Here's my new story, the sequel to Dreaming True and it goes a little more AU but only slightly. You don't need to read that one to understand most of this but it may help...it's based on the idea of exactly how much John knew about Azazel's plans and when exactly he found out, also how someone like him might deal with it...it was never stated in the series! And also I thought-there could be other people apart from Azazel who would want to use people like Sam so here's the result of all those thought processes and I hope it works out! Sam is 17 and Dean 21 in this story.

Disclaimer: I don't own Sam, Dean or anything to do with Supernatural, though I'm working on it!

And I don't have a beta, so all mistakes are my own...

Hope you enjoy!

The Darkling Guard

Chapter 1:

"So what can you tell me about the blood sample?" John Winchester's rugged face was intent, almost haunted, set, as if he did not really want to know the answer. Facing him, the hunter-turned-scientist Dr Bates was peering over his microscope, narrow eyes squinted behind his crescent-moon shaped glasses. He now looked up, expression nervous. John Winchester was one of the best hunters in this part of the world, and he was not renowned for his evenness of temper.

"I have never seen anything like it," he confessed. "Whichever organism this blood stems from is...like nothing..."

"Get to the point. And cut the jargon, I just want to know what you know"

Dr Bates rubbed his eyes tiredly. "Clearly it is not the blood of a human," he said bluntly, and John flinched violently. The doctor raised his eyebrows.

"Is something wrong?"

John shook his head. "No, no. Please go on."

"Very well. That is, at first glance it almost seems like an ordinary blood sample, of a healthy human being. To civilian eyes it would be indistinguishable. But looking only slightly closer..." He shook his head. "If it wasn't impossible under the circumstances I would say that it was the blood of a demon. All the signs are there, even down to a faint sulphuric residue. But of course it is not possible-human and demon blood intermingled? It..." He laughed nervously. "It is insane."

John's face was a mask.

"Where did you find this, John?" Bates asked, leaning forwards. "Which creature..."

John shrugged, clearly trying hard for an illusion of nonchalance. "Came across it by accident."

"Because I hope you realise, whatever this thing is, it is dangerous. It's nothing we've ever seen before. And if there's even a possibility that there could be more of its kind..."

"What do you mean by dangerous? What would this thing be like?"

Bates looked uncertain. "It is hard to be sure, but...a human being with some enhanced abilities or powers I would guess, and with such infernal origins then there would be little hope of their choosing to use them for good. I would greatly like to learn more, John, and seeing this creature for myself would...

"I'm afraid that won't be possible." John stood up and strode to the door. "Thank you for your time."

"John, you could be putting us all at risk!" The scientist rose and followed him across the room, catching him just before he reached the door. "What do you have against showing me more?"

John turned back and his face was shadowed with an ominous mixture of guilt, determination and fear. "You really think this...creature...could be a threat us all?" he asked softly. His friend nodded.

"I have no doubt that it will become one, if it is still alive?"

John hesitated a fraction of a second-to Bates' watchful gaze he seemed to be fighting some intensive inner battle. Then he nodded.

"Very well," he said quietly. "I will bring him in for examination. But you must not breathe a word of this to anyone, you understand me? I am trusting you with something as important as my life."

Bates frowned. "John? Why? What is this?"

John turned away, hiding his face from the bright strode lighting of the lab. "The owner of this blood is my youngest son," he murmured, and slammed out.

…...

"So who can tell me which stage of mitosis the cell is at in question 4.3? You, Sam?" Miss Gale, the biology teacher, nodded to a tall, lanky, untidy-haired boy sitting in the second row before his enormous textbook.

