Summary: Okay, so Sam was twenty-two when Jessica died, so that would have put him in his fourth year of college, and in the pilot, Dean said that he hadn't bothered Sam in nearly two years, so that means that Dean must have been around for the first two years that Sam was at Stanford. Later in the season we learned that Sam had been 'Lying to Jessica for a year and a half', so does anyone else think that Sam getting involved with Jessica is the reason that he stopped all contact with his brother? We all know that he and his father didn't get along but we also know that Dean would do anything for Sam, so this is my take on the time Sam was in school, pre-season one. I promise that is only gonna be light and fluffy for the start – and then it will get dark and horrible and angsty in proper Supernatural style as we all know how the series pilot went down. I really want to give Sam his slice of apple pie life before I snatch it away and stomp on it *grins*
To take a page out of my girl Cornev's book, songs to the soundtrack will be called out like this (- - Insert song and artist here - -)
Disclaimer: The only supernatural thing I own is a car that has a trunk that mysteriously pops open all on its own.
Late October, 2005
Sam Winchester sat in front of his computer, tapping his pen against the monitor in time to a beat that was only playing in his head. In his other hand he was holding his cell phone, flipped open and the blue lights illuminated his features in a ghastly hue. He was staring at the numbers on the key pad and wishing he could just press and hold in the number seven key, the button that would automatically dial his brother's cell phone so that he could speak to him. Sam desperately wanted to talk to Dean. He hadn't spoken to him in over twelve months, but then again, that was only because Sam had told him he didn't want him to come around anymore. Said it with words and fists. Sam sighed and closed the phone with soft click, resting it on the desk next to his laptop – the laptop that Dean had bought for him, and Sam sighed again. The memory of the hurt in his brother's eyes as fresh in his mind now as it had been the night he last saw him. Sam rubbed his palms into his eyes to try to blot out the memories, but it didn't work.
It never worked.
Early October, 2002
(- - Tom Sawyer, by Rush - -)
Sam was eighteen, it was the start of October and he had just finished his first month away at school. He has never been separated from his family before, but the fight he had had with his father about leaving left no doubt in his mind that he was doing what was best for him. His father had said that if he left he should stay gone, and that was what he was going to do.
He still talked to his brother frequently – strained at first but that got better quickly – but there had been no contact with John Winchester since Sam had slammed the motel door behind him, his duffel bag thrown over his shoulder, as he stormed away from his family to board a bus that would take him to a better future.
Sam was running a mental list through his head about all the work he had to do tonight, when he rounded the corner of his dormitory building and saw a familiar figure on the front steps. Sam smiled as he called out, "Dean!" Dean Winchester tore his gaze away from two brunettes who were walking down the sidewalk, to turn and smile at his little brother.
"Sammy!" He grinned, "I love this place! What a view!"
"Yeah," Sam agreed, "the scenery is nice to look at too," he replied, leaning out to catch a glimpse of the girls his brother had been shamelessly ogling.
"You know me so well." Dean smirked as he affectionately punched his brother in the shoulder. "How've ya been?"
"Good. I'm good," Sam paused, "What are you doing here?"
"What? I'm not allowed to check in on my little brother? Make sure he's not taking advantage of all the innocent girls in the area?" Dean raised and lowered his eyebrows a couple times in an insinuating way that was so classically Dean, that Sam just laughed and slapped him on the back.
"How's the car?" Sam asked.
"The Cougar is a bitch. I'm telling you Sammy, never buy a Mercury." Sam smirked at his brother. Sam had spent the last year listening to Dean grumble and complain about that car, but he wouldn't give up on it. He even called it 'The Cougar' as if it were its rightful name because it acted like a feisty old woman.
"You didn't buy that car," Sam rolled his eyes, "you won it in a poker game."
"Yeah, I played that guy good." Dean grinned to himself.
"If The Cougar was the payout, I'd say that guy played you." Sam laughed.
"Hey!" Dean shouted indignantly, "Play nice."
"So ya coming in?" Sam asked him.
"Depends," Dean answered. "Is this place co-ed or is it a sausage-fest?"
"Its co-ed," Sam answered grinning.
"That's my boy!" Dean exclaimed happily as he clapped his hands together. "Lead the way."
