Disclaimer: Sadly, I own none of this. If I did, I wouldn't be writing fan fictions.

I started this story months ago but never posted it, so it won't follow the season one plotline.

The setting Midwest sun caused a kaleidoscope of orange, red, and yellow to streak across the sky and cast a pink glow against the clouds. The summer evening was a deep contrast to the dark storm of emotions swirling like a tornado in Sam Winchester's mind. He shivered uncontrollably for reasons he didn't understand, and the only sign of the muggy heat was the slicked steering wheel where he was gripping it with white knuckles.

Cursing loudly, he slammed on the brakes and the Impala screeched to a halt in the middle of the desolate highway. He killed the engine and rested his forehead against the wheel. "Dammit," he muttered squeezing his eyes shut. "What are you doing, Sam?"

He sat back and sighed. He could make it to the next town before dark, but the aches in his heart pulled him in the other direction. He stared hard at his reflection in the rearview and before he realized what he was doing, he had the engine revved and was throwing gravel in the middle of his U-turn.

Dean had once dubbed Lawrence, Kansas as Norman Rockwell's hometown. Children played on immaculate lawns and people greeted each other on the streets with warm handshakes and by first names. It was no wonder John Winchester had chosen this place to bring his bride and raise a family. No one could ever fathom any sort of shadow falling over this haven bathed in sunlight and hidden amongst fields of corn. Even in the darkest night, Lawrence was lit by homes and streetlamps.

Every damn porch light is on, Sam mused to himself as he navigated the street on which Missouri now lived. She had moved two years before when everyone had needed to start fresh. Moving to the edge of town quietly had been her way of making a clean break

Blowing out a sight, he pulled up to Missouri's modest looking home and wasn't surprised to see her waiting for him on the sidewalk. She watched him get out the car with a soft smile. "I had a feeling you'd stop," she said as he came around to hug her.

"Did you tell him?"

"I didn't have to him. I swear the boy's got a sense to him. There are some things he just knows." She took Sam's arm and walked him onto the porch. "I bet you're hungry."

"Where is he?"

Missouri pursed her lips and cocked her head. "Around back."

Sam left her and made his way around to the back of the house where Dean had a small garage built. Sam knew hiding beneath the hood of a car had always been Dean's escape. Tinkering kept his hands busy and the thrum of an engine had always been able to calm him.

Sure enough, there he was with his arms buried up to the elbows in the engine of a '68 Mustang, and the radio on his toolbox tuned into the local rock station with the volume turned down.

Sam stuffed his hands into his pockets and leaned against the workbench just inside. He was trying to figure out what to say when Dean piped up. "You can save yourself the trouble stumbling over an awkward hello," he said without turning around. "I heard the Impala."

Sam suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. Only Dean could recognize a person by the sound of their vehicle. He moved further into the garage and ran a few fingers along the gleaming silver side of the Mustang. "She's a beauty," he whispered.

Dean straightened and slammed the hood. "She sounds like a dying cow."

"You'll have her thundering."

Dean still wasn't looking at him when he turned to his toolbox and grabbed a towel on top of it to wipe his hands with. "So did you swing by on your way through or did you go get a hundred miles down the road and do a U-turn?"

Sam smiled sheepishly. "U-turn. After I went twenty miles out of my way to avoid town entirely."

Dean switched off the radio and finally turned around. "Well, let's go and let Missouri have her way with you."

Sam helped Dean pull down the garage door and kept his eyes focused in front of him as they trudged to the house in silence. He knew Dean would notice if he turned to look down at his leg. Besides, he could tell by Dean's gait from the corner of his eye that his limp was still prominent.

They entered through the back door and Missouri immediately met them. "Shoes," she ordered. "Then come eat."

"Housecleaning Nazi," Dean muttered after she walked off.

Sam slipped out of his shoes with ease and forced himself not to notice Dean's face turn red from his struggle with the simple task of bending over to remove his shoes. He managed to kick them off after a moment of fumbling and let out a long suffering sigh as he threw open the fridge door to grab a couple of beers. He handed one to Sam and moved past him to get to the dining room.

Sam watched his retreating back with a set jaw. His brother's casual detachment was unnerving. He had expected his brother to attack him and tell him to get the hell out of dodge. He could deal with that. That was Dean. But he didn't know this stranger that was walking around in his brother's shell. And quite frankly, it was starting to piss him off.