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Desaturate

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“Do you think she’ll wake up any time soon?” I hear muddily through the haze of unconsciousness.

“I don’t know, Dean. She’s been out for quite some time now,” another voice answers.

“I’m amazed she’s even alive at all. Last time you got thrown by a demon you were out of commission for a week,” the first voice smirks.

“Not willingly and you know it,” the second retorts.

“Oh, Sammy, you liked lying in bed all day and you kno- hey, I think she’s waking up.”

My eyes begin to flutter open, and I instantly regret opening them at all. Light stabs into my pupils, forcing me to squint. There’s a dark ceiling above me. The room smells musty and old and I can hear the bed springs creak beneath me as two large men lean toward me, sitting on either side of the bed.

“Hey, hey sunshine!” the first voice nearly shouts. I wince and try to sit up. Pain shoots through my arm and shoulder, all the way down to my ribs. I suck in a surprised gasp and quickly look down. My arm is pretty well strapped to my chest, and my bare skin from the bra down is covered in an ace bandage.

“Whoa, whoa, easy,” the second voice insists. The first things I notice about him are his long brown hair and gentle expression. His hand reaches out to my good shoulder and gently pushes me back against the pillows. “You got hurt pretty badly. Take it easy. Here.” He hands me two white pills and a glass of water.

The other guy - who was also attractive, but with short hair - chuckles at my defensive face. “Relax,” he chides, “It’s just Tylenol.” He nods toward the nightstand where a bottle sits. I shake my head and hand the pills and water back to him. I try to hide the pain of it by gritting my teeth.

“Trust me,” the one with long hair says, “You need them.” He pushes them back into my hand. I sigh and take them reluctantly. The water that rushes down my throat is more refreshing than I expect, and all too soon the glass is empty. I frown at it.

“Here,” the first one says, taking the cup out of my hand. “I’ll get you more water.” He shoots a quick look at the long haired guy and steps into another room.

The long haired one clears his throat and asks me, “Do you remember anything?” He says it gently. I look at him, really look at him, and my breath catches in my throat. He’s beautiful. How had I not noticed before? Long, chestnut hair coming down to just above his shoulders. His sharp jaw is covered with day-old stubble. Light brown eyes search my face. His expression is concerned.

I suddenly realize that he had asked me a question. “Uh, um…” I stammer, feeling my cheeks heat. I quickly scan my memories, but I can’t remember anything before I woke up. I can’t even remember my name. My eyebrows knit together and I chew on my lip. “I don’t remember anything…”

He sighs. “Well, I’ll give you the basics then.” He places a hand on his chest, introducing himself. “I’m Sam, and that’s Dean, my brother.” The other man walks back into the room then. God, now that I could breathe and think, he’s beautiful too. His light brown hair is cut short, showing the angles of his face. His features are masculine, but there is some kind of model-like perfection to him. His eyes are green and his shoulders broad.

“Here,” Dean says, handing me the refilled glass. I took it eagerly and started to drink.

“She doesn’t remember anything,” Sam tells his brother.

“Crap,” is Dean’s only response.

“Can someone please tell me exactly what the hell is going on?” I huff. The boys eye each other, having a silent conversation. Dean turns to me, sitting down on the bed. He takes a deep breath, trying to find the right words.

“Do you know your name?” Sam asks, noticing Dean’s loss for words.

I try to search my mind again. Blurry, colorless pictures flit by. Smells I can’t name, sounds just too quiet to hear. But for as long as I look, I can’t find my name. “No. I- I don’t remember anything,” I say in quiet defeat.

They both sigh. “Kate,” Dean says, “Your name is Kate.”

At the sound of my name, I can see some color in the blurry photos. Nothing significant, but color nonetheless. Blue. The color of the sky, the ocean, my favorite stuffed animal as a child. The name feels right to me. My face breaks into a grin. “My name is Kate,” I repeat.

Sam and Dean both mirror my smile, though Sam’s is wider. He’s quick to ask, “Did that jog my memory at all?” His eyes search mine, his gaze intense. It feels like he was looking into my memories for me.

My smile fades. “No, nothing else came up,” I say quietly. Sam’s face falls and he looks at his hands. His shoulders slouch. I ache to comfort him, yet I have no idea why. I don’t know this man; I’d just met him. I don’t even know what his last name was. But maybe I knew him before I’d forgotten everything.

“Hey, it’s okay,” Dean pipes up cheerfully. “It’ll come back eventually, right?” I give him a tight-lipped smile. I really hope he’s right.

Chapter Text

It’s later that night, and I haven’t remembered anything. The pictures remain mainly colorless. The brothers and I went to the nearest town, Lawrence, and ate at a little mom-and-pop diner with a 60’s theme. While I was inhaling a BLT, I barely noticed Dean wolfing down a cheeseburger. My eyes were secretively glued to Sam, who was eating a house salad and grilled chicken and reading the local newspaper. His jaw clenched and unclenched occasionally. A time or two, his eyes met mine. The gorgeous brown was infused with sadness and confusion, yet I couldn’t figure out why.

Sam and Dean are quiet when we get back from the diner. Dean parks his sleek, black Impala next to a hill with a brick arch set into it. A heavy metal door sits the bottom of a set of concrete stairs.

“What is this place?” I ask. Sam watches me carefully, as if waiting for something.

“Why don’t you find out?” Dean says as he pulls out a little golden box and slides the face of it off. He hands me an old skeleton key. I look at him curiously and slide the key into the lock and turn it. I step inside first, too curious for my own good.

I walk in, and I’m sent back in time. The floor on which I walk overlooks a lower level. There’s a table with a backlit map right below where I entered. Cast iron bars shield me from falling forward. The whole room is all marble and metal and iron and hard wood. I walk down the stairs, amazed by what I’m seeing. The technology in the room is old, ancient even. Its huge boxy qualities with various lights and gauges make me think it was circa the 1950’s.

I continue forward into another room full of books and a few hard wood tables in the center. I notice a line of odd symbols in the doorway. They weren’t drawn there, but designed into the floor with different colors of stone. This place is beautiful. I run my fingers across the spines of books lining the shelves. One stands out to me, the spine embossed unlike the rest of them. I pull it out and read the title printed on the cover.

“Binsfield’s Classification of Demons?” I whisper incredulously. I whip around to look at the boys who are watching me closely. “Demons?!”

Dean stiffens uncomfortably and his brother clears his throat. “Y/N,” Sam says, walking over to me. He takes the book from my hand and sets it on the table. For a moment, it looks as though he wants to reach out and take my hand in his, but he resists. He continues speaking then. “Do you remember any stories about monsters? Like vampires, werewolves or ghosts? Anything like that?"

If not for his serious expression, I would be laughing. "Of course I do,” I joke, grinning, “Didn’t you read Twilight when it came out?”

Dean snorts. “No, sweetheart. We mean real monsters. Not a bunch of sparkling pussies.”

My smile fades. “But monsters aren’t real.”

“They are, and we hunt them,” Sam tells me gently.

I choke out a laugh. “So you’re saying you guys are Ghostbusters? That’s hilarious.” My tone is sarcastic. I put the book back on the shelf as I say it, but I don’t turn to face Sam again.
       “Yeah, okay. I’m going to go get a drink,” Dean says. I can hear him grumbling under his breath as he walks away. “Ghostbusters my ass. There ain’t no way in hell a ghost is gonna get sucked into a vacuum.”

I sit down at one of the tables in the center of the room. I really hope they’re kidding, but I have the strange feeling they’re telling the truth.

“We’re not Ghostbusters exactly, but that’s a start,” Sam explains over his brother’s mumbling. I look down at the table in front of me. It’s covered in more of the too-weird-to-be-real books. I look at the page of a notebook that lies open. Shapeshifters is the first word that jumps out at me. I look around the page to the other things strewn about. Strange symbols and words I’ve never heard and passages in different languages. Scrap pages of notes are mixed with the study materials.

These guys must be crazy. What the hell are they talking about? I have to get away from them. There’s no way I’m safe around them.

“…all of this is real, we’ve been doing this our whole li- hey, where are you going?” I had jumped up from the chair and started running toward the door I entered in. I hadn’t heard a word Sam was saying.

“I need to get out of here,” I spit out, not looking at him.

“And go where, Y/N? You don’t even know where you are. You don’t really know who you are.”

“I don’t care. I’ll figure something out.” I start climbing the stairs.

“Y/N, wait,” Sam grabs my good wrist and before I can pull away, I stop mid-stride.

Red. The photos had gained another color at Sam’s touch. Blood covering Sam’s mouth; the throes of passion; love; the color of my favorite sleep shirt; my cheeks in the mirror.

The mirror?

I see Sam’s naked body pressing me against a wall. My red lips are parted in bliss.

I turn quickly to Sam, who still has his fingers wrapped around my wrist. I pull his face towards mine by the back of his neck. My lips crash into his, and warmth flooded my body. What surprise he feels quickly fades and his arms wind around my waist. He kisses me as if his life depended on it. I step backward and up a stair so he isn’t craning his neck so far. The kiss is hungry, passionate. His soft lips are familiar, and we move together as if we had done it a thousand times. Somehow staying gentle, he holds me so tightly against him, I could guess he was afraid I would disappear if he let go. His tongue dances with mine and my fingers knot into his brown hair.

“Sammy where did you put my- whoa. Hey now, get a room you two,” Dean’s annoyed voice rounds the corner. I jump back from Sam like we’re teenagers caught by our parents. “I take it she remembers?” Dean asks, both grossed out and pleased at the same time.

Sam looks at me, hopeful and out of breath. I stammer, “I- I don’t…” Panicked, I dart from the room down a hallway. I open a random door and close myself into the room, muffling the protesting voices of the boys. I press my back and palm to the cool surface of the door after quickly locking it. I can’t explain why I had kissed Sam. It had been an unplanned impulse. But I can’t shake the feeling that it had happened before. Many times before. I’d liked it, wanted it, and even standing here, I crave it. I let out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding. Taking deep breaths to steady myself, I look around the room.

The room is dimly lit by a lamp next to the bed. A water glass and a bottle of lube sit underneath it. I make a face at the latter and look around some more.

There are maps pinned to the walls, along with various notes and newspaper articles haphazardly stuck up next to them. It looks like a scene from a crime drama.

At this point, I can hear Sam knocking and asking to talk to me from the hall. But I’m too intrigued to humor him.  Books are stacked in corners, on the desk, and on the dresser.  I move toward the chest of drawers, focused on the framed photo sitting half behind a stack of papers.

My breath is shallow as I pick it up. Sam was in the picture with a woman. She’s wearing a simple white dress and Sam in a suit. Their hands are joined as they gaze lovingly at each other. The room is too dim to see her face clearly. Moving toward the bedside light, I peer closer. Her hair is a little shorter, but the same color as mine. With another look at her face, my face suddenly reflects back both in the photo and the light’s glare on the glass. I gasp and drop the frame, the glass shattering at my bare feet. I notice at that point there’s a silver band around my finger. I slip it off my confined hand with shaking fingers and inspect it. It’s a simple ring with a small diamond in the middle. Initials are engraved into the middle of it. “Y/I & S”

The room begins to spin. Y/I & S. Y/N and Sam. Married. To Sam. How can I not remember something like that? How long have we been married? My heart races. My hands shake. My breath becomes shallower and shallower until I’m not breathing at all. Panic surges through my veins. There’s no room for anything but panic.

“I’m sorry Y/N. You’ll feel better afterward.” I spin around barely in time to see a man with dark hair and piercing blue eyes press two fingers to my forehead. Then everything is nothing.

Chapter Text

Sam’s voice is the first thing I hear. “Baby, I love you. Promise me you’ll remember that.” I feel him squeeze my hand and graze his thumb across my skin. “I miss you baby. I need you here. Really here. I’m so sorry I couldn’t get to you in time to kick that demon off you. Please come back.” His voice breaks at the next sentence, “You promised me you wouldn’t leave like everyone else has.” I feel a teardrop hit the back of my hand. “Please remember, Y/N,” he whispers. I feel my heart crack for him. Not quite to the point of breaking, but his voice breaking chisels little fissures into me.

I open my eyes and study him silently. His head is down, his brown hair shielding his face from me. He holds my hand in both of his and he presses a kiss to my knuckles. I squeeze him back involuntarily.

His head snaps up and my eyes meet his. They’re red and puffy. He’s been crying or trying not to. I swallow the lump that jumps into my throat, unable to explain why I feel his pain so deeply.

I’m the first to speak. I do nothing more than whisper his name. “Sam…”

He tucks his hair behind his ear and starts to reflexively rub circles into the back of my hand with his thumb. “I’m right here.” When I flinch my hand slightly from his, his shoulders droop. He lets go of my hand and walks to the door. He pauses in the doorway, turning back to look at me. His face is barely containing his sadness. “I’ll let you rest. I’m sure you need time to think about all this.”

“Don’t go,” I say hesitantly. I blush and avert my eyes to the foot of the bed. “Why can’t I remember anything? What happened?” I’m not sure why I’m not freaking out at this point. I don’t understand why I’m not running from him, or pushing him away from me. But at this point, it doesn’t matter.

He sighs and sits back down in the chair. He looks at me for a moment that seems to last a lifetime, pleading me without words to remember.

“Why don’t I remember marrying you?” My wedding ring peers at me from my left hand in the sling.

He huffs in amusement. “You figured that out, huh?”

“It was hard not to when there’s a picture on the dresser,” I say, smirking at him.

“Yeah. I suppose.” He looks up at me. “Did you remember anything when Cas knocked you out?”

“Was that the guy with the insanely blue eyes?”

“That would be him.”

“Who is he exactly?”

“Try to remember.”

I think about the man for a moment. I gasp suddenly as every shade of brown floods my mind’s eye. The tan interior of the Impala. The mousy shade of brown hair Sam had grown out of. The beige of Castiel’s trench coat. The chocolates Sam brought me when my cramps were so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed.

I feel my eyes widening at him. “Y/N?” He asked, hopefully curious.

“I remember Sammy,” I whisper.

His eyes widen, mirroring mine at the use of his age-old nickname. “What do you remember?” His hand reaches for mine again.

“I remember how we met.”


I peeked around the corner, wanting to stay as silent as possible. We had to find Jo before these assholes got to her. I signaled to Ellen that the way was clear. I ran forward, shotgun cocked. It wouldn’t kill the sons of bitches, but it would slow them down. I peeked into the window of the house where the demon half of town was squatting. Ellen darted up to the door, opening it. I followed closely behind and covered her back. I quickly searched every room in the house, but it was empty.

“Shit,” she huffed.

“Where could they have gone?”

“I have no idea! Let’s just head back to the church.” She walked swiftly past I and I followed.

I was no hunter. Not like Ellen or Jo. I’d been best friends with Jo since preschool, and I was there when she found out her dad died. My parents had been killed just a few weeks ago. Ellen told me it was a werewolf. All of this was still surreal, a nightmare I hoped I would wake up from. But if it was real, Jo and Ellen were all I had now. They traveled around, hunting anything and everything after the roadhouse burned down. There was no way that I was going to live the rest of my life knowing that the things that go bump in the night are real. So here I was, in River Pass, Colorado, hunting about 30 demons. Fabulous.

Ellen and I had made good time getting back to the church. I saw two men, one taller than the other, walking away from us. I pointed them out to Ellen, and she said she could handle it. I tried to protest, but she gave me the look I’d known since I was a kid; she was serious and there’s nothing I could do about it. I huffed and opened the door to the church silently, stepping over the salt line.

At the bottom of the stairs, I knocked on the door. “It’s me,” I said. The door opened and one of my non-demon comrades stood on the other side of it. He looked scared and he held up a bowl of water. Holy water. I dipped my fingers in, and when they didn’t sizzle and I didn’t cry out in pain, he let me through. Before this, he had no idea the kinds of things that were out there, and this was a rude awakening to him. I squeezed his arm gently and sat down at the table next to Amanda. The poor woman was pregnant; about seven months along. I prayed that she wouldn’t go into labor at this point. Partially because I wanted the baby to be healthy, but mostly because it would be a huge pain in the ass to try and sneak a newborn baby and her recovering mother past the demons. The girl with dark hair sitting across from me handed over a bottle of water. I took it gratefully, cracking the cap open and drinking half the bottle in one go.

Ellen came down at that point, followed by the two guys I pointed out to her. They looked apprehensively at the group of us. “This is Sam and Dean. They’re hunters. Here to help,” Ellen broke the uncomfortable silence that had overtaken the basement.

Austin, carrying an assault rifle, asked them, “You guys hip to this whole demon thing?”

The shorter guy replied, “Yeah, are you?”

Roger chewed on his lip pensively. “My wife’s eyes turned black. She came at me with a brick. Kind of makes you embrace the paranormal.”

Ellen catches Sam and Dean up to speed, telling them about Rufus’s investigation of demonic omens, when the entire town went possessed, and how Jo had gotten separated from Ellen and I. We ran into the guys when we were out looking for Jo.

“Don’t worry, we’ll find her,” said the shorter one.

“Either way, these people cannot just sit here. We’ve got to get them out now,” the other noted.

This is when I decided to pipe up. “Great idea, but it’s not that easy. We’ve tried. We already made a run for it once.”

Ellen made short work of introductions. “Sam, Dean, this is Y/N. Y/N, this is Sam and Dean.” Okay. So Sam was the taller of the two. That’ll make things easier. The boys gave a curt nod.

“What happened?” Sam asked me.

“There used to be twenty of us,” Ellen said quietly. There were only 10 left, including me and Ellen.

Dean looked troubled for a moment, but regained his confidence and calculated demeanor. “Well, there’s three of us now.” He looked at me questioningly. “Four?”

“Three and a half,” I joked half-heartedly. Dean smirks.

“You don’t know what it’s like out there,” Ellen warned, “Demons are everywhere. We won’t be able to cover everybody.”

I looked at Amanda’s worried face, her tense hand on her belly.

Sam asked, “What if we give everyone guns?”

“What are you going to arm up baby bump over here?” Dean retorted.

“More salt we can fire at once, the more demons we can keep away.”

Dean glanced at Pastor. “There’s a sporting goods store we passed on Main on the way in. I bet they’ve got guns.”

Sam dropped his bag and said, “All right. You two stay. We’ll go.”

Before Ellen can bring up Jo and Rufus, Sam reassures her that they’ll bring them back if they’re out there.

Austin opened the door to let Sam and Dean out, but Dean stops Sam. “Why don’t just I go?”

“What? Alone?”

“Someone’s got to stay here and give them shotgun 101.”

“Yeah. Ellen.” Sam turned to walk upstairs, but Dean stops him again.

“It’s going to be faster if you stay and help, okay?”

“While you go get guns and salt and look for Jo and Rufus? That’s stupid.”

“I can handle it.”

Sam paused for a second, and a look of realization crossed his face. They continued to argue while I mutter to Ellen, “Are they always like this?”

“Yup.”

“Great. Who are these guys anyway?”

“They’re good hunters. Good people, but they’ve made some pretty messed up decisions along the way. You’ll see,” she told me, then called up to Sam and Dean, “Take Y/N with you. She’s not too experienced but she’s a damn good shot.”

Sam and Dean exchanged a look. Dean seemed in favor of it, where Sam did not. “Alright sweetheart, let’s go,” Dean calls down to me. I grabbed my shotgun, but Ellen traded me for her revolver, and we set out.

Chapter Text

“I’ll get the salt; you get the guns,” Sam said, scanning the area with his shotgun in hand.

“We’ll go together,” his brother insisted.

“Dean, its right there. Can we at least do this like professionals?”  

I waited for a beat, confused by the odd exchange, then shrugged and headed toward the sporting goods store, but Dean stopped me before I can go with him.  “Sam!” he shouted.

 Sam spun around, expecting to cuss his brother out, but Dean interrupted him before he opened his mouth. “Take her with you. She’s new to hunting. Teach her about the stuff that makes demons tick.” I looked accusingly at Dean. Ellen was a damn good teacher so I knew my way around a demon. Before I could protest, he sent a warning look at me, as if to say trust me. “You’d better explain it to her.”

Sam sighed, then gestured toward me. “Alright. I’ll show you what’s what.” He shot a pointed look at Dean, then we headed inside the Quick Mart.

After checking the store to make sure there weren’t any unwelcome guests, Sam flicked the hair out of his eyes and said, “Okay, so tell me everything you know about demons.”

“Well, salt slows them down-“ I began, but Sam interrupted.

“Good. You at least know that. We’ll start there.” My eyebrow cocked in annoyance. Was he questioning my hunting skills or my intelligence?

Sam went into an aisle and started to bag up some salt canisters, while I grabbed as many water bottles I could fit in my backpack. I was sure the people in the church basement could use them if we didn’t use them as-

“Holy water?” Sam asked.

I nod.

“To make it you also need a-“

“A rosary. Right.” I tugged the one I was wearing out of my shirt and held it up. “I’m not an idiot, Sam. Ellen taught me everything. I’m pretty sure Dean just sent me in here to babysit you for whatever reason.”

Before he could reply, the door chimed. I ducked behind a shelf and Sam did the same. I saw two teenagers in dirty ball caps head for the water in the store’s security mirror. I ducked down, accidentally knocking over a jar on the shelf. “Shit,” I whispered harshly.

The demon turned sharply and instantly darted toward us, out for blood. I begin to fend it off, but the other one grabbed me from behind, dragging me into the main walkway. I swung for his head with a knife, knowing it wouldn’t kill him but it would at least slow him down. He blocked my arm and punched me in the gut, knocking the wind out of me. I kicked him in the groin and he fell, trembling in pain. I ran back to Sam and knocked away the demon strangling him long enough for Sam to get a good jab in the stomach. The second demon rounded the corner, and I knocked him down, too. Sam swooped in and slit this guy’s throat. We both took a moment to catch our breath.

The first thing I noticed after they were both dead was the smell. The stench of the blood filled my nostrils, my lungs. It was sour and metallic and revolting. I bolted out the front door and braced against my knees, taking deep breaths of outside air to keep from puking. Dean ran up to me then, carrying two bags of what I presumed to be shotguns.  “Where’s Sam?” He asked, alarmed.

“Inside,” I panted, “we got into a fight with a couple demons.”

“And you left him in there!?” Dean roared. He dropped the bag outside the store and pulled out his pistol. He busted inside the store like he had to save his baby brother from the big bad wolf.

“Well, the demons are dead. Your brother’s alive. Your welcome. Don’t mention it,” I mumbled to myself.


 

Later, I accompanied a very tense Dean and Sam back to the church basement. I cleaned the guns they weren’t using for demonstration while Ellen, Dean, and Sam guided the innocent civilians through the motions of loading, safety features, practice discharging and reloading. After a few practice rounds with Amanda, Sam sat down on the steps in the corner. He looked dejected and guilty, and I was about to get up and ask him what’s wrong when Dean traced my beeline. From where I was sitting, I could hear the conversation. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop; I was just in the wrong spot, but I wasn’t about to move.

“Hey,” Dean said, sitting down next to his brother.

“Hey,” Sam mimicked with a solemn tone.

“What’s wrong?”

Sam looked away from Dean as though he was choosing his words carefully. “Just, at the store, those demons were possessing teenagers. I had to slit some kid’s throat.”

“Come on Sam, you had to.”

“I know. I just,” Sam trails off before continuing. “I just wish I could save people, like I used to.”

“What, you mean when you were all hopped up on demon blood?”

I dropped the magazine I was loading in surprise. My face flushed beet red. I tried to act natural, picking it back up and loading more bullets into it. They both glanced in my direction, but the conversation didn’t stop. Good. They didn’t notice me eavesdropping.

“I didn’t say that,” Sam retracted.

At this point, Ellen walked over to them. “I’ll be back,” she said authoritatively.

“Where are you going?” Dean asked.

