Title: Skin Deep
Summary: AU Dean never went to Sam to find their father. Sam made his interview and was accepting into Law School and offered an internship with a well respected law firm. Everything is going well until he gets disturbing news about his brother.
Author's note: Well, howdy folks. Just under a year ago, I was introduced to Sam and Dean when I saw re-run of AHBL 1 & 2 one morning. At that time, Season 5 was wrapping up on CW, Jensen and Jared were getting married and I was job hunting. I think in some ways I may have OCD, because after watching AHBL, I suddenly found myself downing all five seasons in the matter of a month- give or take a week and reading tons of fan fic and snatching up some books and DVDs. I wrote a series of drabbles, which I am happy about because they are not something I excel at or are fond of but I challenged myself and I did it. I wanted to tackle a full story but I also didn't want to start writing and posting with an unfinished fic that really had no end in sight. I have enough stories hanging that I want to finish I didn't need to add one more to the mix. Bad news, this is still not a completed story, however I do know with 55+ pages already written and only a few chapters left to go, that I can complete this and post without interruptions for a full and complete fic. So the good news is that I have 10 chapters ready to go and with a weekly posting schedule I am confident in actually posting weekly to the end. Yeah!
Author's Note 2: Just as an FYI, I am a total Dean girl, but for some reason I find myself writing Sam more than Dean in this story. Not entirely a surprise when in Star Wars I wrote a lot of Qui-Gon when I am a major Obi-Wan girl. Anyway, I digress. I decided a few weeks ago that I would start posting this on Dean's B-day, so I am. Happy Birthday, Dean!
Posting: I will be posting new chapters weekly on Mondays.
Reviews: Always welcome! I would REALLY APPRECIATE them! But I'm also thankful for those lurkers out there too. (I am a stat watcher, lol.)
Well, this may not be new, but I hope you enjoy my little twist on it. Thank you all for reading!
- S – P – N – S – P – N –
It was Tuesday. Sam always enjoyed his Tuesdays as well as his Thursday Afternoons and Friday Mornings. Because on those days, he wasn't locked in a classroom listening to lectures but working and learning from real cases. After he was accepted into law school, Sam put in his application for some internships and managed to get picked for the grand daddy of them all. He was selected by Towsen and Towsen, who didn't always pick up an intern for every semester but almost always hired the interns they picked.
Not only was this the cushy internship because there was a high chance you were also working on your career already but because it was also paid! So with a full ride and a paying job, Sam Winchester was living large.
He had hoped that with his newfound wages he could buy that ring for Jess, but with her own success in Nursing, she decided to focus on her own career and asked to remain friends with benefits for a while until they both knew exactly where their careers would take them. Jess had taken a night shift internship at Stanford Hospital and had a number of mid-afternoon classes, while Sam was up at the crack of dawn for his classes and then either doing research at the library or putting principles in action at Towsen and Towsen.
They barely saw each other anymore. He missed her. She had stayed late at the hospital again so she hadn't gotten back before he had to leave for work. This was happening more and more often and rarely had the opportunity to catch up during the weekend. They both had a lot of school work to do over the weekends and Jess often had to work one night over those two days which threw their sleep schedule off. Maintaining a full fledged relationship was becoming increasingly impossible. So they chose to wait and see what the next two years would bring before determining if their lives could work together.
Despite the setback, Sam knew Jess was the girl for him and knew once they found a way to make it work, they would be very happy together. Sam wasn't worried. So any time spent together was relished by both. They respected and cared for each other enough to wait.
As Sam arrived at Towsen and Towsen, he greeted Lonny, their receptionist who was also a student at Stanford. Lonny acknowledged him with a quick nod but that was about all she did. She was engrossed in another mailer to be sent out and answering calls.
Flopping down into his seat, Sam logged into his computer and started reading through his e-mails. Most were conversations between his boss and a few of the other lawyers in the office, which really didn't concern him. A few were for him to follow up on some research or get information together on some cases he was helping with. But a few like the one from his friend Becky were important to him. Her brother Zach had been accused of murder right before the semester started, so neither returned for the semester obviously. Sam had known Zach too and knew that he was not capable of murder, but there was little he could do from Palo Alto.
He had been trying his best to offer her moral support and any advice he could give legally, but some laws were different in Missouri so he couldn't be certain that his advice would be accurate enough for Zach's case. The e-mail he had received from her late Friday afternoon though was starting to make him wonder.
I just got a call from Zach's lawyer. He wanted me to explain the whole situation again. So I told him that he already had that information and there was nothing else I could tell him that would change it. When they said they needed to confirm everything, I asked them why and that's when he told me something weird. He said that they were just contacted by another client, some big salesman from a huge corporation in our area, whose situation is very similar to Zach's. And after a little digging, they found out this is the fourth case like Zach's in the area.
