Author's Note: This story was written for the spn_gen_bigbang over at LJ. I really wanted to play around with canon and Sam's time at Stanford and how it affected all three of them equally. I worked really hard on this so I really hope you all enjoy the story. The story will be split between two parts (as I posted it on LJ) so two chapters! I really do hope you enjoy the story. Thanks, Charity

It wasn't like Sam counted on finding a hunt. Of course it wasn't. Sam spent every waking hour of his teen life trying to study and get good grades so he could escape the hunt. The hunt had been killing him, sucking the life out of him as the days went on. Sam was sure that if he hadn't left when he did, he would have wound up retreating so far into himself that he probably would have gotten himself killed. Right before he left for Stanford, he was on auto pilot. Doing things without question, almost subconsciously. His Dad gave him strange looks but was also smiling more at the 'new' Sam. The Sam that woke up every morning and did as he was told, like a good solider.

The California sun had long since set, leaving the town cast in a cold wind. Sam pulled his thin jacket closer to stave off the cold. His flashlight bobbed about as his hand trembled. He was a competent hunter, could dismantle a gun in under 10 seconds, had faced all sorts of monsters most people couldn't have imagined, but he hated the cold. One of the reasons why he loved Stanford so much was because it was in sunny California. Whenever they had to move up North; Sam loathed it. The harsh snow and frigid temperatures just weren't for him. That's not to say that California never got cold, it definitely did, but Sam was usually tucked away in his dorm room, either sleeping or studying.

Before Stanford Sam was like a robot, letting his brain take over as his emotions slowly withered away. It was a job, a routine. Something Sam didn't have to think about. Tonight though, it was more than a job. Sam wasn't just doing this because he didn't have the will to stop it. No, Sam was doing this because people were dying. That burning need to save someone, to help someone. That was still inside Sam.

I never thought I would do this again. I gave this up.Sam slowly crept through the forest, trying to be as stealthy as he could. He didn't want to alert the nasty ogre that had taken up resident in Palo Alto's small forest.

It had been taking hikers and local students and dragging them back to its cave. From what Sam read in the local newspaper the bodies were almost unrecognizable. He was going to call his Uncle Bobby to ask for another hunter to come take a look but when Jessica Moore, the cute girl in his sociology class came crying to him about the police finding the body of her best friend, Sam couldn't do anything but reassure her and set out a plan to hunt the damn thing himself. It was like the last push Sam needed to finally decide to delve back in.

Hearing a twig snap in the eerie silence made Sam freeze. His breath stilled as his hand shook around the flashlight. He slowly turned around and aimed the beam toward where he heard the sound.

Another twig snapping had Sam slowly setting his bag down to retrieve his weapon. The gun wouldn't do anything but anger the ogre but for now it would have to work because Sam didn't have time to get out his lighter fluid. The only way to kill an ogre was to burn it, a flare gun would have worked wonders but Sam left that behind when he set out on his new life. So now he had to use what he could.

He aimed his gun with one hand and aimed the flashlight with the other, it was awkward and stupid considering he was left with no hands but for right now, it had to do. He waited until a figure started to emerge from the shadows. Sam held his breath and pulled back the safety on his gun.

One Week Later

Sam stared at his phone as he nibbled on his lip. Dean's name was highlighted as his finger hovered over the send button. He wanted so badly to talk to his brother but with the way things had ended those few months ago he was scared he would be rejected. That maybe Dean finally said good riddance to the burden of him, that maybe he was in agreement with Dad.

I can handle Dad hating me. I just couldn't handle it if Dean did too.

Deciding against it, Sam pulled away from his phone and gently kneaded his forehead. He had a major headache, had been having them for days and Advil or Tylenol didn't seem to help. He didn't know if it was the stress of school or the stress of leaving on such bad terms. Whatever it was, it was seriously starting to get to him.

Rubbing at his forehead again, Sam slowly got up from his cramped desk chair and walked towards his window. Surprisingly enough he got a view of the front of the school. It gave Sam a chance to look at all the new students arriving. Staring out the window Sam smiled when he noticed a flash dirty blonde curls go by.


Jessica Moore was in his sociology class. He met her on the first day when she noticed, the klutz he was, him break his one and only pencil. She smiled brightly at him as she dug in her purse and gave him a new one. Jessica was the only one who talked to him these first few weeks. Everyone else shunned him or turned their noses up at him but Jessica took the time to talk to him, ask him his name, and tell him hers which started a meager friendship.

Every time she smiled Sam's heart gave a little flutter, or whenever he heard her angelic voice it felt like he was floating on cloud nine.

On cloud nine? Dude what are you? A pussy?

Taken out of his dreaming, Sam shook his head at Dean's voice and rubbed at his forehead again. This headache was affecting me more than I thought.

