House Rules


Father would be so angry.

Sam pulled at the bindings fruitlessly before slouching back, eyeing the hunters in front of him. He couldn't really remember getting jumped, though that may have to do with the splitting headache he had, coupled with the trickle of blood above his left eye.

"What are we going to do with him?" the younger one asked.

"Exorcise him," the elder growled. Sam resisted the urge to laugh and instead tried to look as harmless as possible. If he could just scoot a little forward, his toe would be on one of the red paint lines. Scratch that away, and . . .

The younger one was shakily reading from a book. Sam thought about it briefly, and then snarled and whined like he was in pain. He waited a couple seconds before pulling his body taut, like the exorcism was doing something, and managed to scoot the chair forward just a bit.

He was severely regretting the fact that he hadn't gotten new shoes in a while. It wasn't like Father had wanted them drawing attention to themselves though, so Sam had been going around barefoot. No need to steal from the shoe store just because there were holes in his old ones. Now, no shoes meant no traction against the slippery paint.

"Dad, it's not working." So a father and a son. Cute.

Sam continued to rub at the paint with his toe, frustratingly feeling nothing being scraped away. Heavy duty spray paint. If he was really lucky, maybe Andy was having one of those I'm-going-to-follow-Sam-around-so-that-the-others- don't-pick-on-me days. Though the devil's trap might stop Andy from finding him, seeing as it was blocking Sam's abilities.

The older hunter's eyes were examining him sharply, and Sam looked at him blandly. Move along, nothing to see. If he could just get the paint scratched through . . .

"Cuff 'im," the hunter grunted, tossing a set of handcuffs towards the younger one. Sam nearly laughed aloud again until he saw the symbols scratched into the metal. He cursed under his breath, frantically shoving his toe at the line of paint, but nothing happened.

The younger man approached, eyes filled with something Sam couldn't quite recognize. He tilted his head, considering. It was quite possibly curiosity. Odd. Sam couldn't remember the last time he had been curious. That wasn't an emotion that Father appreciated.

"I am going to rip your intestines out," Sam threatened agreeably. He smiled. Sam knew from experience that acting calm and even happy tended to freak people out more than fury.

True to form, the hunter flinched, but his eyes hardened. "Sure, freak. Just after we find the right exorcism."

Sam wanted to tell them not to bother, because he'd tried everything himself, but didn't open his mouth. It wasn't like they would've listened.

"Dean, take him in the Impala. We're headed to Bobby's."

So the younger one was Dean. "Dean. Dean what?" Sam asked.

The father's face darkened, and Sam braced himself as a fist raked across his face. "Keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you," he growled.

Sam grinned at him, tasting the blood that probably stained his teeth. Thank goodness he hadn't lost a tooth with that punch. "You sure? I've got a great singing voice." Bantering was practically an art with demons. Sam was just glad none of the others were there to make fun of his attempts at bravado.

"Let's hurry up with this, Dean."

"Yessir." Dean yanked Sam to his feet, pulling him into the bright sunlight and shoving him into a nice looking car. One Sam probably would've stolen on a weekend out for kicks.

"It won't work," Sam said as he rested against the leather seat. He surreptitiously got out a paperclip and began picking the lock on his handcuffs. Funny, how hunters never expected demons to have paperclips. Then again, most demons did rely on their powers, ignoring the more practical measures.

"Sure."

"No really, it won't." Sam let his eyes drift to look at the passing countryside. That was the problem with teleportation, no chance to admire scenery. "I've tried."

"Demons lie," Dean snarled.

Sam smiled sadly. "Yeah, well, so they say." He glanced at the driver's seat, noting how tense the hunter seemed. "My name's Sam," he said for no reason. Unnecessary of him.

There was no response from Dean aside from a twitching of his shoulders.


Sam was bored. As it was, though, despite the fact that Sam could leave at any time, he was kind of intrigued to see if the hunters could do anything. Some days, Sam felt that he would do anything to get rid of the demon in him. Of course, that would leave him frighteningly vulnerable to Ava and the rest.

Sam finished picking the lock and loosened the handcuffs, just enough so he could slip out of them if needed.

A couple hours had gone by, with a few check-in phone calls from the dad.

"What's your dad's name?" Sam mumbled into the car window.

