|Would That It Were Morning
Third in the Second Sight Series
Supernatural, all audiences, future-fic.
The characters and situations portrayed here are not mine, they belong to the WB. This is a fan authored work and no profit is being made. Please do not link to this story without appropriate warnings. Please do not archive this story without my permission.
§In the morning thou shalt say, Would that it were even! and in the evening thou shalt say, Would that it were morning! through the fright of thy heart wherewith thou shalt be in terror, and through the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.§ Deuteronomy 28:67
All the doors and windows have bells. Chimes. They all sound different and Sam knows when Dean opens the kitchen widow to air out the kitchen (neither of them are very good cooks but Dean keeps trying) and when he closes the living room ones at night.
He knows how many steps it is from his bedroom to the bathroom, from there to the small room he uses as an office, and how many steps there are from the top of the stairs to Dean's bedroom door.
The clock on the mantle in the living room has a low deep chime at the hour and half hour. Dean had wanted a cuckoo clock, or maybe one of those laughing cat clocks. Sam had "accidentally" turned on lights all over the house for a week, usually in the middle of the night, before Dean dropped it.
Sam was still expecting to hear one someday anyway. Might get one for Dean himself when his birthday rolled along.
Telling time is easy, day or night.
Keeping track of how many days is harder. They've got a Braille calendar in the office, a freebie from the Hadley School, but if Sam forgets to put one of the soft foam stickies on it, he'll lose track and have to ask.
There are Braille gun labels on all the cabinets, even though Sam doesn’t really need them any longer. They have twelve forks, twelve knives, but only ten spoons.
"It was incomplete, Sam. Missing pieces. I got the set for three bucks," Dean told him after Sam had counted them for fifth time.
Dean thought the Braille marked playing cards were the coolest thing ever. Sam's gotten to be a much better poker player. Dean now owes him sixty-two dollars, two weeks worth of remote control control, and forty-four Snickers bars.
He gets notes sometimes, forwarded from the school, from people who get the tapes and CD's he records, thanking him. Complimenting him on his voice, making requests. Sometimes they come in Braille, sometimes they are written by parents or siblings or friends and Dean has to read them to him.
He can almost be sure, every time, when whatever engine Dean worked on at the garage on any given day was a stone cold bitch. He can hear it in the ghost edge of fatigue in Dean's voice, in the pop of his knuckles, smell it as a faint tang of blood on skin. Not dangerous, but Dean's hands are more scarred now than they ever were when he was hunting.
It had taken him exactly forty-eight hours to realize his blindness would be harder for Dean and his father to deal with that it was for him.
His father thought Sam's blindness was in retaliation for the demon being caught, cornered, and ultimately being destroyed. Dean thought Sam's blindness was because he hadn't been fast enough, or strong enough or, God forbid, omnipotent enough to stop it.
Demons weren't known for going quietly. It had thrown his worst fears in his face.
Somehow, Sam's pretty sure what he got isn't exactly what the demon intended. Or maybe the universe just doesn't like sore losers.
Either way, Sam has now seen the deaths of the people he loves most a half dozen times; sometimes minutes before, sometime hours or days or even weeks.
The only difference, really, is that he isn't blinded by pain any longer when they come at him.
…you'll see them die. One after the other and then it will be you…
He expected it to be something gruesome, something horrible, supernatural, evil.
He didn't expect it to happen while he's on the phone with Dean, three months after arriving in Winnetka.
"So, I'm thinking fried rice and potstickers…" Dean's talking, getting ready to stop and pick up dinner.
Sam sees flames, hears people screaming, and sirens. Dean grabs a beer while he waits, next to the kitchen. Sam sees the fire reflected in the mirror behind the bar first. So does Dean.
"I'm really not in the mood for Chinese. Can you get something else?"
"Yeah…okay. But I really have my heart set on those little pot-stickers."
When Dean gets home to the small apartment the school provides, the smell of the Italian food he carries makes Sam ill. The news report Sam's been listening to pretty much robs Dean of any appetite as well. One of the deep fry woks had caught fire, spilled over to the gas line.
"You couldn't just tell me this?"
"I don't know how it works," Sam says. "You know…pick Italian, watch Ginaelli's blow up. Tell you to come home, see you get hit by a car."
