and smiled softly. "You really think so?" he whispered.
"I know so," Jim answered.
"Thanks, Pastor Jim," Sam said softly.
Jim smiled and leaned forward on his arms and gazed thoughtfully at Sam. "Eat your lunch, Samuel. Once you're done, I've got some new books for you," he said.
"Okay…cool," Sam said before digging in.
Jim watched Sam, a fond smile playing over his lips. The smile didn't last long though. He knew that it wouldn't be long before Sam started doubting again. While the boy possessed an insane amount of intelligence, he lacked self-confidence and esteem. If John and Dean took too long on this hunt, Sam would start to believe that he truly was being left behind. Jim said a silent prayer that there would be no problems with the banshee so that the boy's family would return within a few days.
"Pastor Jim…is something wrong?" Sam's voice called causing the holy man to jump slightly.
"Huh? Oh, sorry, Samuel…what were you saying?" Jim asked as he focused his attention back onto Sam.
"Um…I'm done," Sam answered.
Jim looked down at the empty bowl in front of Sam and smiled. "You did good there, child. Let me just clean this bowl then we'll go check out those books," he said as he reached for the bowl.
Jim finished the dishes then turned toward his charge. "You ready?" he asked as he moved beside Sam.
"Yes, Pastor Jim," Sam answered politely as he reached for his cane.
Soon, the young teen was following the sound of Jim's footsteps, the two ending up in Jim's study. Jim made sure Sam was settled behind his desk before retrieving the books he'd found for Sam. He placed them before the boy and watched as Sam deftly moved his fingers over the raised bumps on the cover. Sam looked up and smiled. "I love Huckleberry Finn! How did you find it in Braille?" he asked excitedly.
"Oh, I shopped around. There's a lot of books that have been published in Braille," Jim answered.
Sam nodded then moved to the next book. "Moby Dick!" he exclaimed.
"The other one is about myths and monsters," Jim said.
Sam ran his hand over the cover of the book and smiled. "Thanks, Pastor Jim," he whispered, the smile dropping from his face as he continued to touch the book.
"Sam, don't worry about them. They'll be fine and they'll be back before you know it," Jim said.
Sam nodded as he raised his head. "I know they will…this time."
Okay, what do you think? I have a special OC coming up in probably chapter 3...(you know who you are :D) So, let me know what you think. I'll be working hard to get updates on all three stories...man, what am I thinking? Love you all!