"John," Dean said, muttering to himself as soon as he revealed it.

"You been hunting long?"

"I'm not answering any more of your questions," Dean snarled. Sam noted that Dean's hands were white on the wheel.

"I'm bored, though," Sam complained, "the least you could do is answer a couple harmless questions."

The hunter quirked an eyebrow at him in the rearview mirror. "What kind of demon are you?" he asked incredulously.

Sam shrugged. "I'm not one. Thanks for asking, and tying me up. Appreciate it, really."

Dean's face darkened. "We saw you. And the omens pointed to you."

"I was going to the omens as well," Sam said honestly. Then he thought of a way out. "Y'know I'm a hunter as well."

The hunter snorted. "Yeah, that's why you were levitating things in that room."

And there went Sam's clever way out. He had thought they had discovered him and knocked him out after he got back to his motel room, but apparently not.

"Well, it was worth a shot."

The hunter seemed to be fighting a smile. "You must've missed the 'how to be a demon' day at school."

Sam thought briefly of the lessons he had gone through and smirked without humor. "Top of the class, Sammy." "Yeah. Played hooky that day to go make out with a girl."

The hunter let out a surprised bark of laughter, and Sam found himself grinning, actually grinning, for the first time in months. Last time he had smiled was when Ava had gotten punished for her cruel prank on Max.

"If you weren't a demon, I'd say we should go play some pool or something," Dean grinned.

Sam's smile slid away. "Yeah, well. Can't help blood," he said dully. Maybe he should just leave. It wasn't worth having to deal with these people for the exorcism.

Before he decided to leave, they had pulled up at an old salvage yard.

"Don't try anything," Dean warned as he pulled him from the car.

"Wouldn't dream of it," Sam returned drily.

An older man greeted them, pointing a shotgun at Sam and gesturing them indoors.

"Keep an eye on him, Dean."

"I know."

Sam was pushed into the center of another devil's trap—this one on the ceiling.

"Well, let's get started."

Ten exorcism rituals later, and the hunters were getting desperate. Sam tiredly thought about slipping out of the cuffs and walking out of there, but he didn't really want to be shot. And the one called Bobby still had a decent hold on his shotgun.

"I don't know, kid. What's your dad doing?"

"Looking up a friend to figure out yet another ritual," Dean muttered.

Sam waited until the older hunter put down the gun, rummaging through his books, before he jumped out of the devil's trap, slipping off his cuffs.

"See you 'round, Dean," he grinned as he teleported. The last thing he saw on Dean's face was shock and fear. That was the combination Azazel always wanted, but Sam had never liked it.


"Took you long enough."

Sam blinked, scowling at the sight of Ava. "Long enough for what?" he snapped.

She rolled her eyes. "To get back. Father wants to see you, and he is not happy."

Sam swore under his breath and headed out, keeping one eye on Ava. Last week she had set a demon on Jake while he was asleep. Jake was still limping.

Sam knocked and waited.

"Come in."

"Father, you sent for me."

"You did not return on time."

Sam kept his eyes on the floor, like he was supposed to. "I ran into a complication, Father, but the ritual was completed."

"What complication was that?"

"Hunters, Father."

"What ones?" Azazel's voice snapped out like a whip.

"Their names were John and Bobby," Sam replied quickly. He withheld Dean's name. It was not necessary to put so young a hunter on Father's radar.

"John Winchester?" Azazel asked sharply. Sam shrugged his shoulders and received a bright flash of pain. "Use your tongue, boy," his Father snarled.

"I did not hear his last name, Father."

"You are dismissed, Samuel."

Sam left as quickly as possible, heading to the room he shared with his brothers.

"Sam got in trouble," Ansem sang out.

"Ansem, shut up," Andy snapped. Andy rolled over on his bed to stare at Sam with wide eyes. "He punish you?"

Sam quirked his mouth into a half smile. "Not this time."

"Guys, shut up and go to sleep. We've got a test tomorrow," Jake ordered. Sam raised an eyebrow but didn't argue. Sometimes it was best to let Jake pretend he was in charge. Plus, if there was any sparring tomorrow, it was best to have Jake on his side.

Sam let himself sleep lightly, light enough to wake any noise. It would be like Ava to try to maim them before the test.


