I know...it's been forever! But, here I am with another Three Brothers story! Yay! This story takes place between The Apple Doesn't Fall Far and Revenge, Not So Sweet. Dean and Danny are not having an easy time being separated from Sam and it leads to a not so perfect hunt. We have some hurt Dean and Danny...a bit of hurt Sam thrown in for good measure. Oh yeah...we'll have John, Caleb and Joshua too. I'm thinking of tossing a bit of Bobby in there too...maybe. So...here we go!

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em (except Danny :D) No money is coming my way so don't ask for a loan!

Separation Anxiety

Sam Winchester was happy…lonely, but still happy. He was in his Freshman year at Stanford and loving the freedom that came along with it. He loved the rigors of each day…classes during the day, heavy workouts in the afternoon and studying until midnight. He'd made some friends and hung out with them as often as he could, but they just didn't fill the void the absence of his family had created. Once the day was done and he was buried beneath his blankets, his thoughts turned to his family and how much he missed them. He knew they missed him too, but they couldn't possibly miss him as much as he missed them. Many times, after first coming to Stanford, he'd thought about throwing in the towel and running back home, but then he'd started thinking about the looks on their faces when he told them he'd quit. Winchesters don't quit, no matter how hard the journey becomes, they keep on trucking. So, Sam stayed in school and eventually settled into the life of a college student. He made his regular Thursday night call to Dean, who would, after much grumbling, pass the phone around to Daniel and John. Sam's call was always answered…until now.

Sam stared down at his cell phone, an uneasy frown upon his tired face. "What the hell?" he whispered to himself as he punched the speed dial for Dean's number again. The ringing continued until Dean's voice came on telling whomever to leave a message and Sam's frown deepened. "Uh…yeah…this is Sam. Where are you? Um…I guess you're busy so I'll try Danny's phone. Call me back," he said into the phone then pushed end call and punched Daniel's speed dial. When Daniels's phone went to voicemail, Sam began to get scared. He left a short message then called his father. When John's line had the same result, Sam began to panic. They never missed his call…never…so something had to be wrong. Dean had made it perfectly clear that no matter what they were doing, they would always be there to answer his weekly call, and until now they always had.

Sam sat for several minutes, staring at his phone, heart racing in his chest. What was he going to do? He had no idea if his family was still in The Dalles or if they had moved on. Were they on a new hunt? Sam took a deep breath, opened his phone and punched in another number. He waited, praying that this time his call would be answered. When it was, he nearly cried.

"Caleb? Have you talked to Dad?" Sam asked, voice shaky despite his efforts to remain calm. Sam held his breath as only silence met his ears. Finally, a sigh then his friend's hesitant voice sounded and Sam knew in an instant that everything was not okay.

"Listen, Sam…they were on a new hunt and we've lost contact with them. We…"

"Why didn't you call me? What the hell is going on!" Sam cried into the phone, eyes filling as fear gripped his heart.

"You're daddy wouldn't want us to bother you and you know it. Josh and I are looking for them. They'll be okay, Sam."

"That's bullsh*t, Caleb! My family is missing and you don't think you should bother me?" Sam snapped, the usually soft spoken young man's voice rising with each syllable.


"Where did they go missing?"

"Sam, no…we're handling it. You just stay where you are…go to your classes. I'll keep you posted."

"Where, Caleb? This is my family…I need to know."

"Sammy, you're dad will kill me…"

"Just tell me, Caleb."

A heavy sigh then, "I'll tell you, but you have to promise to stay at school. I don't need to be worrying about another Winchester. I'm sure everything is fine…that they're just where there's no phone service."


"I'm not telling you until you promise, half pint. And remember, you've never lied to me before so…"

"Fine, I promise. Just tell me where they went."

"Area 51…they went to Area 51. Or the general area to be specific."

"In Nevada? Why?"

"Cattle mutilations…missing civilians…"

"They think it's aliens? Come on, Caleb."

"Well, no…aliens don't exist, but there's something going on."

"Thanks, Caleb."

"Sam…I'm serious. You stay put. You promised…remember that."

"I know. I will…just…please keep me informed."

"I will, kiddo. Don't worry…Josh and I will find them."

"Thanks, Caleb.

"You bet…bye."

