What Happened to Us?
Disclaimer: I do not own supernatural or any of the characters they belong to Eric Kripke and the CW.
Katie slipped the menu back into the holder and turned away from Sam to gaze out of the window. She watched the people outside rushing about their lives only concerned about getting from point A to B. She envied them.
Sam watched her for a few seconds and a comfortable silence settled over them. "Veggie Burger really?" he questioned surprised at her meal choice.
Katie turned her attention back to him and smiled. "You surprised?" she asked in reply.
Sam nodded then laughed. "Of course, if I recall correctly you used to eat meat and a lot of it. You always used to order it when we went out. I remember the last time that Zack bet you ten dollars that you could not eat an entire raw steak by yourself in half an hour and you managed it in twenty minutes" he said.
She smiled at the memory. "Do you remember the look of disbelief on his face when I finished" she recalled.
Sam nodded and smiled as the memory came back to him. That was one of his more memorable times. He actually felt normal then.
"It took him five months to pay me the money through as he kept trying to weasel his way out of it. Michael threatened to beat him senseless if he did not pay up" she stated, smiling at the memory.
Suddenly she sobered and gazed at him all laughter gone from her face and any trace of merriment from her eyes.
She looks sad, Sam realized.
"I have changed a lot from Stanford Sam, I turned vegetarian for one thing" she stated simply.
"Good for you" he replied hoping to cheer her up a bit.
Katie smiled at him before she swiftly changed the subject. "So tell me more about this road trip with your brother."
He shrugged self-consciously and rubbed the back of his neck as he always did when he was nervous, which she did not fail to notice. It was one of his more endearing traits. She remembered him doing that when he and Jess first started dating.
The waitress came back over with her tray and set their drinks on the table. Katie immediately grabbed her soda and began to drink from the glass urgently in order to quench her thirst. Sam also took a few sips from his water.
"There is not much to tell really. I just took a road trip with Dean, It was boring mostly," Sam finally replied. "I just needed some space you know."
Katie reached over and took his hand, squeezing it gently. She understood that. She understood that very well.
"Jess's death was a shock and it hit us all pretty hard. I miss her too Sam," she said gently. Sam nodded as he felt tears come to his eyes. Even now he missed Jess. It never failed to sting his heart the manner in which she died.
"I came over to your apartment a few days after the funeral to check on you but you were already gone," she explained.
He squeezed her hand back and smiled at her slightly.
"Thank you, I appreciate it but I just had to get away as there was too many painful memories for me," he stated being honest for once about the whole situation. He took another swig of water and cleared his throat as the emotion swelled in his chest as it did whenever he thought about her even now.
"What about you?" he asked her simply to change the subject but he was also curious at what she had been up to since they had last seen each other.
She gazed up at him; meeting his eyes she took a deep breath. "I dropped out of Stanford not long after you actually, I only lasted a month longer than you Sam. It was just too painful and I missed you as well." she explained, lowering her eyes, Katie focused solely on the table in front of her, scared to meet his eyes.
Sam reached over and gripped her hand again knowing that she could do with a small sign of comfort. He could see that she was afraid of his reaction, he did feel a little disappointed that she had not completed her time at Stanford but he was hardly going to judge her considering that he had done the same thing.
"Where did you go after Stanford?"
"I actually went home for a bit to see my family then I spent some time alone with my sister travelling just like you did with your brother."
"Did you enjoy it?" He asked the question genuinely interested.
She was slightly surprised at his question. She bit her lip, trying to decide what to tell him. An odd silence hung over the table as Katie's internal battle raged inside. She could finally tell him the truth, the whole truth but she quickly disregarded the idea as she had done many times in the past.
Sam watched her closely and he started to feel guilty. He had no right to interrogate her like this after all they had not seen each other in years. He squeezed her hand again which drew her attention to him once more and smiled at her slightly.
"You don't have to answer if you really don't want to Kate. After all, I have hardly been the best friend in the world. I never attempted to keep in touch after everything that happened so you owe me nothing."
Katie was shocked to hear the bitter tone in his voice and even more shocked to hear his old nickname for her pass his lips. She wasn't sure what to make of it. It was the only nickname she had been given and he was the only one that ever got away with using it. She hated anyone shortening her name but Sam was different. Sam was simply Sam. She gazed into his eyes. She hoped that he did not blame himself for Jess's death as she knew it not his fault and she would hate to think he blamed himself.
Sam was fidgeting nervously with the salt shakers with his free hand.
She grabbed them off him and put them on her side of the table. He looked at her and their eyes connected. She smiled at him then shook her head.
"I would hate to think that you blamed yourself for Jess's death Sam," she said softly.
Katie saw the glimmer of guilt and hurt in his eyes before he turned away from her to gaze out of the window again. "It was not your fault Sam. It was a dreadful and tragic accident."
He nodded slightly but she doubted that he believed a word she had just said. She sighed then she took a deep breath deciding it was best for both of them if she changed the subject and answer the question he had asked her. "The situation with my family, it is complicated Sam," she said quietly.
He turned his attention back to her. He nodded.
"I understand Katie, believe me I do"
She smiled at him and a silence stretched between them.
In some way it was oddly comforting. To not talk seemed to allow the difficult memories to surface and give words to them.