Sighing Sam closed the curtains and stared in dismay at his room. It was so empty, coldeven. Just his bed with the standard sheets and blankets, a broken table that was left here and his duffle sitting in the corner.

Sam should be used to the decor really; some of the motels and houses they shacked in were much worse than this but this isn't exactly what Sam envisioned when he thought of normalbut he couldn't buy new furniture without a job. He still had money saved up but that stash was slowly dwindling down to nothing.

It would be easier if I just ran a credit card scam.Sam shook his head of the thought. He wouldn't do that, he gotten away from things like that. He would just have to find a job.

Hearing his stomach growl a little Sam decided it was probably time to stop by the cafeteria for something to eat before he headed to bed.

Walking over to his duffle he rummaged around for his wallet until his hands hit something else. Something metal. Pulling it out Sam's heart constricted at noticing it was his knife that Dean bought him for his thirteenth birthday.

He felt his throat close up a little as his hand ran over the smooth metal handle. He remembered that day clearly, their Dad was off on another hunt as usual and Sam was heartbroken that his own father didn't even want to spend Sam's birthday with him.

The thing Sam remembered the most though was Dean was visibility upset. Sam didn't know whether it was because Sam was upset or that Dad didn't come either way when Sam laid down for a nap and woke back up Dean magically had a small birthday cake that they shared and a present neatly wrapped in a box. Ok it wasn't that neat but it was the thought that counted.

Sam remembered his excitement as he tore through the box to discover the knife. Dean made him promise that he would be careful with it and with a quick nod of yes Sam felt like he was a grownup like Dean and their Dad.

Swallowing at the memories Sam tightened his hand around the knife until his knuckles began to turn white.

Sam set the knife back into the bottom of his duffle and grabbed his wallet instead. His hand missed the familiar feel of the knife, the handle perfectly molded to his hand from years of wear and tear. Sam settled his hand in his pocket and walked out of the dorm.

That life is behind me now.

"Thanks." John muttered to the old man at the front desk. He jiggled the keys in his hands as he made his way over to where Dean was leaning against the Impala.

"We got the room in the back." John barked out.

Dean sighed at his Dad's gruff voice and pulled his hands out of his jacket pockets. John's been in a sour mood since their last hunt went awry. John walked away with a limp and Dean had to stay in the hospital with a concussion.

All in all the hunt sucked and Dean just wanted some peace. He didn't need to deal with his Dad's bad mood on top of it. Knowing that John didn't want any pleasantries Dean just nodded his head in agreement and waited for John to unlock their shared room.

Once the door was opened they both entered in silence with John dropping their bags near their respective beds, John unzipped his duffle and quickly retrieved a shirt and some sleep pants then he immediately headed to the bathroom.

"Nice talking to ya." Dean muttered darkly at the bathroom door. Hearing the water start up Dean cautioned towards his Dad's duffle bag and opened it up; down at the bottom was a bottle of Jack Daniels his Dad saved when he couldn't hit the local bar in town. He unscrewed the top and took three long gulps, the alcohol burning his throat and making him shiver. It was nowhere near the capacity of where he wanted to be, but it would help before Dean's last patience snapped tonight.

Screwing the cap back on, he placed the liquor back in its correct spot and zipped the duffle bag back up. His Dad would be none the wiser.

Taking off his leather jacket, Dean laid it on his bed and rummaged around in his own duffle bag. Pulling out the papers he printed earlier in the day, he sat on the bed and began to read them.

Local Teen's body found mangled, authorities say it was a wild bear attack.

Dean snorted at that and shook his head of the stupidity of the police sometimes. Whenever any death happened near a forest and the body was unrecognizable the police always stated it was a wild animal attack and left it at that.

This time though? Dean wasn't too sure. This was the only death so he wasn't too sure why they were out here investigating it. Dean wasn't looking a gift horse in the mouth though, this hasty trip up here would give Dean the chance to check in on Sam and see how he was doing.

Feeling his throat close a little at the thought of Sam, Dean set the pages down when they began to blur a little.

Sighing he rubbed a shaky hand over his tired face trying to get his brother's broken expression out of his mind. It's been on constant repeat since that day, Dean can't help but feel guilty at watching Sam walk away, and watching as Sam shattered at the words.

While he just stared as Sam made his way down the road, his body frozen but his heart slowly shattering.


Dean jumped at his Dad's voice. "Jesus Christ Dad! Don't do that!"

John just smirked and threw the towel he was drying his hair off with on the floor. "Bathroom's yours. I'll read up more and try to see what we're dealing with here."

"Alright I'll take a shower in a minute." Dean muttered.

John just shrugged and walked over to pick up the papers Dean abandoned on the bed. "Suit yourself."

"Any ideas to what this thing is?"

