Hello again! So this is another rather short fic. I'll be posting it in two parts. This one and then one more chapter in a couple days. Sam is 15 and Dean is 19. I hope you enjoy! :)
"I suppose there are worse things in life than being normal."
All Sam Winchester ever wanted was to be normal. He wanted one high school until graduation; then he could grow up with the other kids, get to know them and make friends with them. He wanted to be on the baseball team, even if he had never played the game in his life. He wanted to go to parties and be in study groups, to have normal, teenager problems like worrying about girls or getting in trouble for sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. He wanted a home.
Instead, he had a different hotel room every couple weeks, a gun under his bed, and a dad who was never around because he was out hunting things that most people thought only existed in ghost stories. Sometimes, if Sam was lucky, he got to stay in the same school for a month, but even then he never fit in with the kids who had known each other their whole lives. He never made friends, except for the rare one here and there, and even then he couldn't really get attached. He could never tell the family secret, and he knew that in a short amount of time he would have to move on and leave any connections he made behind. It didn't even make sense to try.
At least Sam had Dean. His older brother was sarcastic and arrogant and a pain in Sam's ass more times than not, but he was the only person Sam had – the only person Sam could talk to and trust one hundred percent. He would do anything for Dean, would die for him in a heartbeat, and he knew without a doubt that Dean would do the same for him. That didn't mean that Dean didn't like to pick on Sam in the true older brother spirit. Like I said, pain in Sam's ass.
On this particular Sunday afternoon, Dean was sitting in their hotel room with his feet propped up on the table, flipping through the pages of some auto magazine with an infuriating smirk on his face. Sam was pacing the small area of the room, practically pulling his hair out in frustration. He and his dad fought a lot, and today was no exception. Sam just wanted to go to a dance. Just a stupid 10th grade dance at his school. He didn't even like dancing, but that wasn't the point. He just wanted to be normal, and he didn't see how attending this dance would be in any way a danger to himself or his family. John, on the other hand, was dead set against it.
"It's just a school dance, Dad!" Sam shouted, waving his hands accusingly. "I don't see what the big deal is!"
"Dean never went to any school dances." John pointed out calmly, not even looking up from the gun he was cleaning.
"That's only because all the girls wanted to be my date and I couldn't pick just one." Dean chimed.
Sam spun around to face his brother. Dean grinned and set the magazine on the table. "What? Oh come on, Sammy, what do you want to go to a school dance for anyway?"
Sam narrowed his eyes threateningly. Not helping, he mouthed. Dean put up his hands in a gesture that said he didn't want to get involved, then went back to the magazine.
Sam turned back to John. His dad had set the gun down next to him on the bed and was now looking at Sam with a curious expression.
"Why do you want to go?" He asked.
"Just because, Dad." Sam answered dumbly. "It's what normal kids do. It's just one night. I'll be fine."
Everyone was quiet for a moment and then Dean spoke up from behind. "Let him go." Then, more playfully, "You could chaperone, Dad."
John chuckled and resumed cleaning the gun. After a moment, he said, "Yeah alright, you can go. But Dean has to drop you off and pick you up afterward."
Sam turned to Dean with his best pleading face. Dean nodded. "Yeah, yeah. I'll do it." He smiled and stood to clap Sam on the shoulder. "But you better have a hot date or I'm not taking you anywhere."
There was a girl in Sam's math class named Caitlin. She was pretty, with straight, blond hair and blue eyes. She wore glasses that were entirely too big for her face, and while the other kids made fun of her for it, Sam thought it made her look cute. She was a smart girl and the only person in the entire school who had said more than two words to Sam during the couple weeks he had been there. Sam was going to ask her to the dance.
He was confident on his way to class on Monday morning, but when he saw her his throat closed up and he couldn't do more than smile and go to his seat. On Tuesday he managed to catch her after class. He intended to ask her then, but again he chickened out and instead asked about something that they had learned in class that day. By Wednesday, Dean was starting to bug Sam for details on his "hot date", as Dean put it. Sam told him about Caitlin. He didn't mention that he hadn't asked her yet.
On Thursday, Sam gathered up his courage and went to find Caitlin at her locker before class. The dance was on Friday, and Sam knew it was now or never.
"Hey, Caitlin." He said, feeling awkward.
Caitlin closed her locker and turned to face Sam. She smiled when she saw him. "Oh, hey, Sam." She said cheerfully.
She began walking to the math class that they shared, and Sam followed. "I, uh, was wondering... do you have a date to the dance tomorrow night?"
The moment he said it he wished he could take it back. Dean and Dad were right. It was stupid to want to go to a school dance. Caitlin stopped and turned to face Sam.
"No." She said simply, a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.
