Sam had to admit...
Dean made a really good teacher.
It was weird to see his brother wearing so many cardigans and smiling and talking quietly and politely but he couldn't deny how well he seemed to fit in. Sam could tell that his peers liked Dean as well, most of them actually paying attention now in class and getting their grades up. And as annoying as it was to see all the girls flirting with him, Sam couldn't deny the amusement he felt at the same time. It just showed how popular Dean was, giving him a glimpse of what Dean might have been like in school had they grown up together.
Though he could see that Dean was starting to get frustrated. Three days of researching and scouting around the school had yielded nothing yet, and Sam wasn't sure how much longer his dad would be after his witch. He hadn't had a chance to tell him about the school witch, John didn't even know that Dean was in the area... Sam wasn't sure how he'd take it now that so much time had passed. But that worry could be put off until after they dealt with whatever was taking the kids from the school; and they had to find it soon.
Sam had noticed many of his teachers getting tense, and a weird fear that had settled over the students despite most of them not knowing about the previous disappearances. Sam felt it too... In the pit of his stomach there was uneasiness slowly building into fear. It felt like something was coming, like a predator was prowling nearby.
That feeling is what gave Sam pause on the idea that their school monster was a witch. He had faced powerful witches before and never had this kind of reaction to being near them; this feeling was something he got around creatures, the inhumane things that were more animal-like. But he couldn't think of anything that would have matched with the creature's hunting pattern... An attack every ten years, sweet smells, music, blank memories... It didn't really match with any specific lore he could think of-
"Hey," Dean started, staring at the ceiling from his bed and effectively pulling Sam from his thoughts. Why Dean got a room with two beds, Sam couldn't have guessed... It's not like he'd be able to sleep over, even if he was just a few doors down from his and Dad's motel room.
Sam glanced at him before looking back down at his homework that he wasn't really paying much attention to, "Yeah?"
"What's dad like to hunt with?"
That caused Sam to pause, eyes no longer focused on the math problems in front of him. Of all the things to be running through Dean's head, this wasn't one that Sam had suspected. "Dad...?"
"It's just..." Dean rolled over on his side to look at him, his face nothing but open curiosity, "Everyone always talks about how dad is one of he best hunters but that he's mean. All the memories I have of him are when I was still a kid and he didn't know about hunting. You had said before, at the Roadhouse, that he stopped calling you Sammy, and that fight from five years ago was something he never would have been capable of when I was a kid. So what's he like?"
"Well..." Sam hesitated as he thought, tried to find some way to explain his dad. How did he explain someone as simple yet complex as John Winchester? "He's... He's strong. He earned his reputation with his own work. He once took down a pack of werewolves by himself in the woods with just his knife. There's monsters out there that actually are scared of him. I was helping him take down some ghouls that, as soon as they heard who he was, started panicking and just gave up."
"Really?" Dean's eyes lit up slightly, moving to sit cross-legged. "So dad is the monster to other monsters? That's so cool!"
"Yeah. And he's a perfect strategist; he's able to plan and predict monsters' movements down to the last second. No matter how far out his plans always seem, it's always the right one."
"Wow..." Dean smiled down at the bed before flopping back, his legs kicking out in front of him. "What... What do you think he thinks of me and mom...?"
Sam glanced at him once more, hesitating. "He... He loves you guys, but I think he's also scared of you."
"Because... Dad doesn't let anyone in, not even me. I know he loves me, but he forgot how to show it. He's so obsessed with killing the yellow-eyed demon that he's forgotten what he was like before he was a hunter. But you and mom do, you knew him before. That gives you more power than anyone else, power dad doesn't know how to handle. He can fight any monster without breaking a sweat, but force him to face his feelings and he'll completely shut down."
Dean stared up at the ceiling, most likely taking in what Sam had just said. It was a lot for him to understand, having a parent scared of you in a way that wasn't the normal fear they faced. In a way, he was jealous of the power that Dean held over their dad, a power that Sam would never have.
Wasn't that a thought... Dean, who hadn't lived with their dad as long as Sam, had a bond with John that Sam would never be able to create. He would never get to have what they did. He would never get to experience a normal life with bedtime stories and lullabies. A pang of hurt stabbed at his heart, but he pushed it down.
