Possibilities

By Mellaithwen

Rating: T

Genre: Angst/Drama

Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, and this evil thing was spawned from P.L's latest challenge.

Summary: What if Sam never left for college? It's a one-shot, a one-shot, a one-shot, a one-shot.

Massive thank you to Emmithar for beta-ing, and putting up with my title searching for nearly two hours, and amusing me too


In another time, another day, he might have seen that envelope, and felt something, really felt something. He might have woken up that morning, had fate not stepped in, picked up that letter that had thankfully found their most recent address, and he might have stared with something more.

Now he just stared with a feeling akin to sadness, though not wholly that. He stares at the stamp at the top, the seal of the university in red; on a white envelope that's a little too thick to just have a two letter word in it, rather than three.

Then again fifteen, since he doubted they would just say yes.

And sure enough when he does rip open the letter, somewhat reluctantly, there they were, somewhere toward the end.

Congratulations.

As though he had won a prize. But before he had a chance to truly react, his father came rushing through the door.

"Boys!" He shouted, bringing Dean to the top of the stairs. "Get your things, we're leaving."

And as Dean rushed back to the room he and his brother shared, Sam turned to his father.

"What's going on?"

"The demon. I just got a call from Caleb. He's left a trail. We're leaving, now."


-

Never one to lie, not to himself at least, Sam knows he has no trouble admitting how much he hates sitting in the back. He always has. As children, he and Dean had both sat there. Talking, sleeping, preparing. But as time continued slowly, Dean would spend more time leaning forward to hear his father, than he did talking to Sam, who's legs were getting far too long and had a habit of bumping into his brother's should the area get too cramped with baggage as well as son's.

They had truly crammed everything that could be moved without the need of an extra pair of hands, into bags, that then got squished into the Impala, and the backseat around Sam. Clothes, boots, weapons, and all of the food in the kitchen, was now sitting idly, or poking Sam in the sides. The books, falling out of the tops of unzipped rucksacks kept falling to the floor and underneath the front seats, but soon Sam gave up on bothering to do anything about it, instead trying to listen to his family in the front as they discussed best they could what they didn't truly understand.

Some way into the long drive from here to there, scenery merging into green blobs as they passed, Sam went to check the time, he saw that his watch was gone. He'd left it on the counter in the porch. Sitting on top of his acceptance letter, and he knew that if he went back for one, then there was no ignoring the other.

He berated himself, why try if you're not going to follow through when given the chance. And it wasn't as if he hadn't rehearsed a thousand times his leaving. He wasn't stupid and he wasn't naïve, he knew full well how John would react, Dean too. And Sam hadn't even been basing his forward thinking on the knowledge that he'd gotten in, only the hope. Now given the confirmation, well, he was glad for the hunt, when push came to shove, he could look back and blame it on his indecisiveness, rather than himself.


--

You're tired, you're sleepy; you lie back, waiting, still clothed, and still panting from the sprint back to the room. You were bored without your brother's company, and the drizzle seeped through your clothes. You're damp when you let your head rest on the pillows that itch. Your eyes closed, you take a deep breath, sigh, then

Drip.

You tilt to avoid it, to shake it off, but

Drip.

Another, and your eyes are open, and you wish them closed for all you see. He's pinned. Pinned, back against the ceiling. He's on the ceiling and there's nothing you can do. Defying gravity. Pinned. Pinned. Pinned. His mouth agape, his eyes...his eyes dark but staring, not forced into one position forever, but looking, moving, staring. Oh god. His chest still heaves with shaky breaths, as tiny droplets of blood fall from his suspended body down to you, and drip, drop, they land.

"Sammy,"

A lasting cry imprinted on your mind. A light from beneath, orange and glowing alights the room, ignites the room. It comes from nowhere. Exists from nothing. The fire is all around, and the flames erupt before you can breathe, before you can think, or shout. They eat at his skin, and you lie, and you're horrified, and he's being burned alive, bleeding, dying, and you lie, and you scream.

