Title: New Flower

Rating: Light PG-13 for sexual references

Category: Romance smeared with angst

Disclaimer: The following characters and situations are used without permission of the creators, owners, and further affiliates of the Warner Bros television show, Supernatural, to whom they rightly belong. I claim only what is mine, and I make no money off what is theirs.

Jess knew Sam was different from any other man she had ever been with the moment she met him. It wasn't his deep brown eyes or his shaggy dark hair that she loved about him. It was his quiet nature, the way he articulated his words so carefully and protected her so closely. They were both so fragile with such turbulent pasts, but strong enough to support each other.

Her last relationship had been rocky, punctuated by sharp words and hurtful moments. She was so ashamed of who she was during those years that the first time she told Sam how she had collapsed from trying ecstasy out of fear that her boyfriend would mock her if she didn't, she had cried. As she crumbled like a new flower, he wrapped his comforting arms around her and kissed the top of her head. He didn't try to coerce her into sex during her confusion then like past lovers had. He would never try to coerce her into sex. He would never try to trick her into anything. She loved his honesty.

When she brought Sam home for Christmas, her family greeted him with open arms as if he had always walked through the door with that flustered, confused look on his face. As Sam sat in the living room, playing board games with the younger cousins, Jessica's mom pulled her aside. She didn't see her mom much now that she was living away from home, and somehow, phone calls didn't convey the deeper words shared between a mother and a daughter that a simplistic smile could. Her mom was worried. After that last man, whose name the mother could not even bring herself to say, would Jess be okay again? Was this new boy, this Sam, was he treating her decently? She didn't have to settle.

Jess smiled, watching Sam out of the corner of her eye. He laughed with her younger cousins and let them win the hundreds of games they forced him to play. Settle? No, if anything, Sam would be the one who settled for her. Sam made her want to become the person she was before the last man had scarred her so deeply and hurt her so much. Did he treat her decently? He treated her too well. They hadn't kissed until nearly a month into dating and even then, he was so slow, so kind and tender. On their one year anniversary, he bought a box of heart shaped chocolate chip cookies with a single lily because he didn't want to be like "every other guy who brought her roses." From that point on, lilies became her favorite flower, and she baked chocolate chip cookies for him whenever possible. It was their special secret.

They moved in together, and she found herself wondering how she could be with somebody like Sam after everything she had done. She thought of how many times she had fallen down drunk in the middle of the sidewalk while her boyfriend laughed at her, failing even to help her when she vomited into the garbage cans nearby. When she fell now, dizzy from how light she felt around Sam, he never let her touch the ground. Always caught her in his gentle clasp.

Eating a picnic together on the hood of her car one warm night, he had told her that his mother was dead. He was worried she wouldn't understand, but she did. Her father had passed away from cancer two years before she met Sam, but no one outside family had ever understood her before Sam. The death of her father was not something to be discussed. The old boyfriend had never wanted to listen to her tears or pain about losing her father. Now, though, under the night sky, Sam held her against his chest, and she fell asleep listening to the slow beat of his heart.

When they went ice skating together during the second Christmas they traveled back home, she was afraid she would fall on the slick sheet beneath her. Sam smiled and squeezed her red gloved hand tighter. He would never let her go. No, not like her other relationship who had let her go so many times for other women, only to return with a plea of forgiveness and apologies. Under the softly falling snow, Sam helped her fly. Their hands never separated.

He was too good, too perfect, too everything for her. Maybe it was why she wasn't completely taken off guard when she met the man standing outside their doorstep a few days after Sam had left with his brother. She was wary, but when the man told her of what Sam had done in the past, she wondered if she really had duped herself all along into refusing to see the darkness inside Sam. The hands that had caressed her and consoled her had stabbed warm flesh and pulled deadly triggers. The eyes that looked upon her so lovingly and so warmly had looked upon horrors so cruelly and so menacingly. The body that had made love to her so many times had been scarred by monsters so many times.

She tried to ignore the man. She went inside the apartment and made a batch of cookies, knowing that Sam would be back with her soon. They could talk then. They would talk then. Even if what the man had said was true, she couldn't bear to lose Sam. If he were to leave, everything she had would be lost.

But they never talked. She never told him what the man outside the door said to her. She only watched from above as her blood dripped in single red gems upon his skin, and his mouth gaped and twisted unnaturally, trying to form words but only producing screams. She wanted to reach out to him, to take his hand and tell him how much he meant to her and that despite everything he might have done in his past, he had made her a better person.

She died watching him in agony.

She watches him now, sleeping in the same room as a brother who he mentioned only twice. Some nights, she talks to him about the moments they shared, giving him the sweet dreams of his past and taking away the horrors of his present. And other nights, she lies down beside him and rests her head on his shoulder. He never notices, never feels, but she holds his hand anyway when he cries. As he crumbles like a new flower, she wraps her comforting arms around him and kisses the top of his head.