Sam watched Dean for a moment more before slowly looking back at his homework. If he could study and pass his middle school exams in the back of the Impala while between schools, then he could concentrate on his homework while Dean was around.
It was a lie. He couldn't concentrate on his homework with Dean around. Because Dean got bored with silence far too easily and decided that throwing his pillow at Sam would be funny.
Obviously Sam threw it back.
And that was how they spent the next two hours, throwing pillows and wrestling and completely ignoring schoolwork and research until it was time for Sam to go back to the room he shared with his dad. His hair was a mess, his papers crumbled and textbook pages bent, but Sam's smile didn't leave his face even after he went to bed.
The next day at school, all joy from the previous night was gone as soon as he stepped through the doors. The atmosphere was stiff, suffocating, like all the life had been sucked out of the school. The day was approaching fast, it couldn't be much longer now...
A part of Sam was nervous. What if they didn't manage to catch the monster in time? What if the monster took another student after Sam and Dean left the school for the day? What if it took one of his friends...?
Sam looked at the three boys that were hanging around his locker, somehow laughing and shoving each other even with the near palpable threat in the air.. He would never forgive himself if anything happened to them...
"You good, Sam?" James asked, spotting the faraway look in Sam's eyes. The other two turned to Sam as well, concern on all their faces.
Sam quickly smiled and nodded, "Yeah, I just stayed up late studying last night. I just need to wake up more."
"Why do you study so hard?" Will smiled, nudging Sam's shoulder with his own as they left his locker. "You're already the smartest kid in school."
"How do you think I got that way?" Sam returned the smile and nudge, a small laugh escaping him.
"You were born with a larger brain than the rest of us mere mortals."
Sam rolled his eyes as they kept walking to their first class. Along the way, he spotted Dean talking with a few teachers in the hall. He had a polite smile on but Sam could tell that the conversation was tense. Probably trying to get more info about the missing students in the past, the teachers that knew about it were very touchy over that particular topic...
Their eyes met briefly and Dean gave him a barely noticeable nod before turning back to the teachers. Sam knew that Dean would be able to get something from them, no one could resist his charms. He just hoped that it was in time to save a student...
The morning went by uneventful. Even the school bullies had left Sam and his small group alone - though whether that was from the monster's oppressing presence or Dean's not so subtle threats, Sam didn't know.
There was a faint scent lingering by lunch that Sam could barely smell. It was sweet, but not like candy or flowers or anything he could name. He could only smell it in certain spots on the second floor as well. Their time was running out...
"Sam," A voice called him from around the hall corner as Sam was heading for lunch. He looked up, spying Dean looking around warily.
"Hey, what's up?" He asked, adjusting his backpack and walking to his brother. "Did you find anything?"
Dean glanced around, making sure no students were listening in, but the majority had already rushed to the cafeteria. "I'm leaving early today, I had a thought and need to do some digging. You'll be good to get to the motel on your own?"
"Yeah," Sam smiled, nodding. "I'll meet you there."
Dean hesitated for a moment longer, his hand going to Sam's shoulder as he swallowed thickly. "Be safe, Sammy. Something's about to happen in this school. I can't lose you, okay?"
Sam's face softened as he nodded once more. "I promise, Dean, I won't let it take me. I'll be out the school as soon as the doors open."
"Good Sammy." Dean grinned, his hand moving to ruffle Sam's hair. But there was still worry in his green eyes that left a warmness in Sam's chest. He had a brother that worried over him...
He was still getting used to the fact he had family now.
Sam batted his hand away, though he couldn't keep the smile from his face. "Go do your research already, I'm going to lunch."
"Yeah, yeah, go enjoy your mystery meat."
He laughed in return, "Maybe that's the monster that's haunting the school."
Dean's eyebrows went up as he seemed to consider it. "Possibly... I swear I saw it moving when I came in this morning."
"I'll be sure to add extra salt to my plate."
Dean looked back at him and grinned, giving his shoulder a playful shove. "Alright, get out of here, kiddo. I'll see you back at the motel."
Sam gave him a short wave as he went off to lunch, though he couldn't help but feel just a little bit vulnerable. He was alone in the school for the first time since knowing about this monster, knowing that it would be striking soon. They didn't even know what it was, what weakness it could have, how it hunted... Sam wasn't prepared for this hunt. And now he was alone. He hoped that the knife in his backpack would be enough to defend himself and any students he could help should it come down to it.