"You didn't cause this, Sam"
There are four people dead. Sam isn't so sure.
They have peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.
He calls his father a hundred and seventy-seven days after he loses his sight to tell him not to take the Old Bridge Road to get to Minoshewa.
"Sam…it's pouring down rain like a son of a bitch. It'll take me a hundred miles and hours to back track. It's gonna take me long enough to get through in this storm. This thing has killed twice."
"It will kill more if you aren't there to stop it. Don't take the road, Dad."
For a moment Sam thinks his father has hung up on him, then, "So…what route should I take?"
"I don't know."
"Great…hey, how did you know I was heading toward Minoshewa?"
"Call me when you get there," Sam says.
Dean sits up all night with him, periodically running Google searches. About six in the morning he gets a hit. "Flash flood. Took the bridge out about seven last night."
Dean starts a new search.
"What did you see?"
It doesn't take much to summon sights or sounds; the crunch of glass, water pouring in the smashed windshield. His father's face.
"Nothing else? Just Dad and his truck?"
"What do you mean?"
"How hard a question is it, Sam? Did you see anything else?"
Darkness, water. The shattered bridge support…slick roads, downed trees, too much water. "No."
He doesn't have to see to know Dean is staring at him. There is nothing. "I'm sure."
"There was a bus…a school bus. Coming back from a field trip."
John wants to know the same thing. "I passed that bus when I turned around."
"I didn't see the bus, Dad."
"I did, Sam," his father says. "I could have…"
Dean takes the phone away from him. "He didn't see the bus, Dad." His hand cups the back of Sam's neck, thumb stroking along Sam's throat.
Three days later, they pack up the car and head for Kansas.
Mrs. Hanson brings over fresh flowers once, a meatloaf, and a homemade blackberry pie.
Sam reads 240 pages into his recorder before his voice gives out.
Dean calls him every day.
Dean and John are gone for three days.
Four thousand, three hundred and twenty minutes, give or take.
Sam sleeps through none of them.
He hears The Rolling Stones before he hears the truck.
John stays the night, has some of Mrs. Hanson's pie and takes three of Sam's recorded books when he leaves.
Sam and Dean sit on the porch steps with coffee and listen to the kids down the street play tag as dusk settles. Dean skims over the papers he's missed.
"Wimpiest skinwalker ever," Dean proclaims. "Seriously, Sam. Somebody had already tagged it -- got lucky. It was missing a leg and an arm. Dad didn't need me."
"Maybe not. How was it? Did you two, God forbid, talk?"
"No, we spent three days glaring at each other," Dean said and whapped him with the paper. "We…we're…we're okay. Better. Happy?"
Sam just smiles, finishes his coffee. "I'm gonna hit the bed early."
"Seriously, Sam…was this just a way to get Dad and I to talk or did you see the skinwalker kill him?"
"I saw him die," Sam says.
"Not to be morbid, but how? I mean, he'd really have to be off his game for that thing to get him."
"I never said it was the skinwalker," Sam says. "Did you guys stop at the diner on 40? The one with the…"
"With the amazing waitress named Lenore?"
Sam nods. "I was going to say with that really good chocolate cake, but yeah, that's the one."
"No. Dad wanted to but I was…when we started out I just wanted to get there and back, you know? You did okay on your own, though," Dean says.
"Yeah. I did okay," Sam says and goes in.
It takes Dean twenty-seven minutes to come upstairs. He doesn't turn on the light, only sits on the edge of Sam's bed.
He can hear the paper rustle in Dean's hands. "Should I read this to you, Sam?" he asks.
"Mrs. Hanson told me."
"If we'd stopped--"
"Maybe it would have been eight, or just two, and if it had been just Dad, maybe only one. I don't know. I only saw Dad die. That there were two gunmen."
Dean drops the paper on the floor and leans forward. Sam can hear him take three, slow, deep breaths, before he twists around. His hand drops lightly on Sam's head, smoothes his hair back, then brushes down over Sam's eyes. "Go to sleep, Sam. You probably need it."
His thumb pushes the moisture across Sam's cheekbone where it cools and dries.
The body count is up to twenty-seven now.
Sam counts backward from a thousand to help himself relax. Dean's right. He needs the sleep.
When he hits eight hundred thirty-five and stops, Dean's still there.