FDisclaimer: This is an AU story based on the world of Supernatural. All characters, locations, situations, etc, present within the show are the copyrighted property of Eric Kripke. I make no claim to these products, no money is being made from them, and no copyright infringement is intened. The following characters, however, are original characters and are therefore my own property: Charlie Morgan and Alaric Resoi. (This list will be updated as the story progresses.)

A/N - A Brief History of DMW: The basic idea for Dead Man Walking was originally presented in a challenge by my friend, angel smile101. After several weeks in which no one claimed the idea - despite quite a few people showing interest in the concept - I decided to take it up. Thus, Dead Man Walking was born. For anyone who would like to read the original challenge, it can be found listed as a normal story under the name 'Return of the Winchesters'. And now, on with the show. Oh, and that reminds me - each chapter will read roughly like an episode, that is, an introductory bit, and then a 'title segment' followed by the rest of the chapter. I'm playing around with a few ideas, and if things work out and I finish this properly, I might even include a little summary flashback like on the show for a few 'episodes'.

Rating: T, due to occassional swearing, some references to death/violence/semi-gore (trust me, not anywhere near as bad as some of the episodes of the actual show - does anyone remember the episode with the girl between the walls, or the one with Alastair and the torture?) and minor/occassional adult themes.


"Well, what do you think?" Sam asked.

"Honestly, I think you look like a prat."

Sam was standing in a clothes store, trying on a suit for his upcoming law school interview. With him was his best friend Charlie, a twenty-two year old Briton who – after five years in America – was yet to lose his accent and turn of phrase.

"No. Seriously. What do you think?"

"I mean it," laughed Charlie. "But don't worry, for all I know those big law types love prats and it'll only take one look at this suit before they hire you and make you into their star lawyer or whatever it is you people do at law school." He paused for a second than said, more seriously, "You'll be fine, though. Honest."

Sam turned back to the changing room mirror, examining his image in the mirror. He groaned in frustration. "I knew I should have brought Jessica along – she's always been good at this stuff." He closed the door of the changing room and began to get changed back.

"Oh, yeah. How is the fiancée, anyway?" asked Charlie with a grin. "Still getting over the shock that you actually managed to pop the question?"

"Shut up," said Sam, but there was no bite to his words. He'd been planning his proposal to Jessica for ages – had had the ring for over a month – but it had been a surprise even to him, when, in the middle of a date at a restaurant two days ago, he'd got down on one knee and proposed. She'd said yes, and promptly squeezed the life out of him a moment later. Well, not literally, but she did have a pretty mean hug. Sam smiled at the memory, and then, back in his own clothes now, opened the door and stepped outside. "Speaking of which, I'd better be getting home," he said.

"Man... you're no fun anymore," lamented Charlie. "You still coming to Zack's house-warming party next week? Res said he'll bring the beer."

"Yeah. See ya."

From the store, it was only a short drive to Sam and Jessica's house. Holding the bag that held his newly-bought suit, Sam inserted his house key into the lock and opened the door with as little sound as possible, just in case Jess was asleep. "Jess?" he called. "You home?" There was no response, so he walked through the house, and up the stairs to their room.

God, it had been such a long day. First he'd been going through all his papers and scores in order to compile his application for law school, and then there'd been shopping for the suit, which took surprisingly a lot of time. Sure, Sam was used to going clothes shopping occasionally, mostly with Jess there, 'suggesting' what to buy. Man, she could be so unsubtle sometimes, though Sam with a smile.

Feeling exhausted, Sam lay down on his bed and closed his eyes.

For a moment he lay there, just thinking. But then he felt something – almost like a drop of water hitting his head. The roof better not be leaking, he thought. Another drop hit him, right on the middle of his fore head.

Annoyed now, Sam opened his eyes... and instantly wished he hadn't.

"No!"

Staring straight down at him, with blank dead eyes, was Jessica. A bleeding wound had been torn through her stomach, and she was pinned to the roof itself by some unseen force, her legs pressed against the plaster at unnatural angles.

Sam only had a moment to process this ghastly image before, suddenly, fire erupted around Jessica's body, consuming her. Reacting on instinct, Sam got up and ran, hoping wildly that what he had just seen was a lie – an illusion – but somehow knowing that it wasn't.

