"How does a person act as a club?"

Sam raised an eyebrow as River asked the question. This time his mind was in Stanford and they were sitting on a bench. He had a paper bag of feed they were tossing to the squirrels. He was wearing sweatpants and a white tee shirt. She was wearing a white kimono ties shut with a blue sash. River was trying to bait out a chipmunk with animal crackers.

"Been reading Lewis Caroll?" Sam asked.
"Nope. Carver Edlund. Supernatural. Book number 39. Heart. And something about a wet cat."

Sam placed his face in his hand.
"I knew Chuck tended to get Smutty but..."
"Chuck?"
"The Prophet Chuck. Carver Edlund is his pen name." Sam paused as River managed to coax the chipmunk into her hand. "You're reading the Supernatural books?"
"It was Castiel's idea. I've been enjoying them. I was so happy you were able to cure Madison lycanthropy. Why isn't she around looking for you, seeing as you were so close?"
"I guess you didn't finish that book yet."


River hadn't noticed Sam's face darken, but she saw the scene change. The memory Sam was asleep, holding a dark haired woman. Madison. It was only briefly on River's mind because Sam rolled over onto his back, practically naked except for the sheet over his nethers. River wasn't entirely sure why blood rushed into her cheeks, but it had.

Then he turned and Madison was growling on all fours. She hadn't been cured but had jumped out the window. Memory Sam ran to the window.


The scene faded and Sam's face was darkened as he leaned against the wall of the room River had first found him in. It wasn't on fire now, merely empty. There was no life, no sheets, no curtain. Outside the windows was darkness.
"What happened to Madison?" River sat next to him as she whispered this, scared of the answer. She placed a hand on his shoulder as Sam spoke.
"She couldn't stand being a werewolf. She asked me to be the one to end her. I didn't want to but..."
"Better someone she knew." River finished the thought. Wordlessly she embraced him as Sam began to shake.
"I couldn't save her."
"There's a few billion people Sam." River whispered. "You have a good average for people you have saved."
"But the people I want to save..."
"Would they want you to be sad for their passing? They went up." She hadn't believed Shepherd Book once. But she'd seen Wash and traveled in time. River knew at least some of it was true.

Sam exhaled as he let go of her. River became aware once more that proportionately he was much bigger then her.
"I've been up there. It's lonely."
"You've been to Heaven?"
"According to Ash my brother and I die more then anyone else."
"Ash dies?" River's eyes widened as she punched him lightly. "Spoiler!"

Sam laughed lightly as River leaned back.
"Lonely?"
"Unless you bend the rules like Ash did, every person gets a separate Heaven. Except Soul Mates."
"That sucks. How'd he bend the rules?"
"That would be a spoiler."

It was River's turn to laugh as Sam shook his head.
"I wish I could know you're not a delusion." He stated. River raised an eyebrow.
"You think you made me up?"
"I'm afraid I am. I wouldn't mind believing you're real. But that also means you're putting yourself in danger for me."
"My choice. And not just you." River hugged her knees. "I want to change where I'm from."
"Where's that?"
"Osiris." River exhaled. "But because of the experiments my brother got me out and we'd been living outside the law on a ship of smugglers. Their mechanic-Kaylee-fancies him. Took him forever to catch on."
"Heh. Sounds like an interesting life."
"It's not Demon Hunting."
"Why is it so easy talking to you?"
"We're both really smart people who got seriously screwed up by forces beyond our control and have over protective brothers." River stated. Sam smiled lightly and grasped her hand.
"So we're kind of kindred souls."
"Yeah." River smiled, "I guess we are."