A collection of shorts about Sam's time at Stanford. I've read and loved many Stanford stories, so I couldn't help but add my efforts to the pile. This wasn't a planned collection just something which was furiously typed out early one morning so all mistakes are mine. Please excuse the sucky title and summary.

Usual disclaimers apply.

Stanford and Sam

The library was his sanctuary, his quiet place in the bustling Stanford University campus. He spent more time there than anywhere else, even more so than his tiny sparsely furnished one bedroom apartment.

His always chose the same table, towards the back of the library. The lighting there was dim so not ideal for reading but Sam could observe the entire layout of the place by simply raising his head – old habits die hard I guess.

He'd first noticed her around six months after arriving at Stanford; she was casually strolling along the aisles of books, seemingly deep in thought. His first glance was not his last and he caught himself staring over the top of his book. She was beautiful; tall and graceful, with curled blonde hair that flowed down her shoulders. Sam was not a poetic guy, being raised by hardened hunters had seen to that but he'd read enough to know that she was the sort of girl who inspired poetry.

After that, he found himself waiting for her. His face no longer buried in his books. Sometimes she came alone, sometimes with friends but each and every time she took his breath away.

"You're like a May morning." Sam thought, only he actually said it aloud because before he could stop himself the words had tripped off his tongue and stumbled out of his mouth. His face coloured quickly as he realised what he'd said and he got up to leave fumbling awkwardly to pick up his books.

"You're unusual Sam Winchester" Jess replied.

She knows my name. Sam's tongue felt huge now and stuck to the roof of his mouth. "Thanks, I guess." He stuttered realising his name would never sound as sweet to him again as it did right now.

"I follow you around for weeks, waiting, hoping that you'll speak to me and then when you do...you say the single most beautiful thing about me that I've ever heard." Jess said, a small smile lighting up her face in a way that made Sam's body tingle.

"I..." Sam began but Jess pressed gentle fingers against his lips.

"Shhhhhh don't spoil it." With that she was gone, her soft curls bouncing on her shoulders as she walked away.

Sam made to stand up, wanting to follow but his eyes fell upon a piece of folded paper, resting upon the open pages of his book. He opened it slowly, fingers trembling. It was a phone number and the name 'Jessica Moore' written in beautiful curved handwriting and finished with a doodled flower which she had given eyes and a huge grin. Sam smiled to himself, the biggest dimpled smile his face could manage without aching.

Sam didn't spend so much time in the library after that.

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Their first real dinner date took place at a late night diner called Jaspers; neither of them were exactly rolling in cash but the company alone made Jess feel loaded. Sam settled himself into a booth, his long legs meaning that his knees were bunched under his chin in the confined space. Jess giggled and Sam frowned at her before they both broke out laughing helplessly at the absurdity of it all.

They sat there for a long while, time speeding by unnoticed as they talked, swapping jokes about their classes and class mates whilst attacking their food with gusto. Jess took the opportunity to let her eyes wander over Sam whilst he talked, drinking in the fine details of his face. She adored the way his nose crinkled when he smiled and how his hazel eyes darted away embarrassed whenever he was paid a compliment. It hadn't escaped her notice how completely oblivious Sam was to just how attractive girls, and certain boys, found him and her roommate had been unashamedly jealous when she and Sam had first started dating. Jess ate happily, stealing the occasional french fry from Sam's plate and he ended up finishing off her huge slab of apple pie, everything felt so good she thought to herself that she could look at him forever.

As they left the diner to head out on foot for Jess' dormitory, an intimidating huge hulk of a man stepped out from the darkness of a nearby shop doorway blocking their path. He quickly produced a handgun which he shoved in their startled faces before demanded money. Sam, Jess' gentle and loving Sam, moved swiftly with practised ease. He stepped forward, effectively creating a barrier between the man and Jess, before he sucker punched the man and made a grab for the gun. Jess barely had time to acknowledge her terror, it all happened so quickly. One minute the man was up waving his gun around and the next, he was kissing tarmac, out for the count and Sam was emptying bullets from the gun's chamber onto the sidewalk. Sam didn't seem shocked, like having a gun wedged under your nostrils was a normal everyday occurrence for him, he just seemed mightily pissed off as he earnestly asked for assurance that Jess was unharmed.

