The door slammed open, causing Sam to jump in his desk chair. He sighed when he realized it was just Zach and Logan. "Have you guys ever heard of knocking?"
"It's my room too," Zach pointed out. He yanked open a dresser drawer and pulled out a polo shirt, which he slipped over the white t-shirt he was wearing.
"Come on, man, you gotta see this," Logan said.
Sam turned back to his computer. "Sorry, guys, I'm trying to catch up."
Zach moved aside a hamper half-full of dirty clothes to stare into a mirror on the wall. He ran his hands through his short dark hair, smoothing down places where it was sticking up, then turned to face Sam. "Okay, I get your whole 'studiousness' thing, but you missed like two days two weeks ago."
"I have to pull an A," Sam said. "I gotta get this done." Sam went back to typing up his notes.
"Okay, that's it," Zach said exasperatedly. "Logan?"
Strong hands grabbed Sam's shoulders and pulled him bodily out of his chair.
"Hey! What are you guys doing?" Sam flailed an arm, but Logan was almost as tall as him, and Zach was strong enough to manhandle him despite his being shorter by a few inches.
"You're coming with us," Logan grunted as they pulled Sam out into the hallway. They let him go, and Sam stood staring at his roommates.
"Are you guys insane?"
"Dude, we haven't seen you since you got back. You've been at the library or shut up in your room since then," Zach said. He paused. "Logan, grab his crutches."
He waited until Logan had disappeared back into the room Sam and Zach shared before he said quietly, "I don't know what happened with you and your brother, Sam, and I don't think it's any of my business, so I'm not gonna ask."
Sam stared at the ground. He'd been trying to avoid thinking about that for two straight weeks now.
"But you gotta snap out of it, man. Stop working all the time and come have some fun, you know? Or call your brother and fix things. One way or the other."
Sam stuck his hands in his pockets and wrapped his hand around his phone. Dean had called almost constantly for more than a week. He'd left seventeen voice messages, none of which Sam had listened to. The calls had started to slow down after that, and now, Sam hadn't gotten any calls since yesterday. Dean had finally given up.
Logan reappeared with the crutches. "Are you coming?"
Zach looked at Sam questioningly.
Sam rolled his eyes. "You really think I need to stop working?"
Logan smirked. "If you stopped working all-together, we'd start to worry that you were abducted by pod-people or something. Just chill a little, that's all we're saying."
"You've been seriously boring lately," Zach added.
Sam sighed and stuck the crutches under his arms. "Fine. Where are we going."
Logan grinned, leading the way toward the door. "There is this way hot blonde moving in three doors over, so we're gonna go help her move in."
Sam raised an eyebrow. "And you thought I'd be helpful with that?" He used the crutch in his right hand to tap the cast on his foot.
"Sam, we're doing you a favor," Zach said, as if it pained him. "She won't have anything to do but talk to you while we do the heavy lifting." He paused, put a hand on Sam's shoulder, and put on a face of mock seriousness. "You can thank me later."
Sam shoved the hand off his shoulder, grinning.
Logan paused with his hand on the doorknob. "But you should know, I already called dibs on asking her out."
Sam rolled his eyes, and Zach snorted. "Don't worry, Logan. It takes Sam at least six months to get up the nerve to ask a girl out."
Sam chose to ignore the comment and followed his friends to the outdoor hallway of their floor. Logan and Zach bolted down the cement stairs while Sam stayed behind, looking over the wrought-iron railing. Sure enough, there was the blonde, struggling to unload a cardboard box out of the back of an SUV. Zach and Logan quickly took charge, taking the box from her and asking which apartment was hers. Sam snorted. As if they didn't know.
She followed them up the staircase, carrying a tall Rubbermaid container that hid her face from Sam's view.
"This is our other roommate, Sam," Logan said as they passed him. "He's faking a busted leg so he doesn't have to help."
The girl let Logan and Zach go past her. "It's the one with the door open," she said. She set the Rubbermaid down, giving Sam his first view of her face.
He tried to keep himself from staring, but holy crap, she was the girl from the library! The one that always studied in the social sciences section, where he worked. He'd been trying to work up the nerve to talk to her for, what, a semester and a half now? It was like karma was rewarding him for swearing off hunting.
She stuck out a hand. "Nice to meet you, Sam. I'm Jessica Moore."
Sam tried to unscramble his brain. What was he doing? Oh yeah. "I'm Sam," he said, sticking his own hand out.
Jessica grinned. "Yeah, I got that."
Sam swallowed and tried to think of something intelligent to say. "Nice day," he finally settled on. He was glad it was a nice day, because it meant she was wearing jean shorts and a fitted navy t-shirt and a cute little smile like she was trying to figure Sam out.
She was beautiful, sure. But more importantly, she was…real. She wasn't putting on a show for anyone: she wore hardly any makeup, and her long blonde hair hadn't been styled, it just flowed in golden waves down her back. She was just being herself.
Sam wondered what that would be like.
He'd been at school for a year and a half now, and he'd never let himself get close to anyone. It just wasn't smart when you were a part time hunter, when your gun-wielding brother might show up at anytime, hoping for help digging up a grave.
But Dean wasn't going to be showing up here, not anytime soon. Maybe never again. It felt like a punch to the gut, thinking about never seeing Dean again, but Sam still wasn't quite ready to think about just letting it all go, either.
Besides, wasn't it about time that Sam did something for himself? To make himself happy?
"So how'd you break your leg?" she asked as Logan and Zach came out of her apartment and headed back down to the parking lot for another load.
"Oh, uh…" Sam started. "Hunting accident." Yeah, good, keep the information to a minimum.
"Was that fun? Besides the getting hurt part," she added, laughing at her own slip.
Sam shrugged. "It was all right."
"I've never been hunting," she said. "Don't think I'd have the guts to kill something, you know? Even if it is just an animal."
"Yeah," Sam said. Me neither. Never again.
A/N: Thanks so much to anyone who made it to the end. :) This was my first multi-chapter fic and it was pretty intense. If you actually made it all the way through the story, I'd really appreciate some feedback, positive or negative. If you're too nice to leave negative feedback in a review, you can send me a PM too. Thanks again to everyone who's been reading and to everyone who's reviewed. :)