"NO!"

Sam wakes up screaming, his brother and father by his side, Dean groggier than the elder, but still more than lucid to know that his brother needs him. John is already hounding the boy,

"What's wrong?" He asks again and again, but Sam pays him no heed. He can't stop staring at his brother, he just can't.

"Sammy?" Dean asks tentatively, and the youngest has a good mind to correct him, but the image of...

He can't. He can't speak, can barely breathe, all he knows are the flames eating away at the fear Sam knew he had put there this time at least. He shudders, and Dean tightens his grip on his brother's shoulder.

Flames eat at his skin, and you lie, and you're horrified, and he's being burned alive, bleeding, dying, and you lie, and you scream

He told them he was fine, when finally he found his voice, and he ignored the wary glances as his brother and father retired to the double bed, Dean know facing his brother, who feigned sleep, praying the dreams wouldn't haunt him, should he actually fall asleep.

They didn't that night, but they did every other, and soon, Sam stopped screaming, stopped crying, but more importantly; stopped sleeping.

Every night the same dream, every night the same fire, the same flames that killed his mother than night and now, we're trying to kill the rest of his family, and if he let it what then? Was he next after Dean? Was his father? Was it ever going to stop? No, of course not, and Sam knew he had to stop it before it took his brother.

Every night the same dream, every night the same fire, and every night he woke up, and his head shot to the side in search of his brother. Never once looking at the ceiling, not daring to, but always looking to the bed where Dean slept soundly. His heart still beating and his breathing even save for the occasional snort-like-snore.


--

Sometimes, he'll look in the paper, and see an article toward the middle where the more local stories are. He'll see one on a particular bright student winning a scholarship or becoming a founder in...well, something, and a part of him would think that could have been him. He could have worked harder than ever before, earned his place at that school, earned a place at a law school, or maybe even get an apprenticeship of some kind.

Just not hunting.

But then he puts the papers down, or he flicks through to the obits and scans each and every one for something suspicious. He reads them all a thousand times, and he never lets his fingers run over the letters. It creeps him out if he knows where to go before his eyes have finished reading.


--

You're tired, you're sleepy; you lie back, waiting, still clothed, and still panting from the sprint back to the room. You were bored without your brother's company, and the drizzle seeped through your clothes. You're damp when you let your head rest on the pillows that itch. Your eyes closed, you take a deep breath, sigh, then

Drip.

You tilt to avoid it, to shake it off, but

Drip.

Another, and your eyes are open, and you wish them closed for all you see. He's pinned. Pinned, back against the ceiling. He's on the ceiling and there's nothing you can do. Defying gravity. Pinned. Pinned. Pinned. His mouth agape, his eyes...his eyes dark but staring, not forced into one position forever, but looking, moving, staring. Oh god. His chest still heaves with shaky breaths, as tiny droplets of blood fall from his suspended body down to you, and drip, drop, they land.

"Sammy,"

A lasting cry imprinted on your mind. A light from beneath, orange and glowing alights the room, ignites the room. It comes from nowhere. Exists from nothing. The fire is all around, and the flames erupt before you can breathe, before you can think, or shout. They eat at his skin, and you lie, and you're horrified, and he's being burned alive, bleeding, dying, and you lie, and you scream "No," but all that comes out is a whisper as time rewinds, and the flames retreat just before they dare touch you.

They retreat and bury themselves into the ceiling behind Dean. He inhales, takes a breath, and smirks. He isn't whispering your name, he isn't begging he's just smiling, and you wish he could smile like that forever, and you think for a moment, maybe this is a good dream. You jinxed it. The flames return, fire blazes, and your whole like goes up in smoke. No change there then.


--

He searches for air, as though the smoke had been real and has poisoned his lungs because damn, it's harder to breathe nowadays. You look to the bed again, but Dean's not there, you forget the panic when you see the light from the bathroom at the bottom of the door. You relax, lie back, but turn on your side for fear of that familiar drip, drop, on your forehead.


