Giving the reunited family a few minutes, Bridgette reached out and put a hand on Phillip's shoulder to keep him from invading the personal moment. Then she guided her son towards the cafeteria and where she got two strong coffees and a sandwich.
John was sitting on one of those uncomfortable waiting area chairs when she returned, his arms resting on his knees and his gaze fixed on a spot on the ground. Sam sat quietly beside him, cheeks flushed and eyes puffy.
Bridgette's heart stopped beating for a second when his gaze met hers. The pain and fear swimming in his eyes were so intense that she wanted to scream. Sobs started bubbling inside of her when she recognized the utter sense of panic parents radiate when their child is in danger. But then he blinked and it was gone, previous emotions replaced by an unreadable expression.
Bridgette nearly choked on the urge to cry but then swallowed and explained,
"I'm Bridgette Benoit. I brought Sam?"
"Mrs. Benoit," John nodded with a neutral expression. Still, Bridgette was sure she could detect a hint of scolding.
"I'm sorry… I… Sam wanted to see his brother and… he's quite stubborn… I know you told me to… but I just couldn't…"
The words toppled over when she tried to justify her presence. His appearance and those piercing eyes made her nervous. There was this dangerous and powerful vibe all over him and she felt like a little girl in front of the parent, knowing she had done something wrong.
Shifting his eyes over to Sam, a small smile cracked John's lips.
"He's one pig-headed Winchester. I think he's got that from me, his Mom…" John stopped and cleared his throat before slowly lowering his eyes. At the same time his hand reached out and patted Sam's leg.
"I brought you coffee and a sandwich?" Bridgette offered, unsure f it was appropriate for her to stay.
John glanced up again and this time she recognized the quick flash of exhaustion and gratitude.
"I figured you didn't eat anything and I… Sam has already eaten, so… and coffee is always good to lift the spirit," Bridgette rambled. She hated this streak of hers, the urge to babble on when she was nervous and felt out of charge.
She was still considering sitting down when John suddenly jumped from his chair. Her hand jerked and sent her coffee spilling to the ground. Bridgette swirled around and watched John rush over to a white-clad figure who tiredly approached their small group. Sam followed instantly and positioned himself to the left of his father while casting pleading eyes to the doctor.
"Dr. Armado? Any news?"
Bridgette had crunched down and was mopping up coffee with a few tissues from her purse, but her attention was set to the conversation between the Winchesters and the doctor.
"Surgery went very well. We stopped the bleeding, but we had to remove the spleen entirely."
Bridgette noticed how Sam was clenching his fists tighter, nails cutting into his palms. His right hand twitched and she was sure he was itching to take his father's hand, to gain some kind of security. She could see the open anxiety in his stature and the need for physical attachment to the only person he had left. But she also noticed the doubt, the inner conflict playing on Sam's face when he was torn between needing his father and being a big boy.
Her breathing hitched when John reached out and put his arm around Sam's shoulder, pulling him closer to his side. She relaxed and let out a breath she hadn't been aware of holding. John must've sensed his son's turmoil as well.
Dr. Armado smiled at the little boy, then glanced back to John and added,
"I need you to fill out some paperwork, Mr. Winchester, but you are free to see your son afterwards. He's on the ICU, the 2nd floor, just ask for nurse Mathilda."
Again Bridgette's heart ached at the sound of Sam's voice. She had hardly ever heard so much affection, panic and utter desperation wrapped into one single word before.
John turned around and looked directly at Bridgette.
"Mrs. Benoit, would you…"
"Yes, sure, of course," Bridgette answered, before he could even finish the question.
Practically jumping to her feet she motioned for Phillip to follow her and walked up to where Sam stood. Lightly touching his shoulder she ushered the boys to the elevator. John sent her a short nod before following the doctor towards the reception desk.
Although she had sympathy for Sam, Bridgette had to remind him twice to slow down, that this was a hospital with sick people and running was not an option. Finally they arrived at the IC unit, where they ran into the next problem.
