I know I owe a chapter on both L&D and LWD, both of which will be posting soon. But for now...I wondered what it would be like if the djinn got his hooks into Sam instead of Dean, but with the same dreamworld. (Plus, I'm kinda going through review withdrawal.)

I did get some overall feedback from a couple of people, but no real beta-ing, so all mistakes are mine! Mine, I tell you, Mine!!

This is what happened:

Wishful Thinking

(What Is And What Should Never Be – Sam AU)

Sam crept slowly through the warehouse, every hair on the back of his neck standing straight out. If Dean really didn't think the djinn was here, why would his brother have come back for him? Dean rounded the next corner and disappeared from sight. Sam moved to catch up. As he passed an empty room, he felt a cold chill. He looked back, into charged blue eyes and a face covered with tattoos. Before he could swing his silver knife around, the djinn caught him in a bear hug from behind, one hand pressed against his skull.

Sam jerked awake, fighting off the hands holding him.

"Sam!" a woman's voice admonished. "Sam, wake up!"

He rubbed sleep heavy eyes before looking around. Sam sat at a table covered with large textbooks and legal pads filled with notes in his handwriting. He flipped one of the books closed. A legal textbook. "What the hell is this?" he asked of the room in general.

"You not getting enough sleep," the woman's voice replied. It was very familiar. He froze, suddenly placing it. Afraid to look, to turn around, to see if it was who it had to be, Sam sat perfectly still. "Come on, baby. You need your rest. You can study on the plane."

On the plane? Sam still refused to turn around. "I'm flying?" he asked. That meant more to him than just going someplace, it meant Dean would not be traveling with him.

Her laughter sounded so good to his ears. Sam closed his eyes to let it wash over him. "Of course, silly. Did you want to drive to Lawrence for your mother's birthday?"

That sent him spinning around to face her, even if it might shatter this wonderful illusion. "My mother?" he searched Jess' face for deception, but he knew his Jess would never make such a callous joke. Then again, Jess was dead. This had to be some kind of impostor. "We're going for my mother's birthday?"

Jess smiled sadly at him. "Oh, baby, was it that nightmare again?" She slipped down to rest on the arm of his chair, her hands tangling in his hair. "The one where your mom died? Or the one where Dean stole your car?"

Sam dared to wrap an arm around her waist. She felt real. He pressed his fingers into the special spot on her hip and she wriggled and giggled. No one else knew Jess was ticklish there. Emboldened, he asked, "Dean steal my car? Come on, Jess. If Dean stole my car it would probably be to give it a tune-up."

She gave him a funny look. "Or to pay off some gambling debts."

He was about to defend his brother, but her lips pressed against his and he couldn't remember what bothered him, or why.


Sometime during the night, with Jess snuggled up close beside him, Sam decided this really intense dream might not be just a dream. If it were, he would have woken up long before now. Usually after going to bed with Jess he would wake up with a perma-grin and Dean's teasing to look forward to for the rest of the morning.

What if the djinn really could grant wishes? Granted, there was nothing in the literature about people actually living out their wishes, but the myth had to come from somewhere. Here he was in law school, Jess by his side, and on his way home to see Mom for her birthday. No way would Dean or Dad miss Mom's birthday so it would be a full family reunion, and Sam was excited about the prospect.

He grabbed Jess' hand after they found their seats on the plane. Kissing her palm to delighted giggles, Sam felt like he had been given a reprieve after the last year of hell. As the plane took off, Sam wondered what happened the night Jess should have died. Obviously his wish was for her to be alive. How did Mom figure into this?

"Jess?" he asked over the roar of the plane engines. "Can I ask you something that's going to sound kind of weird?"

Jess rolled her head to the side to look at him. "Is it about your brother? Because I am not putting up with his flirting this time. I'm just not, Sam."

Sam waved off her objections. "It has nothing to do with Dean. And don't let the flirting bother you, he's just like that."

She shrugged. "Okay. What's so weird?"

Sam chewed his lower lip for a second, wondering if he really wanted the answer to this. Yes, he did. "Last year Halloween was on a Friday, right?"

Jess got an odd look on her face, like she didn't expect the question to be this weird. She nodded slowly.

"So the following Sunday was the second of November. Did anything, ah, happen? That night?" Sam watched her carefully, looking for clues hidden in her reaction.

Her face fell dramatically. "Oh, honey," she whispered, stroking his arm. "There was no way we could have known. It wasn't anyone's fault." Jess laid her head on his shoulder. "I know you're still beating yourself up over not going home for your father's birthday, but there was no way you could know it was his last one."

"Last one," Sam repeated, a numb sensation crawling up his body. "Dad won't be there."

Jess sighed, shifting to look up at him. "Baby, I know it's still hard, but it'll get easier. You know, with time."

"Yeah," he breathed as he grasped her hand in his. At least Dean would still be there. Dean. Dad didn't die for Dean. Dean wouldn't be carrying all that guilt. Brightening, Sam realized his brother also never missed Mom, because Mom was still alive. What was a guiltless Dean like? What was Dean without excessive responsibility like?

Sam squeezed the warm hand clutching his. He smiled at Jess, causing her to look at him in surprise.

"It's going to be a good visit," he announced, a broad smile spreading over his face. Her jaw dropped open. "Really," he assured her. He couldn't wait to arrive in Lawrence and meet this version of his brother.