--

When he opened the door, the first thing he noticed, save for his father waving him over and walking away from the impala and following a few other men into the nearby bar, were the clouds. Dark, ominous, and spitting rain. November rain. Sam never liked the song so much, but at that moment, as he looked up at the clouds, he wished he could figure the start of the tune, if only for irony's sake. There are fellow hunters in town, friends of their father at the bar, and soon the both of them were dragged in to meet them. Weapons dealers, junk yard owners, wielders of the sacred seal of something or other, and as much as they dared never admit it, both boys were bored.

After the conversation filtered back and forth, small talk long forgotten, stories traded and retold many times, more drinks were offered, but Dean saw an opening and took it gladly, professing how tired he was and his inability to drink any more. His apologies, of course, but he really did need to get his sleep. John watches him leave with mingled curiosity, but otherwise doesn't stop him.

Sam wishes that he too could shrug away the offer with the same ease, but he's lingered far too long, and knows he's pretty much stuck.

Something nags at his brain, something, something, and lightning cracks overhead across November skies and Sam remembers, so quickly, so suddenly, every detail screaming out at him as he feels momentum crashing down upon him and he's forced to lash out and grab the counter of the bar for support.

...bored without your brother's company, and the drizzle seeped through your clothes. You're damp when you let your head rest on the pillows that itch. Your eyes closed...

His movements don't go unnoticed by the trained hunters surrounding him, and soon all of them including his father are grabbing at his shoulders, calling out his name, but his senses are wrought with something else entirely.

He's on the ceiling, pinned, and there's nothing you can do.

Sam grabs at his head, half trying to pull the images out, banish them far, far away, and half of him trying to keep them in, examining them all, trying to understand if only it will save them. Save someone. The dreams have been coming every night, but he's not asleep, this can't be normal. This can't be good.

"Sammy," A lasting cry...

"Oh god, Dean."

Sam's hands find John's arms and he squeezes and tries to convey the message he knows his lips can't. His father takes one look at the raw panic and leaves Sam at the bar, their friends and comrades holding him upright, and keeping him there, while John hurtles toward the room. No key, no time for knocking, he raises his foot, and it comes crashing down against the hinges, and as soon as the splintering wood that was once a door is on the ground, but there's nothing inside, and for a moment John's left in the doorway staring. Footsteps run past him, and he turns in time to see Sam run into his own room, shouldering the door hard enough to knock it open.

It's dark and oppressive, and John's gaze hardens to stone when he sees the entity, and a body crouching, when he hears it laugh. Sam lunges forward, just as what's left of the door closes him in, and John's left pounding and pounding and pounding.

While Sam fights for his brother. He fights hard, and with all of his might and he protects him best he can but this is a demon, and Sam's an angry twenty-two-year-old who may, or may not have seen this coming. When John finally gets the door open, there's a great whoosh, and darkness seems to seep into the ground and it's gone. Leaving Sam on his knees.


--

The first time John feels true fear, he's a young soldier, in the marines, trained well, but never well enough for the horrors he sees. And he's afraid, and he'll never be afraid to admit it. The second time he feels it, gnawing away at him, is in the waiting room with Dean asleep by his side, and Mary and the baby fighting so hard behind closed doors in the hospital ward. The third time was that night, years ago now. Flames leaping out at him, when Mary's eyes sought his own, and he grabbed Sammy, and thrust him into Dean's arms.

John feels it coming for him again. Cold, hard, fear, unrelenting as it took hold, and grasped him tight, but he fought the hold, and grabbed his son instead.

The first time Sam feels true fear, he's young, too young to be precise, and there's a monster gunning for him, but he has a big brother and father who cock their shotguns and shoot until there's nothing left. You cry that night, from the shock of it all, but you never doubt your family's skill again. The second time is after the poltergeist grabbed Dean, and the next time you saw him he was lying in a crumpled heap in the middle of the forest.