He'd been found.


S U P E R N A T U R A L

CHAPTER ONE:

" DEAD MAN WALKING "


LINCOLN, NABRASKA

6 YEARS AGO

There was a fight going on at the Winchester household. Well, to be more accurate, it was the Winchester whatever-dodgy-hotel-we-happen-to-be-staying-in-at-the-moment, but that was beside the point, thought Dean with a sigh. If only Sam and Dad would just stop arguing for once.... Maybe he could just get a bit of peace and quiet.

This time, they'd barely even gotten to the room before they started arguing. They hadn't even had time to unpack – Sam's bag was still just sitting there near the door, right where he'd dropped it when the fight began.

"And what if I don't want to be like that, Dad? What if I don't want to spend the rest of my life, hunting things that aren't even supposed to be real?What if I want to be normal, huh?" shouted Sam.

"We aren't normal, Sam. We're too important for that. We're hunters," bellowed John in return.

Sam shook his head angrily. "You know what," he said, "I'm out of here." He turned his back on his father and his brother, grabbed the backpack lying at his feet, slung it over his shoulder and headed for the door. He had one hand on the doorknob when John's voice, dangerously low, came from behind him.

"If you walk through that door, don't you ever think about coming back."

Sam looked back for a moment and then said, almost to himself...

"Don't worry. I won't."

Slam.

---

A mile out from Lincoln, a half-battered truck was making its way along the highway when all of a sudden it stopped. Standing on the side of the road, staring aimlessly ahead of him, was a sixteen year old boy. Tall for his age, with brown hair that fell just over his eyes, the kid was just standing there. No backpack. No bags. Nothing.

"You okay, kid?"

"I'm not a kid," replied the teenager.

"Whatever. You alright, though?"

"I guess."

"Got somewhere you need to be?"

"Not really. Somewhere... away."

"Huh. Any idea how you're going to get there?"

"Nope." For a moment the two were silent, both looking at each other, and then the kid said, "What about you? Where're you going?"

"Palo Alto, California. Stanford Uni. Heard of it?"

The boy nodded and said, "Can I come too?"

The driver was taken aback. "You sure about that? It's a long way to there and, I mean, you don't know me, I could be some sort of freak. One of those highway serial killers."

The boy smiled wryly. "Don't worry – if you are, I can look after myself."

Shaking his head, the driver leaned over and opened the passenger door. The kid hopped in without hesitation. As the driver restarted the engine, the kid looked over at him and said, "I'm Sam."

The driver glanced over at him with a slight smile.

"Nice to meet you, Sam. I'm Alaric Resoi; although most people just call me Res..."


STANFORD, PALO ALTO

PRESENT DAY

A black Chevy Impala glided down the road, mullet rock music playing from the stereo. No other cars were travelling across this stretch of highway, just outside Palo Alto. The sides of the roads were lined by oak trees, the dark leaves not managing to obscure the bright sunlight that illuminated the black surface of the road.

"So," said Dean, his hands on the wheel, staring at the road ahead, "are you going to tell me what's so urgent about this job that we had to pack up from hunting that wraith and travel half-way across the country?"

John sighed and glanced at the road. For a moment he just watched the broken white line zip past. At last he said, "I think we've got word on the demon."

Dean turned his head to look at his dad. "Wait. The demon? As in, big-bad-yellow-eyes?"

"Yeah." John nodded.

"Whoa." A moment's silence, and then Dean continued, "so, what happened? I mean, what's the lead?"

"A girl named Jessica Moore, at Stanford Uni, died last week," recited John. "Reports say that it was a house fire, and that the corpse that was recovered showed signs of major wounds to the stomach. Just like..." He trailed off.

"Just like Mom," muttered Dean.

John nodded.

For a while, both of them were silent as they drove along down the highway. John stared at the road once more, lost in his thoughts, while Dean contemplated the idea of actually catching the bastard that had killed their mom.

Ever since Mary had died, his dad had been obsessed with finding that demon. Well, not obsessed. He was driven, yeah, but that was because he needed to be – in order to catch the thing. Besides, it wasn't like they were only after the demon. They hunted other things too, and saved lives in the process. So they didn't get to stay in one place, and so life was often pretty rough – it was worth it, for what they did.

