Hey guys! Hope you enjoy this fic.. It's preseries, AU, 2 years into Sam's stay at Stanford.. This my second supernatural fic so go easy on me! I'm not exactly the best writer in the world... Please review! I just figured everyone deserves to be with their family on christmas, including the winchesters... enjoy!

Disclaimer: I almost forgot to put this... Don't own supernatural... Sigh. Too bad. I was really hoping to find Jensen and Jared underneath the Christmas tree come Christmas morning.. At least there's always next year huh?


Sam got out of the car that he had rented and swung the door shut, his eyes never leaving the building in front of him.

The Super 8 Motel.

Which, according to the Winchesters' hunting friend, Caleb, was where John and Dean Winchester were currently staying for the holidays.

"What the hell am I doing here?" Sam muttered quietly to himself for what seemed the millionth time since he had left Palo Alto. If he was honest to himself, he wasn't quite sure how he had ended up here. For some strange reason, it seemed like the last 12 hours on the road had gone by like a blur.

Part of him felt like a fool, standing in Smalltown, USA, expecting his family to accept him again. Hadn't John told him that if he went to college, he wasn't allowed to come back ever again? That if he left for Stanford, he was betraying his family and turning his back on all those who needed someone to save them and fight against the evil lurking in the world?

Part of him felt scared and uncertain. What exactly would his father say to him if he saw him standing right outside their motel room? He was certain that they would have a huge fight again; similar to the one they had had when Sam had announced his decision to go to Stanford, and he didn't want that. It was Christmas for crissakes, and there was no way he was putting his brother through hell again. He knew how much his brother hated watching his father and younger brother fight, hated having to stand by and do nothing, hated having to choose a side.

Another part felt defiant. Even if his family didn't exactly celebrate Christmas, he would be damned if he were alone this Christmas. He would be damned if he didn't get to spend time and see his family during the holidays, even if it meant spending it by sharpening knives and polishing guns. Even if it meant digging up a grave to salt and burn it. No matter what had been said or done, they were his family and he missed them. He had good friends, close friends at Stanford. But they never replaced Dad and Dean in his eyes. Besides, he was sick and tired of lying to them about who he really was. And sure, Dad had told him to never come back. Fine. But since when did he obey Dad's orders anyway?

Despite all this, a small part of Sam felt hopeful. Once again, it was Christmas after all. Maybe for the sake of Christmas spirit, they would let him back in, if only for a couple of days. Maybe, and this was a big maybe, Dad would forgive him and things would be okay between them again. After all, why did he have to choose between college and his family? Why didn't he get to have both? After all, there were always the different holidays and different breaks he could go hunting with his family.

For a couple of minutes, Sam just stood there, torn between getting the hell away from there and tearing up the stairs and knocking on room 324, which was supposedly the room they were staying in. All his emotions were leaving him confused and unsure of himself.

"Damn it Pete. You just have to be a real sweet talker huh? This is all your fault. I swear to God when I get back..." Sam mumbled under his breath for what also seemed like the millionth time. After all, it was because of his friend, Pete James, he was here in the first place...

"Pete! Pete! Hey man! Wait up!" Sam yelled to his friend and roommate of over two years. He had spotted Pete just exiting the library as he himself was exiting one of the numerous school buildings found on the Stanford campus. Last night, they had agreed

that after classes, they would meet up and go to the nearby bar together for a round of beers. Seeing as they had both been swamped with school work for the entire week since it was the last week before the Christmas break, both had been looking forward to a night off.

"Hey man what's up?" Pete replied, grinning. "What's with you? It's like you haven't seen you in forever, the way you were yelling. I mean, you're the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see when I go to bed, unfortunately. What more do you want? But don't worry man, I get it though. After all, who can resist seeing this handsome face 24 hours a day huh?"

Sam laughed, although there was a bit of sadness in his eyes that Pete thankfully missed. In some ways, his friend really reminded him of his older brother. "Me and the rest of the world, Pete, me and the rest of the world. As for the whole yelling thing, I thought we were gonna head over to Benny's for a couple of drinks, remember?" As he said this, the two strolled over to Pete's car, a red '64 Mustang. Much like Dean, Pete loved his car very much and threatened to harm anyone who scratched or even just badmouthed his baby.

"Oh yeah! Look, I'm really sorry Sam but I can't go." he replied, walking over to the driver's side of the car and opened the door.

"Why not?" Sam opened the door and shifted the different papers found on the passenger seat before getting in. Pete then started the car and drove out of the parking space.

