Chapter One: Into The Void

The last thing I remember is tumbling backwards into the Pit. I remember everything that happened before that as well. Being 'possessed' by Lucifer was completely different from being possessed by a demon. I knew exactly what was going on around me; I heard it all, saw it all play out before my eyes but I had no control over what was happening. There were no moments of blacking out, no loss of time. I watched as Lucifer killed Castiel and Bobby and nearly killed Dean as well. Then I was in Hell. For a long while, I don't know how long, the only thing that kept me from giving up was the thought of the lives of six billion people; the lives of Dean and others, who depended on me. Soon though, I couldn't even hold on to the thought that my sacrifice had saved millions of lives, the only person who cared about what I had done was unable to help me now…

I woke up in the middle of the night. It was raining; I could feel the cold patter of water on my back, the brush of damp grass on my face. I held my eyes closed, afraid to believe I was Topside again. I reached out and grabbed a tuft of grass in one hand as though to anchor myself to the World of the Living. I breathed in and out slowly, letting the cool air fill my lungs; I sensed my heart beating strong in my chest. I opened my eyes- I was laying on my stomach in Stull Cemetery where I had fallen. I made out the pale shapes of gravestones and cautiously moved onto my hands and knees.
Wait! Panic suddenly gripped me. Why was I back? Did the Horsemens' rings fail? Was Lucifer still free?
I froze and gulped down air as I assessed the situation- I closed my eyes and tried to sense Lucifer's presence- not that I was likely to ever forget what it felt like to be possessed by the fallen angel- I began to calm as I realized that I was alone within myself.
Sighing with relief I stood and looked around. All was quiet. The gravestones around me stood tall and whole. I thought of when Cas had brought Dean back from Hell and the grave site, as my brother described it, looked like a 'nuke had gone off'.
"Cas?" I called out before I remembered that Lucifer had killed him.
"Hello? Is anyone there?" I tried; maybe a different angel had brought me back.
I was answered only by the sound of crickets.
I reached up and brushed some damp hair from my eyes. How long had I been in Hell? Where was Dean? Was he alright?
Taking wary steps I made my way toward the entrance of the cemetery. As I walked I realized that I was stranded: I had no car and I doubted anyone would pick me up if I tried to hitch-hike. Searching my pockets I found one crumpled twenty dollar bill. I didn't even have my cell phone on me.
I decided that the best I could do was to wait until morning, go into the town and find the nearest diner to give me change. At least I could call Dean on a pay phone.

I walked into Lawrence and sat on a bench in the park. I was cold and wet and hungry but I had a plan, well sort of. I looked down into the trash can sitting beside the bench and saw a newspaper. I grabbed it and tried to read the date but it was smudged with rain.
As I sat on the uncomfortable bench I felt my eyes begin to close...slowly...slowly...
I woke with a jump; the memory that flashed through my mind caused adrenaline to course through my body with terror. I cried out and shook my head. I remembered the agony and the feeling of hopelessness that bordered on despair.
I sat straighter and fought off sleep. I watched the black sky turn to navy and finally to slate gray of a cloudy, stormy day. Around me the town began to wake. I watched as men and women arrived for work, school buses with unhappy kids rumbled by and stores opened for both locals and those just passing through.
A diner across from where I sat, called Lloyd's, opened for the breakfast crowd.
I stood and walked stiffly across the street. Lloyd's was a dingy, cramped hole-in-the-wall kind of place. There was a beige Formica bar along one wall with red stools and a chalkboard covered with the specials for each day above it. The rest of the place had booths along the wall parallel to the bar and small, round tables crammed into the rest of the available area. Two elderly men sat at the bar with cups of coffee, a harried looking woman sat at a table in the corner eating what looked like scrambled eggs and bacon. I turned to the bar where a middle-aged waitress with stringy, graying hair stood waiting.
I pulled the bill from my pocket and sat it on the bar.
'Ethel' (I read the name tag) looked at me with the bland expression of a heifer.
"I need change," I said, my voice raspy.
"Coming right up, hon" Ethel swiped the twenty I set down off the bar and spoke in a way that told me that she only ever spoke those four words when she worked.
"One dollar bills!" I called back to Ethel as I leaned over the bar. The two old fogies stared at me.
Ethel returned and handed me twenty one dollar bills. I realized then that I probably should have chosen a different number of bills but it was a little late. Ethel looked like she didn't want to go and make change again.
"Anything else I can get you, hon?" Ethel asked as my stomach grumbled loudly.
I glanced at the menu board and ordered the cheapest thing- black coffee and scrambled eggs.
I sat in one of the booths and waited for my food. I tapped my foot restlessly and stared out the window at the passersby. I wanted to move, to have a destination in mind but I had to wait until I had eaten.
Was Dean with Lisa and Ben? Was he alright? Was Bobby-
I stopped mid-thought; Bobby was dead. Lucifer had killed him, I had killed him.
I took a deep breath to quell the rise of emotion.
"Here you go, hon" Ethel set down a white mug of coffee and a steaming plate of eggs in front of me.
"Thanks," I muttered and began wolfing down my breakfast.
The coffee was very strong, and hot. I drank it as it continued to steam. The eggs were lukewarm but at least they were real eggs and not that dehydrated Just-Add-Water crap some places served.
I ate and then paid for the food- $3.47 and left to find a payphone.
It drizzled as I stepped outside. I got odd looks from people covering their heads with umbrellas. I used the change I got after eating to pay for the first phone I got to.
I tried Dean's cell phone. It rang, and rang, and rang...
"The number you are trying to reach has been disconnected. Please-" A mechanical female voice said. I hung up.
"Damn!" I said and glared at the phone as though it was to blame.
What was I going to do? I could walk but it was a long way to Lisa's. A cab ride all the way to Cicero would be way too expensive and I knew no taxi driver would agree to make that drive.
A sharp tap on the glass of the booth made me look up.
"Hey pal, there are other people who want to use the phone, so unless your Superman I think you should get outta there," an angry looking man said, his voice muffled from the glass.
"Sorry," I muttered and slipped out.
The man grumbled something about 'punk kids' and went inside the booth.