As the day progressed, Sam grew more certain that the monster would strike that afternoon. The aura of the school was so much worse than it had been that morning... Several students had reported sick and stayed in the nurse's office, while others just ditched altogether. Sam could barely keep his head up when he was in class, and a wave of nausea would hit him whenever he stood.
He knew that he should call Dean, tell him, warn him about the effects the monster was having on him, he should have mentioned the smell before he left as well. He should tell Dean so much... but he couldn't. He didn't know why, it would have been so easy to just take out his phone and call Dean, but he just couldn't do it. It was like whenever he even thought of reaching for his phone, his body went numb and his head foggy. So he ignored it and tried to focus on his classwork. His math teacher was especially affected by the atmosphere and took it out on anyone she could in her class... though it was almost as if she was targeting him personally.
By the time that the doors unlocked and school was officially over, Sam couldn't run out of the building fast enough. His peers all had the same idea, pushing and shoving in a tidal wave of teenagers desperate to get away from whatever was causing their ill feelings.
Breaking free of the crowd, Sam took a moment to gasp in the fresh air before he spied James and Will standing off to the side, none of them looking relieved to be away from the school.
"Hey," Sam greeted the two boys that were waiting on the grass. He glanced around for the third, "Where's Tyler?"
"You didn't hear?" James shoved his hands in his pockets, his head bowed slightly and eyes shifting nervously. "He got detention. He snapped at our chemistry teacher and now he has to stay after school and clean the classroom."
Sam felt his breath hitch in his throat, looking back up at the school with wide eyes. No... Tyler couldn't... He was the one that knew about the disappearances, he couldn't stay behind. The monster's presence was what made him on edge, made him snap. And now...
The monster was going to strike tonight. Sam could feel it in every fiber of his being. And it would be going after Tyler.
He hefted his backpack higher on his shoulders and started jogging back to the school, most of the students already cleared away in their rush to leave, calling over his shoulder as an afterthought, "Go to the Sunny Day Motel, room 114! Tell Dean I did exactly what he told me not to do!"
He heard James and Will's confused shouts as he ran, but he didn't stick around to listen to them. His friend needed his help.
The school was eerily quiet, the halls empty and echoing his hurried footsteps. Not even the clubs decided to stick around today. The air was thick with tension, to the point where Sam fought to draw in each breath. He couldn't smell anything sweet though, nor hear any music, so he took that as a plus. It didn't make him feel better, but it just kept the panic away for the moment.
The chemistry class was on the second floor, which would be a perfect place to strike. If he remembered correctly, the other students had been taken from the second floor as well... That's also where the strange smell was lingering earlier in the day. That thought pushed Sam to run faster through the halls.
His mind flashed back to Dean; to the worry in his eyes when he found out Sam was going to a school that would make him a target for a monster, the soft way that he spoke Sam's name, the way he said that he couldn't lose his little brother...
"After all the time we were apart... losing you now... It would kill me, man."
Sam fought off his tears, knowing that he was hurting Dean. He was breaking his promise to his big brother and running head first into danger. But he was a hunter, damn it! He was trained as long as he could remember to put other's lives before his own! And he liked Tyler, Tyler was nice and soft-spoken and smart! Tyler was like him but normal! Tyler's dad helped people in a normal way and he had an older brother that just left for collage and he was normal! Tyler had the life that Sam could never have, and he wouldn't let that life be ripped away, Dean be damned!
He knew that was his panic response, not fully his real thoughts. Dean meant so much to him, and he was building up his own version of a normal life now... But Tyler was also his friend, and Sam wouldn't let him become the next victim.
As he sprinted up the stairs, a suffocatingly sweet smell assaulted his nose. He nearly gagged, but restrained himself and clamped a hand over his nose and mouth. His other hand dove into his backpack and pulled out the knife hidden at the bottom, praying that it would work. Silver was effective against a large majority of monsters, hopefully that included whatever this was...