"Well I got a call from my dad a couple hours again. I'm expected to be at my parents' house by tomorrow. They want me to spend the whole Christmas break with them, so I have to pack my stuff and all. But you should still go you know. God knows we've all

been working our asses off this week, especially you. If you want, I can drop you off there before I head back to the apartment." Pete stopped at the stoplight. Turn left and they would be headed to towards their apartment nearby. It was conveniently located 5 minutes away from the library and the building Sam had most of his classes. Turn right and they would be headed to the bar where most of Stanford's students hung out and went to unwind.

"No it's fine. I'll stay and help you pack. Besides, it wouldn't be any fun without you being rejected by almost every single female you hit on." Sam replied, teasing his friend as Pete made a left turn.

"Haha very funny. But you're damn right you know."

"About what? You being rejected?" Sam challenged.

"No dude, that it won't be fun without me. Let's face it Sam, your life would be real boring without me around." Pete shot back, a triumphant smirk on his face.

Sam grinned. "You have got to be the second most egotistical person I know in my entire life."

Pete raised his eyebrow and said in an insulted tone, "Only second? Who's first?"

Sam's smile faded slightly at that. "My brother, Dean."

By the time Sam had said this, they had already arrived at their apartment building and they both got out of the car, slamming the car doors. They walked to their apartment in relative silence. When they arrived at the door, Sam took out his key, placed it in the doorknob and turned it until he heard the click. He removed the key and Pete then turned the doorknob and opened the door for Sam, smirking. "Ladies first."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Well why didn't you say so? I would have let you go first." he replied, grinning.

Pete mock glared at him. "Are we going to stand here all night debating who's more of a chick between the two of us or are we gonna suck up our pride and just go in?"

"Only if you go in first."

"Fine. I've got a lot of packing to do anyway."

Pete walked in, a smirking Sam right behind him.

As Pete headed for his room, Sam went for the fridge, grabbing two beers for them. He went to Pete's room and began helping Pete pack, folding clothes here and there, sorting them out in different piles. Growing up, his family had always moved from one place to another, packing constantly and quickly. To Sam, this was a piece of cake, something he had experience in. Something that reminded of his family, a family he hadn't seen in 2 years, a family he wouldn't be seeing for a long time and most definitely would not be spending Christmas with, he realized with a pang of sadness.

"Hey Sam?"


"What are you doing this Christmas?" Pete asked cautiously. It was the first thing he had learned about Sam Winchester: never ask about his family. It'll just be useless, seeing as he doesn't talk about it.

"I'm probably just gonna stay here. You know, me, myself and I and a couple bottles of beer. And all the homework they assigned us for the holidays. Oh, and they'll probably gonna be running The Christmas Carol on HBO on Christmas Day so it won't be that bad. Don't worry about me." Sam answered, anticipating his friend's next few questions in those few short sentences. He really didn't feel like hearing "Who's gonna stay with you?" or "What are you gonna do?" or even "Are you sure?". He had made his choice 2 years ago and he was just going to have to face the consequences of that decision like a man. Besides, what would Dean say if he heard his brother blubbering about how lonely he would be on Christmas? "He'd probably say it's to be expected of me." thought Sam wryly.

"Look, I know you don't talk about your family very much, heck, not at all, but could you just tell me why?"

"Why what?"

"Why you never talk about them. Why you insist on being alone during holidays. Why you always have this glint of sadness in your eyes if on the rare occasion you mention your brother. Why you seem really angry and tense if on the rare occasion you mention your dad. Why you have this weird look on your face whenever people bitch about their parents or their siblings or their families. You don't have to tell me everything. Heck, you don't have to tell me anything. But just in case you feel like talking, I'm here to listen." Pete said seriously. Every once in a while, when the situation called for it, gone was the Pete who made inappropriate comments at inappropriate times.

"I don't wanna talk about it alright?" Sam growled and stormed out the door.


Looking back, Sam realized that it wasn't the best way to deal with the situation. But he had just been caught off guard and surprised that Pete had actually noticed those things. Then again, he should have expected him to notice those things. He was studying medicine after all, and he had to be pretty observant and have a keen eye for things.

Sam knew that Pete was just looking out for him. Wanted to make sure his buddy was alright. The good thing though, they were able to resolve that particular argument and for the first time since he had arrived at Stanford, Sam had been able to tell, no, to confide in

someone about his family, Oh of course, he hadn't included the part about demons and ghosts and spirits and rock salt and guns and knives and fire and hunting. Just the basics.