Mind working furiously to figure out how I was going get to Dean, I trudged down the sidewalk. I really had no one to turn to: Bobby and Cas were dead, and every other hunter wanted me dead or thought I was already. A headache began to grow steadily between my eyes.
"Sam? Sam Winchester?" a voice asked and I looked up. I saw a heavyset woman who had to be in her late forties to early fifties. She wore bright red rubber boots, jeans and a tweed jacket. She smiled warmly, her large brown eyes crinkling at the corners.
"Uh, I'm sorry, but do I know you?" I asked. My hunter instincts went into high gear.
"I'm Marge, Marge Lenson. I used to look after you and Dean whenever your Dad was in the area," Marge said in a bubbly voice.
I vaguely remembered being babysat by a larger woman when a mission took us close to Lawrence.
"It's been what? Ten, twelve years?" Marge said, a pensive expression making her look comical.
"More, I think..." I said.
"Oh, it doesn't really matter. I knew it was you as soon as I saw those soulful green eyes of yours," Marge waved her hand in dismissal.
I smiled but I was still on guard.
"What are you doing here Sam? Where are Dean and John?" Marge asked, her voice now filled with concern.
"I uh, Dad passed away... a few years ago now."
"Oh I am so sorry," Marge moved forward and placed a large hand on my arm.
"You're soaked through! Come here," Marge steered me down the street to where she owned a coffee shop.
I allowed myself to be guided inside. The coffee shop was spacious and inviting, with puffy purple, umber and beige chairs and couches. The scent of coffee, teas and steamed milk permeated everything. The lighting was dim but comfortable.
"Sit, sit," Marge said and I sat, or rather sank, into a large orange chair.
"You really don't have to do this," I said as Marge bustled away, making coffee. The two girls and one boy working the counter simply moved out of Marge's way that told me they were experts at avoiding their large employer. One of the girls, who couldn't be more than seventeen smiled at me and blushed.
"Here you go, fresh Colombian," Marge said and handed me a paper cup of coffee. She sat in a purple chair across from me.
"Why don't you take an hour or so break?" Marge said to the three kids who nodded and, smiling moved to a farther end of the shop with cups of their own.
Once settled in, Marge turned her gaze to me, "So, why are you here all alone?"
"It's kind of a long story... really long and I don't think you'd believe me," I said as I let the heat of the cup warm my hands.
"Try me," Marge said, looking completely serious.
Of course I was not going to REALLY tell her what happened so I made up a tale. I told Marge that I had fallen on bad times (which wasn't really a lie) and that Dean and I had had a fight but now I was stranded with no way of contacting him and he me.
"Dean'll be worried if I don't let him know I'm okay," Okay, I knew that the story was paper thin but Marge didn't ask any questions.
The thing was I didn't want to keep using my small amount of cash to call Dean's numerous cell phones only to find out they were not in use anymore so I was pretty much asking Marge if I could rack up her phone bill by calling long distance to what would probably be a very long conversation with my brother.
"Yeah. I don't want to put you out but I have no other way. I will completely understand if you say no," I was letting my guard down. Maybe it was because it was nice inside, the coffee delicious, or the fact that I was exhausted.
"Well Sam... I'll do one better. I will drive you to Indiana myself," Marge said.
"You don't have to do that..." I straightened in the chair. My hunter instincts flaring again.
"I told John a long time ago that if either you or Dean were in trouble I would help you without question and I will keep my promises Sam," Marge said and finished her coffee.
I sighed; I didn't really have much of a choice if I wanted to see Dean.