Stranded and in too much pain to be moved, with nothing to do but grasp at his brother's jacket, Dean had announced he knew exactly what Sam needed to do.

"Knock me out."

"What?" Sam had asked incredulous, and his brother had repeated the order through gritted teeth.

"Dean, I'm not going to-."

"Sammy, please, man."

And that tone, as his somewhat manipulative brother had suspected, had been all that was needed. One little push that had forced Sam to ball up his fist, raise it, and bring it down in a fine arch until it fell and hit his brother hard in the cheek, his head flying to the side, before Dean cried out, "Fuck, Sammy!" to which his eyes had widened.

"You hit like a girl." Dean muttered, head falling back against the grass, now more annoyed than ever that his brother's attempt to relive him of pain had only increased it. Sam's fear had lessened then, but Sam feels it coming back again now. It's nothing compared to his dreams, is in the very moment, when his father repeats the question he so desperately needs an answer to.

"Where's Dean?" His voice is gruff as he struggles to his feet. The demon gone and only one son visible. Sam doesn't answer, his hands shake, and he's still sitting on the ground, staring at the small pool of blood there. It's tiny, barely seen in the dimly lit room, but Sam knows it's there. Staining the floorboards, the rug.

"Sam?" John calls, stumbling over, kneeling down.

"Sam, look at me." He asks, the boy's chin in his hands, looking his son straight in the eyes, worried, and scared at the silence surrounding them both. "Where is your brother?"

"He took him," He says finally, voice thick with emotion as he tries to keep the tremor from his own speech. "I tried to stop him, but-he just, he just, took him." And a voice inside the father's head screams and cries and self deprecates, but in the end, only asks, what now?


--

When they find him, when they've searched long and hard, and when every night fellow hunters check in and let them know of the nothingness they've come to find once more, John doesn't know how to feel. Neither does Sam. They have a location. And they've already pulled up every article about the-Sam swallows-bodies found. Police suspecting some sort of kidnapping ring, serial killers perhaps, but no real pattern emerging as the victims' wounds vary, as well as gender, age, and race.

John won't let his son be next, and runs in with guns blazing, filled with iron, rock salt, anything and everything that can be forced into a barrel and shot. It might not kill the sons of bitches, but it distracts them and hurts them enough to make them fade away, falling into the ground like they did before.

John heaves, and pants, shotgun warm in his hand, Sam at his back, looking around, ready for more, but then there's Dean, huddled in the corner, wrists bound, and trembling, and John's breath leaves him once more. He tries to gauge the scene and discern if his son's expression shows pain at all. There's no blood...not yet.

"Dean?"

He flinches at first but relaxes when recognition sets in.

"Are you hurt?" John asks in his no-nonsense tone and Sam hears him as he too rushes in, and more than a little scared. Dean swallows the bile in his throat, and the rising nausea that won't leave him alone. He spares a glance at his brother, and wishes he had the energy to muster up a smirk. Instead he settles, stares at his father and nods. No injuries save for a bruising back from being hurled from wall to wall, including the one he still sits against. No lasting effects save for the shaking that won't leave him be, and the taunting he still hears. He's fine, and Sam can breathe again.

John does too, and throws the rope away, letting it rest on the floor as he holds Dean tightly, whispering as though he's nothing but a small boy in his father's arms again, and all John has to say is everything's okay, and everything will be okay. John hopes it's the last encounter his son's will ever have with the bastard, but he knows better than to be so naïve.

Dean hasn't said much, understandable, Sam thinks, but John knows better, and he hates it. Hates seeing his son half the man he was. Hates seeing the talkative son so silent once again, just like the weeks after Mary and the fire.

Neither say a word to him, unless the conversation is certain never to veer into forbidden territory that sounds like, what happened, Dean?