Sam led Dean into the building, up a couple flights of stairs and down a poorly lit hallway. Finally stopping at the last door on the floor, Sam pulled out his key and entered his own little piece of paradise. The room wasn't much. It was small, there were two single beds against opposite walls, a dresser and a desk next to the corresponding beds. It wasn't much, but to Sam, it was a more stable home than any he'd ever known. He had been brought up on the road, always in dirty motels, and never in one place for more than a couple months at a time. He had switched schools several times a year, and always had to take an equivalency test every year to make sure that he was keeping up. He always did well, and often wondered how well he could have done if given the proper environment. Dean on the other hand hadn't fared so well. Where Sam's talents led to books and numbers, Dean's had fallen towards weapon training and hand to hand combat. This was a bone of contention that Papa Winchester was quick to point out, while frowning at his youngest son – although he never complained when Sam's computer skills were able to get him into every police data base in the country.
Any time there was a case where John wasn't able to get the information he needed by charm, stealth, or brute tactics, he would just lead Sam into a public library, sit him down in front an empty and isolated computer, and watched him go to work.
"Nice digs." Dean said appreciatively, looking around the small room.
"Thanks." Sam said as he sank into the chair in front of his desk. Dean flopped onto Sam's former roommate's bed.
"So where's your roomie at?" Dean asked.
"Dropped out last week. He decided this wasn't the place for him."
"So you got the room all to yourself?"
"Yup." Sam was happy that Matthew had left. The guy asked too many questions and was way too social to suit Sam's more withdrawn attitude. A life of mucking through sewers looking for god knows what will do that to a guy.
"Nice! So what do you say we find a bar and a couple girls and go have some fun?" Dean had that look in his eye that said quite plainly that he was eager to see more of the feminine population of the college.
"Oh…" Sam said dejectedly, remembering all the work he had to do.
"What is it?" Dean's face fell slightly.
"Well… I really want to but I have all this homework to do."
"So skip it."
"Dude, I can't. This isn't like the work load in high school that I could just whip off. This stuff is intense."
"Can you do it later?" Dean asked hopefully.
"No, I have to go to the library so that I can use the computers to do some research and type up a couple papers I've been working on. And the library is only open until ten and after that I have a bunch of reading I'm supposed to do." Sam was starting to get a headache just thinking of the long night he already had in front of him but was about to say 'screw it' to the work because his brother had just driven God-knows how long to get there when Dean beat him to the punch.
"Its okay, Sammy," Dean said while standing up. "I'm supposed to meet up with Dad in Death Valley tomorrow night anyway. I'll just head out there early and wait for him."
"Dean, I'm sorry," Sam repeated, feeling guilty that Dean had come out of his way to visit him and he wasn't able to spend time with him, even though he really wanted to. "Do you want to crash here for the night anyway?"
"Naw, its okay, Sam," Dean said again as he clapped his brother on the back. "I get it that school's important to you, and I want you to do well." He started to walk towards the door, turning back when his hand grasped the knob. "Hey, you get a long weekend next month for Thanksgiving right? Why don't you, me and Dad meet up?"
"No!" Sam said so quickly that he flinched at the crestfallen look that marred his brother's handsome face. He was not going to spend one minute in John's presence, no matter how happy it would make his brother. "Dean," Sam softened, "you know that's not going to happen."
"Yeah, I know," he conceded. "But it was worth a shot." Dean offered Sam a false grin that would have fooled any one that didn't know him as well as he did, and said, "See you around Sammy."
"Bye Dean," Sam said softly as the door gently clicked shut behind his brother.
Sam was sitting in the Stanford library, typing away madly at the keyboard in front of him. He had a report due the following week, and he wanted to make the best of the long weekend in front of him. The library was nearly deserted, most students having gone home to their families. Sam was lost in his report when the soft whir of his cell phone startled him out of his thoughts. He smiled broadly when he looked at the face of the phone and the caller ID showed Dean's number. Sam flipped open the phone and greeted his brother, "Dean?"
"Hey Sammy!" Came his brother's voice from the chunk of plastic and circuits in his hand. "Where you at?"
"I'm at the library, what's going on?"
"The library – that figures." Dean huffed.
"Dude, what's going on? Where are you?" Sam asked quickly.
