A/N: Ah yes, the sister-fic of oft-disputed popularity. Some people like it. Some people hate it. I've never found one where I'm fully satisfied with the integration of the sister in the main story-line. She always seemed like nothing more than an observer while Sam and Dean got the lion's share of everything. So the plot bunny sunk its teeth into my leg until I wrote this humble offering. Please let me know what you think of this interpretation. One-shot.

Disclaimer: Supernatural is the brainchild on Eric Kripke. I also don't own the lines of dialogue I swiped directly from the episode transcript.


Three's Family

When the window lock was jimmied open, Sam knew they had a problem. He rolled out of bed without disturbing Jess and padded silently down the hall to the main room of the apartment.

There had been -- someone casing the apartment building all day. They vanished whenever he tried to get a glimpse of them, but they always stayed close enough to set his instincts off. You could take the Hunter out of the hunt, but the hunt would never leave the Hunter.

Case in point, Sam himself. Though he was living a delicious apple pie life with a ten-year plan and a girlfriend far away from anything that might have found his liver tasty, there were still protective charms (cleverly disguised as wind chimes) and thin, barely-there lines of salt at the windows and door.

It must have been a bog-standard cat burglar, to make it past the protective measures. That was something Sam could handle. He darted to the end of the hall, just outside the beaded curtain, just in time to see a shadowed human shape walk confidently across the creaky wooden floor. He wasn't sure what alarmed him more. The fact that the man walked like he owned the place or the fact he didn't make the floor creak in the slightest.

Or maybe not so bog-standard.

He lunged through the beaded curtain and grabbed the intruder by the shoulder. What he intended to do next was instantly waylaid by the strike that the intruder aimed at him, forcing him to duck. He grabbed Sam's arm and swung him around dizzyingly, knocking him off balance and several feet across the floor. Sam regained his balance and kicked back, only to be blocked and subsequently shoved into the kitchen.

The light was a little better in here. The curtains were pulled, but yellow streetlight filtered through the cracks and Sam caught his first glimpse of the intruder's face. He had just enough time to wonder if he'd seen it before when an elbow came flying at his face and struck his jaw. Wincing, but with no time to lose, Sam reared back and aimed another kick. But the intruder ducked under the outstretched leg and tackled him while he was still standing on one leg. They both hit the floor hard, Sam on the bottom with a hand at his neck.

"Whoa, easy, tiger." the intruder said before Sam could think to retaliate.

"Dean?" Sam asked through huffing breaths, peering through the gloom. Yep, spiky hair. Amulet dangling from the leather cord at his neck. Smirky grin. Definitely his brother. "You scared the crap out of me!"

"That's 'cause you're outta practice." Dean told him in that 'I am your big brother and I am superior' way that always bugged him.

Out of practice, am I?

To prove him wrong, Sam promptly flipped him. Dean hit the floor with his thud, his (heavy!) little brother sitting on his chest.

"Or not." he conceded. He tapped Sam's leg twice. "Get offa me."

Sam rolled off his brother and helped him to his feet.

"What the hell are you doing here?"

"Well, I was looking for a beer."

"What the hell are you doing here?"

"Okay. All right. We gotta talk."

"Uh, the phone?"

"If I'd'a called, would you have picked up?"

"Sam?"

The kitchen light flipped on and the brothers looked in unison. Jess had woken up, disturbed by the sound of fighting. She only had a second to take in the sight of her boyfriend standing in the kitchen with a stranger when there was a knock at the door. Sam glanced at his confused girlfriend apologetically, then at his brother with some venom and then at the innocent door and had a sinking feeling that he was about to be double-teamed.

"Better get that." Dean suggested, a knowing smile on his face.

The sinking feeling in his stomach threatened to take his spleen and pancreas and possibly his liver down with it. Sam hastened to unlock the door and opened it, very unsurprised to find his older sister standing on the front step. If Dean was around, then she was never far behind.

"Hi Sam." Elizabeth said. "I decided to come in through the door. 'Cause that's what civilized people do. They let themselves in through the door."

Her eyes drifted to Dean as she said this, insinuating that he wasn't a civilized person because he had used the window as the method of entry when it was most common to use the door.

"Oh, it's you." Sam groaned.

"'Oh, it's you'." Elizabeth repeated with perfect inflection, scowling. "Is that all I get?"

"Sam." Jess repeated, sounding a tad cross. "What's going on?"

Who are these people breaking into our apartment after midnight?

The Hunter-turned-college-student stepped away to let his sister inside and turned to his girlfriend, hoping this wouldn't end with him on the couch.