They said all four men are being charged with assault and battery, with either murder charges or attempted murder charges, and all are claiming the same thing. That they weren't home when it happened but there is evidence that they were. That would mean all four of them were in two places at one time! But that's impossible right? I started going through the papers to find out about the others, and they all look totally different. So there couldn't be any way any of them could be mistaken for another. I am so confused. Nothing is making sense. I'm going to meet with the lawyers on Monday at 1pm to see if there could somehow be a connection, but they seem just as confused as me.
I'll let you know what happens.
Sam sat back. Something wasn't right. Four different cases with almost four identical stories? Something was definitely wrong with this picture and he didn't like it at all. Switching out of his e-mail, Sam began accessing a number of sites and databases to collect as much information as he could on the cases. Fortunately, he knew what lawyers the Warren's were using and sent them a request for the two case files that they were handling. A professional request from a colleague who was also advising one of their clients was generally responded to quickly. The other two cases would be trickier.
He went through some online articles and made some calls to other firms in the area and was able to find out who was representing the other two defendants. Now all he had to do was wait for their response.
It was almost 11 am when he finally got back to reading through his e-mail. He got through a few more when another e-mail from Becky popped up, this one from Saturday.
Just wanted to let you know that an FBI agent came over today. He said he was looking into all four cases. He asked a lot of strange questions. And when I asked him what he thought, he said I probably wouldn't believe him. That sometimes the answers to cases like these aren't easy to explain.
I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean but he was really nice and seemed to really want to help Zach and the others. He gave me his card and told me to call him if I could think of anything else. This is good right? I mean if the FBI are interested, maybe Zach has a chance of getting free.
Anyway, not sure if it will help or if you can get anything from him, but I've scanned his card and attached it here in case. I hope he can find something because I know Zach didn't do this.
Thanks for everything,
Sam opened the file and in the same instant his heart skipped a beat and a quick laugh escaped him. He knew that Agent, FBI Agent Ted Nugent, and he knew that number even if he hadn't called it in years. Dean.
Without really reading the rest of the e-mails, Sam finished going through them. All the while his thoughts lingered on his older brother. He couldn't really place the feelings he was struggling with knowing that his brother had visited Becky. If his brother was there then that meant something supernatural was in St. Louis, Missouri. And if his brother was there, then John was probably there too. He hadn't spoken to his father since that night he walked out to go to Stanford, over 4 years ago. Dean had tried occasionally to keep in touch, but when Sam was too busy to call back, apparently Dean got the hint and stopped bothering him too.
It's been over two years now since he had any contact with either of them. But no matter whether or not they kept in contact, Sam knew what they did and what they faced. Where ever his family went, danger was nipping at their heels. And if danger was there, then that meant Becky and Zach were somehow caught up in the middle of it. But it also meant that the best hunters in the country were there working on the case and they always finished their jobs. He just hoped that they could finish this one quickly so no more lives were torn apart.
Sam was so lost in thought that he didn't notice Carrie come up to him until she spoke. "Sam?"
"Oh hey, Carrie, what's up?" He asked her. She was the personal assistant to James Towsen, the younger of Towsen and Towsen. Richard Towsen was James' older brother, although they both were equal partners in the firm.
"Jimmy would like to see you in his office."
"Oh, ok. Um, is he with an appointment or should I go now?"
She smiled, "He's open. Next appointment isn't til after lunch. Go on."
Smiling back, Sam headed toward the man's office. The two offices took up one whole side of the floor, each one with their own corner. Jimmy's on the left and Richie's on the right. Jimmy's door was open when Sam arrived. Lightly, he knocked on the frame of the door. When Jimmy looked up, Sam said, "You asked to see me, sir?"
The 40 year old man looked up at the arrival and grinned. "Yes," he said as he stood up. Jimmy stepped around the desk and motioned towards the chairs around a small meeting table in the corner. "Please have a seat. Jenn will be joining us in a few minutes." He closed the door before joining Sam.
Curious now, Sam regarded his boss. There were a few Jenn's in the office and he wasn't exactly sure who Jimmy was referring to. "Sir?"
Moving to a seat across from Sam, Jimmy relaxed into the chair. "How are you liking things here, Sam?"
"Very well, sir. Everyone is just great and I enjoy helping out with the cases."
"Good, that's good. This job can be very satisfying if you apply yourself. Which is why we select our interns very carefully. With your GPA and LSAT Scores, we knew you would be a great candidate. And thus far you have done an excellent job."
"Thank you sir."
"I mean it, Sam. Your research is always top notch and some of the theories you postulate are sound. And there have already been a few cases when your theories have proven correctly. In some ways, I wonder if you should have gone into law enforcement instead of a law office. I bet you're one of those people who solve the cases on those CSI shows before they do."
"Not a lot of time right now to watch many shows."