"Step out front Einstein and find out." And with that Dean's cell was snapped closed.
Sam hurriedly saved his work and logged out of the terminal. Grabbing his books and his bag, he left the giant library and hurried out the front doors. There, in front of the building was Dean, leaning against their Dad's black '67 Impala and smiling at his younger brother. Sam halted at the top of the steps, his face darkening as he scanned the front seat for John Winchester. Not seeing him, he cautiously made his way to his brother, who had stopped smiling.
"Where's Dad?" Sam asked, trying to keep the anger from his voice and failing.
"He's not here." Dean answered.
"Yeah right," Sam bit. "The Impala's here so Dad is too."
"Sammy, Dad's not here. I promise you." Dean was trying to calm his brother before he started shouting.
"What," Sam said angrily, "Dad just let you take the car to come visit me? I don't think so." Dropping his bag to the ground, Sam stepped up chest to chest to his brother and accused him, "I told you when you were here last that I didn't want to see Dad."
Dean put his hands up and pushed his brother away from him, not gently but not forcibly either. "He's not here, Sammy. I came to visit you. Dad's not here so stop acting like an idiot."
The wild look started to leave Sam's young face, "Where is he then?" He demanded.
"He's outside Boston, working a haunted house," Dean said quickly.
"If Dad's in Boston, what the hell are you doing here with his car?" Sam asked him warily.
"It's my car now," Dean said proudly as he reached out to affectionately pet the hood.
"Your car?" Sam asked incredulously.
"Yup, he gave it to me a couple weeks ago. Told me to take good care of it or he'd tan my ass, twenty-two or not."
"I don't believe it. Dad loves this car."
"The Cougar died," Dean explained, "Dad got fed up and bought a truck, and gave me the Impala. He said it was because he was getting old and needed a vehicle that was higher off the ground and that he could take in the woods." Dean was still running his hand over the freshly polished hood.
"So the Impala's yours?" Sam raised an eyebrow.
"Can I drive it?" Sam asked skeptically. John had made sure that his boys could drive the car, in case of an emergency, as soon as they were big enough to reach the pedals. Though Sam had driven the car before, it had never been just for the fun of it.
"Nope," Dean said grinning, "but you can ride in the front seat for once."
"Figures," Sam huffed.
"Come on, I'm starved. Let's go find a bite to eat and then we can hit the bars for a little fun."
"Well there's a little problem with that Dean."
"Dean, I'm eighteen, I can't get into a bar. All the joints around here check ID's because of the college." Sam argued.
"Dude, who do you think you're talking to? I got you all hooked up." With that Dean reached into his shirt pocket and handed a laminated card to his kid brother.
Sam flipped it over to see a Maine driver's license with his name and photo, stating he was twenty-two. Sam examined it carefully. It was really good – it actually looked authentic. "This looks real," Sam said, surprised.
"It is real," Dean answered proudly. "Or at least as real as it needs to be. Dad and I found a new guy who can make us an ID for just about anything. You should see all the cool cards I've got now that I'm old enough to look like I work somewhere."
"Dean, I can't believe you got me a fake ID. This has got to be the coolest thing you've ever gotten me," Sam said excitedly.
"What can I say," Dean replied, spreading his arms out and tipping his head back to bask in the fading sun. "I'm an awesome big brother." Grinning at Sam he said, "Now how about we get out of here and try out that new ID."
They had gone for supper at a local bar that a lot of the students went to, Dean having left the car at Sam's dorm. Sam had even ordered a pitcher of beer for the two of them, after flashing his new ID at the waitress. They played a few rounds of pool. Dean even managed to con a couple of guys into playing them for money, which was foolish on their parts because Dean never missed unless it was on purpose. The two guys were a little upset after several games that Sam and Dean had won over a hundred and fifty bucks from them, and accused him of hustling. They were right of course – Dean couldn't play a game without swindling some poor bastard out of his money, but that didn't mean that he was going to give it back just because they called him on his game. When it looked as if it was going to get confrontational, Dean invited them outside to talk it over. Sam didn't want to fight, but once the fists started flying, he didn't have much choice. It was over pretty quickly anyway. The other two guys didn't stand much of a chance against two brothers that had grown up the way the Winchester brothers did.