--

He's scratching his wrists again. An unconscious movement Sam supposes, instead of fidgeting, Dean keeps himself stock still, eyes down watching his nails as they try to quell the irritation of his skin. Having them bound for days on end would do that...

Beneath his thumb and on the wrist joint, the marks on Dean's skin are the worst. Stark bruises standing out from where he had tried to pull free, and when Dean notices Sam's staring, he crosses his arms, hiding his wrists in his jacket, still looking down.

"Dean..."

But his brother only ignores him, pressing himself back into the chair, and Sam sighs, running a hand through his hair. Ten minutes pass, and Dean's wrists are out again, scratching once more, his sleeves bunched up somewhat.

They hide the bruises on his forearms, not that he'd ever take his jacket off as it is. He lets his hair get out of hand too; normally he'd have it cut when his usual amount of gel wasn't enough, now he doesn't even bother brushing it. Some mornings he runs a hand through it, shaking it as if to make it look like he'd intended for it to get to be such a mess, most days, he's too busy being sick in the toilet after the latest nightmare to care.

He won't tell them, and they've stopped asking. Somewhere between respect, and dignity they reached a shaky compromise, and have obliterated any future conversations that might start with a non-rhetorical question about those days. Sam glares if ever he thinks his father is looking. He knows it's unhealthy to let Dean go on without venting somehow.

And no, being sick every morning, does not count, Dad!

"I never said that it did."

"No, but you're not saying anything else."

"Sam, we can't push him, if he wants to tell us, he will. His injuries weren't even fatal."

"Which begs the question why, Dad? Because half of the scars can't be seen that's why."

"Sam!" And that tone said, let it go, but Sam can't.

"He's hurting, Dad."

And the look John gives Sam tells him he knows, but the one he masks it with tells Sam to drop it, and he does.


--

Its four weeks later, a whole month until Dean tells Sam. They'd been fighting, and as fights tended to do, it leads them down a path of re-hashing unspoken issues. Nothing worth knowing, Dean told him. Nothing horrific, nothing amazing, just...they were assholes, I talked back, simple as.

"Simple as? Dean, come on, man."

"Sam, they barely even touched me. They said some shit, okay? They did the whole no one loves you bit, no ones coming to get you, and for a while I believed them."

"What? Dean-

"No, not because I didn't have faith in you guys, and not because I'm stupid enough to give in to that crap, but they were the real thing, and the concussion didn't help." He tries laughing but he just can't, and Sam's sour expression isn't helping any. They keep quiet for a time, before Sam gets up and Dean lets his eyes follow his every movement around the small room.

After repositioning the remotes on top of the dinky television set next to the satellites, Sam sits back down but he's right next to Dean this time, as though to offer support in his closer presence.

"How long until Dad gets back?" He asks cryptically, and Dean checks his watch.

"Around an hour."

Sam nods, and then turns to his brother. "Is there anything else you wanna talk about?" And the fact that Dean's eyes find the floor answers Sam's question wholeheartedly.


--

When John gets back to his son's, he's barely there a week before California deaths call to them, begging for attention and John bids his son's farewell once more, as he takes the truck and drives to Jericho, and sends them off on a Voodoo mission in New Orleans.

When the sunshine state comes up, Sam realises that right now, he would have been applying for the next step after Stanford. He might have been ending his times as a student there, but instead he's here, checking out some very bogus patron's stories, and some, not so much, while his brother flirts with the waitress at the bar.

As much as Sam hates the horny side of his brother coming out on jobs, he's glad to see normalcy in the Dean Winchester stride when finally he decides to join his brother, and not without information.

And they add it all to the list. Deities, fetishes, general sorcery of the suspicious kind, and they have since come to realise that the call John Winchester received was from a worried shopkeeper who's revenge inflicting relics, such as voodoo dolls appeared to be backfiring no matter what the spell or who the patron. Every time, every prick of the needle was felt by the inflictor, not the intended victim, and it didn't turn out to be some evil demon, or witch, just the daughter who disagreed with her father's work, and decided to teach his customers a lesson.