Sam didn't think so, muttered a little voice in Dean's head. Sam... It had been six years since the fight that had driven Sam from their lives. Dean didn't doubt that Sam had survived – but there were moments when, like now, his thoughts would turn to his little brother and he would wish that things had turned out differently.

They hadn't heard from him since that day. No letters, no calls – nothing. For the first year or so after Sam had left, in every town they'd visited John would stop and ask the local police station 'have you heard anything about a kid named Sam?' Dean pretended not to notice the bleak look on his dad's face whenever John arrived back from his visit to the LEOs. Eventually, though, John gave up, stopped asking at the stations, stopped keeping a picture of Sam in his pocket to show as a reference. Sam became just another member of their family who was gone forever.

To be honest, Dean had no idea where Sam could have gone. Sure, he'd picked up a thing or two about living of the land – but was that honestly the type of life Sam would choose? According to the very last argument he and John had had, Sam wanted a normal life. But how would he have achieved that with no money and no real home to speak of?

Sitting beside Dean, John's thoughts were running along a similar line, only with one difference. He knew that Sam had money – or at least, he'd had it at one stage. About three or four months after Sam's disappearance, a goodly amount of money had vanished from one of the bank accounts John had set up. Although he'd tried, he hadn't been able to trace it, but somehow John knew that Sam had taken the money.

How, he didn't know, but of that much he was certain.

At last, the Impala reached the top of the final hill. John and Dean looked out the window, down onto the town of Palo Alto. At the centre of the town, they could see the grey-white buildings of Stanford University.

---

When John and Dean walked into the police station a half-hour later, they were already in full Hunt mode. They were dressed in suits, with badges in hand.

"Agents Glover and Lord. We're with the FBI," said John, showing the fake ID to the local officer standing nearest to the door. "We were sent to investigate the death of Jessica Moore."

The officer looked up. "What does FBI want with a local fire?"

"We've been investigating a series of similar incidents across the country."

"Okay then." The officer went over to the filing cabinet in the corner of the room. "Here you go – witnesses, incidents of the event, the lot." John took the file and immediately turned and left. Dean shrugged at his father's behaviour and, after saying, "Thanks," to the officer, followed John out of the station.

Another officer came up to the first after they were gone. "What was all that about?"

"Two FBI people, investigating the death of that girl in the fire."

"Huh. That's weird."

"I know – that makes three this week..."

---

According to the file they had been given, the house where Jessica Moore lived had been white, with a classic look to it that matched every other home in the street. But now, it was nothing more than a pile of burnt rubble with police tape around it. The street itself was mostly empty, although every now and again a car would drive past, slowing down as its owners rubbernecked at the scene next to them.

It was through this rubble that John and Dean picked their way, searching for any clues as to what had happened. It was difficult – most possible evidence having been destroyed by the fire, but at last Dean picked something up. The device he was holding began to beep, just as he waved it over one of the many fallen ceiling beams.

Dean picked up the beam and sniffed it. "Dad," he called. "We've got sulphur."

John came over immediately, and examined the piece of charred wood. "You're right. Looks like this is the spot." A grin appeared on his face – but not a happy one. "We're getting close to that bastard now," said John.

Dean frowned but said nothing, listening as John began pacing through the rubble and tried to think up a plan for how to continue.

They were interrupted however by an almost shrill voice. "Excuse me, what do you think you're doing?"

The two Hunters turned around to see a prim looking old lady staring at them.

"We're FBI, ma'am," said Dean with his trademark grin. "Just checking out the crime scene."

The lady looked flustered. "Oh, my apologies. It's just... Becky told me to make sure no rubberneckers came looking through the sight – said she and her brother wanted to come back later, see if they could save anything."

"Who's Becky?" asked Dean.

"She is... was one of Jess's friends."

"Do you know where we could find her?"

"Oh, yes. She and her brother live just a block or two away from here. I could give you directions if you like."

Dean turned to his father, happy that he had helped with the hunt. John nodded and said, "That would be excellent."

---

Ding-dong, rang the bell.