Nurse Mathilda was a huge, bulky woman with a frown on her face that made Jack Nicholson look like an angel. She blocked their way efficiently and fixed the boys with a cold stare, icily asking.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"My brother's here, Dean Winchester, I need to see him."
"Your brother, huh? How old are you?"
"I'm 12… but soon 13," Sam added when she knit her eyebrows angrily. Bridgette was sure Mathilda was about to lash out at the boy. How that ice block of a woman could resist those hazel eyes of Sam was beyond her.
"Mr. Winchester sent us up. Sam would like to see his brother."
Suddenly the eyes of doom were on her and Bridgette swallowed.
"Not more than two visitors at the time" Mathilda hissed, her lips thin and her eyes cold.
"But I can't leave my son alone and I can't possibly let Sam go and see his inj… brother all by himself," Bridgette stressed, hoping to touch some kind of soft spot with the nurse.
"I didn't make the rules; I only enforce them" Mathilda blared.
"I can wait by myself, Mom, I need to go to the bathroom anyway, I'll just go back downstairs to the waiting area," Phillip peeped up.
"Are you sure?"
Phillip nodded hastily and she could see that he urgently needed to go to the bathroom. Sighing, and since she didn't see any other option, she agreed and watched her son run off towards the elevator.
Mathilda huffed, satisfied, and motioned them to follow her, guiding them all the way to Dean's bed.
The teenager looked pale, even ghostlike against the all white sheets. Several bruises covered his face, varying from purple to black and standing in stark contrast to his pallor. His lip was split and one of his eyes slightly swollen. Bridgette couldn't help but wonder what had happened during a simple mechanical job to leave Dean with a ruptured spleen and a body covered in bruises. He looked like he had been smashed into a gigantic brick wall.
Bridgette swallowed thickly but moved closer to place a comforting hand on Sam's shoulder. Sam was surprisingly composed. It seemed as if simply seeing his brother had taken away the desperation she had sensed so deeply mere seconds ago. His breathing returned to normal, compared to the fast inhaling and exhaling he had favored since the phone call of his father.
She stepped back slightly when Sam moved forward and reluctantly reached out to put his small hand over Dean's. Upon the touch Sam's posture relaxed, tension rippled off his body and his eyes turned soft and misty. Bridgette sensed that Sam needed a moment for himself, so she retreated from the bed and settled in an uncomfortable plastic chair.
She observed quietly how Sam leaned in closer to Dean, his free hand carefully and gently touching his brother's swollen face as if to make sure it was real. Jerking back when the eyelids of the older boy fluttered open, Sam collected himself quickly and withdrew his hand.
Sam's voice was hopeful and sounded smaller than his age, vulnerable.
The sound from Dean's throat was hoarse and raspy. Nevertheless, Bridgette involuntarily swallowed at the underlying relief in Dean's voice. Blinking against the dim lights of the IC unit, Dean's head came up and he quickly glanced around the room with dark and panicked eyes.
"Where's Dad? Is he OK"
Sam frowned slightly, but answered Dean's question without delay.
"He's fine, filling out the paperwork."
Dean sighed and nodded weakly, then let his head fall back against the pillow and closed his eyes.
Sam's hand still hovered near his brother's fingers, desperate to touch. Bridgette inspected the boy closely and identified the signs of exhaustion. Sam looked positively worn down. Sighing sympathetically, she glanced at her watch and noticed that it was past midnight.
She hated to interrupt the comfortable silence, the familiarity that bloomed between the two brothers, but she could see that Sam would not be able to hold himself upright for much longer.
"Sam, maybe you want to come home with us soon; you could sleep at our house."
Both boys turned their heads simultaneously and glanced at her with surprise written over their faces.
"Thank you, ma'am, but I'm fine," Sam answered softly.
"Well, I think that's actually a good idea, runt."
The unfamiliar, deep tone belonged to a tall, dark haired man who was leaning against the nurse's counter a few feet away. Bridgette unconsciously gripped the hand rest of her chair, her fingers digging into the plastic. Boy, was he handsome.