"Prophase, because we can see the chromatin," Sam Winchester replied quietly, scoring, as he always did. Miss Gale smiled in assent. "Did everyone hear that? Prophase. Simon, if you don't stop making that noise it'll be outside the door for you...thank you, Sam. Let's press on, class..." She was interrupted by the bell signalling the end of the school day clanging through the corridors and her class surging to their feet. "Finish the questions for tomorrow, then," she called shrilly-very few of them heard her. One who did was Sam, whom she saw scrawling the instruction on his hand in biro. His was an ambiguous story-he had arrived here only a couple of weeks ago and had already proved himself top of the class, a slightly shy, friendly boy who revealed nothing of his past. On that very first day he had come in with a livid set of bruises on his arm and neck that he was trying unsuccessfully to hide under his jacket, and when she had asked him about them he had replied automatically that he had tripped before almost running away. Now she watched him gather up his books and leave the classroom with the others, and she knew that once again she would see him walking across the lawn in the direction of the darker part of town, and that once again she would say nothing about how alone he seemed.

"How the hell d'you know so much?" Sam's friend Steve jokily asked him. "Man, they call me a geek but I damn well don't know what prophase is..."

"Though you could draw an accurate diagram of the interior of the USS Enterprise," Sam pointed out, shoving the unruly chestnut hair out of his eyes and shivering as they left the building and were struck by the cold air. Steve grinned, unrepentant.

"There are worse talents...hey, you want to come down to Starbucks with the guys before you go home?"

Sam sighed, wanting to so badly. "I can't, Steve, my brother gets really annoyed if I'm not home on time..."

"Man, you never go anywhere!"

"I know," Sam said regretfully. "I really wish I could but I gotta go now. See you tomorrow, right?"

"Sure, see you..." Sam turned away and began to walk away across the lawn, backpack bouncing on his shoulders as the smile faded from his face, the light in his green-gold-blue wide hazel eyes dying away.

He did not want to go home.

Dean had been in a mood for days, and Sam could not imagine why, since his brother did not even have a job at the moment and instead, since they weren't currently working a job, just got to please himself all day so long as he still oversaw Sam's weapons training, which was never quite good enough to satisfy their father. John was not even around at the moment-he had taken off to see some friend of his in Minnesota three days ago and had not been seen since. Come to think of it, maybe his absence was why Dean was being so grumpy.

Normally Sam would have been happy to get home when his father was not around, but what with Dean's bad temper, the possibility of coming home to find Dean in bed with some girl, like yesterday, and the continual nightmares and flashback attacks he had been having recently and now associated with their current 'home', he would rather just have stayed at school with his friends and his books. Gone to Starbucks with Steve and the others...

Flashbacks...back to that time six months ago now, when he had run away and gotten himself kidnapped by a sadistic wraith calling himself Dr Pierce, who had made Sam believe that his brother and father were actually trying to kill him...followed by those horrific fever dreams that Sam could never fully remember-though that did nothing to reduce the memory of the sheer and horrific terror he had experienced whilst in their grip. He did not know why they should have increased again so suddenly, but he hated it. He had always been prone to extremely vivid nightmares, and it wasn't as if his lifestyle had helped that tendency much, but that did not mean he had to like it. Nor did it ever get any easier.

He was slow to walk home-he often wished that he lived nearer to some of his friends, so that he did not always have to go home alone, but the run-down motel he currently inhabited with Dean and Dad on the outskirts of town was essentially isolated from all civilisation. It was not in the safest part of town either, though Sam was not especially worried about that. Whatever he thought of his hunter's lifestyle, at least it had given him the skills he needed to defend himself against more than supernatural enemies. He had always been independent, and being able to protect himself was just another facet of that.

Dean and Dad did not seem to think so, though...it was stupid really. They were the ones who pushed Sam through the training, and then they were the ones who were worried if he was an hour late getting home. Dean called him a danger magnet-Sam tried very hard not to agree.

The walk home took Sam half an hour before he arrived at their motel and saw the Impala parked outside their room. Then he stopped short, frowning, and guilt filled him at the way his heart sank on seeing his father's truck parked beside Dean's car. So he was back.

Great.

Sam continued forwards, skirting the two vehicles and pushing his key into the door of their room. He could hear muffled conversation inside as he stepped through into the room, and saw Dean and Dad sitting at the scratched table, talking in low voices. They fell silent when he entered.

"Hey, Dad," Sam ventured a little nervously. There was something in John's eyes that...terrified him. Probably just another flashback.

