Authors Note: - I haven't written for a long time, it's been hard this season but i have so much I'd like to say and I finally got around to something.

Here's the warning, heed it. I ADORE Sam and Dean, I adore their brotherly relationship more than almost anything, that being said I'm ridiculously and totally a Sam girl, I have never been nor will I ever be a Dean girl, if you're looking for a story about Dean being some kind of martyr and Sam being a bit character to aid his endless struggle to sainthood then you ain't finding it here dude keep moving. This story is a Sam story, I love the brothers to pieces but Sam is my guy. While I'm at it f you're looking for Saint Sam then this story will probably really disappoint too because I like my characters human and flawed. I especially love Sams' shades of grey I love his innocence I love that he can be a little bitch when he wants to be, I adore his desperation to save people, his massive heart, I love his face when he sees his Mom for the first time, I love that he's never once whined about not knowing her, I've always been a believer in it's better to have loved and lost and he never even got to know her so it makes it that much more heartbreaking for me, I love that he died and the love of his life died and his father and his brother died and he suffered it all and STILL kept his heart and his ability to feel so deeply. I LOVE that he's so ambiguous this season, I love that him being ruthless and harsh makes him even more complex to me, I love the absolute fine line he's walking between dark and light, I get how he's got to this point and I find it utterly, mindblowingly fascinating to watch this beautiful boy struggle with everything he is and everything he's assumed to be.

Screw you Castiel and Uriel and demons and heaven and hell and John and anyone else who thinks they have this boy figured out, destiny is not written in stone and you are gravely underestimating this kid if you think you have him figured out. I find it endlessly fascinating to try and peel back the corners to him and I can't wait to see what happens to him from here on out.

So here's a pre-series story about the Winchesters it's a story about all of them but at the heart it's about Sam. Because he's always had my attention. I really hope you enjoy and a new chapter is coming very shortly where the action will being.


Oregon.

He thinks leaves crunching beneath tiny bare feet, he thinks kelpie and water and laughter and Dean.

It's funny the things you remember. The associations your mind makes to a place, Ohio; banshee, Michigan; Skinwalker, North Dakota; pagan god.

This time it's a water demon, some kind of creature, and Dad can't get his head around it. And Sam is grateful. God help him a part of him is grateful.

It's the library you see, it's the miles of endless outdoors and the lakes and the fucking ancient, vast library. He thinks he's in love. Dean thinks he's a geek of course. A bonafide a grade dork. No relation of mine Sammy boy, Dad did you get this kid from the milkman?

Sam wonders sometimes. Pictures a knock at the door and a man there, perhaps a college professor, a man who'd took on a milk round or a bar job to pay his way in the world as he wrote his first manuscript, pictures curly dark hair and a love of classics and hands that are long and a middle finger that bends just ever so slightly like his own.

I'm sorry there seems to have been a mix up, I'm here for my son.

Sam wonders...

There's a difference between wondering and wanting. Sam doesn't want this. Sometimes nose to nose with his father, hands fisting so tightly, nails bleeding into palms he wonders, but he never wants it. And one slam of the bathroom door, one tearful glance into his reflection, one torturous clench of the jaw and he's face to face with everything about him that makes him Winchester.

His father's jaw, his father's narrow nose, Dean's cheekbones and eyes he guesses could be from his mother though he's never managed to see her eyes close enough from the two photographs he's ever seen of the woman.

He's a Winchester alright. No white chariot father's whisking in to take this teen back to his castle.

Sam's sure it'd be a fucked up castle anyway. As much as he may want to be normal, he knows it's an illusion. As whimsical and fantastical as his absent father.

Sam's a freak. An outsider, a drifter, a dreamer, a nobody.

In school he's perpetually the new kid, the kid that chews his pencil and stares from the window, the kid that never sticks around long enough to form a bond, the quiet, hunched, nobody at the back of the room, lost in the sea of faces, lost in it all.

