Title: Home is Where Your Story Begins

By: FaithDaria and PaBurke

Summary: God told Joan, "I said your life will be easier. Easier doesn't mean better. I told you two years ago that I was preparing you for battle. That battle won't be easy, but it will be worthwhile. And if you make the convenient choice now, you won't be ready for the hard choices later."

Genre: Crossover, Joan of Arcadia/Supernatural/Dresden Files

Rating: PG-13, for language, reference to sexual situations, and adult subject matters

Pairing: references to offscreen Sam/Joan

Spoilers/Warnings: Takes place after the finale of Joan of Arcadia, with the premise that season 2 took place during Joan's senior year of high school. Abrupt left turn in the Supernatural timeline after "Crossroad Blues."

Disclaimer: Harry Dresden, Father Forthill and the Carpenters belong to the excellent author Jim Butcher. Joan Girardi and family belong to Barbara Hall. Sam and Dean Winchester are the creation of Eric Kripke. Work done entirely as entertainment, for no monetary gain.



The place reminded him a little of one of his favorite college hangouts; the food was good and inexpensive, they served beer but not hard liquor, and it had just the right amount of noise for hanging out on a weeknight to study. Granted, this place, like the restaurant in Palo Alto, had a strict 'serve yourself' policy that meant coming up to the counter for refills and food, but the money saved on tips more than made up for the inconvenience.

Of course, that particular rule meant that Dean made him head up for beer, but Sam knew how to milk that responsibility into future bargaining tools so he didn't mind too much. The woman behind the counter smiled when he stepped up. "What can I do for you, baby?"

Sam couldn't help smiling in return. "Two beers, please."

"Sure thing. Just let me see your license, honey."

Sam flushed and dug out his wallet. The woman looked it over, looked at Sam, and handed it back to him before reaching down underneath the counter and producing two bottles. "Before you head back to your table, can you do me a favor?" She didn't wait for him to reply before continuing. "That girl back in the corner left her book up here. Can you take it to her for me?" The woman smiled again and held out a hefty textbook.

Sam nodded and took the book. As he stepped away from the counter, he saw that it was the same Criminology textbook that he'd had back at Stanford, and he couldn't stop himself from flipping it open and glancing at a few of the pages as he walked toward the table in the corner. He closed it when he reached the table, clearing his throat to get her attention.

The girl looked up at the sound, her long brown hair slipping out of its messy, makeshift bun. "Oh, good. Thank you. I need that for Criminology. Professor Broome has a test scheduled for next week." She made a disgusted face. "Like we needed a test after that paper."

"What do you think about the class," Sam found himself asking. "Is the professor any good?"

"He's not that bad," the girl conceded. "I just took too many gen-eds this quarter, so there's a lot more papers than I was expecting. Are you taking it?"

Sam shook his head. "No, I'm not a student here. But I took a similar class somewhere else. We even used the same textbook."

The girl looked at him for a second before smiling. "Joan Girardi," she introduced herself. "Would you mind helping me with this? If you aren't busy."

"I'm Sam. Sam Winchester." He turned around and glanced at his brother, who was busily reading the obits of the local paper. "I've got some time."