AN: Hi everyone, here's another AU story for you... hope you all like it.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Supernatural franchise that's all Kripke and Co., I just borrow it a bit... don't worry, I'll put them back when I'm done.
Mid - October 2005
The smell of chocolate chip cookies filled the small apartment giving the area a nice warm feel. It had become a common occurrence the last couple of days with the bounty usually given away to friends and neighbors as the kitchen quickly overflowed with cookies and the occupants were unable to keep up with the supply. However, no matter how much baking occurred, it didn't alleviate the nervousness of the people within it.
Inside their one bathroom, the muted sunlight reflected off the blue tiles giving off a prismed reflection to bounce around the room. A wrist watch laid silently on the sink surface while time slowly ticked by.
"I think it's time." Jessica whispered as she looked at Sam. They had been sitting side by side on the edge of the bathtub since it began, their fingers interlinked, not saying anything – barely breathing.
Nodding, Sam stood and looked at his watch before looking once again at Jess. No words were needed as he watched her pick up the plastic wand. This was the moment they had been waiting for, as cliché as it sounded. Neither one had planned on being here at this moment, and neither really knew how they would react, but the moment was here and it was time to find out if their lives were going to change.
Jess looked at the object in her hand before she looked at Sam in shock. "Two lines, Baby… we have two lines."
Mid - October 2005
The door opened wide enough to let the cold air in along with the bundled man walking through it. It was night in the High Sierra's, but the winter cold wasn't going to halt the two men who were already preparing to do what they had come to the small hunting cabin for.
"So, how's geekboy?" Dean asked as he looked up from the map and notes on the table. He hadn't been surprised when his dad had taken a detour to stop in to check on Sammy; in fact he had thought it had been long overdue. It had been a little over two years since his brother had left to go to college, two years that their family became incomplete.
Shaking off the snow, John nodded as he made his way to the wood stove and poured himself a cup of coffee. "Yeah, seems to be. His new advisor seems to think he'll make a great lawyer, and is confident he'll nail his law school interview that's coming up."
Dean smirked at the thought of his little brother become some hot shot attorney. "Did you actually see him this time, or were you too worried about using the handyman excuse again?" he asked, knowing that there hadn't been actual contact between his dad and brother, that didn't mean his old man wasn't trying to keep an eye on the kid.
John paused a moment before turning back to his oldest son. "No, I didn't actually see him… saw his girlfriend though. Something's going on, but I couldn't find out what it was." He said, concern clearly on his face. Normally he wouldn't have left without finding out exactly it was, but he was needed on this hunt more than Sam's girl needed shadowing.
"Maybe once we're done skragging these bastards we can drop in and find out what's happening. After all, if she's put up with him this long, she at least deserves honorary family status." Dean said with a grin, only to bite it back at the look his dad gave him. Yep, pushed too far. Now they'd be lucky to return anywhere close to Stanford before the second coming. Sighing, he looked away and prepared their equipment for the werewolf pack they needed to get rid of before hunting season fully took hold.
Late - October 2005
Sam and Jessica sat and listened to the doctor in shock. Sure, they had known Jess had been under a lot of stress with trying to get into the new medical fellowship, but surely that wouldn't explain why she was almost five months pregnant without realizing it!
"As I've explained, sometimes the body just doesn't react well with stress and throws itself out of sync. You've mentioned your monthly cycle was different, but still occurred as normal. This is typical in these types of cases. My only real concern is that you were still using oral contraceptives up to the time you found out about your pregnancy. Although I'm sure the baby is fine, I'd still like to run some tests to make sure. Can you come back in later this week?"
Nodding, Sam would make certain that they both were there and whatever the doctor wanted to do, he'd be there next to Jess through it all.
"Sam, you have to work on Friday. We can schedule this next week or even later…"
"No Jess, you and the baby are more important. If I have to call in sick, I will… they'll just have to understand." Sam said before turning back to the doctor. "When is the earliest you can see us?"
Dr. Alicia Morgan smiled and looked at her schedule. "Looks like Friday at one. I'll give you some pamphlets of what tests you'll have done and what to expect. Until then, you need to get plenty of rest, drink at least eight glasses of water a day – more if you have caffeine – and let your body be your guide in your activities."
Jess could only nod at the doctor as they got ready to leave. She had no problem letting her body lead her activities, the problem was her parents – she had no idea how they were going to react to the news, and she didn't even want to discuss family issues with Sam right now.