Marge insisted that we would leave first thing the next morning.
"You look like death warmed over m'dear" Marge pointed out as she drove me to her house and I couldn't help notice the irony of her comment.
Marge's house was small but cozy with lots of family photos and two friendly cats.
She made up the bed in the guest bedroom while she told me to shower. She set out some of her son's clothes for me.
"Sidney's about your height but a little larger than you but they should fit," Marge said as she handed me a pair of jeans, and a navy blue t-shirt.
Once I was changed (the clothes fit perfectly in length but were baggy) Marge took my clothes so she could wash them.
She wanted to stay but I insisted she go back to her shop, "I'll be fine."
"You're still just a little boy to me," she smiled and left.
I lay on my back on the bed in the guest room. I felt so incredibly tired but my eyes kept traveling around the room. I looked at the ceiling, the floral wallpaper, the whitewashed closet, the picture of an autumn road bordered with trees of orange, yellow and red...
Like flames, I thought as my eyes began to close...

Darkness. Darkness so complete it was almost a solid thing. A living, breathing thing. Darkness that blotted out any light. Fear gripped me as never before, a paralyzing fear. I have not been afraid of the dark since I was child but now I was terrified. I didn't know where I was. I could hear distant screaming, shrieks of horror and pain that I had never heard before. I felt a presence close to me. The presence oozed a hate so powerful I knew it couldn't be human, a hate directed solely on me.
"Lucifer," I breathed.
"Yesssss," Lucifer hissed.
Suddenly agony enveloped me. I cried out but the pain continued, relentless.
I panted, begging to no one to stop the pain. I wanted Dean. I didn't care that he was Topside I wanted him to make the pain stop...

"Sam?" Marge shook my shoulder, "are you alright?"
My eyes snapped open.
Confused, I looked around and then focused on Marge's face, full of concern.
"You were shouting in your sleep. You were calling out for Dean," Marge said.
"Just a nightmare. What time is it?" I asked. I raised a shaky hand brushed hair from my face.
"4:35" Marge stepped back and surveyed me.
"Are you sure you are alright?"
"Yes!" I snapped, not meaning to.
"I'm sorry," I apologized.
"Don't worry about it. I have my secrets too," Marge said not unkindly.
I nodded and wiped a hand over my face.
"Dinner's ready if you'd like some," Marge smiled, her jovial self again.
Marge waddled down the stairs. I sat still for five minutes; I remembered what I had been dreaming about, what memory I was dreaming about.
I shuddered, suddenly cold.
I slid off the bed and walked slowly downstairs.
Marge was in the kitchen, sitting at a wooden table with her husband; a curiously skinny man named Dougy and her son Sidney.
Dougy and Sidne greeted me warmly and I sat down. Marge had made a pot roast, mashed potatoes, carrots and rolls.
I took a little bit of everything but discovered that when the food was on my plate I didn't want it. I had a bitter taste in my mouth that I tried to wash away with milk to no avail. I forced myself to eat; the food that should have been delicious was tasteless.

After dinner I told Marge that I was going to take a walk. Marge asked if I wanted any company but I said I wanted to be by myself for a little while.

I didn't think about where I was going. I just let my feet lead the way.

I traveled from Marge's house, through Lawrence's small downtown and into a residential area.

It started raining again but I didn't care. I just wanted to be on my own; I just wanted to think about things.

Even though I was getting a ride to Cicero in the morning I still wasn't a hundred percent sure if Dean would be there or even if he was alright for that matter. The last time I had seen my brother he had been beaten pretty badly- I just hoped Dean was safe.