"Where've you been, Sam?" his father asked him. Sam was surprised.

"Uh-at school, of course." He smiled at Dean, who nodded back, and then went past his father and brother towards his bed, where he dumped his backpack and began pulling books out of it.

"Do you always get home this late?" John said.

"Yeah," Sam replied. "But it's not late, it's only four-thirty." John's face tightened. "And what do you think you're doing now?" he demanded. Sam had only just opened his English book to begin planning an essay, and now, suspecting what could be coming, he felt the familiar defiance rise up inside him. He hated these tiny motel rooms. There was nowhere to get out and hide.

"I'm doing my homework."

"No point," John told him. "We're leaving tonight."

Sam felt some emotion akin to panic burst through him. "Tonight? But you said we'd be here a few weeks at least!"

"Don't contradict me, boy," John told him, and now Sam realised that what he had seen in his father's eyes was no illusion. It was some bizarre mixture of anger and fear, and Sam did not understand. Maybe something was tracking them and they had to escape it? But John Winchester never ran and hid from danger-he stood up and laughed in its face.

"Why're we going?" he asked stubbornly. Dean, recognising the foreplay of a major Winchester versus Winchester battle, sighed heavily.

"Because I say we are, that's why," John told him. "Now leave that stuff alone and pack your things."

Sam knew it was only asking for trouble. But he was tired and angry, and he did not know why his father wouldn't just explain what the hell was going on, and he had just begun to fit in here, find real friends, he was enjoying his classes. He could not stop them leaving. But instead of obeying his father's orders and beginning to pack, he turned back to his homework and started to write. John Winchester was across the room in seconds, sweeping Sam's pile of books off the bed so that they crashed haphazardly to the floor and rounding on his youngest son.

"For once in your life, Sam, do as I say! You will not ignore my orders and you will show some respect, you understand me? God knows I've tried so hard with you, Sam, but this..."

Sam was amazed, bewildered. All he had done was try and do his homework.

"What have you tried?" he demanded, standing up to face his father. He had grown nearly three inches in the past year and now stood as tall as John, although he was still much slighter. "Tried to make me someone I'm not? Tried to make me like Dean? Well, sorry, Dad, but it's not going to happen. I'm not Dean and I never will be, and you're just gonna have to live with that!"

John gave a roar of fury and for a moment Sam thought he was really going to hit him, and he stood his ground with the fearlessness of a blinding rage despite the proximity of another terrifying flashback. But John did not lash out. Instead his voice dropped low and he snarled into Sam's face: "You want to know why we're leaving, Sam? You want to know where we're going? I'm taking you to see a friend of mine, a friend who thinks he knows what the hell is wrong with you!"

Sam blinked in surprise, the anger suddenly draining out of him, leaving him disoriented. "What's wrong with me?"

"Dad." Dean had come up behind John, green eyes filled with concern. "Dad, it's okay, let's just go."

"No!" Sam cried. "What do you mean? There's nothing wrong with me!" He was panicked inside, he did not know why. As if something huge was about to happen-huge and terrible, that his life would never be free of. He could not stand to be kept in the dark about any of it. "What's going on?"

"Dad-" Dean sounded almost desperate. "Don't..."

John was still breathing hard, fury still blazing in his dark eyes. "You're a little freak of nature is what's wrong with you, Sam," he hissed, voice dripping with loathing. "Now pack your stuff and get a move on." And he turned and strode out, slamming the door behind him, leaving a bewildered Dean and a hurt, traumatised Sam alone together.

…...

Dr Bates, sitting alone in his lab before the computer, punched the number one on his cellphone and held it to his ear, speed-dialling the most important contact he had. "Hello?" he said into the phone. "Is that the Commander? I think I have another one for you." A shrill gabbling could be heard as his contact replied. "Yes, yes, a boy. A hunter. I'll be checking him over tomorrow..." Another pause. "Yes, of course. You can count on me, Commander." A final pause, and then he flicked the phone closed. And smiled.

So there's the first chapter and I hope you liked it! Should I carry on with this one? Please let me know!