"No clue could be a werewolf the lunar cycle is right but the report didn't say anything about the heart missing." Dean added thoughtfully, as he rummaged through his duffle for clothes.

"That's what I was thinking. Hopefully tomorrow we can check out the body and see for ourselves. Is your suit washed?"

"Yes sir." Dean rolled his eyes at his father's words. He wasn't a five year old who didn't do laundry for God sakes. In fact Dean was the only one who did laundry around here.

You can't force Sam to do it for you anymore.

Dean paused in pulling out his boxers at the thought.

John's eyes narrowed at the movement but he didn't say anything about it. His eyes skimmed the paper until he heard Dean shut the bathroom door.

Sighing quietly, his tense stance evaporated as his hands trembled. Dark circles could be seen under his eyes in the dim lighting, telling that John Winchester hadn't had a good night sleep in ages.

Maybe that's because every time you try, you dream about the words you said to your own son. How could I have said those things to him? I was just scared...oh God Sammy.

John felt his eyes water a bit but he refused to cry. He gave Sam his ultimatum, and Sam was happy it's not like he and Dean wouldn't be checking up on him throughout the hunt.

It was why he jumped the gun just to come here truth be told. He had a suspicion Dean knew why but if he did he wasn't forthcoming. In fact his once vibrant son seemed to be shrinking in on himself. Every day Dean became more distant like he was slowly pulling away from John all together.

I already lost one son I can't lose the other too.

Giving up on reading the papers tonight, John got up from the old table and made his way over to his bed. He contemplated having a drink but decided against it, he wouldn't be any good to the hunt with a nasty hangover. The alcohol was so tempting though, John had to admit. If he drank enough Sam's face wouldn't haunt him in his dreams.

Staring longingly at his duffle where he knew it was stashed he sighed and pulled back the dirty comforter to climb into bed. He prayed that his young son wouldn't be there when he closed his eyes.

Standing under the shower until the water turned cold Dean tried to find the energy to get out and get dressed. His body was shutting down on him; he no longer had the energy to do anything anymore. He wondered if that was why his Dad was so short with him recently. If John had been noticing his lack luster performance on the hunt lately.

Normally Dean would care, Dean would try his best to shape up, get better but now? Now Dean just really didn't care. His bodydidn't care.

Turning off the cold water, Dean grabbed the towel hanging on the rack and dried himself off. Stepping out of the shower he quickly pulled on his boxers and some jeans.

Sleep wasn't going to come fast tonight, no, instead Dean had some other important business to attend too.

Opening the door, steam pouring out behind him Dean instantly spotted his father's form on the bed, sleeping; his back moving up and down slowly.

Dean stared at him for a few moments taking in the lines of fatigue on his face. John was just as destroyed over Sam leaving as Dean was.

Dean smiled a little at thinking of how Sam would roll his eyes at that and tell him what a liar he was. The smile soon slipped though. Dad cares Sam; I just wish he showed it before...

Dean's mind shut off as he pulled on a t-shirt and put on his leather jacket again. Grabbing the keys he slowly exited the motel and walked to the Impala. The night air was a little chilly for California. God, Sammy must hate that.

Smiling Dean got in and started it up, slowly pulling out of the parking lot and heading to Stanford.

The distant to Palo Alto is a small one. With no traffic this late at night it only takes Dean fifteen minutes to pull up to the school. Shutting off the impala he sits in the car and stares at the buildings before him. He feels his breathing speed up a little as his hands begin to shake.

This would be the first time Dean saw Sam face to face. Well almost face to face in the dark. They've had other hunters swing by and give them status reports on Sam but this would be the first time they swung by themselves.

Taking a deep breath Dean put his keys in his pocket and slowly makes his way up to building that houses the dorm rooms.

The building was easy to spot since it was off to the side overlooking the parking lots and walkways where students busied along to get to class. It wasn't easy getting in the building since you needed a student ID card to enter. Dean already had that covered though. He had Bobby make him one a while ago that should work on the doors. Dean wanted to be able to see Sam up close so he knew his little brother was alright. Having the student ID card would ensure Dean access to be able to do so.

Sliding the card and waiting for the door to open. Dean slowly walked down the corridor and up some stairs until he was on the second floor. The building itself was pretty impressive, housing three floors all together with rooms on both sides it probably was easy to house students. Not to mention there was also another dormitory building on the west side of campus that was as big as this one. And with apartment buildings close by and motels scattered about, college kids had it easy when trying to find a suitable place to lay ground.

First door on the left.Dean reminded himself as he came face to face with room number 200. He stared at the ratty door in question and had to calm himself before he chickened out. Checking the handle he was dismayed to see that the door wasn't locked which worried him at first but then realizing how secure the campus is there really wasn't any need to lock a door.

