Here we go again…

This is the 40th story on my profile and — along with the Brotherhood stories — it's one of the ones I am most proud of. It was a labor of love that took months to finish and it was a hell of a ride. I am excited to finally be in a position to share it with you all.

Thank you so much Jenjoremy for finding time to help me with this. You're a very busy bee, and I always appreciate everything you do make these stories readable. Thank you also for answering all of the random questions that came at you. You were a massive help when I was writing this.

Thank you also Gredelina1 for sitting down with me in February and letting me ramble about my new story idea until it was a cohesive plan. Thank you for listening to me every day since.

Thank you all for being here and willing to try out the story. You make all the hard work worth it.

Chapter One

When Sam woke, he felt sharp jabs all over his stomach and legs. He opened his eyes and saw he was lying on dirty ground strewn with mulchy leaves and twigs. The scent of earth was strong in his nose.

When he sat up, he realized the jabs were coming from the twigs and broken branches digging into him. He stood, dusting the debris from his clothing, and looked around. He was completely alone. Surrounded by trees, he could see the moon lighting the canopy above. There wasn't another soul in sight.

The last thing he remembered was Anna plunging the bar into his stomach and the burning pain. No, that wasn't true. He also remembered the moment his heart gave one disjointed thud before an incredible lethargy swept over him. He had felt it before, and he knew what it meant. He had died. Anna had killed him after all.

He didn't understand his current location though. He was pretty sure Hell would be more eternal pain and damnation than an empty forest, and Heaven, even if it wasn't an impossibility for him to be there, would be better than this. The only option he could think of was some kind of purgatory for damned souls before being moved on to the Pit.

Suddenly, fear coursed through him. The last time he had seen Dean, Uriel had been choking him. Would he and Anna have been satisfied with Sam's death or would they have wanted Dean's life, too?

"Dean!" he shouted. "Dean!"

There was no sound other than his own voice trailing away. Dean would never leave Sam's call unanswered when it was so filled with fear. He would do what he could to reassure him. He wouldn't leave Sam to suffer. He couldn't be here.

"He can't be here," Sam whispered to himself.

If this was some kind of purgatory for damned souls, Dean had no place here. He would be in Heaven. That was if he was even dead. They could have let him live. Sam hoped he was alive and reassured himself that if it was the terrible alternative, he would have peace. That was what Dean deserved. Sam was the one that deserved pain. His crimes had been terrible.

Feeling reassured, Sam appraised his situation. He could start walking and see where he ended up, or he could wait here for the demons to come and escort him on. The obvious answer was to wait, since there was no way he was going to get anywhere good walking, but the Winchester in him rebelled against the idea. He wasn't going to wait here for them to come for him. If they wanted him, they could come find him.

He took one last look around, still seeing nothing that could help him, and then started walking. He had no sense of which direction to take, so he walked straight forward, stepping over the larger branches and crushing the twigs underfoot. The air was cold in his lungs, and his breath misted. He marveled at the details of the place. Surely heat and cold were gone now. At least until he reached Hell anyway. If common beliefs were true, it was going to be hot there.

There was no way to gauge time, but he didn't feel he had been walking long before he heard a rustle behind him.

He froze. It was the sound of an angel's arrival, and there was only one angel that he thought would trace him to this place, only one angel that wanted something from him. The one that had even threatened to bring Sam back if he was to kill himself. Sam supposed the promise had weight after all.

"Lucifer," he said darkly without turning.

"I find that very insulting."

Sam spun around, shocked by the familiarity of the voice. John Winchester stood behind him. He looked exactly the same as he had when Sam had seen him last—was it minutes, hours or days ago? There was something about his eyes, though. They didn't look like his father's. They were timeless.

"Who are you?" Sam asked.

He looked disappointed. "I thought you would have known already. I assumed your intellect would be higher. If I am not your father or Lucifer, as you know I'm not, who would I be in this body, this family lineage?"

The answer presented itself to Sam and he shuddered. "Michael."

He nodded. "Yes. It's good to finally meet you, Sam. I have waited for this moment a long time."

"Get out of my father!" Sam snarled.

"I will in time. I am only borrowing him for a while. I needed to speak to you, and he was available and willing. Winchesters will do anything for family."

Sam felt some relief at the fact his father wasn't bound to be an archangel's vessel for all time, but at the same time, he was afraid for the rest of his family and Michael's comment about the Winchesters' dedication to each other.

"Where's Dean?"

"Dean is fine," he said calmly. "I have already returned him to 2010. It will take him a minute or two to wake up, but he will be unaffected by his adventures."

Sam stared into his eyes, searching for a lie. What disconcerted him was that he didn't see one. He thought Michael was telling the truth, which made him wonder what was coming for him. If Michael had been planning to rescue him, he would have dropped him off with Dean. The fact he was here alone made Sam sure the archangel had a different plan for him.

"Dean's really okay?" he asked.

"Didn't I just say as much? You two are equally obsessed. How do you ever manage to save anyone else when you're so consumed with each other's safety all the time?"

Sam just stared at him, not saying a word.

"Dean is fine. He may even be awake already. Now, it's time to talk about you."

"Are you here to take me to Hell?" Sam asked.

Michael frowned. "Hell?"