"Jess, this is Elizabeth and Dean." he said, gesturing to each one in turn. "Guys, this is my girlfriend, Jessica."

Dean gave a very appreciative smile, as Jess was wearing a cropped top and a pair of particularly small shorts. Elizabeth leaned on the wall behind her and waved.

"Wait, Dean and Elizabeth as in your brother and sister?" Jess asked for clarification. Sam spoke rarely of his family. Every word he said about them didn't come without a fight. Jess knew that his mother was dead and his father was a former Marine. She knew that he wasn't on good terms with his father. She knew that he had two older siblings, a brother and a sister, but she knew them more as these vague, effervescent figures who drifted around the edges of Sam's conscious mind, never really taking shape.

Now, there really wasn't any doubt that Jess was staring at the missing pieces of Sam's family. Dean looked like Sam and Elizabeth looked like their mother.

"It's nice to meet you." Jess said. Just because they had come barging in during the middle of the night was no excuse to forego manners.

"Good--" Elizabeth checked her watch. "Morning."

Dean's eyes drifted off Jess's face and down to her chest.

"Oh, I love the Smurfs." he said, his voice just oozing charm. "You know, I gotta tell you. You are completely out of my brother's league."

Jess smiled uncertainly and glanced at Sam, like she was hoping she would make the man go away.

"Oh god, you are uncivilized." Elizabeth muttered from behind Sam, rolling her eyes.

"Says who?" Dean challenged.

"Me. We haven't been here for five minutes and you're leering at your own brother's girlfriend." Elizabeth pointed out. "And you came in through the window." she added like this was a serious breach of Winchester Decorum.

"What's wrong with the window?"

"Nothing's wrong with the window. You're the problem." She cleared her throat, hunched her shoulders and effected a deep, gravelly voice. "Me Dean. Me don't know what doorknob does 'cause me caveman. Me climb through window that get stuck and flirt with brother's girlfriend. Me do that 'cause caveman not civilized."

She finished off her mockery by thumping a fist off her chest.

"Stop bitching, Lizard-breath." Dean said, trying to scowl simultaneously at his sister and his brother, the latter of whom was sniggering. "You're the one who was all proud of the fact you once went two months without showering."

"I didn't have a choice. There were certain, unavoidable circumstances and I went straight to shower right after." Elizabeth reminded him. "The difference between you and me, beside the obvious gender dimorphism stuff, is this. Three words."

She made a sort of swallowing noise and--

BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPP!

The burp was long, loud, and immensely satisfying, judging from the sated smile.

"Excuse me." she said sweetly.

Dean scowled. Round god-only-knows-what: Lost.

She can bong a beer in fifteen seconds and burp at a hundred decibels. Sam thought wryly. Ladies and gentlemen, my sister. The poster child for what happens when you raise a girl in a testosterone-laden environment.

"Just let me put something on." Jess said, clearly uncomfortable with Dean's appreciation for the Smurfs.

"No, no, no, I wouldn't dream of it. Seriously." the older brother said quickly. "We're not sticking around, though. We gotta borrow your boyfriend here. Talk about some private family business. But, uh, nice meeting you."

"No." Sam broke away from his brother and walked over to Jess, pointedly putting an arm around her. He looked stonily at Dean, who had taken an aborted step after him, and Elizabeth, who hadn't moved away from the wall. Where did they got off showing up in the middle of the night, pretending it was easy to pick up right where they had left off?

"No, whatever you want to say, you can say it in front of her." Sam told them firmly.

Then Dean did something he had never actually done before. He looked at Elizabeth for guidance.

That alone made Sam wonder if it wasn't something serious. If there was one thing his brother hardly ever did, it was expect his younger siblings to give him advice on how to proceed. He always knew what he was doing and how he was going to do it and he didn't need anyone else suggesting another course of action unless shit had already hit the fan.

Either that, or he was expecting Elizabeth to speak up. But she didn't. She waved a hand, indicating that the ball was in his court and she was just going to stay back here where she could keep an eye on things.

"Okay." Dean squared at his shoulders and looked at the couple straight on. "Um. Dad hasn't been home in a few days."

"So he's working overtime on a Miller Time shift." Sam shrugged, uncaring. Dad drunk off his ass? Nothing new. "He'll stumble back in sooner or later."

Dean ducked his head briefly, re-thinking his words, and then looked back up.

"Dad's on a hunting trip. And he hasn't been home in a few days."

Sam's expression didn't falter, but something in his posture changed, tightened. Pressed to his side as she was, Jess felt it and she looked up at her boyfriend in confusion.

"Jess, excuse us. We have to go outside."


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