Okay, so every one has their own version of THE fight i.e. the night Sam left for Stanford and events leading up to it, but spare a few moments for this one, anyway :) Should be about 3 chapters when ready.

(yeah, I know cheap motels very seldom have bathtubs, but let's suppose this one does)



Despite his tall stature Sam had nearly perfected the art of going unnoticed. He still looked too young for people to buy him as a fed or a marshal or whatever they were posing as each time. But Dean and John took care of waving badges and looking convincing and Sam just sort of hung in the background. Mostly people seemed to assume he had some job to do for the other two and just left it at that. When he desperately needed a cover he posed as a tech assistant. Apparently those could look young.

That was how he got into Andy Carey's bathroom: as the assistant of the crime scene photographer ("Dean Carter"). They were at Carey's house investigating a series of mysterious drownings. So far three young men had been drowned in their own bathtubs and the only thing the Winchesters could come up with was that it was some kind of angry spirit. They could not find any clear pattern to the choice of victims (other than them being young males) or locations and had no idea who's ghost it was or what object or place it was tied to. They had been researching the thing for days and what initially looked like a simple in and out job was turning out to be one frustrating mess.

Andy Carey's body floated in the cracked, mustard yellow bathtub. He was still wearing his work uniform of cheap polyester. Greenleaves - Cross State Convenience Stores. He had tried to claw his way out of the water so desperately that he had torn some of his fingernails clean off, and blood from his hands tinted the water a light red.In their years on the hunt the Winchesters had gotten pretty used to grisly sights and Sam had seen way worse than this. But there was a sadness in the air that was getting to him. The house felt empty. And he knew it wasn't because it's owner had been lying dead in the bathroom for the last three days (before being discovered by complete coinsidense).He knew with a certainty that it had always been empty. No family photos, no debris of a life lived strewn around. Just some groceries, a TV and a few changes of clothes. Nothing to show that anyone had ever really lived there, cared about the place, made any kind of home there. If there had been a grieving widow or a striken friend crying in the other room it would almost have been ... better ... somehow. But there was nobody. Just cops and hunters. Sam could feel an air of depression surrounding the dead man's house, a veary listlessness so thick you could almost choke on it.


As they left the rundown house and climbed into the Impala Sam shot sideways glances at the other two Winchesters. His father wore an expression of weary annoiance, Sam guessed it was less because of the scene they had just examined than because they had no further leads on their spirit. In the light from the passing lamp posts Dean looked worn out, so much older than he really was. He sat uncharacteristically quiet, rubbing his hand over his face every so often and staring off out the window as they drove towards the motel they called home this time.

Sam allowed his body to slump into the back seat. God, he was tired. Tired of sitting in this goddamn car. He tried to squash the insidious little thought but his mind rambled on. Tired of shitty motels, tired of watching people die, tired of wondering when it'll be Dad or Dean lying there... With an effort, he stopped himself. Don't even go there.

Instinctively his hand flew up to his breast pocket. Lying snug in the inside of his jacket was a letter from Stanford University. Full ride. A ticket out of here. It had been lying in his pocket for a week now and he still hadn't told his family that he had received an answer. Or that he had applied, for that matter. He knew he would have to soon, but there was always a reason to postpone it. He should probably do it now. Get it over with.
But he was just to goddamn tired.


They entered their motel room in silence, finding small things to do, milling around listlessly. Sam went into the bathroom to brush his teeth, mostly because he couldn't think of anything else to do.

At first he didn't notice anything strange. Then he looked to his left and saw the bathtub, full to the brim. In an ice cold flash he realized exactly what was about to happen. He turned around, his movements painfully slow to his own perception, as if the air itself was resisting his movements, trapping him. He started to call out to Dean, saw his brother look up, and then the door slammed shut and he felt an incredible force hit his side, sending him skidding along the floor. He slammed into the bathtub, and then felt himself lifted up bodily and thrown into the wall above it. For a second he felt the grip of two terribly strong hands on his arms and then it was back to an elemental force, slamming him into the water, his head banging hard against the bottom of the tub.

Sitting on his bed Dean heard his brother call out, his cry cut short as the door slammed and then the sound of thuds and splashing. In a heartbeat he was at the bathroom door, throwing his body against it, kicking it, calling out Sam's name. John immediately realized what had happened and was with him in an instant, but all they could do was hammer on the door and listen terrified to the sounds of splashing, images of the scene from Carey's bathroom blocking out every other thought.

Lungs burning, Sam struggled against the thing holding him down. But there was nothing to fight, no hands holding him, only inexorable pressure pinning him to the bottom of the tub. For a split second he thought he could see a face floating over the crust of the water, but as he flailed helplessly at it it disappeared as if it had never been there. He could feel his lungs cramp, trying against his conscious efforts to draw breath, draw in the water. He tried to kick against the bottom of the tub grabbing the edges with both hands, but it was useless and he could feel his own strength giving way, hands slipping on the wet porcelain. The sounds of his brother and father shouting seemed to be coming from a long way away. The water in the bathtub filled his nose and mouth and became the crest of a silent tidal wave. In the strange hush of it Sam felt himself carried away.

Dean continued throwing himself desperately against the door. He never even realised John had left his side until he heard his father's voice ordering him to get out of the way and looked up to see him hefting the fire axe from the hallway, ready to swing. But just as he lifted the axe the door suddenly gave way and swung silently inwards, into a horrifyingly still bathroom.