What if Sam and Dean had met on a different case?
Sam didn't know how he had gotten out of Hell, but he had. He just also wished he couldn't remember Hell at all. He had only been down there one month. Of course that was equal to ten years Hell time. Only one-quarter of what Dean had to go through. He should feel lucky.
He was standing outside Lisa's house, watching Dean have dinner with his new family like he didn't have a care in the world. Part of him was glad that Dean had kept his promise to go live a normal life. Part of him was hurt that he didn't seem to miss him.
He considered walking up to the doorbell and ringing it. But, he really did want Dean to be happy. If he announced his presence, Dean might run off with him, and that would be bad for Dean. On the other hand, he might not, and Sam didn't want to know that.
So, he turned around and walked the other way. He had hunted on his own before, he could do it again.
1 year later
Sam was surfing the net for his next gig. He was trying to stay clear of other hunters. He hadn't let anyone know he was alive. He didn't want it getting back to Dean. He was lonely. But, besides Dean, there wasn't really anybody else he cared about anyway. His father was dead. Ellen and Jo had died on the Lucifer hunt. And Bobby…
Sam couldn't bear to think about Bobby. If only he had managed to gain control of Lucifer a little sooner. He could have saved Bobby and Cas.
No. He wasn't going to think about it.
He shook his head and concentrated on looking for a hunt. He found something. Looked like that Tolpa was back. He had a feeling burning the house down wouldn't do the trick. He had no idea how to get rid of it now, but he had to try.
"What happened at school today, Ben?" Dean asked as the family sat around the dinner table.
"There was a new kid," Ben answered.
"Well, be nice. It's hard being the new kid," Dean answered, almost choking up as he remembered how hard every move had been on Sammy.
Lisa noticed Dean's reaction. He also knew he never wanted to lose it in front of Ben. She had told him that it would be OK, but Dean begged her to just let his grief be between him and her. He didn't even share it with her very often.
"Where's he from?" Lisa asked to keep the conversation going.
"Temple, Texas. He said he moved here because his mom got killed by some axe-wielding maniac in the woods."
Dean started. It couldn't be that tolpa. It was probably just a maniac like Ben said.
"Are you OK?" Lisa asked.
"Yeah," Dean answered. "I'm good." It's what he always said.
After Lisa and Ben had gone to bed, Dean had done a little research. He decided to start with that stupid Ghostfacers website and sure enough, they had added a section, "History of the Ghostfacers," and put that case as their first. They had the sidgil on the page, too. This wasn't good. Dean read the legend. That they had changed.
"Lisa, I've got to go out of town for a few days," Dean said.
"What? Where? Why?" Lisa asked in a torrent.
"A few years ago, my brother and I were hunting something. It turned out to be a thought form that took on the characteristics of the legend people believed about it. The legend said it was doomed to haunt this one house forever, so I burnt it down. Sammy wasn't too sure about that solution, so I promised if the legend changed, we'd go back. The legend changed."
"But, that's not your job anymore," Lisa reminded him.
"People are dying because I didn't take care of this right the first time. I promised Sammy." Since he had died, Dean only referred to him as my brother or Sammy, never just Sam.
"Dean, it's not your job to save the world," Lisa protested.
No, I let Sammy die for that. "I'm going, Lise."
Sam had read the new legend. Mordecai Murdoch was a lumberjack who had died when a tree fell on him. One of his lumberjack buddies had helped the tree along because he was having an affair with his wife. Now, Mordecai went around killing anyone he found in his forest. There was no way, he was burning down a forest. That could kill more people than it saved.
He headed into the woods to find Mordecai. Luckily the legend had mentioned a possible way of getting rid of the sucker. It said if a tree fell on him, he would disappear forever. So, all he had to do was chop down a tree and get Mordecai to stand under it and not attack him. No problem.
Sam had his axe in his hand. He was here in the forest, but he had no idea how he was going to do this. He was trying to come up with some kind of plan when he heard a noise behind him. He spun around to see Mordecai. The legend may have changed, but he looked exactly the same. Sam swung at him with his axe. It actually went right through him.
Mordecai grabbed the axe out of Sam's hands and flung it away. He then shoved Sam into the tree and held him there with an axe.
Just like before, Sam thought. Only this time Dean wasn't here to call for help.
"I remember you," Mordecai hissed.
OK, this was different. He didn't remember him ever speaking before.
"You were one of the ones who burnt down my house. For the longest time, I was just suspended in time. Do you know what that feels like?"
Apparently it was a rhetorical question, because without skipping a beat, Mordecai increased the pressure on Sam's neck.
Dean walked out of some bushes and saw who he assumed was Mordecai hovering over his latest victim. The last time they had tangled with this fugly, they hadn't had Bobby. This time, before Dean had left, he had called the old coot and Bobby had told him that if you want to get rid of a tolpa, all you have to do is hit it with an amulet of a reverse Sidgil of Sultan. Bobby had also told him where to find such an object. He had picked it up on the way here and now he flung it for all he was worth. He was gratified, to see the thing disappear.
He looked around to make sure Mordecai was good and truly gone. Last time they kept thinking he was gone and he kept reappearing. But, it looked like Bobby was right. He was gone. Dean went to check on the victim. He noticed that he was big. He rolled him over and gasped.