Swinging a couple six-packs and laughing all the way back to the dorm, Dean was elated about the easy money they had made. "You made that money Dean, it's all yours." Sam had insisted when Dean tried to push half the winnings on him.
"No Dude, you were my partner, you get half."
"You were the one making all the good shots."
"You mean you weren't missing on purpose to egg those guys on?" Dean asked. "Dude, you're out of practice."
"Whatever," Sam rolled his eyes. "Keep your ill-gotten gains."
"No way Sammy, you earned your share by taking out that big dude in the too tight t-shirt."
"I didn't have much choice. The guy tried to punch me."
"Yeah, that right hook of yours was always a thing of beauty… Smarts like hell too." Dean said wistfully while stroking his jaw, remembering some long ago scrap the two of them had gotten into.
They stayed up for a couple of hours in Sam's room, drinking the beer, laughing and talking. It felt good to have Dean there and the two of them just being brothers and not hunters. Dean ended up passing out in Sam's former roommates bed, his drunken snores filling the small room, the familiar sound lulling Sam off into a deep sleep.
The following day after breakfast, Sam had told Dean that he had to go to the library to use the computers.
"Dude, can you be any more lame?" Dean complained.
"I need to do my work Dean."
"Tell me that the Librarian is hot and that's why you spend so much time there."
"Dude, she's old," he grimaced.
"Cougar?" Dean raised his eyebrows hopefully.
"Not even close."
"Then come with me." And Dean led the way out of the diner and to the car in the parking lot. Dean opened the trunk, shifted some objects around a little to open the hatch that would store the spare tire in a normal car but instead held a small supernatural arsenal. Pulling out a brown leather case, he handed it to Sam.
"What's this?" Sam asked as he weighed the object in his hands.
"Open it up and find out."
Sam opened the case and inside was a laptop. The casing was covered in creepy looking decals of skulls and tribal scroll-work.
"I Winchester-ized it." Dean said proudly.
"Is this for me?" Sam said, awed.
"Yup, I don't know jack about computers, so I went into every geek store I came across until I found one that had a hot chick at the counter. She helped me out and gave me a couple programs she said you'd need – free of charge," he smirked. It didn't take much imagination to know how Dean scored free programs. The guy was a scoundrel when it came to women.
"Dean, this is too much. I can't accept this." Sam said, trying to push the computer back into his brother's arms.
"Well you better," Dean replied, pushing it back at him. "I can't take it back and what would I do with it besides watch porn?"
"How did you afford it?"
"That is several weeks worth of hard swindling, little brother. I ran every bar and pool hall from here to Columbus to buy that. It's supposed to be top of the line. And the chick kept saying it was wireless, whatever that means. Aren't laptops supposed to be wireless?"
Most guys would be able to hug their brother for giving them a gift like this, but that wasn't the way he and Dean were raised. So Sam settled for the traditional, manly shoulder slug. "Thanks Dean, this is awesome. Really."
"Don't mention it Samantha," Dean used the old nickname to warn Sam about getting too soft. "Now I'll let you have a couple of hours to do your work, but I'll meet up with you later and we'll get dinner and then head out and look for some girls. I'm dying to see more of the female student body."
"I'll bet you are," Sam said snidely to his brother as Dean got into the Impala and drove off, leaving him in the diner parking lot with the most expensive gift he's ever received.
The next couple of days passed much the same way. Dean would leave Sam to his studies during the day, and the evenings they would go to different bars where Dean would hit on anything in a skirt, and he and Sam would run a couple games of pool or darts. The morning Dean left, Sam returned to his room after seeing him off. Dean had promised to come see him again during his Christmas break. Opening his new laptop, Sam found an envelope on top of the keys. Written on the back of the envelope in Dean's small neat handwriting, was 'Sammy, don't even try to give this back to me, you helped me earn it. Use it to get yourself a haircut or something because you're getting shaggy Dude.' Inside the envelope was a wad of cash totaling nearly three hundred bucks. Sam grinned to himself and stashed the money away in his wallet, knowing that giving it back would be futile – and a guy's gotta eat.
A/N: So that's the first chapter, remember that this is gonna start out a little slow but hopefully I won't lose you guys before I go to town on Sammy's psyche.