“I can’t sit here on my ass. My daughter’s out there somewhere. I’m not back in a half an hour, go. Get these people out of here.”

I jumped up from my seat, putting down the rifle I was cleaning. “Ellen, no. You can’t go alone.”

“I’ll go with you,” Sam told Ellen.

“Woah. Hold on,” Dean paused. “Can I talk to you for a second?” He says to Sam.

They walk to the entrance of the basement, and I can hear them from where Ellen and I are standing.

“You’re gonna go out there again?” Dean said.

“Well, crap doesn’t hit the fan with coffee breaks,” Sam sassed back.

“I’ll go.”

“It's fine. Just stay here, get them ready. I’ll cover Ellen.”

“Why’s it gotta be you?”

“Oh. That’s right. I forgot. You think I’ll take one look at a demon and suddenly fall off the wagon, as if after everything I haven’t learned my lesson.”

“Well, have you?”

Suddenly, Sam shoved Dean, a loud crash resounding through the room. Everyone’s head snapped toward the noise, and suddenly we could hear every word of Sam’s lowered voice. “If you actually think…” He trailed off, as if the words that would come next would be the worst thing out of his mouth to date. I could see them in the doorway and I could probably cut the tension between them with a butter knife. Sam stalked back into the room, grabbed a shotgun, and walked with Ellen outside. I sat back down and continued to clean guns.

Dean’s anger was barely contained under his cool expression as he came back into the basement. He huffed down next to me and joined in my work, his knuckles tense on the barrel he was cleaning.

I wasn’t sure if I should say something, but the awkwardness of his barely-lidded rage was palpable in the air. “Is everything okay?” I didn’t look at him, just continued to reassemble the revolver in my hands.

He takes a deep breath to steady himself. “No, not really.”

“What happened?”

He paused, closed his eyes for a moment. “Where to start,” he muttered.

“The beginning?”

He chuckled at that. “Sweetheart, a pretty girl doesn’t want to hear this story.”

I bit my lip and clicked the hammer of the empty gun back, testing it, then pulled the trigger. It dry fired, a simple click in place of a bang. “My parents were killed by a werewolf just over a month ago. Naivety for being pretty doesn’t get me far anymore.”

Dean shrugged. “Alright, well…” he began.

Chapter Text

Over the course of the next hour, Dean and I talked about his life and mine. I never felt grateful for the life I had before my parents died until after they were gone, but hearing how Dean and Sam grew up in the life, making sawed-offs in sixth grade, it made me ache for the simplicity of my previous life. He told me about when Sam went off to college and he went off hunting with his dad. He told me about Azazel killing John, and how Sam died. About how he sold his soul for his brother, went to hell, and was brought back by a simultaneously terrifying and clueless angel. He told me about Sam running off with Ruby, then setting Lucifer free.

“So Sam started the freaking apocalypse?” I asked, incredulous.

“He didn’t mean to. He thought that he was doing the right thing.”

“That doesn’t excuse him you know.”

“Yeah. I know. It’s the frigging apocalypse and there’s no looking back at this point.” We finished cleaning the thirty guns we bagged, and Dean got up and started to pace back and forth, no longer distracted by busy hands.

I sat down across from Claire, a preschool teacher, and Pastor, who were sharing a prayer. There was suddenly a loud bang at the door. Dean went to check the peephole, opened it, and Ellen came through.

“Where’s Sam?” Dean asked.

Ellen set her rifle down on the table, then reluctantly met his eyes. She shook her head at his concerned face.

“They took him?” Amanda piped up in fear. “The demons took him?” No one said a word. “Oh my god. What if they’re in here, the demons?”

“Could they get in?” Pastor asked.

“No,” Dean said, the anger seeping back into him. He picked Ellen’s rifle up off the table. “Everybody sit tight. I’ve got to…” He headed toward the door, then hesitated with his hand on the knob. He turned to look at the rest of us, obviously debating inside his head. He winced in frustration, then stepped back toward us. “Okay, we need to get a plan together. Tell me everything.”

Ellen then told Dean and I about her excursion with Sam and how they were ambushed by a couple of demons. Ellen got out, but Sam was captured.

“Dean, one of them is in Jo. We’ve got to get it out without hurting her.” I nodded, agreeing with Ellen. She paused for a moment, recalling something. She scoffed. “It called me a bitch.”

Dean’s face took a humored expression. “Bruise a little easy, don’t you think?”

“No, that’s not what I meant. It called me a black-eyed bitch.”

“What?” I asked. “Jo thinks you’re a demon?”

“Right, but what kind of demons are these? Holy water and salt roll right off?” She looked at me, “Your best friend might be an idiot but she’s not stupid,” Ellen continued.

“She wears an anti-possession charm,” I finished for her.

Ellen nodded, agreeing with me. “It’s all kind of weird, right?”

Dean considered this for a moment. “The whole thing’s off.”

“What’s your instinct?” Ellen asked him.

Dean scoffed. “My instinct? My instinct is to call Bobby and ask for help. Or Sam.”

I rolled my eyes. “Well, all you have is us, so you’d better make do.”

“Alright.” Ellen smiled at me before Dean continued. “Do you know why Rufus came to town? Was there a specific omen?”

Ellen replied, “He said something about water. That’s all I know.”

Dean turned to Pastor, “Padre, you know what she’s talking about, with the water?”

“The river ran polluted all of a sudden,” he remarked.

“When?”

“Last Wednesday. And the demon thing started the next day,” Austin answered for Pastor.

“Was there anything else?” I asked.

“Maybe, but it’s pretty random,” Austin replied.

“Random is good,” Dean urged.

“Shooting star, does that count?”

Dean, Ellen and I all looked at each other. That can’t be good.

“Real big. Same night, Wednesday,” Austin continued.

“Yeah, that definitely counts,” Dean said, getting up and grabbing a bible.

“So, do you think this all comes from outer space?” Austin asked, unsure of where Dean’s thought train was going.

I rolled my eyes at him. “This isn’t X-Files, Austin.”

Dean smirked, found a passage and he read it aloud, “And there fell a great star from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell upon the river, and the name of the star was Wormwood. And many men died.”

“Revelation 8:10,” Pastor interjected. “Are you saying this is about the apocalypse?”

“You could say that. These omens, they’re a prelude to what exactly?”

“The Four Horsemen,” Pastor replied warily.

“Damn it,” I muttered under my breath.    

“Which one rides the red horse?” Dean pressed.

“War.”

Dean turned to Ellen and I. “That cherry Mustang parked on Main.” We both nodded.

Pastor protested, “You can’t possibly think that a car could be one of the Horses.”

“That’s the way I’d do it,” Dean argued. “Think about it. It makes sense. If War is a dude and he’s here, maybe he’s messing with our heads.”

 “Turning us on each other,” Ellen agreed.

Dean turned to Ellen. “You said Jo called you a black-eyed bitch. They think we’re demons, we think they’re demons.”

“So maybe there’re no demons at all,” I finished for him.

“Wait, just hang on a second. It’s the apocalypse?” Pastor asked incredulously.

“Sorry,” Dean, Ellen and I answered simultaneously.

“So you’re saying there are no demons, at all, and War is actually a guy?” Austin asked.

“You believed crazy before,” Dean suggested.

We all jumped at the sudden knocking on the door. “It’s Roger! Open up!” His muffled voice carried through the wood. Austin opened the door for him. “I saw them, the demons,” he panted, “They know we’re trying to leave. They said they’re going to pick us off one by one.”

“Wait, what?” Dean narrowed his eyes at Roger.

“I thought you said there were no demons,” Austin doubted.

“There’s not,” Dean said firmly. He looked back to Roger. “Where did you go?”

“I thought someone should go see what’s going on!” Roger retorted, frustrated.

“Where did you see the demons and what exactly did they say?” Dean pushed.

“If we just sit here we’re all going to die.” Austin began to panic.

“They’re going to kill us if we don’t kill them first,” Roger continued to feed the manic atmosphere.

“Just wait a second!” I shouted over them.

“No, we’ve got people to protect. All right. All the able bodies go hunt some demons.” Austin picked up a shotgun and passed it to Jeff, a college student home for the week.

“Whoa, hold on. This is not a demon thing,” Dean held his hands out to try to stop Austin from pushing more panic on everyone in the room.

From the corner of my eye, I saw Roger raise his hand and twist the gold band I assumed was a wedding ring. He used the same hand to point at the three of us. “Look at their eyes! They’re demons!”

Amanda gasped, a hand flying to her swollen belly and Pastor raised a gun to us. “Go, go!” Dean shouted, and the three of us ran out the door, barely missing a shotgun blast.

Chapter Text

“Okay, Ellen, you get Jo. Dean, you get Rufus. I’ll hold off anyone that comes this way.”

“Y/N, you can’t kill them,” Ellen warned.

“I know,” I replied, noticing the smirk on Dean’s face. “While Dean was grabbing guns, he grabbed a BB gun. Not enough to kill, just enough to hurt like hell.”

Ellen looked pleasantly surprised. “Whose idea was that?”

I give her my best bitch-face. “Mine, you really think he would have thought of that?” I was joking, but Dean’s smirk disappeared.  “Sure, he grabbed it by accident, but now it serves a purpose.”

“Alright, alright. Let’s get this show on the road,” Dean said.


 

I sneaked into the house, then headed up for the second floor. I was looking for a window that faced the street so I could cover Dean and Ellen’s tails, but instead, I opened a dark room with a fireplace and an excessive amount of candles. “Wow. If this isn’t a porno, it’s a fire hazard,” I muttered.

“Y/N?” Sam breathed my name with a combination of relief and confusion. He was tied to a chair, his hair and skin soaked in sweat. His cheeks were covered with what looked to be salt.

“Sam?” I lowered the pistol I was using for preservation and quickly walked over to him. I began to untie the knots binding him to the chair.

“Y/N, they’re not demons,” he began, but I cut him off.

“Its War. We know. Ellen and Dean are downstairs convincing Rufus and Jo right now.” Jo must have tied these knots. They were impossible to undo. I grabbed my knife from my belt and cut the ropes from him.

He rubbed his wrists appreciatively. “He’s using the ring.”

I thought back to the chaos at the church. He twisted the ring around his finger before everyone saw our eyes go black. “Right. That makes sense.”

“Y/N, I’m sorry for being rude back at the store,” Sam started.

“Not now, Sam. Apologies are accepted when we’re not about to die.”

He chuckled, and I heard him mutter under his breath, “If you stick around, you’ll never get one by that logic.”


 

We met up with Dean, Ellen, Jo and Rufus downstairs. I embraced Jo in the tightest bear hug I could manage. “I know you’re a bitch, but you’re no demon,” I told her. She laughed and returned my hug.

“Okay, enough with the Hallmark moments. We’ve got work to do,” Dean interrupted. We all nodded and split up. Rufus went to stop the shooting happening upstairs. Ellen went outside to stop the firing out there, and Jo stayed inside to watch Rufus’s back.

Dean, Sam and I all took off after The Horseman. The boys could run pretty quickly, but I kept an even pace with them. I was a track runner in high school and never kicked the habit. Running was how I relaxed. We caught a glimpse of Roger aka War heading toward his car.  I stopped both boys and whispered, “Follow my lead.” They nodded, and I motioned for them to get out of War’s field of vision.

I walked out of the shadows. “Hey, asshat!” I shouted. “I’ve got a bone to pick with you!”

He stopped, laughing as he turned around. “You? Cute little Y/N? The girl playing hunter?”

Dean swooped in on his right side, pinning him to the mustang. “Oh she’s not playing, buddy. And neither are we.”

I watched as Sam drew a knife, a smug smile on his face. War’s demeanor changed from cocky to wary at Sam’s blade. “Whoa. Okay. That’s a sweet little knife you’ve got there, but come on. You can’t kill War, kiddos.”

“Oh, we know,” Dean retorted. Sam slammed War’s hand on the hood of his car and cut four fingers from his hand in a single swipe. I grimaced at the sight as screams echoed around the alley.

In a blink, War, his car, and the severed fingers were gone, the ring fell to the ground with a chime. Sam, Dean and I looked at each other, confused. Dean then reached down and picked up the ring. He examined it for a moment. “Think it’ll make me invisible?” He joked. Sam and I both rolled our eyes and returned to base camp to assess the damage.


 

“I can’t believe all of this,” Austin said, sitting on the grass in front of the house. “The apocalypse? Really?”

“You’d better believe it, kiddo,” Ellen assured.

“We don’t really like it either,” Dean said as the three of us walked toward the group of people. Dean, Sam, Ellen and Austin continued to chat amongst themselves. Austin was clearly still trying to wrap his head around everything that had happened. I felt sorry for him. I had just been in his shoes a few weeks ago. I tuned out of the conversation and looked around.

Amanda was with her husband, sitting under a tree. She leaned heavily on him, weeping, obviously exhausted from the chaos. He rubbed her back and held her close, one hand on her belly. I smiled a little bit at them. I’d never had that kind of love before, but I imagined it was nice. Maybe I would find it someday.

Sam’s laugh brought me back to the conversation.

“Sorry. What’s going on?”

“I was just telling the boys what an ass kicker you are,” Ellen explained.

“It’s true,” Sam said. “I would have been toast if she hadn’t kicked that demon off me.”

I scoffed. “Saving people’s asses is just part of the job description. Don’t feel special.”

Dean whistled at the burn his brother just received. I stood up and brushed off my pants, though they were positively filthy. “I’m going to head back to the car and wait for you and Jo. I need a shower and something to eat.”

Ellen nodded, getting up as well. “You’re right. Let’s get out of here. Don’t you boys keep me wondering if you’re alive or dead, you hear?” She scowled at the boys.

We had just started to walk toward Jo when Dean called my name. “Y/N!” I turned around.

“Yeah?”

Dean handed me a business card. “The name’s phony but the number is real. Give us a call if you get into any trouble.”

“Trouble seems to be every hunter’s middle name,” I retorted, taking the card from him.

He laughed at that. “Well, if it’s any consolation, I’m good backup in a fight.”

“I’m not sure you can say the same for your brother.”

“You really don’t like him, do you?”

“No, not really. He was a bit of a dick to me when we were getting salt and that’s not a great first impression. Oh, and he set Lucifer free and started the apocalypse.” Dean sighed. “I know, I know. ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.' 'He believed he was doing the right thing.’ Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. I still don’t like him.”

“I think if you got to know him you’d really like him. He’s made some bad choices but he’s got the biggest heart of anyone I know.”

“The large heart may be because he’s sasquatch, you know.”

He laughed. “You might be right.”

“You already know I am," I laughed. "I guess I’ll see you around, Dean,” I smiled up at him.

He returned my smile and pulled me in for a hug. “See you around, kiddo.”

I ran and caught up with Ellen and Jo, not bothering to say goodbye to Sam.  Ellen drove while Jo and I passed out in the car. I would refuse to tell anyone that I dreamt of Sam that night.

Chapter Text

“Y?N?” Sam says my name hesitantly. I slam back to the present. My shoulder aches. I’m cut up all over, and I’m laying half naked in a room I barely recognize.

But Sam is here. I’m mysteriously and instantly comforted by his presence. I look over to him. He has my free hand enveloped in the both of his. My hand is dwarfed easily by just one of his. “I’m here,” I reply, still dazed.

“You said you remembered how we met. You meant River Pass, right?”

“Yeah. The town that was half fake demon. Where I met you and Dean.”

“So I’m sure my impression on you hasn’t gotten any better after remembering that. You hated me back then.”

“You implied I that Ellen was a crap teacher and that I was an ignorant little girl playing hunter.”

He chews on that thought for a moment. “I was pretty rude right away. I’m just glad you and Dean got along well enough for you to stick around.”

I try to pull memories out of the fog of amnesia that was so thick in my mind, but I’m so blinded by the monochrome haze that it makes my head start pounding again. I pull my hand from both of Sam’s and rub my temples.

“Need some more Tylenol? Or is it turning into a migraine?”

I peek at him through my fingers. “I get migraines?”

He raises his eyebrows, seemingly shocked that I wouldn’t remember that. “Yeah. Sometimes they’re so bad that you can’t get out bed for three days.”

Dean’s voice derails my temple rubbing. “And I’d have to go hunting by myself because this sappy p.o.s. wouldn’t leave your side.” I give Dean a polite smile as he walks in the room, sitting on the edge of the bed. “So, princess. How’re you feeling?”

“She’s still trying to remember and her head’s aching pretty badly,” Sam answers for me before I could open my mouth. Dean and I both shoot him a bitch face. “Sorry,” Sam says, but I can see a small smirk playing on his lips.

“Well, he’s not wrong,” I agree, “my head kills. I can’t tell if I need a drink or a nap.”

“Well, that’s why I’m here,” Dean says. He produces a glass from his pocket and reaches down next to the end table. He tips the half-empty bottle and pours an inch of amber liquid into the crystal cup and passes it to me. “It’s more fun than an angel knocking you out.”

I roll my eyes at him and take it gratefully, sniffing it before I take a sip. The booze is whiskey, maybe bourbon, and some good stuff at that. I take a swallow and feel it go all the way down my throat. It burns, like all booze does, but it’s surprisingly pleasant.

“What is that?” I ask, raising the glass to my lips again. Dean holds up the bottle. Elijah Craig is scrawled across the front label in English lettering.

Sam clears his throat. “It was, uh, our wedding present from Crowley.”

I almost spit out my mouthful. Dean gives me a cheesy smile, then takes a pull from the bottle. I gather my wits, then shake off the weirdness of the situation. I down the rest of the glass and set it on the nightstand.

“We should let you sleep,” Sam says, reluctantly standing to leave.

I nod. “I’m exhausted. Finding out that monsters, and angels, are real, and you’re married to the guy who was addicted to demon blood and started the apocalypse kind of wears a person out.”

Dean snorts. “Wow. That’s a great group of things to remember right away, huh Sammy?”

Sam ignores at his brother. “Y/N, are you hungry? I’m going to make something to eat. Do you want crepes?” I nod eagerly. Sam gives me a smile and left the room. Dean doesn’t move from the edge of the bed.

I think for a moment. “Dean? How did Sam know I like crepes?”

He chuckles at me. “You’re kidding, right?”

I shake my head. “Not at all.”

“He loves you. Plain and simple.” He can tell the answer wouldn’t be that easy to give. He sets the bottle down next to the nightstand and examines the photo which is now repaired and sitting next to the lamp. “Sam… He’s had a rough time in the life. We both have, but Sam has always wanted out. He managed it for a while after you died, but then I came back from Purgatory, and you showed up again.”

“Purgatory?! I was dead?! What?!” I cut him off.

“Long story. I’ll tell you later if you don’t remember.” He shrugs it off and continues his train of thought. “But the truth is, Sam has always thought that he was cursed. He’s lost every girl he’s ever loved. Everyone except you.” He looks me in the eyes, his face showing a melting pot of gratitude, sadness, and desperation. “You changed everything about him without trying to. He started making better decisions because of you. His outlook on life changed because of you. He’s always had this deep hatred for himself, but you brought out the best in him. I think that’s the reason why he’s so afraid to let you go. Why he’s hurting so badly right now. He needs you back. I think he feels like he’s lost you all over again.”

 Dean reaches up and thumbs away a tear from my cheek I wasn’t aware had fallen.

“And I love him?” My voice cracks.

“Yeah. More than anything, I think. It’s gross, watching the two of you make googly eyes at each other, but its real. There’s no doubt about it. It’s like watching two puzzle pieces fit together.”

“But when we met I hated him. How did we get from River Pass to here?”

“After we went separate ways, Sam and I decided to split up for a while. He wasn’t fit to be hunting because of the demon blood. So I called you and asked you to keep an eye on him, make sure he was on the straight and narrow.”

“I’m sure I loved that. My first impression of him was pretty bad.”

Dean laughs. “Are you kidding? You fought me tooth and nail. I had to call Ellen and beg her to convince you.”

I laugh. “I couldn’t say no to her. She practically raised me.”

“Which is why I called her. But either way, you were there when Sam got jumped by those other hunters, and you guys kinda bonded afterward.”

The browns, reds, and blues start pouring into the grayscale memories hidden in my brain. “Yeah,” I said, sitting up, “I think I remember that, actually.”

Chapter Text

“Y/N, you’ve got to. I owe the boys a favor and Jo and I are too far out to watch Sam ourselves,” Ellen said through the phone. I picked at the floral motel bedspread.

“You know how I feel about him. If it was Dean I was looking after, I’d be there in a heartbeat, but Sam was kind of a dick to me when we met. Not to mention he implied you were a bad teacher,” I fought back. I barely had the energy for this. I had just gotten back from my first solo hunt. It was a simple salt and burn of a vengeful spirit kidnapping children and had gone off without a hitch. I had just gotten back to the motel and started to clean myself up, but my long, hot shower was interrupted by a phone call.

I heard Ellen’s frustrated sigh on the other side. “If you won’t do it for Dean, do it for me. Sam’s a good kid. He’s just made some bad choices, that’s all.”

I heard the muffle of Jo’s voice and the passing of the cell phone across the truck. “Y/N,” Jo said, clearly done with my arguments, “if you go look after Sam, I promise I’ll do that thing we talked about.”

Jo had been crushing on Dean for years. I had tried to convince her time and time again to just sleep with him and get it over with. I sat up straighter, narrowing my eyes. “No, you won’t.”

“I will if you babysit Sam.”

I considered the pros and cons of the situation. Pro to babysitting Sam: Jo would get with Dean and finally shut up about it. Con: I would have to see his dumb face again. Pro: if he got into trouble, I could tear him a plethora of new ones for being so naïve, thinking he could just ‘take a break’ from hunting. That would be satisfying.

I sighed. “Fine. I’ll do it.”

“That’s right you will. Thanks, babe. He’s in a little town called Greeley, Pennsylvania. Dean thinks he’ll probably try to find a job to kill the time.”

“Okay. I’ll head out in a bit. Love you.”

Ellen and Jo simultaneously replied, “Love you, too.” I hung up the phone, then checked to see how far Greeley was from Pearl, Mississippi. Seventeen hours and change drive doing the speed limit. I groaned and flopped back onto the bed. I would head out in the morning. Jo had better screw Dean senseless for this.


 

The sound of chirping birds through the open window woke me the next morning. I tried to block it out, crushing a pillow over my head. The damned things were loud. Groaning, I rolled over and looked at the alarm clock on the nightstand. 7:03 am. If I left now, I would be able to get there before dinner. I rolled out of bed, packed up my duffel, and was on the road in my little Toyota by 7:30.


 

I had sped a little faster than I intended, and I couldn’t place why. I had managed to get to Greeley in fourteen hours. It was dark out, nearing 9:30 pm. I pulled into a little bar and headed inside for a drink.

It was dimly lit; a few light bulbs long burnt out. I sat at the bar and a cute blonde girl came over to take my order. “Hey hon, what can I get you?”

“Just two fingers of whiskey. No chaser.”

“Sure thing.” She pulled a bottle from the shelves behind the counter and grabbed a glass from beneath. “Long day?” she asked, pouring my drink and sliding it to me.

“Long drive. I’ve been at it since about 7:30 this morning.” I took a swallow of the whiskey. It was nothing fancy or special, but it was enough to begin to unwind the stress of the drive.

“Wow. In town for anything special? It’s a little small to be driving that far for.”

“I have some family here. I’m grabbing a drink before I go meet them. They’re not expecting me for a few more days,” I lied.

“It’ll be nice to surprise them. Did you grow up her-“ she was cut off by a man’s voice.

“Y/N?”

My eyes snapped to the origin of the voice, my hand poised on the butt of my gun. Sam’s confused face stared back at me. I sighed. So much for going incognito. I downed the rest of my glass and nodded at the girl for another, ignoring her confused face. Damn it. This was a conversation with Sam I didn’t want to have.


 

Five double-finger whiskeys later, I was a sloshed mess. I mumbled in Sam’s direction, “Where did that blonde girl go? She was nice.”