The last few stairs before reaching the second floor had the faintest whisper of a melody. He couldn't identify what was making the sound, but it was soft, sweet, alluring. Sam felt safe when he listened to it, at home, like his mother was singing him to sleep after a long day. That sweet smell suddenly became softer as well, like freshly baked cookies on a cold winter day. He couldn't remember why he didn't want to smell something so wonderful.
His hand fell away from his face as he slowly took the last step onto the second floor, his eyes scanning the hallway to find where the music and smell was coming from. For some reason, his first thought was that it was coming from the chemistry room, but that wasn't right... It was much closer than that. First classroom on the left... That's where it was coming from, that's where his home was.
Sam's feet moved on their own, carrying him to the door; his hands moved on their own as well to open it.
Suddenly, he wasn't in his school anymore. He was in a living room, a fireplace roaring against the back wall, cushioned sofas arranged around a table lined with books, plush carpet under his shoes. Why was he wearing shoes inside? He shouldn't track mud into the house.
"Baby, there you are," A sweet voice called to him. Sam's head snapped up, staring at his mother as she went to sit on the sofa, a tray of cookies being set on the table before her. "I made you your favorite, come sit with me. Tell me about your day."
Tears pricked at his eyes, his backpack falling off his shoulders as he moved forward. Something slipped from his hand but he didn't look to see what it was, his eyes trained on his mom and her warm smile. He wasn't sure why the sight made him cry, why a pit opened in his chest that threatened to swallow him whole, but he shoved those thoughts away as he rushed to the sofa and wrapped his arms around her, burying his face into her shoulder.
"Did something happen? My baby, why are you upset?"
"I missed you..." If she heard his voice crack, she didn't mention it.
"I'm right here. There's no need to cry, baby." Her arms went around him, and Sam had never felt more loved. "Momma's right here, she won't let anything happen to you."
Sam felt the fabric of her shirt start to dampen from his tears, but he couldn't stop them. Her words simultaneously made him feel empty and whole and he didn't know how to process it, how to figure out what was wrong. So he let those feelings out and onto her shirt. She didn't seem to mind though, her hand gently combed through his hair as she whispered assurances to him.
They must have sat there for more than five minutes, but when Sam finally pulled away, the cookies were still giving off their comforting smell. If anything, it was even stronger now.
"There," She smiled, cupping his cheek. "Do you feel better? Do you need anything?"
"No... No," He smiled in return, "I'm perfect. I just want to sit here with you for a while though, if that's okay?"
"Of course...! Sit as long as you'd like, my baby."
She pulled him against her side, and Sam's eyes closed as he leaned against her. There was a nagging part of his mind that screamed at him about how something wasn't right, but he buried that part of his mind away in the comfort that was being offered to him. It wasn't every day that he was comforted like this, shouldn't he be able to enjoy it for a little while at least?
The universe seemed to answer him when the door opened and a boy walked in, seeming to be in a daze until his eyes landed on Sam. Why was there another boy here? Sam had never seen this kid before- But that wasn't true...
Something about the kid's brown eyes slightly magnified by his glasses seemed familiar to him. It seemed important.
"Grammy...?" The boy asked hesitantly, his eyes flickering between Sam and his mom. But why had this boy called her 'grammy'? That didn't make sense... None of this was making any sense.
A stabbing pain shot through Sam's head at the voice, like lightning zapping through every neuron in his brain and building pressure just behind his eyes. Sam couldn't help his cry of pain as he grabbed at his head, his body lurching forward in shock. Something wasn't right. Every fiber of Sam's being told him that he was in danger, but he couldn't have-
His living room was no longer there when his eyes opened again. He was in a classroom, sitting in a desk and nearly choking on some smell that was ridiculously strong - worse than the middle school girls who substituted body spray for proper hygiene.
Sam's eyes slowly trailed over to where his mother was supposed to be, but instead found his math teacher, her eyes serpentine and glaring at him.
He remembered the case he was on with Dean then, the kids disappearing from the school every ten years, the smell, the music... He had almost fallen into this monster's trap. That made the hole in his chest so much worse.
He would have fallen for the trap if it hadn't been for the voice in his head. A part of him thought that it was Dean, his brother arriving just in time to save him. But Dean wasn't there, and the voice was different... It was deeper, rougher. Sam had heard it before-
The teacher's jaw dislocated, jerking to the right before unhinging and opening wider than should be possible, a set of long and sharp fangs sprouting out as a forked tongue flicked at him. Her body seemed to crumble in on itself, twitching and spasming as she screamed. Sam got the cue to jump up from his seat, taking several steps back and away from her. The sweet smell that filled the room suddenly turned bitter and heady and so much stronger as her body continued to twitch.
