I'm So Far From My Home

Chapter One

My story takes place in late 2005. The events of Dark Angel took place when the show aired, not in 2021. So, it's been three years since the events of "Freak Nation."

Dean stumbled out of the bar, swaying slightly as a couple of bar-goers followed him out the door.

Dean smiled at them. "Hey, bett'r luck nex' time, fellas. No 'ard feelin's."

The men grumbled as they charged off into the night. Dean continued to make his drunken way towards the Impala, smiling goofily at Sam, who was sitting on the hood. When the men had disappeared, Dean plopped onto the hood next to Sam.

"Overkill, dude," said Sam.

Dean looked over at him with a satisfied smile. "What's overkill?"

"You don't look drunk," said Sam. "You look on the verge of hammered and stoned. I'm amazed they didn't figure out you were playing them."

"Hey, play the other guy, not the game," said Dean. "Rule number one."

"I thought rule number one was shotgun shuts his cakehole," said Sam.

"That's car rules," said Dean. "I'm talking hustling rules."

"I see," said Sam. "How much did you get off them?"

"Five hundred," smiled Dean.

Sam whistled. "No wonder they looked pissed."

Dean laughed. "Come on." He hopped off the hood, slapping Sam's leg. "Time to spend my money."

"You mean our money?" asked Sam, getting off the hood also.

"Yeah, that's what I said," said Dean, climbing behind the driver's seat.

Sam laughed as he got into the passenger seat. "Sometimes I wonder how you can be such a smartass."

Dean smiled as he looked at the parking lot in front of him. You don't want to know, Sammy. You don't want to know.

*****************SN**********************

Sam walked out of the bathroom to find Dean changing his shirt for the night. As he pulled the dirty one off and tossed it aside, Sam spotted something he'd never noticed before.

"You got a tattoo?" asked Sam.

Dean fumbled a little and looked up at Sam, eyes wide. "What?"

"Your tattoo," said Sam. "When did you get it?"

Dean put a hand over said tattoo, eyes darting back and forth. "Uh…just after you left for Stanford. I wanted to do something radical, too."

Sam laughed, taking in the barcode on Dean's neck. "Proof of purchase, huh?"

For some reason, Dean's face paled, but he forced a smile out. "Yeah, something like that."

"Nice," said Sam. "I bet you get a ton of girls with some lame line like that."

Dean smiled. "And it works every time."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Whatever."

Dean laughed as he threw on another shirt, trying but failing to cover up his tattoo. Sam had never noticed the tattoo, but could you really blame him? Dean kept the back of the collar of every jacket turned up—not the front, just the back. No wonder Sam had never seen it before. Was Dean ashamed of the tattoo?

Dean fidgeted uncomfortably under Sam's stare. He'd always been so careful when he was out in public, even with his family. He usually covered the tattoo up with makeup of some sort—and wasn't it real awkward being a guy buying makeup at the store.

Sammy can never find out, Dean thought. He can never find out the things that I did…what I am. He'll never forgive me.

**********************SN*********************************

Sam awoke to the alarm clock, sitting up in the motel bed. "Come on, Dean."

Dean groaned from the other bed. "It's five in the morning."

"And?" asked Sam.

"We went to bed at one," complained Dean.

"You can take it up with Amelia Shanitz when we're digging up her corpse," said Sam. "Now up."

Dean pulled himself out of bed, stretching his back. "Aw…" He grimaced as he stood up. "Damned rested and ready."

Sam took a closer look at Dean. Despite his complaints that he'd only gotten four hours of sleep, Dean looked ready to run a marathon. There were no bags under his eyes, his eyes weren't bloodshot, his skin wasn't pale or waxy, and he was moving as though he'd gotten a full night's sleep. Sam never understood that. The two of them never got more than five hours of sleep. Sam could feel the effects wearing on him every day, but Dean looked completely healthy all the time.

Sam shook himself from his musings. "So, graveyard shift, huh?"

Dean chuckled. "Very funny, Sammy."

**********************SN**********************************

Sam fought back the spirit, dispelling it with rock salt. He rushed to the grave, spilling gasoline and salt onto the bones. He lit a match and tossed it in. When the spirit burst into flames and disappeared, Sam looked up at Dean, and his eyes went wide. They had been dealing with Amelia's spirit when they'd been jumped by a demon. What Sam was watching now was beyond belief.

Dean jumped as the demon swung a leg under him. When he landed, Dean planted a punch to his face, catching him off guard. The demon swung his right arm forward to punch Dean in the face, but Dean caught the fist in his hand, twisting it away from him. He nailed the demon in the leg with his foot, hitting the outside of the knee and breaking it. Dean jumped and spun around, swinging a leg around and connecting with the demon's head. The demon went to the ground as Dean landed expertly.

"Whoa," said Sam. Dean looked nervously over at him. "That was amazing!"

Dean smiled. "I know."

"Where'd you learn to fight like that?" asked Sam.

Dean hesitated for a moment. "Where else? From Dad."

"He never taught me any of that."

"Well, you disappeared to college before he could." Sam just stared at him. "You gonna help me over here?"

"Yeah," said Sam. He got up and walked over to Dean, helping him exorcize the demon.

"Alright, two baddies down," said Dean. "This calls for a beer."

"Dean, it's not even eight o'clock yet," said Sam.

"So we'll have a backwards day," said Dean. "Come on."

They drove to a store in town, buying a six-pack. At the register, Dean was turning to give the clerk a twenty when someone bumped into Sam. Sam stumbled and dropped the six-pack.

"I am so sorry," said the guy. He picked up the six-pack and handed it back to Sam. "Did any of them break?"

Sam checked the bottles. "No, they look fine."

"Alright, sorry," said the guy. He hurried off into the store, glancing back once at Dean.

Sam turned to see Dean watching the guy with narrowed eyes. "Dean." Dean looked at Sam. "You gonna pay for that any time soon?"

Dean glanced back at the guy once before looking at the clerk, handing over the cash.

There's something about that guy I don't like, thought Dean.

They left the store and headed back to the motel. Dean cracked open a beer.

"Cheers," said Dean.

Sam smiled as he opened his own. "To a job well done."

"Hell yeah," said Dean as they clinked their glasses. Dean took a giant gulp as Sam did the same. "Oh, that's great stuff."

"It is," agreed Sam.

Dean blinked a few times as he took another drink. It suddenly seemed very warm in the room.

"We got another job?" asked Dean.

"We just got back from a job," said Sam. "Give me a breather."

"Fine," said Dean, coughing a little. He got to his feet, heading for the kitchen. His legs seemed so heavy. He tripped over his own two feet and caught himself on the bedrail.

"You okay?" asked Sam.

"Yeah, just a little tired," said Dean. His vision began to swim as he wiped a hand across his sweaty brow. He looked down at his hand to see a couple of boils breaking out.

Oh, you gotta be kidding me, thought Dean. He looked over at the beer sitting on the table, realizing what was going on. They spiked the beer…That's who that guy at the store was…one of White's men…They finally found me…genetically targeted retrovirus…Must…warn…Sammy…

Dean turned towards Sam, trying to tell him, but he was too tired.

"Dean?" came Sam's voice through the delirium. "Are you okay? You look horrible."

Dean tried to take a step towards Sam, opening his mouth to tell him. A sudden clenching pain ripped through his stomach. He cried out in pain as he fell to his knees.

"Dean!"

Dean collapsed onto his side, clutching his abdomen as he yelled in pain.