So back with more Service Dog adventure! Going by the suggestion of 'murphy9202' who asked about Hannah and Sam meeting another Guide/Service dog team, and I thought that was a great idea, because it will help Sam to feel better about the whole thing, and I'm sure Dean would love to see his brother in comfort with his life. I decided that the other Service Dog would be a different service dog - so a Medical Alert Dog. I'm using 'hopeforchristy' youtube account for inspiration because Windsor can be both used as a model for Hannah (guiding/mobility assistance) and also as a model for the SD they meet (medical alert). So hope that this chapter is good and please review & enjoy!
They were chasing a case in a town and were walking around the superstore there. Sam was whining in his little brother way, because he could be doing research back at the motel instead of having to follow Dean around a store.
"Dean, this is pointless," Sam sighed as he waited for his brother to choose a flavor of pot noodle for Sam's dinner tonight.
Dean didn't even bother looking at him, instead musing out loud, "hm, chicken or beef? What do you think?" He glanced at Sam, who gave him a bitchface when he sensed Dean's eyes on him, and took hold of Hannah's mobility harness handle instead of the guide handle, as he had a feeling they were going to be here for a long time.
However, that got Dean's attention, and he straightened up, eyeing Sam and Hannah in case the service dog was about to alert. Sam noticed Dean's change in attitude and raised his eyebrows at him.
"Yes? Can't decide what flavor of noodle to get for me, instead of like actually asking me what I would like?" he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. With a huff, Dean looked away and simply tossed a chicken pot noodle in the cart beside him.
"Come on, want to get out of here," he muttered, pushing the cart - and yes, they were using a cart - down the aisle. Sam sighed again, dramatically, and waved Hannah forward to guide him after Dean. He didn't bother grabbing her guiding handle, preferring to keep his hand on the mobility harness, which made him feel safer and not quite so useless.
Despite things he told Dean, and Hannah's amazing help, Sam had recently been feeling quite down about his disabilities. He felt very isolated and lonely sometimes, and it was particularly helped by the fact that Dean was trying to be 'normal' at the moment.
Which was probably the reason they were shopping instead of researching the hunt that they were meant to be on in the seaside town.
"Dude, I said, do we need food or shampoo for Hannah, or do we have enough?"
Sam shook himself out of his down thoughts and blinked at Dean, which didn't make the slightest bit of difference to the distant blurry shapes that was all he could see. He sighed and shrugged at his brother. "I think we're okay for dog supplies," he replied dejectedly.
Dean frowned and straightened up from leaning to see the labels on the dog products. He checked Hannah's position, but she was calmly standing at her handler's side, glancing around just in general to help with any anxiety Sam may display perhaps from his PTSD.
"What's up?" Dean ventured to ask, and when Sam didn't reply, he added with more concern, "you feeling okay?"
After a moment, Sam shrugged but nodded, which wasn't incredibly reassuring, but Dean decided he could grill Sam later, back at the motel room, until he told his brother what had been up with him recently. Because, yes, Dean had noticed. But, like a good brother, he had decided to keep off Sam's back. He had Hannah, anyway.
So Dean just hurried the shopping up, and Hannah guided Sam obediently around the store following his brother, licking his hand a few times when she sensed his anxiety was too high because of where he was.
Soon, they were at the checkout. To help, Sam asked Hannah to pass him things up from the lower cart to him, so he could place them on the checkout belt too, and feel kind of helpful rather than just standing there uselessly. The cashier smiled at them and commented on how well behaved and sweet 'their dog' was.
Dean smiled politely back and replied shortly that she was a service dog and she was working. Which was correct, but Sam knew that really Dean just didn't really like people talking to Sam. It was also true that people talking to Sam - that he couldn't see - made him rather anxious.
But thankfully they were out, walking across the parking lot to find the Impala. Sam let Hannah guide without really thinking, simply holding onto her guide handle and following her lead. As a result, he barely stopped in time when his Guide Dog came to a halt.
Hannah barked in alarm as Sam carried on walking without thinking, only pausing when he heard his dog's bark. Dean heard it too, and immediately grabbed his little brother's arm, pulling him back and pulling Hannah, who's guide harness he was still holding onto, slightly off balance.
Sam was about to ask what the hell was going on, when a van blared its horn as it roared past them.
He blinked, shocked, as Dean watched him and glanced at Hannah worriedly. The service dog whined and licked her handler's hand, but didn't alert to anything more. Thankfully, Sam didn't collapse or react with PTSD symptoms.
Relieved and not wanting to look into how this didn't really trigger anything, Dean carefully carried on walking to the Impala, casting concerned looks at his brother, who wearily let his dog guide without paying much attention.
When they were settled into the car with the shopping in the back, guarded by Hannah who was still on-duty, then Dean turned to Sam, decided this couldn't go on any more without having to be talked about.
"So, could you possibly tell me a little about what's going on in that crowded head of yours?" Dean inquired lightly. Sam shrugged and looked sightlessly out of his window, clearly dismissing his brother's concern. Dean let that happen for a minute before sighing exasperatedly and putting the car into gear.
"Look, we're going to have to talk about this," he continued as he carefully drove out of the superstore car park without getting his baby scratched.
Sam didn't respond, and Hannah started whining at the tension in the car. She laid down, putting her head on her paws, in the back seat, watching her owners in the front and wondering what she could do to help.
Suddenly, as they were driving, she sprung back into sitting and began barking loudly at the window, panting happily as she glanced at her owners and then looked out the window again and barked.
Dean swore, almost crashing the car, while Sam looked wide-eyed at Hannah, trying to work out what on earth she was so delighted about that she wanted their attention.