“She’s taking the trash out and grabbing stock from the shed out back,” he replied, wiping down the counter.

“Oh. Okay.” I looked at him, suddenly kind of peeved. “You know what, Sammmmmy?” I slurred, drawing out the nickname Dean used for him.

“Yes, Y/N?” Sam responded, a smirk on his face. Was he being nice, or did he like seeing me drunk?

“You, sir, are a butthead,” I said, confident in my assumption of his character.

“And you, miss, should drink some water and go to sleep. It’s almost closing time anyway.  There’s a couch in the office you can crash on,” he said, grinning. Yup. He was totally laughing at me being drunk.

“Hey. Don’t laugh at me. Its Dean’s fault I’m here. He didn’t want you to be-“ I hiccupped, then continued without missing a beat, “alone while you were ‘taking a break.’” I used overdramatic air quotes to emphasize my point.

“I know, Y/N, you told me already, remember? Let’s get you to bed, okay?” Sam came around the bar to help me off the stool. I tried to walk with him to the couch, but my feet decided they didn’t want to do their job. The floor came rushing up to me, but Sam’s strong arm wrapped its way around my waist to keep me up. I kind of liked the way his hand felt on me, all big and warm and strong.

I giggled. “Oops.”

Sam chuckled and scooped me up into his arms like a child. I squealed in delight. He was so strong. I was like a baby in his arms, all small and light.

Some hair fell in his eyes and I reached up to push it out of the way. He looked at me, alarmed. I smiled at him and started playing with his hair. “Your hair is so sooooofffttttt, Sammy. I’m jealous.”

 “You’re jealous and an affectionate drunk. I’m sure you won’t remember any of this in the morning.” He nudged the office door open with his foot. The room was little and cute. There was a ton of books on the shelf in the corner, and a lamp sitting on the end table next to the couch. He set me down gently, grabbing a pillow and blanket from the closet.

He started to work on making my bed, but his hair was in his eyes again. I reached up and brushed it back with both hands for him, tucking it behind his ears. “Thanks,” he mused.

“You’re welcome, sir,” I replied triumphantly. He unfolded the blanket and tucked me in, but I wiggled out and pulled him down on top of me. His face was alarmed and confused. I told him, “You’re really cute, Sammy. We should make out.”

He took a deep breath and stood back up. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

I frowned. “Why?”

“Because you’re drunk and you don’t like me.” He raised his eyebrows at me.

“Sure I do. You’re really cute, and you’re strong. And Ellen and Jo like you, so how bad can you be?” I paused, remembering my train of thought. “Can we make out now?”

He sighed. “If you still feel this way when you’re sober, maybe. But not now, okay?”

I pouted, sticking out my lip. “Fine,” I huffed.

He went behind the desk and grabbed a pill bottle and a bottle of water. He set them down on the end table next to my head and turned off the lamp, leaving the glow of the streetlight through the window to keep me company. “Sleep well, okay?” he said, closing the door gently behind him.

I smiled, snuggling up with the pillow he gave me. I closed my eyes and almost immediately fell asleep.

Chapter Text

I walked down the stairs into the living room. Mom was passed out on the couch, again. Her glass of rum sat half-empty on the table. The TV was on, playing some 3 a.m. infomercial that no one ever watched. I shut off the TV, poured the rest of her rum down the kitchen sink, stashed the bottle back in the cupboard, and walked back to where she was on the couch. Next came the hardest part.

I nudged her shoulder. “Mom?” I said gently. She didn’t respond. I shook her gently, and she groaned a response. “Let’s get you to bed, mom. You don’t want to sleep here.”

She mumbled incoherently. I reached down to move her from her spot. Fortunately, she wasn’t a big woman. Slight in frame, and growing smaller from the constant drinking and malnutrition. Her eyes opened lazily and she got up unsteadily from the couch. Her room was on the main floor, which was incredibly helpful. She didn’t need to be reminded what room was across from mine upstairs. I helped her shuffle to her room and put her in her bed. After making sure the pillows were positioned so she wouldn’t wake up with a sore neck, I got the bottle of aspirin from the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and a glass of water. I placed it on the bedside table. I kissed her forehead, which reeked of alcohol. I ignored it. She would take a shower when she woke up. “I love you, mom,” I said gently as I turned off the light.


 

I was barely awake, and it already hurt. There was a small, far away voice I could hear. It was garbled. A phone, maybe? “Dean, don’t do this,” a deeper, much closer, much louder voice rumbled. I inhaled sharply, both startled and in pain. Everything hurt. I was so freaking thirsty. My head killed. I heard a sigh, then the beep of an ended phone call.

“Hey, you’re awake,” the voice next to me said. I squinted in its direction, and a large, long haired man looked at me with a concerned expression. Sam. It was Sam. Somehow I was both comforted and disturbed by his presence. I rubbed my temples with my thumbs. “There’s aspirin in the glovebox,” he said, handing me a water bottle. I took the drugs out gratefully, unwrapping the plastic sealing from the new bottle,, then slammed down the little white pills with a swig of water. “We can stop at the next truck stop if you want to shower,” he said. A sense of déjà vu came over me.

“Yes please, but I'm confused. What happened?” I asked. “I drove all day to come babysit you, then I saw you at the bar. I remember having a couple of whiskeys but then I can’t remember anything.” I finally expanded my awareness to my surroundings. I was in the passenger seat of my car, we were driving, and it was night.  There were no street signs that I could see.

“You got smashed, so I put you to sleep in the office of the bar just before closing. But right after I did, there were a bunch of hunters that had stopped by earlier and took the job I gave them. They-” he hesitated, “They attacked. Afterward, I knew I had to leave, so I grabbed you and your car and now we’re driving.”

“Why did they attack you?”

He sighed. “They interrogated a demon, and it told them about the demon blood thing. And the apocalypse. One of their hunters died.”

“Oh,” was all I could think to say. I could feel the aspirin beginning to work, so I examined Sam a little closer. He looked shaken, and yet there was a hardness to his face that I’d never seen before. “Are you okay?”

He hesitated so long I didn’t think he was going to answer me. “No,” he finally said, almost inaudibly.

“It was more than just a fight, wasn’t it?”

Sam nodded. “They tried to get me to drink demon blood again, went so far as to shove it in my mouth,” he said, his voice quietly containing the rage that was evident from the angry look on his face and the way his huge hands white knuckled the steering wheel. My car could barely fit him, and he looked like a caged animal pacing back and forth behind the bars.

“I’m sorry,” I said quietly.

Sam didn’t answer.

We drove in silence for a few minutes, then something occurred to me. “You didn’t swallow the blood.”

He searched my face in the dim light. “Why do you say that?”

“Just the way you phrased it. They tried, but they couldn’t get you to do it, could they?”

Sam shook his head, a spitefully smug expression on his face. “I spat it in the guy’s face.”

“Good,” I said, satisfied.

Another minute of silence.

“Y/N? Can I ask you something?”

My brow furrowed. “Sure?” I said warily.

“You hated me before, but now were talking like civilized people, and you don’t seem to be upset with me anymore.”

“That wasn’t a question,” I skirted around the subject.

“Okay, why didn’t you like me at first?”

“That’s assuming that I like you now.”

He mumbled his reply, but I caught it anyway. “You convinced me otherwise last night.”

“What?! Did something happen last night?!”

He backtracked immediately. “No. You tried to get me to make out with you but I refused.”

This caught me off guard. “Why?”

His gaze snapped to me, incredulous. “Why? Because I’m not the type to take advantage of a drunk girl!”

“Oh,” I said brilliantly. Maybe I had misjudged him. He took care of me when I was drunk, without taking advantage, and even thought to buy me aspirin for the hangover.

After a moment of silence, he said, “You didn’t answer my question, you know.”

I sighed. He wasn’t going to let this go. I squared my shoulders and said curtly, “I didn’t like you because you implied that I was stupid and Ellen was a bad teacher. Simple.”

It was his turn to be caught off guard. “Wait, how did I imply that?”

“You assumed I didn't know anything about demons just because Dean said so. Ellen taught me a lot, and what she didn’t, Jo did. I already knew everything they did when you asked, and that’s why I was pissed.”

“Dean lied? Sounds like him.”

I huffed a laugh. “I’m sure he was just sending me to babysit you. Thus me saving your ass for the first time that day.”

He grinned and playfully punched me in the arm, then looked surprised at his action. “Shoot, I’m sorry.”

I shook my head, smiling. “It’s okay. You're growing on me.”

He searched my face, trying to find my change of heart there. When I didn’t look at him, he said, “What changed your mind?”

“I had to remember some things that I had locked away for years. Getting drunk last night brought them all back.”

“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked me, concern evident on his face.

I shook my head and stared out the windshield. Maybe I would tell him my story eventually, but tonight was not the time. “So, circling back to the demon blood. Why did you start drinking it?”

Sam sighed. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. When I exorcised people, it didn’t kill the victim like the knife did. I was gunning to kill Lilith, and that was the clearest path. I didn’t know how to bring Dean back, even after trying to make deals with crossroads demons. I had to focus on something I could do.”

That made a lot more sense than I expected. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right?”

He scoffed at that. “I’m sure Dean would agree with that.”

Something dawned on me then. “Wait, how did Dean come back from hell?”

Surprised, he replied “We never told you?”

I shook my head.

“The angel, Castiel, brought him back.”

I choked out a laugh. “Angels? Really? I’m not falling for that.”

A much lower, gruffer voice retorted from the backseat, “No, he’s telling the truth.”

I whipped around in my seat, my hand instinctively reaching for my pistol. “Who are you?!” I yelled at him.

“I am an angel of the Lord,” he replied matter-of-factly.

“What?!”

Sam laughs from the driver’s seat, “Y/N, it’s okay. This is who I was talking about. Cas, this is-“

“Y/N, yes. Daughter of an alcoholic mother and an absent father. Your mother and stepfather were killed by a werewolf 32 days ago. It’s nice to meet you.”

My jaw dropped. I looked to Sam, who happened to be the most familiar thing in the car at the moment. He looked both frustrated and annoyed. “Cas! You can’t just blurt personal info like that!”

“My apologies.”

“Well,” I said, clearing my throat, “it’s nice to meet you, too.”

Castiel nodded at me casually. “Sam, Dean needs you.”

“He seemed to need the exact opposite, actually,” Sam huffed.

“Dean is-“ he searched for the right word, “stubborn. He wants to protect you, like he’s always done. But you two need to be together to fight Lucifer.”

During our conversation it was easy to forget that Sam had started the apocalypse. I was beginning to see him in a different light now. Not as an ignorant, childish and destructive threat to mankind, but a misguided man with a big heart and good intentions. The latter of the personalities was much more appealing to me, like a puzzle whose pieces needed to be put back together.

“It’s not that simple, Cas,” Sam defended.

“Sam, just go to him,” I said.

“Did you not just hear me?” He shot back.

I piped up, “If anyone knows about screwed up families, its me. But you know what else I know? That there’s nothing you can’t come back from.”

“Y/N is right,” Castiel agreed.

Sam sighed. “Fine. Where is he?”

“He’s about to be in Waterville, Maine.”

“About to be?” I ask.

I’m answered by silence, and when I turn around, Castiel is gone. “What the hell?” I mutter.

“You’ll get used to it. How far is Waterville from here?” Sam asked.

I pulled up the town on my gps. “About six hours.”

We both glanced at the clock which read a little after three am. “You get some sleep, okay?” Sam said gently. “I'll wake you when I find a truck stop with a shower you can use.”

My heart sputtered at his kindness. “You don't want to take a break from driving?”

“With the hangover you've got, I think I'm better off doing the driving,” he chuckled.

I shrugged. “Fair enough.” I settled down into my seat and rested my head against the window. I dreamt effortlessly of Sam that night, my senses full of him and the familiarity of my car. I would wake briefly to notice his Carhartt jacket draped over me, my body warmed by corduroy and the scent of him.

I would look back later and identify this as the moment I began falling in love with Sam Winchester.

 

 

Chapter Text

Sam walks back into his room carrying a plate of steaming food. Dean pats my hand and smiles. “I’ll leave you two to chat for a bit okay?”

I nod at him and return his smile as Sam sat down in the seat he’d just left. He hands me the plate and a fork. There's syrup on the side of the plate but not on the crepes themselves. Dipping the crepes was my favorite. I smile. Sam really does know me, heart and soul. “So,” I say around a mouthful of food, “I remembered Greeley while you were gone.”

Sam chuckles. “That was an interesting night. Did you remember meeting Cas?”

“Yeah. He popped up in the back of my car and scared the living shit out of me.”

“My apologies, Y/N,” the voice I had been thinking of speaks from the right side of the room. A yelp escapes from my throat and my hand immediately flies to the side of the bed and finds the handle of a knife. Sam lets out a hearty laugh beside me.

Once I know what the danger is, I give an exasperated sigh. “Cas! You’ve got to knock that off! I might remember you but I’m not used to you jumping out all the damn time!”

“Again, my apologies,” the angel replies. I give the knife in my hand a strange look. I have to assume that my muscle memory knew it was tucked into the side of the bed frame because my conscious mind has no clue. I stash it back in its place. “Has she remembered anything else?” Cas asks Sam.

Sam shakes his head. “We’re just taking it slow. No point to rushing things.” I give Sam a small, unconscious smile. He catches it and returns it to me.

Cas nods. “That is usually the best way. Here, allow me to fix your shoulder.” He stands next to the bed and touches his fingers to my injured shoulder. A flash of white hot pain shoots through my body, but is quickly replaced by the refreshing feeling of a summer breeze. Sam takes the sling off, and I roll my arm, testing it. The pain is gone and it seems to be in working order again.

“Th- Thank you,” I stutter in amazement.

Cas nods curtly. “Where is Dean? He told me there was a series of films he desired me to watch with him.”

“I think he went to the den just a min-“ I attempt to tell him, but he vanishes mid-sentence. I roll my eyes and sigh.

“It never changed,” Sam says, referencing Cas’s knack for disappearing.

I take another few bites of my crepes. Sam and I don’t talk during my meal. When I'm done, I set the plate on the nightstand. Sam picks it up and tells me, “Be right back,” before he leaves the room.

I get out of bed and walk around the room. Pictures of Sam and I litter a wall beside the door. They're ordered chronologically, but still intentionally look haphazard. I smile as I examine them. Some are candid of us both, some are posed, but they all share one thing; we look happy.

I step into the hallway, able to observe everything now that I'm not running in panic. The walls and floor are oddly warm for all the masonry, brick and hardwood. I run my fingers across the smooth tile of the walls.

I turn a corner and run face first into a wall of solid muscle. Sam grabs my upper arms to keep me from falling over. “You really are a moose,” I mutter under my breath once I’d regain my bearings. I look up into his eyes, and his expression is a combination of disbelief and happiness. “What?” I ask him.

“Moose?” His mouth twitches up into a smirk.

“Yeah, that’s what-“ the name that was on the tip of my tongue vanishes, and my brows furrow together.

His smirk grows into a smile.  “I suppose we can add nicknames to the list of things Y/N remembers,” he murmurs. His eyes go straight through me, seeing everything I am but can’t remember. It's like staring into the sun, but I can’t look away. Warmth and the scent of pine and cinnamon radiate from him, and it's almost too much to bear. I realize my head is tipped almost all the way back, and I notice that we had unconsciously moved closer to each other.

The realization brings coherent thoughts back to my head and I step backward. I tuck my hair behind my ear and avoid his eyes. I clear my throat and ask, “Do you want to go watch that ‘film series’ Cas mentioned?”

He doesn’t answer for a moment, and I sneak a glance up at his face. Disappointment tints his features into a barely concealed frown. He shakes his head and replies, “I think I’m just going to head to bed, actually. I’m wiped.”

But he isn’t just tired, he's in pain. He steps down the few stairs that connect the war room to the hallway, and I catch his wrist, just as he had mine earlier that day. He doesn’t meet my eyes, but he doesn’t pull out of my grasp either. “Sam,” I say gently, but I'm at a loss for words. The woman he loves, the woman he married barely knows who he is. I settle for, “Look at me, please.”

Hesitantly, he turns to me. When he meets my eyes, his are wet. Unable to stop myself, I take his face in my hands and thumb away his tears as they silently fall. I ache to do something, anything to help this man feel better. I instinctively pull him close to me, and he all but collapses into my arms, sobbing.

“I’m so sorry, Sam,” I choke out. I had started crying, too. We sit on the tiled stairs and I cradle his large frame to my chest as best as I'm able.

“It’s all my fault,” he sobs. “I did this to you. I didn’t get to you in time and now you don’t remember who you are. I’m so sorry, Y/N.”

I stroke his hair and press my cheek to the top of his head. “No, Sammy,” I reassure him, “it wasn’t your fault or anyone else’s. Things go wrong and we just deal with them as they come.”

An odd sense of déjà vu washes through me. I had been in this position with him before. We were both crying, and I had held him until the tears subsided. It feels like another lifetime, but I remember it.

Sam wraps his arms around me, one arm around my waist, the other spanning the length of my back. He's completely surrounding me, and he's at least twice my size, but I know he won’t hurt me.

I hold him until his sobs taper off and resign to the occasional sniffle. I lean back to look into his face. He doesn’t meet my eyes, but his cheeks are tear-streaked. I stroke his cheekbones with my thumbs, wiping away the last tears that leak out. I press a kiss to his forehead.

“Do you know why this happening is okay?” I murmur against his skin.

He shakes his head slowly.

“I get to fall in love with you again,” I tell him softly, searching his face.

He looks at me then, mirroring my smile slightly. His eyes aren’t brown like I thought they were. They're so much better. Blue, green, gray and amber irises search my face, and another color floods through me.

I gasp.

The amber in Sam’s eyes brings back the flames.

Chapter Text

Jo, Ellen and I watched Castiel intently.

“Alright, big boy,” Ellen said. She filled the last of the five shot glasses with Everclear.

Castiel downed all five. We waited for some suggestion that he felt the alcohol at all. None of us had a clue what to even imagine a drunk angel would be like. “I think I’m starting to feel something.”

Jo gawked at him. I broke into a laugh and it spread to everyone but the feathered being across the table, who seemed confused about our amusement.

Shaking my head, I stood up and grabbed three beers from the fridge. I brought them into the living room where Sam and Dean were sitting on either side of Bobby’s desk.

Setting the beers down on the table, I handed mine to Sam, who automatically cracked the cap off, knowing that my hands weren’t strong enough to do it myself. He handed it back to me, and our fingers brushed for just a moment. I reigned in my girlish butterflies and clenched my teeth while I sat down in the last chair by the desk.

It had been a month or so since River Pass, and about two weeks since Greeley. I was certain I’d misjudged Sam. He seemed warmer, both in general and towards me. And over the last week, I’d been ignoring the fact that I had feelings for him that might be deeper than just friends or co-hunters, though I wouldn’t even admit it to myself, much less him.

If Sam noticed our fingers touching, he didn’t show it. He cleared his throat and said, “It’s gotta be a trap, right?”

Dean smirked. “Sam Winchester, having trust issues with a demon. Well, better late than never.”

“Thank you again for your continued support,” Sam retorted sarcastically.

“You’re welcome,” Dean replied smugly, pushing the neck of his bottle toward us. We all clinked our drinks against his. I swallowed the pang of jealous rage that appeared at the mention of Ruby with the beer.

“You know, trap or no trap, if we’ve got a snowball’s chance, we gotta take it, right?” Dean said. He observed the reactions of the three of us.

The lighthearted mood from Dean’s joke disappeared. “Yeah, I suppose,” Sam shrugged.

“Besides, I’m not sure it is a trap. Check it out. I mean, Carthage is lit up like a Christmas tree with revelation omens. And look at this,” Dean said, pushing some papers toward Sam and me, “There’s been six missing persons reported in town, since Sunday. I think the devil’s there.”

“Okay,” Sam said, exhaling a readying breath.

“Look, if you think about it,” Dean said, eyeing Sam intently, “you can’t come with.”

I shot Dean a look that was both irritated and incredulous. Sam rolled his eyes. “Dean,” we said in unison.

“Look, I go against Satan and screw the pooch,” he weighed the outcome and shrugged, “okay. We’ve lost a game piece. That we can take.” I was about to interrupt him to tell him he’s more than a ‘game piece,’ but he stopped me and pointed at Sam. “But if you’re there, then we are handing the devil’s vessel right over to him. That’s not smart.”

He had a point. Sam shot back, “Since when have we ever done anything smart?”

Sam also had a point. I mentally stepped back and observed the conversation. Dean raised his eyebrows, leveling into his brother. “I’m serious, Sam.”

Sam rested his forearm on the table and leaned into the argument. “So am I. Haven’t we learned a damn thing? If we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do it together.”

They stared each other down for a few seconds. I could see Dean trying to form a counterargument and failing. He leaned back and picked up his beer. Just before he took a drink, he acquiesced. “Okay, but it’s a stupid frigging idea.” Dean looked into the kitchen. Sam and I both followed his contemplative gaze. Jo was leaning forward against the table, one knee resting on the chair, her ass sticking out. I rolled my eyes. I’d grown up with guys ogling her. This was nothing new.

Sam looked to me, then to his brother. “Boy, talk about stupid ideas.”

Dean bit his lip. “Good god. True, that,” he said, getting up from his chair. His eyes never left Jo’s ass.

I closed my eyes and shook my head in annoyance. Sam chuckled at me. “That must be weird to see. You and Jo are pretty much sisters.”

I took a long swallow of my beer and sighed. “No, actually. While we were growing up guys hit on her at least once a day. I’m betting you anything she’s going to turn him down.” Despite her crush and her promise to me, I knew her too well.

We watched Jo and Dean interact. Dean leaned against the counter. “I’ll bet you twenty that Dean manages to sleep with her,” Sam mused.

There was no way. “Deal.” He and I shook on it and watched the scene play out. Not even a moment later, Jo set her beer down on the counter and rest a hand on the side of his face, leaning toward him.

“Pay up,” Sam said.

“Just wait a second,” I retorted and took a swig of my beer.

Just an inch from Dean’s lips, Jo stopped, an evident ‘no’ on her face. She shut him down and walked away from him, a dubious laugh on her face.

“Damn it,” Sam muttered. He fished a twenty out of his pocket and handed it over to me.

“Thank,” I took the bill from him, “you.”

Bobby wheeled in from the hallway. “Everybody get in here! It’s time for the lineup. Usual suspects in the corner,” he announced.

“Oh come on, Bobby. Nobody wants their pictures taken,” Ellen protested.

“Shut up. You’re drinking my beer,” Bobby told her while setting up an old camera on a tripod. “Anyway, I’m gonna need something to remember your sorry asses by,” Bobby continued.

We all gathered together; I stood next to Jo just to the side of Bobby.

Ellen laughed. “Always good to have an optimist around.”

Castiel’s gravelly voice took the smiles from our faces. “Bobby’s right. Tomorrow we hunt the devil. This is our last night on earth.”

All smiles and any trace of humor were gone when the camera flashed.

Chapter Text

An hour and three beers later, I was sitting on the couch with Sam, reading. I looked over a lore book I’d found on the four horsemen, and he was examining the missing persons reports from Carthage. Everyone else had gone to bed, and it was just he and I left awake. I had to admit that it was rather difficult to focus with the room being so cold. I sighed. This was the set up to a bad porno.

“You okay?” Sam asked, looking up from his files.

“Yeah, I’m just a little chilled.”

Sam looked around, then scowled, dissatisfied. “There used to be a blanket around here but it’s gone.”

“It’s probably being used.”

Sam was quiet for a moment, then put his arm over the back of the couch, opening his side to me. “Come here.”

I stared at him for a moment, dumbfounded. “What, do you want to cuddle or something?” I asked stupidly, then kicked myself immediately after.

Thankfully, he laughed. “You can call it that it if you want to.”

