A/N: Let's just say that Sam sees Katie while he's at college. Since this is an AU, in this one Sam went to the University of California, San Diego, where Katie attended school, instead of Stanford in Palo Alto. I always wondered since the fugly never left her, if it ever followed her to school one day, which was against the rules...oh, never mind. The title of this chapter is a variation of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" but it's from the song X.Y.U. by Smashing Pumpkins: "Mary had a little lamb/Her face was white as snow/And everywhere that Mary went/I was sure to go/Now Mary's got a problem/And Mary's not a stupid girl/Mary's got some deep shit/Mary does not forget..."
Katie should be that lucky. Here we go...
Part 2: Katie had a little lamb
The first time Sam sees Katie he sees the shadow around her.
He tries not to stare.
They were in the library, and Sam stood quietly as he watched her eyes glaze over. That toothy grin on her face sent a chill down his spine. Her skin pales, then darkens. Sam's breathing quickens, fast and rough, as he watches her sit down at the table nearest the window.
Katie's not there anymore. Sam can see it. The thing inside her looks around, grinning, loving the feel of the warm flesh around it.
Sam's knees shake slightly. He leans against the bookcase behind him, and he thinks about calling Dean. He thinks about it, but he doesn't do it. That bothers him, but he crumples the feeling up, pushes it down deep inside him. He's gotten pretty good at that.
The day Sam left for college. John Winchester was all thunder and wrath: "You walk out that door, Sam, don't bother coming back!" As loud as Dad was, Dean was quiet. Sad. That didn't dawn on Sam until later, how quiet and somehow pale Dean had been on the drive to the bus station. He'd never seen his big brother look or act like that before. It's been a year now, one year away from hunting and that damn life, and Dean hasn't called in all that time. It's just as well.
Sam stares at Katie as she sits there, grinning slyly to herself. He knows he has a job, right here in front of him, for God's sake.
Later on he hacks into the student database, finds out her name and her class schedule. He's hunting again, and it's like riding a damn bike. He can't forget, no matter how hard he tries.
He sees Katie several times after that. The thing inside her is smart. It loves being out and about in the sun and air, does just enough to screw her life up. Katie zones out during class, sways in her seat back and forth every other class period. People see it, and they ignore it, every damn time.
When he was very young, Sam used to think that the dark things always waited until nightfall to come out.
Sam knows now how wrong he was about that.
On the last day Sam sees Katie as she's crossing the quad to get to her Spanish class. He doesn't go near her. He doesn't have to. Sam focuses his attention on her. He hooks the darkness inside her with his mind and pulls. Hard.
Katie stops short, frozen.
His head hurts, but Sam pulls again. The sonofabitch demon doesn't want to come out. It fights him, hangs on inside Katie's flesh. Her body jerks and twitches, and Sam knows if he's gentle it'll kill her. If he hesitates, she'll die. It's like pulling off a band-aid: fast hurts like hell, but it's quicker, better, so he gives one last yank with his mind and the demon comes out, screeching and wailing.
Sam wills it dead. Wills it gone. It dies in the bright sunshine, and Sam waits. Katie blinks several times, and when she comes back to herself she clutches her books to her chest and looks around dazedly. Sam waits until she stumbles off, and then he heads in the opposite direction. His Ethics in Law class starts in five minutes, and Professor Pattison can be a purebred bitch about latecomers.
Sam's head is pounding now, a low, heavy ache that settles in right behind his eyes. Sam reaches into his pocket, pulls out an aspirin bottle and shakes out four pills. He makes a nasty face as he dry swallows them. That'll do for now.
He glances back at Katie, and he thinks of Dean.
Dad and Dean thought he wanted normal. That wasn't why Sam left; that wasn't it at all. He had to leave, before they found out what he could do, what he really was. Being at odds with Dad seemed natural and normal; it was the hurt look on Dean's face if he ever found out that Sam knew he couldn't take.
Sam shoulders his backpack. His eyes go to slits against the sunlight as he trudges to class. He's not normal, never has been, but he can pretend, at least.