Her lack of belief had not been in magic, but in the anger of civilization and its want for revenge. More than once Dean and Sam had shared knowing glances during her long-winded speech, and after over-seeing that every spell was re-done, and receiving promises from both that things would go smoothly from now on, they were off. Leaving, and heading back.

It's days later when they're unpacking the last of their things in a new motel room when Dean realises he doesn't have his phone on him, and when he finally finds it, charges the battery, and puts it back in his pocket it was ringing again, telling him of the voicemail he had yet to open.

It's the static that makes him tighten his grip on the phone as he listens to the message he wishes he never missed. His father tells him to be careful and he feels a pain in his chest at the words. When finally the message ends, one of the first things he does is tell Sam, who listens to it in turn, and discerns the EVP just as Dean did. They find an adequate computer, run it through the gold wave programme, and swallow the lumps in their throats at the rasping voice. I can never go home.

"Come on, Sam." Dean says, with his voice down low. "We've got to find Dad."

Sam nods, but hesitates all the same. He isn't sure, it might be nothing.

We're all in danger.

It might be everything.

"You heard the EVP, Sam." Dean says, breaking through Sam's reverie, and the younger brother nods. He knows.


--

"I've never been unfaithful." He tells the seductive-ghost, trying to convince her since he's never been a relationship long enough to be unfaithful, but he's pretty sure he's not that kind of guy, anyway.

"You will be," She promises, before whispering, just hold me, and kissing his lips as he reaches for the keys in the ignition. But the kiss is enough, she can attack, and for a moment Sam looks around, confused, but then the pain shrouds everything. Burning, sizzling, fingers deep in the flesh of his chest, and he can hear his heart beat thrumming in his ears. He cries out in pain, ripping open in jacket to get a better look to try and stop the hurting, and she's vanishing back and forth, back and forth.

Shots, one, two, three, four, and a seconds relent, but a push, and she still hasn't left. Another five, and she's gone, and he takes his chance, turns the keys, and revs the car. "I'm taking you home."


--

He hasn't thought about Stanford in well over a year, and he wonders if that should worry him. Then again, he never applied in his family's eyes. Dean never told him how proud he was, Dean never screamed at him for lying. John never gave him a hearty hug and said "My son, at Stanford!" John never gave him that look of sheer betrayal and disappointment, either.

He supposed it was better to have neither than the latter. Because there's no way the Winchesters in all of their mask-true-feelings ways would ever be that open about pride. And there's no way, Sam's sure, that he could ever have gone to college with his family's blessing. He dares wonder, before realising that this constitutes as thinking about Stanford and he's wasted an entire year's good work of trying not to regret his decisions in the blink of an eye. Damn it.

Dean's coming back from the restroom, and then it's back in the car and back on the road, headed straight for Colorado, in search of their father gone AWOL, and anything else that warrants killing on the way, of course. He sees a sign in the petrol station shop window. Discount for students, and he scoffs. They're paying with fake credit cards, you can't discount much more than that.


He hasn't had the dream in a while. A small feat, he thinks, but sometimes he wakes up, so sure that it was something, but trying to remember only makes it easier to forget. Maybe he did have it, and he forgot? Maybe it was a different dream, a different event. And that thought scares him more than he'd care to admit. As if one prophetic moment wasn't enough, now there's a chance he could have more?


Sam sees the ropes suspending his brother, and he feels rage, and fear as he cuts him down, waking him up and asking, asking if he's okay. Dean says he's fine, but he always says that, and it's never true. There's growling in the distance, and he's walking away, shouting and bating the creature. Sam tries not to get too distracted with concern, as he attempts to lead the civilians to safety.

