First appeared in Blood Brothers 5. Set in the second season.
The Eyes of March
"Beware the ides of March"
March 15th, 2007
Sam woke up blind.
At first, he wasn't sure he was blind. He just thought it was dark in the room but—just before he freaked out—he realized there was no way in hell it was that dark.
And, of course, Dean wasn't there to witness the spectacular occasion. Sam knew his brother was AWOL because the first thing he had done was yell, "Dean!" and there was just no way his brother would have ignored the high-school-girl panicked tone in his voice.
Dean was…someplace else. Sam didn't know where. Last he remembered, they were going to bed. But Dean wasn't there now—was it early enough to get breakfast?—and that was all that mattered.
Nothing like waking up blind, alone… Sam wouldn't recommend it to anyone. So he really couldn't be blamed for the mess he'd made of the room fumbling around in a blind and terrified rage. Surely, things all over the place, a picture or two possibly askew, a broken lamp—that was all part of a reasonable reaction, right?
Soon enough though, Sam managed to compose himself and was sitting on the edge of his bed. Although, it might have been Dean's bed, Sam was blind so he was only guessing. It was a bed, and that was good enough.
And of course, that was when, with a click of a key in the lock, some grumbling when the key stuck a bit, and a rush of cold air, Dean returned. "Grabbed some breakfast burritos and—Sam?" Dean's voice went wary, the door shutting behind him with a thud. "Uh… What the hell happened here? You wind the maid up and let her go or something?"
He'd obviously seen the mess then.
"Well, on the good side," Sam was so proud of how matter-of-fact he sounded, "you're not blind."
"Okay…" His brother drew the word out but hadn't moved from his place at the door.
Or maybe he had. Sam was blind so he didn't know for sure, but his brother didn't sound like he'd moved.
"And I am."
Talk about a conversation stopper.
For what seemed a very long time Dean was silent.
In fact, Sam wasn't even sure his brother was still there, except that he hadn't heard Dean leave, and even before he'd had trouble seeing, Sam had had very good hearing.
His older brother, ever so eloquent. Apparently Dean's ears weren't as good as Sam's or—
A horrified thought shot through Sam. "Are you deaf?" he demanded, his voice sounding harsher than he'd meant. But he was still—quietly—freaking out.
"Well, that's good." And Sam meant it. This time he heard Dean move away from the door. There was the sound of paper rustling close-by; Dean was probably putting down the food he'd picked up. Then Sam flinched when cold and calloused fingers touched his jaw. He hadn't heard his brother move closer. Damn stealthy hunter.
"What do you mean, you're blind?" Dean tipped Sam's head from one side to the other.
Sam closed his eyes and huffed quietly, then reopened them because he had no doubt his brother was within inches of his face, staring intently. "Just what I said. I'm blind."
"People just don't wake up blind, Sam," Dean patronized. "It's not even nine o'clock in the morning yet!"
"Then apparently, I'm not 'people,' because I did." Tit for tat.
"This isn't funny." One of Dean's fingers plucked at Sam's eyelids, first one then the other.
Sam batted at him, his hand making contact with a solid and slightly heavily breathing chest. Dean was still wearing his leather jacket. It was cold and Sam shivered slightly. "Stop that," he protested. "I'm not trying to be funny."
Dean finally gave up poking at him and Sam felt a strange rush of something—fear?—at the loss of contact. Then the older hunter was talking again before he could pin the feeling down.
"Can you see anything at all?"
Sam could hear the gentle scuff of boots on carpet and figured Dean was pacing in front of him. Slight breeze, dead giveaway. "No."
What the f—? "Dean?" Sam wondered exactly what part of "no, nope, and nothing" his brother was having trouble with. "Knock it off! I can't see anything!" He started gesticulating wildly just to emphasize things. "If I could see something, anything, you'd know because I'd say 'hey, Dean, I'm having trouble seeing things' not 'hey, Dean, I'm blind'!" Sam was freaking out again, but he figured he was kinda entitled.
Strong hands griped his shoulders and gave him a slight shake. It rattled Sam's jaw shut.