Dean stepped back from the front door of Rebecca Warren's house as, a moment later, it swung open. Standing there was a woman of around twenty years. She was rather short, with medium length blonde hair, and blue eyes.

"Can I help you?" she said, her customary happiness showing even through the bags under her eyes and the sadness in them.

"Are you Rebecca Warren?"

"Please, call me Becky."

"Well, Becky. We need to ask you a few questions about Jessica Moore," said John.

Instantly the small trace of happiness vanished, and she sighed. "Come in. Come in," said 'Becky' and she waved them inside.

---

"God, it's so tragic," said Becky, staring almost uncomprehendingly out the window. "They were going to get married... Start a family and everything... And now..." She stopped, burying her face in her hands.

Bored of dealing with overly emotional bystanders, Dean stood up and begun to look around the room. John on the other hand immediately seized upon what Becky had said, and leaned forward, fixing his steely gaze on her once more.

"Who was she getting married to?" he asked, his voice sharp and urgent.

By now, Dean had wandered over to the other side of the room, where he paused, staring at one particular photo.

"John..." he began quietly, only to be cut off by his dad.

"Not now, Dean." John turned back to Becky. "Now, tell me who she was marrying."

Becky looked up at him, a faint amount of suspicion in her gaze. "Don't you know?"

John shook his head. "Our superior didn't give us a lot of information – we like to draw our own conclusions."

"John..." came Dean's voice again, more forcefully this time.

Becky glanced between the two of them, her suspicion increasing. "Look, I know what you're thinking, but he wouldn't do it. He loved her – they were totally in love, it was like one of those fairytales – they were going start a family. He was trying out for a law school, only bought the suit a couple of hours before Jess died."

"Just tell me his name."

Finally, Dean, who had had enough of being ignored, gave up any attempts at subtlety and yelled. "Dad!"

John stood up, and stared at his son. "What?" he snapped.

"Take a look at this photo," said Dean simply.

John stepped forward, shaking his head. His composure changed a moment later, however, when he actually saw the photo in Dean's hands.

Standing in front of one of the university's main buildings was a group of people. Becky was there, as well as a young man who was probably her brother. A grinning redhead was standing next to them, and a taller, older guy was in the background, a half-smile on his face. The victim – Jessica Moore was standing in the centre of the photo, a blissful expression lighting up her features. And there... with one arm around her...

John stared as he took the photo from Dean, his hands shaking as he did so. Behind him, Becky stared at the strange reactions he was witnessing, but answered the question she had been asked all the same.

"Sam. She was engaged to Sam."


LARAMIE, WYOMING

6 YEARS AGO

The diner that Sam and Res had stopped at could easily have been transported from another era. The walls were covered in faded posters proclaiming the tours of bands long since separated, and cliché booths were tucked into every corner. The colours – washed out greens, blues and reds – reminded Sam of shows he'd seen on daytime TV when Dad was out on a hunt. They'd been set in the sixties and the characters had always met up at places like this.

There were only a few other people in the diner when the two of them entered – a couple snuggling in one of the booths, and a teenage girl with blonde hair and a leather jacket, talking animatedly into her mobile phone while fiddling with her necklace. She glanced up from her conversation as Res and Sam entered, before quickly looking away once more.

They sat down at one of the normal tables, and waited in awkward silence until the waitress came over to take their orders. "I'll have an Option Five," said Res, calmly ignoring the way the waitress was smiling flirtatiously at him. "He'll have two." When she refused to go away, he turned to look at her and said, "Well?"

The waitress pouted at his obvious disinterest, and walked away. The awkward silence returned once more.

"So, kid–" Res said eventually.

"It's Sam."

"So, Sam, why are you running away?"

"How do you know that's what I'm doing?" Sam asked evasively. Purely on instinct, he glanced at the door, wondering how long it would take him to get there if Res tried to send him back to Dad, or if the seemingly nice guy turned out to be a demon in disguise. It would be just his luck to hitch a ride with a demon.

Res must have noticed the movement, because he sighed and said, "Look, I'm not going to turn you in or anything. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on."

"Why would you care?"

"Well, a strange kid turned up on the side on the road a couple of hours ago and asked me for a lift. He had just one backpack, you see, and didn't really seem to care where he went – just that he got away. Now, I said yes and since then the kid has barely talked to me, and seems to be just a touch paranoid. Sound familiar?"