"Caleb!" Sam smiled relieved.
Ah. So this was Uncle Caleb. A hot wave ran through her body when he pushed himself forward and strolled over to Dean's bed, moving with a sensuality that rattled her. The Winchesters definitely grew them pretty, she remarked to herself.
"How did you get past Mathilda and her only two visitors at a time rule?" Bridgette blurted out.
Sending her a quick glance, Caleb raised an eyebrow and shrugged.
"She's a woman, isn't she?"
Bridgette caught herself blushing. Embarrassed over the lack of self-control, she simply muttered under her breath: "Could've fooled me…"
Caleb smirked and turned to Sam, ruffling the boy's hair lightly with a wide grin plastering his handsome face. But when he locked eyes with the patient, Bridgette noticed how relief blew over his face for a quick second. Like with John, the expression vanished instantly and was replaced with the same cocky grin she had seen on Dean.
"Looking good, Deuce."
Dean's lips cracked into a small smile and he gave his uncle a quick once-over.
"Beats your I've just got laid look anytime, Damien."
"I wish, but an emergency call from little Einstein here kinda ruined that for tonight."
Dean turned to his brother with a sour expression on his face, his eyes sparkling with moroseness.
"You called him?"
Sam twitched beneath his uncle's grip. Sending Caleb a glare, he moved away and reached up to smooth his shaggy hair back in place. Glancing to his brother with shielded eyes he was just about to answer when Caleb smirked at Dean.
"Sure he did, even gave me the address where to pick him up. I nearly ripped that house apart," winking at Bridgette, who was still intently watching the scene; he squeezed Sam's shoulder, "when I couldn't find a trace of him."
"I'm sorry, I forgot to call you back…" Remorse and embarrassment dripped from Sam's voice.
"It's OK, runt. I was in the area anyway."
Patting the boy's back, Caleb winked at him before turning around. His brown eyes twinkled with amusement and cockiness as he smiled at Bridgette.
"Ms Benoit, I take it."
'Shut up, shut up, shut up!' the voice in her head screamed. It was the voice that belonged to that special part of her brain that had been fantasizing about several not g-rated activities when she had laid eyes on the gorgeous man. The other side of her brain had instantly reacted by flashing up a picture of her son and her deceased husband, effectively silencing the annoying voice.
"Mrs. Benoit. Johnny instructed me to take you and your son home; it's late already. We're sorry for keeping you here this long."
"But Sam is exhausted, he could sleep…"
"Sam will be fine. Don't worry."
Caleb's voice was gentle and polite but the words were spoken with finality. And she got it. She had seen the change of demeanor in Sam, the way his eyes had softened and his stature had relaxed the moment he had touched Dean, had made sure that he was breathing, was all right, was still there. She sensed a bond so strong between the two brothers; it ached in her heart to know that Phillip would never experience anything like it, wouldn't learn to care.
But maybe, there was a solution
Turning to Dean and Sam, she breathed a quick goodbye before facing the waiting Caleb and smiling sweetly at him. Her eyes, however, never fooled him for a second.
Maybe it was time to put the widow aside.
And those genes definitely had their perks.
Enjoyed it, thanks :-)
You're welcome, glad you liked. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Oh Sammy. So worried for his big bro.Very well written and good characterization!hugs
It seems as if I take turns in hurting the guys and having the other worry about it :-P Thanks, glad you enjoyed! For my next one I'm returning to their current age, hope it'll work.Thanks for reading and commenting, Val. (it's really strange to call you Val, because everyone usually cals me Val :-P Hee)*hugs back*
Oh it will and I love the CANON fics :)Yeah I know I have few friends that I call Val as well and it's weird :)My friends in Italy call me Vale, if you want.
Great to hear :-) I love writing it, but it needs a special mood to get the brotherly banter right :-)Vale? I try to imagine how that sounds in Italian :-) I'll try that, thanks. My friends call me Bee, if that's better, short form of my real name :-P
My real name is Valeria and Vale, well you just say it as it's written.And you know, I don't know yet your real name ;)
Come sta, Vale? :-P I wish I could talk Italian, but that's about all I can say. Besides some colorful curses, hee.My real name is Bernadette, very French, I know. I had to spell it to Jensen at the autograph session :-P My middle name is Maya, maybe you know the comic series about the Bee Maya? That's why people call me Bee, kinda short version of my first name but also connected to my middle name.
