Disclaimer: Supernatural is not mine.

As I walked in all I could think was here goes the rest of my life. I still couldn't wrap my head around the fact that my life was finally, finally my own. Everything I did felt bold, even just walking to the dining hall by myself. I knew in part it was because I had been trained well-

Never go outside alone after dark, Sammy.

I could still hear his warnings. He was always cautious when it came to me. I suppose it was his training. I couldn't let myself think of that now though. I couldn't think of that anymore. I had made the decision to leave that world behind, try and believe that there were no demons besides the one inside me, that things that went bump in the night were just the house settling. Sure I slept with a knife under my pillow, but no one had to know about that.

I had to start believing that this really was my life now. Normalcy was finally within reach. No more arguments with dad, moving every few weeks, no more Dean. I would miss Dean, really, I would. He practically raised me; he was my parent, my brother, my best friend. I knew sneaking out in the middle of the night was a bad idea, but the alternative was what he would deem a chick flick moment. Maybe by Christmas I would be able to call him without risking the need to just go back- to keep hunting. This is what I wanted, and this is what I would have, regardless of the cost.

You're the most important family I have, Sammy.

The semester passed. I made friends, drank, studied- not necessarily in that order. My classes were easy, and I easily passed. I knew better than to drink to excess, not when there were civilians around- any bar fights I got into would definitely raise some questions. There was also this girl, Jess, who was incredible. Another part of the apple pie life I so desired. It was simple, normal, boring. So boring. Despite the invites of several friends to come over, to not spend Christmas alone, I turned them all down in favor of spending Christmas Eve in a diner- the greasiest spoon I could find. A little bit of home, or at least when I had known for the holidays. I had no interest in talking to John, but Dean, I considered calling again and again. He would hate the life I had adjusted so well too. I hadn't shot a gun in five months, and I was happy. When I looked up as the diner bell rang I swore I saw a familiar flash of brownish hair exit.

I'll never have an apple pie life, Sammy.

I quickly brushed the incident off. A lot of people had that color hair. It was nothing. It's not like Dean would drive across the country to come to a diner I probably wouldn't even be in. I was just seeing things. Over the next few weeks though I kept thinking I saw the flash of a familiar jacket slipping around the corner or eyes on me. I did my best to ignore it, and just enjoy the time I had alone. I spent most of the time in the library, buried deep in old law texts. They were the furthest away I could get from the old life, and I enjoyed immersing myself in the challenging language. It wasn't quite Latin, but research always calmed me.

One day, a little after the new year I sensed a presence behind me. I knew to trust my gut- some training just runs too deep. I pushed the chair back, and spun around prepared to fight. The sight that greeted me almost made me fall over. I looked him over- boots, jeans, dad's old jacket on top of an unnatural amount of layers, trademark half grin, piercing green eyes, short hair. It was definitely something that looked like Dean. I reached too slowly into my jacket pocket for the vial of holy water I kept there and splashed some on his face.

You have to be faster than that next time, Sammy.

"You've gotten slow there, Sammy."

"It's Sam."

"Whatever, bitch."

"Jerk," I replied instinctively, "what are you doing here?"

"I can't come to check on my baby brother?"

"You could've called?"

"You tellin' me you would've answered." I stayed silent. I don't know if I would've. I had just assumed he was some sort of supernatural being, not my brother.

"Right. So there a case around here or something?"

"Just wrapped one up in San Francisco. Thought I might come say hi."

"Is dad here?"

"No. He doesn't know I'm here either."

"You've been following me."

"I know. Thought you hadn't noticed."

"I did. Just thought I was losing it."

"Right. Well, I should be going I guess. You seem to be doing fine." I hesitated. Letting him just leave didn't feel right. He was already halfway to the elevator by the time I finished thinking. Maybe I really was getting slow.

"Dean, wait up. Want to grab some dinner or something before you leave?"

"Sure." The walk down to the Impala was silent. There wasn't a lot to say, not that we ever said much anyway, especially when it came to the emotional implication of stuff like this. I was surprised by the lump of emotion that did rise in my throat when I saw the car. I let my hand run over the hood, and to the handle.

"You miss her, Sammy?"

"Didn't realize how much."

"Drive." He tossed the keys at me, like it was a perfectly normal occurrence. I had never driven the Impala before. Well I had once, but Dean was unconscious and bleeding in the back so it didn't entirely count. We walked around to the proper sides of the car and he gave me an imperceptible nod. I got in, pulled the seat back a few inches- he really was short, and felt the familiar roar of her engine.

Why would you leave us, Sammy?

Dinner was mostly silent. It was typical, but just being able to be with Dean again was nice. I had to know- there was still a week until school started anyway.

"Got any good leads?"

"Missing the life?"

"Don't have a lot to do right now. No point in getting out of practice."

"I was looking at a salt and burn in Sacramento. It's not thrilling, but it's something. Thought you were done with the life"

"I am. Just figured you might want some help. Just a weekend trip anyway right?"

"Yeah, yeah of course it is"

"Then let's go."

A/N: I'm not sure whether to continue this and actually make a story of Dean and Sam's relationship while he was at Stanford or just let it be a nice fluffy one-shot. Reviews make me happy!