I groaned when I woke up four hours later. I shook Dean awake, not bothering to be gentle. There was no point in hiding how pissed I was, and I knew it. Once I determined that save for the massive headache he would have for the day, which I was sure he deserved, that he would be just fine I left. Part of me desperately didn't want to leave him alone with Jess, not right now, maybe never again, but we needed supplies and breakfast. I considered taking the Impala, but decided that it was entirely likely punches would be thrown when I got back. There was no reason to add fuel to the fire.

I walked the four blocks to the nearest quick mart. I grinned when I saw the liquor store next door, glad that I wouldn't have to hunt for it at least. I refilled the gas canisters I had hauled with me, and restocked oil for the car and grabbed some breakfast burritos and coffee for us to eat on the road. I went to the liquor store, taking my time, browsing the selection. Part of me thought to what could have been the future, the apple pie life with Jess. I wouldn't be buying cheap whisky to clean wounds and even cheaper beer to keep the cooler stocked, and I would forget the typical layout of a small town liquor store because I wouldn't be in one every week. It would be once a month, wine for our weekly date night- the good stuff, not twelve dollar bottles of grape juice and nice scotch to drink with friends. It would be casual, and light, not just a way to dull the pain or the emotion. I could imagine the soft leather chair, and the fireplace. I knew I was projecting, I knew that I was taking stuff from the movies, that real life was never like that. I jerked myself out of my reverie, and went back to determining what was the cheapest whisky on the shelf. I got two bottles knowing we would need it once I also mentioned that Dad had called last night.

I just assumed Dean didn't remember that. I grimaced, realizing for the first time just how much he hated me for leaving. I knew that Dean would want to go to him, assuming he needed help. I couldn't think of another reason why he would call. Dean was twenty-three; he certainly didn't need to be checking in with Dad every other day anymore. If we went, all three of us there was going to be a lot of explaining- why we had brought Jess into the fold, why I was back in the fold. I didn't want to deal with those questions. I didn't even want to be in the same room with him, and from last night I gathered that the feeling was mutual. I didn't want this life- it was the life I was stuck with. I blamed for dad for it and I knew it. He could've just accepted that it was a house fire, that seeing mom on the ceiling had just been stress- we could've grown up normal. He had never been able to let sleeping dogs lie, I knew that, but it had been his one opportunity. I was a baby, hell Dean had been a baby, practically. I still wanted out, but it seemed like everyone I loved was drawn to this life.

Eventually I decided on our week's supply of alcohol. I didn't want to go back to the motel. I knew once I got back that we would have to actually talk. There was no way to avoid it- that mistrust that had been planted (I didn't know whether to blame the woman in white or the guilty parties themselves for planting that mistrust) could get one of us killed if we let it stand as things were. It would get ugly. I knew that already; I had since I woke up. I had every right to be angry, but I couldn't pinpoint why I was so angry. I didn't know if it was because Dean had kissed her, that he didn't tell me, that he did it again, in front of me no less, that Jess didn't tell me and was trying to minimize what had happened, or maybe it was just all of it. I lugged my spoils into a vaguely workable position and began the trek back to the motel. I couldn't find it in myself to gripe about the weight of everything, and I walked slowly, extending the time until I got back to the motel. I desperately didn't want to face what was waiting for me. Eventually though, I did get back to the place, and kicked at the door with my boot, hoping they would take it for knocking and open the door.

"Dean, open the damn door." I yelled after a few moments of pounding. The door cracked open, and a blue eye peered out.

Keep your gun trained on the door, Sammy

"He's in the shower, you ass." She shut the door enough to pull the chain free, and the door swung open to allow me entry.

"Hostile much?"

"Are you telling me we aren't about to fight?"

"I was going to wait for Dean to get here, so we can get it all out at the same time." My voice dripped with sarcasm so heavily I almost cringed. It hurt, knowing that this was what we had been reduced to- fighting in motel rooms, when this time last month we had been curled up in bed, taking full advantage of the fact that Brady was gone for the weekend (doing demony things I imagined now), and actually talking about our lives.

