a/n: Here it is, another crazy idea of mine. I still don't have any time to write fics, but this idea wouldn't die. I've been bouncing this one around since "Jus In Bello", and picked it up again after the Season finale, inspired with a plot. As usual, it's going to have a few twists. It'll be several chapters, and includes spoilers all the way up to the finale.
You'll have to let me know if this first chapter sparks your interest. I'm biased, since I already know how the rest of it is going (very excited about it). Happy reading!
Matthew wearily grasped onto the stair railing, his palm gliding up the smooth surface of the stained wood as he made his way up. It felt cool, likely because of the crisp February air. He had one of the more brutal days that a Stanford graduate student could endure, berating himself for choosing such a field as Sociology. He should have gone into Forestry instead. His theories deviant behavior of children who lost a parent early in life were blasted as hearsay after his thesis presentation. Granted, he didn't have life experience to draw from, but who did in his field?
He reached the top of the stairs, fumbling in his pocket for the keys, all while protesting with a tired grunt. All he wanted was to see his bed. He unlocked the deadbolt and pushed the door open, being greeted by that slow creak. That was something he and the super tried to fix on numerous occasions but never had any luck. After a while, they determined the place wanted it that way and left it alone. Matthew found it an oddity considering the apartment not too long ago had been rebuilt from a fire.
Slamming the creaky door behind him, he threw the keys on the table, removed his jacket and threw it over the back of the kitchen chair. He slunk into the bedroom and collapsed onto the bed, rolling on his back and closing his eyes. Everything felt so soft, so wonderful, but after a minute he noticed the chill in the air. He sighed, hoping that didn't mean the heater was broken. He was too tired to check it out though, and figured an extra blanket instead would work. He was sound asleep before he could fetch it.
"Sam." The voice was barely audible, and Matthew didn't give it a second thought. It was likely coming from the place next door.
"Why Sam?" The words were no louder than a faint whisper, but it was enough for Matthew to stir. His eyes cracked open, focusing on the ceiling above him.
"What the-" He suddenly popped up, stunned by the image above. He closed his eyes and opened them again, only to find he wasn't seeing things. There was a blond woman in a white nightgown, her eyes were vacant, her long, wavy hair was splayed on the ceiling, and blood pooled from her stomach.
"Sam," she said, louder, now more than a whisper. Matthew stood up on the bed, reaching his arms up, trying to help her. A giant wave hit him and he fell backward, throwing his arms in front of his face as the ceiling and the woman burst into flames. He waited for the heat to consume him, covering his face in safety, but suddenly he felt a cold breeze. He lowered his arms and pushed open his left eye, seeing that the ceiling was normal and the woman was gone.
"Sam!" Dean shouted, shaking his brother, who was in the adjacent bed. He was screaming and flailing, entrenching himself in a set of blankets and sheets.
"Wake up Sam! You're having a nightmare." Sam's eyes shot open and he took in a sharp gasp, staring with disturbed eyes into Dean's worried face. He was sweating and panting heavily, unable to move while Dean held onto his shirt, making sure his brother in his incoherent frame of mind wouldn't do anything irrational.
Sam's breathing slowed and he choked a bit while reality set back in. He tried to speak, but only small grunts left his mouth. He closed his eyes tight and opened them again, becoming aware that he was in a motel with Dean.
Dean let Sam go and ran his hand through his spiky hair to calm himself down from his abrupt wake up. "Jesus Sam, you haven't done this in a while. I thought we were done."
"Me too," Sam weakly said, his bearings now almost intact.
"What were you dreaming about, and don't give me a smart ass answer this time."
"Come on Sam. Just tell me."
Sam sighed in defeat, sitting up and shaking off his confusion and distress. What ever he saw was vivid, just like the other dreams. The psychic dreams. He didn't want to believe this was one of them though. "Jessica. She was on the ceiling, burning, but-" Sam froze, for he wasn't exactly sure what it meant.
"But what Sam?"
"There was another man watching her burn."
Dean examined Sam carefully, hoping that Sam's expression would give him better clues. All he saw his long, shaggy hair hiding his face, obstructing any clues. "Jess huh? It was probably a bad dream."
"Yeah, probably." Sam got up and shuffled over to the bathroom sink, dousing his worried face in a cool splash of water. "But-"
Sam shook his head. "Nothing. Why was that man there?"
Dean shrugged, not sure if he wanted to dismiss this or help his brother through it. "Did the place look familiar?"
"Yes, and no. It looked like my old place at Stanford, but it was different."
"Like rebuilt different?"
Sam's heart sank and his face turned white. Dean was right, it was his old apartment. He couldn't accept this was a vision though. They were supposed to be gone. "Yeah, maybe."
"Oh, great," Dean said, knowing that look. "You had a psychic dream."