Pete looked up from the TV as he heard the doorknob turn and the door open. His roommate came in with a resigned, thoughtful look on his face. He wasn't going to press though. He had already seen what would happen if he did that.

"So. Where'd you go?" Pete asked suddenly, breaking the silence.

Sam looked away, focusing on the cracks on the floor. "The park. Just walked around for a couple of minutes. Then Starbucks. Had a cup of coffee."

Pete raised an eyebrow. "For 5 hours?"

Sam looked back at him, crossing his arms defensively. "I just had to think alright?" he replied, annoyance gracing his features, shuffling his feet and looking around, focusing on anything but Pete.

"Woah, I was just asking. No need to go all defensive on me. Its fine, I get it. I understand." Pete raised his hands in a calming position, TV forgotten entirely.


"You done with your packing?"



"Thanks for helping."

"Anytime. Whatcha watching?"

"You'll laugh."

"No I won't."

"Sure you won't."

"Come on man. It can't be that bad."

"Promise not to laugh or tell anybody?"


"Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

"For real?"

"Yeah. That Buffy chick is hot."

"Okay. Yeah, she is."

"You want another beer?"

"No thanks."



"I'm gonna tell you."

"Tell me what?"

"Why I never talk about my family. And all that other stuff you said a while ago."

"You sure? It's really fine if you don't want to."

"I'm sure."


Pete looked at Sam expectantly. Sam looked at Pete hesitantly as he sunk into a chair.

"It's not that complicated actually. My dad. He, uh, didn't want me to go to college."

Pete was taken aback by that. "What the hell?" he thought. What kind of parent wouldn't want his son to go to one of the best universities in the country, on a full ride scholarship no less?

Sam chuckled weakly. "Yeah I know right? Pretty surprising, I'm sure. But that's my dad for you."

"Why?" Pete asked, the only word that he was actually able to coherently say.

"It's a long story but long story short, he didn't want me leaving the family. Didn't want me to go too far away."

"Where were you guys exactly, at that time? I mean you guys moved around a lot right?"

"Yeah, we did. That time, we were in a small town just outside New Jersey."

"Well in fairness that is far... So then what happened?"

"I told him I was going to Stanford and there was nothing he could do to stop me."

"And then?"

"We had a big fight. Not surprising really. My dad and I didn't really get along very well." At this Sam laughed nostalgically. "We were both really stubborn. It's a Winchester trait."

"Huh. Well, at least I know why you never take no for answer." Pete grinned a little.

Sam smiled. "Yeah."

"So anyways, what happened after that? What about, uh, your brother? Dean? Was he around?" Pete probed gently, not wanting to push Sam too far over the edge and piss him off again.

"Oh he was around. He just watched us for a couple of minutes, tried to intervene a couple of times but we didn't listen to him. Afterwards, he just glared at us then stormed back to his room. I have no idea what he did though, but I'm pretty sure he could hear us yelling from his room."

"That must have sucked for him. Having to watch the two people he cared about the most in the world fight. Having to choose a side and yet not being able to." Pete said softly, sympathy in his voice.

Sam looked at his friend curiously. "You sound like you know what that's like."

Pete smiled sadly. "I do, unfortunately. Growing up, my parents fought a lot, over the most trivial and pathetic of things. My dad was usually drunk and he used to yell at my mom a lot, calling her names and telling her she was worthless and stuff like that. My mom," he chuckled softly, "She wouldn't say anything, but she would take her revenge in simple things. Like, she would put mild poison in his food, just to upset his stomach a little. Or she would hide all his things, or burn all his magazines. Sometimes, if she was feeling particularly vengeful, she would give away his clothes and shoes to charity. Used to piss the hell out of my dad and they would just start fighting again." Pete chuckled, "Mom was real devious and sneaky like that. Although, if there was anything I hated, it was watching and hearing them fight and not being able to do anything."

"I.. I didn't know."

Pete snorted. "Well, yeah 'cause I've never told you dumbass."

Sam laughed. "Yeah."

"So then what happened?" Pete asked, drawing the conversation back to Sam's family.

"Well, we argued and yelled some more, obviously," Sam continued, "Then he told me that if I went to college, I wasn't allowed to go back anymore."

"Go back as in..."

"As in never go back to them ever again. As in, if you go, stay gone."

Pete whistled. "Harsh. Those were his exact words?"

Sam thought about it for a second. "Yeah, more or less. Actually, it was more like," Sam paused, mimicking John Winchester's deep voice. "Fine! Go to that college! But if you go, then you had better stay gone and never, ever show your face to me ever again!"