"Sam, if we team up can I—"

"Yeah, Andy," Sam said tiredly. "Your job is to keep Ansem from getting into my mind."

"Sure thing."

Sam glanced around at his siblings as they began to quietly form alliances. No one ever knew what Azazel had planned, so it was best to be as prepared as possible.

"Jake?" Sam called, putting the slight hint of a question in his voice. Jake nodded curtly and Sam smiled.

So he had Andy and Jake. He narrowed his eyes, picking out one of the girls. "Vicky," he murmured, "interested?"

She nodded, but pointed to Scott. Sam rolled his eyes but accepted. Scott was annoying to have on a team due to his flighty abilities, but he and Vicky were close and worked well together. If they weren't related, Sam would've guessed that they'd hook up. But Vicky's powerful mind reading would definitely come in handy, even if Scott's tendency to shock everything might trip them up.

"Well children, shall we begin?"

"Yes, Father," rang out in unison.

"This time, the test is one concerning the outside world."

Sam winced. Last time they had one of these tests, they had destroyed a whole town and then covered it up by creating a fake avalanche.

"No teams. Anyone alerts the hunters to who we are, and there will be . . ." Azazel paused, his yellow eyes raking them individually. ". . . punishment."

They all waited in silence for the instructions.

"Each person must convince a person to commit suicide. Andy and Ansem, you are required to do so without using mind control. To those of you who are beginners in mind control, you may test your abilities and use them."

Sam sucked in a breath, glancing around to see some of his siblings looking almost bored, some of them excited.

"You have the day."

Andy grinned at him. "Dude I've got this in the bag."

"Except for the part where you can't use mind control," Sam reminded him.

"Sam, you wound me. I don't need my abilities to convince people, y'know. Anyway, I'm off to search some bridges."

Sam bared his teeth in a brittle smile and watched as each person teleported away. Unfortunately, using powers for teleportation was based on distance, so that meant several people would go to the same place.

"Samuel, what are you waiting for?" Azazel asked sharply.

"Nothing, Father." Sam quickly teleported to the nearest town and stood uncertainly in the street. Pausing, he considered the problem. It was funny, but he had never been able to immerse himself like his brothers and sisters. He hated killing people. And he wanted to see Dean.

Mind made up, Sam teleported to the place where they had tried to exorcise him. Just to see if Dean was there. It wasn't like he had anything better to do.

"Bobby, did you move the motor oil?"

Dean was underneath his car. Sam crouched down.

"Hello, Dean."

Dean swore and smacked his head on the underside of the car, pulling himself out and fumbling for a gun.

"I just want to talk," Sam said softly. He remained in a crouch, calmly watching the gun being pointed at him.

"Yeah sure. What is it you really want?"

Sam put a hand on the ground and levered himself into a defenseless sitting position leaning against the car. "I dunno. But I didn't want . . ." he paused. "Never mind."

"Would this bullet kill you?" Dean asked suspiciously.

"Yeah."

Dean blinked. "Really?"

Sam nodded and tilted his head to look at the blue sky. "I don't mind if you kill me. But I'd rather not go to Hell just yet."

To Dean's credit, he kept his guard up, even as he sat down near Sam. Not near enough for Sam's reach, though obviously Sam's telekinesis would overcome that difficulty.

"What are you really?"

Sam shrugged. "Dunno. Wish I knew for sure."

"Why . . . why are you here?"

Sam pressed his lips together. "I wanted someone to talk to," he finally admitted.

"Oh." Dean's eyes caught Sam's and seemed to test them for truth. When he was satisfied, he looked away, the gun going lax in his fingertips. "Seeing as you could've killed me without even notifying me, we can talk."

Sam closed his eyes, focusing on the warmth of the car's metal and the sun's rays. "What's your favorite thing to do, Dean?" he asked after a moment.

"I dunno. Uh, drive, I guess. Hunting's got its perks as well."

"The thrill of killing something?" Sam asked with a smirk.

"Guess. And knowing that I'm doing the right thing."

"That must be nice."

"Look, Sam—"

Sam blinked his eyes open and turned to Dean. "You remembered my name."

"Uh, yeah?" Dean wrinkled his brow. "Why, is that a problem? Or is that your fake name?"

