Los Angeles…

The glimmer of light beats out into the sky of perpetual night. A beacon against the shadows; some hope against the darkness. Laced with beauty, filled with joy, Los Angeles stands as a pinnacle of all. The odour of humanity wafts through the air … a perfume … a poison? Beauty cannot transcend evil, cannot pull a veil over the corruption, which seeps through every pore, through every possible crack in the very fabric of Western society. Yet we ignore it; we set our narcissistic gaze upon the light, the bright and the handsome. It is gentle on our eyes, and on our fragile minds. To look upon the truth of life – the darkness and deceit, the vanity and arrogance – would be to look into a mirror of one's soul. The soul. A place where no one should delve willingly. The soul. The blackest region of our thoughts. The soul…

Why should we remain in front of that mirror? Facing its judgement? No man, no woman, no creature on this earth desires to hear their own failure. Tell us we are beautiful and tell us we are just; tell us we are worthy of this world, and not a nameless face. One in six billion, we are nothing but blots on this mighty earth. We seek comfort in the misfortune of others, all the while seeking for eyes to be upon us. The spotlight falls upon me … and now I am a star …

This is Los Angeles…

The eye gazed out across the City of Angels, unblinking and unmoved. It stung to look; yet the allure was too much. The smell of corruption was pungent even from here. So powerful, a ghostly image of humanity, the city was pale against the moonlight. It was inviting, but also terrifying. A place to flee to, to hide away from the world until the end of time. Everyone was a star there. Everyone mattered. No one was special.

"Where are we going then, Sam?"

The vehicle jolted as it past over a crevice in the road, knocking Sam Winchester's head against the window softly and bringing him back to reality. His eyes had been fixed and dead, until the kindly voice had discovered him, alone with his thoughts. Blinking, Winchester peered through the gloom of the truck, until he could just make the beaming face of Silas, his elderly companion, smiling across at him. Every wrinkle, every crease, every speck of dust in the old man's face was filled with love. What do people do without someone to love them? We all take it for granted, having that reliable companion to comfort and hold us. A lover. A mother. A father. A brother. A sister. A wife. Only when they are gone does one truly become thankful for them; only when we know that never again will they caress our cheek gently with the back of their hand, or whisper softly into our ear. A wife. The centre of a man's world. To take such a thing away was to rip the spine from his back, or steal away his heart. Now Sam had Silas, not his mother, not his father … and not his wife. There was nothing left but to run … and never stop running…

"Where are we going then?"

There was no emotion in Sam's eyes, as he thought the same monotony that he had thought every day for the last…

"Into the city. Somewhere quiet."

The smile was enough. Silas never needed to say more; the connection between he and Sam had been forged over many years. Some might question the dourness, the uncommunicative nature of the billionaire, but Silas let him be. There the two of them sat, alone in the back of the truck, alone from the world. Their driver sat up front, saying nothing and hearing absolutely nothing. Three lonely and distant travellers on the road to oblivion. A pilgrimage into sanctuary. That was what Sam dreamed of: sanctuary, a place to call his home, a place to call his own, a place where the Winchester family name meant nothing. That was what Los Angeles would be to him; hundreds and thousands of faces, each one famous in its own right, each one loved in its own right. There would be no one to hound him daily, no one to pursue him. And no one to disturb his well-earned peace.

Sam fled to try and forget his past. He no longer wanted to live with the memories that clung to him like a haze of smoke. He wanted to forget those cold nights three years ago when he would awake suddenly, his heavy heart beating softly with the images of his parents still fresh in his mind. He longed to forget how he would turn slowly, the silk of the covers against his bare flesh, and reach out for something warm … something to hold on to …

And there she was…

Her scent was of perfection. Roses and flowers do not describe how a man feels about his true wife, and Sam was no different. He would caress her milky skin and bring her into his arms. He had thought then that he had finally stumbled into heaven, that he could say his final farewells to his father and brother, and advance into what was a new start, a new beginning, and an entirely new life. It takes less than a second though to snatch it all away. That's all it had taken, a single second, one raging inferno, one night, and it was all over. His love was over. Sam Winchester was over.