"No, I guess not, between study and work. But it wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, as I was saying, we select our interns with great care because there is so much more to this than just pushing paper. I'm sure you recall the background check we ran on you."
"I do." Sam frowned, this conversation wasn't going the way he expected and he was starting to get a bad feeling. Clearing his throat, he continued, "Um, is something wrong sir?"
"Not exactly. Sam, in our line of work, we must choose our cases wisely and always maintain a level of professionalism. Often that means it is not good for us to help friends and family, because our judgment can easily be compromised by our feelings." Sam was starting to understand why he was called in here. "Now I know, what good is all of our knowledge and resources if we can't help the people we care about? And it is not completely taboo to help them, but we must always look at how taking on certain cases may look against the Firm and our integrity and reputation."
"This is about Zach Warren, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is. As you are aware, e-mail communications can be used in court and thus we have a department that reviews and screens all of our e-mail. You have made a number of inquiries in regards to a case that we are not handling although you have led them to believe we are working on the case as well."
"I know sir. And I meant no harm by it, it's just both Becky and Zach were friends of mine here in Stanford and I know that Zach is not capable of the crime he is being accused of. And now that there are similar cases being reported I had to look deeper into it. Anything that I could find might help not only one innocent man but many. And that's the truth, sir."
"Easy Sam. You're not in any trouble yet. I just want to caution you on abusing your privileges here and if there is something you are interested in or need help with all you have to do is ask. We want you to succeed here and we can help you make the proper choices." Just then there was a soft knock on the door. Jimmy called, "You can come in Jenn."
The door opened and Jenn Abernathy slipped into the room. Her brunette hair was pulled back into a tight bun, although the curls in her hair didn't lend themselves to the slick crisp look expected. She had a round face and deep brown eyes. She wasn't the drop dead gorgeous lookers that you see on TV, but she had an honest face, which helped when having to speak publicly. Because Jenn Abernathy was the PR rep for the firm.
The thick folder in her hands should have caused some concern, however it was the grim and somewhat bewildered expression that had both men wondering what upset her. "I apologize for being late, but I just collected some new information that I felt vital to this meeting."
"Sam, I asked Jenn to collect all the information you requested on Mr. Warren's case as well as the others. We were going to go over everything so you can begin to understand how to handle these situations."
Jenn sat on a chair between them and placed the folder on the table, her hands fidgeting nervously on top of it. "Forgive me sir, but I believe circumstances have changed enough to be more concerned about this case."
"How so?" Jimmy asked.
Sam suddenly felt that no matter what Jenn said right now, it was going to be far worse than he could ever imagine.
Glancing up at Jimmy, Jenn began, "I just spoke with Mr. Roberts, the Warren's attorney, and he has just been apprised of a new development in the case." At this she paused and cautiously looked at Sam. "It appears that late last night, the police were dispatched to Rebecca Warren's home. She had failed to meet with him for their appointment yesterday afternoon. After several failed attempts to contact her, Mr. Roberts requested that police be dispatched and they went." She took a deep breath before continuing.
"When the police arrived, they noticed that something was wrong and broke into the home. Inside they found Rebecca tied to a chair, obviously beaten. Fortunately, the assailant was also there and the police were able to apprehend him."
Concerned, Sam asked, "Oh my god, is she all right?"
"She was taken to the Hospital and was able to make a statement. She said that the man who attacked her, she had met before. She said he was an FBI Agent that had visited her over the weekend."
Outwardly, Sam remained calm, but inwardly, his heart began pounding harshly in his chest and his stomach dropped down into his knees. He wasn't stupid. He knew what she was telling him, but he refused to believe it. She had to be talking about someone else.
"When the police took the man into custody, they ran their normal background checks and found that he was not an FBI Agent. In fact, he was already wanted for Fraud, Impersonating various Officials and a number of other misdemeanors. They also got his real name."
Don't say it! Don't you dare say it! Sam's mind screamed. He couldn't even breathe.
With such sympathy in her eyes, it only confirmed Sam's fears before she even said, "His name is Dean Winchester."
Jimmy's head snapped toward Sam, the sheer shock evident on his face.
Sam refused to accept what he heard. He was automatically shaking his head 'no' falling back into the chair in disbelief, a hand running through his hair. "That's not possible," he muttered. "Dean wouldn't do that. It can't be him."
"I'm sorry Sam, but-"
"No!" Sam sprang to his feet; the chair shifting awkwardly behind him.
"Sam, calm down." Jimmy started, holding out a placating hand. "You are not responsible for your family's actions. If Dean-"
"No, you don't understand. He couldn't do that. It's not in his nature."
"I know how difficult this must be for you, but you can't presume to know what your brother - is it? - is capable or incapable of doing."
