A/N: This was written a while ago and I just never posted it. It's set somewhere in the first season. I've come to realize that I do a lot of character studies, so here's another one.

Disclaimer: If I owned Supernatural would Jensen Ackles or Jared Padelecki be wearing a shirt?

College Boy

Sam sometimes believed that there were two versions of himself. There was the Sam who had shaken free of his family constraints, gone to college, fallen in love, been all set to take up his mantle as another average, normal human being.

That Sam had been all set to go to law school, to make use of that Latin that had been trained into his head; give that keen intelligence something to do. He would still be putting bad guys behind bars, still be fighting for justice, but it was a form of justice that existed on the surface rather than in the tumultuous undercurrent of the supernatural world.

He had been on the straight and narrow. His credit cards bore his name; his bank account held his money, his driver's license had his real information. There were no credit card scams for Samuel Winchester, future lawyer, college boy.

He had been dreaming of the future, of standing at an altar watching Jess walk towards him, gowned in white. He dreamed of white picket fences, of pushing a little girl with her mother's golden hair on a swing.

And then there was the other Sam, the one who knew the best way to kill a vampire and how to properly salt and burn bones. The one who knew how to impersonate a federal officer, who knew how to run a successful hustling scam. That Sam was part killer, part predator, part con-man, part vigilante, and all hunter.

People can hide their nature, but they cannot change it.

Hunter Sam still lived under the skin of College Sam. Hunter Sam was present in the way he made a cursory glance around a room upon entering, automatically noting the quickest exits, or what objects made the best weapons; in the way he kept the salt and matches closer to each other in the cabinet, and always where he could find them. The precautionary locking of all the doors and windows at night; making sure that the kitchen knives were sharp enough to be used. Hunter Sam had not disappeared at all.

College Sam never really existed. He was just another personality that Hunter Sam put on, one more in-depth and more realistic than any other, but still just a mask. When Jessica died College Sam died with her, burning to dust and blowing away, a discarded shell of a person who could have been.