It hadn't always been that way. Once upon a time he'd been cheerful and friendly and barely ignored. 'Hi I'm Sammy Winchester I'm 5,6, 61/2, 7, 8, 9 and I've just moved here from Buffalo, Oklahoma, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tulsa…'

He'd smiled then and tried and became one of them but he'd move on within the month and there seemed little point in ever keeping up the façade after he turned ten. It was at ten he'd lost his friend Jack, Hi Sammy I'm Jack Murphy 101/2 from Minnesota to the werewolf his father'd been hunting, to Dad the small boy had been another nameless casualty, too close to his son for his liking but nameless none the less. To Sam he'd been Jack that showed Sam his fort and split his lunch with him and giggled breathlessly when Mrs Hampton had fallen on her ass in the schoolyard.

To Sam, he'd quit being just a name, and become so much more. To Sam he was the last one, the very last person he'd try for, the very last person he'd let in. The very last person he'd let himself lose.

He doesn't try anymore and without that trying, he unintentionally becomes invisible. Nobody misses you if they barely know you're there. He's become the master at making his new height, his 6 ft 2 and growing frame the smallest ball he can manage. When he's not in class, he wanders, as wanderers do. He sneaks to the back of the football field in recess and smokes a cigarette, or scopes out the corner of the library and researches the case. Nose buried in book, mints hiding smoky breath that'd earn enough of a lecture from his family.

They think they know their youngest. Think they know him so well.

The parts Sam lets them see they do. The scholar and the innocent and the baby they know better than themselves but when his back's pressed to the rusty wall of the bikeshed, when his slightly crooked fingers curl around the smoke, when he cuts class, hides in the school library, carries out more research and loops the J in John Winchester on the trusty sicknote, he wonders if they ever even knew him at all.

Sam hasn't always been this way. He thinks something changed in him with Jack, something more with Mr Wyatt at Truman High and his frigging refusal to ignore or write Sam off. A war has begun inside of him. A need to become invisible vs a need to stand at the front. A need to dissolve into a background he's fucking hated his entire life vs a need to take control of his world, of his choices… Sam never wanted background for him.

He wanted front and centre, he wanted inclusion, he wanted to be on the frontline be that in school or on a hunt. Background wasn't fucking acceptable.

Until it was.

Until the foreground let to death and disappointment and no man sorry I'm leaving tomorrow, until foreground became the hunt and the darkness and necessary casualties Sammy. Until the foreground meant he'd lost himself in the process of getting there.

His family are firmly in the foreground. His family fucking created it. Sometimes Sam thinks of his Dad and Dean and he thinks magic eye. They've always been that way to him. An endless puzzle that he's sure he can figure out, that he can solve if he just looks at them long enough, that they'll become clear…

But they never do.

And Sam's left wondering…watching a puzzle and desperately hoping for it to show itself to him, to reveal itself in all its glory, to finally let him in.

Sam's not only the freak in the real world, he's the freak in his own family too. The outsider, the black sheep. And isn't that the cruellest irony of all.

At 3.30 the bell rings echoing in his skull like a holler in a ravine. Sam waits for the class to file out and slowly stows his books into his frayed knapsack. It's covered in doodles and names and his brother's handwriting and it's yet another reminder that nothing he is belongs to him anymore.

His fingers trace the loops and curves of Dean's inkmanship and he pictures his big brother distracted and bored and making the bag his own.

He wishes he was Dean sometimes. He wishes he was visible enough to stamp his mark on the world, indelibly. He imagines Dean drawing attention from the teacher, making some scathing remark, gaining laughs from the class but detention from the teacher. Sam bets his brother wasn't ignored. Nobody could ever ignore Dean. Dean wasn't background material.

Sam's hand is moving before he even registers and he lifts the corner of the material, brings his pen to it.

Sam, he writes. Goes over it one more time. Sam.


There are three letters in his name. S-A-M. He remembers a teacher saying once, back when he was visible, Sam, 'his name is god'. Sam thought that was odd. Forgettable, he'd thought. Sam is forgettable.

Sammy hadn't been. Sammy was child, was innocence was protected and sheltered and smothered, smothered so hard that Sammy never grew up. Sammy never made it past ten. He became Sam. Sammy had been illusion and faith and none of the real world creeping in to mess him up. Sammy was his past. Sam was his future. Neither were him.