A one shot. Sam commits to a future. In this version of things the Winchesters get the Colt not from Elkins but a Bela-like "purveyor of occult items."
It is strange to see it like this. They have worked so hard to track down this gun, bound so much hope to it. And now it lies on a dirty handkerchief in the hand of a short ratty man, laid out like any other merchandise. Which is what it is. The Man has come to the Winchesters' motel room on business. A purveyor of occult merchandise, he has a gun to sell.
John Winchester had nearly laughed out loud when he finally learned where the colt had ended up. In the hands of one of the many small time fences feeding of the needs of the hunting community ("Like rats on a heap o' rubbish" Bobby Singer always said). He had tracked down the man, made him an offer, haggled and argued (as if he wouldn't have given his still beating heart for the means to kill the yellow eyed bastard) and shaken on a price.
Of course the Man has no idea of the gun's true value. The market for occult items is flooded with mysterious bits and pieces, which nobody really knows what do. He doesn't know that he could find much richer buyers for this gun. That he could ask pretty much any price he could think of: your right hand...hell, your first born. He just knows he had buyers and a pretty good price.
But despite the Winchesters' well trained poker faces, something alerts him to their desperation. He still doesn't suspect the truth about his merchandise, but from years of experience he knows that he could squeeze these guys for a little more. So, with an uncharacteristic failure in judging character, he tells John Winchester he can't have the gun just yet. Price has gone up. He wonders briefly if he's overshot the mark but the small flicker of desperation before the anger on the oldest hunter's face tells him to push on.
"We don't have that kind of money and you know that. We already agreed on a price." John growls menacingly. Of course he would pay any price to hold this gun in his hands, but the Winchesters have spent hard weeks hustling, cheating, lying and stealing just to scrounge up the amount already established. They simply have no more money.
Dean has seldom seen his father so angry. He wonders, not for the first time, how far exactly John Winchester is ready to go to get what he wants. What is he willing to do to this man to get to the gun? The closer his father gets to the end of his twenty year hunt, the more Dean wonders how much it will eventually cost. How much of his father will be left afterwards? What lines will be crossed before the end?
But this is not the night he finds out, because a quiet voice from behind him says: "I have something."
Both Dean and John watch in astonishment as Sam walks over to his jacket on the bed and quietly slips his hand into an inner pocket. Dean can't imagine what on earth his brother has in mind. He knows he's not walking around with a wad of cash in his pocket. For a second he wonders if Sam is going for a gun.
The same thought must have occured to the Man because he tenses slightly as Sam pulls his hand out of the pocket. But he's not holding a gun. The object is small and it sparkles nestled snugly in the young man's palm. All oxygen seems to get sucked out of the room as Dean realises what his brother is holding.
It's a diamond. A small one. Sitting on a golden ring.
"Okay it's not cash but you'll get more than you asked of us for it at any pawn shop." Sam tells the Man.
"What, is it stolen?" He asks.
"What, do you care?" Sam answers coldly.
The Man grins.
And then the gun is resting in John's hand and not one of the Winchesters can look at the others.
Sam walks into the bathroom and quietly closes the door.
In the mirror he looks at the man who sold Jess' ring.
He doesn't cry. And he doesn't have any nightmares that night either. He just looks a little harder in the morning.
A little less like Sam. A little more like a hunter.