"Fair enough then." She went and sat in the middle of the bed, all cross limbed and angry stares. In the past I would have found it adorable- it was substantially less so now that I had seen firsthand just how lethal she could be. I pulled out the chair at the typically rickety motel table, and sat down.

"How's the arm?"

"Oh we are talking then?"

"Yeah. It's not like we can avoid each other, right?"

"Right. And fine. Dean helped me change the gauze while you were gone." I let out an irritated hiss at that.

"Really Sam?"

"What, am I not allowed to be irritated that my brother, who obviously has a thing for you, touched you?"

"I don't belong to you, Sam. I can allow whoever I want to touch me. He was drunk. It meant nothing."

"Why do you keep trying to minimize this?"

"Because it's minimal!" The bathroom door cracked open, and Dean emerged, towel wrapped around his waist.

"Getting this party started without me?" I glared in his general direction, beyond yelling. I knew the look would communicate even more than words would anyway.

"Sam seems to think that the whole kiss thing will cause problems."

"Ah, right. Sorry about that."

"Sorry? Sorry? You do realize that could've gotten us all killed, right? That me not knowing would be prime fodder for the thing, that I would be distracted by trying to figure out what she was talking about, since I was supposed to be bait?"

"I assumed you would be a better hunter than to let a ghost's words distract you, Sammy."

"Well, when it's implying that the woman you love and your brother had sex it gets a little distracting." Dean had grabbed his clothes, and disappeared into the bathroom. I assumed that even he realized that this would be made worse by the fact that he was standing around half naked.

"Really, Sam, you think I would do that? After everything that's happened the past few weeks, I would make my life that much more complicated."

"What was I supposed to think?"

"Nothing. You're supposed to trust me."

"Trust gets you killed in this job." I glared at the bathroom door. I honestly hadn't expected Dean to be that blunt about it. It was true, I knew that, but it was something that almost always went unspoken. Actually, it was something that did go unspoken. Jess looked to me, then back at Dean.

"Oh." Suddenly Jess was grabbing her bag, and heading out the door.

"Jess-"I moved to follow her, but Dean put a hand on my chest to stop me.

"She'll come back. Let her walk it off, man." I spun around to look at him, and nearly punched him when I realized it.

"You did that on purpose."

"Yep." I felt my fist impact his face before I even realized I had made the decision to actually do it. As I pulled back my fist for another hit, he grabbed my arm, and forced me against the wall.

"What the hell, Dean?"

"We need to talk to about Dad."

"You remember that?"

"I know he called."

"You can go. Jess and I will rent a car; get out of your way."

"Sammy, you're back in the game now. Come with me."

"We've been through this. I'm not going to go see him, if I don't have to."

Don't ever leave me, Sammy.

"What if he needs us both?"

"You didn't hear him last night Dean. He doesn't want me there."

"I do." I looked at him, and shrugged.

"If he really does need you, I'll come. I won't get out of the car, but I'll come." I turned to walk away. I needed a shower, and I needed to think about the problems that Jess was going to present. I guessed that the reality of the life was finally sinking in, that she was headed towards the break I knew was coming.



"You know I would never actually- not intentionally, you know."

"Yeah. I mean, we've been down that road before. It's just you didn't tell me, she didn't tell me-"

"No chick flick moments. Just don't be too hard on her, man. I'm the one who instigated it."

"Yeah. Right." I turned, going to shower. I figured Dean was going to call Dad while I was out of the room. As glad as I was that things were ok with Dean (I knew they would be, they always were) I still had Jess to get through. An angry, hurt Jess. I knew that I hadn't had the best reaction to it; I knew the stressful situation wasn't an excuse, but I found myself needing to make it up to her. I didn't know why, not when it wasn't my fault, not entirely, at least. I finished my shower, and dressed, emerging in the main room, where Dean sat at the table, nursing a beer.

"Jess still not back?" He held up a finger, when I didn't notice the phone held to his year.

