Second Life

An 18 year old Sam Winchester was sprawled out on one of the motel room's beds. He was absent-mindedly flipping through the TV channels, not paying attention to what was on them. He had only one thing on his mind. Specifically, the conversation he had with his guidance counselor this afternoon.

"Full ride, Sam!" Mr. Carter said beaming. "Your grades are top notch and so were your SAT scores. Fill out the paperwork and show up! You are one lucky young man!"

Sam wasn't exactly feeling lucky. Maybe normal kids would be thrilled at the news. Maybe normal kids would be chomping at the bit to announce to the world the fantastic news. Most kids wouldn't hesitate to tell their folks they had scored a full ride to Stanford University.

Sam Winchester was not a normal kid.

He heard the door open and looked over to see his brother, Dean, come inside carrying a shopping bag filled with various items.

"Get over here, Sammy," Dean said as he set the bag on the table. "I just bought some supplies. We need to start getting things together for the next hunt. I want to get it done before Dad gets back."

Sam rolled his eyes, but got off the bed and went over to the table. He sat down in one of the chairs and began pulling items out of the bag. Salt that needed to poured into pouches. Wooden stakes that needed to be sharpened. A silver plate that Sam knew get pounded down, melted, and turned into silver bullets. Batteries for the flashlights. Candles for rituals. New flasks to replace the ones damaged in the last hunt that held their holy water. Lighter fluid for torching skeletal remains.

"It's not for much longer," Sam thought to himself.

College was scheduled to start in two weeks. Everything was ready for him. He had missed orientation because of the poltergeist they had hunted down that week, plus the fact that Sam hadn't been quite prepared to make the big announcement yet. He knew the reaction his was going to get. He also had his plan ready and there was nothing that was going to stop them.

The brothers worked in silence until almost 7 o'clock. They looked up when the door opened and John Winchester entered carrying two bags full of burgers and French fries. They cleared off the table and John began passing out the food. The three began eating.

"So I think I found our next hunt," John said. "It's about 2 hours from here in Iowa. I think there's a werewolf up there from what I've read in the newspaper articles. I figure we can head up there tomorrow."

"Sounds good, Dad," Dean said as he ate his burger.

Sam felt his stomach knot up. He hated to say anything, but he knew he couldn't wait any longer. It was now or never.

Sam cleared his throat. He stared down at his burger. "Actually, Dad… I… I'm not going."

There was silence for a moment. Both John and Dean stared at him.

"What?" John asked sternly.

Sam swallowed hard. No turning back now.

"I talked to Mr. Carter today. My guidance counselor. I got a full ride to college for four years."

Silence again.

"Sammy, that's great," Dean said with a nervous chuckle. "But what about hunting? It's going to be kinda hard to come hunting with us if you're going to college!"

This was going to be the hard part.

Sam mustered up all his courage. "I'm done hunting. This is my chance for a normal life and I'm taking it. I got a full ride to Stanford University. I'm going. And nothing you say will change my mind."

The tension filled the room. Sam could see the rage filling John's eyes. Sam braced himself, preparing for the onslaught.

"College," John spat out bitterly. "You are going to abandon your family for college. Give up everything we have worked so hard for just so you can leave and chase after your own selfish ideas. So you can try to be normal."

Sam filled with rage. "Selfish!? You're calling me selfish!? Look at what you've done to us! Dean and I never signed up for this! We never asked for this life! And now when I have the chance to make my life better you tell me I'm selfish!"

John slammed his fist on the table and glared furiously at Sam. "You are selfish! All that matters is family! That is all you can rely on in this world! And I have done the best I could and have kept you boys alive! Now you want to goes running off and live this normal life you keep going on about. It's crap, Sam. I will never allow it! I won't let you go!"

"You can't stop me!" Sam yelled back jumping up out of his chair. John stood up and straightened up to his full height.

"I'm warning you Sam!"

"Warn away! I don't care what you say! I hate you and I hate this life you've made me live! In fact, I hope this is the last time I ever see you! I'm leaving tonight and I swear to God I am never coming back! I never want to see you ever again!"

John's face turned to stone. He shoved his chair away and stormed over to the door, opening it. He turned back and spoke to Sam warningly.

"I swear, if you leave tonight, it's done. I've had enough of your crap, Sam. You leave tonight and don't bother coming back when it all falls apart." With that John walked out the door and slammed it shut.

Sam stormed over to where his duffle bag was. He had already started packing while Dean had been gone. He threw it on the bed and began throwing his belongings into it.

Dean had been sitting in stunned silence. After John left he got up and looked anxiously at Sam.

"Dude, just calm down," Dean said.

Sam shook his head furiously. "No. It's done. I've had it. I'm not putting up with it anymore. He wants me gone so I'm gone. I'm done with this life."

"Come on, Sam. Just… just take a night to sleep on it. You know how Dad gets when you spring stuff on him. He gets all mad, but he'll get over it. Just stay tonight and we'll talk about it tomorrow. We'll work something out. There's gotta be a way we can all hunt together and you go to school too. Just... you can't go like this."

Sam zipped the duffle bag closed and picked it up. He looked Dean in the eye.

"I'm leaving. It's never going to work. Unless all I do is hunt, he's never going to be happy. And I'm done with it. I don't want to hunt anymore. I'm leaving."

They looked at each other for a moment. Sam felt his chest tighten. The only reason he hadn't left sooner was because of Dean. Because he had never been anywhere without him. He had never been on his own and secretly it terrified him.

But John's words echoed in his ears. Sam swallowed hard and stuck out his hand towards Dean.

"Take care, Dean," Sam said, trying not to sound upset. "Maybe I'll see you around."

Dean stared at him, stunned. He closed his eyes and looked down, shaking his head. He finally looked back at him.

"You're really serious."

Sam nodded.

Dean swallowed hard. He finally gripped Sam's hand in his and shook it. Then he pulled Sam in for a hug.

"I can't believe what an idiot you are," Dean said, his voice choked. "Just… just don't get yourself hurt, OK? If something comes up and you need to do some hunting just do it. Don't forget what you've learned, OK?"

Sam nodded, feeling the tears prick his eyes. When Dean released him Sam quickly turned and walked away. He knew if he stayed any longer then there was no way he would be able to make himself leave. Sam opened the door and walked through it, closing it behind him. He never looked back.