"Oh." Sam said. He swallowed hard. He never imagined that asking out a girl would be more terrifying than hunting monsters and ghosts. "Well, I was wondering... if... if you'd like to go with me?"
Caitlin's smile broke into a wide grin. "Sure, Sam. I'd love to."
Sam couldn't help but return the smile. "Really?"
"Yeah. Of course." She wrapped her hand around Sam's arm and they walked into class together.
"How about this?" Dean held up a suit that belonged to him. "It's a bit too small for me. It'll probably fit you."
"It's a Hawaiian theme dance, Dean." Sam said, exasperated. They were supposed to pick Caitlin up in two hours and Sam still didn't know what he was going to wear.
"Hawaiian, huh?" Dean replied, looking thoughtful. He went to a different duffel and pulled out clothes until he was at the bottom. "Ha! Perfect." He pulled out a red shirt with large white, yellow, and orange flowers. "You remember when Dad hunted that ghost in Pennsylvania? It was a few years ago. I was about your age and there was that girl at school who had a Hawaiian theme birthday party. Remember? Well, you didn't go so you might not. Anyway, I stole this shirt for that party. I bet it'll fit you perfect."
Sam raised an eyebrow at the wrinkled shirt and took a step closer to sniff it. "Dude, it stinks." He complained.
Dean frowned. "Well, we have two hours. Plenty of time to wash it."
Sam and Dean pulled into Caitlin's driveway at seven thirty, and Sam went to the door while Dean waited in the car. Caitlin's mother answered with a huge smile and ushered Sam inside.
Caitlin looked great. She was wearing a yellow dress with white flowers that, thankfully, matched the shirt Sam was wearing. They hadn't even talked about coordinating their outfits, so Sam was glad that they were at least on the same side of the color wheel. He wasn't sure, but he thought that was probably an important detail of attending dances. Caitlin had ditched the glasses for contacts and her normally straight hair was done up in large, loose curls.
"Wow, you look great." Sam said, handing her the single flower that he had made Dean stop for on the way.
"Thanks." Caitlin smiled, taking the flower and tucking it behind her ear. "You too."
Caitlin's mom took a few photos and then sent them on their way, reminding Caitlin to be home right after the dance.
Sam opened the car door for Caitlin before joining her in the back seat. Dean let out a low whistle and Sam and Caitlin both blushed and looked out their respective windows.
"Not bad, Sammy." Dean said playfully. Sam shot him a look in the rear-view mirror. "Nice to meet you, Caitlin." Dean added. "I'm Dean. Sam's older brother."
The ride to the school was quiet and more than a little bit awkward. At some point Dean turned on the radio, much to Sam's relief, but then he started singing along – or trying to – and Sam went right back to feeling uncomfortable. They finally arrived at the school and Sam got out of the car and rushed around to Caitlin's side to open the door for her. He waved goodbye to Dean, who in return shouted something about using protection that basically had Sam running for the front door. He listened to the Impala drive off as he entered the school.
"This is the first dance I've ever been to." Caitlin commented as they made their way down the hall to the gym.
"Really?" Sam said, surprised. "Me too." He felt a little bit better.
The first hour of the dance passed without a hitch. If anything, it was a little bit boring. It didn't help that Sam wasn't familiar with the music. The rest of the kids seemed to know every word, and Sam was sure it was the stuff they played on whatever radio station was popular with kids his age, but Dean and Dad weren't much for pop music. Sam really just wanted to leave, but there was no way he was calling Dean to pick him up early. Not after how much he had fought to go in the first place. He was just going to have to get through it and hope that Caitlin wouldn't want to dance to any slow songs.
It was nine thirty when the power went out. Sam had yet to get out on the dance floor, but most of the other kids were in the middle of dancing to some upbeat pop song that Sam had never heard before in his life. And then the music cut out and the lights flickered off. A disappointed groan sounded from the dance floor, and someone – a chaperone – was telling everyone to stay calm and not to leave the gym. Sam set down his cup of punch and waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. Years of living on the road with Dean and Dad told him to be cautious, even if it was most likely just a normal power outage.
The backup generator kicked in and the lights came back on, but the gym stayed quiet other than the chatter of the students.
"Everyone stay calm." One of the four chaperone's announced. "We're going to look into the cause of this so we can get back to the dance."
He and another chaperone left the gym together. Sam watched them leave and noted the time. The other kids started grabbing drinks and finding their friends at tables set up around the room. Sam filled two cups with punch and went to sit with Caitlin and her friends at a table near the back.
After twenty minutes passed and the adults hadn't returned. Most of the kids had migrated to the gym floor, Sam and Caitlin included, and were trying to scare each other with ghost stories. Another ten minutes and one of the remaining chaperones told the other to stay with the kids while he went to see what was taking so long.
