|And Tomorrow I Will Let Thee Go
Second 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.
§And Samuel answered Saul and said, I am the seer: go up before me to the high place, and ye shall eat with me to-day; and to-morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thy heart.§ 1 Samuel 9:19
"You should leave them with us, John. Whatever it is you're going through, at least let the boys have some stability."
His sister would have happily taken both boys in, kept them. Hell, adopted them.
He left with the boys two days later.
"You know they're welcome to stay here any time, as long as you want," Jim had said, watching Sammy toddle across the grass, Dean beside him, pulling the grass and rocks and dirt out of Sam's hands before he could put them in his mouth. Sam had shrieked with laughter -- everything was a game. "They'll be safe here."
Sometimes he had, never for more than a couple of days though.
More than once in his life the fact that he needed to get back to them, to be there for them, had been the last bit of will he'd needed to not give up, not to die.
Letting Sam go off to school had been the hardest thing he thought he'd ever done and he'd lived with Dean's accusing eyes on him for weeks afterwards. Not that Dean had any better idea on what John could possibly have said or done to make Sam stay.
He'd called Jim while Sam was still in the hospital.
"You know he's welcome here. You all are," Jim said with no hesitation.
He'd been more surprised when Missouri called him.
"You bring those boys on home. Probably should have offered earlier. He's blind, John, but he can still see."
He shouldn't have been surprised about Dean's reaction but he was. Of course it probably would have helped if he'd talked to him, or even Sam, before he'd headed to Jim's. That had been the plan -- Jim first, to let them all have a chance to heal up. Dean hadn't protested that. Jim's place was quiet, protected to a fare thee well, familiar. John was still limping, Dean couldn't take a deep breath yet and Sam…
…you know, when I said I didn't want to watch you or Dean die, this isn't exactly what I had in mind...
He'd said it with a flash of white teeth and a grin so wide that for the first time in a long time, John actually let the tears flow.
They were all alive. That counted for a win somewhere, he was sure.
"We're not leaving him here," Dean had said it some three weeks later. He and John were both healed up and restless. Sam had learned his way around Jim's rambling old farmhouse in record time. Sometimes he needed someone's arm or a little warning, but he was dealing with his blindness far better than either Dean or John.
John had a list of things burning a hole in his psyche, things he'd put off. Things he tried not to think about but that made him break out in a sweat nonetheless.
Stopping the demon had ended a quest but unleashed a million other evils into the world.
That's what he told himself anyway.
"We can't take him with us," John said.
"There are other things out there, son. We can't---"
"You can't. I can," Dean said and stalked away.
He'd gone alone. Been gone for two weeks. Checked in daily. On the way back, he'd called and Jim had answered.
"They're gone, John. Up to Winnetka. School for the blind."
"Whose idea was that?"
"Dean's, I think. They took their phones."
John had been tired and sore. He made the detour anyway. He called Dean first.
"You okay?" had been Dean's first question.
"I'm good. What are you doing?"
"Taking care of Sam," Dean said. "He's a geek, dad. Geek boy needs to learn to read again. My Latin's pretty good, but Braille?" he'd whistled low and soft. "Must have missed that lesson. I talked to Pastor Jim."
"If you thought I'd go for that, you don't know me at all."
"It's not going to be forever. Just until we get things sorted out. He'll be safe at Jim's."
"Until when? Until one of us gets killed? You never left us behind before, Dad. Why now?"
John didn't have an answer.
The next time he called, a few days later, he called Sam.
"Hey, Dad. You okay?"
John smiled. "I'm good, son. How's it for you?"
"Latin was easier," Sam laughed.
"You boys need anything?"
"Naw, we're good. Dean's got a job."
"What about the school…"
"It's a non-profit. It's covered. They've got housing too. We're okay."
"Your brother still mad?" John asked. Once he'd have asked that of Dean.
"Yeah. No. Scared. It'll be okay."
"Sam…leaving you at Pastor Jim's--"
"I get it. I do, Dad. I'm not mad. Made sense."
John believed him. "So…when you finish up there, then what?"
"We thought we'd swing by Lawrence, spend some time with Missouri."
"She called, a week or so after. She wanted--"
"I know. Hey, Dad? When you get to Arkansas? It's not a werewolf. It's a black dog."
John blinked. "Okay. Good to know."
John doesn't have any trouble finding the house.
He's impressed, made a little nervous by the boys settling but there's not much he can do about it. He knows Dean's still angry and Sam's not, if he ever was.
He's talked to Dean maybe three times in the past year -- short, curt, polite conversations. Do you need anything? How's your brother? How're you? How's the job? He talks to Sam at least once a month, sometimes more often, calls when Dean's working. For the first time since he can remember, his younger son is the easier one to talk to.
He's gotten used to working alone again, remembers now why he prefers it, but this…skin walkers are smart and unpredictable.
"You should take Dean," Sam says when John calls.
"I can handle it, son."
"What does it say about you that you'd rather face a skinwalker alone than your sons?" Sam asks him. He isn't accusing John of anything which makes it worse in some ways.
"I don't know. Your brother's done with this life. I don't blame him, either of you. Sam…"
"Not your fault. Either of you."
"That's not what he's mad about."
"It's what he's mad at himself about. You…don't do this one alone." Don't do it at all went unspoken.
"He's made his choice, Sam," John says. He doesn’t want to fight with Sam. Never again.
"No. He's made a choice. He needs time to make a different one. You don't get to take the easy way out with this, Dad." Sam's got more steel in his voice than John remembers.
"You seem to be pretty sure I won't make it out of this one alive."
"I still don't want to watch you die. Don't make me," Sam says and hangs up on him.