I love Maya and of course I know the Bee Maya (in Italian Ape Mya).Very cute Bee :)))
Maya is definitely the cutest Bee I know :-P
If I will never had a daughter, I'd love to name her Maya :)))
Loved it, and the addition of Caleb...Ridley ROCKS her AU. And you wrote him so well, so I hope you do it again.
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed my take on Caleb, it's so much fun reading him when Ridley writes it and I just thought I had to try too :-) She definitely rocks her AU, best fics ever. Maybe I bring him back as back-up in my chapter story, we'll see :-) Thanks for reading and commenting!
Aw, poor little Sammy, so worried about his big brother after going out on a job. I love how you portray the brothers' bond, so deep.Good story.
Thanks, so glad you enjoyed! I think I'm gonna try my hands on the grown up again, enough wee!winchesters for the moment :-)Thanks for reading and commenting!
Hee. Isn't he? I love how Ridley writes him, and his love and friendship to the brothers is so special and touching.
The link I posted at the beginning (part 1). Ridley C. James, she created the Brotherhood AU in which Caleb is very important, a little bit like a big brother to Dean. He's awesome.
Oh, great job. I love stories with outside POVs of the Winchesters. :D
Thanks, glad you enjoyed! It's tough writing an outsider's POV because it's so much fun being in the heads of Dean and Sam, very addicting and to not go there is a challenge. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Awwww, thank you! Yeah, Sam's quite the empath, so I believe he does have that effect, even as a child. So glad you enjoyed!Thanks for reading and commenting!
I really like your John and all the sublte changes like how he's angry at first when Sam's arriving at the hospital but quickly finds his bearings. Very believabale and real.And Calbe certainly rocks ♥Great work!
Thank you! I always love writing John but I never know how to do him justice, I love the character so much but he's a bitch to decipher :-PCaleb is awesome, I love him so much in Ridley's stories and I just had to try and channel him for once :-)Thank you!! Thanks as always for reading and commenting!!
Oh, I loved this. Something about the outsider's pov is always fascinating and especially so here where Bridgette is not at the center of Sam's attention. Your Sam is really excellent. I can just imagine him like this - more grown up than his peers and more aware, but still the little one in his world - the world of the gorgeous Winchesters. Heh. I really need to check out your other SPN fics now...
Awww, thank you! So glad you enjoyed! I love reading outsider POV's, but I discovered that they're difficult to write. Just because it's hard NOT to write the minds of Dean and Sam :-P I'm so happy you enjoyed my take on little Sam. He's an extrordinary character to play with, same as Dean.Hee. They are way too gorgeous, but we're not complaining :-P I just realised that you're friends with a few of my friends and also are an "old" o.c. fandomer :-) Funny we haven't "met" before.
I guess what's difficult is what makes it so interesting to read though. It's all someone's guesswork and especially with these boys who aren't a very sharing bunch, it's fascinating. I've definitely seen you around before many times on f-lister posts and I've read some of your OC fics too. So it's good to finally meet you now. Hey! :-)
Exactly. It takes a lot of thinking and pondering, how Dean and Sam would react to total outsiders and how this character would still be able to see behinde the facade... at least a little bit :-) I think I've seen you before, but I wasn't aware that you are in the SPN fandom now. Awesome icon, btw *melts* Indeed it's good to finally meet! Hey right back :-P
Thank you! :-D
Loved it, dearie! Great work."Well, I think that's actually a good idea, runt."That must be the word of the... er... fortnight. ;)
Thank you! It's quite different to my usual ones and I had my doubts if I can make it work.Hee. That one's from Ridley, in her AU Caleb calles Sam runt all the time. It's pretty cool considering his growing up *grin*