A couple of months later in early August, Jess had put on her favourite summer dress and had hurried to meet Sam in the park for lunch. Sam was late and she sat on their usual bench, admiring the view and lapping up the warm sunshine when someone sat down next to her. Jess recognised him in an instant as a guy named Tony who worked as a Barista at the Starbucks just outside the Stanford campus, a regular haunt for very nearly all the Stanford students. It was a Sunday and the park was packed with people out to enjoy the fine weather but Tony had made Jess feel isolated and fearful the moment he had stuck his hand on her knee.

"Don't." Jess said through clenched teeth, shoving his hand away and moving to get up.

He grabbed for her wrist and gripped it hard. "Don't be like that pretty Jessica, I know you like me." Tony yanked her wrist so that she was sat down beside him again.

Jess didn't hear anyone approach but suddenly Sam was there, grabbing Tony and hoisting him up by the collar of his jacket with one strong hand. A woman pushing a baby in a pram stopped to gawk at them open-mouthed as Sam shoved Tony down to the ground, thrusting Tony's face into the long grass. Sam leaned over him, his mouth close to Tony's ear. "If I ever, ever, see you near her again I will hurt you."

Jess had seen this same Sam that night outside the diner, tough unshakeable Sam, but it still astonished her. As Sam loosened his death grip on the back of Tony's head, Tony got up promptly stuttering an apology and ran. As he disappeared from view, Sam's entire body seemed to uncoil, tension diminishing by the second and he slumped beside Jess on the bench. "He didn't hurt you, did he?" Sam asked, his tender fingers probing the wrist which Jess didn't realise she was cradling.

Jess turned to look at Sam, relief evident on her beautiful face.

"I'm going to get you a personal attack alarm." Sam muttered frowning as he examined the skin of her wrist for bruising.

"Are you kidding me?" Jess said breathlessly, letting a shaky smile dance on her lips, "I've got you."

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Sam's past was a mystery to Jess, a vast infinite mystery that she promised herself she would unravel sooner or later. She tried, frequently, by asking about his childhood and his family but such questions were always met with the same response. Sam would shift uncomfortably and his face would grow pained. Jess didn't want that; she wanted to know everything about Sam but not at such a price, so after awhile she simply stopped asking.

Later however, as the blissful first few weeks of dating advanced into blissful months, right out of the blue Sam started opening up about his memories. Jess, too stunned to interrupt, would crane her neck forward hastily to listen. Sometimes Sam paused mid sentence, his gaze becoming distant and Jess would prod him in the ribs, his right side where he was ticklish, just to make him grin and draw him out of his reverie.

Sam brought up the subject of his older brother, Dean, more than once and odd things seemed to prompt Sam's sudden remembrances of his brother. Like the time he took Jess to the gallery exhibition she had been talking about for weeks. Sam stood for an age staring at one painting in particular and didn't even look round when Jess joined him at his side, planting her hand into his. He grasped it gratefully, giving it a brief tight squeeze. "Dad had a leather jacket which he gave Dean as an 18th birthday present. I was jealous at first, till I realised what the jacket represented. To dad, it meant following in his footsteps, moulding Dean to be more like him. I wasn't so jealous of Dean after that." Sam offered her a sad smile and moved away towards the other exhibits. Jess paused for a moment to look at the painting. It depicted a young man stood alone on a desolate hillside; hunched in a worn brown coat as though bracing himself against a ferocious storm.

Jess learned quickly that Sam's memories were not always unhappy ones. One morning, she woke to find Sam missing from their bed. She'd struggled out from under the snug covers to find Sam in the kitchen, singing along to the radio whilst making a pot of coffee. Sam smiled warmly when he saw her before reaching out a hand to turn up the music. He playfully grabbed Jess around the waist, spinning her around the small kitchen. "Dean loves this song." Sam chirped gleefully and right at that moment, Jess knew she loved it too.