"No," Sam denied.
Dean's glare of disbelief pierced through Sam, letting him know he wasn't buying his act.
"We can't go to Stanford, Dean. We're in the middle of something intense here. Besides, the guy wasn't dying. Just a little freaked out."
Dean thought about it, but still wasn't accepting. "We've got time to check it out."
That got a sharp reaction out of Sam. "Check it out? What if I run into someone I knew? If I recall correctly, we're now officially dead. Besides, I'd rather focus my time on our other situation."
Sam sighed and climbed back into bed, rolling over and pulling the covers up to his neck.
"Don't ignore this Sam."
"Good night Dean," Sam replied, brushing him off.
Sam ignored him and did everything to tune out his brother, but Dean was too bothered to go back to sleep. He heard the TV clicked on, the volume kept low.
Sam sighed and got up, sitting on the edge of the bed, joining his brother in some bad late night TV.
"What are they selling now?" Sam asked, noticing the bad infomercial.
"Some sort of weight-loss product. You have been looking a little chunky there lately." Dean cracked a smile, but Sam wasn't biting.
"Who stuffed his face with a one pound meatball sub before bed?" Sam asked. Dean shrugged, acknowledging his brother had him there, and turned his attention back to the TV.
Sheila heard the frantic knock on her door and raced to open it. A very bothered Matthew breezed by her, working his way into the apartment and dropping on the couch.
"You didn't make any sense on the phone Matthew."
"I…I don't get it. What I saw, it isn't possible."
Whatever he saw, she had never seen him this spooked. It did seem more than just a bad dream. "Why?"
"I've been raised my whole life to believe that ghosts aren't real. They can't be. I…I just wonder-"
"Maybe it was a sign from God? You know, a burning bush type of thing."
"A burning woman? I don't think so."
Matthew agreed, realizing he wasn't making any sense. He was still too rattled. He leaned forward, letting his head fall in between his legs while his hands were clutched tightly behind his head.
"Are you okay?" Sheila sat down next to him and rubbed his back gently.
"I don't know."
"Once you've taken a minute to calm down, I'll share what I found out."
Matthew lifted his head up and looked at her surprised. "So soon?"
"It's Google Matthew. Pretty quick and easy. You know the fire that happened at that apartment over two years ago? Jessica Moore, a 22 year old student, died in that fire. Her boyfriend was in the apartment too, but he got out." She got up and brought over her laptop, showing him the picture.
"That's her!" Matthew now felt sick to his stomach. He was seeing ghosts. How could this be? "Did you get the boyfriend's name?"
Matthew's face turned white. He couldn't believe this was happening. "She mentioned the name Sam a few times."
"What did she say?"
"Just Sam. Wait, the last time she said 'Why Sam'?"
"You think he had something to do with her death?"
"I don't know what to think about any of this. You Google the name Sam Winchester?"
Sheila nodded. "Yeah, but I didn't have much luck. A Sam Winchester came up on the FBI's most wanted list, and he apparently died in custody in Colorado a week ago. Chances are that ain't our guy."
Matthew felt his excitement deflate a little. "No, probably not." He shouldn't expect all his answers tonight.
"We can start checking around here tomorrow. I'm sure he was a student too. Maybe we can find him or a friend and get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, you should get some sleep."
"Sleep? I can't sleep. I certainly can't go back to my place right now.
Sheila looked at him carefully and sighed, realizing he was still a mess. She grabbed the remote and turned the TV on, frowning after flipping through a few channels. "Nothing but bad infomercials."
All sorts of alarms went off inside Matthew when she flipped to the next channel. "Wait, wait, stay on this one."
A stunned Sheila froze, the remote still pointed to the TV. "You looking for some weight loss stuff? You seem pretty thin to me."
"I…I don't know. Something tells me it should be on."
Sheila shook her head. "Whatever. I'll go get us something to drink."
Matthew watched the TV, accepting that under normal circumstances, under normal feelings, there was no way he'd pay attention to this crap. This meant something, somehow, but he wasn't in the frame of mind to explore it tonight.
He was too rattled to pay attention anyway.
"Where are you Sam?" The voice faintly said.
"Jessica, can I call you Jessica?"
The ghostly figure didn't answer, only keeping her vacant stare while on the ceiling.
"Jessica, Sam should be with you." A quick breeze blew through the apartment, scattering papers and chilling him to the bone. He shivered and cowered in fear.
"Why aren't you here?"
"How do I help Sam find you Jessica?" The breeze grew into a gust, pinning him against the wall.
"Let him go."
"Let who go Jessica? I want to help you."
She screamed and burst into a fury of flames, and he shielded himself from the onslaught.