She fell to the floor with a final scream before everything went far too quiet and still. A quiet that was soon broken by a faint whimper behind him, reminding Sam of his friend.
"Tyler, run...!" He shouted, not taking his eyes away from the monster. "It's not your grandma, it's a monster! You have to run, get out of here!"
"But- But she-"
Footsteps quickly made their way down the hall and away from this cursed classroom just as the monster was starting to stir. She gripped the edge of two desks and pulled herself upward, green scales littering her cheeks, neck, and arms. Her body raised much higher than it was supposed to, and Sam only just spotted the snake tail where her legs should have been.
His eyes widened as he stared at her, his mind racing through every clue she gave him about what her species was and if he knew how to fight her. It took him far too long, she was already starting to approach him, when it all clicked.
"A lamia..." Her eyes narrowed further, a low growl building in her throat as she rose higher. "You... You're a lamia... You kill kids to get back the ones you lost, but the Greek gods cursed you for it. But they only curse the mothers who kill children in their temples in Greece, what are you doing here?"
She didn't answer him, and Sam suspected she was unable to in her monster form. It didn't matter to him though, because thankfully he had brought with him just the weapon to kill her.
Sam had never been more grateful to his younger self, the kid that saw an easy solution to everything and made his thoughts known to his father. Why wait to see if the monster needs a blessed weapon to kill it? Why not just bless all the weapons?
Including his knife that he never went without.
The knife that was far too close to the lamia.
Damn, he must have dropped it when he fell under her illusion. He'd have to draw her away from it, but her tail was so long... One wrong move and she would be able to reach him.
Some part of his mind told him that he should at least be happy that he managed to save Tyler, even if it cost him his life. But like before, he shoved that part of him away. He couldn't do that to Dean or his dad. He couldn't leave them like that. He couldn't-
In a little more than a blink, she was suddenly in front of him, her hand swiping down towards him and scraping along his chest. He heard the ripping of his shirt more than felt the pain of the cuts across his chest before his body was launched to the other side of the room, crashing hard into one of the desks.
A gasp of pain left him as he tried to force his eyes to stay open, to force himself to get up to avoid another attack, but the pain was making itself known and demanding his eyes to close. The sound of chairs and desks being knocked aside was enough to pull him back to his mind and start crawling away.
The glint of his silver, blessed knife caught his eye from a few desks in front of him, and Sam made his efforts to move more urgent.
Just as his hand was reaching for it, something circled his foot and slid around his leg and up his body, tightening far too much before jerking him up. His gasp of shock and pain cut off with the rest of his air supply as the tail tightened further. His vision swam with black dots, but he was still able to see that impossibly wide jaw opening.
He was about to be eaten.
He was going to be snake food.
Ha, wouldn't that really mess up that demon's plans...
That thought gave his mind just enough clarity to realize his hands were thankfully in the small gap where the coils met, giving him just barely enough space to undo his belt and pull out the hidden blade from the buckle. Darkness danced on the edge of his vision and teasing the black dots in the center before he managed to use all the little space he had to stab the knife into the tail.
He was falling before he knew it, sucking in a deep breath of air before managing to maneuver and land on his hands and knees. He didn't let himself have a moment to breath, his eyes frantically searching the floor for his knife. He just spotted it next to a turned over chair when the lamia let out a roar.
Sam flung himself forward, grabbed the knife, and rolled over just as the monster's hot breath ghosted over him. Instinct led him to push his hands forward, the blessed blade easily lodging itself into the lamia's middle. Its whole body froze, eyes widening as it stared down at Sam. He didn't have any time to move before it collapsed completely, its whole body covering his own and sending the little air in his lungs out once more.
He was almost going to accept his fate and just lay there when the classroom door burst open.
"Sam!" A familiar voice called, real and there and worried. "Sammy!"
He heard Dean's hurried footsteps rush to push the lamia off of him, grunting at the weight before Sam was able to draw in a deep breath-
Only to be pressed against Dean's chest and squeezed tightly.
