Author's Note: The words where: student, travel and weight. Only 23 more working days and then I'm free to write! And read, I have all the emails for stories I haven't read yet, but I'm going to.

Disclaimer: Only a student imitating the Master

Word count: 100 in each

Warnings: Must know how season 4 ended

Versed in the arts

Despite Sam's belief about being a crappy student, he had learnt a lot from Ruby. After her betrayal he hadn't looked back at the knowledge even once, but seeing the black altar in the overrun church made it all come rushing back – her voice and touch as she instructed him - and it brought both longing and loathing. But it also brought her teachings. He knew how to undo the spell and shield the town from the magical backlash. And as he struck the focus point asunder, harmlessly dispersing the malicious energy, he wondered if he had been cursed – or blessed.

The road most travelled

Even though there was an Apocalypse running wild, or maybe just because, the Winchesters hadn't stopped looking for people and places that needed help in smaller ways. The fact that they were needed at times seemed like their only anchor to sanity. And here they were, about to travel into a nature reserve. Sam shrugged into his backpack and glanced at the sign that said "Take only photographs. Leave only footprints." He felt the deep irony in the fact that though he had never meant any living person harm, he just might have brought about the end of the world.

Life in the balance

He felt deep satisfaction at the weight of the gun in his hand, as he aimed it at the demon. God, he had longed for a gun! Those decades in the Pit where he'd used blades, screws, ropes and truly alien things. How he had longed for a gun to make a quick killing. The Colt had been a hope to hang on to in more than one way, but holding his own gun again was reassurance enough. It wouldn't kill the demon in front of him, but it could just as quickly be turned on himself. That was comfort.