Sam realized that she had never answered any questions about her family while at Stanford instead she had deflected them or quickly changed the subject to other things. She had been an entirely closed book to him, only showing him what she wanted him to see of her.
He had tried everything to get her to open up to him many times but she was stubborn and had refused to be drawn on the topic.
After some time in the end he had given up and left the subject alone. He had respected her decision and he had understood it. He never blamed her due to the fact he never talked about this family either. He had only told them that he never talked to his father or brother and that his mother had died when he was young. Sam had seen the walls that she had built up around herself at the time and he had related to her as he had built his own walls around his past but now he realized he might finally get some answers from her about her past.
He held his breath seeing that she was about to speak again and he hoped he would finally get the answers he sought but before she could speak, their waitress came back over to their table carrying their order. She set the two plates in front of each of them. The waitress smiled at them before she walked away heading back through the green doors which he imagined led to the diner's kitchen.
Katie instantly grabbed her burger and bit into it not caring that it was hot and burnt her tongue, she just wanted any distraction from this conversation. She looked over and saw that Sam had not touched his food. She gazed into his eyes and saw the questions reflected in them. She sighed and put down her burger then she took a sip of her soda knowing that he would not give up easily this time as he had done in the past. She knew she would have to give him some sort of answer.
She decided to tell him as much of the truth as she could as it would be easier that way.
"I know I have never told you anything about my family apart from mentioning my sister a few times and I know that you must have questions," she said looking over at him.
He stayed silent hoping that she would continue and he did not have to wait long until she did. "Well my family and I don't really see eye to eye," she explained as she started to pick at her burger.
She was uncomfortable speaking about this, he could tell and he understood how she felt.
"We are too similar in a way. My father wants me to do as I am told and to follow his orders without question and my sister smothers me. She always treats me like a child," she said, her voice taking an angry timbre."
My mother sees what is going on but she has tried to talk to my father but he won't listen and she thinks my sister is simply trying to protect me. I love my family but I can't stand them sometimes."
The tears began to trickle out of her eyes.
"I just can't be the person they expect me to be Sam. Do you understand what I am saying?"
Sam smiled at her and took her hand again.
"I understand where you are coming from Katie. Thank you for telling me." He was happy that she had finally confided in him but he felt sad about what she had been through and once more felt guilty about the fact he was not there for her when he should have been.
Katie did not respond instantly instead she went back to slowly eating what remained of her burger. Sam cleared his throat and she looked over at him. He pointed to the salt and they both started to laugh which eased the tension between them. She slid the shaker over to him which he sprinkled onto his salad.
"Since when do you put salt onto your salad" she asked him curious as she took another bite of her burger.
"A bad habit that I picked up while on the road," he replied.
She nodded in understanding knowing she had picked up quite a few bad habits of her own while on the road.
They settled into a comfortable silence with each other talking about numerous subjects from old college friends to the latest headlines in the paper. They had finished their meals long ago and had ordered coffee not ready to say goodbye to each other just yet. They sat content to talk and catch up while listening to old 50's tunes play on the jukebox and the constant chatter from the other diners in the background.
Suddenly the jukebox snagged and the whole diner went deadly quiet. Katie looked over at Sam and saw that he had sensed it too. She knew whatever this meant it was never good, she quickly slid her hand down her leg to double-check that her hunting knife was still concealed in her left boot, she was glad now that she always came prepared.
Katie saw the worry and concern in Sam's eyes and instantly felt guilty about lying to him. He thought that she was a civilian and he was clearly worried about her. Katie knew from his tense expression that he was trying to fight his hunter instincts and not show them to keep up the pretence for her. She smiled at him slightly and in that moment she pitied him and hated herself.
"I think we should move this conversation to a more intimate place and let these people get home since it is so late," he said in a calm voice meant to reassure.
She was surprised at how calm he sounded, knowing that every instinct in his body must be telling him to fight but he did this for her to see that she was safe. She nodded not wanting to prolong this agony for him. "Let's go," she said grabbing her coat. She quickly slipped her hunting knife from her boot and concealed it underneath her coat. She saw relief wash over his face at her compliance to his wish.
Katie knew his game plan as she had used it herself before; he was going to let her go out the door first to make sure she was safe then barricade the door and fight them all on his own. It was suicide but in his eyes with her being a civilian, it was the only plan of action open to him. She was not stupid. She knew that there was no way they would be allowed to leave this place, they would be lucky to make it close to the door at all.
Two hunters for the price of one was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
They got up from the booth at the same time and Sam came over to her, putting his arm around her. He gripped her arm tightly trying his best to protect her. Katie instantly felt a wave of sadness wash over her. Nothing would be the same after tonight. She could no longer hide the truth from him and she knew that he would treat her differently because of it.
She would no longer be Katie his best friend and old Stanford classmate. No she would be Katie the fellow hunter and she knew that after this his guard would go back up and he would no longer trust her as he did now. She knew that in his eyes from this moment on he would think she had betrayed him. In her heart though she hoped that he would forgive her and understand but she knew that this hope was most likely in vain.
Author Note: This is chapter four, I hope you all enjoyed reading it. I would once more like to thank Kirabaros for betaing this chapter for me. Please read and review as I love hearing your comments. Thanks.