"Yes, I can. Even as a kid all he ever cared about was protecting me - people. Everyone always thought he was just a punk, they never saw the real him. Anytime he saw someone in need, he would do whatever was needed to take care of that person, with no thought of himself. I – So I know, this isn't right. He may be rough around the edges but he is not capable of hurting an innocent woman. There is something wrong here, and I have to find out what it is."
"What are you saying, Sam?"
"I have to go to him. I have to talk to him. I have to talk to Becky. I won't believe it until I see it for myself."
"I understand. Jenn?" The two veteran employees shared a brief look before she gave a tiny curt nod and stood to meet Sam's stature, even if she came up only to his shoulders.
"Mr. Winchester, as a representative of this firm, any actions you take may be used to determine your continued employment with our firm." He was about to protest when she raised a hand and effectively shut him up. "As this has now become an internal affair involving one of our employees, it is imperative that representation must be present to ensure the integrity and reputation of Towsen and Towsen. As a result, with Mr. Towsen's permission, I will go ahead and book the flight to St. Louis for both of us."
"I don't think-"
"It no longer matters what you think. I suggest you go home and pack. Be back here within the hour, I will have a car waiting to pick us up and take us to the airport." Stunned, Sam just stood there. Jenn gave a slight bow to her employer and collected her things. "Now if you will excuse me, I have arrangements to make." Then she left.
Sam quickly regained his senses and looked to Jimmy. "Sir, I can take care of this myself. It's not nec-"
"As Jenn already said, this situation is no longer a simple inquiry but an internal affair. And while my previous suggestion works for most cases, and based upon your reactions, I know there won't be any way to dissuade you from direct involvement, it would be best to have someone help guide you through all this. Now, you better hurry. She is quite thorough and I'm sure you don't want to miss your flight."
Defeated, Sam nodded. "Thank you, sir."
"Good luck, Sam. I hope you are able to clear your brother and your friend's name, somehow."
"Don't you worry sir, I will." And with that, Sam hurried out the door. He practically ran back to his desk and gathered his things.
It didn't take him long to get back to the apartment he shared with Jess. And it took even less time to pack and write a note about his sudden trip. And then he was on his way back to the office. As he got there, he noticed a limo parked out front. Inside, he placed his bag next to Lonny's desk and asked her if she had seen Jenn.
"Not yet, but I'm sure she'll be along shortly. The car is already here waiting for you." The receptionist replied.
Muttering his thanks, he decided to go and find her. He found her outside her office, talking to one of her assistants, obviously giving them directions. He waited for her to finish her conversation before approaching her again. "Ms. Abernathy."
"Alright, Jenn, are you sure you want to do this? I am certain I can handle this by myself."
"We have already had this discussion. My job for over the past ten years is to protect the name of Towsen and Towsen. It is my duty to make sure that it is upheld." They continued to move through the office as she handed off folders and spoke quickly to people, updating them on what they needed to do while she was gone.
"But, with all that has happened already this could be dangerous."
"I know, Sam. This isn't the first time family has caused trouble for our employees and I doubt it will be the last. Now our flight doesn't leave for another 2 hours, but it would be best to leave now to avoid afternoon traffic. I have made arrangements for a car to collect us once we arrive in St. Louis and take us to the precinct that is holding your brother. As you have already made inquiries into these cases, I have asked that it be a private meeting with his representation.
"When we are finished there, I have also scheduled a brief interview with your friend, Becky at the Hospital. As she is a key witness to 2 disturbing cases, her visitations are being limited to family and officials only. I have cleared our visit through her Councilor, Mr. Roberts. I have us booked in adjacent rooms at a Hotel located between the precinct and the hospital. I suggest after dinner, that you rest. We can meet in the morning to go over what we know with clear heads and plan our strategy. We will need to work fast if you want to free your brother. I hear that he may be moved soon to the state penitentiary and visitations will be harder to obtain."
She paused, turning to look up at the forlorn young man next to her. Placing a hand on his shoulder, she said, "I hope he is the kind of man you say he is, because you will only have one hour to get as much information as possible to find out what really happened." After patting his arm, she resumed her walk back to the front desk. "We should be going."
Taking a few long strides to catch up, Sam said, "Thank you for arranging everything. I can't believe you managed to get it all taken care of so quickly."
"It's what I do."
"Will we be stopping at your place to get your things?"
"Not necessary, I just have to collect my bag from my car and then we can go."
"You have a bag already made in your car?"
"I learned long ago to be ready to go at a moment's notice. As I said, this isn't the first time something like this has happened, and quite often high paying clients require immediate personal attention during high profile cases. One must always be prepared."
Sam grabbed his bag at Lonny's desk and said good bye while Jenn went out to the parking lot to get hers. Within minutes the two were off to the airport to get their flight to St. Louis, Missouri.
- S - P - N - S - P - N -
Well, I hope it wasn't too bad. Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome!
See ya next week.