"I didn't think they existed." He was quiet for a few moments while whoever was on the other end, presumably Dad, spoke. "We'll be there in less than thirty- six hours." Another pause.

"Yeah, and hey Dad, Sammy will be with me." I could practically hear Dad's words, as Dean's face contorted into anger.

"I don't care what you think. He's back in the game, and he's with me. He's coming." Dean lapsed into silence for nearly a full minute.

"There are reasons for it. You'll find out. We'll see you then." He hung up.

"What was that about?"

"He's pissed you're coming."

"I knew that. I meant with the whole I didn't think they existed bit."

"Vampires." I looked at, him utterly confused. Vampires didn't exist- they were like Santa, a myth.

"Vampires?" I had to make sure I had heard him right, because that was a bit too much to process.

"Yep. I know, right?" He took a swig of his beer as I wondered if it was silver or a stake that got them dead.

"Pass me a beer." He threw a beer at me, and I caught it easily, twisting the cap off.

"We're headed out as soon as Jess gets back."

"Do you think you could, you know, give us a few? Go get lunch or something? Otherwise it's going to be," I paused, searching for the right words to use, "tense."

"Right. Yeah." He shifted awkwardly. We sat back, talking about the implications of vampires, yet another addition to our catalogue of creatures that really, really shouldn't exist. Eventually we settled into a watching a Star Trek marathon, waiting for Jess to return. About two hours after she left, the door swung open; I was honestly surprised when she walked in confidently, not swaying like she did when she was drunk. I was even more surprised when she walked right up to me and slapped me.

"Sam Winchester, how dare you assume I would cheat you?" Dean's eyes went wide, and he quickly shuffled to get his jacket on.

"I'm just going to go grab some lunch." In another situation I would have laughed at his desperation to get out the room, but laughing in the face of an angry Jess had always been a bad idea. I knew that it was even more so now that she knew how to kill me. The door slammed shut, and I worked out what to say.

"What was I supposed to think? A lady in white was all over you-"

"You trust a monster more than me?"

"They're about the most reliable monster there is. Jess please-"

"No, Sam. Trust may get you killed, but if I'm in this, then you will trust me, no matter what some monster says!"

"It's not always that simple!" I knew the protest was weak, but I had to try it.

"How so?"

"If you're possessed, if one of us is possessed, and is saying things about the other-"

"That would be different."

"I love you, Jess. I panicked, and that wasn't right. I know better- than to jump to conclusions, especially when the idea is planted by a ghost, but this isn't all on me. You kissed my brother, or my brother kissed you I guess, and you didn't think to mention it? How am I supposed to trust you after that?"

"By, believing that is was your brother who kissed me- that I didn't do anything! I couldn't, Sam, please." She was almost in tears, and it was breaking my heart. Part of me wanted to reach out, take her into my arms; the rest of me knew we had to finish this conversation, no matter how hard it got, because if we didn't there would be the kind of distrust between us that could get us killed.

"I believe you Jess. It's just, why didn't you tell me?"

"I was afraid you would leave." I froze, not expecting that. I thought quickly, wondering what would make her think that I would, that I could leave her, especially now, after I had drug her into this life, introduced her to this world. I gave into the urge to reach out and touch her, taking her hand in mine.

"I couldn't leave you, babe, even if I wanted to. Not now, not ever." She leaned forward, wrapping her arms around my neck. I knew that the issue wasn't entirely resolved, but this was as good as it was going to get right now. I held her for a few minutes, enjoying the feeling of just having her close, for the first time in what felt like weeks. Eventually, though, I knew Dean would be back, and that we would have to leave.

"Jess, how do you feel about meeting my dad?"

"I thought you didn't talk."

"Apparently, we're about to start. He needs us, or at least Dean. We're leaving as soon as he gets back."

"I guess I'm meeting him then." She smiled at me, and placed a gentle kiss on my lips.

A/N: So, I'm not overjoyed with this chapter, but it does the job it needs to do. I'm sorry if it sucks. John/ Sam reunion next chapter though!