"It's why I'm here, right? I died and ended up in this place. Why else would you want me?"

Michael chuckled. "This place is New Mexico, Sam. And I am not here to take you to Hell. I am not taking you anywhere, in fact. It's where I am leaving you that matters."

Sam didn't understand what he was talking about, but the fact he wasn't headed to Hell made him feel a bit better about the situation.

"Okay, I'll bite," he said. "Where are you leaving me?"

"Here," Michael said, spreading his arms. "I won't leave you alone, of course. You're going to need a…" he sneered, "guardian angel. Anna, if you please."

There was the sound of breaking twigs, and Anna stepped out of the trees and came to stand with Michael.

Sam froze at the sight of his murderer. She looked at him with a strange expression, it was almost pitying, and then turned to Michael.

"Anna. Now that you have had a little time to appreciate your resurrection, are you ready to do as I wish?" Michael asked,

Anna nodded. She was nervous, Sam could tell, but she met Michael's eyes as she said, "I am ready to do whatever you need."


Michael walked toward Sam, and Sam backed away. Michael grabbed his arm and held him so tightly that Sam thought he was going to break a bone.

"This might hurt a little," he warned as he laid a hand on Sam's chest.

Sam cried out with pain as the light passed between Michael's hand and his chest. It felt like his flesh was on fire. It only eased when Michael released him and stepped back. Sam bowed over panting and holding his chest. His heart was pounding so hard he felt like he'd run a marathon.

"Anna, a demonstration, please," Michael said.

Sam straightened up quickly, fear in his eyes, as Anna walked towards him, her angel blade dropping into her hand. He turned away and started to run, and then felt a burning pain in his back that peaked as the tip of a blade pierced his shirt right over his heart.

He was dead, he had to be dead, but the pain didn't end. He felt a drawing sensation as the blade withdrew from him and he fell forward onto his hands and knees.

"Get him up," Michael said in a bored tone.

A hand grabbed his upper arm and he was hauled to his feet and spun around to face Michael. Anna walked away from him and stood beside Michael.

"What did you do?" Sam asked her, his hand coming to the point the blade had exited him. There was blood, but perhaps not as much as there should have been. The blood aside, he should not be alive to even check. Her positioning had been perfect.

"She proved a point," Michael answered. "I can't spend my time following you around and putting you back together each time you fall apart, and I want the vessel in physical health if nothing else."

Did he mean Sam was invulnerable now? The fact he had just been stabbed through the heart lent credence to the belief. But why would he do that? What purpose would it serve?

The possibilities to it for Sam were endless now though. He could take any hunt and be safe. He could face anything. Dean wouldn't be happy about it, Sam risking himself, but he would have to see what this meant for them. Sam could do anything.

Sense caught up with his racing thoughts. Why would Michael do anything that would help him? Why would he do something for Sam?

"Why are you doing this?" Sam asked.

"You will see soon enough. I think it's better for you to find your own way than to have it all laid out for you. And I have spent all the time with you that I have patience for." He turned to address Anna. "I don't think he will pose a problem, but make sure to keep a watch over him."

"Yes, Michael," she said with a bowed head. "I won't let you down."

"I hope not, or I will kill you, and next time there will be no returns." He looked at Sam. "I won't see you again for a long time, Sam, and when I do, you will be a different man." He smiled slightly and then disappeared.

Sam turned quickly to Anna. He had no faith she would help him, as she had stabbed him twice already, but she was the only one who had any idea about what was happening to him. He tried to appeal to the woman that he had first met, not the angel that wanted to kill him. "Anna, what's happening? Why am I here? What is Michael doing?"

For a moment he thought she would answer, but then she shook her head and pointed past Sam. "You should leave. The road is that way. You need to make arrangements."

"Arrangements for what?" he asked, disregarding the rest.

"Life," she said simply. She looked him up and down, nodded to herself, and disappeared.

Sam stood motionless for a moment, trying to make sense of what had happened. Why had Michael brought him here, and why would he have done whatever it was that made him invulnerable? There was more happening than a simple relocation to a forest in New Mexico.

Whatever their plan was, Sam needed Dean and Castiel to make sense of it. He patted down his pockets, but his cell had been removed. He had lost his gun in the fight with Anna, but when he bent and checked his boot he found he still had the small switchblade he kept on him.

Since he couldn't call Dean and get him to come pick him up—or to reassure him as Dean had to be worried by now—he would need to make his own way. He set off walking, hugging his jacket around himself against the cold air.

It seemed to take a long time, but he supposed that was because there was no way to gauge time passing. When he eventually heard the cars passing him, he hurried his pace. He broke out of the trees into a dimly lit parking lot beside a convenience store. At first he didn't notice anything odd as his gaze was focused the phone booth by the road, but as he began to pass the cars, he noticed the common denominator of them. They were all older models.

He went into the booth and picked up the directory attached to the shelf. He turned it to look at the front page and his breath caught in his throat as he saw the year on the top of the cover.

Michael hadn't just abandoned him in New Mexico.

He had abandoned him in 1978.

So… Here goes. Sam is alone in 1978. What do you think of the premise? Sound like something you'd want to read?

Until next time…

Clowns or Midgets xxx