"Sam! Calm down."
Dean's voice was close to his ear and reassuring.
"We'll figure this out, okay? Just… Calm. Down."
Slowly, Sam let out a shaky breath. His brother's fingers tightened, warmth seeping through the grip. It grounded him. "Okay," he managed, suddenly bone weary even though he'd just woken up. "Okay."
Dean didn't move for another long moment, and Sam wished he could see him to know what the older man was thinking. Well, really, he wished he could see. Period.
"Besides being blind," Dean finally asked, "how do you feel?"
The hands were gone a moment before the bed dipped and a muscled thigh pressed against his own as Dean sat down next to him.
"I feel…" Sam gave it some serious thought. "Fine. I feel fine. A bit tired, maybe." He resisted the temptation to lean against his brother, not wanting to freak Dean out. Not wanting to freak Dean out any more than this sudden bout of blindness must be doing..
"No headache or anything?"
Sam shook his head. "No." His voice was quieter now, his chin dropped. He'd be looking at his hands if he was, well, looking. "Nothing."
"All right then." Dean shifted slightly. "First things first. We need to get you looked at."
Grimacing at his brother's choice of words, Sam desperately tried to think of something to avoid being hauled off to a doctor. Being poked and prodded by a stranger wasn't high on his list of things to do today. But it made sense. If Dean had suddenly woken up blind, Sam would be dragging him off for a checkup too.
Maybe they'd get lucky.
Maybe it would be something that could be fixed with a pill.
"Sam?" Dean nudged Sam's shoulder.
Sighing in resignation, Sam forced a tight smile. "No quacks." He tried to make a joke of it.
"Oh, geez, Sammy, there goes my fun." Dean stood up. "Okay, no quacks. And 'cause I'm such an awesome bro, no vets either!"
Oh, God. Sam wanted to glare at his brother, he really did, but instead, he waited, his cheeks burning with humiliation while Dean picked out his clothes.
The doctor was a bust. A frustrating and strangely terrifying bust, especially when they took Sam for an MRI, and Dean couldn't go with him. Sam might have been embarrassed by his sudden need for his brother to be where he could hear or feel him, but he was too unsettled and borderline terrified to care.
Dean waited outside the room and loudly proclaimed what "a crock of shit" it was that he couldn't go inside, and Sam never loved the guy more, knowing his brother was just making sure Sam knew he was right there. A mere shout away. And it helped. It really did.
Blood samples were taken and drops put in his eyes as Sam was manhandled through examination after examination. The ER doc called in a specialist who consulted by phone with an even more special specialist, but six hours later, even the best of the best had no explanation for Sam's sudden blindness.
There was nothing wrong that they could see, so they started tossing around terms like "psychological blindness" and quietly asking Dean if Sam had dependency issues or was he an attention seeker. Sam didn't have to see his brother to know Dean was pissed; he heard the thinly disguised anger in Dean's voice as he answered curtly, "Screw you," grabbed Sam's arm and hauled him out of there. There was a familiar squeak of an old door, and then a gentle hand on his head kept him from braining himself as Dean hurried him into the car, slammed the door shut, then got in himself. The Impala roared to life and peeled out of the parking lot, the momentum shoving Sam against the door.
He didn't protest though, the supposedly quiet conversation between his brother and the doctor making him start to question himself. Were they right? Could this all be in his mind?
An even quieter voice wondered if maybe his visions had damaged something the doctors couldn't see. Sam shivered, his stomach lurching as the car traveled over rough road. He didn't ask where they were going. What did it matter anyway?
Inside the car it was quiet, no loud music thrumming out the speakers, and Sam was too relieved for the respite to question it. Eventually, he drifted into an uneasy sleep, praying that when he woke up, he'd be able to see again.
Sam was sick. Motion sickness, he figured as he lay flat on another motel bed, held on for dear life, and stared blankly up at the ceiling. Not that he could see the ceiling, but figured that unless Dean had gotten them bunk beds, it was the ceiling and nothing else.
