SHOUTOUTS\ANSWERS

Windyfontaine: Thanks. Glad you liked. Yep. Here you go. I will.

Halcyon Impulsion: Thanks. Glad it fit in.

Samdean4567: Thanks. Me too. Yeah. Them and vampire fics. Hope this is soon enough.

Spuffyshipper (ch 8, 9): Yep. Thanks. Well, wake up first, and then read my stuff silly. Thanks. Well, seein' how Sam's twenty-three and Dani's fourteen, no. I could've sworn I put her age in. Sorry if I didn't and caused confusion. Thanks. I'm glad. Wasn't plannin' on it, but with me, you can never tell. Hope this is soon enough.

Jayme: Thanks. Hope this is soon enough.

Raven524: Thanks. Glad you liked it.

Mimifoxlove: (ch 8): Hi! Sorry I didn't put you in earlier. Updated w\out checkin' my e-mail. Thanks. Sorry. Maybe someday. Yeah, but it's not how it played out. Well, you'll see.

DISCLAIMER

Supernatural and its characters belong to the WB, which will soon be the CW. I only own characters you don't recognize.

After taking care of Sam's kidnappers, Dani and the Winchesters went back to her house.

"Are you sure you're gonna be okay?" Sam asked in concern.

"Yeah, I'll be all right. Thanks to you guys," Dani assured. Sam pulled out a piece of paper and pencil and wrote down a number.

"If you ever need to talk, or something happens, call me," he told her, handing her the little slip.

"Thanks," she responded, pocketing the little paper. She walked back into her house and the trio walked back to their cars.

"Sammy, why don't you get in the truck? I think you and I need to have a little talk," John requested.

"Yes, Sir," Sam agreed. He went to do as he was told. Dean grabbed his father's arm.

"Dad, go easy on him. He's been through a lot," he reminded the man.

"I know, son," was the response. They parted ways. John maneuvered the truck so that he was following the Impala.

"Sammy?" the man asked out of the blue.

"Sir?" his son acknowledged.

"How come you never told me you were a werewolf?" John wondered.

"Well, when it first happened, we weren't speaking. And then---Dad, I didn't wanna end up with a silver bullet in my heart!" Sam cried desperately. John sighed.

"Sammy, you remember how we always took an extra long time when it came to werewolves?" he reminded.

"Yes, Sir. I never understood it," the boy admitted. Then, guiltily, "Then again, I never really paid attention."

"I thought as much," his father commented. Then, "The reason for that Sammy is that that there are two different types of werewolves. One that can control the change and acts responsibly and one that's totally bloodthirsty, just changing and creating havoc. Those were the werewolves we killed. The ones that didn't care care what happened or what they did when they changed."

"You mean you're not disappointed in me?" Sam asked.

"The only thing I'm disappointed in was that we let ourselves grow so far apart that you couldn't even tell me what had happened to you," John told him.

"What happens now?" Sam wondered.

"Do you want to go back to Stanford?" John queried. Sam blew out a breath.

"Wow," he said in surprise. "Um, well---kind of," he admitted.

"Kind of?" John echoed.

"Dad, I would love to go back to school. But you said it yourself: there are others out there. It's bigger than we thought. And that demon---even though he's dead---he said that he wanted me and others like me. And if he's got friends---how can I turn my back on that?" Sam questioned.

"Your brother and I can handle it. We'll divide the strategizing and the research," John answered.

"And if you need extra help? If you need a third man?" Sam persisted.

"We call you," John replied.

"Dang right you do," Sam confirmed. Then, with a confused expression, "Dad...how am I gonna get back in?"

"Oh, I think we can pull some strings," John stated. They laughed. In the Impala, Dean checked his rearview mirror to make sure his father was still following him. He saw his father and brother talking. Good. It's about time they talked, he thought to himself. He had been relieved that Dad hadn't torn him a new one when he had found that they had kept the fact that Sammy was a werewolf from him. Relieved...and a little surprised. But then again, Dad had mellowed ever since Sammy had killed the demon. He saw Dad say something and then he and Sammy laughed. Dean's thoughts drifted. Now that the big hunt was over, Sammy was probably making plans to go back to school. And Dad seemed to be okay with that. And if their father okayed it...who was he to stand in Sammy's way of another shot at a normal life? All he wanted was for the kid to be happy. Even if it killed him. Hours later, Dean pulled off at an exit and stopped at a motel. He paid for a room with two beds and they all went in.

"So, what happens next?" Dean asked.

"Well, Sammy's gonna go back to school," John stated.

"Yeah. I kinda figured that," Dean said gruffly.

"Dean," Sam said softly.

"No. No, it's cool. You don't want to hunt. You just want to have boring, safe, apple-pie life," Dean spat out. Almost as soon as he said the words, the older brother wanted to take them back. Sammy's face crumpled just a little bit.

"Dad's okay with it. And I'm not gonna give up hunting...not entirely," he said.

"So, what? It's gonna be a weekend and holiday deal?" Dean asked, trying to keep his voice light. To not show how much this was killing him.

"I thought I'd look for an apartment. Maybe my old one. Even if it is crispy fried," Sam said, trying for his joke.

"No. No, no, no. Sammy. Get a different place. You don't want to torture yourself," Dean objected.

"I'll get the computer," John stated.

"Uh, Dad...why don't you let us handle the computer?" Sam suggested.

"Why?" John asked.

"Because even though you're adapt at texting, you can barely work a toaster and my lap top cost a pretty penny," Sam responded. John raised an eyebrow. Dean stared. Aw, shoot, Sammy. Why'd you have to say that? he wondered. To his surprise, their father merely shrugged.