Sam kept looking at the clock and back at the door. The chaperones should be back by now – where could they have gone? Caitlin was sitting next to him on the gym floor, pressed against his side, listening to Joe Harper – the captain of the basketball team and someone that Sam didn't particularly like too much – talk about a crazy science teacher who had gone on a killing spree in the school and killed a bunch of students before killing himself in the science room.
"They say his ghost still haunts these halls." Joe said, shining the flashlight under his chin to cast shadows on his face.
Sam chewed on his bottom lip nervously as he listened to the story. Finally, he nudged Caitlin and whispered, "Is that story true?"
Caitlin smiled up at him. "Don't be scared, Sam." She said. "It's just a story." Then turned her attention back to Joe.
Sam waited another twenty minutes before he decided that he needed to take matters into his own hands and figure out just what was going on. He whispered to Caitlin that he was going to the bathroom, then snuck past the remaining chaperone and out into the hallway. He obviously didn't have a gun in the school, but Dean never let him leave the house without a small knife that he kept tucked away in his shoe, and small bag of salt in his back pocket. He crept cautiously down the hall, keeping an eye out for any sign of the missing chaperones or anything else out of the ordinary. After searching the main floor, he decided to go upstairs and check the science room. Dean always told him that ghost stories had to come from somewhere, and if someone had a story, even if they didn't believe it was true, it was still worth looking into.
The second floor was just as quiet and deserted as the first. Sam went up to the door of the science room and peeked inside. Everything seemed normal and in place. Maybe he was blowing the situation out of proportion. Maybe it was just a power outage. He decided he'd better check inside the room, just to be safe.
Sam had to pick the lock on the door before he could get inside, but he managed easily enough. Lock picking 101 was one of the first things Dean had taught him. He wandered around the room waiting for anything to happen, but nothing did. Finally, Sam sighed and headed back out into the hall. He was just being paranoid. What were the chances that Joe's story had any truth to it?
He turned to head back to the gym and that's when he saw it. A ghost stood between him and the staircase leading back to the main floor. It looked almost human, except for it's pale, almost transparent skin and the fact that it flickered on and off like it was connected to a light switch and someone was playing with the lever. Weather or not it was the deranged science teacher from the story, Sam couldn't be sure, but one thing was certain, it wasn't there to chat.
The ghost flickered and disappeared, then reappeared a second later directly in front of Sam. Sam ducked just in time to miss a blow to the face. He turned to run but only got a couple feet before two icy hands grabbed onto his shoulder and pulled him back. He fell to the ground with a thud and blinked up at the pale face above him.
The ghost reached out a hand and Sam watched in horror as it's long nails grew even longer and sharpened into claws. Sam scrambled to his feet, but not before the ghost got one good swipe across his chest, ripping his shirt and cutting into his skin. Sam yelped and jumped backward, away from the ghost. He quickly turned and took off back down the hall.
Sam threw a look over his shoulder as he neared the gym and saw that the ghost wasn't following him. He passed the front doors of the school and he paused to see if they would open. He cursed when the heavy doors wouldn't budge.
He continued to the gym and burst through the doors, quickly pushing them closed behind him. He reached in his back pocket and pulled out the bag of salt, praying that it would be enough to at least lay a line in front of the door, but the small bag ran out halfway across the wide entrance to the gym. It was only ever meant to protect him. When Dean gave it to him, he told him that if he was ever in danger, to make a circle around himself and stay inside. He couldn't do that now, not with all the other kids' lives at risk too.
He pulled out his cell phone and spun around. The other kids were starting to gather around him now, looking at him like he was crazy. Sam didn't care. If he didn't do something, they were all going to be killed. He flipped open his phone and then stuffed it back in his pocket angrily when he saw he had no signal. Typical for inside the school.
"Dude, what are you doing?" Joe said from the center of the crowd.
"Ghosts are repelled by salt." Sam explained distractedly, looking around the gym for anything made of iron that he could use as a weapon. "But I don't have enough."
Joe and a few other students laughed. "What the hell are you talking about?" Joe asked. "You're crazy."
"I think you scared him with that ghost story." One of Joe's friends laughed.
Sam met Caitlin's eyes. She looked confused and a little sad standing in with the group of students. She held Sam's stare for a moment and then dropped her gaze to the floor.
"Listen." Sam said desperately. "I know it's hard to believe, but ghosts are real, and there's one inside this school right now. Look at my shirt." He pulled on the fabric of the shirt, revealing the tears across the front and the blood from where the ghost's claws had cut him. "It attacked me in the hallway, and it's coming here."
Joe laughed again. "He really is crazy!"