"I . . . no." Sam traced his fingers through the dirt. "Just didn't think you'd remember."

"Do you want something to drink?" Dean asked after a moment.

Sam snorted. "Yeah, let the other hunter know I'm here. That'll be great."

"I won't."

At Dean's return, Sam opened his eyes, allowing himself to smile briefly.

"So, Sam, aside from levitating demonic objects and reading omens, what else do you do?"

Sam thought of the tests, of the deaths he had caused, of the torture he had undergone and practiced. His smile turned brittle. "Not much. I like to read."

Dean snorted. "Totally would not have been my call."

Sam shrugged. Books had always been an escape, and it was one of the few outside things that Azazel had allowed. The others had preferred different distractions, such as alcohol and drugs. Sam had stuck to books.

"What's your favorite book?"

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Dean blinked at him. "Like the Disney movie?"

It was Sam's turn to blink. "What's Disney?"

Dean looked hilariously confused. "Uh, it's . . . well, it's just Disney. So it's a book?"

"Yeah. Victor Hugo."

Dean snapped his fingers. "Les Miz guy. Okay. Why do you like it?"

"It tells the truth." Sam rubbed his fingers together, uncomfortable at the turn in conversation.

Dean looked at him oddly. "What do you mean?"

"No happy endings, just pain and death," Sam said softly, fingering the hole in his jeans. He would have to steal new ones, soon.

"Aren't you a little ray of sunshine."

Sam snapped to attention. He had forgotten who he was with, for a second. "What would you say if I told you I was a demon's kid and I hate killing?" he asked casually.

"Does that mean you're a vegetarian?"

Sam was startled into a laugh, a true one, and it felt strange, ringing out. He stared, wide-eyed, at Dean, unsure of what any of it meant.

Dean shifted under his gaze. "Look, I'm not one for speech-making or well, monster philosophy or anything, but the way I see it, it matters what you do, not what you are."

Sam narrowed his eyes but secretly treasured the words. "You seem to be a pretty straightforward hunter. What makes you say that?"

Once more, Dean shifted, eyes darting away. "Well, I just don't see how a guy like you could be evil."

Sam found himself relaxing. "Thanks."

"No problem." Dean tossed him his coke.

"Holy water won't do anything, if you put some in," Sam commented.

"I didn't."

"Oh."


Somehow they ended up spending most of the day just relaxing together. Sam didn't quite know what to make of it, but he knew he liked it. He just wished he had more time.

Sam hesitated, before making the plunge. "I realize that this is just the second time we've met," he started, "but would you . . . would you do something for me?"

Suspicion re-entered Dean's demeanor. "What's that?"

Sam worried at his jeans. "I, uh . . . there's a decent chance that my Father will kill me. And I just . . . I don't want to come back as a ghost. So if you could burn my bones, that'd be great."

Dean blinked. "Wait, what? Why would he kill you?"

Sam smiled drearily. "I'm not the only kid. The others and I, we're given tasks to complete. More like tests, really. You fail, you're punished. Today's job was to convince someone to commit suicide. I didn't."

Dean was silent, so Sam stood.

"It doesn't matter if you do or don't. Just wanted to cover my bases, and there's no one else to ask, y'know? He'll probably take me to the nearest place of power." Sam rummaged through his pockets, pulling out a gum wrapper and the stub of a pencil and scribbling down quick numbers. "These are the coordinates. If you do show before he's done with me, don't interfere, or you'll be dead."

Dean seemed slightly shocked. "I don't . . ."

Sam interrupted him. "Thanks for talking with me. No one's done that before." He hesitated before reaching out—not missing Dean's flinch—and grasped the hunter briefly by the shoulder. "Hunt well."

Dean opened his mouth to say something, but Sam left. He hated goodbyes.


A/N: I think I've read several fics that have addressed concepts like this, but I wanted to try it out for myself. So this fic explores what might have been if Azazel had kidnapped the kids at six months instead of just giving them his blood. Honestly it would've made more sense, right? What better place to grow up as his perfect soldiers than under his instruction?

Look for updates every Saturday!

To my Unseen readers, I hope you do like this story as well, but Unseen will be on a slight hiatus until this story is completed. It'll give me a little time to catch up :)