Nervously, I scooted over to him, nestling my back into his side. He was so warm, even through the layers that separated our skin. I hummed in approval.

“Better?” he asked, to which I nodded. “Good.” He picked the case files back up from his lap and continued reading. I tried to continue reading my book, but I was distracted all over again.

Sam’s body was not only warm, but firm. I tried to ignore what that did to my nerves. I probably would have been able to if he hadn’t smelled so good. Like beer and pine needles, and something warmer, like a spice. Something I couldn’t put my finger on. I settled deeper into him, resting the back of my head against the space between his shoulder and his collarbone.

His warmth seeped through to me, and I found myself extraordinarily comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. He let his hand fall from the back of the couch to my knee. A gesture that was innocent and without thought, but had the opposite effect. The little bit of concentration I had left was gone, now. His hand draped all the way across my knee down to my shin and thigh. I stifled a groan as the warmth made its way into my panties.

Sam swapped case files, snapping me out of my aroused haze. I attempted to look casual, closing my book, then getting up. I yawned and set the book back on the shelf.

“Turning in?” Sam asked indifferently.

“I think so. There’s a bed left right?”

“Yeah, upstairs. Last door on the left. Bobby’s old room.”

“Where’s everyone else sleeping?”

“Dean’s on the pullout couch in Bobby’s current room, Bobby’s in his bed, and Ellen and Jo are in the guest room.”

“What about you?”

He patted the arm of the couch as an answer.

I furrowed my brows at him. “Won’t you get cold?”

He shrugged. “Nah, I should be fine. I’m a space heater.”

I chuckled at him. “Sleep tight, okay?”

“You too,” he smiled at me before I turned and went upstairs.

I decided that Bobby’s old room was the one he had shared with his wife. It was more floral than the rest of the house combined, with a white framed bed tucked into the corner. I stripped off my jeans, my socks, and my bra, and left my panties and t-shirt on. Unraveling my hair out of its braid, I crawled into bed. After a bit of tossing and turning and trying not to think about Sam, I finally fell asleep.

What little sleep I got wasn’t restful. I was freezing and I couldn’t stop tossing and turning. Anxiety from the next day pushed its way into my thoughts, and I couldn’t concentrate. I rolled over, pressing my back against the cool wall, hoping it would banish the thoughts from my head and replace them with the instinct to keep warm instead. It worked, and I was almost asleep when I heard a knock at the door.

“Sam, is that you?” I asked. He was the only one I knew to be awake.

He cracked the door open, only bringing the top half of his body into view. Guilt and embarrassment covering his face. He reminded me of a puppy that had been scolded. “Um,” he said quietly, “do you mind if I crash with you? Turns out I’m not as much of a space heater as I thought I was.”

Nervousness and relief simultaneously washed through me. “Yeah, that’s fine. It's freezing up here, too.”

Gratefully, he stepped into the room, shutting the door behind him. I noticed he was still in his jeans and V-neck.

“You’re sleeping in your jeans?” I asked.

That scolded puppy expression came back. “I didn’t want you to be uncomfortable. I usually sleep in my boxers.”

I shoved down the surge of excitement that rushed through my core. “It’s fine, I won’t be uncomfortable. We’ll just be in the same boat.”

He looked confused, and I rolled over, facing the wall. I heard him strip off his shirt, which gave a soft thud when it hit the floor, then followed by his jeans. The buckle of his belt thudded on the floor, and I shoved the other scenarios that I’d hear that sound in out of my head. He crawled under the covers with me and sighed gratefully. “It’s so much warmer up here than it is downstairs.”

“Really? I’ve been frozen since I came up here.”

“Heat rises, I guess.”

I shrugged. “I guess.” His warmth was beginning to heat the space under the comforter, and I sighed contentedly. “Goodnight,” I said softly.

Sam was already asleep. I turned toward the wall for a moment, swearing to myself that I wouldn’t allow my fantasies to run away from me. Sam’s sleep-heavy breathing was surprisingly quiet for his size. I had expected him to be the snoring type. I closed my eyes and tried to relax, but all I could manage was a shiver. I sighed, rolled over and faced him again. His hair was covering his face, the ends of a lock clinging to his lip. I reached up and brushed it away, causing him to stir.

I recoiled quickly back to my half of the bed, waiting for him to wake. He rolled to his side, his arm swinging over to me, nearly knocking the air from my chest. His hand coiled around my waist, and whatever air was left to move through my lungs stopped. Rolling back over, he tugged me to him, dwarfing me by pulling my body into his side. Warily, I laid down, resting my head on his arm. He turned his head and buried his nose in my hair. He sighed, content.

After a moment, I relaxed. I pulled the blankets up to my neck and shivered again. I rested my hand on his chest, which caused him to stiffen. “Jesus, Y/N. Your fingers are like icicles.”

My heart stopped. The color drained from my face and my eyes widened. “You’re awake?” I choked.

“I am now, thanks to your icicle hands,” he chuckled.

“Oh, God. I- I’m sorry,” I stammered and tried to pull away from him. This was absolutely mortifying.

“Y/N, its fine.” His grip on my waist tightened, restricting me from leaving his side. I stopped struggling, but my body was rigid. Sam sighed. “Look, the only way either of us is going to sleep is if we just relax and get over it.” He guided my head to the dip where his shoulder, neck, and chest met. “So, relax.

I nodded quickly, my heart hammering away in my chest. I tucked one hand between our bodies and laid the other on his chest. After a moment of panic and exhilaration, I relaxed into the warmth of his side.

“See? All better,” he murmured, patting my head, then resting his hand there. After a few silent minutes, I could tell he’d fallen asleep again. I wanted to stay awake and analyze what had just happened, but the relief of finally being warm and the rhythmic sound of his breathing lulled me to sleep before I realized I was tired.


 

“Wake up, lovebirds!” Dean’s voice accompanied the bangs on the door. Both Sam and I shot awake, then realized that we were spooning. I turned halfway to face him. He was wonderful like this. His hair was messy and tangled, his eyes squinted against the morning light coming in from the window, and he smiled sleepily at me. I turned back over and blushed, snuggling deeper into his embrace.

That’s when the rest of his body said ‘good morning.’

We both seemed to realize it at the same time because he jumped out of bed. I sat up and stared at him, shocked.

He cursed under his breath. “God, Y/N, I’m so sorry.” His hands were up in surrender, and with a quick glance downward, that wasn’t the only thing that was up.

Holy. Crap. He was huge. I felt my body react to the view and I quickly turned toward the window. My face flushed and I felt arousal pool between my legs. I swallowed hard. “It’s okay, Sam. It happens.”

He was hurriedly putting his jeans back on and buckling his belt. He dashed out of the room before I could dwell any further on the size of what he was hiding.


 

After I’d showered and gotten dressed, I went down to make breakfast. Sam and Dean were sitting at the table, a map sitting between them. Sam’s hair was wet, too. When he saw me, he flushed. “Y/N, I made some extra eggs if you want them,” he said, trying too hard to be casual. Dean gave a knowing smirk into his mug of coffee before taking a long drink.

“As much as I want to see this awkward scene play out, I’m gonna go check Baby’s fluids.” He grabbed his mug and walked out of the room. “You two kids have fun,” he tossed over his shoulder.

I sighed and grabbed a plate from the cupboard.

“I’m sorry about this morning,” Sam said earnestly.

I laughed at his discomfort. “Really, it’s okay. It happens to every guy I know.”

“Yeah I suppose that’s true,” he surrendered.

I sat down across from him after putting the last two eggs on my plate and grabbing a fork. “So,” I said, changing the subject, “how far is Carthage?”

Chapter Text

Jo, Ellen, Sam, Dean and I walked through the streets of the deserted Carthage. Shotguns in tow we were looking for any sign of trouble. Castiel had left Jo, Ellen and I shortly after we parked, ominously stating that there was an abundance of reapers walking the streets.

“Well, this is great,” Dean ranted, “been in town twenty minutes and already lost the angel up our sleeve.”

“You think Lucifer got him?” Sam asked.

“I don’t know what else to think.”

A singsong voice called from behind us. “There you are.”

We all whipped toward the sound, automatically aiming at the girl with pale skin and dark hair. She had a condescending smile painted across her face.

“Meg,” Sam snapped.

“Shouldn’t have come here, boys,” she lilted.

“Hell, I could say the same thing for you,” Dean hissed and stepped forward as he aimed the Colt at her head.

“Didn’t come here alone, Deano.”

The puddle next to her splashed, and a low growl emanated from nothing. Then, more growls from all around us.

“Hellhounds!” Dean barked at her.

“Yeah, Dean. Your favorite!” She sneered. “Come on boys. My father wants to see you.”

Sam shot back, “I think we’ll pass, thanks.”

“Your call,” Meg replied. Her face twisted to fake sympathy as she said, “you can make this easy, or you can make it really, really hard.”

Dean looked back at us then, and from the corner of my eye, I saw Ellen nod once.

“When have you known us to ever make anything easy?” Dean growled.

Meg smirked and shook her head. Dean fired at the invisible hound next to her, an explosion of black blood appearing with a yelp.

A voice, though I’m not sure whose, shouted, “Run!”

Everything was chaos. Snarling, growling and barking were all I could hear from behind as we ran from Meg and the hounds.

My legs burned, but I kept going. Only when Jo turned back did I slow momentarily. Dean had been knocked to the ground.

“Dean!” Jo shouted.

“No, stay back!” Dean warned.

Ignoring him, Jo fired her shotgun four times, knocking the hound back until it was dead. I saw the puddle splashes from the one that attacked her a moment too late.

She was knocked to the ground, and I heard Ellen scream beside me. Her side was clawed open, blood spurting across her clothes and face. My scream ripped from my throat. Running towards her, coursing with adrenaline, I fired my shotgun until it was empty. Dean picked her up and we ran through the doors of the hardware store.

Dean rushed inside and rested Jo against the counter. Small whimpers escaped her mouth. This was bad. She was ripped from sternum to hip and still bleeding, though the pressure from her hand stemmed it for the moment.

“Salt everything!” I screamed at the boys while helping Jo to the floor. “You’re gonna be alright, Jo-Jo. I’m not gonna let you die,” I told her fervently. She scoffed weakly at her childhood nickname.

Behind me, Sam and Dean chained the doors shut and cut open bags of rock salt and poured thick lines across all the doors and windows.

Ellen knelt down next to me, brushing the hair from Jo’s face. I gently peeled Jo’s hand from her wound, and it gushed instantly. Pressing her hand back to it, I looked at Ellen. Worry, panic, and despair were crystal clear in her eyes. My stomach knotted and I looked back at the boys, who were horrified.

I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, assembling my thoughts. “Look for a first aid kit!” I yelled at nobody in particular.

“Are we safe?” Ellen asked, panicked.

“The salt lines are in place. They shouldn’t be able to get in,” Dean said, forcing his eyes away from Jo’s injury.

“Go, Dean,” I told him gently, but sternly. He swallowed and obliged.

Sam came back a minute later with a first aid kit, and he threw it open. It was sparse, no means of fixing her completely, but the nurse in me stated that there would probably be internal bleeding, and that couldn’t be fixed without surgery. Without a hospital.

I gritted my teeth and shook my head quickly. Focus. I grabbed three packages of gauze, then another, and tore them all open at once. There was no wrap for around the waist, so I ordered Sam to find a shirt to tear into wide strips. Without thinking, he stripped his body of his plaid flannel which was under his jacket. It wasn’t too clean, but it would have to work. “Find me a bottle of peroxide,” I commanded him quickly.

He launched up and went to the back of the store, disappearing for a moment before returning with two brown bottles. I opened them both, cut the flannel into strips long and wide enough to wrap around her waist, then soaked them in peroxide. “I have to sterilize her wound, and it’s not going to be pretty. Ellen, I need you to lift the hand that’s applying pressure when I say, okay? Be prepared to hold her down,” I told her while soaking the gauze.

“Okay,” she complied instantly.

“Sam, take her other hand. She’s going to squeeze like hell when she can’t get up.”

Sam wordlessly took her other hand. I positioned the gauze directly over Jo’s fingers, where the worst of the bleeding was. “One, two, three!” I counted for Ellen. She moved Jo’s hand and I clamped down with the gauze before it could spurt too far. Jo’s eyes shot wide open and she screamed, her back arching from the pain. Ellen held her shoulders against the counter’s front. When the gauze was in place over the worst of the bleeding, I quickly grabbed the peroxide and I poured it across her stomach from the top, passing from one side of the wound to the other. She screamed again. I grabbed the plaid bandages and wound them snugly around her waist, holding the gauze in place with added pressure to stem the bleeding. While I was winding, I saw the beginnings of purple bruises next to her navel. Damn it. I was right. She was bleeding internally.

Tying the final knot on the bandages, I told her softly, “It’s okay, Jo-Jo. I’m done. You’re okay.” She whimpered and leaned back against the counter again. Tears streaming down her chalk-white face. Sam squeezed my arm gently in reassurance. Ellen brushed the tears from Jo’s cheeks.

Nausea began to set in. I stood, knowing that I had to leave and walk away from Jo, or I would vomit on her. “I have to go be sick,” I said queasily as I stood and walked numbly to the back of the store. Not bothering to find a bathroom, I settled for the trash can in the back office. Kneeling in front of it, I placed my face in the opening just in enough time to throw up only into the bin.

“Hey, it’s okay,” Sam said, pulling my hair behind my shoulders. He rubbed my back while I got sick over and over again. Finally, the dry heaving gave way to tears, and he cradled me in his bare arms. He murmured little reassurances to me, telling me I was so brave and so smart for knowing what to do on the spot. He shushed me and stroked my hair until I grew aware of the situation again.

Jo. Hellhounds. Lucifer. Apocalypse.

My tears ebbed almost instantly. Sam searched my eyes, and I whispered, “I’m okay.” He kissed my forehead firmly and helped me to my feet. Sam went into the bathroom and returned with a bowl of water and two wet rags. He handed one to me with a sympathetic smile, then gave the other to Ellen.

I walked over to Dean, who was fiddling with spare electronic parts.

“How’s she holding up?” Dean asked me. I didn’t respond, and in that was all the answer he needed. His jaw tightened, then Sam came up behind us.

“Salt lines are holding up,” he informed.

“Safe for now,” Dean nodded.

“Safer. We’re trapped like rats,” I huffed.

“Hey, you heard Meg. Her father’s here. This is our one shot. We gotta take it, no matter what,” Dean said, nearly emotionless.

From the counter, Ellen called, “Sam? Y/N? Some help here, please?”

We walked over, and Ellen was struggling to reposition Jo from her awkward position against the counter. We managed to get her into a more comfortable sitting position, but I saw that the bruises were getting worse.

An electronic squeal distracted me from my dark train of thought.

“KC5 Fox Delta Oscar, come in,” Dean said into the radio.

Bobby’s voice sounded through a haze of static. “KC5 Fox Delta Oscar, go ahead.”

Ellen stood, both relieved and worried.

“Bobby, its Dean. We got problems.”

A moment passed. Then, “It’s okay, boy. That’s why I’m here. Is everyone alright?”

Dean hesitated, and in that moment I could tell that Jo was listening too closely to him. Sam stood and joined his brother. I took her hand. “You know,” I mused, “you never held up your end of the bargain.”

She lifted her brown eyes to mine and laughed once. “When we get out of here, I’ll hold it up until we both keel over.”

I smiled bittersweetly. “Good. You’d better.”

Another moment passed. She coughed lightly and said, “What about you? Did you hold up your end for me?”

I narrowed my eyes at her. “What ‘end?’ I already babysat him.”

She weakly rolled her eyes at me. “We both know I’m a light sleeper,” she hinted.

My cheeks flushed red and I couldn’t hold her gaze.

“That’s what I thought,” she laughed gently. Her laugh soon turned into an unhealthy, wet cough. The blood drained from my face and I lifted the water to her lips, letting her take a drink to calm her throat. She swallowed, labored, and half smiled at me in thanks. I noticed everyone’s worried yet expectant eyes trained on her, and my heart sank.

 


 

Ellen’s low voice soothed Jo. “That’s my girl. You’re okay, honey.”

I was talking with Sam and Dean, now. Dean’s radio conversation with Bobby had revealed Lucifer’s plan: bring the Angel of Death, the Grim Reaper, whatever you wanted to call him, into this world. The summoning site was on someone’s old farm outside town, and the spell needed to happen at midnight.

“Now we know where the devil’s gonna be, we know when, and we have the Colt,” Dean recapped.

“Yeah, we just have to get past eight or so hellhounds and get to the farm by midnight,” Sam replied sardonically.

“We have to get Jo and Ellen out first,” I demanded.

Sam’s expression softened.  “That won’t be easy.”

I chewed on my lip, my mind running with possible ways to get Jo out without hurting her further.

“Stretcher?” Dean suggested.

“We could probably make one. We are in a hardware store,” I noted.

Sam nodded. “I’ll see what we’ve got.” He turned to scour the store for materials.

Jo’s weak voice called, “Stop. Guys, stop.” I looked from her to Ellen, then back again. “Can we be realistic about this, please?”

My stomach plunged. Please tell me she’s not giving up.

She groaned in pain. “I can’t move my legs. I can’t be moved. My guts are being held in by a ripped up shirt. We gotta,” she paused, regathering her courage, “We gotta get our priorities straight here.”

“Yes, and that’s getting you out of here,” I firmly stated.

“No, Y/C/NN. I’m not going anywhere,” she said decisively. The return of my nickname and her choice to die here sent a lump into my throat. I swallowed, hard.

“Joanna Beth, you stop talking like that,” Ellen scolded. The heartbreak was evident behind her guarded eyes.

“Mom,” Jo protested, her hope fading, “I can’t fight. I can’t walk. But I can do something. We got propane, wiring, rock salt, iron nails, everything we need.”

I bit my lips between my teeth and squeezed my eyes shut, shaking my head. I knew exactly where her mind was going. “Everything we need?” Sam echoed.

“To build a bomb, Sam,” Jo said matter-of-factly.

“No,” Dean said quietly but firmly, “Jo, no.”

She stared into his eyes, not angry, not sad, just decisive. “You got another plan?” she asked him, “You got any other plan? Those are hellhounds out there, Dean. They’ve got all of our scents.” Her eyes moved to mine. The tears welled in my eyes, threatening to spill over. “Those bitches will never stop coming after you.”

It was quiet for a moment. I knew she was right, but my heart was breaking. She continued, “We let the dogs in, you guys hit the roof, make a break for the building next over. I can wait here with my finger on the button; rip those mutts a new one.” She smiled at the thought, but her face quickly fell. “Or at least get you a few minutes’ head start, anyway.”

“No, I won’t let you,” Ellen’s voice broke, and the tears flowed freely down her cheeks.

“This is why we’re here, right?” Jo replied, her eyes welling. Ellen shook her head desperately. “If I can get us a shot on the devil…” she trailed off, then looked up. “Dean, we have to take it.”

“Jo,” I whispered. Sam’s fingers brushed across the inside of my elbow, and I took his hand. I clung to him and tried to keep a strong face as my best friend, my sister, condemned herself.

 “No,” Ellen whimpered. She looked up at us and my tears spilled over. “That’s not…” She left the end of her sentence in the air, unable to find the words to finish.

“Mom,” Jo said with a broken voice, “this might literally be your last chance to treat me like an adult. Might wanna take it?”

Ellen sobbed quietly, then looked up at her daughter again. Jo smiled weakly, and Ellen nodded and returned her smile after a beat. She took a shaky breath. “You heard her. Get to work.”

Sam squeezed my hand, then he, Dean and Ellen went to gather the things needed. I walked unsteadily to Jo and dropped down beside her. “You’re sure?” My voice was thick with tears.

“I’m sure,” she nodded. My lip trembled and fresh tears fell down both of our cheeks. I took her hand and squeezed it. I rested my forehead against hers. “Sam loves you,” she whispered.

I pulled back, gauging her face. She looked serious. All I could muster was her name. “Jo…”

“It’s true,” she pressed. “I saw it from the moment I saw you together, in River Pass. Maybe he doesn’t know it, but I can tell.”

I sobbed and attempted to hug her, my cheek pressed against hers, my hand on her blood-soaked hair. She leaned into me.

“I love you, Jo-Jo,” I whispered into her ear.

“I love you, too, Y/C/NN,” she murmured. I squeezed her to me gently. We sat side by side, not saying anything. There was nothing we could say at that point.

Sam approached us and crouched down. He placed one hand on my knee and he replaced my hand in Jo’s, handing her a red button. Behind him, I can see Dean leading the wire to her. Sam helped me up and we gave them some privacy. I clung to Sam, my face against his chest with my hands fisted in his t-shirt behind his back. His arms were wrapped around me, one stroking my hair. I tried to cry as silently as possible.

Somehow, I hear Jo’s whimper through my tears. “Mom, no.”

My head lifted to watch them. “Somebody’s gotta let them in. Like you said, you’re not moving.” Jo started crying. “You got me, Jo. And you’re right, this is important.” Jo nodded slowly. “But I will not leave you here alone.”

“Ellen,” I said in a quiet, broken voice. She stood and walked to me, pulling me into her arms without a word. She held me tightly for a minute, then pulled back, brushing the hair from my face. “I love you, sweet pea.”

“I love you too, mama.” She kissed my forehead and went back to Jo. Sam took my hand as we headed for the doors.

“Dean?” Ellen called. He turned to look at her. “Kick it in the ass,” she smirked. “Don’t miss.”

Dean nodded solemnly. The three of us climbed up onto the roof through the fire escape. The buildings were connected, so it was easy to make it down through the next and onto the street.

We had run for about fifteen seconds before I heard it.

Before I felt it.

Before I saw it.

The explosion was immediate. I spun around to see the windows blown out, everything in close proximity blown to the ground. Black smoke billowed from the windows, a violent plume rising from within the building. The amber flames were still burning when Sam tugged my arm, telling me to run.

 


 

At midnight, we faced Lucifer. Dean shot him with the Colt, the revolver that could supposedly kill anything. But the devil survived, barely a scratch in his skull. We watched helplessly as he threw Dean to the side, knocking him unconscious. I watched as Sam insisted on keeping Lucifer out of his body, refusing to be his vessel. We watched, horrified, as Lucifer killed hundreds of men in an instant to summon the Grim Reaper. I watched, catatonic, as Castiel appeared beside Sam, touched his shoulder, then Dean’s. I was so numb I could barely feel it when Sam grabbed my hand. I barely noticed that we were suddenly in Bobby’s living room, listening to the news report on Carthage. I watched as the photo we’d taken the night before, the last photo Ellen and Jo would ever be in, burned in the fireplace.

Sam held me that night, allowing me to empty myself of all my guilt, my pain, my grief, as I cried. He held me close to him, my face against his chest, my sobs wracking my entire body. He didn’t say a word, but just let me cleanse myself of the loss of the only family I had left. He held me close to him until I fell asleep, exhausted, in his arms. I would wake the next morning to discover him still holding me. I would run my thumb across his tear-stained cheeks, and we would hold each other wordlessly. Holding tight to Sam was my last connection to Jo, and I wasn’t ever going to let him go.

Chapter Text

“Y/N?” Sam’s voice once again brings me back to the present. His hands are on my cheeks, his thumbs grazing my cheekbones gently.

I stare into his concerned hazel eyes, and my tears flow again. “Jo,” I whisper.

“Oh no. Y/N…” Sam murmurs, his words full of compassion. He pulls me into his lap and I bury my face in his chest. Sobs wrack my body, horrified whimpers escaping from my mouth. He strokes my hair and holds me close to him.

“I couldn’t save her,” I whimper, “Sam, I let her die.”

Sam pushes at my shoulders until I’m looking up into his eyes again. “No.” His voice is firm and it momentarily lulls my despair. The certainty in his expression is reassuring. “No. Y/N, it’s not your fault. Not in this life, or the next, or on any plane of existence, ever. You gave her more time than she would have had without you. You thought so quickly and you were so brave. I know she’d tell you the same thing.”