I found myself walking down a familiar sidewalk. I looked up and recognized the house I was standing in front of- this was where Missouri Moseley lived.

I hesitated. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go inside. I wasn't sure if the psychic still lived there.

My feet seemed to move of their own free will though; I walked up the front path, past the flowerbeds and stood before the front door.

I raised one hand and knocked quietly.

The door opened and Missouri looked surprised to see me.

"Sam," the black psychic whispered, her eyes wide with shock.

"Well, don't just stand there on the porch, come in, come in," Missouri stood to one side and I entered her home.

I walked into her living room and sat down on the couch.

Missouri went into the kitchen and busied herself with making tea.

I didn't say anything and neither did Missouri. I was afraid the psychic would tear a strip off me for what I had done.

Missouri came into the room holding a tray with a china tea pot and cups- they where white with prints of yellow, purple and pink flowers. There was also a saucer with shortbread cookies on it. Missouri sat down across from me in a green and blue chair.

"I, uh…" I tried to speak but paused, unsure of how to proceed.

"I know what you did Sam," Missouri said with a solemn expression.

I lowered my head and waited for the tirade. I poured myself some tea and held the cup in hands that trembled slightly.

"You did the right thing," Missouri said and I looked up.

I shook my head, "it doesn't feel like the right thing."

Missouri gazed at me for a moment, "and why not?" she said with attitude.

I sighed and shut my eyes for a moment. I gulped down some of the tea.

"We were desperate… I was desperate. We were running out of time and options… I just, I just made a decision... I made the choice that would save the most people…" I stopped talking as my voice cracked.

"I just wanted it to end…" I whispered without looking at Missouri. Why had I come here at all? Because of me the world had almost ended up in ashes. Because of me Lucifer had nearly won.

Missouri must hate me. She probably thought I was evil, that I was a monster.

"You did do the right thing Sam. You saved many lives," Missouri said without any hate in her voice.

I shrugged.

"If you could go back would you make the same choices?" Missouri asked.

I paused, thinking.

"Yes," I answered.

I looked up and Missouri had a satisfied expression on her face.

We didn't speak. I finished my tea and ate a cookie that tasted like sawdust but not for a lack of Missouri's baking.

I would glance up every couple of seconds and see an uneasy expression on the psychic's face. I was making her uncomfortable.

"It's alright Sam," Missouri spoke up, "you can stay here as long as you need to."

"Actually, I'm staying with a friend; she's going to drive me to Indiana in the morning," I said.

Missouri nodded.

"I'd better get going… thanks for seeing me," I stood and held out a hand.

Missouri looked at my offered hand and then took it delicately- instead of shaking my hand though, she cupped it between both of hers.

The psychic looked at me with a sad expression on her face.

She released my hand, "Dean's safe Sam… and he's been waiting for you."

I nodded and Missouri walked me to the door, it was raining outside. I ducked out of the doorway and slowly made my way back to Marge's house across town.

I went to sleep early that night. Marge gave me a couple of sleeping pills, "just in case", she said.
I lay on the bed, staring at the shadows of tree branches out the window on the ceiling. I couldn't stop thinking about Dean. I learned from the calendar Marge kept in the kitchen that eighteen months had passed since I had taken the plunge. A year and a half! I hoped that Missouri was right and that Dean was alright and happy. I could barely wait for morning to come so I could see him.
My thoughts drifted as I fell asleep...

It was nighttime and I was standing outside, under a streetlight. A chilly wind was blowing, scattering dead leaves across the pavement. I saw that the house across the street had its curtains open. I saw movement inside the house. I saw a dark haired woman who looked familiar and a young boy... then I saw him: Dean!
Dean! I tried to call out but no sound came out. I couldn't open my mouth. Something was wrong, I was frozen. I tried to take a step forward but my feet would not obey.
Dean! I focused all my energy on calling out my brother's name.
Why? Why can't I move! I screamed silently and then I felt it. A presence. His presence.
No! No, no, no! God no! I screamed silently as I stood, watching Dean and Lisa and Ben. They were so close. I had to warn Dean!
You god damned bastard! It's not supposed to end like this! The rings should have worked!
Lucifer didn't deign to answer me. A chuckle that was not mine escaped from my lips as the streetlamp overhead burst...