Sam was quiet as they exited the building. He knew that Jess wanted to tell her folks, and that was fine, but he wasn't sure what he should do about his family. Dean had made it pretty clear the last time they'd talked how he felt, and he knew his dad wasn't one to say something that he didn't mean. Something this big in his life and he felt like he couldn't share it with the people he wanted to the most. Looking up at the sky he could only pray that no matter where they were, his dad and brother were alright and that eventually they could make amends – for his baby's sake at least.
"No Mom… I'm not overdoing it. Women have been having babies and going to school or working for quite awhile now. Mom… I know you worry, but we're fine. Sam takes real good care of us. Yes Mom… he's here right now. No, you can't talk to him – I've banished him to bed. Mom, what do you expect, he just started this semester's course load and he's putting in more hours at the bookstore and with Judge Thompson." Sighing, Jess couldn't help but wonder once again why she hadn't hung up half an hour ago. "Mom, that's not fair – we spend plenty of time together. Ok, so we could spend more, but you've forgotten something… I go to school too! I quit my job because Sam asked me too since he was worried I was doing too much… does that sound like someone who doesn't care? Oh my God! Mom! Enough… he's not determined to see me barefoot and pregnant! No… he hasn't talked to his family… what does that matter? Oh jeez… ok, you know what… I've had enough…I'm hanging up now. I love you, I'll talk to you later. What? Ok, fine… I'll meet you in an hour. Yes Mom, I'll be there. Bye."
Sighing, Jess wondered how she got herself suckered into yet another meeting with her mother. It hadn't been bad at first. Sure her parents were shocked when they found out they were going to be grandparents, but they were also supportive and determined to stay involved the whole step of the way. Now it was just getting ridiculous. It seemed that no matter what they decided, it was wrong, and somehow it was all Sam's fault.
Then again it didn't take a genius to figure out when the change in attitude started. Who knew that a few things to make Sam feel as if he were protecting her better would have caused such a maelstrom. Their friends thought he was going overboard but in a harmless sort of way when they saw salt on the windows and symbols painted around the doors. When asked, Sam would just shrug slightly and explain that some families have crucifixes or talismans, his used it all. Her parents freaked when they saw some of the drawings, claiming it to be satanic and threatened to have him arrested and her moved back home. It would have been hilarious if it wasn't so serious. After hearing that, she couldn't bring herself to tell them the things that he had finally admitted to her – the way he had been raised and why. She knew he hadn't planned on sharing any of it with her, but his nightmares had worsened after meeting with the doctor the first time, and she demanded him to tell the truth about what it was about. After that, it all came out and she had no choice but to accept it – Sam said it, so it had to be true.
"Jess? You ok?" Sam asked groggily as he stumbled into the kitchen. He had woke to her yelling on the phone and knew only one person right now who could reduce his strong willed, level headed Jess to actual anger. "You get things settled with your mom?"
Jess took a look at Sam and was more concerned about him than ever. The circles under his eyes seemed more pronounced and she had to wonder how he was going to make it another two months at the rate he was going. He had spent the Thanksgiving holidays pampering her and studying for finals, only bothering to sleep if she bullied him into it. The weeks between finals and Christmas had been filled between taking care of her, working, and oh yeah… working, so they would have the money to get the things the baby would need as well as have a bit set aside to meet whatever bills they had later, once again sleeping only if she coaxed him into it.
"Sam baby, you're not getting sick are you?" she asked, concerned that that was exactly what was happening. "Go back to bed sweetie… I'm going out to meet with her and I'll bring you back some soup from that little deli you like."
Groaning, Sam knew who Jess meant, he had heard her on the phone with her mom and the call wasn't a happy one. He had no idea what he'd done to make Mrs. Moore take a sudden dislike to him, but whatever it was, he really wished she'd get over it. No matter what he did anymore, it wasn't good enough and although he had to agree with the Moores, he still didn't like having that sentiment tossed into his face every damn day.
"Jess, are you sure you feel up to it?" he asked. He knew that she hadn't been feeling well, even going so far as sneaking away to the doctor's office when she thought he wasn't looking, but other than her blood pressure being slightly elevated, everything seemed fine.
Jessica smiled and put her arms around her fiancé. "I'll be gone an hour, maybe two. She'll rant and rave, I'll counter rant, we'll part company amicably and I'll be home with your soup in no time. What can go wrong?"
'What can go wrong?' Sam thought, 'Yeah, right.' Instead he pulled her closer and placed his hand on her rounding stomach. The doctor claimed that other than the baby not putting on the normal amount of weight, everything else seemed to be on track. Of course now the issue of blood pressure was coming up and with Jess being at seven months now, he was starting to get nervous. Then again, that could be due to all the books he'd been reading, including the ones that told exactly what could go wrong. "Just promise me that you won't let her upset you, ok? Don't worry about the soup though, when you get back we'll go out together, alright?"