He hadn't been able to sleep long in the car, the constant motion in his black world making him nauseated after about an hour. Dean had pulled over while Sam tried to sort himself out on the side of the road, but it didn't work very well. His stomach refused to settle. After ten minutes of being doubled over, retching and heaving, Dean's hand warm in the middle of his back, Sam was relieved when Dean declared they were stopping for the night.
"I called Bobby."
Dean's voice was close and it startled Sam. He knew his brother was in the room with him but he'd been so focused on trying not to hurl, he hadn't been paying much attention to where Dean actually was. It shouldn't have surprised him that his brother was near. Since Sam had woken up that morning Dean was always close by.
Sam appreciated it more than Dean could ever know.
He swallowed back bile and closed his eyes. It made no difference, but somehow it made him feel better. "And?"
"And he wants us to go to his place."
Dean's voice was moving, and Sam tried to figure out what his brother was doing. A slight hollowness as his brother finished speaking and then the louder sound of a stream of liquid hitting liquid had him crinkling up his face. Knowing Dean was in the bathroom had been enough, the extra little details were a bit too much information. Water went on as Dean washed his hands.
Then his voice was closer again. "I think it's a good idea."
Sam didn't say anything for a moment as sudden panic pounded the sound of blood in his ears. "I don't want to stay this way." He panted through the fear, trying to keep himself from losing it again. "I can't be blind, Dean. I can't."
The bed dipped beside him a moment before a hand was pressing against his chest.
"No, you don't understand!" Sam pushed against his brother and struggled to sit up. "I don't like this! I'm useless—"
Sam struggled against hands that tried to keep him down, slapping and shoving hard. "No, no! The demon, Dean, the demon! How can I fight him if I can't see him? I can't even pick out my own underwear. How the hell am I going to help you? I'm—"
"Okay. Enough, Sam. Enough!" Dean barked.
Sam was suddenly pinned down on the bed by his brother's body. Sam was breathless, and now his head was pounding too, his stomach roiling painfully. "Dean." Hot tears burned his face and he didn't even know what he was asking for, just that the word gave him comfort. "Dean…" His head rolled uselessly against the pillow until gentle fingers caught his jaw and forced his sightless gaze forward.
"Sammy, listen to me. Just listen for a second, okay?"
He had no choice. Listening was all he could do.
"Going to Bobby's isn't accepting anything. It's just the safest place for us to lay low while we try to figure out what the hell happened to you and fix it."
It hurt to hope, and Sam whimpered and tried to turn away again but Dean refused to let his jaw go. But Dean did shift his weight so he was sitting next to Sam and leaning over him instead of holding him in place.
"No. I told you to listen to me, so listen! Even if we can't figure this out, even if this is it for life…" Dean seemed to have trouble with the word. "It'll be okay… We'll figure something out, make it work, but no matter what, you will never be helpless or useless. You hear me? We'll figure this out, Sam. I promise. We will!"
Sam trembled as he struggled to accept Dean's words. He just felt so off-kilter since…well, since Jessica's death, the visions, the Demon, their father's death… The blows just kept coming. And now this? He struggled to regain his composure, embarrassed and floundering. "Okay," he finally breathed out, forcing himself to focus on Dean's solid grip. To pull on his brother's strength, once again. "We-we can go to Bobby's."
"Good," Dean sighed.
Sam could hear the weariness in his brother's voice. It had been a very long day. A gentle pat on his leg and then Dean was moving again. "You hungry? There's a little soup and sandwich place across the road. Saw it as we pulled in, probably still open. I can go grab us something. Soup for you?"
He wasn't really hungry but knew Dean was, so he gave a little nod. "Yeah. Chicken if they have it."
"You got it."
Sam didn't have to see to hear the pleased grin in his brother's voice as he heard Dean grab his jacket—leather had a definite sound—and put it on, keys jangling in the pocket as an arm was looped through.
"You be okay by yourself for a few minutes?" The hesitancy in Dean's tone said that he had only just realized he'd have to leave Sam by himself to actually go.
No, Sam wasn't, but he let his brother go anyway. "Yeah, I'm just going to lie here and do nothing exciting. I promise."
And that was exactly what he did.