Sam shouted, startled out of his dream. He adjusted himself in the passenger seat of the Impala and worked through the stupor that often came after a deep sleep, feeling Dean's worries eyes burn through him. Dean sighed in hopelessness and pulled the Impala over to the side of the road, throwing the gear into park and turning to face Sam.
"What? I fell asleep."
"You weren't sleeping Sam. You were staring out the window the whole time. You zoned out. It was a vision, wasn't it?"
Sam's head dropped down toward his lap, overcome by a nervous feeling that often came when Dean stared him down like that. "No. It was a daydream." His eyes drifted back up, peering out through the dirty film on the windshield. "Where are we?"
"Wisconsin. Morton House, remember?
"Yeah." Sam squirmed as those glaring eyes still fixed on him. "Look, I'm okay. Stop worrying."
"Was it about Jess?"
Sam paused, reluctantly accepting he couldn't avoid the question. "Yes."
"Was that other guy there?"
"Then it was a vision."
"I don't know what it was."
Dean huffed and dropped his head to the steering wheel, for he honestly didn't know how to deal with this. "Sam."
"Don't worry about this Dean." Sam was irritated now, and didn't need his big brother's overprotective nature to kick in. Not now. He briefly wondered if it was Dean's way of changing focus away from his situation. "I didn't get an intense headache or feel any pain. It can't be a vision. Just keep driving. I'll be okay."
Dean continued to stare, unconvinced.
"Morton House, Dean. We don't have a lot of time here. It'll be night soon."
After another good long glance he relented, shifting the gear back into drive and pulling back out into the road. He wasn't going to let this slide, but Sam did have a point, they'd have to let it go for now.
"Whoa, you're not going to believe this." Sheila was pretty excited by her find, even if it took a few days. She hadn't had any luck so far finding Sam Winchester, or where he went after he left school. She couldn't even find on old friend of his or Jessica's that might have some answers. But she struck gold here.
"What is it?" Matthew walked over to the desk. Sheila had offered to come by and do some more searching after she got off work. He felt okay about letting her come over, since he had a few days of no ghost visits.
"Sam Winchester's mother died in a house fire when he was six months old. The date, November 2nd, 1983."
"No kidding?" Matthew looked over her shoulder to see the info on laptop. His jaw dropped when he saw the dates. "The same day as Jessica, only twenty-two years earlier?"
"That's too weird to be a coincidence."
"Where did his mother die?"
She read further into the obituary. "Lawrence, Kansas."
Matthew sunk into a nearby chair, his face wash with disbelief. He couldn't fathom that it would be there. Whatever was happening now, it wasn't anything he could dismiss. "I was in Lawrence last month, remember? The University of Kansas sociology department. I was researching for my thesis."
Sheila's mouth hung open, for that was strange too. "Like I said before, too weird to be a coincidence."
"So, there's a reason for all this?" Matthew got up and started pacing around, his mind too flooded over why this was suddenly happening to him. "Why now? The fire was two years ago."
"Holy crap," Sheila said, her latest search providing another goldmine. "I think I might have your answer. The guy on the FBI most wanted list, that's the same Sam Winchester."
"No kidding?" Matthew rushed over to peak over her shoulder onto the screen. The mug shots she found gave them exactly what they needed, for he recognized the same shaggy hair, the mole on the cheek, and the dour "carrying the weight of the world" eyes that he saw in the old student ID picture they managed to get hold of the day before. "Whoa, it is him. Sam is dead?"
"It appears so."
"So Jessica shows up shortly after he dies? Does this mean she can't find him?" Matthew began pacing again, for now he was thinking about how to fix this. He scoffed at himself, for a few days ago he couldn't accept ghosts were real. "How do we get two ghosts to hook up with each other? Don't they have the power to do that? Isn't that something God does, reunite spirits with loved ones?"
Sheila took a long pause to think it all through, and then came up with something. "Maybe she's asking you."
Matthew rolled his eyes and threw his arms up in the air. "Oh, like I'm the clairvoyant one. Come on, all I'm doing is living in the apartment. Jessica's mere existence goes against everything I've ever believed in."
"Maybe next time she shows up, you can ask how you can help."
Her answer made Matthew even more upset. "Next time she shows up? If she shows up, if I'm not scared into a stupor when that happens."
Sheila closed the lid of the laptop, stood up and grabbed her coat. "It's been a long day Matthew. We'll pick this back up tomorrow."
Matthew nodded as she touched his shoulder and gave him a reassuring glance. She smiled at him and he forced a smile back, even though he was still bothered. He watched her leave the apartment and exhaled a worried breath, retreating into the bedroom. He fell onto the bed and closed his eyes, trying his best to stop his mind from running in circles.
"Where are you Sam?" A faint voice said.
a/n: You like? Let me know if chapter two will be worth your while. Thanks for reading!