Sam grimaced – why couldn't people just leave him alone? All he wanted was a normal life, one that wasn't filled with monsters and demons and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night. Why did that have to be so difficult a concept? He felt Res's measured gaze still on him and squirmed, uncomfortable.

He wanted to run, and just keep on running, but at the same time he knew his chances of getting a lift with someone else were pretty slim.

Besides, he'd heard of Stanford, and Palo Alto, and there was a school nearby there that he could go to – if he found enough money. Best of all, his dad had never been there, so there was nobody to remember a grizzled man pretending to be a cop or the like, and his two teenage sons.

Deciding that he could do a lot worse than to answer Rick's question, Sam looked up. "My dad wants me to join the family business," he said carefully. It was a half-lie he had used before, so he knew how to make it work. "I didn't want to, so I got out the only way I could think of..."

"With only a backpack?"

"Yeah, well, I was in a hurry."

Res looked at him for a moment, then shrugged, seemingly accepting his story. Sam gave an inward sigh of relief. Before either of them could say anything else, however, their food arrived, and they dug in.

For the next ten or so minutes the conversation turned to more trivial things, like sports and cars. Sam knew quite a bit about the latter – hanging around Dean tended to have that effect – although not so much about the former.

He soon found that Res was quite easy to talk with, the older boy's almost rough appearance belying his laid-back manner. He was pretty serious, yeah, but he was also funny – and soon the two of them were chatting casually, the tension from before having evaporated.

After their meals were done, they left the diner, Res paying the flirty waitress quickly and without batting an eyelid at her continued attempts to flirt with her.

As they exited, Sam asked, "Why'd you do that?"

"Huh?" said Res, as he searched his pocket for his car keys.

"Why didn't you ask her what time she got off? Or flirt with her, or something?" Sam asked, honestly bewildered. The only real example of how nineteen or twenty-year olds acted was Dean, and he knew that his brother would have at least asked for the girl's number.

Res shrugged. "I wasn't interested." He looked at Sam, frowning slightly. "Why?"

"It's just..." Sam paused, as he thought about how far he was willing to trust Res. "It's what my brother would do."

Res raised an eyebrow.

Until now, Sam hadn't mentioned Dean at all. The topic of his family had been completely dropped after his earlier 'confession' and not once in their talk of cars and such had Sam admitted to having a brother.

Before Res could comment on this, however, something strange happened. A black column of smoke appeared from nowhere, and was sucked, vacuum-like, into Res, whose body shuddered as the demon took control.

Sam staggered backwards, cursing his luck while at the same time reaching desperately into his backpack for something – anything – that could help.

The demon that had possessed Res staggered forward, momentarily disorientated by its new body. When it looked up at Sam, its eyes were pure black, staring at him almost hungrily.

"Well, well, what do we have here?" snarled the demon, and Sam shuddered as he heard Res's voice – which had only moments ago sounded rather contented – filled with malice. "A little boy, all on his own? What shall we do with you?"

It stepped towards him, reaching out for Sam and wriggling slightly, as if adjusting to the shape of Res's form.

Panicking, Sam lurched backwards again, his hand still frantically searching for a tool that could help him.

"You're a nice one," said the demon. "But you smell... odd." He stretched out his hand again, and grabbed Sam's arm, his grip almost vicelike as he squeezed just above his wrist, making Sam wince.

Just then, Sam felt his free hand close around something cool and metal. Without pausing to think, he whipped the bottle out of the bag, pulling the stopper off with his teeth, and then flung its contents at the demon-possessed Res.

The demon howled as the holy water contacted with its skin and Sam wretched his arm free of its grip. A few moments later the black smoke began to pour from Res's mouth, as the demon escaped, no doubt to go find a host without friends equipped to attack it.

With the demon gone, Res collapsed onto his knees, panting heavily. At last he looked up at Sam. Sam flinched as he saw horror and confusion etched on the face of someone who he, despite only knowing for a short time, had already begun to call a friend.

"What the hell was that?" gasped Res.

Sam searched for words for a moment, and then gave the only answer he could think of.

"The family business."