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Misery's Child

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There's an awkward pause as he tries to process what he's heard.

"You're my what?" he says faintly.

"Your biggest fan," she repeats, undaunted. "I've read all the Supernatural books, and you, Sam, you're my favorite. You're so brave, you know, but also sensitive, even after everything you've lost. I always wanted to help you, from the very first book. You deserved someone who would be there for you." She’s staring at him with an unnerving intensity that makes him want to shift backwards on the bed, an act he is currently totally incapable of, considering the state of his legs.

A confused surge of guilt also wells up. Whoever this lady is, the immediate evidence suggests that she's been helping him.

Annie produces a bottle of water from somewhere on her person, loosens the top and hands it to Sam along with the pills. Sam obediently takes them from her with his good arm and tongues them. Then he takes a long, one handed drag from the bottle while he tries to marshal his thoughts into some kind of coherent shape. She looks down at him indulgently, like she knows exactly what he’s doing, which doesn’t exactly reassure him.

"You should know," she comments, "the fan forums have been going crazy for months now. The craziest rumors: that Sam and Dean are as real as you and me. That they showed up to the publisher with fake ID's. That they even managed to see Chuck, when NO ONE can see Chuck."

As she’s talking, she’s perching on the bed and making a show of checking the bandages and splints around his arm and legs, poking and prodding him in ways that make him want to hiss through his teeth.

"No one knew how the rumors got started. And for most of the people on the forums, it didn't really matter. They weren't going to do anything with the information anyway. But me, I decided to investigate for myself."

"But how did you find us?" he asks. If this woman is really just a fan who had managed to hunt them down, it doesn’t say much for Dean and Sam’s concealment abilities. More to the point, it also meant that Sam and Dean should probably start bracing for hordes of strangers showing up at their motel doorstep.

Her expression turns house-cat smug. She's clearly been desperate for someone to ask.

"By tracking demon activity. If you boys were real, then it stands to reason that the things you hunt are real too. I used the books for reference, and I started tracking signs of demon activity around the country. And I just waited around for you two. I figured that if I kept at it, you both were bound to show up somewhere, eventually. Everyone online said I was crazy, that it was a waste of time, but I thought, what if John Winchester had just given up on his search for the Yellow Eyed Demon? What if Sam had just given up when he was searching for a cure for Dean in "Faith?" And then hey presto there you were in a little town in Minnesota. Minnesota's a bit of trip from Maine, that's where I'm from you know, but I decided it was worth a drive."

Demons. he thinks and WANTS.

He wants, no he needs...

...something.

What?

"So, what you kidnapped me? Did something to my brother?" he asks.

Annie's expression instantly sobers up and she leans forward, all solicitous concern. Oh honey, no, I certainly didn’t kidnap you. And, I didn’t do a darn thing to your brother either. As far as I know Dean is just fine.”

 

Dean is on the floor and his face is bloody.

Sam blinks.

"I followed you out of a motel in Minnesota," Maggie says. "cause I still wanted to see you properly in person, maybe speak a little. We drove for a few hours and then the rain started to come down in sheets, but you just sped up."

He remembers the rain, its relentless rat-a-tat as he floored the gas.

"I lost you for a little bit there during the worst of the storm. But then I came around the bend, and I could see that you had flipped the car and you were just lying there in your seat and not moving. I ran and got you out of there. It was really slow going, because the roads were really washed out and there's no reception around these parts, so I couldn’t call an ambulance. “

She looks down and bites her lip, like she’s remembering something distinctly unpleasant. “Anyway, I was driving and driving and eventually I came upon an empty house. I think it’s someone’s vacation home, we’re really out in the sticks you know. And I figured, you really needed to get in somewhere warm and what would Sam and Dean do? It’s my first experience with breaking and entering and I think I didn’t do too bad. Luckily I had plenty of med supplies in my car, you know. I’ll take you to a hospital as soon as I can, but right now the road’s pretty messed up and there’s no cell service, so I guess you’re stuck with me for the moment.”

Annie rises with a flourish. “Well, anyway I suspect you’re all up to speed, so you should probably get some rest now.”

Sam doesn’t feel particularly up to speed. He still has a lot of questions. But sleep is pulling at him again, and he’s finding that he can’t quite remember what those questions were, so he lets his eyes drift close again.

In the dark, he lays there listening to the snap and creak of the floorboards as she walks around the bed. Then there’s a sharp prick against his neck and the world falls silent.