Pete raised his eyebrows. "Seriously?"


"Honestly, why do you think he did that?" Pete probed Sam for answers. This was a very interesting story yet at the same time really sad and unfortunate.

Sam stood up and shrugged. "I don't know," he confessed, strolling over to the wall and leaning his body on it slightly, "I guess he just didn't want me to wander too far and out of his control. Ever since we were kids, he was pretty authoritative and controlling. He used to be in the Marines, you know? Felt like I was a recruit growing up."

"You guys were pretty close right? I mean, it was just the three of you since, I dunno, time immemorial?" Pete questioned.

"Yeah, pretty much. I mean, my dad and I weren't the closest father and son team on the planet seeing as we argued all the time, but yeah, it was always the three of us against the world." Sam reminisced.


Sam chuckled softly. "What's up with you man? What are you trying to figure out? 'Cause saying 'hmmmm' doesn't make you a genius."

Pete snorted. "I suppose you would know."

"Seriously though, what is it?"

Pete sighed, contemplating whether or not to tell his friend what he really thought.

'Come on already!" Sam laughed, "What is it? It can't be that earth shattering, can it?"

Pete looked at Sam intently. "You really wanna know what I think?"

"Yeah! Come on already."

"You ever think that, maybe your dad didn't want to let you go was because he was afraid he couldn't protect you?"

Sam looked at Pete like he was crazy. "What man? Come on, I'm a big boy already. I'm pretty sure I can take care of myself."

Pete shrugged. "Well it makes sense. I mean, you said that ever since you were kids, it's always been the three of you right? So what if he was afraid of what would happen to you if he wasn't around? The world isn't exactly rainbows and hearts and cake and chocolate chip cookies anymore. I might not be a parent, but I know for a fact that parents, no matter how grown up their kids are, never stop worrying. Just ask my mom," Pete grinned, "She panics every time my sister or I don't answer our cellphones. When we do answer them, she babbles about the statistics of young adults dying or getting injured

and tells us that we always give her heart attacks."

Sam thought about it for a minute. It made sense. Why did he not think of this before? For the past two years, he had swallowed in his anger and self-righteousness, believing that Dad was being unfair and mean and that he was just plain wrong. That he was against Sam's having a normal life. He had never stopped to think about Dad's point of view. Never considered what that particular argument had made him feel. Never thought about what Dad had really meant. Considering the fact that they hunted the supernatural and they knew the damage and havoc it could cause, of course Dad would be worried that he wouldn't be able to protect him. Dad was just trying to look out for him.

"When was the last time you spoke to him?" Pete's voice broke into Sam's thoughts.

Sam shook his head slightly, focusing back to the conversation. "Two years ago, when I left." he answered.

"And when do you plan on speaking to him again?"

"Umm..." Sam didn't have an answer to that question. Honestly, he had never thought about it before. Sure, he thought about calling Dean once in a while but Dad?

"That's what I thought." Pete declared triumphantly.

Sam raised his eyebrow. "I get it. You're in a preaching mood. Fine. Where are you going now?"

Pete walked over to a spot beside Sam leaning on the wall. "I'm gonna tell you a story." Pete grinned, speaking in a sarcastic tone. "It's filled with rainbows and lollipops and the Care Bears make a cameo appearance!"

Sam snickered. "Oh this should be good." he returned.

"Now seriously man. I mean it." Pete had that serious tone in his voice again. Even though they had known each other for some time now, it still amazed Sam, the way he could switch from one mood to the next.

"My mom, when she was in her twenties," Pete began, "She met my dad, Taylor James. He was a pretty big hypocrite, which, of course, she realized later on in life. But during that time, she thought he was the greatest guy alive. Handsome, sweet, caring, funny,

et cetera, et cetera."

Sam sighed. "I get it. Your mom was fooled. But what does this have to do with me?"

Pete scowled. "I'm not done yet! Stop interrupting me!"


Pete crossed his arms and took on a more pleasant tone. "Now where was I? Oh yeah. So anyways, everyone, including my mom, thought he was perfect. A godsend. Fooled everyone but my grandma. She told my mom that he was nothing but trouble, that she should stop going out with him, that he was just fooling her. She had a great sixth sense that way," Pete chuckled. "They got into a lot of arguments about him. Then one day, she came home with an engagement ring on her finger. My grandma exploded!" Pete gesticulated with his hands and widened his eyes for theatrical effect which made Sam laugh out loud.

"So then what happened?" Sam said, still grinning at his friend's antics.