I sob again and nod my head once. He pulls me back into his chest and holds me until my sobs are gone, just as I had done for him.

 


 

It’s quiet for a few minutes, excusing my occasional sniffles and the uncontrollable after-crying gasps. My cheek is pressed to the flannel fabric covering his wide chest. I’ve been inhaling his scent for the last few moments. The pine and cinnamon have instilled a calm in me that I never could have replicated on my own.

“She’s in heaven, you know,” Sam murmurs into my hair.

I don’t respond, but somehow, he knows I’m listening.

“You, Dean and me ended up going to heaven at one point after some hunters ambushed and killed us. We found Ash’s heaven, which, of course, was the roadhouse. ‘Bud, blood and beer nuts,’ he said. ‘It’s the best smell in the world,’” Sam mimics Ash’s southern accent in a halfhearted way.

I smile at the memory. Ash, for all his redneck, backroads glory, was the smartest person I’d ever met, and the most deserving of the stereotypes he was assimilated to.

“We ended up walking through Ellen’s heaven, too, remember? She was with Jo’s dad, and God- she was so happy.”

I smile at that, too. I do remember. Bill was a gruff looking guy, but a teddy bear when it came down to how he treated his wife and his girls. I had been one of his girls until the day he left for the hunt he never came back from. I remember how much Ellen loved him. There was no one else that was gentler with her; no one more understanding of the loving intention behind her brash behavior.

“And Jo?” I ask quietly.

“She’s with you,” Sam says gently. He squeezed my body towards his in a reassuring hug.

“In her memories, right?”

“Yeah. Ash told us that she was still in pigtails.”

It was before Bill was killed, then. She stopped wearing her hair like that after he stopped braiding them for her. From there on out, it was one ponytail or no style at all.

It made sense that her happiest moments were when her dad was still alive. She was never quite the same after he died. There was a hardness present that she’d lacked before then. She was bullied relentlessly after he passed. During those first days, when we were only ten, she was so deeply depressed that I didn’t understand it. She got more optimistic as time went on, but she was so incredibly focused on hunting and feeling close to her dad through it that she grew up overnight. Her grades started slipping and I remember having to tutor her in different subjects periodically, but her main focus was defending her father’s legacy.

After she’d grown distant for a year or two, we reconnected in our teens. I’d come to terms with the idea that monsters existed and she needed help with boy troubles. Like typical teen girls, we’d talk about boys until the wee hours of the morning and we wouldn’t stop until every overanalyzed detail had been divulged.

“I miss her,” I say solemnly.

“I know,” Sam reassures. “Just know that she’s happy in heaven, with you and her parents.”

 “She was so convinced she was going to hell,” I say in a small laugh. “I’m happy to know she didn’t.”

“What about hell?” I raise my head from Sam’s chest and see Dean walking back into the room, carrying an empty beer bottle.

“I just remembered how Jo and Ellen…” I hesitate. “passed.”

Dean’s brows furrow together and he gives me a sympathetic half smile. “I’m sorry you had to remember that, kiddo.”

“No, I’m glad I know. I’m glad that she left this world as a fighter. I always had the feeling that she would, but it’s nice to know that I was right.” After a moment, I add, “It doesn’t mean I don’t miss her, though.”

Sam rubs my back soothingly, which prompts Dean to ask, “So are you two, you know, together again?”

Sam looks at me and waits for my response. “Yeah, I think so. For the most part at least. I’m sure we will be completely when all of my memories are back.” Sam releases a relieved sigh and I take a moment to study his face, not noticing that Dean had left for the kitchen. “Did you think I would just turn my back on you?”

“Kind of, yeah…” he admits.

I nuzzle my face into the crook between his neck and shoulder. “Because of all the horrible things that have happened to you?”

“No, because of the horrible things that I’ve done. You already know about the demon blood and setting Lucifer free, but there’s more that you haven’t remembered yet, and that makes me nervous.”  

I chew on my lip, considering this. I close my eyes, letting my eyelashes flutter against the skin of his neck and say, “Sam, since I lost my memories, all you’ve been is kind and gentle with me. You haven’t pushed me into anything, and you have displayed this endless compassion and caring for me that warms my heart to its tiniest veins.”

He doesn’t say anything, nor does he meet my eyes, but I continue anyway.

“Even from what I have remembered, you’ve never had evil or inhumanly malicious intent in anything that you’ve done. When you set Lucifer free? You were just trying to avenge your brother by killing Lillith. How were you supposed to know that she was the final seal? Ruby sure as hell didn’t tell you. When you said yes to Lucifer? You had a plan to throw him back in the cage. You were ready to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. How could I turn my back on someone as brave as that?”

Sam stares at me, wide eyed. “You remember when I said yes to him?”

I pause for a moment, realizing what I’d said.

That’s when the color floods back.

Scarlet.

Chapter Text

I watched numbly as the blood finally slowed. Sam took my hand and I turned away from the gore and toward him, pressing my forehead and hands to his chest. I inhaled deeply, trying to ignore the sickening thud and the crack of bones as Dean and Cas dropped the fifth demon to the floor and carried it outside.

Sam's face was in my hair, his arms wrapped around me. I could feel and hear his deep breaths, making his chest rise and fall beneath my palms. It felt like we were both trying to commit the other to memory. I hear him swallow a throat of tears.

I pulled back from his chest to search his eyes. There, twisted into his hazel irises, was everything he wasn't saying. Doubt, fear, sadness, anticipation, regret. I reached up rested my hand in the crook of his neck. His face softened and he pulled my body against his, resting his cheek on the crown of my head. We stayed like that for an immeasurable amount of time.

“Y/N,” Sam said it so quietly I thought I'd imagined it.

I looked up at him in confusion. “What?”

“I- don't know how to say this…” he trailed off.

I stopped him. "Don't." His body tensed, so I continued. "Don't you dare say goodbye."

He relaxed. “I’ m not going to, I promise.”

“Good.” I touched my forehead back to his chest.

“Guys!” Dean’s voice called from outside. “There ain’t no time for making babies!”

Sam and I sighed in unison. He kissed the top of my head and murmured, “I guess we should go.”

“No, not yet,” I said impulsively. I brought one hand to the side of his face and stood on my toes as I gently guided his lips to mine. Simultaneously, I felt peace and every individual nerve in my body caught fire. His lips were soft and eager, and I craved every part of them. His scent invaded my nostrils and I welcomed it. Pine and cinnamon flooded over me, coupled with the feel of his stubble against my chin. Yet for his intoxicating enthusiasm, he was incredibly gentle, his hands on my waist pulling me toward him. We moved together as if we’d done it a thousand times, and too soon, he pulled away.

He didn’t look at me, but he cradled the back of my head and pressed his forehead to mine. “Thank you,” he breathed.

“Any time,” I whispered.

After a reluctant moment, we left the warehouse.


I was almost asleep in the back of the impala leaning on Cas’s shoulder. The sun had just set and the first stars were starting to poke through the twilight haze of the sky. Cas’s head was rested against the window and he was far from conscious. My eyes were closed and the purr of the engine lulled me.

Dean’s voice startled me to the point of alertness, but not enough to open my eyes. “Aw, ain’t he a little angel?”

The leather of the front seat scrunched and Sam replied, “Angels don’t sleep.”

It was quiet for a minute.

“Sam, I got a bad feeling about this,” Dean said warily.

“Well, you’d be nuts to have a good feeling about it.”

“you know what I mean. Detroit. He always said he’d jump your bones in Detroit, and here we are.”

“Here we are,” Sam agreed.

“Maybe this is him rolling out the red carpet, you know? Maybe he knows something we don’t.”

“Dean, I'm sure he knows a buttload we don't. We just got to hope he doesn't know about the rings.” He paused. “Hey, um... on the subject, there's something I got to talk to you about.”

“What?”

“This thing goes our way and I triple lindy into that box, you know I'm not coming back,” Sam said solemnly.

“Yeah, I'm aware.”

“So you got to promise me something.”

“Okay. Yeah. Anything,” Dean said without an ounce of hesitation.

“You got to promise not to try to bring me back.” Sam’s voice was firm, yet quiet.

What? My eyes flew open and I wanted to protest, but Dean’s voice was so shocked that I didn’t have to. I closed my eyes again.

“No, I didn't sign up for that,” he protested. Sam tried to stop him, but Dean cut him off. “Your Hell is gonna make my tour look like Graceland. You want me just to sit by and do nothing?”

“Once the Cage is shut, you can't go poking at it, Dean. It's too risky.”

Sam, no. You can’t be serious. You have to let us save you.

“No, no, no, no, no. As if I'm just gonna let you rot in there.”

“Yeah, you are. You don't have a choice.”

“You can't ask me to do this. What about Y/N? You think she’s gonna just let you stay in there? How is she gonna react when I tell her that you refused to be saved?”

“You have to keep her from trying. Please, Dean. She has a shot at getting out, and I need her to take it. It’ll keep me sane when I’m in the cage.”

Sam… I don’t want to get out of the life unless you’re out with me…

“So then what am I supposed to do?” Dean asked.

“You go find Lisa. You pray to God she's dumb enough to take you in, and you, you go have barbecues and go to football games. You go live some normal, apple-pie life, Dean. Promise me,” Sam insisted.

Dean didn’t reply to Sam’s ultimatum, he just muttered, “We should get some rest in before this crap-show happens.”

The impala curved and I took this time as a liberty to fake waking up. Sam turned back to me with a small smile, as if he never asked his brother to make me forget about him. “Hey,” he murmured.

“Where are we?” I feigned grogginess.

“We’re pulling into a motel for a few hours. We need to get some sleep before we get to Detroit.”

“Mmkay.” I rubbed my eyes, milking my “tiredness” for all it was worth.

The impala parked and the engine cut off, causing Cas to jump, his angel blade flying out of his sleeve. My tired charade was over. “Hey! Cas, it’s okay. We’re just grabbing a motel for a while.”

“Why are we here?” He asked gruffly.

“We all need to catch some Z’s,” Dean said.

“I don’t sleep,” Cas retorted.

We all scoffed and headed inside.

Chapter Text

"We really have to get two rooms instead of one?" Dean leaned into the attendant at the front desk, pulling out the intimidating side of him. There were apparently only single bed rooms left available, and even if we wanted to, two six foot plus guys and one average height girl would not fit comfortably into a queen bed.

"I'm sorry sir. It’s all we have available. I can give you 50% off the second room, though."

Dean grumbled and threw down a credit card. 

"Excellent." He looked down at the name on the card before sliding it through the reader. "Thank you, Mr. Walsh." He slid two gold keys across the counter and directed us to our rooms.

"Y/N and I can share," Sam said quickly. I blushed and accidentally made eye contact with Dean, who then looked at his brother. He rolled his eyes and pushed into his room, slamming the door on Sam, Cas and I.

"Cas, what are you going to do?" I asked him.

"I'll ward your rooms, then probably get a feel for the area. I'll try to pull something through Angel Radio, too, though I'm not sure that will work," he responded, staring at Dean's closed door.

"Okay. Do you want any help?"

"No," he declined, turning toward us. "You should rest."

I looked up at Sam, who met my eyes. We both nodded, and without another word, we stepped into the motel room.

It was nothing fancy. A bed, a table with a few rickety looking chairs, a couch, small TV, and a tiny kitchenette which mostly just looked like a mini-fridge with a microwave sitting on top next to a smaller table. The bathroom was to the north side of the hallway door. A pang of sadness hit me.

"We really should have splurged and gotten a nicer hotel for you," I said quietly.

He plopped the duffel bags down in front of the foot of the bed and untied his shoes, toeing them off. "Why do you say that?"

"Just, everything that's happening tomorrow. Even the best-case scenario sucks. I wish your last night was spent in a more comfortable room." I could hear the disappointment in my voice, but I was powerless to stop it. We should have gotten him a better place. I don't know why Dean stopped here.

Sam stood and came to me, rubbing my upper arms. "To be honest with you, I'm far more comfortable here than I would be in some expensive hotel with fancy soap. Rooms like this are where I grew up."

My heart squeezed. His childhood was unimaginable. I couldn't fathom what it was like to not have a regular high school where everyone knew you and had for years. How had he managed to wind up so kind? My eyes teared up.

"Hey, what's the matter?" He placed his fingertips on my cheeks and lifted my face so he could look at me closer.

"I just wish life would have been better for you," I whimpered.

"Oh, Y/N," he murmured. He tugged me into his chest and stroked my tousled hair. "It's true, that my life has been kind of crappy, but that’s okay. Do you want to know why?"

I nodded against the flannel of his shirt.

"I only have one regret, and that's that I can't spend more time with you. But that's okay too because I'd rather live for one minute, being in love with you, than live an apple-pie life without you." My heart stopped and my tears spilled over. "I love you, Y/N. I love you, I love you, I love you," he repeated, loving the taste of the words on his tongue. Each word solidified the ache of longing that coursed through me. 

I clutched him closer to me. I sobbed some rendition of his name into his shirt and let myself cry out everything that I’d been holding back. “I love you, too, Sammy.”

He exhaled and held me firmly, resting his cheek on the top of my head. He held me until my tears stopped, then he looked down at me. Raising my eyes to look at him, he thumbed away my tears and I brushed away the few that had fallen from his beautiful, prismatic hazel eyes.

Those eyes looked over every part of my face, his fingertips gingerly tracing my skin from my temple to my chin. I shivered and smiled at the same time, leaning into his warm touch.

“Kiss me,” he whispered.

And I did. I leaned up onto my toes and wrapped my arms around his neck. Our lips met in a gentle, earnest kiss. I sighed, and I felt him smile.

He experimentally caught my lip between his teeth, and the action went straight to my core. I gasped and he chuckled. I wasn’t the submissive type, though. I pretended to let the bite go, and kissed him sweetly. My fingers threaded up into his hair and massaged his scalp gently. When he sighed, I tugged firmly.

His head fell backward, a hiss escaping through his teeth. He looked back down to me, his eyes dark and hungry, and he lunged forward to kiss me again, open-mouthed, all inhibitions gone. He trailed his hands down my sides and rested them on my hips, squeezing as he tugged my lip between his teeth again. I moaned and his hands traveled to my ass, then bending down to grip the backs of my thighs. I jumped instinctively and he effortlessly supported me against his frame. Wrapping my legs around his waist, I knotted my fingers back into his hair and our mouths fought for dominance.

I’d never had this before, someone that was equally dominant or eager as I was. I was always the initiator, the one who picked positions and did all the work. But with Sam, I didn’t have to. His hands coiled around my waist and my shoulder, and before I noticed he had moved, I was airborne.

My eyes flew open as I landed on the mattress, knocking the wind out of me in surprise. I yelped and Sam looked down at me with a mischievous grin that was equal parts playful and lustful. I propped myself up on my elbows and narrowed my eyes at him.

He leaned forward and placed his hands on the mattress, on either side of my knees. He made no move to touch me, just gazed at me, a challenge in his eyes. I had dealt with this yearning ache for too long and I was tired of games. “Come here, Winchester,” I growled at him. His eyes darkened and he lunged at me like a panther to its prey.

*

It was raw, all teeth and tongues. He wound his hand into my hair and tugged to one side like I had with him. I moaned gently and he kissed a gentle strip down my jaw and neck, then bit me roughly above my collarbone. I gasped, the pain of it shooting straight between my legs.

I grabbed at his shirt, practically ripping it from his body. With it gone, I ran my hands over his shoulders and bare arms, toned and dappled with scars. He rolled us over so I was straddling his lower stomach. I gently touched the points of his tattoo, down his chest, grazing lightly over his nipples, which caused him to inhale sharply. When I looked up at him, he was unbelievably beautiful. His brown locks lay disheveled across his forehead and the pillow beneath him, his pink lips parted and his cheeks flushed. His hooded eyes watched me with interest as I explored the expanse of his torso.

I leaned forward to kiss him, and he caught my lip between his teeth again. His hands wandered from my shoulders, down my back and to the hem of my t-shirt, and he pulled it off my body. He touched my skin lightly, the feeling of his calloused hands was intoxicating. His eyes drank in every inch of me and I had never felt so vulnerable or thrilled in my entire life. I didn’t shy away, but I waited anxiously for his reaction. “God…” he whispered.

“I don’t think Cas found him yet,” I said wryly.

He rolled his eyes and smirked, then kissed me gently. “No, Y/N. ‘God’ as in ‘you’re perfect.’”

My heart stopped for a moment, then hammered away in double time. He kissed my neck and shoulders, then down across my breasts. Easing the straps away, he reached behind me and unclipped my bra in one, efficient movement. Gently cupping both, he watched his hands explore my skin. Grazing his thumbs across my nipples, they hardened under his touch and I moaned. At the sound of my pleasure, he pinched them suddenly, causing a high whine to escape from my mouth.

“I love it when you do that,” he murmured. Before I could answer him, he rolled us over so I was under him again. He kissed from my mouth down my breasts and stomach until he was at the waistline of my jeans. Using just the tips of his fingers, he traced my skin between my hipbones and my back arched, causing another needy whine.

“Sam, please,” I moaned. I didn’t know exactly what I was pleading for, just that I needed him.

“Please what?” He palmed the space between my legs and he cursed under his breath, undoubtedly discovering just how turned on I was. He unbuckled my belt and tugged my jeans off. I realized that I had closed my eyes in anticipation. When I opened them to look at him, he was watching me with keen interest, palming the bulge in his jeans. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured sweetly. He dropped to his knees and pulled me toward him, my ass off the edge of the bed. “I’m gonna take care of you, okay?”

I nodded. He placed gentle, open-mouthed kisses to the inside of my knee, then toward my center, and back down the other side. He was watching me the whole time, drinking in the way I was strung out, just for him. The teasing was unbearable. I whimpered his name.

Understanding me perfectly, he firmly kissed my panties in the exact place where my clit was hiding beneath. I gasped at the sudden intensity of it, and he chuckled. He grazed his hands up and slowly took the lace away, fascinated by the way I was squirming beneath his touch. He settled himself between my legs and began to gently lap at my folds. I moaned with relief and allowed myself to succumb to the pleasure.

He was no stranger to this. His tongue gently teased apart my lips, then a swift flick upward would send fireworks through me. He brought me to the edge, and just when I was about to orgasm, he pulled away. I whined and looked up at him.

He was leaning over me, easily encompassing me with his size. He smirked at me, clearly teasing. I pushed on his chest gently and we both stood up. I only came to his chest, but in this case, it was perfect. I kissed his skin, counting his scars in my mind, and I felt his hands in my hair. He wasn’t pushing me, or even guiding me. They were just resting there. The sincerity of the action stoked the fire in me and I quickly unbuckled his belt and pulled down his jeans and boxers with it.

I gawked shamelessly. He was huge. The sex toys that I’d had weren’t even comparable. I licked my lips hungrily and felt my walls clench in eager anticipation. I had barely noticed that he had stopped breathing for a moment. When I looked back up at him, he was concerned and wary. I furrowed my brows at him and wondered what was wrong, but then it dawned on me.

He didn’t want to hurt me.

Kissing his lips gently, I turned us around so his knees hit the edge of the mattress. He laid down slowly, and I climbed on top of him. On hands and knees, I kissed his worried forehead and placed my hand on his cheek. Making sure he was holding eye contact, I murmured, “You’re not going to break me, Sam.” He exhaled and nodded slowly in submission, and I kissed his lips again. Tugging his bottom lip between my teeth, I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and pulled him up to a seated position so I was in his lap.

Looking deep into his hazel eyes, I reached between our bodies and lined him up with my entrance. I took a deep breath, relaxing my walls as much as possible and slowly eased down on him. His eyes widened, then squeezed shut as he fought to stay in control. I buried my face into the crook of his neck and squeezed his shoulders.

Fuck. Either he was bigger than I thought, or I was smaller. A sharp feeling of tearing kept me from charging full speed ahead, and I eased him out and then back in with shallow rotations of my pelvis. He was shaking from the self-control he was displaying, and I pulled back to look at him. His hazel eyes were dark with restraint and hunger, and somewhere mixed in was the sweet Sam that I’d fallen for.

“I love you,” I whispered.

His face softened and relaxed completely, and I took that opportunity to push him inside me as far as he would go. We both cried out in ecstasy. I rocked my pelvis back and forth in time to his shallow thrusts and it wasn’t long before we were both on the edge.

“Y/N,” he said, his voice strained, “I’m not going to last long.”

I moaned knowing he was just as wrecked as I was. “It’s okay. Me too.” One thrust brushed hard against my G-spot and made me gasp. I grabbed his shoulder desperately. “Finish with me.”

“God-” he moaned. He pulled me forward so I was laying on his chest with him still inside me. I tried to sit back to ride him, but he held me close to him. “Put your knees on the bed,” he commanded softly.

I did so obediently and he brought his knees up so his feet were flat on the bed and he lifted his hips to mine. I struggled to maintain a coherent thought as he pounded into me. “I’m so close, Sam,” I moaned, clutching his upper arms.

Every thrust had his pubic bone rubbing against my clit and I was a mess above him. He brushed hair back from my face and in that sweet gesture that caught me off guard, I climaxed suddenly.

A scream ripping from my throat, my back arched and Sam didn’t stop, working me through the most intense orgasm I’d ever had. My walls clamped down around him and he climaxed in a half-shout, half-moan with me. My eyes squeezed shut and lightning bolts of pleasure shot through my veins, congregating where our bodies had connected.

Rolling through the aftershocks, we held eye contact and slowly wound down. We were both panting hard, our cheeks and chests flushed with exertion. He pulled out of me, and I felt the warm wetness of his cum drip out of me and onto his stomach.

He shot a worried look up at me, realizing what had happened, to which I shook my head with a smile. “I’m on the pill. It’s okay.” He sighed with relief and I collapsed on top of his chest. He absently stroked his fingertips up and down my spine, slowly lulling me.

*

Before I was asleep, he rolled me onto my back, and when I protested sleepily, he kissed my forehead. “I’m just getting a towel. I’ll be right back.” I watched blissfully as his naked body walked toward the bathroom with the grace of the panther that I’d seen earlier. The water ran for a moment, then he returned with a washcloth. He gently kissed my knees and thighs before easing them apart and cleaning me. He then cleaned himself off, tossed the washcloth on the floor, and crawled back into bed with me.

Pulling the covers over us, he drew me close to him. We were facing each other, with my head resting on his arm and our legs intertwined. We watched each other for a minute before sleep became too inviting.

“I love you,” I slurred quietly.

“I love you, too,” he echoed.

Chapter Text

The alley in Detroit’s poorer district was wet and chilly. It was just after 2 AM. Dean and Cas were off checking the perimeter of the damp access way while Bobby was peering into a higher floor’s window. Sam and I leaned against the Impala, not saying a word. I picked pointlessly at my nails, trying to occupy myself until a verdict was reached on whether Lucifer was even here.

Sam touched my hand gently, and I looked up at him. His face was soft, but I could tell he was hiding a storm beneath his mask. He slipped his fingers between mine and brought the back of my hand to his lips. We exchanged small smiles and clung silently to the connection we still had while it was there. Dean and Cas stood near us after they ensured our security.

Bobby walked over to us. “Demons, at least two dozen of them.” He looked to Dean. “You were right. Something’s up.”

“More than something. He’s here. I know it,” Dean replied gravely. He walked purposefully to the trunk and popped it.

I tried my hardest to keep my composure as my throat tightened. Beside me, Sam sighed, and I squeezed his hand. He straightened up, looking to Bobby. Without looking at me, he squeezed back.

A painful moment passed as Bobby struggled to find the words to say. He eventually walked slowly over to us, then quietly said, “I’ll see ya around, kid.”