Just then, the gym doors flew open and the ghost walked calmly in. A hush fell over the crowd as they looked at the new, strange person. Then he smiled and flickered before disappearing completely. Students started screaming and running in all directions. One boy was thrown across the room, hitting the wall with a sickening thud. Sam pushed through the crowd and found the panicked chaperone.
"Where can I find iron?" Sam asked.
The chaperone looked at him like he was the one throwing kids around the room. She took a step back. "What are you talking about? I.. I don't..." A girl screamed a shrill, high-pitched scream and the chaperone stopped to look in the direction of the noise.
Sam reached out and grabbed the woman's arm. "Listen!" He snapped. "I know what I'm doing. Where in this school can I find iron?"
For a moment, the chaperone looked like she was going to cry. "Uh, the... the weight room." She stammered. "The bench press bars are made of iron."
"Don't let that ghost kill anyone." Sam ordered before turning and running out of the gym.
He sprinted to the kitchen first and found a large bag of salt. He carried it back to the gym, stopping at the weight room to grab a bench press bar. Back inside the gym, the scene in front of him was chaos. Kids were running and screaming, the ghost was disappearing and reappearing all over the gym, throwing kids against walls. Sam dropped the salt and ran up behind the ghost with the iron bar. He swung it across the ghost's back and it flickered and disappeared.
"Is it gone?" A girl asked.
"No." Sam answered, tearing open the bag of salt and starting a circle. "Now listen!" He shouted loud enough for everyone to hear. "I'm making a circle of salt. Get inside and do not break the circle."
Sam made the biggest circle he could with his limited salt supply, but it wasn't enough. There were still about ten kids who couldn't fit inside. They stood just outside of the circle fidgeting nervously.
"What's going to happen?" One boy asked.
"Are we going to die?" Another kid chimed in.
"Nobody's going to die." Sam said, arming himself with the iron bar and standing next to the crowd of kids left out of the circle. He pulled out his cell again and cursed at the zero bars on the top of the screen. "Does anyone have signal?"
"I do." Came a small voice from the back.
Sam took the phone and quickly dialed Dean's number.
"Hello." Dean answered.
"Dean it's me." Sam said urgently. The ghost would be back any second now and he didn't have much time. "There's a ghost in the school. We're locked in and I don't have enough salt."
Sam could hear things being tossed around on the other end of the line. "I'm on my way." Dean answered, the same urgency in his voice. "Fight it off until I get there. Be careful, Sam."
Sam started to answer, but was cut off when the crowd of students behind him gasped. He turned and found himself face to face with the ghost. Dropping the phone, he raised the bar to swing, but the ghost pushed him down before he had a chance. A girl screamed. Faintly, Sam could hear Dean calling his name over the phone. Sam scrambled back to his feet, but before he could swing the bar, he was thrown across the gym. He hit the wall with a thud and heard a sickening crack as the back of his head slammed into the wall.
Sam slid down the wall and landed on his butt on the floor. Feeling dazed, he reached up and touched the back of his head. He pulled his hand away and saw dark, red blood on his fingers. This was not good. Sam tried to get to his feet but was overcome with an overwhelming feeling of nausea. He paused on his hands and knees to catch his breath. After a short moment, he forced himself to his feet and stumbled to the side, using the wall as a support. The room spun as he lifted the bar for a third attempt to hit the ghost. He took a few steps forward, swung, and missed. The ghost smiled and pushed him back. He stumbled and dropped the bar, his head pounding as he landed back on the floor.
The ghost reached out with long claws and slashed across Sam's chest. Sam shouted in pain and threw an arm across his chest instinctively. He scooted backwards, the ghost following, until his back hit the wall. Helpless, he watched the ghost advance and tried to fight off the dark spots on the edge of his vision. Sam watched in horror as one of the ghost's long claws began to extend until it was a long, sharp spear. He tried standing, but the ghost plunged it's hand forward, sinking the claw into Sam's stomach. Sam cried out and tried to pull the claw out, but the ghost wouldn't budge.
Suddenly, the ghost flickered and disappeared, claw and all. Sam was left gasping for breath on the floor and clutching his stomach to try and stop the bleeding. The black spots in his vision were getting larger and more threatening as he fought to stay conscious. He looked up and saw Caitlin holding the bench press bar, a look of pure shock on her face.
"Caitlin." He gasped. She dropped to her knees behind him. "Nurse's office... get bandages."
"Someone go to the nurse's office and get bandages!" Caitlin yelled. Sam couldn't see if anyone followed the order.
"Sam." She said in a shaky voice, her hands hovering, unsure of what to do.
"Dean." Sam said. He coughed and had to calm himself to catch his breath. "On his way."
Caitlin nodded and Sam focused on her face, fighting against the darkness that threatened to overtake him.