Thanks to KAZ2Y567i for the awesome depiction of Sam-without-Dean in Nothing Else Matters. That was an awesome fic and you should totally read it too. It inspired me to write this one. That story was only on chp 2 at the time of this writing, so if that story continues and they seem to be similar, I apologize, it was not intended. I think I have an idea where that story might go, though, and I'll try to stay away from it.

Thank you to everyone who reads this, please drop me a review if you have a minute (Good, bad, go to hell, or whatever. It's how I gauge if I should keep writing or salt and burn my computer.)

Disclaimer: I wish I owned Sam and Dean, but I don't. Kripke, Warner Bros, etc are the rightful owners of all involved here. No profit is being made from this fic, it just helps me pass the time until Season 3 starts.

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It was a shitty little bar in the middle of nowhere, but it reminded him of half the bars he had ever been to in his life, and it felt as much a home as anywhere else. He sat in a dark booth in the most remote corner of the dive, instead of at the bar or near the dartboard, where someone he once knew would have always sat. He took another swig of the whiskey he was drinking and turned the page of the ancient text he was pouring over. Looking, always looking, for a way.

He knew what tomorrow was, not that it mattered to anyone else, and the day would pass just like the one thousand, nine hundred and eighteen days before it had. Alone. There would be no parties or cake to mark his third decade of life, just lonliness, and maybe, if he was lucky, killing something evil.

Sure, there had been a time after Dean died that Bobby tried to help, but like his brother before him, he had succeeded in pushing Bobby away to deal with his grief. Bobby rarely called anymore, and Sam would never call him. Bobby was too close, he knew too much about Sam's pain, so Sam shut him out completely. The further away from Bobby he got, the safer Bobby would be. The easier it would be for Sam to live with himself, not having to account to another living soul.

He chuckled quietly to himself. Living soul. He thought, shaking his head ever so slightly. He'd do anything to save one soul. He had even broken his promise to Dean and tried to make a deal with the Red Eyed Demon to get him back. But the monster had just laughed and mocked him, turning and disappearing into the dark night, still cackling maniacally.

He had thought about suicide, more than a few times, but remembering the tears in Dean's eyes when he made Sam promise not to do that, he couldn't bring himself to break that promise. He wondered occasionally if his recklessness on his hunts counted, but he didn't think about it hard enough to let it worry him. He didn't really care if he got killed on a hunt. Then all this would be over.

Sam had chosen to continue the hunt. Dean had tried to talk him into buying a new alias and social security number and going back to school, knowing that with the right amount of money, Sam Winchester could become Sam Matthews, immigrant from Canada, or any of a million different possibilities. But Sam knew there was no 'normal' life left for him. Demons had caused his life to take the course it had so far, and taken his whole family from him, and he would devote the rest of his miserable existence to tracking down and killing each and every one of them that he could.

And besides, it was the family business. It was the only thing left that made him feel close to his long-since-dead family.

He rarely spoke to anyone these days, most conversations consisting of his drink order and nothing else. No longer the lightweight he was 5 years ago, it was always whiskey, straight up.

He turned another page and rubbed his face, feeling the long scar that now creased his visage. It was the prize of the first hunt he went on after Dean... The vampire he was hunting ducked and weaved when he thought he would roll and cover. The vamp grabbed the machete Sam was weilding and grazed Sam's face, cutting a deep vertical gash along the right side, above and below his eye. He was thankful that human anatomy makes eyes indented, a feature which saved his vision in his right eye. I really could have used a partner on that hunt, he thought.

Sam made a note in a book bound in leather, much like the one his father used to carry. Sam's journal had already surpassed John's in thickness, probably due to the mass amount of research Sam had been doing every day for the last 6 years.

Most interestingly, Sam now knew Colt's secret to killing demons. Not just exorcising them or sending them back to Hell. Actually killing them.

He closed the book he was reading and tossed back the small volume of whiskey remaining in his glass, and strode confidently from the bar, a light of renewed hope showing in his eyes. Tomorrow would be the day.

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Author's Note: I couldn't seem to get past the first part for the longest time,

but now I think I know where I want this story to go and feel comfortable

posting this with the reasonable assumption I will add another chapter in the next

day or two. As I stated in the beginning, PLEASE REVIEW! I get discouraged when I don't

get any; hence why my story 'The Lurking Fear' has all but died.