"Ah, what can I say? When you're right, you're right," he stated. Dean let out a breath he hadn't been aware that he was holding. Sam opened up the lap top and immediately began a search. For a few minutes, John and Dean watched as Sam perused different apartments.

"How 'bout that one?" Dean suggested after awhile. Sam shook his head.

"Too close to the old apartment," he disagreed.

"Right. Sorry," his brother apologized. Sam just dismissed it with a wave of his hand.

"How 'bout this one?" John queried, eyeing an apartment.

"Little too expensive, Dad," Sam objected, glancing at the price. They continued to search. Then, they caught site of an apartment that could work.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. I think we got somethin' here," Dean stated.

"I think you could be right," Sam agreed.

"If it's such a good price, why hasn't been sold yet?" John pointed out. Sam frowned and checked to see who the owners were. Then, he laughed.

"'Cuz it's bein' leased by Zach and Becky," Sam told them.

"What? Little Becky? The one who's brother we helped out and she ended up discoverin' what we do?" Dean queried. John looked at them in surprise. They had told.

"Shapeshifter," Dean explained, seeing their father's expression.

"Ah," John commented. That made more sense. You couldn't exactly dismiss that little phenomenon away.

"That's the one. And I'm the only one who can call her that," Sam replied.

"Who are Zach and Becky?" John questioned.

"Friends from Stanford. They've always been really picky about who buys stuff they sell," Sam told him.

"Especially since they're probably expectin' little geek boy back," Dean teased.

"Jerk," Sam tossed out.

"Boys," John warned before Dean could respond with usual comment.

"Sorry," Sam and Dean apologized.

"Okay. Sammy, you tell your friends you're interested in buyin' the place, and if you'll give me the number, I'll call Stanford and see if I can get you back in," John instructed. As Sam began an E-mail to his friends, he rattled off Stanford's number. John dialed and got himself transferred to the dean of the school. Dean listened as John spouted off something about Sam taking the year off because of unfortunate circumstances and had needed to figure out how to deal with them. Surprisingly, the dean seemed to buy it. A few minutes later, John hung up the phone.

"Well, it took some sweet talkin', but I got you back in, Sammy," he stated.

"Thank you, Sir," Sam acknowledged. "And Becky just wrote saying that they're lookin' forward to seein' me again," he continued.

"Let's get a good night's rest, and then we'll take off in the morning," John advised.

"Yes, Sir," Sam and Dean agreed. Sam shut off his computer and the boys went to bed. Dean sighed silently. He didn't want Sammy to leave, but knew he couldn't stop him. He couldn't and wouldn't stand in Sammy's way. Dean closed his eyes and led himself into a breathing exercise that always helped him get to sleep. Sam's eyes were closed, but his mind was going a mile a minute. He couldn't believe he was actually going back to school. And that Dad and Dean were cool with it. He couldn't wait to get back into the swing of things. Listening to Dean's rhythmic breathing, Sam was lulled to sleep. Early in the morning, both were woken up.

"Wha---wha---" Sam mumbled.

"Where is it?" Dean added.

"We've got a long drive back to Palo, Alto. Best get a move on," John told them.

"Yes, Sir," Sam and Dean chorused. Since the trio was already packed, it didn't take them long to get ready. John checked them out and they took off. Hours later, when they arrived at campus, Sam's friends, Zach and Becky Warren were there to meet them.

"Sam! Dean!" Becky exclaimed.

"Becky," Sam greeted. The trio shared a hug.

"Sammy, can you get settled okay? Or do you want me and Dean to stay?" John asked.

"I think I'll be okay, Dad," Sam assured. "But don't be a stranger. Visit, keep in touch," he continued.

"Of course. I mean, how else are we gonna make sure you don't kill yourself by studyin' non-stop?" Dean teased, reaching up to ruffle his brother's hair.

"Hey! What am I? Twelve?" Sam protested. John laughed.

"How is Sam gonna be able to tell the difference between a social or business visit?" Zach wondered.

"For business, we can use our old signals," Sam stated.

"Good idea," Dean approved.

"Do you still remember the knock?" John queried.

"Yes, Sir. I've never forgotten it," Sam assured.

"Well, Dean and I'll get goin' and let you get settled," John stated.

"You guys are welcome anytime. Day or night. You'll always have a home with me," Sam told them. Dean tried to swallow the lump that decided to take up residence in his throat. Home. A place he had wanted for a long time. Now Sammy was offering that to him...to them. And then, in an uncharacteristic move, he grabbed his brother and pulled him into a hug. For a moment, Sam held the position, reveling in Dean's warmth. Maybe he should go with them. It wasn't like he had anything here. Then, the youngest Winchester shoved his brother away.

"Dude. No chick-flick moments. Your rules," he reminded his brother. Dean gave Sam his customary name.

"Jerk," Sam tossed back good-naturedly.

"Take care, Sammy. Don't forget to---well, that's up to you," John said, cutting himself off before he could tell his youngest to keep up the practice of salting his room.

"Don't worry, Dad. I will," Sam promised. With that, Sam grabbed his stuff and followed his friends to the apartment.

"Sam, we're so glad you're back. It'll just be like old times. I mean, you'll have to retake the LSAT, but that should be a cinch since you pretty much aced it last year..." Dean shook his head as the three chattered away. Then he and father got into their vehicles and drove away.

THE END

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Yes, I'm aware that the ease Sam had finding an apartment in his price range given their financial position and getting back into Stanford is unrealistic, but it's the way it worked out.