I've read a few SPN time travel fics where multiple Sams go back in time, showing his and Dean's past selves and his father how he changes through the years. I can't remember who wrote them, but thank you to the writers for giving me the inspiration for this (and the motivation, considering none of them ever got past a few chapters).
Each chapter will be a different Sam, and they're all of varying lengths. For example, this first chapter is 2k+ words. The shortest one yet is only 68. I have eight chapters written already, and 15 more planned after that (and more to come as SPN itself continues). I'm planning on publishing one every week or two, so you readers get a constant flow of updates and I get time to continue writing so that those updates never stop for a long period of time.
The title comes from Queen's song "'39".
I do not own Supernatural.
I hope you enjoy!
"Samuel Winchester!" The shout rang through the area, carrying to the short fourteen year old marching angrily across the street from the open motel door. "You get your butt back here right now! If you don't, I swear I'll -"
"You'll what?" the boy spun around, his I'm-so-mad-at-you-I'm-ignoring-you-for-the-rest-of-my-life stance finally breaking. "You won't let me play in the big game on Saturday? Oh wait!" The hysterical laugh almost made John flinch, but he stood strong. "You already are! And why?! Because we're leaving! For the fourth time in two months!"
"Sam…" the father's voice was softer, his hands out in apology. He knew when to retreat in battle so that winning the war was still possible, and now was one of those times. "I'm sorry, son, I really am. I know how much this meant to you, but -"
"MEANS!" the screamed word reverberated in John's ear. "Means, Dad, because it's not like the moment you said we wouldn't be here I stopped caring about it!"
John narrowed his eyes and straightened his shoulders, preparing himself for a bigger fight. It looked like retreat was no longer an option. He watched his youngest son square himself, fully prepared to face the charging bull. He opened his mouth, but he didn't get a single sound out before a loud crashed echoed behind him. At once, and in what was an almost eerily similar way, John and Sam abandoned their fight in favor of investigating the noise.
"Dean," the father called out, knocking on the door he had slammed shut in an attempt to rid himself of some anger. "Dean, are you alright in there? What happened?"
Rolling his eyes, Sam pushed his elder out of the way even as he pulled a key from his pocket. "Honestly," he muttered, and then stared angrily at John's back as the man stepped protectively in front of his son. "Dad," he complained.
"Stop it," John turned around long enough to glare and snatch the key. "We don't know what's going on, so I'll go first."
Sam huffed, then peered around his dad and stepped through the now open doorway, past his older brother standing with one hand still on the knob. "Thanks Dean," he said cheerfully. "So, what..." The younger brother stared in shock.
"What?" John questioned, trying to look around the tall figure of his oldest. He didn't have to wait long, as Dean hurried to Sam's side and poked him.
"Easy there shrimp," Dean joked. "You can put the knife away. I don't think he's a danger."
"What?" Sam tore his gaze from the gigantic man lying on the bed he shared with his brother. Said brother cocked an eyebrow, reached out, grabbed Sam's right wrist, and pulled it up to show the knife clenched between white knuckles. "Oh," Sam said numbly, staring at it. He hadn't even realized his reflexes had automatically taken it out of his boot sheathe.
"What happened, Dean?" their father demanded, closing the door and stepping further into the room than his boys were, carefully making sure he was between them and the stranger.
Dean shrugged, but his frown belied his easy stance. "One minute I'm alone, the next Bigfoot over there is standing next to the table. Or, well, sitting in a nonexistent chair. He fell back, hit his head on the table. Knocked himself unconscious, so I dragged him over to the bed."
"And?" John asked, testy with an unknown factor in the supposed-to-be-safe motel room.
Dean shrugged again. "Didn't have time to test him. But… Dad… I think he's a hunter. He looks familiar, and not only that, I found an iron knife and a gun with silver bullets on him."
Sam frowned, studying the puzzle, and Dean coughed to disguise a laugh as their dad did the same thing. "Get the rope, Sam," John ordered. "I want him secure in a chair when he wakes up."
Under normal circumstances, Sam would have argued. But these weren't normal circumstances.
Sam woke up to the bite of a knife in his forearm and a throbbing head. He groaned, and tried to remember what had happened. He had been studying… and then suddenly his chair was gone and his brother was there… except he somehow looked younger… and… and… he was missing something… "Jess!" Sam cried, eyes shooting open and lurching to his feet. Or at least, he would've, if he wasn't apparently tied to a chair. "Ugh… Dean…" he groaned. "Dean, this isn't funny." Sam paused, trying to understand where he was, and in that moment he could have sworn the temperature plummeted twenty degrees. Then he got a face full of liquid - probably holy water, he thought fuzzily, but why was he being tested? - and promptly turned his attention elsewhere. Specifically, the gruff familiar voice barking in his ear.
"You don't talk to him, you talk to me. Now," a callused hand grabbed his face roughly, pinching his cheeks and tipping his chin up, "how do you know his name?"
"Wha-…" Sam blinked blearily, trying to get the holy water out of his eyes. "Dad? Wha… what are you talking about?" He finally succeeded in clearing his vision and stared up at his dad. Standing right behind John was his brother. "De?" he questioned, trying to hide his embarrassment that in what was apparently a concussed state, combined with confusion and now a little bit of fear, his tongue automatically reverted the call to a childhood nickname. "De… when did you get so short? And…" he started to shake his head, then stopped as a spike drove through his scull. "Dad… where'd…" Sam coughed, trying to clear his dry throat. "Where'd that scar go? The… the new one… though I guess it's not so new anymore."