With another kiss, Jess was gone, leaving Sam to lay on the couch in the attempt to catch another short nap, all the while trying hard ignore the bad feeling that had settled in the pit of his stomach.
John sat at Jim Murphy's table drinking his coffee wondering what he had been thinking in setting his foot inside the man's house once again. He couldn't explain exactly why memories of when the boys were smaller always assaulted him while he was here, leaving him to worry about his boys even more. Now though, Dean was currently upstairs sleeping off a late night of hustling, while his youngest was MIA, and that didn't make him feel any better.
It had now been three years since he had any word of Sam, five since he'd talked to him face to face. No one would explain what happened; something about files being sealed and confidentiality agreements. All he knew was his boy had dropped off the face of the planet and the only one that might have a clue wasn't being cooperative – not that he could blame him. The way things had been left between him and his son, it was easy to come to the conclusion that he hadn't given a damn for quite awhile. However, that was the furthest from the truth and the sooner people understood that, the better.
"I told you John, I haven't heard from him in several years." Jim said as he walked into the room. "The last I heard from him, he had something he wanted to ask me, but said that it had to be done in person and the time wasn't right but to leave the month of June open as much as possible."
John knew all this. It had been something that he had mulled over ever since his friend had first told him about it. Normally he wouldn't have thought too much about it, but it was a normal conclusion that June meant weddings to young couples, and the knowledge that Sam had a steady girl had sent him wondering if possibly his boy was going to tie the knot. Now though, the mystery still wasn't solved and in fact had gotten even thicker.
Jim watched his friend for awhile before he sighed. "John, I didn't want to burden you with this, but there's a town in Maine that's dealing with a Striga. Six children have already been affected, and there's no one available who can deal with this without making a bigger mess out of it."
Putting his coffee mug down, John looked up at Jim with a suppressed shudder. He remembered the last Striga he'd encountered, and wished that they were extinct if for no other reason than peace of mind. Taking a deep breath, he nodded and went upstairs without a word. He knew Dean would want to be involved with this one. He could only hope that this time ended a lot better than the last time.
Dr. Dean Marshall dreaded walking into the room, but knew that no one else was going to do it. The man inside scared even the most seasoned of the medical staff, and that was on a good day – today would definitely not be a good day. Sighing, he looked at the chart again and couldn't help but feel for the single father who seemed so devoted to his baby girl. Two year old Mary Jessica woke up two days ago with a fever and a slight cough which her father treated with over the counter medication before rushing her into the emergency room. After reviewing the medical history, it was deemed appropriate to admit her for observation with assurances that it was only a precaution. By the end of the day however, her fever had skyrocketed despite medical intervention, and symptoms of pneumonia developed. Normally, her symptoms would have been looked upon as the undesirable after effect of a once preemie now toddler with frequent illnesses, that was except for the other five children in the pediatric wing with the exact same symptoms. Something was going on, but no one had a clue what.
Opening the door, he froze when he saw the bed empty. The threat the other man had made to remove his daughter from their care echoed in his brain until the slight sound from the other corner of the room brought him back to awareness. He turned to see the rocking chair occupied by none other than the Intimidator himself rocking and softly singing to his baby girl who lay limply in his arms.
"Sam." Dr. Marshall called out quietly. "I have the results. I'm sorry… the antibiotics don't seem to be working, but I'm not giving up."
"You said there were other regimens, right? Something else we can try." Sam said hopefully. He might have limited insurance, and even more limited monetary resources, but for his little girl he'd do anything to make sure she lived.
"Yes, there are other things we can try, but you have to remember what we talked about. You're little girl… her body wasn't that strong to begin with and I'm concerned that the harsher medicine will begin to do more harm than good."
Sam looked up at the doctor and smiled wearily. He understood what the man was saying, but if this chance meant that he was doing everything possible to save his baby girl, Jess' legacy, then he'd do it. "I understand. I might just stock the grocery shelves, but I do know how to read. If it'll make you feel better, I'll sign a waiver to cover you from any liability… hell, I'll write it myself. Just do what you need to do to give her a chance."
Something about this man called out to the doctor, and he found that he couldn't really refuse him. Nodding, he walked out of the room and prayed that he hadn't somehow given the young father false hope.
As Sam continued to rock little Mary Jess, he couldn't help but find the irony that his little girl's possible savior shared the name of his own: Dean. It seemed he was thinking of his brother more often lately and prayed that he was still alive and happy… someone in his screwed up family needed to be.