Sammy knew better though.Dean argued with himself silently, standing outside the door like a fool. Shaking his head he slowly twisted the lock until the door popped open. Letting his eyes adjust to the moon light streaming in through the window, Dean immediately spotted his brother.

Sam was passed out on the bed a book lying over his chest as he breathed in and out.

Dean's throat closed a little at the sight. Sam looked so small and vulnerable on the bed. All his instincts were screaming at him to bundle Sam up and take him home. Sam was a grown man now, he could make his own decisions and Sam wanted to go to college, Dean had to respect that.

Why is it so hard though?Hearing sounds coming from the stairs, Dean realized he had to nip this visit in the bud. Locking the door before he closes it softly, Dean silently brushed past two kids on his way out the building.

Standing outside the building, Dean looked up to the second floor and says, "Hope you're happy Sammy."

Swallowing the lump in his throat, Dean walked silently toward the impala intending to maybe find a bar to unwind in for a little before he went to the motel.

Opening up the driver's door Dean paused. "What...?"

Silently in the distance he could hear police sirens, getting louder as they came this way. It wasn't until five minutes later that the cruisers zoomed past at break neck speeds, taking a harsh turn down a dirt road close by.

The dirt road led into the forest where a camp ground was, including more hiking trails.

Which meant... "Son of a bitch." Dean cursed as he hurriedly got into the Impala and pulled out. He stomped on the gas as he hurried back to the motel.

Their resident monster had struck again

The incessant alarm buzzed loudly as Sam rolled over in bed. The sun was streaming in through the curtains only adding to his ever present headache.

Grumbling some more, Sam blindly felt around until he encountered the book he was reading last night. Cursing that he fell asleep reading Sam flung the book off the bed and smiled as he heard it hit the floor.

Trying to go back to sleep though was another matter. He cursed himself for not going out and buying new curtains like he said he would. Now it's coming back to bite him in the ass as the sun cheerfully shines in his room, almost mocking him. Groaning, Sam fumbled with the alarm on his small side table until he hears the thing finally shut up.

Lying in bed for a few moments Sam contemplated if he should maybe go back to sleep. It's not like he had any early classes today. His only class today was at 12:30. Checking the alarm Sam noted it was only 8:45 so that left him plenty of time to maybe get rid of his headache and catch some well needed sleep.

Hearing loud yells and chattering outside his door had Sam frowning.

What the hell is everyone up for?

Slinging the covers off of his legs he sat up in his bed, rubbing his face as he tried to wake himself up. Standing up he stumbled some until he finally made it to the bathroom, taking a quick moment to relieve himself and brush his teeth.

Looking in the mirror Sam cringed at his face, he looked almost translucent in the pale lighting. Part of it was him going to bed so late. I knew I shouldn't have read that book.The other half Sam knew was the foreign routine. No matter how much he loathed the nights he spent researching, sitting in the Impala waiting to see if his family came back from the hunt okay, or going out and hunting with them. It's still practically all he knew. Sam was a night owl and trying to go to bed on a normal schedule and get up when his classes started proved harder than Sam originally thought.

Shaking his head, Sam splashed some water on his face to try and make himself presentable. His bed hair was just going to have to wait until he went out and got some coffee. It's not like his average hair do was any different really.

Slipping out of his sleep pants, Sam wrangled on some worn jeans and a navy blue shirt. Grabbing his wallet off the table Sam pocketed it and walked towards the door. The closer he got the louder the voices got.

Sam furrowed his brows and contemplated maybe waiting out the buzz that seemed to await him. He still wasn't okay with huge crowds, especially huge crowds of strangers who thought drinking beer upside down was a good idea.

I still need that coffee though.Sam thought to himself with a sigh. There was no other way for him to fully wake up. He just had to deal with the morning buzz and do his best not to get swallowed up in the process.

Going to turn the door handle Sam frowned when he noticed it was locked.

I didn't lock my door last night.Unlocking it smoothly Sam stared at the handle for a few moments trying to remember if he somehow locked his door last night. He didn't remember but locking doors and windows was so ingrained in him that he probably did it without realizing it.

But Sam couldn't help the small shiver that ran down his spine. Something was off.

Sam was prepared for a huge crowd but nothing like this. Students and kids alike stood outside their doors mingling together. Even only being here for a few weeks, Sam knew that more than half of these people don't just stand outside and chat, especially at 9 am.

"Man I can't believe that happened."

Sam acted as if he was checking his wallet as he smoothly retrieved it from his pocket; he listened in on his neighbor chatting with some girl.

"I know. I mean she was in my Psychology class and now she's gone."

Sam frowned and wondered if maybe someone died. But someone dying doesn't usually generate this kind of buzz.

"I just don't understand how a bear could have attacked her. She wasn't even on the hiking trails was she?

"No, not that I know of. She was actually in the parking lot."