I woke with a start. I looked around at the unfamiliar room. It was just a nightmare, I told myself, just a nightmare. I lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Slowly night turned to day.

Marge gave me back my freshly cleaned clothes which I changed into and we ate a quick breakfast. We didn't speak. Marge hummed a song happily to herself but I was quiet. I just wanted to be back with Dean.
We climbed into Marge's blue minivan and began the long drive to Cicero, Indiana. All the way Marge made small talk while I answered in monosyllables. I didn't want to be rude but I just didn't have the energy for a conversation.
I watched passively as trees and houses whipped by. I had been feeling strange ever since I had awoken.
I was drifting off when Marge stopped the van. In the middle of nowhere. I looked up; all I could see were trees.
"Marge?" I asked and turned to her.
"Yes?" She answered innocently.
"Why did you stop?" I reached out and gripped the door handle. Marge looked at me, a wicked grin forming on her face. Her eyes turned from brown to pitch black.
"Oh Sam, you didn't think we'd let you off the hook that easily did you?" the demon asked as she pulled a knife from the space between the driver's side door and the seat.
"Shit," I fumbled with the door handle, never taking my eyes off Marge.
Just as the demon lunged I opened the door and fell out backwards onto the dirt road, smacking the back of my head on a rock. I was stunned for a moment at the pain and that was just a moment too long.
With inhuman agility the demon pounced, knocking the breath from me. I raised my hands and grappled with her for the knife. Marge bared her teeth in a grimace as she struggled with me.
I gulped in air and began to recite the Exorcism ritual, "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus omnis satanica potestas-" The demon laughed in my face.
I felt my arms tremble with the stress of trying to keep the knife away.
"Just give up Sam and I'll make sure to kill you nice and quick," the demon snarled.
"Go to Hell!" I snapped, I couldn't help it.
"After you," the demon said and stabbed me in the shoulder. I gasped at the burning pain and released the demon to try and protect my chest.
Bad move. The demon stabbed me in the shoulder again. I managed to force my knee up and rammed it into Marge's ample stomach, pushing the demon backwards. I stood and held my free hand out toward Marge; fingers splayed, palm outward and concentrated as hard as I could. Of course I shouldn't have expected that to work, I had been in Hell for a year and a half. The demon laughed again and lunged at me a second time. This time I was not fast enough. The demon plunged the knife into my chest.
In shock I stared down at the knife handle, and then collapsed on the ground. My lungs felt like they were on fire. Marge knelt over me and pulled the knife out. I gasped for breath that wouldn't come. Just for good measure the demon stabbed me twice more.
I watched the demon smirk and turn, climbed into Marge's van and drive away. A chilling cold swept over me. There was no pain any more, it had simply drained away to become a numbness throughout my entire body. I couldn't draw breath, I felt like I was drowning. I rolled onto my side, my vision shrinking to a pinprick and I felt an unusual sense of peace. The only thought that crossed my mind before I lost consciousness was that Dean was going to so pissed at me. I barely registered the rusty pickup truck rumbling down the road toward where I lay...