"D-Dean...! Need air...!"
"You are such an idiot!" Dean shouted, not letting go. "You have to be the stupidest smart person ever! I can't believe how stupid you are!"
"Hey! I killed the monster!"
"That doesn't matter if it kills you in the process!" Dean finally pulled away, staring into his eyes with so much concern and righteous anger. "I saw you from the window, Sam! I saw you wrapped up in that tail! You could have died!"
"I couldn't let her kill Tyler though!"
"Screw Tyler! Screw all of the kids, screw this whole school!" Dean shook his shoulders gently, "None of them matter more than you."
Sam felt his face go slack, his eyes widening slightly. "You don't mean that..."
"I swear I mean every word." Dean pulled him close again, resting his head on Sam's shoulder. "They can go to hell for all I care. There is no one in this world that I would put above you, Sam. No one."
That emptiness that had opened up in Sam's chest when he first saw the lamia's illusion began to fill up with his love for his brother. Once again, tears began to build in his eyes as he clutched the back on Dean's shirt tightly. This love and devotion and feeling of home was what he wanted, was what caused the hole in his chest. He knew that his dad loved him, but he didn't show it often. Seeing his mom waiting for him in a living room and Dean promising to put him first made him realize just how much he was missing in his life, how much he longed to be normal... He longed for a life that he could never have, a life that was robbed from him by a demon with yellow eyes.
"Hey, hey," Dean practically cooed when he heard a traitorous sob escape Sam. "It's okay, I'm here, it's okay. I won't let anything hurt you again. I didn't mean to yell at you, Sammy, I was just so scared. I can't lose you again, I can't."
"It's not that," Sam shook his head against Dean's shoulder but didn't pull away from him.
"Yeah? Then why are you crying?"
Sam held his breath at first, debating in his mind if he was willing to share this. He knew that Dean would somehow end up feeling guilty over it, find a way to blame himself for Sam not being able to have a normal life. And he was in no mood to play the blame game with his brother, so he just shook his head again. "It's not important."
"Hey, if you're crying, then it's important to you." His hand rubbed at his back softly, patting it now and again. "So it's important to me. Talk to me?"
He almost caved, almost spilled all of his feelings then and there. But years of living on the road with an emotionally unavailable father taught him to hold back. "Not now... Maybe later. I just want to get out of here."
Finally, they pulled away from each other and Sam wiped at his face. They looked back to the lamia and were only slightly shocked to find her in human form. So unsuspecting, so normal looking... Sam never would have thought of her as a monster.
"Well..." Dean started, his arms crossing. "This makes our job a little easier... It would be a lot harder to try to explain why we were carrying a giant snake monster through the school."
Sam blinked as he slowly looked up at his brother with a raised eyebrow, "And carrying out a normal-looking teacher covered in blood is better?"
Dean sent him a dazzling smirk as he straightened his cardigan, "How's your acting?"
Suddenly the thought of dragging out a dead body through the school was much more appealing.
A/N: This story was originally going to be just 2 chapters, but it was getting pretty long so we get the monster reveal early! This was probably one of the bigger reasons I didn't like how the story was going, that the reveal is in the middle chapter and not in the last... But I suck at case fics so I'm just going to consider this practice and learn from it.
I know lamias are a monster from the show, but I didn't really like how they're portrayed so I rewrote their lore ^_^ My version is definitely not accurate to the original Greek myth, but creative liberties must be taken sometimes... If you're interested in my version of a lamia, she's a mother blinded by grief after her child/children die. Desperate to have them back, she turns to dark magic and human sacrifices in an attempt to bribe the gods into helping her. The sacrifices however are other children, the same age as the ones she lost. A life for a life. But if the children were not the same age, or if the grieving mother did something wrong in the ritual, then the gods would take offense and curse the mother into a hideous snake-like monster. Most lamias would go into the wilderness, attacking any children and young adults she would find so that others could feel her pain. Rarely would a lamia continue her ritualistic killings though, as hardly any of them kept their sanity and memories after having been cursed. But it has been known that mothers with strong ties to their children have been able to retain a human form long enough for them to pass as a human and give them an easier hunting pool.
Again, this is my own twist to the lore and not accurate to the original tale.