Sam swallowed and did his best not to respond to the words 'understand' and 'attack'. Years and years of this life has taught Sam that when someone didn't understand how someone else could have been attacked, it's usually bad news.

Slipping his wallet back in his pocket, Sam made his way through the throngs of people, catching snippets of their conversion all telling the same tale he heard from his neighbor. A girl being attacked by a bear, last know location the school parking lot.

Making his way down the stairs to the bottom floor, all thoughts of coffee went out the window as he hurried to the front office, where he knew the local papers were sold.

The sun was already beating down as Sam made his way to the office building next door. He found himself sweating in his dark, cotton t-shirt and wished he would have maybe picked a lighter color to wear. I wish I could have woken up and never knew about any of this.

Sam sighed and canvased the area around him. Stanford was actually a really beautiful place, totally unlike the other schools Sam had read about. The grass surrounding the various walkways was a bright green, neatly trimmed. You could tell the lawn and the beautiful flowers scattered about were well taken care of. The benches and the lone gazebo by an oak tree were both painted pristine white. Already students were sitting underneath as they studied or had a quick breakfast.

Sam smiled and breathed the crisp air deeply. Despite the abrupt wake up call, it was still nice to walk around campus.

Stopping at the office building Sam pushed open the heavy glass doors and immediately spotted the newspaper stands right next to the vending machines. Pulling fifty cents from his pocket Sam deposited the money and retrieved himself a paper.

Tucking the paper underneath his arm, Sam made his way back outside, intending to find an unoccupied seat away from prying eyes.

Scanning the surround area Sam smiled when he saw the students who were sitting under the gazebo earlier vacated their spot. Making his way over he walked up the two steps and took a seat on one of the benches in the middle.

Sighing, Sam took a moment to compose himself before he straightened the paper out and browsed the front page. Almost immediately the words 'death' and 'mauling' popped out at him as he bit his lip in anxiety.

Local college student found mauled to death in Palo Alto Park. Body was discovered by couple walking along the park's many hiking trails. Authorities are saying a bear attack and citing the death as an accident. Mary-Anne Hilton was majoring in business administration.

Sam stared at Mary-Anne's smiling face as he did his best not to drop the paper from his shaking hands.

"Hey there, is this seat taken?"

Sam jumped at the voice and looked up to see a petite brunette standing beside him. She had purple streaks going through her dark hair and carried a small messenger bag over her shoulder. She smiled at him, which was when Sam realized he didn't answer her. "Sure yeah I-I mean no this seat isn't taken." Sam blushed.

The girl smiled and settled down onto the seat with a small sigh. "Phew it's really hot out there. I didn't want to sit in the scorching sun just to wait for class to start."

Sam laughed a little. "Yeah I hear you. Stays nice and cool underneath here. Why didn't you just wait in your dorm room?"

"I don't have a dorm room here. I live in one of the apartment buildings close by but I can never learn the perfect time to leave so I won't be here early."

Sam smiled. "Being too early is almost as bad as being too late."

When the girl didn't answer after a few moments Sam stared at her and realized she was looking at the paper he held in his hands. "I-is that the article about Mary-Anne?" The brunette trembled a little as she pointed to the article Sam held in his hands.

"Yeah, yeah it is. Did you know her?" Sam asked in a soothing voice, noting the small trembles going through the girl.

"No, I just, she was my best friend's roommate. Eve is so destroyed over this happening. I was up all night with her as the cops came and talked to her. I never really got to meet Mary-Anne though but from what Eve said about her, she was a smart girl. It's such a shame this happened."

Sam smiled sympathetically and wondered if maybe placing a comforting hand on her shoulder would be too much. "It really is a shame; do the police know what happened maybe? Why she was out on those hiking trails?"

The girl shook her head sadly. "No, from what Eve said Mary-Anne was in the parking lot the last time she saw her. She was going to the store real quick and Eve said she was supposed to come right back but Eve never said anything about her hiking or going out into the woods. Mary-Anne was a city gal so she wasn't one to just go taking a stroll through nature you know?"

Sam frowned and wondered how a girl could go from the parking lot to the forest in the span of a few minutes. "Did they say when they found her?"

The girl blanched and Sam internally berated himself for being too forward. "I-I'm sorry I know this must be hard for you. I'm just trying to make sense of this."

"It's ok." She smiled a little. "I didn't even tell you my name. My name's Angela."

"Sam." Sam smiled back at her and felt himself blush again. What is with me and blushing around women? Dean would be laughing his ass off right now.

"Well they said time of death was around 2:04 and Eve said Mary-Anne left to go to the store at 1:35."

The window of opportunity was very small. Sam had a hard time believing Mary-Anne would wander down the road until she hit the old dirt trail and then walk even more to get to the camp ground at 1:35 at night. Which meant someone had to of taken her, or something.

