Author's Note: Inspired by a prompt over at OhSam. To those of you awaiting updates, they are coming. I have been super busy with things and hadn't had much time to write. Please be patient! I set this in season 7. Please enjoy!

"Maybe if my heart stops beating

It won't hurt this much."

Paramore, "Never Let this Go"

She knows she's lucky that it happened in her town. Here, at least, she has some pull and the locals trust her and respect her authority. Here, her officers listen to her and don't think twice about her orders. It's a small town thing, she supposes. Since they were more isolated here, it was important to form bonds with each other. In their line of work, it also helped to trust the person watching your back. Still as she hurriedly walks in through the squeaking doors of the Sioux Falls jail, she can't help but feel worried. She had bent a lot of rules before, but never like this before.

Diana stands as Jody steps in and the receptionist nods her head respectfully before picking up a phone and hurriedly talks into it. A few citizens from the town shoot a glance in her direction before looking away. The jail is an older one, but it has served the small town well over the years. Still, the décor is dated, the security system is far from up to date—half of their cameras are on the fritz, for god's sake— and though she wishes she could get her hands on more money, she knew it would never happen. It's these flaws that she focuses on because if she lets her mind to drift to the phone call she had gotten just a half an hour ago, she might lose it.

"Sheriff Mills?" Officer Jones, a rookie who just transferred here from a nearby town meets her gaze with concern in his sea blue eyes. He stands at the gate that leads to the rest of the jail. "Would you like to see him, ma'am?"

"Yes." He nods and holds the gate open for her as she quickly makes her way down the twisting corridors. A few people in the holding cells shout at her, but she blocks them out. She doesn't have time to focus on anything but the young man sitting in her jail.

"Did they brief you on what happened?" Jones' voice is hesitant and she's sure that he doesn't want to be the one to tell her this. Still, rookies got the worst jobs after all.

"No," She whispers, trying to push down the fear that was clawing at the edge of her sanity ever since she had gotten the phone call. "Tell me."

"Bar fight ma'am," He tells her dutifully. "He, uh, had a knife on another gentlemen and he managed to beat a few other men into unconsciousness before we arrived." They're getting into the solitary confinement cells now and the silence is eerie. Still, Jody focuses on putting one foot in front of the other and what she will do once she sees him.

"And the victims?" She needs to know exactly how many people she's going to need to quiet down if she's going to make this incident disappear. She smiles darkly. How easy it was for her to just go about breaking the law, but then again, she thought of him as family.

There was nothing she wouldn't do for family.

"Stable condition," Jones continues. "They should be released tomorrow." They arrive at the last cell on the left and Jones pulls out the keys. They jingle as his hands shake a bit nervously. Finally, the metal door swings open and in the dark, she can make out a huddled figure in the corner. Immediately, she makes a step into the room only for a strong hand to pull her back. "Ma'am, he, uh, was talking about Lucifer and something called 'The Cage'? I, um, can't let you go in there until he gets his mandated psych evaluation."

"Jones," She begins, loosening his grip. "I know for most inmates that's required, but he's under my watch."

"Sheriff Mills—" She holds up a hand for silence and then grins at him.

"You're a promising cop, Jones," She tells him sincerely. "But you still have to learn the difference between the city and small towns. Here, we take care of our own and this guy," She points to the figure in the corner. "He's like my son, you understand? Now, let me in." Maybe it's something to do with the tone of her voice or maybe the sincerity of her words, but Jones backs off and nods.

"I'll just be down the hall if you need me." He vanishes quickly and after a few seconds to collect herself, Jody steps into the room.

"Sam?" The figure's head pops up and she frowns as she sees the cuts and bruises that mar his face. Without realizing it, she finds herself at his side, hands on his face, gently turning it and assessing the damage for herself. "Oh, Sam, what happened?"

"Jody?" His voice is weak and confusion lines his expression, but it's 100 times better than the silence of before so she'll take it.

"Hey there," She greets, an easy grin tugging at the corners of her lips. "Looks like you got yourself into a bit of jam, didn't you?" He flinches when she forces his eyes into the dim light so she can get a better look at them.

"I . . . I don't know what happened." He confesses, shaking slightly. Immediately, she pulls off her own jacket and wraps it around his bare shoulders and hopes that it will give him some warmth. His skin is freezing under her warm touch and she wonders how he thought it was a good idea to go out in the middle of winter wearing nothing more than a tank top and shorts. He doesn't even have shoes on—just socks—and it frightens her. Sam's always been the quiet one out of the two Winchesters. He's always been the one to rely more on books rather than guns, but the violence he had inflicted on those men?

It rendered her speechless.

The Sam she knew would never hurt anyone like that.

"Where's Dean? And Bobby?" In truth, she had already tried to call both of them but each time, she had only received voicemail.

"I, uh," He shrugs and shakes his head. Then, looking up at her with wide eyes and a childlike expression adds, "Jody, I want to go home. Can we go home?" She has no idea what happened to cause Sam to snap in that bar, but she knows a bit of Lucifer and the Cage. From what she had managed to piece together, the youngest Winchester must've suffered from an episode of PTSD.

"Of course, Sam," She assures him with a sad smile. "We're going right now, okay?"

"Tell Dean I'm sorry?"

"For what, Sam?" She helps him up and keeps an arm wrapped around his waist and puts his arm around her neck. Slowly, they begin to make the trek back to the lobby.

"I wasn't strong enough." A lone tear snakes its way down his cheek and Jody's heart breaks a bit more. She squeezes his hand reassuringly and puts on a façade.

"Don't worry, Sam," She begins cheerfully. "It'll be okay, you'll see?"

The truth is, she has no idea if it will be okay. She doesn't know where Dean or Bobby are—she prays that they are alive, but she doesn't know and that part kills her—and she doesn't know if she can take care of Sam properly.

Still, she was going to try.

Sam had saved her more times than she could count. This was the least she could do.

And as they make their way down the corridor, Jody puts on a brave face and tries to ignore the whispers that pass from Sam's lips—whispers of Lucifer, of torture, of pain beyond imagine—and she focuses on the here and now.

One foot in front of the other.

One second at a time.

"Don't worry, Sam," She whispers. "I'm going to take care of you."

And when they walk out of the jail and she bundles him up in the passenger seat of her car, no one even thinks twice.

Author's Note: I might do a follow-up to this on where Dean and Bobby are. We'll see if that happens. Anyways, please review if you have a second! Thanks!