“See ya around,” Sam echoed. He released my hand to tightly hug the man he’d embraced as his father. I walked up to Dean and took his hand for both our benefits.

As they separated, Bobby sniffed. Suddenly fierce, he said, “He gets in, you fight him tooth and nail. You understand?” Sam nodded solemnly. “Keep swingin’. Don’t give an inch.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Bobby stepped back, then away, squeezing his eyes shut. Sam sighed heavily and ran his hand over his face. Dean squeezed my hand. Sam turned to Cas and extended his hand. “Take care of these guys, okay?”

Cas frowned. “That’s not possible.”

Sam chuckled softly. “Then humor me.”

“Oh. I was supposed to lie,” Cas realized. Sam shook his head and forced a smile. “Sure. They’ll be fine,” Cas assured with a fake, ‘no worries’ attitude.

“Just stop talking,” Sam said uncomfortably. Cas looked to Dean and I in embarrassment, then joined Bobby.

With a sigh, Sam walked up to us. He eyed the jugs of demon blood, then looked to his brother, then to me. He pulled me toward his chest, burying his face into my hair, which was down loosely around my shoulders. I wrapped my arms around his back and clung to him, forcing myself not to cry. I will be strong, I told myself. I can cry later.

Sam framed my face with his hands. Without looking into my eyes, he kissed me. His lips were firm at first, then softened. I could taste his tears on the corners of his mouth, and my heart broke. He kissed my forehead firmly, cradling the back of my neck.

“I love you,” he murmured hoarsely against my skin. I pulled away from him and took his stubble cheeks between my palms, searching his face. His eyes were red, but they were still beautiful. His lip trembled.

“I love you, too, Sam.” My voice cracked and I pulled his lips down to mine once again. “He’s just a big winged jerk, right?” I mused.

Sam smiled sadly. “Right.”

We held on to each other for as long as we could until Dean cleared his throat. Sam and I nodded to each other, and he pulled away, towards the trunk.

Sam exhaled, readying himself, and said to Dean, “You mind not watching this?”

Dean walked next to me and put his arm around me comfortingly, without saying anything.

A few minutes later, Sam closed the trunk, walked around the back of the Impala, and took a deep breath. He firmly kissed my forehead. “I love you, Y/N.”

“I love you too, Sammy,” I replied, my voice thick.

Sam looked to his brother. “Okay. Let’s go,” he said with conviction and strode toward the front of the building. Dean squeezed my shoulder and followed him.

I watched them walk away until they turned the corner. Then I heard Sam shout, “All right! We’re here, you sons of bitches! Come and get it!”

It was quiet between Cas, Bobby and I for the next few minutes. I watched the window anxiously for a sign. Any sign. The room glowed a faint yellow for a second, and I looked to Bobby.

“Couple of demons dropped dead,” he explained. “Our boys are up there with him.”

I chewed on the inside of my cheek anxiously. A minute later, the room shone an unmistakable angelic glow, and I felt my heart break.

“Sam has been possessed by Lucifer,” Cas said gravely.

“C’mon Sam. You can do this,” Bobby muttered.


 

Ten minutes later, Dean came back around the corner, alone. My breath hitched in my throat. “Did he-“ was all I could manage before Dean shook his head.

I felt my heart drop into my stomach and I covered my face in my hands.

“Damn it!” Bobby roared beside me. 


 

Dean, Bobby, Cas and I watched a news report through the window of a television store.

“Reports are flooding in – a 7.6 earthquake, 8.1 in Boston, more in Hong Kong, Berlin and Tehran. The USGS has no explanation but it says to expect a six-figure death toll.”

“It’s starting,” Castiel stated, walking away from the screens.

“Yeah, you think, genius?” Dean snaps.

 “You don’t have to be mean.”

 “So, what do we do now?”

Cas considered this for a moment, then said, “I suggest we imbibe copious quantities of alcohol…  Just wait for the inevitable blast wave.”

“Yeah, swell. Thank you, Bukowski. I mean, how do we stop it?” Dean barked.

Cas turned to dean, and bitterly told him, “We don't. Lucifer will meet Michael on the chosen field, and the battle of Armageddon begins.”

“Okay, well, where's this chosen field?”

“I don't know.”

“Well, there's got to be something that we can do,” Dean pleaded.

“I'm sorry, Dean. This is over,” Cas apologized.

“You listen to me, you junkless sissy – we are not giving up! Bobby?” Dean turned to Bobby, who stayed quiet. “Bobby?”

Bobby met Dean’s eyes, and sadly admitted, “There was never much hope to begin with. I don't know what to do.”

“Y/N?” Dean pleaded.

I looked down and shook my head. Dean looked defeatedly between the three of us, then walked away. He got into the driver’s seat of the impala and sped down the road, tires squealing.

We all gazed in the direction he left for a moment before Bobby said, “Let’s go get a drink.”

Cas and I nodded and followed him to the bar two blocks down the street, saying nothing.

Chapter Text

Bobby and I were both nursing our second drinks, and Cas on his sixth, still unaffected. I had just started wondering where Dean was when I heard the Impala roar up to the front of the building. I abandoned my drink on the counter and hurried outside.

Dean closed the trunk with a loud crack, then walked up to and opened the driver’s door. Bobby, Cas and I approached him.

“You goin’ someplace?” Bobby sneered.

Dean ignored him.

“You’re goin’ to do somethin’ stupid. You got that look,” Bobby said scornfully.

“I’m gonna go talk to Sam,” Dean said matter-of-factly.

“You just don’t give up.”

“It’s Sam!” Dean roared.

Cas interjected, “If you couldn’t reach him here, you’re certainly not going to be able to on the battlefield.”

“Well, if I’ve already lost, I guess I got nothing to lose, right?”

“Dean-“ I started to say, but Cas put his arm out to stop me.

“I just want you to understand. The only thing that you’re going to see out there is Michael killing your brother,” Cas warned.

“Well, then I ain’t gonna let him die alone.” Dean slammed the door. He started up the engine.

“Dean!” I shouted over the car’s low rumble.

“Don’t try to talk me out of this, Y/N!” he bellowed.

“No! I’m coming with you!”

He stopped for a moment, staring at me in surprise, then reached across and unlocked the passenger door.

“Y/N,” Cas warned.

“It’s Sam,” I replied sadly.

Castiel frowned and backed off, though Bobby still looked livid.

Dean and I sped off.


 

“Dean?” I asked him a minute or two after we left. “Where are we going?”

“Lawrence, believe it or not.”
“Where you and Sam were born?”

“That’s the one.”

“Where in Lawrence?”

“Just outside actually, a place called Stull Cemetery.”

“Hey Dean, if you told Michael no, who’s meat suit is he wearing?”

“Our half-brother, Adam.”

“Half-brother??”

“He’s quite a bit younger than us, but he still carries the Cain and Abel bloodline that Michael needed. That’s why he didn’t need me.”

“Wow.”

“Fun, isn’t it?”

I scoffed in reply and eventually began to doze off from exhaustion. When I was almost asleep, he tapped my shoulder.

“Do you love him?”

“What?”

“Sam. Do you love him?”

All the feelings I’d had since I met them rushed back. The disdain I felt for him at first, the whiskey-flavored lust a few weeks later, the curiosity that followed, then eventually morphed to a schoolgirl crush. Somewhere that crush had turned to honest, real love. Sam was my home now.

“So much,” I whispered, biting back tears.

“Then you know we have to fight for him, tooth and nail.”

“Of course.”

“Good, we’re on the same page.”

“Seems that way.”

“Good. Get some rest.”

I settled further into my seat, and said, “Wake me in a few hours and let me drive.” He nodded.


 

By the time I woke, the sun was rising, and a distance sign for Lawrence read 46 miles.

“Dean, you were supposed to let me drive!”

“I’m fine,” he snapped.

“So you’re not resting at all then?”

“Don’t need to.”

I shook my head and resigned to his stubbornness.

“Are you ready for this?” he asked.

“As ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.”

We didn’t talk for the rest of the way, and even as we pulled through the gates to Stull Cemetery, and he popped “Rock of Ages” into the tape player.

We thundered up to Sam and Adam who were trapped inside their own minds by Lucifer and Michael. My heart ached to see Sam in front of me, knowing that Sam wasn’t there at all. His body stood there without any of the mannerisms or warmth that I’d grown to ache for.

Dean climbed out of the car, and I followed his lead wordlessly. “Howdy, boys!”

Lucifer and Michael looked somewhere between annoyed, amused and angry.

“Sorry, are we interrupting something?” Dean asked sarcastically.

“We need to talk,” I demanded Lucifer.

“Dean. Even for you, this is a whole new mountain of stupid. Y/N, I know you’re still new to this whole ‘Winchester’ thing, but you should really know better by this point,” Lucifer said, displeased.

“I’m not talking to you,” I snapped. “I’m talking to Sam.”

“You’re no longer the vessel, Dean. You’ve got no right to be here,” Michael warned.

“Adam, if you’re in there somewhere, I am so sorry,” Dean apologized.

“Adam isn’t home right now,” Michael sneered.

“Well, then you’re next on my list, buttercup. But right now, we need five minutes with him.” Dean motioned toward Sam.

“You little maggot. You are no longer a part of this story!” Michael started toward Dean.

“Hey, assbutt!” Cas called out of nowhere. I spun around to face the source, finding Bobby and Cas. Cas threw a flaming glass bottle at Michael, who screamed and caught fire. He disappeared suddenly.

“Assbutt??” Dean asked incredulously.

“He’ll be back, and upset, but you got your five minutes,” Cas explained.

Lucifer turned to him, “Castiel. Did you just Molotov my brother with holy fire?”

“Uh...” Cas backed up with his hands up in surrender, a small, guilty chuckle escaping. “No.”

Lucifer’s face twisted furiously. “No one dicks with Michael but me.” He raised his hand and snapped his fingers. I watched in horror as Cas exploded into nothing, covering Bobby and me in gore.

Dean, Bobby and I share a terrified glance. “Sammy, can you hear me?” Dean asked gently.

Lucifer turned on Dean slowly, emphasizing the gravity of his words with pauses between them. “You know. I tried to be nice. For Sammy’s sake. But you. Are such a pain.” He grasped the lapels of Dean’s jacket, the leather scrunching. “In my ass.”

Lucifer threw Dean onto the hood of the Impala, a resounding thud harmonizing with the sound of Dean’s head shattering the windshield.

Panicked, I shot Lucifer in the back, ignoring just how much it felt like I was shooting Sam. He paused for a second and turned to meet my eyes.

“Now that’s just rude,” Lucifer sneered at me. He raised his hand and squeezed it into a fist, and I lost all muscle control, falling to the ground. I was still alive but seemingly paralyzed. I’d landed on my side, staring fearfully at Lucifer’s towering figure.

“Y/N!” Dean screamed.

“I want you to watch, Dean, as I slowly strip the flesh from the only girl your little Sammy has ever truly loved,” he laughed. I glanced at Dean, who was just as scared as I was.

Bobby fired another shot, hitting directly into Sam’s heart. “Don’t touch her, you bastard.”

Lucifer’s nostrils flared in rage, and he raised his hand again and made a sharp twisting motion, which Bobby’s neck mirrored.

I couldn’t scream, but I would have.

“No!” Dean yelled.

“Yes.” Lucifer grabbed Dean’s legs and pulled him off the hood and punched him hard across his face. Dean spun around with the force of it and spat blood onto the hood. “I think I’ll make her watch, actually. It’d be great nightmare fuel afterward. Too bad I’ll kill her after I’m done with you.”

“Sammy? Are you in there?” Dean asked gently.

“Oh, he’s in here, all right.”

Punch.

“And he’s gonna feel the snap of your bones.”

Punch. Dean fell to the ground.

“Every single one.”

Lucifer hauled Dean to his feet by the lapels of his jacket and pinned him against the Impala’s door.

“We’re gonna take our time.”

I watched helplessly as Dean’s face became more and more disfigured with every impact. Lucifer wailed on Dean until I lost sight of them through the tears streaming across my face.

Dean reached out and touched Sam’s jacket, which was now covered in his own blood. “Sam, it’s okay. I’m here.” Lucifer paused for a moment as if pitying him. “I’m here. I’m not gonna leave you.” Two punches. “I’m not gonna leave you.”

Lucifer pulled back for an especially hard hit but stopped. Dean and I watched in confusion, he through swollen eyelids, me through tears. Lucifer stared, puzzled, at something inside the Impala for a long moment then, finally, faltered.

I felt my paralysis drop, and I sat up warily.

His fist unclenched and he dropped Dean, backing away from him, gasping and panting.

“Sammy?” I asked with a broken voice.

Sam – my Sam – looked to me and searched my face, as if memorizing it. “It’s okay,” he reassured me. “It’s gonna be okay. I’ve got him.”

Sam fished the rings out of his pocket and tossed them onto the grass. “Bvtmon. Tabges. Babalon.”

A circle around the rings began to sink into the ground, pulling wind from all directions towards it. Sam took a moment to gather himself, looking back and forth between Dean and I. I smiled sadly and nodded my head, and he nodded quickly in return.

“Sam!” Michael suddenly reappeared. “It’s not gonna end this way! Step back!”

“You’re gonna have to make me!” Sam shouted.

“I have to fight my brother, Sam! Here and now! It’s my destiny!”

Sam looked at Dean and me one last time and closed his eyes.

Time slowed down as Sam raised his arms to fall backward. I barely heard Michael’s shout of protest. He rushed forward and grabbed Sam’s jacket, but Sam pulled him into the pit with him.

The hole emitted a bright, lightning crack, and the wind stopped.

And just like that, they were gone.

Sam was gone.

Chapter Text

Dean and I knelt next to each other, staring at the rings, with tears streaming down our faces. The grass crunched behind us and we turned to see a familiar beige trench coat.

“Cas you’re alive?” Dean asked.

“I’m better than that,” he replied quietly. He touched Dean’s forehead with two fingers, and suddenly Dean’s injuries were nonexistent. I smiled weakly at him.

Dean stood and asked, “Cas are you god?”

“That’s a nice compliment,” Cas said lightly. “But no. Although, I do believe he brought me back.” Cas walked away, toward Bobby’s corpse. “New and improved.”

Dean helped me up. Cas touched two fingers to Bobby’s temple, and he sat up, amazed. Cas nodded with a small smile at his surprised face.

In the corner of my eye, I saw Dean look down to the rings in his hand. We locked eyes and felt our shock dissipate simultaneously. With a sob, I leaned into Dean’s chest and shuddered with loss. Dean held me tightly against him, and for a while, I couldn’t tell which sobs were whose.


 

The sun had dipped lower in the sky, tinging it pink and orange. Dean and I were quiet now, reveling in our numbness. Cas had brought Bobby home and the crisp sound of autumn grass had told us he’d returned.
“What are you gonna do now?” Dean asked him.

“Return to heaven, I suppose.”

“Heaven?”

“With Michael in the Cage, I’m sure its total anarchy up there.”

“So, what, you’re the new sheriff in town?”

“I like that, yeah. I suppose I am,” Cas mused.

“Wow. God gives you a brand new, shiny set of wings, and suddenly you’re his bitch again,” Dean said bitterly.

“I don’t know what god wants. I don’t know if he’ll even return. It just… seems like the right thing to do.”

“Well if you do see him, you tell him I’m coming for him next.”

“You’re angry,” Cas noted.

“That’s an understatement,” Dean pushed through gritted teeth.

“He helped. Maybe even more than we realize.”

Dean scoffed. “That’s easy for you to say, he brought you back. But what about Sam? What about Y/N? What about me, huh? Where’s my grand prize? All I got was my brother in a hole!” Dean yelled, angrily motioning toward where the rings had drilled a pit straight into hell. I turned away, bit my lip, and fought back tears.

“You got what you asked for, Dean. No paradise. No hell. Just more of the same,” Cas replied flatly. “I mean it, Dean. What would you rather have? Peace or freedom?”

Dean looked away and considered this for a moment, and when he looked back, Cas was gone.

“Well, you really suck at goodbyes, you know that?” Dean said sadly to the open air. I exhale a slight laugh. He put his arm around my shoulders and we walked toward the Impala in silence.

“I know about the promise you made to Sam,” I said.

Dean contemplated that promise for a moment, then nodded. “Let’s go.”

We drove through the night to get to Lisa’s.

A little after 2 AM, he cut the engine in front of her house. We sat in silence, not sure of what to say to the other.

“c’mon,” I said eventually.

We both got out of the car and embraced for one last hug. I squeezed my eyes shut to avoid any more tears.

“I know you heard what Sam wanted you to promise,” he said quietly.

“Dean,” I protested, “if you think I’m not going to try to get him back…”

“I’m not an idiot, Y/N. Even if I begged, you wouldn’t make that promise. Just, be careful, okay?”

I nodded and buried my face into the cool leather of his jacket, treasuring it. I pulled back after a minute and wiped my eyes. “Now go eat some apple pie for me, Winchester.”

He smiled and kissed my head. “Okay. Just one more thing.” He pulled the car keys out of his pocket and pushed them into my palm. “Take good care of her.”

“Dean, no,” I protested.

“She deserves to be hunting.”

I test the weight of the keys in my hand and give him another quick hug. “Fine. Now go get out.”

He nodded and walked up to the door. I got into the driver’s seat and adjusted the bench to fit my legs. Lisa answered the door, and after a small exchange and a longer hug, she led him inside.

Dean turned to where his baby was parked and kissed his fingertips, then extended them to me. After the door was closed, I started the rumbling engine and drove off into the darkness.

When I glanced up into the rear-view mirror, for a moment, I could have sworn that I’d seen Sam, but by the time it took me to double take, he was gone.

He was gone.

I pulled over to the road’s shoulder, cut the engine, and succumbed to my grief.

Chapter Text

Sam gently brushes the hair from my face, waiting for my awareness to return. His face comes into focus, and he smiles at me.

“How did you get out?” I whisper.

His brows furrow for a moment before he says, “The pit?”

I nod.

“It’s a long story. For now, let’s get some sleep okay?”

I yawn involuntarily. “I guess today’s been more stressful than I realized.”

He grabs some sweatpants out of the dresser in our room. He says, “I’m going to grab a shower quick. Did you want one?” I sniff at my armpit, then grimace at the smell, which makes Sam laugh. “I’ll take that as a yes?”

I laugh with him, and it feels good to let my guard down. I grab some pajamas out of the top drawer and start toward the bathroom.

Sam’s lighthearted voice echoes down the hall. “Wrong way.”

I turn and march past him, looking for the showers. He keeps pace with me easily and clears his throat when I walk directly past the door. When I look at his face, he’s on the verge of laughter.

I push into the shower room, only to realize that it’s like a locker room. Shower stalls with waist-height dividers to the left, sinks and mirrors to the right.

Sam curses under his breath. “I’m sorry, I forgot it was set up like this. I’ll wait in the hall until you’re done.” He opens the door again to leave.

I stop him. “Sam, its fine. Just don’t look.”

He looks through his lashes at me, his concern for my modesty evident in his puppy dog eyes. He nods slowly, “I won’t.”

And to his credit, he doesn’t. He chooses the stall farthest from mine and keeps his back to me. I try so hard not to look at the muscles in his back moving as he washes his hair, but I’m trapped into watching them ripple effortlessly beneath his skin. He turns slightly to grab a bottle of soap, and that’s when I see a wound at his ribcage.

“Sam,” I say before I can stop myself.

He turns to look before remembering and snaps his gaze away from me. “Yeah?”

“You’re hurt.”

He looks down at the raw on his side and winces. “It’s just a bullet graze. I’m alright.”

“It’s bleeding. Let me see, please.”

He exhales through his nose, a small amused smile on his face and turns his shower off.

I shut the water off to my shower and grab a robe and a towel from the closet. I slip the robe on, tying the sash at my waist and hand the towel to Sam. Avoiding the temptation of voyeurism, I keep my eyes locked on the shower door as he secures the towel around his hips. “It’s safe,” he jokes.

His wet hair is dripping rivulets of water down his chest. I swallow hard and direct my attention to his injury. Like he said, it’s not deep and looks a day or two old, heavy bruising surrounding the raw skin.

“If I ask nicely, will you let me bandage this?” I joke.

He smiles and nods toward the closet where I found the towels. “There’s a first aid kit on the top shelf.”

I return to the closet, only to realize that the top shelf is out of my reach. Sam approaches from behind me and grabs it with ease. “Show off,” I chastise.

He grins and hands it to me. I open it and find the peroxide, some gauze, and some medical tape. I dump some peroxide on the gauze and clean the wound gently, although he still hissed under his breath.

“Sorry,” I murmur. He doesn’t answer, and I dry the wound as carefully as I can. After putting some more gauze on, I tape it over and check my handiwork.

He looks down, and after a second, I realize he’s not looking at the bandage, but at me. His expression is warm but unreadable.

“What?” I muse.

“You’ve always taken such good care of me,” he says softly.

I blush and look away, unable to hold his intense gaze. “I guess it’s in my nature.”

“Something like that, yeah.”

I turn away from him and grab my pajamas. “I’m going to get ready for bed.”

Understanding without a word, he grabs his sweatpants and leaves me to change. I slip into my sleep shorts and a baggy shirt, which I’m almost certain is actually Sam’s. I drag a brush through my wet hair and braid it loosely. I hang up the robe and shut off the lights when I leave.

Sam is standing in our bedroom, staring at the bed.

“What do you want to do about our sleeping arrangements?” I ask.

“I can crash in one of the spare bedrooms,” he replies.

“No, I’ll do that. You sleep here. This bed is a king, and I’m guessing that’s because of your moose-ness.”

He gives me a half smile, then squeezes my hand.

“I’ll go find another bed,” I tell him.

His smile saddens and my heart drops. Before I can’t talk myself out of staying, I leave the room and find another bedroom next door.

I crawl into the uninhabited bed, noticing quickly how cold and coarse the sheets are, and I sigh. I cover up and roll to my side, closing my eyes.

But I can’t sleep. I toss and turn and readjust, but sleep evades me still. I try getting a glass of water from the sink in the room, but no rest comes. I roll over and look at the clock. It’s been two hours since I crawled into this bed.

Admitting dependence and defeat, I climb out of the bed and return to Sam and I’s room. I knock so timidly that he, too, must have been awake to hear it. He murmurs for me to come in. He turns on the bedside lamp and sits up when I enter.

“What’s wrong?” he asks.

 “I can’t sleep. Would it be okay if…” My ears turn pink. “If I stay with you?”

In lieu of a verbal answer, he pulls back the covers on the opposite side of the bed.

I step forward, not looking at him, and crawl under the sheets, which are much softer on my skin than the spare bedroom’s. “Good night,” I murmur after getting settled.

“Good night,” he echoes. He’s lying on his back, and I’m not sure if he always sleeps like that, or if he’s keeping the invitation for cuddling open. Overcome by bashfulness, I keep to my side of the bed. I quickly fall asleep with the rhythmic sound of his breathing to lull me.


 

I wake from fitful sleep to Sam’s sounds of distress. I prop myself up on an elbow and murmur, “Sam?”

He doesn’t answer, his labored breathing broken by small, panicked sounds. I scoot closer to him under the covers and brush his hair back, shushing him.

“It’s just a nightmare, Sammy. You’re okay.” After a minute, he calms, and his face nuzzles against my arm. His breathing returns to normal. I continue to run my fingers through his hair for a while, making sure his nightmare doesn’t return.

It doesn’t, and I lay down next to him, pressing my back against his stomach. I place his arm under mine, and he sighs contentedly in his sleep and murmurs something that sounds like my name.

Enveloped by his warmth and the familiar, sweet scent of pine and cinnamon, I finally sleep peacefully.

Chapter Text

Seven

“Okay, sis. We’ll see you when you get home.” Mommy hung the phone back onto the receiver. “She’s on her way home,” she said, grinning.