Sam was interrupted out of his thoughts when Angela made a slight groaning sound as she checked her watch. "Ugh Calculus is starting soon. I should leave so I can make it there on time."

"Calculus huh? You a genius or something?"

Angela laughed. "Pretty friggin' far from it. Thanks for the compliment though. I'll see you around Sam."

Angela waved a small hand goodbye before she took off, her dark colored hair swaying gently behind her.

Sam watched her go and felt himself expel a breath of air. Doesn't matter how old he got, he would always be a goof around women. And Dean would just have a field day with that one.

Thinking about his brother had Sam freezing up again. He straightened the paper out and stared at Mary-Anne's face.

Maybe it was just a mauling? I mean bears live in those forests. Sam contemplated to himself softly.

Dude, suspicious circumstances surrounding such a gruesome death need to be looked into. Even if you find nothing at least you can say you did everything you could to help.

Hearing his brother's voice decided it for him. Sam couldn't just let this go unchecked. The least he could do with his knowledge was to make sure it really was a bear attack and if it wasn't, Sam could always call Uncle Bobby and tell him about it. Bobby would have someone out here stat.

If there was one thing Sam wasn't doing, he wasn't hunting. No matter what comes up. He gave that life up and he wasn't prepared to dive back in head first.

Standing out and releasing the kinks in his back. Sam tucked the paper back under his arm and made his way back to his dorm room. He had a lot of researching to do before his afternoon class.

Morning came way too soon for Dean.

After breaking speeds to get back to the motel and alert John about the attack, Dean was about ready to pass out. He was running off of adrenaline alone and after that died out Dean was ready to face plant.

But John, ever the competent hunter, decided they needed to research some more, try and gather more information before they went to the crime scene early this morning to get even more information from the officials.

Hearing John's cheery voice as he told Dean to wake up was so not on his to-do list today.

Dean groaned and flung a hand over his eyes, blocking out his Dad's smiling face. He was enjoying this way too much.

"Come on Dean. I heard the police scanner they are canvassing the area today for evidence." John reminded his son again as he buttoned up his crisp dress shirt. If you wanted to be a Fed you had to look the part, and he never had any trouble doing that.

Dean just groaned again and slowly maneuvered himself from the bed. His tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth and he felt a small headache begin to pound behind his eyes.

Just friggin great.Dean grumbled as he pushed himself off of the bed in search of the bathroom. He felt himself sway a little and had to steady himself on the table. Hearing John snickering behind him made him sulk even more as he muttered all the way to the bathroom about his way too cheery father.

Dean decided to skip the shower this morning. He just didn't have the energy to do so. Plus he knew John really wanted to head over to the crime scene to talk to the police about what they currently had.

Walking out of the bathroom, Dean glanced around and silently cheered when he noticed his suit sitting on his Dad's bed all laid out. Normally he would seethe at John laying out his clothes for him as if he was five but right now Dean wanted to kiss the man. He didn't think he'd be able to focus on anything as he tried to search for the suit in his duffel bag.

Due to being stuffed at the bottom for so long the suit was kind of wrinkly and John would usually admonish him for not keeping it crisp but Dean literally could care less right now. All he wanted was some coffee and maybe to go to sleep for another 5 hours and try not to think about Sam the whole time.

Was that too much to ask?

Putting on his suit silently, Dean flattened the wrinkles as best as he could so he hopefully didn't look like too much of a slump.

Styling his hair a little to clean himself up Dean was ready to go.

"Got the notes Dean?"

"Yes sir." Dean responded softly, grasping the notes and the journal to take with them.

"The badges?"

"Yes, they are in the glove box as always."

"Good. I'll meet you outside, I'm driving."

And with that John was off, carrying his suit jacket behind him without another word.

Dean rolled his eyes and contemplated just falling on his bed and never waking up but he couldn't do that to his dad. Even if the man was shitty company he would never abandon his dad.

Like Sammy abandoned you. His inner voice announced evilly making Dean shake his head. No, Sammy didn't abandon me. He wanted to live his own life, and I respect that.

Are you sure Dean? You sure that Sammy didn't just get sick of you and wanted to leave you? That maybe John won't do the same?

Ignoring the voices Dean marched out of the motel room with a sour look on his face. Sliding into the Impala and closing the door with a slam he spared his dad no mind, silently communicating that he didn't feel like talking.

John, receiving the message, just shrugged and cranked up the car. Pulling out smoothly as they drove to the crime scene.

Of course it was a relatively short distance for them. It took only 25 minutes tops to arrive there. John pulled into the dirt road and silently thought about how pissed Dean would be if he got dirt on his baby. Smiling to himself John glanced over softly and still saw how tense Dean seemed to be.

He didn't want to start off the day at odds with each other. He wasn't sure if maybe he said something to upset Dean so he figured he should tread on careful ground with him.