"What is it?" Dean asked through gritted teeth, glancing out of his car window. Mouth open in amazement, he slowed the car and carefully parked it beside the pavement, turning to find Sam frowning at him in question.
"What?" Sam asked urgently, confused and desperate to find out what was going on.
Dean smiled a little. Sam finally had some emotion in his voice, and Dean realised what Hannah had been doing. "Sammy," he began, watching as Sam's frown deepened, hearing Dean's important tone. "Hannah seems to have noticed something that might help us."
Shrugging a little, Sam repeated, "what?" and glanced at his dog in the back, wondering what on earth prompted Hannah to interrupt them. Usually she was on top form, and still with her harness on, she was supposed to be on-duty still, watching over Sam as usual.
"It's the beach," Dean replied quietly, and watched emotions flit across Sam's face. He was remembering the few times they had ever been on the beach - mostly when they were little children. On the odd occasion they got a break, sometimes John would let them play around for the afternoon. Baby Sammy used to love the beach, and that trait never stopped.
Sam swallowed, and looked in the direction of the window, blinking hard. Wishing he could see; could know the beauty of the beach and sparkling sea again, like he did when he was younger. He remembered the time he and Dean took the afternoon off when they were kids, and they sat on the beach and laughed and smiled, like normal kids.
Continuing to blink, this time to stop tears, Sam nodded, and then realised.
"Are we... going to go on the beach?" he asked tentatively. The list of things that Dean hesitated on letting Sam do nowadays was always getting longer, and didn't at all help Sam's mood of wishing for independence. But then again, this was normal big brother, and Sam was never really alone.
"Would you like to?" Dean offered in reply. Sam could only nod. Almost hating himself for getting so emotional about sand, but nonetheless... the amazing times he and Dean had the few times they had been there.
Hannah, impatience with her owners' boring thinking, stuck her face over their bench seat and licked her handler's ear, whining. Sam laughed through his teared eyes and stroked her head, Hannah panting in delight and half-closing her eyes in happiness.
"Yes, let's go," Sam decided immediately, and Hannah barked happily and sat back, waiting for her handler to get out and let her out. "Thanks Hannah," Sam whispered with a smile, and nodded at Dean.
Simultaneously, Sam and Dean got out of the Impala. Sam opened the back door and let Hannah out, taking hold of her leash as she picked it up for him and offered it. Wagging her tail, very excited, she patiently waited for her handler to take hold of her guiding handle on the harness and close the car door, before leading her owner towards the beach.
Dean smiled at the view of dog and handler, and hurried to catch up with his brother.
"So, Sammy, we going to-" but he was interrupted by someone bumping into him. He spun around, immediately on the alert. His experiences of being 'hit' did not bode well for anything that was going to bump into him.
To his surprise, he was looking into the face of a young, rather attractive, girl, who looked quite shocked and very apologetic. "Oh, I'm so sorry," she said, looking anxious as she glanced around him at the Sam, who's guide dog had stopped impatiently to wait for her other owner.
"That's okay," Dean answered with a appreciative smile. He wasn't going to chat her up because he had a little brother to look after, but she was quite lovely; shiny black hair and bright blue eyes. And then he noticed something else that made him smile again.
She had a dog by her side; a gorgeous Springer Spaniel that had a red vest on - so, a Service Dog. And for Sam to know this would be worth everything.
"Hey, Sam," Dean said in a low voice, glancing at his brother, who raised an eyebrow at him in a 'what' way. Dean nodded respectfully at the woman and replied to her apology; "don't worry about it... would you like to walk the beach with us? My brother has a Service Dog too, who would love another dog to play with."
The woman's face lit up and she nodded happily, smiling at Sam behind Dean, who's face showed surprise at his brother's words. "I would love to," she said with a laugh, and held out her hand to Dean and then to Sam, adding, "my name's Katie and this here is Molls."
Sam awkwardly held out his hand in her general direction and she grasped it warmly, shaking. She had read Hannah's patches that named her as a a Guide, Seizure Alert, Mobility Assistance and Psychiatric/PTSD Service Dog, and was graced to be in this amazing dog's presence.
"She's beautiful," Katie said quietly, watching as Sam automatically put a hand on the top of Hannah's head to fondle her ears as he did when unsure of situations. That was the correct things to say.
Sam's face broke out in a smile that filled his features and gave the impression of the sun coming out from the clouds. He nodded without speaking, knowing that his dog was amazing, and realising how lucky he was to have a fantastic big brother to take care of him and a beautiful service dog to assistant him all the time.
He knew he was lucky. And now he could see it.
"Let's run," Sam said with a smile, and waved Hannah forward so she started at a trot towards the beach, carefully leading him down the steps, and then the two of them began actually running together, both smiling, Hannah panting in happiness and Sam honest to god laughing.
Dean, more thankful than he could ever be for this stroke of unusual Winchester luck, smiled as he followed his brother, watching him, and he knew that he loved his little brother and how strong Sam was.
Katie followed Dean, talking to him after she let Molls off leash, who ran into the sea in joy, tongue hanging out. Katie talked to Dean about his brother and service dog. They sat and watched Sam and Hannah run and enjoy their life for a few precious moments. Katie and Dean shared a smile and watched their dogs - and Dean's little brother, who was still fighting after everything, dog by side.
"It's a beautiful world sometimes, isn't it?" Katie asked. And Dean, for one of the first times in his life wince he was four, smiled and replied, "yes, yes it is."
Yeah, okay, so this actually turned out really sucky but I'm ill at the moment and had practically no inspiration so yeah. Apologies for a crappy chapter that was also way too sappy, but I wrote it and that's that. Hope it was okay in some parts, and not to completely weird to read... though it is AU, so I guess it doesn't matter. Anyway... yeah, so. That's that. Review if you want. Thanks for reading-