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Sam had a preference for baggy clothes that, much to Jess' surprise and obvious delight, hid a muscular well-toned body. He kept his hair long and when Sam dipped his head, chestnut strands falling forward to cover his eyes it became a precursor Jess recognised as Sam's way of dealing with situations where he felt out of place or uncomfortable. Jess saw it rarely but if they ever found themselves amongst large groups of people, Sam's posture took on an air, which made him appear lost and forlorn. In those rare moments, Jess would press herself into his side, snaking an arm around his waist before dipping her hand to rest in the back pocket of his jeans.

Sam kept secrets, secrets that gave him nightmares but it wasn't until they had moved in together that Jess realised just how badly. Sam often woke in the early hours of the morning, sitting bolt upright in bed, her name and the names of his father and brother ripped from his mouth in a pained scream. Jess slept so lightly that more often than not she awoke too. She would put a hand on his shoulder, easing him backwards until his head was resting on his pillow once more then she would run a hand repeatedly through his hair until his eyelids fluttered closed. Jess let her leg wrap around his body, Sam's breathing would steady as sleep regained its hold of him. Jess would find herself laying there awake, Sam held tight against her as his trembling subsided, wondering exactly when the protector had become the protected.

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Their first Christmas brought them closer together than ever before but Jess was still figuring out how little she really knew about Sam Winchester. Mid December, she had decorated their tiny apartment and in the corner of the room placed a real Christmas tree adorned with hand made garlands. Sam had been delighted and his huge smile was worth every moment of effort. Their happiness at sharing Christmas together temporarily erased the dark cloud which had hung over them ever since the appalling murders which had occurred earlier in the month. All three of the murder victims had been female Stanford students and the Police presence at the University only served to enhance growing fears that there was a dangerous serial killer on the loose. Sam had become extra cautious when checking their apartment doors and windows were securely locked at night and Jess had finally agreed to carry an attack alarm whenever she went out alone.

Christmas Eve had been perfect. They'd stayed up late, watching Christmas specials on television and drinking home-made egg nog before stumbling off to bed comfortably drunk. Jess woke whilst it was still dark and sobered up the instant she heard a clatter and realised Sam wasn't in bed. She lifted her head to see the bathroom light was on, soft light spilling out from under the closed door. She climbed out of bed and wandered over to the door. She could hear movement coming from the other side and was ready to knock when she heard Sam gasp in pain. Instead of knocking, Jess pushed the door ajar tentatively, taking a sharp breath when she saw Sam sat on the edge of the bath, blood dripping down his hand forming a crimson puddle on the floor from a wound which was hidden from view by his jacket. He looked up at her, his face grimy and eyes laden with exhaustion.

"Sam?" Jess whispered, somewhat frightened by the weary look in his eyes.

"It's okay...I'm okay." Sam said trying to get up.

She quickly stepped forwards, reaching out a hand to ease him out of his jacket. Once the jacket had been removed, Jess could see there was a series of deep puncture marks on his forearm. She took a soft towel and pressed it against his skin, wincing in sympathy as she put pressure on the wounds. "Did a dog bite you?" The question sound ludicrous to her own ears even as she said it. Sam had seemed pretty inebriated and had been in bed with her only a few hours before. Now he was dressed, sober as a judge and bloodied. Nothing about it made any sense.

She noticed straight away as Sam lowered his head, his hair hanging forwards shielding his eyes. "Yeah, just a dumb dog." Sam muttered trying too hard to sound like he was amused. Jess chewed her lip and nodded weakly. Sam was smart in a way which made Jess' head pound but when he lied, he was as transparent as a five year old stealing cookies before dinner time. No more was said about it but Jess held firm to the belief that Sam would tell her the truth when he was ready.

A few weeks later, a report appeared in the papers saying that the serial killer must have left the area because there were no further mysterious murders at Stanford University. In fact, the Police were puzzled. Jess read the article with a confused frown. No more mysterious murders sure, just plenty of mysterious unanswered questions.

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I'm planning on doing another chapter of Stanford shorts which will included an actual appearance by Dean (maybe John too I'm still not sure) as this feels a little unfinished. Despite being a total Sam girl, I do love me some Dean. Please let me know if you'd like to read more...