"Going to have to wash her up when we're done down here."

Dean glanced over at his Dad. "Yeah guess so."

"Maybe after this we can head on over to Auto Zone or something and give her a nice tune up like we said we would?" John offered hopefully, wanting Dean to relax and talk to him again.

Dean melted and smiled a little. Working on the car would help his nerves and nothing was better than fixing his baby. "She does need a tune up."

"Great." John announced; his smile nice and bright. He parked the Impala a little distance away and slowly got out of the car. He saw the techs and cops walking around, talking to each other, some snapping pictures and others scribbling in note books. It was a familiar scene for them since they've done this so many times in the past.

Hearing Dean get out and shut the door behind him, John waited until Dean reached his back and silently slipped him his badge. Swiftly sticking it in his jacket pocket he made his way over.

The man in charge had a pot belly to rival any pig, his mustache reminding him too much of Burt Reynolds to ever take him seriously. Dean had to do his best not to break out a smile.

"Mornin' gentlemen, how can I help you?"

"I'm Agent Bonham and this is my partner Agent Plant." John pulled out his badge as Dean did the same.

The man eyed the badges as he slid his dark sunglasses down his sweating face. He gave a grunt of surprise and nodded.

"Feds huh? I didn't get any calls about Feds showing up in my town." The man announced, obviously unhappy with another law agency interfering with his investigation.

John gave the man a stormy look. He didn't have time to deal with an overweight sheriff pissed he wasn't in control anymore. "As I was saying, we're here to investigate the recent deaths, we've gotten reports that it's just a wild bear attack but we wanted to make sure."

The man stood to his full height of only 5'5 and adjusted his waist band around his round belly.

Dean rolled his eyes at the attempted show of dominance.

"I see. I'll have my deputy debrief you and answer any and all questions now if you excuse me gentlemen I have a case to solve."

Dean watched the man walk, well waddle, off near the police cruiser where a young guy was talking on the radio. Dean assumed that was the deputy.

"What an ass." John whispered to his son which got Dean to flash him a brief smile.

"More like what a pigdid you see the belly on that guy?" Dean said back with amusement in his eyes.

"Too many donuts I presume."

Dean and John shared a secret smile with one another when the deputy approached them.

He looked to be in his mid-twenties, light blond with blue piercing eyes, and his uniform neatly ironed.

So vanilla. Dean thought to himself silently, trying his best not to break out in a fit of laughter.

"Hi I'm Deputy Matthers; you can call me Eric though. Sheriff Thompson said you needed debriefing on what we have so far?"

"Yes, we'd like to hear what you have so far, and whether you think the deaths were because of animal mauling's or something else."

The young deputy swallowed at the mention of something else which led Dean to believe this small town didn't see too many serial killers.

"The medical examiner later re-examined our first victim once we got call of this one. We aren't exactly certain if it was an animal anymore, while the slashes resemble claw marks we aren't ruling out maybe a serial killer with a weapon either." Deputy Matthers stated with a small shiver running down his spine.

Dean watched the kid and kind of felt bad for him, something supernatural shouldn't ever be in a small town like this. This close to Sammy.

"Any prints? Identifying trade marks on the victims? Any evidence?" John asked calmly, noting the way the young deputy was shaking.

"That's the thing, not a print in sight. We're thinking our guy wore two sets of gloves. Of course if it is a guy and not a bear. There are a lot of bears in these woods."

John nodded and decided to give the kid a break. He was looking a little green around the gills and too hopeful of it being a bear attack but he knew different. "Thanks son we'll look into it. We'll give you a call if we need anything else." John nodded to the deputy as he lightly grabbed Dean's arm and guided him out of hearing distance.

"So what do you think?"

"I think this whole town is freaked, they haven't seen anything like this before." Dean stated. He looked at all the techs snapping pictures, bagging evidence, going over everything with a fine tooth comb. They were all freaked out; scared that maybe they did have a serial killer on their hands.

"Still think it's a werewolf?" Dean questioned back, wanting to hear what his Dad thought.

"No, I really don't but I don't know what else can maul a human being like that. Especially one that wasn't even in the woods."

"Yeah we have to look into it some more. I'll go to the library later and see what I can pull up. Maybe you can interview some friends and see what they say?" Dean offered.

"Sounds like a plan son, but first we have to get the Impala in working order."

Dean smiled; he didn't think his Dad would go through with his earlier promise. "Awesome."

Walking silently back to the Impala. Dean stared at the scenery and thought about how beautiful it looked in the morning light. It really was no wonder why Sam choose Stanford. The sun, the nature, the huge library close by. Everything that Sam loved.

"Hey, sure wish we had geek boy with us. He'd of had this figured out in a pinch." Dean smiled but then seeing the look in John's eyes he realized what a mistake he made.