The Boulevard lay below, in the winding hills that led into Hollywood. Just one right turn was all it would take and his descent into anarchy would begin, his descent into sanctuary… his descent into forgetting it all. Then why wasn't the driver turning? Why weren't they now plunging down into the suburban valley, the concrete jungle? Sam watched closely as a trickle of perspiration ran along his arm, before dropping gently off the palm of his quivering hand and to the floor. The nerves had taken him yet again, as he looked inquisitively at Silas' unperturbed features. The old man cocked his eyebrow in a silent reply of confusion. Gently, Sam lent forward towards the driver's shielded compartment.

"Where are you going? This isn't the way."

He tapped softly against the wooden board, searching for some sign of life in there. There was movement, a dark shape shifting restlessly before the windshield. The shape's head moved ever so slightly to the left, and the faint outline of its features could be seen against the glare of the moon. The lips parted slowly.

"It is tonight."

The icy voice sent a chill through the truck, as Silas shot a black look in Sam's direction. Before either of them could move, the truck rumbled to a rapid halt, throwing Sam against the wooden board, rocking his entire stunned frame. Something rough fell over him and he heard the gruff and winded howl from Silas' throat. Everything was in shadow, with the lights snapping on and off, severely hindering Sam's sight. His head knocked against something metallic and then… everything went still…

The stench of leather filled the air, the pungent odour smacking against his lips. Sam opened his eyes and saw nothing but darkness; he bit down hard and found his teeth around the material covering the seat. He spat viciously and rolled away; rubbing his temples to shake away the grogginess that still lingered between his eyes. Glancing over he noticed a silent figure, tweed ensemble and all, lying awkwardly across the opposite seat. It was Silas. Sam went to move towards his companion, but a crackling burn shot up his left ankle, and he slumped back down to the floor once again. Then he saw it…

The crimson mask…

"Sorry, man."

Silas was lying on his back, his arm bent behind his head, awkwardly. There was a coating of scarlet across his face, the mask over his hidden eyes. He wasn't moving. Sam felt his stomach churn, a sickening knot against his insides to see his friend in such a way. Still his ankle throbbed, but he managed to reach across to his butler anyway. His hands were shaking as he felt the motionless body before him. Gazing down at his own hands, he saw and he smelled the copper tang of the blood originating from there. What was that faint moisture in Sam's eyes? Tears. For the first time in so many years, he was weeping over the bloodied figure beneath him. Through the haze of sorrow he saw the broken glass, the bloodstained window bearing the scars of its collision with Silas.

Thunder from the ground…

The rumble in the distance brought Sam back to reality, as he looked away from the gruesome vision before him and out through the broken window. He winced in the harsh light, blinding him momentarily. Shielding his eyes, he peered into the night. Something stirred in the gloom. An apparition. A demon. He released his hand from Silas' bloody grasp… and dragged his own weary frame towards the car door. Clutching at his fragile ankle, he kicked at the handle with his free leg; once, twice, and finally it broke ajar. The warm air kissed his face as a greeting, but the distant lights grew ever closer. Tentatively he stepped out into the night… but his eyes fell back into the truck, the shadows flashing by his eyes. There is nothing quite like staring into the eyes of a dead man… of a dead friend…

"I'll see you again."

With that, Sam rolled from the truck and onto the autumn ground amongst the golden leaves. Silas' pale face was snatched away from him, drawn back inside the vehicle. Sam crawled backwards on his elbows, shaking with exertion, grimacing at the guttural pants heaving from his chest.

The truck was on its side, with its front end crumpled. A faint fire was flickering from the surrounding wreckage. A funeral pyre against the night sky. The mechanical thunder struck the ground once more, and Sam glanced over at the approaching light. It was almost upon him now. He found his place against a rotting tree in the undergrowth, hidden by the bushes, dripping with moss. Hi eyes narrowed.

The demise of a hero. The end of an era. One more loss in the Winchester family. The cursed name. The haunted. The lost. Farewell, old friend.

"Sam, don't be afraid."