"Bye." Sam flipped his phone shut then reached under his bed and pulled out his duffel bag. He went to his small dresser and pulled out a few shirts and jeans then stuffed them into the bag, covering the weapons he had stashed there. He unzipped a side pocket and removed a rolled up bundle of bills. Nodding, he replaced the bills, flung the duffel over his shoulder and stepped to the small desk at the head of his bed. He scrawled out a quick note to his roommate, laid it on his roommate's pillow then hurried out of his dorm room. "Sorry, Caleb, but I can't just sit here," he whispered as he left the dorms and hurried across campus, his destination? Area 51.

X x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

One Week Earlier

"Yeah…talk to you next week little brother…love you too," Dean said before flipping his phone shut and shoving it into his pocket.

"Sammy sounds tired," Daniel said as he looked up from where he was cleaning weapons to meet his younger brother's eyes.

"Well, if it were anybody but Sam I'd say it was from too much partying, but…you know," Dean said with a shake of his head. "The geek's been burning the midnight oil studying of all things."

Daniel smiled fondly as he envisioned his baby brother dutifully leaned over his desk while all the other Freshmen were attending parties or sneaking beer into their dorm rooms. "He wouldn't be our Sammy if he did anything but Dean. Maybe once he's been there awhile he'll loosen up a bit. I just hope he's getting enough rest…that he's not stretching himself too thin," he said with some concern.

"Yeah…but, knowing Sam…he's taking on way more than he needs to," Dean replied. "I just wish we didn't have to take this hunt. I'd really like to go see the nerd for a few days," he continued, his shoulders slumping as he dropped down on the edge of his bed.

Daniel watched his brother for a few moments, worry niggling at him at the sight of the normally upbeat young man sitting slumped over, elbows on knees, hands clasped nervously together. Dean hadn't been himself since the day they'd left Sam at Stanford. Daniel remembered that day like it was yesterday. The somber silence in the car as they'd driven away. The way Dean had picked at his food that night…the way he'd gotten beyond drunk. It wasn't like his younger brother at all and though things had gotten a little bit better, they were far from ideal. Daniel sighed as he stood from the table and moved to his own bed. He sat down and kicked off his boots then scooted back on the bed.

"Dean…as soon as we're done with this hunt we'll go see the squirt, okay? Now, what do you say we order pizza and stay in tonight. We can get some more research done then possibly head out tomorrow and search this sucker out…maybe we can even find his lair before Dad gets here in a few days," Daniel suggested.

Dean looked up and nodded. "Yeah…sure, that sounds good," Dean answered. "So, how long do you think it'll take to get rid of this sucker? We could maybe get to Palo Alto before the weekend?"

"Dean…you need to keep focused on the hunt."

"I know…but he sounds so tired. And maybe a little down…did he sound down to you?"


"What? Don't you miss him? Aren't you worried about him too?"

"Of course I miss him! And yes, I'm worried about him. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about going to Palo Alto and dragging his scrawny ass back to wherever home may be at the moment, but I know I can't do that. Sam's an adult now and he needs this, Dean. He needs us to trust him, to give him a chance to prove that he can take care of himself. No matter how much it's killing us to let him be on his own, we have to let him do this," Daniel explained.

"This sucks butt," Dean grumbled.

"Yeah, it does, but hey…we've always got each other," Daniel replied, twinkle in his eye.

"Oh, kill me now," Dean mumbled. "You know what, Danny? You suck! I'm serious here and you're making jokes. I'm the one who makes jokes! Me…not you!"

"Then make 'em! This sad sack crap is not doing anybody any good…especially you! You slump around, you're not eating or sleeping properly," Daniel snapped. "Dean, I know this is hard…I really do, but you driving yourself crazy like this is not helping. You can't be distracted…not on a hunt."

Dean brushed his hand through his hair and sighed. "I know. I'm sorry…I just can't get used to Sammy not being around."

Daniel swung his legs over the edge of his bed and faced his brother. "I get it…and I feel the same way. Let's just concentrate on this hunt then we can go visit Sam. That sound like a plan?"

"Yeah…quick in, quick out then off to geek land," Dean said with a smirk.

Daniel smiled and nodded his head. "Piece of cake," he said in agreement.

The two hunters ordered their pizza and settled in for the night, both unaware of the danger that lie ahead.

Okay, so what do you think? Keep going? Let me know.