"Dad?" A new voice spoke, one that sounded vaguely familiar to Sam. "What do you mean, 'dad'?" A teenage boy, shorter than Dean and definitely familiar, moved into Sam's line of sight while ignoring John's glare.
"Wha…" Sam blinked, trying to get his mind cranking again. "What?"
"What?" John snapped, turning his gaze back to Sam. "And answer the question. Why are you calling me 'dad'? I only have two sons, and you aren't one of them."
Sam flinched. He couldn't help it. If you walk out that door, don't you ever come back! He had tried his hardest to forget those words, to ignore them, to shove them behind a wall in his head and never hear them again, but it hadn't worked. And now… he suspected what had happened, as unbelievable as it was, but even that knowledge couldn't soften the blow. "But I am," Sam said quietly, so quietly that the other three in the room had to lean forward to hear it. "As crazy as it sounds, I think I time traveled. I think I'm in the past, which means that I'm from the future." At least, Sam thought to himself as he watched the faces in front of him stare at him in shock, the emotional blow had temporarily overcome the pain of the concussion.
"He's lying," Dean said, letting the words out as soon as they reached the opposite side of the motel room of the 'time traveler.' "Time travel doesn't exist, and if he's telling the truth…" If he's telling the truth, then Dean has been watching his little brother suffer, completely capable of helping and choosing not to.
"But that's exactly why he's telling the truth," Sam argued. "Why would he claim he time traveled if he didn't? Nobody would ever believe him."
John hmmed under his breath. Both his boys had good points, but… "There's only one way to know for sure," he decided, and marched back over, steeling himself on the way. He understood where Dean was coming from. If this person was telling the truth, then John has not only been watching his baby suffer, but also adding to his pain. Then John has slid a knife across his son's flesh without an ounce of hesitation or regret. Then John has denounced his baby in the harshest way possible.
Shaking his head to rid himself of the thoughts, John stopped in front of the stranger. Sam. The man. His son. Resisting the urge to shake his head again to clear the confusion, John squatted in front of… the person. "If you are who you say you are," he began softly, carefully keeping his temper out of his voice, "Then tell me something only the real Sam would know."
Sam squinted at his father, doing his best to school his face through the concussion and keep his surprise to himself. Of course his dad was willing to hear him out, to be gentle. His youngest son hadn't dealt him the Betrayal yet. But what… "Umm…" Sam muttered. "Uh… what would…" His eyes squinted more, trying to concentrate.
Dean flinched as the man before him had to focus so much it showed outwardly. If this was truly Sammy… his little brother… he could barely entertain the thought.
"My twelfth birthday!" the tall man blurted, drawing Dean's attention back to him. "You," he looked at Dean, "gave me a new hunting knife. With my initials carved into it. But I opened the box too eagerly, and brought it out too quickly, and it slipped and gave me this scar." He wriggled his right pinky finger where Dean, when he leaned in close, could see a thin white scar identical to Sammy's. Dean nodded to his dad, unsure how to face the realization that this was actually his younger brother, and then paused and barely resisted a groan as John gave him a look that clearly stated, "We're going to talk about this later."
Sam blinked as his young self glared at him and Dean almost groaned, before groaning to himself. Right. They had been keeping that a secret from their dad, since he hadn't been there. Oops. He guessed the concussion was worse than he thought, if he was spilling stuff like that. But wait… if he was in the past, then... "Jess!" he cried out again, eyes widening. What had happened to his girlfriend? She had been with him, and now she was gone. Was she in the future still? Somewhere in the past? Was she ok? What if something worse had happened to her?
"Sam?" John asked, brow furrowing as his son was unresponsive. He had been startled at the sudden shout - who was 'Jess'? - but worry trumped that when Sam suddenly just stared past him. Was it the concussion? He glanced at Dean as his eldest moved forward, squatting down beside the time traveler.
"Sammy?" Dean inquired, worry clear in his voice.
"Sam?" The younger version asked, obviously concerned for his future-self. "Who's Jess?"
John, fingers touching the rope to begin untying the man at the same time his youngest son spoke the name, startled as Sam suddenly came back to them.
"She's my girlfriend." The three words were said so matter-of-factly that, had they still thought Sam was lying about everything else, John would have believed this. "I… I'm going to propose soon." And those five words automatically halted all thought processes in John's brain. Or at least, they did until his son disappeared from right in front of him.
"What the-!" Dean shouted, pivoting on his heels and nearly loosing his balance as he looked around wildly. "Where did he go?"
"I think the better questions are," the remaining Sam pointed out, "Why and how did he come, and why did he return to the future?"
"Maybe we changed something?" John wondered.
"And did he even go back to his own time?" Dean added. "What if he went further back? We don't remember it, so if he did he didn't return to us. Or he went back to before we existed."
"All of this is making my head hurt," John grumbled.
"Your head?" Sammy exclaimed. "I'm the one who's proposing!"
"Yeah, and-" Dean started, only to halt and stare as a bright light shone in one corner of the room.
"Dean?" John questioned, looking from his eldest to the light and back again.
"That's what happened when future Sammy appeared," Dean told him anxiously.
They all stared at the light, but none of them were prepared for what happened next.
I hope you enjoyed! Please review, they give me inspiration and motivation for new chapters.