Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural.

AN: One shot for now, though if Dean cooperates, I may add his take shortly.

Sam had been fourteen when he was taken away from his father and brother by Child Protective Services. He knew his dad and Dean hadn't planned on being away for almost a week while chasing a witch around a ring of small times in Nowhere, Minnesota. Sam himself had been rather pleased, actually, knowing that this was as good a time as any to prove just how well he could take care of himself on his own.

He had thought he was being careful, but the people in this small town were just a little too friendly and far too nosy for everyone's own good. Somehow, whispers circulated and word got back to a teacher, and before Sam even had an inkling what was happening, a call had been made and he was called out of class and into a meeting with his computer class teacher, a woman he'd never seen before and a police officer. Days like that never boded well.

He was excused from school the rest of the day, under the care of the woman from CPS, who explained gently that as soon as the investigation was wrapped up he would be moved to a foster home. He was vaguely horrified to discover they'd been quietly investigating the Winchester family since Day 3 of Sam's solo time. His family apparently was seen as rather of a risk, and would not be informed of his whereabouts.

Sam thought long and hard about his situation in the initial few nights after his abrupt and unwanted move. They still had not been able to contact his father or his brother. The cell phone number that Sam had given them was out of service, that fact alone gave him an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach when he dwelled on it too long. He wanted to call Pastor Jim or Bobby, but he knew they wouldn't be allowed to know where he was either. His foster mom- Julie, he called her, refusing to use anything else- tutted when she thought about Sam wasn't listening about 'the poor boy being just abandoned like that'. He refused to believe he was abandoned. He knew as long as they were able, Dad and Dean would come looking for him.

He kept his head down. He kept his grades up. Three years passed. He went out for everything in school that he could. His first name appeared in the paper. His real last name did not. His family was still considered a risk to whisk him away. Sam hoped they would. Soccer, track and swim kept him in shape. He lifted weights. He missed sparring more than he ever thought he would. He tried to take up karate, but the moves were too different for his muscle memory to overcome. He made honor roll every semester. He threw himself into learning Latin. He got parts in the play. He hid away newspaper clippings of anything hinting at Supernatural Things. He won a full ride to Stanford. He Looked Normal. He had never lived this long anywhere in his life. He hated it.

If you get separated, stay in one place for as long as you can, as long as it's safe. It's a whole lot easier for me or Dean to find you when you're stationary. You hear me, Sammy?

Sam heard him. He wouldn't cause his foster parents any trouble, he'd be such a model foster child that no one would worry about him as soon as he was Legal.

His birthday came.

He was going to find his family.