Too bad Dean's plan hadn't worked, because now they're cornered, literally, and he's backing up with the others behind him. They have two jobs, while on the job, that fit no matter what the job. Protect civilians, and protect each other. But where the hell is Dean?

The flare accompanied by the trademark smirk makes you think of a devious childhood and bottle rockets. He wonders if as a college student he might have had some fun with a few of those. Maybe even stolen some traffic cones? But he only does that now when forced along by Dean, and he figure he'd have been more for the studying in the library type than partying after dark.


He jinxed it again. He noticed the lack of dreams, and clearly his body, hating him as it did, decided to torment him once more.

...A lasting cry imprinted on your mind. A light from beneath, orange and glowing alights the room, ignites the room. It comes from nowhere. Exists from nothing. The fire is all around, and the flames erupt before you can breathe, before you can think, or shout...

He realises with almost shame that he never told Dean about his dream. He never told Dean that he'd known of the attack, and that if their father hadn't arrived when he had, then Sam would have opened his eyes to another death on the ceiling.

He's never told Dean that he could have saved him from being taken. He never tells him, because there are some things not even brothers should share.

--


Maybe it shouldn't surprise him so much. After all, Dean was always good with Sam, it would stand to reason he was good with other children too. Sensing their problems, trying to help, and if Sam still saw his brother as a fitting saviour, then it made sense Lucas did too. Dean had gotten through to him in ways his grandfather and mother never had. That had to mean something.

But it went both ways, as Sam realised as soon as Dean dived in, and Sam took after without a second's hesitation. The water is crushingly cold, weighed down with the deaths of many as well as the hatred Peter still harboured, the revenge he longed for. The waves are dark and Sam can't see a thing, and when he comes up for air that last time, the sheriff gone, and his brother and Lucas still under, he can't believe he finds the energy to shake his head at Andrea, and bare her scream when it begins.

He feels relief when they appear, brace water, sending it splashing around them. He feels dread when he sees how still Lucas seems, and how tightly his brother is clinging on to the boy. And he knows that even if the boy's all right, Dean will never forgive himself for losing Andrea's father to the vengeful spirit.


--

Drip.

You tilt to avoid it, to shake it off, but

Drip.

Another, and your eyes are open, and you wish them closed for all you see. He's pinned. Pinned, back against the ceiling. He's on the ceiling and there's nothing you can do. Defying gravity. Pinned. Pinned. Pinned. His mouth agape, his eyes...his eyes dark but staring, not forced into one position forever, but looking, moving, staring. Oh god. His chest still heaves with shaky breaths, as tiny droplets of blood fall from his suspended body down to you, and drip, drop, they land.

"Sammy,"

It amazes him how much his first instinct is to scream for all that he sees. And what surprises him more, is how he's managed to suppress that first instinct, enough so that when he wakes, his first thought besides intense fear, and concern, is to grab the shotgun never too far, and have it ready, lest they get company.

You don't understand why the dreams haunt you, but then, you realise, it hasn't happened yet. The demon came for Dean but it never killed him. It took him, but the fire, the flames, they weren't there. Sam grips the shotgun tighter, and wishes he'd had the courage to tell his brother something earlier.


--

"This is John Winchester, I can't be reached. If this is an emergency, call my son Dean, 866-907-3235, he can help."

Sam stares at his brother, before stomping off like a petulant child to the car. But then again, he has reason to. There's no mention of him in the voicemail, he's just the sidekick. Dean's the superhero; he won't doubt that, and his father? He's the man behind the curtains, pulling the strings, now if they wanted to get back home, they'd have to find the so-called Wizard with all the answers, and kill the wicked witch of the west, kick back, and relax in Kansas.

But Dean hates Lawrence, so he doubts they'd go back there. Sam just hopes he isn't Toto, but then, that would make him Dorothy, and he isn't sure which is worse, so he forgets the metaphor completely, and continues to glower over the blatant favouritism showed to his good-little-soldier instead.

-Fin

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