It was Alicia Reilly's second day at Patterson General Hospital and she knew that today was going to be boring. She had arrived in Patterson, Indiana six weeks ago when her fiancé had gotten a raise and had been transferred. Patterson was a sleepy little town, nothing like San Francisco where she was from originally. Yesterday she had to deal with two kids with broken bones, assist in an x-ray for a man who had been in a construction accident and nine patients with the flu. This afternoon though, a little after two thirty, a young man was rushed into the ER with multiple stab wounds to his upper body. A local, Old Donny Henderson, had been heading up to Coulter's Point to do some turkey hunting when he saw this man lying on the side of the road covered in blood. Donny had immediately phoned the police from the cell phone his daughter had given him for Christmas last year (that he'd thought he'd never have to use) and waited with the young guy until paramedics arrived.
From all the commotion, Alicia gathered that the doctors were amazed the man was still alive. After four hours in surgery Doctor Irving and Doctor Browne had at least got the patient stable but he still had a long way to go before he could be given a clean bill of health. The next few hours were crucial.
By a coincidence Alicia was given the ICU round today. There were only two patients in ICU- the guy from the construction accident and the stabbing victim.
When Alicia entered the John Doe's room (they had found no I.D on him, only some change) she had a feeling of déjà vu. She had seen John Doe somewhere but she just couldn't figure out where.
He looked so vulnerable, with all of those monitors and the IV line in his arm, his dark hair plastered to his forehead with sweat, his face pallid and drawn. He was breathing on his own though, that was a good sign. One of the stab wounds had punctured his lung, one had actually broken a rib and the other came within mere inches of nicking his aorta. The wounds to his shoulder would be painful but were superficial.
Alicia watched with curiosity bordering on alarm as the heart monitor turned from a steady beep beep beep to beepbeepbeep beepbeepbeep. Alicia approached John Doe's bed, his expression troubled even in his sleep.
Alicia jumped back and uttered a shriek when the patient's eyes opened and he sat up. He looked at her, his dark green eyes glazed and unfocused.
"Dr. Irving! Dr. Irving!" Alicia shouted and the young surgeon came running.
"What's wrong, Reilly?" Dr. Irving pushed John Doe lightly so that he was lying back down. The doctor shone a light in his eyes.
"The monitor went crazy and he just sat up," Alicia said but Irving ignored her.
The doctor snapped his fingers in front of the patient, "can you hear me?"
"Where am I?" John Doe asked. Alicia thought he looked frightened.
"Patterson General Hospital. Do you know what today's date is?" Irving said in an impatient tone.
"No… Where am I?" John Doe was looking at Alicia.
"What is your name?" Irving demanded, right in the patient's face. John Doe leaned back; he didn't like Irving being that close to him.
"S-Sam Winchester," John Doe said.
Irving straightened, "Mr. Winchester do you have any family? Parents? Siblings?"
Sam Winchester looked confused. Irving looked annoyed.
Alicia approached the bed and spoke in a kind, clear voice. "Do you have any brothers or sisters we could call to let them know you are okay?"
"Dean. My brother Dean," Sam Winchester said, "I need to see him." He sat up again.
Irving pushed the patient back down, "you're not going anywhere I'm afraid."

Alicia followed Irving as he walked to the Nurses' Station.
Irving spoke to Nurse Hess, the Head Nurse. "Call Patterson PD and tell them to see if they can contact a Dean Winchester."
"Reilly! I want you to stay with Mr. Winchester until we can contact his family. Make sure he stays put," Irving said and walked down the hall.
Alicia returned to Sam Winchester's room. He had his eyes closed but his breathing told her he was awake. She sat in one of the chairs provided.
"Do you need anything?" Alicia asked.
Without opening his eyes, Sam mumbled, "some water."
As Alicia went to get the water she realized why John Doe, no, Sam Winchester looked so familiar. She had met him at Stanford. Alicia had been roommates with Jessica Moore in their freshman year and she and Jess had become good friends.
Alicia had been drawn to Jess's bubbly personality, her ability to make friends with everyone she met. Alicia had only ever spoken to Sam a couple of times. He had been quiet, kind of brooding and mysterious- the perfect match for Jessica's outgoing personality.
Alicia had been devastated when she found out Jessica had died in an electrical fire in the apartment she and Sam shared. Alicia didn't even remember seeing Sam at Jessica's funeral. Anger flared up inside her. Just weeks before her death, Jessica had told Alicia that she and Sam had been talking seriously about their future and she thought Sam might propose to her. The young man who was supposedly going to marry Jess one day couldn't even make it for her funeral! Alicia took a deep breath and grabbed the jug of water and a plastic cup. It wasn't her job to judge Sam. It was her job to take care of him until his family arrived.

It was now early in the evening and Alicia still watched over Sam. She felt bad for her earlier anger. He seemed so sad, his shoulders slumped as he sat up, his head down and his eyes held a haunted look whenever he looked at her. Alicia had coaxed him into eating some chicken noodle soup, regardless of his protests. His mind seemed set on one thing and that was his brother. They sat in silence for a while until Head Nurse Hess told Alicia she needed to go.
After changing into her civvies, Alicia grabbed her stuff and headed down the hall, looking forward for a late dinner with her fiancé. She was texting him on her phone so she didn't see when she ran right into that man.
"Sorry," Alicia looked up to see a youngish man of average height with short cropped hair. He didn't even seem to notice she had run into him. Alicia shrugged and walked out.

I heard someone walking down the hall and stop just outside my room. Thinking it was that nurse again I pretended to sleep. When I didn't hear footsteps walking away I opened my eyes.
"Dean," I said.
"Sammy," Dean whispered from the doorway as though I would disappear if he raised his voice.
I sat up and we regarded each other for what seemed an eternity...