"Dad I-"

"Save it, let's just go back to the motel and figure this damn thing out." John trudged along with his hands deep in his pants pocket, leaving Dean behind regretting he brought up Sam.

Dean shook his head and hurried up to get to the Impala. It seemed like fixing her up was out of the question now. Might as well get this done so they both could get out of here, being so close to Sam was doing more harm than it was good.

Squinting at text book Sam tried to make out what it said. He had some experience in translating Latin to English but it's been awhile.

Closing the book softly Sam sighed and kneaded his forehead. It seemed like he's been reading for hours, trying his best to try and find out what this thing just is. Everything leading to dead ends.

The library was big and had everything Sam could ever need. He loved sitting in it and getting lost for hours in a book. The Librarian was also nice and knew Sam's name by now since he came in more frequently. He's probably spent more hours in the library then in his dorm room.

Dean would likely laugh at him and call him a geek for it. Sam sighed again at the thought of his brother. Sliding the book in his bag, Sam checked his watched and almost had to do a double take.

The numbers 12:45 flashed at him cruelly reminding Sam he was supposed to be at class fifteen minutes ago.

"Shit." Sam whispered, gathering up his paper and hastily stuffing it in his book bag. Sliding it over his shoulder he bolted past students and gave a quick wave to the librarian who smiled at him.

Stepping out into the hot sun Sam cursed himself for not keeping track of the time. Now he'd have to walk a mile just to get back to campus, leaving him a sweaty, panting mess but Sam couldn't afford to miss it.

Hiking his book bag higher Sam took off hoping he didn't miss too much.

Sam finally made it to class come 1:00, the professor was in deep discussion and Sam was about to fall over. He did his best to stealthy enter but the door creaked which caused the rest of the class to turn and stare at him.

"Glad you can join us Mr. Winchester."

Sam blushed and hid behind his bangs.

He was about to sit in the back so he could hide to try and get over his embarrassment when he noticed Jess.

She was staring at him with a smile, her curly blonde hair cascading over her shoulders. She motioned for him to sit down next to her.

Sam blushed again and made his way over to where she was seated.

Sam settled his bag down and melted into the seat with a sigh. He could feel his dark t-shirt sticking to his back and he grimaced.

"Wow you look like you just got back from the gym." Jess said in amusement.

Sam smiled. "I feel like it, I had to jog from the library to here because I realized I was late."

"That's one way to keep in shape I suppose. I was worried you wouldn't make it today."

"And miss this exciting lecture?" Sam motioned toward where some students were passed out sleeping on their desks or fiddling with their cell phones. "Never for the world."

Jess giggled which made Sam's heart skip a beat. She looked beautiful today in a brightly coloured sun dress.

"Yeah, don't worry though I can fill you in on the details." Jess smiled softly, tucking her hair behind her ear.

Sam followed the movement; he had to look away when he felt another blush creep up on his face.

"Let's hope I can store that information away without losing it. Much better than I can seem to store my stuff in my room."

Jess perked up. "You haven't unpacked yet?"

Sam scratched at his neck, dipping down to hide his blush. "Not really, I don't have much to unpack anyway."

"Nonsense! I bet your dorm must feel so cold. Do you have a roommate?"

Sam swallowed, suddenly unnerved with how Jess' bright blue eyes bored into his with curiosity. He never had anyone so interested in him before except his own family. Most kids he went to school with only cared if Sam was smart enough to do their homework. Not Jess though. Jess seemed genuinely interested in anything Sam said. He could probably tell her what he had for breakfast and she still be interested.

"No, no roommate actually."

"Wow really? You're so lucky, my roommate insists on having her stuffed animals scattered everywhere." Jess wrinkled her nose up. "I'm lucky I don't break my neck tripping over them."

"Hey, it's better than having your older brother leave his dirty laundry on the floor. It's like trying to dodge grenades."

"I don't have siblings so I don't know about that but sounds like your brother is a handful."

Sam felt his heart beat a little. "Yeah, yeah he is sometimes."

Jess sensing that she's treading on sensitive ground lowered her voice. "Hey how about I come over later and help you unpack some? I can tell you all about the exciting stuff you missed?"

"You don't have to Jess, I can handle it." Sam assured.

"Sam?" Jess touched Sam's hand making Sam immediately stare at their joined hands. "I want to help you. Come on it'll be fun."

Still staring at their hands was making Sam's head spin. So he looked up into her intense eyes and nodded. "Okay, we can go after this class if you want?"

Jess perked up and flashed him a blinding smile. "Awesome, let's do it."

"Excuse me Mr. Winchester and Ms. Moore would you like to tell me what's so interesting over there?"

Sam jumped at the teacher's voice and blushed again; he gave Jess a secretive smiled as he shook his head. "No, sorry ma'am please go on."