"Needless to say, they got into a huge argument. The biggest, the longest, the most tense, according to my aunt. Grandma did what your dad did, told my mom that if she was gonna marry that bastard, she was gonna have to do it somewhere else and never come back ever again. So my mom, for once in her life, did as her mother told. She left. She moved to California, had me, figured out my dad was a sonuvabitch, so on and so forth."

"And the connection with me is?"

"My mom and Grandma? They didn't talk to each other for 15 years. 15 years. The only way I got to know Grandma was through my aunt. She was kind of the connection between them. And you know the reason they actually talked to each other again? Last year, Grandma was dying of breast cancer and wanted to see Mom before she died. Mom flew all the way back to visit her. By the time she got there, Grandma was already gone." He continued sadly.

"I'm sorry." Sam said, sympathy evident in his voice.

"Yeah, thanks. Anyway, Grandma left Mom a letter, saying how much she had missed her, how much she regretted their arguments and the 15 years they spent apart. How much she loved her and was proud of her, despite of the choices she made. Mom broke down,

hasn't been the same since. All I'm saying is," Pete paused dramatically, looking at Sam in the eyes, "do you really want to be estranged from your dad for God knows how many years?"

Sam looked down, suddenly his shoes seemed so interesting. No, he didn't want that. Despite everything, Dad was well... still his dad.

"Exactly. So I suggest, this Christmas, you suck up your pride and go over to your dad, wherever he is, and talk it out. I'm not saying you should apologize for everything that's happened between you two, seeing as it's partly his fault. Just... go, okay? It'll be good for you. Work things out. Hug and cry and do whatever emotional crap needs to be done. Alright?"

"I dunno... my dad... he might not want to see me... And I don't even know where he is..." Sam said tentatively.

"Hmph. Excuses. You were never very good at them." Pete said huffily. "Ask your dad's friends where he is. Call your brother. As for the whole 'he doesn't want to se me' part? It's just a chance you have to take." He said decidedly.

"I don't know..."

"Sam!" Pete yelled exasperatedly.

"Fine! I'll go! Just don't blame me if it all gets shot to hell..." Sam said, raising his hands in a placating gesture. "Geez...since when have you been so interested in my life?"

Pete shrugged. "Just trying to help."

Sam smiled. "Yeah well thanks. It's much appreciated."

Peter nodded. "You're welcome. Now start packing!"


That was how Sam had ended up here. After that long conversation, they had started packing his clothes, exchanged a few words and insults and jokes and drank a couple more beers and then had gone to sleep. When Sam woke up the next morning, Pete had already gone, but had left a note on Sam's favorite coffee mug saying, "Don't be such a chicken! I know you're thinking of not going! Go already alright?! Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas! Pete." Sam had then rented a car (he and Pete shared the Mustang and Pete was using it to get to his parents' place), called Caleb asking where Dad and Dean were and had driven 12 hours straight to the Super 8 Motel just outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

"Now or never Sam, now or never." He thought to himself as he began to walk towards the stairs of the motel. He jogged up, slowly at first and then picking up speed, apprehension and excitement flowing through his veins. A few minutes later, he was staring at the brown wooden door with a metal plate on it that read '324'. Taking a deep breath, Sam knocked on the door.

He didn't expect an immediate response. Knowing Dad and Dean, they would be pretty suspicious. Who would be knocking on their motel door? They weren't expecting anyone, as far as Sam knew. He was counting on the fact that Caleb loves surprises, especially the ones that were done to the Winchesters. Hopefully, he hadn't told John that his youngest son was dropping by for a visit.

A few seconds later, Sam swore he saw his dad peeping out of the tiny peephole on the door. A second later, he heard the doorknob click.




Done! Hope you enjoyed! Like i said, please review! It's already done, hence the 'fin', obviously.. It's up to you guys to make your own endings.. Lame excuse I know but it's true. Thanks for reading it! Just a couple of notes...

1. the mustang? i have no idea what it looks like or whatever. i'm not good with cars. all i know is that i love the Impala!

2. the bar, Benny's? fictional... just pulled a random name out of my head. as for Stanford, I know nothing about it. Sure, I've been there but I don't know anything about their holidays and classes and places on campus...

3. the Buffy references. no shame in watching Buffy. Personally, I think it's one of the coolest shows ever. Did you catch the other Buffy reference? just wondering...

Once again, please review! Just press that purple button down there! Thanks and hope you enjoyed! Have a happy new year! (I would say Merry Christmas but Christmas is already over...)