I shrieked happily and ran to the kitchen, where the cake was ready to be skewered with candles. Placing two number candles into the center of the cake, I looked over my creative genius, and suddenly it wasn’t so genius anymore. This cake didn’t have frosting roses or even lettering to tell everyone what the cake was even for. I frowned at it, crossing my arms.

“What’s the matter, sweetie?” Mommy entered the kitchen and put her hands on my shoulders.

“My cake isn’t pretty,” I said quietly.

“So? All Auntie will care about is that you made it.”

I turned to face her. “Really?”

“Really. Plus, it helps that it’s her favorite kind of cake,” she joked reassuringly.

I grinned. “Can we take it to the front door to meet her?”

Mommy kissed my head. “Sure. Is it okay if I carry it?”

“Yeah, I’d be really afraid of dropping it,” I admitted.

Me and mommy brought the cake to the front door and waited for Auntie.

“Where do you think she is?” I asked a few minutes later, uncontrollably impatient.

“She might have gone to the store to pick something up. I’m sure she’ll be home soon.”

Just then, there was a knock at the door.

I squealed and sprinted for the door, throwing it open. But instead of Auntie, it was a policeman. He seemed surprised and sad. “Hello, young lady. Is your mom home?” he asked.

“I’m right here,” Mommy said, meeting us at the doorway. “Y/N, can you wait in the kitchen for a minute?”

“Okay…” I reluctantly trudged to the kitchen, watching Mommy and the policeman, but not being able to hear them.

His face got sadder, and Mommy started crying. After a minute, he closed the door and left.

I ran to Mommy. “What’s wrong?” Tears streaming down her face, she took me into her arms. She didn’t say anything, she just held me and rocked me back and forth. “Mommy?” I asked again.

She pulled back to look me in the eyes. “Something bad happened, Y/N,” she said. Her voice sounded funny because she was crying.

“What?”

“Auntie passed away.”

I stared at her blankly. After a moment, the shock passed and I burst into tears. Mommy pulled me back into a tight hug and said ‘I’m so sorry’ over and over again.


Ten

I walked down the stairs into the living room. Mom was passed out on the couch, again. Her glass of rum sat half-empty on the table. The TV was on, playing some 3 a.m. infomercial that no one ever watched. I shut off the TV, poured the rest of her rum down the kitchen sink, put the bottle back in the cupboard, and walked back to where she was on the couch. Next came the hardest part.

I nudged her shoulder. “Mom?” I said gently. She didn’t respond. I shook her gently, and she groaned a response. “Let’s get you to bed, mom. You don’t want to sleep here.”

She mumbled something I didn't understand. I reached down to move her from her spot. Fortunately, she wasn’t a big woman. Slight in frame, and growing smaller from the constant drinking and not eating. Her eyes opened lazily and she got up unsteadily from the couch. Her room was on the main floor, which was incredibly helpful. She didn’t need to be reminded what room was across from mine upstairs. I helped her shuffle to her room and put her in her bed. After making sure the pillows were positioned so she wouldn’t wake up with a sore neck, I got the bottle of aspirin from the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and a glass of water. I placed it on the bedside table. I kissed her forehead, which reeked of alcohol. I ignored it. She would take a shower when she woke up. “I love you, mom,” I said gently as I turned off the light.


Eleven

I packed the last box into the back of the moving truck and pulled down the rolling door. Mom and I climbed into the vehicle and sped toward Broken Bow, Nebraska. When Mom said that she wanted to move, I was mad. I’d have to leave all my friends behind. I’d have to be the freak at a new school. I’d have to try to make new friends. I'd have to figure out how to get around the new school.

I stared out of the side-view mirror and watched Washington disappear. I understood why Mom wanted to move. We spent four years there after Auntie got hit by that drunk driver, and it was hell on Mom. Sure, the guy had gone to jail, but it was still hard. It took two years for her to even tell me what had really happened.

I peeked over at her. Her dark sunglasses were bordering on illegal. We drove with no music, and that was probably because she had a headache. I wasn’t stupid. I knew that she’d drank too much the night before. But at least she seemed okay enough. I rested my head on my fist and watched the countryside speed by. 


 “You must be the new girl.” A girl with a blonde braid said when I sat down next to her in class.

“Yeah. Y/N,” I said shyly.

“Joanna, but everybody calls me Jo,” she answered, grinning with a mouthful of braces. She extended her hand to me.

I smiled back and shook her hand.


Thirteen 

“Mom, you love him, he loves you. Can’t that be enough?” I pleaded.

Mom’s eyes were fearful. “Y/N, what if it’s not?”

“You have to try.”

“Please. Y/N's never really had a dad. She deserves to know what its like,” Jo added.

Mom weighed her drink in her hands, then pushed it to the other side of the counter, where Jo poured it out. “Okay,” Mom whispered.

Jo and I hugged her tightly. 


Fourteen

"Hey, Y/N, can I talk to Jo alone for a minute?" Mrs. Harvelle asked.

"Sure." I shot Jo a worried look. Had her mom already found out about the rifle she had stashed in her room? She'd only swiped it yesterday, and there were at least 10 more.

I waited on the front porch of the roadhouse, watching the cars drive by on the interstate. After a minute, Jo burst through the front door, tears streaming down her face.

"Jo?" I asked, going to her. "Jo, what happened?"

"My dad," she choked out. "He's dead."

I held her in my arms as she cried.


Fifteen

“How could you tell my mom?!” Jo roared.

“I was scared for you!”

“So be my friend and come with me! Don’t go telling my mom about my hunting! I trusted you with that!”

“I couldn’t watch you get killed!”

“It still doesn’t give you the right!”

“What if she’d known about the ‘hunting trip’ your dad had gone on?! Don’t you think she could have stopped him?”

“She did know!”

I stared at her, shocked. “She let him die?” slipped out, my tone of voice almost deafeningly quiet after the screaming.

“Shut up!”

Her fist collided with my jaw. I geared up to punch her back, but she was too quick. She dodged and I knocked her ceramic piggy bank off the shelf behind her.

“Jo, I’m so sorry,” I murmured, anger and defiance deflating instantly to regret.

“Get out,” she said quietly, staring at the broken piggy bank.

“Jo…”

“Get out! Don’t even think about talking to me anymore! I hate you!” She shoved me out her bedroom door.

I walked home with tears streaming down my face. 


Sixteen  

“I love her so much,” James told me.

“I know,” I replied. “You wouldn’t have stuck with her through three years of alcoholism if you hadn’t.”

He chuckled. We watched Mom dance with her new husband’s four-year-old nephew.

“I haven’t seen her as happy as she is now since I was a kid,” I said quietly. James turned his head to look at me while I spoke, but I kept my eyes on mom. “My dad was never around, and from what she told me, that was his choice. She’d had a few flings here and there, but she always got hurt. She was always the one that loved more. But after my aunt died, she changed. She was never the same after that.”

I heard him take a deep breath, and in my periphery, I saw him take a drink of his beer.

I continued, “When we came to Broken Bow, all we were looking for was to get away. Somewhere that we could move on from her death. I don’t think either of us would have guessed that we’d actually been heading toward a new beginning, for both of us. She’d find you and I’d find…” I trailed off, not being able to say her name.

He handed me his bottle. I stared at him, wide-eyed.

“Just don’t tell your mom,” he mused. I took a long drink, relishing the warmth the brew left behind. “Jo won’t stay mad at you forever,” he said.

“I ruined the only thing she had left of her dad,” I admitted sadly.

“It was a difficult time for her, you know that.”

“But its already been a year since she told me she hated me.”

“From what you and your mom have told me, she’s stubborn. And I know for a fact that you are too. The likely story here is that she’s already moved on, but she’s too prideful to tell you that.”

My brows furrowed together as I considered that. I took another drink, draining the glass bottle. He took it from my hand. “You don’t want your mom thinking that I’d helped her get over her alcoholism just so I could get you hooked, now do we?”

I laughed. “No, I guess not.”

Across the room, Mom was glowing. She spun the little boy in circles, her floor-length white dress twisting around her legs gracefully. I can’t believe that mom had been sober for a whole year. I was right when I told her that James would be good to her. He was the best, and now he was my step-dad.

“Hey, James?” I said.

“Yeah?”

“Thank you.”

“For what, the alcohol?”

I shook my head, smiling. “No. For making my mom happy again.”

He rubbed my back encouragingly. I wrapped my arm around his back and hugged him tightly. “She makes me happy, too,” he said.


Seventeen

“Hey, Y/N, can you help me with this homework?” A person I hadn’t heard from in years sat down at my table in the library.

“Oh,” I said in surprise. “Sure, Jo.”

“I’m going to kill whoever decided that shapes needed numbers and letters,” she joked.

We laughed together, albeit a little awkwardly, for the first time in years.


Nineteen

“Mom? I’m home.” I tossed my keys into the dish by the door.

No one answered.

“Mom? James?” I called, a little louder.

I took my coat off and hung it up before I went to look for them.

“If you planned a surprise party, I’m going to be pissed. You know that Jo is coming over soon for a movie marathon. That’s all that I want." I added, under my breath, "Though I wouldn’t say no to cake and ice cream.”

Still no answer. I checked the kitchen, where a pot of soup was cooling, without looking like any had been served. I checked the living room, but nothing.

I climbed the stairs to check their room and the office and opened the office door.

I thought it was paint at first, soaking into the cream-colored carpet. But then the stench hit me, metallic and sickening. I opened the door completely to find my mom lying face down on the floor, and James slumped over his desk.

It wasn’t until I saw James’s lifeless face that I screamed.

Chapter Text

I wake with a scream. Moments later, the door flies open and Sam and Dean have their pistols out and ready, searching for danger. When they see there isn’t any, Sam sets the gun down on the nearby dresser and moves toward me. Still panicked, I seek his comfort immediately. I bury myself into his chest and he wraps his arms around me, rocking me gently.

When my anxiety settles and I calm down a little, I realize that he’s humming. I listen quietly, sitting in his lap. His cheek is resting against the top of my head, and he runs his hand over my hair repeatedly. He sings the last verse, “Though we're tethered to the story we must tell, when I saw you, well I knew we'd tell it well. With a whisper, we will tame the vicious seas; like a feather bringing kingdoms to their knees.” His voice is a deep tenor, and infinitely comforting. He hums the remaining instrumentals and is quiet.

“Thank you,” I say.

He kisses the top of my head. “Are you okay?” He asks.

I nod. “I think so.”

“Bad dream?”

I nod again. “I remembered everything from before I met you.”

His hold on me tightens a fraction. “So, your parents…”

“They’re gone. For a while now.”

He nuzzles into my hair comfortingly. “I’m sorry.”

I shake my head. “I’m glad I know.”

“Was that all you remembered?”

“Sadly, yeah.”

“That’s okay. It’ll come back eventually. Let’s get something to eat, okay?”

My stomach growls loudly at the mention of food. Sam laughs.


 

Two eggs, two strips of bacon, one piece of toast and a cup of coffee later, my stomach is mercifully silent. Dean is still wolfing down his eggs, mopping up the runny yolk with his toast. Sam is browsing his laptop. “Hey, I might have something here,” he says.

“A case?” Dean asks around a mouthful of toast.

“Yeah. Get this: three men were found dead in their homes this morning.”

“Okay? Go on?” Dean takes a long drink from his coffee cup.

“Except they were found in their own homes, miles apart from each other. All three men died of unnatural, unknown causes. There are no photos because the scene is ‘too gruesome to publicize.’”

“So, we either have an efficient serial killer or a case here,” I say.

Sam nods in agreement, then looks at Dean for an opinion.

Dean drains his coffee mug, clears his throat and says, “Well, Y/N, are you up for a case?”

I grin. “Hell yeah. Maybe it’ll help me remember something. How far is it?”

“About a three and a half-hour drive,” Sam answers.

“Hell, that’s in our backyard! What do you say, kiddos? Let’s go solve us a case,” Dean says exuberantly. He puts his dishes on the counter and practically skips out of the room.

I shoot a weird look at Sam regarding Dean’s behavior. Sam shrugs and closes his laptop. “Cases are familiar to him. You ready?” he asks me.

I down the rest of my coffee and nod. “Let’s do it.”


 

A few hours later, we’re in Dodge City, Kansas. It’s relatively large, around a 30,000-person population, yet it still carries the charm of a town half its size. Dean pulled up in front of the morgue first, dropping Sam and me off. He then heads to the police station to talk with the sheriff.

“Shall we?” Sam says, holding the door open for me. He’s clad in his usual navy-blue FBI suit, and I’m trying very hard not to be distracted by him. I also wonder if he’s distracted by my FBI outfit as well. It’s just a simple, a knee-length grey dress with a black blazer and black heels, but I know I look good in it.

I walk through the door into the hospital, and Sam keeps pace with me easily, two of my strides equaling one of his.

We approach the secretary at the morgue’s front desk. “How can I help you?” he asks politely.

“We’re here to see the bodies from this morning’s case,” Sam says smoothly. We take out our badges and show them to him. I lock eyes with him and give a small smirk.

“Oh, absolutely, agents,” he responds, surprised. He jumps up out of his chair and lets us through the door. I flash him a charming smile as Sam and I pass, and I see the young man blush.

The mortician was a tall black woman with a shaved head and large earrings, I quickly explain to her the reason for our visit, and the woman takes us to the room where the bodies are kept post-autopsy. She opens the three adjacent doors with this morning’s victims waiting inside.

“What did you find?” I ask her before she pulls back the sheet.

“The strangest thing I ever encountered,” she replies in her thick southern accent. She grabs the sheet and uncovers the first victim’s face.

And she’s right. It is strange. The victim doesn’t look like he’d died this morning, it looked like he’d died a few months ago, but had been mummified. His skin is leathery and cracked, and he seems to decompose more the farther away from his face you look. I note with a morbid amusement that his fingers remind me of burnt French fries; just blackened bits of bone covered by a taut layer of skin. That was the other weird thing; he doesn’t seem to have any fat on him whatsoever.

“Was he always this skinny?” I ask her.

She flips through the paperwork on her clipboard. “He weighed in at 237 lbs. at his last physical, which was a month ago.”

I look at Sam, who is just as confused as I am.

“Thank you, ma’am. Can I talk to my partner in private for a moment?” Sam asks her politely with a charming smile.

“Sure thing,” she drawls. She hands the clipboard to me and leaves the room.

“What are you thinking?” I ask Sam.

“It might be a pishtaco.”

“A what?”

“A Peruvian Fat Sucker. Dean and I ran into a couple of them working at a weight loss retreat a couple years back.”

“This is what their victims look like?”

“Yeah, but they usually have a scar that looks like a pockmark somewhere.”

I flip through the chart but see no mention of any scars or wounds. “There’s nothing here.” When I look up, Sam’s putting the sheet back over the body.

“I’m not sure what it is then.”

“Let’s go talk to Dean,” I suggest.

“Good plan.”


 

I take a bite of my cheeseburger. Sam asks, “So what did you find out at the station?”

“No signs of forced entry, no signs of a struggle. Hell, even the guys’ own wives didn’t hear anything, and they were sleeping in the bed next to the poor guys.”

“So, we have something silent and possibly ethereal,” I say.

“What’d you guys find out?” Dean asks.

“We took a look at the vics, and Sam thought it might be a pishtaco, but they didn’t have any suction scars.”

When I mention his name, Dean looks at Sam, then gives him a strange look. I turn to see what the matter is and Sam is staring at me with a small smile on his face. He snaps out of it, clears his throat and turns to Dean. “They were all dried up and looked like they’d been charred. I took a look through the lore and I think we’re dealing with something else entirely.”

“Okay, Mr. Suspenseful, what are you thinking?” Dean pushes.

I lean over and look at Sam’s laptop, which is open to a lore article. “A succubus?”

“It’s the only thing that matches the victims’ state,” Sam clarifies. “It’s a ‘winged creature that casts a spell on impure men, causing them to become unfaithful to their wives.’ Apparently, once the men cheat, the succubus ‘devours their lifeforce and their sins.’”

“How do we kill it?” Dean asks before taking a drink of his beer.

“Purified iron through the heart, it looks like.”

“Purified iron?” I ask.

“Iron that’s been salted and burned, basically,” Dean answers.

“Simple enough. How do we find it?”

“They dwell in forests, usually high up in the trees, like bats. They’re also nocturnal,” Sam paraphrases.

“So, we should go now,” I say, eyeing the sun as it drops lower in the sky.

“Yeah. Let’s go. I saw some forest on our way in,” Dean says.

 

Chapter Text

“So how do we find this thing?” I ask.

“Look for damage in the branches. If it flew through here, it’s sure to leave some,” Sam suggests.

Just then, a horrible screech resonates behind us and we spin around to face it. A scaly, winged creature that resembles a woman jumps down from the branches.

I grip the iron sword in my hand and gauge the succubus’s movements. She’s keeping her distance, probably sizing us up.

“Oh, how interesting,” she says in a gravelly voice. She points at Sam. “He loves you,” she moves her finger toward me, “but you don’t feel the same anymore. There must be a story there.”

Out of the corners of my eyes, I see Sam and Dean edging around to flank her. She seems to notice this at the same time, though, because she throws both of them against two neighboring trees with an invisible force. Dean’s head hangs limply. He’s knocked out.

She stalks toward me. “But do you want to know what the kicker is?” she asks me. She leans in close and is suddenly distracted, looking up at Sam. “I know you,” she says to him, her eyes narrowing. She saunters toward him and grabs his face in one clawed hand. “No… There’s no way.” I can hear the hideous smile in her voice.

I lunge forward, sword aimed at her heart. She waves her free hand without turning around, and my sword goes flying. It sinks hilt-deep into a nearby tree.

“You’re the Winchesters, aren’t you?” She laughs, throaty and grating. “Oh my, my, my. How do we make this situation we’re in even more interesting, hmm?” She pats Sam on the cheek, then slaps him, cutting his skin with a claw. “You got any ideas, honey?”

“Here’s one, I end your miserable existence here and now,” Sam spits.

 “Oh, honey, you misunderstand me,” she chides him. She waves a hand and throws me against a tree. The air is forced from my lungs and I gasp for air. She turns toward me. “Do you have any idea what your little lover boy did?”

I glare at her.

“He killed my mother,” she answers.

“Your mother?” Sam asks.

She clenches a fist in midair and Sam starts gasping and reaching for his throat.

“Let him go,” I warn.

She regards me for a moment, then does as I requested with a shrug. She continues, “You see, Sammy here created a personal conquest to kill my mother. He left her to bleed out onto a chapel floor.”

“Lilith? She was your mother?”

The succubus hums her assent. “Yes, the dreaded demon Lilith. Mommy taught us girls well before she died, though. And she did it all for love. The blood that she gave so willingly ended up setting daddy free.”

“Lucifer,” I say quietly.

She grins at me. “She’s a smart girl, Sammy. You should have done more to protect her,” she scolds over her shoulder. Her cold eyes are intense as she continues. “Now, we got daddy back for a little while, even if his true vessel was a lumbering pile of flannel. But you see, daddy was never around anyway, so we didn’t care much for him. We only wanted mommy, but your boy toy here took her from us.” She turns back to Sam. “So now, I’m going to hurt you, Sammy dear, just like you hurt me and my sisters.”

“Don’t you dare touch him,” I threaten.

“Touch him? Oh no, dear. My idea doesn’t involve touching him at all. But you, sweet, sweet Y/N,” she runs her claw against my skin, scratching me, but not cutting me, “you are going to touch him.” She snaps her fingers, and Dean jolts awake.

The succubus presses her lips to my cheek. She leans against a tree to watch, relinquishing her hold on me. I feel my bodily control slip from my grasp.

“Dean,” I say slowly, sauntering toward him.

What?

“Y/N, what are you doing?”

“Shut up,” I growl. Behind me, the succubus snaps her fingers and her hold on Dean releases.

I grab the lapels of his jacket and pull his lips down to mine.

No!

Dean stiffens in protest for a moment but then relaxes into my embrace. My mind is screaming about the wrongness of this situation, but my control is gone. Dean’s lips are firm and insistent. He spins me around and presses me against the tree.

I hear the succubus laugh. I’m going to kill you, you conniving little bitch.

I open my eyes and look at Sam. His fists and jaw are clenched tightly. He looks furious, and the only hint otherwise is in his eyes, which are damp with tears.

My heart sank. Sammy… I’m so sorry.

Dean grabs my arm and digs his nails into it. I moan uncontrollably, my eyes closing.

What the hell is he doing?

Dean leads my hand to the inside of his jacket. I run my palm across the firm expanse of his torso, and my arm brushes against something hard.

I feel the spell evaporate instantly. My eyes fly open and I start to protest, but Dean rests his hand on the side of my face. “Trust me,” he growls against my lips.

I pull the thing from its concealment and only when it’s in my hand do I realize it’s a throwing knife.

You sly little bastard, I think.

I stand on my tiptoes and hike a leg up around Dean’s thigh. Understanding me perfectly, he grabs my thighs and hoists me up, holding me between the tree and himself. His head drops to my neck, and though he’s is moving like he’s kissing me, his lips never meet my skin.

I rest my head against the tree and lock eyes with the succubus. She grins wickedly and looks at Sam.

That’s when I pull the knife out of Dean’s jacket and throw it.

It sinks into her chest, directly where her heart is. She stares down in shock and looks back to me before her skin shrivels and cracks, clinging to her bones.

Sam collapses as soon as she does. Dean sets me down and backs away immediately, I run to Sam and drop to my knees. He regards me with pained and guarded eyes.

“Sam, I’m so sorry,” I sob. “It was the succubus. She cast a spell on me. None of that was real.”

His jaw clenches and unclenches, and he stands. He strides up to Dean and punches him squarely in the face, knocking him down.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Dean,” he says flatly. It’s not a question. It’s a threat. His voice is low and even, and he’s terrifying.

“Yep. I deserved that,” Dean groans, rubbing his jaw. “She didn’t knock me out when she threw me. I knew I had to catch her off guard somehow, and that was the best I could do. I’m sorry,” he apologized. He stood and dusted himself off.

Sam snaps his furious glare to me, a demanded question in his eyes.

“None of it was real,” I repeat, shrinking a little under his scrutiny.

Sam stares at me for another moment, his face flicking subtly to confusion and pain beneath his fury. He says nothing, grabs the knife from the corpse, and storms toward the car.

Dean wipes the blood from his mouth and we share an anxious look.

Chapter Text

“Cas, please get your angelic righteousness down here,” Dean says under his breath. “Because if you don’t I’m likely going to die.”

I hear a slight rustle in the leaves and Cas appears in front of us. “Hello Dean,” he says, then turns to me, “Y/N. What’s the problem?”

“That,” I say, pointing to the shriveled corpse  

Cas squats down to inspect it. “A succubus,” he states plainly. “At least it's dead.”

“Yeah, but not before doing some damage,” Dean says. “Would you mind zapping us back to the bunker? Sam needs some time to cool off.”

Cas nods and outstretches his hands to us, but I brush his hand away before he can touch me. “I need to talk to Sam. I’ll see you at home,” I tell them.

Dean narrows his eyes at me. “Are you sure?”

“Absolutely. We’ll drive back to the bunker and I’ll talk to him.”

Dean resigns and Cas touches his forehead. And just like that, they’re gone.

I slowly trek back through the woods toward the Impala, trying to rehearse what to say to Sam. By the time the car is in sight though, I have nothing worthy of saying.

Sam is leaning against the car, arms crossed. His face is still guarded and pensive, but he’s no longer furious.

“Sam,” I say quietly, unsure of where to begin.

“Where’s Dean?”

“Cas came and took him back to the bunker. I thought we should talk.”

He nods. “Let’s go,” he says coldly, opening the door and getting in the driver’s seat.

I take a deep breath and join him. He fires the Impala up and drives out toward the main road.


 

The next hour is the longest I’ve experienced to date. I peek over at him. His face has gone from angry to tense to melancholy over the course of the drive.

