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Drifters

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The unhinged guy who couldn't watch where he was driving had had at least a rudimentary concept of first aid, or the dog wouldn't still be alive on her operating table right now. She touched the bandaging packed in the flank curiously, and decided it would hold while she addressed the internal injuries.

She wondered if Don had had anybody trying to apply pressure to stem his bleeding, if he had bled out slowly instead of dying quickly in an explosion. If Amelia would ever get any answers.

If answers would even mean anything, since nothing was going to bring him back.

She shook her head, focused on the dog, and prepped for surgery.

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Surprisingly, the guy was still in the waiting room several hours later, as dawn was coming in through the window. He looked calmer, but also like he might wait there forever. He looked as though the world held nothing much of interest other than whether a dog that wasn't even his was going to live or die.

The dog had no microchip, no tags: it was hard to see under the fur, but she'd just been in its guts and it obviously hadn't been eating well recently. Amelia made an impulsive, spur-of-the-moment decision that the stray dog and the stray guy in the waiting room probably belonged together. What the hell, she'd been turning over a new leaf with impulsive decisions lately.

Distantly she wondered if she'd get fired for it when the day shift came in, but it was hard to care much about her own life getting any worse than it already was. Her husband was dead and she hadn't been able to stand her home or friends or family any longer. All she did anymore was drink and work, and probably at some point work would be over too.

She was suddenly and irrationally angry at this man for coming in yelling up a storm about whatever problems in his own life he was projecting onto the life of an innocent animal and her innocent vet tech and clinic. She was nasty about it as she guilted him into taking the dog, part of her hoping she could pick a fight, but he didn't rise to the bait, agreeing to adopt swiftly enough that she knew she'd been right. The local shelter was too full and the no-kill campaign was fizzling: if he didn't take the animal, she would have to, and she didn't think she could open her heart up again.

It hurt too much.

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Of course she had serious doubts if not actual freak-outs after she gave in to a niggling sense of having seen his face somewhere before and Googled the name he'd signed the paperwork with. A prison mugshot was the first thing that popped up and it all got immeasurably worse from there. She wasn't sure what she should be feeling, maybe like she'd had an incredibly narrow escape, but mostly she felt the insane urge to go rip the poor dog back away from him, to get it somewhere safe. But of course they would both be long gone.

She looked again (it was like watching some horrifying train wreck) at the video of Sam Winchester and his psycho brother shooting a bank vault full of people with matching grins on their faces. How the hell did someone get that crazy?

Of course after that she stumbled on an even crazier bunch of what seemed to be fans of a pulp horror novel series claiming that all their crimes were invented by an evil FBI conspiracy to hide the truth about monsters and demons running everywhere, and that Sam was in fact the Saviour of the World.

Amelia rolled her eyes and shut the laptop in disgust. That's what she got for being curious, fine.

Shame about the dog, though. Who knew, the guy had seemed so concerned, maybe he wasn't actually planning on killing it. Maybe it would be okay.

Amelia snorted. She hadn't really believed anything would be okay since the day she got word that Don wasn't coming back to her.

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She'd seen the drifter-who-couldn't-drive-properly, Sam, around her motel a couple times. She nearly jumped out of her skin before deciding that as it was the only place to stay in town and she'd just pinned a convalescing animal on him, he probably wasn't staying here to stalk her. And it was hard to picture the guy patiently holding a bandaged, cone-headed dog upright so it could go potty as a deranged killer, even with online videographic evidence that may or may not be true.

That comforting line lasted until the minute she walked in to find him standing in her kitchen. Yelling what the hell seemed like a restrained response, under the circumstances.

She wasn't really sure how the conversation turned into refusing to defend her drinking habits to him, but after he left, she did think about what it said about her that she reacted to her home being invaded by a creepy drifter serial killer by trying to start an argument, instead of running or calling the cops.

The real kicker was, part of her was disappointed he'd left peacefully.

That was the first night she got herself off wondering about the possibilities, if he hadn't chosen to go. In the morning she decided her brain was exceptionally fucked up, but then that wasn't really news. If she had been a decent person who knew when not to pick a fight, Don would never have enlisted, of course.

Don would still be alive.

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He didn't deny being a serial killer.

Part of Amelia was shocked at how easy and open her body language was staying even as her mind boggled at her own audacity, throwing the actual words serial killer at Sam Winchester who'd just invited himself into her apartment for the second time, and the rest of her was busy freaking out over how calmly he'd accepted the accusation.

Actually, scratch that. By freaking out, she apparently meant getting turned on as hell.

He was moving closer now, sitting down and settling in, pinning her in place with a stare as he asked (like he already knew the answer) if she was alone in the world. She couldn't lie. She should, she should say she had parents and people who would miss her, it was even true, but she didn't feel like it. She hadn't felt truly alive in months, why should she care if she died? In some ways it might even be a relief.

Amelia had a sudden clarity she hadn't felt for a long time, realizing that she wasn't afraid of anything he might do to her. It didn't matter if there was pain. She'd take anything over the deteriorating monotony of self-hatred and numbness her life had fallen into.

She smiled up at him, relaxed and… interested. She might be screwed in the head, but for right now, she was okay with that.