Many Windows

(c)2007 gekizetsu

A small detour in Maygra's Second Sight series. Huge thanks to her for letting me play in her worlds, and for creating them in the first place.

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Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it.

--Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Sam sees much more than so many people do.

Ruth Hanson tells him this on a regular basis and then watches him smile. He never dismisses her declaration but he doesn't answer it, either. He humors her quite a bit but not in a patronizing way; she can tell that he values her opinion. At her age, that means more than she thought it ever would.

There's no obligation in their daily talks. He likes the company as much as she does, and she can see it. She's not his only choice for human contact once his brother Dean leaves for work every morning, but he seems to want to see how she is, to see if she needs anything. Sam's not a boy but there's a boyish hope to please still meandering under the surface of everything he does while he's in her presence. Maybe it's something that was instilled in him as a child, maybe he'd picked it up along the way. It doesn't matter. All in all, she's very fond of the boys across the way and not simply for the way they treat her.

She's never been what she would consider a busy-body, never keeping tabs on what everyone is doing, eavesdropping or staring out the windows. What people want her to know, they'll tell her. But there's no harm in watching the children play occasionally, or keeping an eye on the weather. She sees things that she may not be meant to; but in the end there's little harm to it.

She's always heard that the eyes are windows to the soul, and she's always found it to be the case. Sam is comfortable enough to remove his glasses when he's over, and being blind doesn't keep him from expressing everything though the milky whiteness of damaged retinas. She doesn't feel sorry for him except that she knows whatever took his sight was a hard thing, and not the last thing he wanted to see. Dean is made of windows even though he's careful not to look her directly in the eye when she ventures to ask something about him. She tries not to stray too far into personal territory, but sometimes those boys get the best of her sense and she just wants to treat them like family. He looks her in the eye often enough, looks directly at everyone, but guards the past as if he's protecting her and not himself. He evades questions so smoothly and politely without realizing that his every action gives him away.

When he and Sam are on their way to or from somewhere, Dean gestures as if Sam can see him, hands waving to convey annoyance or amusement or anything in between, right down to eyerolls. It's the language of brothers; she doesn't need to hear a single word of it. It makes her smile all the same. She remembers her own brothers in the way they behave, but they're not as offhand with each other as her own family was.

The only thing that makes her feel bad is that she sees Dean reach for Sam constantly and not make contact. She wonders if he stops short because the contact is for him and not Sam.

She walks arm in arm with Sam when the weather permits, not all that far - just around the block. Since the heart attack, she needs the exercise, but she doesn't fool herself into thinking she'll be moving as far or as fast as she has before. She knows she's too old to let anyone consider pitching a bypass to her. She'll take what she has left and make the most of it. She and Sam talk about his newest project, the news, what she's heard from her family. They have their patterns but they manage not to make it routine. She steers him around the worst of the cracks in the sidewalks, and sometimes he knows they're there. She doesn't hear him counting steps but he's picked up so many clues and cues from the world around him that he often finds his own way. She admires that. It looks effortless but she knows it's not; he carries a grace that tells her he was accustomed to using more than his eyes to guide him long before he was blind.

Some of her favorite walks are the ones that Dean joins them for every other weekend. The mouth on that boy. He doesn't curse in front of her but he gives Sam such a hard time, sometimes a step behind or at her other arm, that all Sam can do is laugh. Lord knows it gets her breathless, laughing at the two of them finishing each other's sentences. There's such affection underneath it all that she feels blessed to be witness to it.

It was Sam who reminded her to post all her medications and contact information for her doctors and family right on the kitchen cupboards where they'd be visible to EMTs right off the bat.

It was Dean who mowed her lawn and carefully avoided the roses, even the ones that were recovering and looked like weeds.

It was her own idea to invite them for dinner occasionally and watch them meet each other's eyes across the table when some particularly odd joke made them all smile. Sam saw much more than so many people did.

Those boys across the way are good. Not in just action or deed, but right to the heart. She can tell.

There are many windows to look in and out of in the world, and she values them all.

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