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Sam decided to walk home from work rather than take the subway. It was a beautiful night, milder than average for Boston. He absorbed himself in his own thoughts, the pile of books waiting for him at home both daunting and exciting. They were the pathway to his future. It was a corny thought, he knew, but he entertained it all the same. He imagined all the good he would do for others.

He never heard the mugger coming.

At the hospital (which he hadn’t even wanted to go to, but the person who witnessed the attack had already called the ambulance and the paramedics insisted), his mother called his brother Dean. He’d begged her not to, but she said he’d be downright pissed if she didn’t, and although they weren’t as close as they used to be, given everything, he knew it was true.

Sam only had a few scrapes on his face and hands as well as a sore shoulder from being knocked into a wall when he’d resisted the guy trying to steal his wallet. He’s not even sure why he resisted – hell, he only had a few bucks on him, and credit cards could be replaced. A matter of pride or instinct, he supposed.

Dean, despite being contacted, was pissed anyway. When he saw Sam’s cuts and scrapes over Skype, he lost his mind and immediately went into big brother mode. He was so mad that it was hard to figure out what he was saying, but with his mother's help Sam got the gist – he wanted Sam to leave Boston and come back to live with him, or at least live with Mom. Sam refused both. Sam accused him of not listening to him, as usual, and Dean told him he was being an idiot and that this was just proof that he shouldn’t be living on his own. Sam disconnected the call in disgust and refused to talk to him for months.

Eventually the ice in Sam’s heart melted. He missed his brother, and he wanted him back in his life. He knew his brother was just scared for him, that Dean just didn’t understand. But Sam convinced himself that maybe, if Dean saw him here in his element – saw the apartment, the school, work, his friends – he would finally understand that the mugging was just an unfortunate incident that could’ve happened to anyone. Maybe then, Sam thought, Dean would understand that Sam wasn’t broken. Maybe then he would see that Sam was making a good life for himself. Maybe then he’d listen.