“Sam, I’m so sorry.”

He contemplates what to say for a minute, shifts in his seat and sighs. “Do you remember earlier, at the bar, when you caught me staring at you?”

“Yeah what was that?”

“I was reminded of how good you are at hunting; how good you’ve always been. You weren’t raised as a hunter, but you work like you were. So, when I was looking at you in that booth, for a moment, all I felt was myself falling for you all over again.”

My heart squeezed. “Sam…”

He held up his index finger, asking me to wait. “I’d forgotten about your amnesia, the demon, the last 24 hours, all of it. So when I saw you kiss Dean, I lost my mind. I thought that you’d turned your back on me and chosen him.”

“How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not leaving you?” I ask rhetorically. He bites his lips between his teeth and listens. “You are the one that I fell for, even if I don’t remember it. That love is still inside me somewhere. And no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to get rid of me. I’m yours, Sam. I always have been.” I pause for a moment at my words, realizing just how true they are. I look over at him, and his expression is unreadable. “Please say something,” I beg.

“Did it mean anything? The kiss?”

“Of course not.”

“Okay,” he says.

He still doesn’t believe me.

“Pull over.”

“What? Why?” he asks, surprised.

“Just do it.”

He pulls the Impala to the side of the road and puts it in a park. He turns in his seat and gives me a questioning look. “What’s going on?”

I crawl across the seat and frame his face in my hands. His expression is one of confusion and curiosity. “I’m yours, Sam. No one else’s.” I press my lips against his and my whole body comes alive. Dean didn’t even come within comparison to Sam. He wraps his arms around my waist and he’s hesitant at first. I catch his lip between my teeth and he moans.

“Y/N,” he growls warningly.

“Sam,” I growl back, kissing him again. I trace my fingertips down his torso, then his thigh. I squeeze his leg and pull away, gauging his reaction. His eyes are hungry and dark, but there’s something there I didn’t expect. He’s fighting to remain in control, his breathing forcibly deep. His hands are shaking.

“Stop fighting, Sam,” I whisper.

He watches me for a moment, trying to see how serious I am, and then he tightens his grip around my waist and kisses me again.

Sam’s lips are unrelenting against mine and he snakes his fingers into my hair.  My breath catches in my throat when he tugs gently, my head falls back. He kisses my now exposed neck with fervor, running his tongue up and down the corded muscle. I moan and he bites down on my skin, just hard enough to leave a sizeable hickey behind.

“Shit, Sam,” I breathe. I shrug my jacket off my shoulders.

He chuckles and gently pushes me back to rest against the passenger door. He touches a button of my shirt and glances up at me with a question in his hungry eyes. I nod almost imperceptibly and he grabs both sides of the fabric and rips it apart, sending the buttons flying. I yelp in surprise, laughing. My laugh turns to breathy moans when his lips caress the skin of my breasts and stomach. He tucks his fingers in the waistband of my jeans and looks up at me again.

“Sam, please, just fuck me,” I plead impatiently.

His eyes darken further and he quickly unbuttons my jeans and pulls them down around my ankles. My fingers rake through his hair. He catches my wrists and he stretches out above me, pushing my hands above my head.

He brings his face down to mine, but he doesn’t kiss me. His hair tickles my cheeks and his breath blows across my face. “Don’t move these,” he commands. My heart stutters in my chest and I nod, eager for whatever came next.

He reaches one hand down my body, keeping his eyes locked to mine, and without any warning, he presses his thumb against my clit. I cry out and in my surprise, my hands instantly find his shoulders. He reaches up and forces my hands up again with a warning smirk on his lips, “I said not to move them,” he says darkly. I bite my lips between my teeth and clench my fists against the window. “Good girl,” he murmurs. He kisses my collarbone, down across my breasts, and runs his tongue down my stomach.

He reaches behind him and opens the door. He gets out of the car and tugs me toward him until my feet are hanging toward the ground and I’m laying across the front seat of the Impala. He lowers himself between my knees and nips the inside of my thighs, slowly, almost painfully. I groan in anticipation. He wets his lips and lathes his tongue against my soaked center. I gasp at the delicious contact and my back arches. His arms loop around the underside of my thighs and he grips my hips, holding me still. He laps at me until I’m moaning his name like a prayer.

“Fuck, Sam,” I whisper, breathless. He presses his fingertips into my hips, his tongue remaining unrelenting. The muscles in my lower abdomen start to tighten, refusing to relax. My back arches in tandem with constriction of my muscles until they can’t contract anymore, and I’m falling apart under his tongue. I cry out and grab at the seat above my head as my body spasms in waves of pleasure. My vision goes fuzzy and I’m rolling through the aftershocks when I feel Sam move back up my body. He watches my strung-out expression with the predatory interest of a wild animal. I meet his eyes, entranced by this new side of him.

“Did you enjoy that?” he asks.

I let out a breathy laugh and nod. “Very much.”

“Good, but we’re not done yet,” he murmurs. He pulls my shoes off and my jeans follow completely. He pulls me up out of the seat and I wrap arms around his shoulders. He pins me against the side of the Impala and kisses me hungrily. I can taste myself on him and it only makes me more aroused. I trail my hands down his torso and unbutton his jeans which hang low on his hips, barely containing his cock. I push his jeans down, running my palms over his ass. I look down to admire him and notice that his Saxx boxers are pink.

Pink.

My eyes widen and I lock eyes with Sam just as the memory floods back.

Chapter Text

Across the Impala, in the glovebox, one of my burner phones rang. I dug it out and answered.

“Y/N?” A slightly familiar, female voice asked. It took me a moment to place exactly who it was.

“Annie?”

“Yeah! How are you?” She asked conversationally.

I internally acknowledged the lack of two hunters in the thundering Chevy with me. “Okay, I guess,” I answered with half honesty.

“Where are you right now?”

“Ohio. Why, what’s up?”

“Just a vamp nest that’s threatening to go rogue. Two bodies already dropped. I’d do it myself, but it’s in Kentucky, and I’m in Oregon, so I wouldn’t get there quick enough. You might though. Are you able to make it?”

“If you’d have called me a week ago, I’d have been on it in a second. This week isn’t great for hunting bloodsuckers.”

“Ah, that time of the month?”

“Unfortunately, yeah. I’m due to get it today.”

“Yeah, so not a good time for you then,” she laughed.

“Not quite. I’ll ask around though. We’ll get it taken care of, Annie.”

She sighed. “Thanks, honey. Take care, okay?”

“You, too.” I hung up the phone and tossed it onto the seat.

I was headed toward eastern Ohio, to a town that had been having issues with what sounded like a shtriga. I looked to my right, only barely remembering what Sam had looked like in the passenger’s seat.

It’d been three months, now. I still checked in on Dean from time to time, but always without his knowledge. I’d park Baby a few blocks away and walk a little bit. He’d know the sound of the engine he’d rebuilt dozens of times. From the outside, it looked like he’d settled into his apple pie life fairly well. He drove Lisa’s son to school every morning in an old pickup; one he’d most likely restored himself. He’d gotten a construction job, and seemed to be at least content. I knew he’d need something to do with his hands.

From the outside, things were perfect, but I knew him better. He’d probably been having night terrors. He probably was drinking like a fish, and he’d still be sleeping with his pistol on the nightstand, if not under his pillow. The past three months wouldn’t have been easy, but for Sammy’s sake, and unwillingly for his own, he was trying to make the most of his new lifestyle.


One shtriga down and three recovering children later, I flopped onto the motel bed. I wanted a drink. I craved one. I almost got up to go to the liquor store, but I remembered the promise I’d made. After Sammy went to the pit, and without Dean’s companionship, alcohol became my closest friend. But about a month ago, I’d had the realization that Sam wouldn’t have wanted me to dive into a bottle just because he was gone. So, for his memory, I suffered through the withdrawals. Headaches, vomiting, constant nausea; it was a nightmare. I got better, but I still had the ache for a drink or seven after a hunt.

I ran a bath to take my mind off the need. The hot water sapped the soreness out of my muscles. Laying there, I allowed myself to walk down the road of self-torture. I thought of Sam.


Five Months Before the Pit

“I’m not saying that Chuck’s a great author,” I defended. “I’m just saying that he’s got you two down to a science.

Sam scoffed. “Hardly.”

“No, listen to this: ‘Sam plopped down next to his brother and reached for his candy. Dean slapped his brother’s hand away. “Where’s your popcorn? Since apparently that’s the better movie snack?”

“What, I can’t like both?”

“No. you aren’t getting any of my candy until you admit that it’s the superior movie snack.”

“Dean, seriously?”

“Yup.” Dean tossed a few pieces into this mouth, giving Sam the best ‘try me’ face he could.

Sam raised his fist, which was poised above his upturned palm of the other hand. “Winner takes all,” Sam said indignantly.

“Deal,” Dean said instantly, mirroring his brother for the game.

Sam knew his brother, though, and after three rounds of ties, Sam’s rock mercilessly crushed Dean’s scissors.

Dean glared as Sam took his perfect assortment of M&M’s, Milk Duds and Whoppers, tossing a piece into the air and caught it in his mouth.”

“Come on, Dean and I don’t do that,” Sam said defiantly.

“Yesterday you played rock, paper, scissors to see who would pay for gas. And the day before that on who had to hustle pool for said gas money.”

Sam crossed his arms and turned away, clearly beaten. “So,” he muttered.


One Month Before the Pit

“Good riddance,” I mumbled, watching Dumbledore fall from the astronomy tower.

“What was that?” Sam asked, stealing a handful of popcorn from my bucket.

“He was a jerk,” I told Sam.

“What? Dumbledore’s the best wizard ever, and he’s a super good role model for Harry,” he rebutted.

“Would a good guardian leave a child in an abusive household for 11 years? And every summer between school years?”

Sam was quiet for a moment.

“The Dursleys were neglectful and cruel to Harry. If Harry’s sanity and well-being were actually important to Dumbledore, I’m sure that he would have found somewhere better for Harry to live, instead of with people that made him sleep in a closet under the stairs. What about McGonagall? The Weasleys? If not them, have him adopted by a muggle couple. There were so many options, but Dumbledore chose to ignore them.”

When Sam didn’t answer, I turned to him, prepared to chastise. When I looked at his face, though, he wasn’t angry, but contemplative. “I never thought of it that way,” he said, almost sadly.

“I’m sorry if I ruined your favorite series,” I apologized.

He chuckled. “No, you didn’t. It just hits kind of close to home, is all.”

The debate-fueled chagrin I had vanished instantly. “Sam, I’m so sorry,” I whispered.

“It’s not your fault,” he murmured. He gave me a sad smile.

I closed the distance between us on the couch. I wrapped my arms around him. After the initial shock, he reciprocated, burying his face in my hair.

You love him, I thought to myself. You will always love him.

Settling into that concept, I rested my cheek against his chest.


Coming out of my reverie, I felt the tears begin to well up in my eyes. I slipped down in the tub until my head was underwater. I listened to the sounds that were inaudible otherwise; the hum of the motel’s machinery, the heartbeat in my ears. I stayed under until my lungs burned, then resurfaced. But it did nothing to lessen the pain of losing Sam. Nothing ever did. Maybe I should check on Dean? Would that help? I thought.

Sighing, I got out of the tub and toweled off. After drying off, I remembered I was supposed to get my period, which means I would have smeared blood on the clean white towel. I held it out, examining both sides, to find them damp, but bloodless. Furrowing my brows, I thought to myself, it must just be stress. Lord knows I have enough of that right now.

Wrapping myself in the towel, I squeezed a line of toothpaste onto my toothbrush, wet it, and stuck it in my mouth, absently watching myself in the mirror. When was the last time I got my period anyway? Since before Mom and James died?  It wasn’t a problem, though. I was on the pill and wasn’t having sex, so I didn’t have to worry.

When was the last time I refilled my birth control?

I stop dead in my tracks, staring at a wide-eyed reflection of myself.

Sam.

There was no way. Right?

Right??

I hurriedly finished brushing and threw some clean clothes on. Hair still wet, I rushed to the drugstore down the block from the motel. I grabbed two boxes of pregnancy tests from the shelf and took them to the counter. An old man was cashiering and took his sweet time getting up from the stool he was sitting on to ring me up.

“Oh, who’s the lucky fellow?” he pried conversationally.

I chose not to answer him, staring at the door and waiting impatiently for him to finish.

“Someone’s in a bad mood,” he muttered.

Two slow, painful beeps later, he told me my total. I threw a $20 onto the counter and grabbed the boxes. “Keep it,” I said, rushing through the door and ignoring his protests. I sprinted back to my room, slamming the door behind me.

I tore open the boxes and the tests within them, finding it difficult to relax enough to be able to take them. I took all four of them, not leaving anything to chance. I set them all out on the bathroom counter and sat on the floor, my knees held tightly to my chest.

This can’t be happening. Hunters don’t get families. That’s not how this works. Jo’s dad tore her family apart with hunting. Mary died because she was a hunter, and her boys would grow up without a present father.

Please, no.

The longest, most agonizing three minutes of my life went by. Without getting up, I grabbed one of the tests from the counter with my eyes closed. I swallowed the panic rising in my throat and forced myself to look at the plastic stick.

Two pink lines stared back at me.

I felt the color drain from my face and my heart stopped. For a moment, I stared at the test in shock. Then everything in me set fire. “No,” I cried. “No, no, no, no, no, no!”

Jumping to my feet I checked the other three tests to find the same result: two thin, but strong pink lines glared at me from the result windows of each test. I pushed them all off the counter and cried out.

I fell to the floor and was reduced to panicked whimpers and hyperventilation.

This can’t be happening.

Chapter Text

I sat on the floor and stared blankly at whatever was in front of me. What was I going to do?

I chewed on my lip and debated my options. What kind of life would the kid have if he had a mom for a hunter? I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if he grew up like Sam and Dean.

Pictures of a small child holding a hunting knife, running toward an unnamed monster rushed through my mind. He’d have to move around all through school and would have no idea what a normal life would even be like.

Abortion is an option, but did I have it in me to nip this in the bud?

My mind’s eye flooded with images of a small boy getting onto a school bus, his comic book backpack a little too big on his body. Images of laughter and scraped knees; of prom dates and love; of an apple-pie life I’ve wanted to live since it was taken away from me.

Then it occurs to me that I hadn’t been calling it a fetus, or a pregnancy.

I’d been calling the baby him.

My hand cautiously moved to my lower stomach, between my hipbones. There, I felt a firm lump nestled inside my body. My eyes flooded with tears again, but not tears of panic or despair.

“Baby,” I choked out through the lump in my throat.

I can’t get an abortion.

I took a deep breath and nodded.

Okay. What are my other options? Put him up for adoption or keep him? If I put him up for adoption, he gets to live the life he was meant to, without vampires and werewolves and demons and ghosts. He gets the apple pie, even if I don’t.

But what if I keep him?

I wanted so bad to picture a life that didn’t include monsters, but I knew that realistically I couldn’t.

I could try to get out and raise him on my own. But when has that ended well for any hunter? Mary tried to get out, but she still died. And she left her husband and sons to fend for themselves. Dean was out, but how long will that really last? Dean was going to get dragged back into the life and he’d to try to protect Lisa and Ben, but despite every effort, he’d fail, because hunters don’t get happy endings.

What about adoption? There is such a thing as an open adoption. I’d still get pictures and information about his life. But how would they even find me if I’m moving around all the time?

I could opt for a closed adoption and just check in from time to time. If I could check in on Dean without him noticing, I was sure I could check in on a child.

I mulled over the two in my mind, my thumb absently tracing circles against my womb. But he’s my baby. He’s not anyone else’s. What will they know of how to raise him? I’m sure he’ll be just fine in someone else’s care, but then again, I was fine until a werewolf decided to slaughter my family and ruin my life. Who’s to say that won’t happen to him?

The thoughts chased around and around in my head until an image of a little boy with mousy brown hair wormed his way in. He was playing with his toys, with his back turned to me. I knocked on the door, and he turned to see who was checking in. His face broke out into a smile, and his hazel eyes lit up.

“Mommy,” the little boy said.

My hand flew to my mouth and I sobbed. This is Sam’s baby. This was the last connection I’d ever have to the man I loved. I couldn’t give that up because of my own fear. All mothers are afraid at first. This is my baby. I am his mother, and no one else will be.

Dean deserves to know, I thought. But then I thought of how happy he looked when I’d watched him play catch with Ben. No, I can’t take that from him.

I got up and looked myself over in the mirror. “You can do this on your own. You’re strong enough,” I told the reflection.

After a long moment, I crawled into bed and made a note to schedule a doctor’s appointment in the morning.


“Hey, mom,” I said quietly. It was a cool September evening in Broken Bow, and the cemetery was quiet. I squatted down and touched the black granite of her headstone. Beloved mother, sister, and friend, her epitaph read. I sat down next to it.

“I have something to tell you,” I continued, “and it breaks my heart that you’re not alive to share this moment with me.” I traced the letters of her name with my fingertips, biting my tears back. “I’m gonna be a mom, too. I’m 14 weeks pregnant. I got an ultrasound a couple days ago.”

Despite my best efforts, I feel tears streak down my face. “You’d have loved the dad,” I tell her, “He was kind and brave and so smart. His name was Sam.” I smiled weakly, but it didn’t last. “He’s gone now, too.”

I told the headstone the story of how Sam and I fell in love, and how that love was cut short.

A breeze blew through the trees, and I hugged my cardigan closer to my growing torso. After a quiet moment, I murmur, “I’m going to name the baby after Sam. I think it’s a good way to honor his memory.”

I sat there quietly until the sun went down, and the sun’s light followed it behind the horizon. I’d started to shiver more and more since twilight began. I leaned forward and kissed the carved rose next to my mother’s name. “I miss you, mom. I really wish you were here.”

I stood and walked back up the path to leave the cemetery when I saw someone digging up a grave a few rows over. “Hunters,” I mutter. It was barely dark out. Risky. I decided to walk over and see if I recognized the hunter.

It was an older guy, maybe 55. His head was bald and stocky but surprisingly fit for his age.

“Hello,” I said, making sure to keep my voice low.

He looked up, startled. His eyes were panicked, and he held the shovel up as a weapon.

“No, no, no!” I blurted, holding my hands up. “I’m a hunter, too! You’re fine!”

He sighed and chuckled. “You scared me.”

“Sorry,” I laughed.

“Name’s Samuel,” he said, offering his hand. I ignored the twinge of heartache at the slightly familiar name.

“Y/N,” I answered, shaking his outstretched hand. “What’s the case you’re working?”

“Typical vengeful spirit.” He grunted as he flung a particularly heavy shovel-full of dirt onto the pile. “I haven’t hunted in a while and figured I’d ease back into it.”

“Smart,” I concurred.

“Hey, have you seen a big guy around, about your age? My, uh, son is supposed to help me dig up this body but I haven’t seen him for a while.”

I looked around the cemetery but didn’t see anyone else. “No, I don’t see anyone. Here, hand me that other shovel.”

“You’re sure?”

“Not my first rodeo,” I grunted as I flung soil out of the hole. Samuel shrugged.

“So what are you doing in town?” He asked conversationally.

“My parents are buried here. I was stopping by to visit.”

“Ah,” was all he said.

We dug in silence for a while. About two feet deeper, I took a breather, leaning on my shovel.

“You okay?” Samuel asked.

“Yeah. Just a little winded,” I replied, a hand on my belly.

“You expecting?” he asked, eyeing where my hand rested.

“Yeah. February,” I panted.

“Congrats. I remember what it was like when my wife told me she was pregnant.”

“Were you scared?”

“Of course. Every expecting parent is scared. Not to mention my wife and I were hunters.”

“How did you make it work?” I asked, desperate for reassurance.

He shrugged. “Pick a spot to settle, teach them young, and only take cases close to home.”

I huffed out a laugh. “Is it really that simple?”

“It was for us.”

I hummed a response and pushed my shovel back into the earth.

A while later, we pulled open the casket and poured salt and lighter fluid over the decaying corpse. Samuel lit a book of matches and tossed it down. We watched the flames overtake the hole, and I was morbidly glad for the warmth of the fire.

“Thank you,” I murmur, too low for him to hear.


I stayed in a motel down the street that night. I plopped down on the bed and stared at the ceiling, feeling the spark of hope in my chest for the first time since discovering I was pregnant.


The next afternoon, there was a knock at my door. I grabbed my pistol from the bedside table and walked up to the door. I pressed the muzzle of my gun against the wood, aimed at the other side, and cracked the door open until the chain restricted movement.

The old guy, Samuel, was on the other side. He smiled warmly, and I closed the door to disconnect the chain. I opened it again and invited him in. “What’s going on?” I asked, shutting the door behind him.

“A new case opened up not far from here. A possible Woman in White just outside of Loup City. The thing is, she doesn’t go after unfaithful men, she goes after women.”

“Unfaithful women?” I clarified.

“No, just women that cross the bridge she haunts on the night of her death, which is two days from now.”

“So, you need me for bait?” I asked.

Samuel bristled. “You’d be completely safe. My son and I are excellent hunters. The Campbell name goes way back.”

I sighed but caved. “Okay. Let’s go.”

“Great. My son’s on his way back from the convenience store down the street.”

“Okay, just let me grab my bag.”

“Great.” Samuel headed outside. I tucked my pistol into the waistband of my jeans and looped the strap to my duffel onto my shoulder. I unlocked the Impala and tossed the bag in the backseat.

“Y/N, this is my son,” Samuel called from behind me.

I turned around and my heart stopped.

“Y/N?”

“Sam?”

Chapter Text

I flung myself into Sam’s arms, tears falling freely from my eyes. His hands grasped at my body, touching me everywhere they could reach, as if he was trying to prove that I was real. My knees went weak and I started to collapse, but Sam caught me and hefted my body against his effortlessly.

“Sam,” I cried. His face was buried in my hair. I inhaled the scent of him. It was different, now but it was still Sam. I let the unfamiliar smell overwhelm me, committing cedarwood and orange to memory.

“I, uh, I’m just gonna wait in the car.” I barely heard Samuel awkwardly excuse himself from the situation.

Sam set me down on the hood of the Impala and cupped my face in his hands. His thumbs wiped at my wet cheeks. I reached up and pulled his face down to mine. He kissed me, fervent and insisting, pulling my body as close to himself as possible.

“How?” I asked between kisses.

He pulled back and shook his head. “I don’t know. But whatever it was, it brought him back, too.” Sam nodded toward Samuel, who actively avoided looking at us. His ears were red with embarrassment. “Are you okay?” Sam asked me.

“I am now,” I whispered.

Sam rested his forehead against mine. “I love you so much,” he murmured.

“I love you, too,” I echoed.

“We should probably hit the road, though,” he sighed. “Save Samuel from an even more awkward situation.”

I laughed, and it felt like the sun coming through the clouds. “Later?” I suggested.

“Later, definitely,” he promised. He kissed me quickly and walked over to the other car. Samuel rolled down the window and they shared a brief conversation before Sam returned.

I held out Baby’s keys. He smiled and kissed me again before taking them. We both crawled into the front seat. He put the key in the ignition and turned it. She eagerly thundered to life like she always did and Sam lovingly ran his hand across the dash. “I didn’t think I’d miss a car, but now that she’s here…” he trailed off.

I smiled at him. He put the car in drive and pulled out of the parking lot onto the freeway. He reached over and took my hand.

After a few minutes of comfortable silence, I asked, “Why did Samuel introduce you as his son?”

Sam chuckled. “It’d be a little less believable if he’d introduced me as his grandson.”

“So he’s who you’re named after?”

He nodded. “Yep. He died years before Dean and I were born, and when you’re dead for thirty or so years and come back the same age, timelines get a little skewed.”

“How long have you been back?”

Sam clenched and unclenched his jaw, then sighed. “Three months or so,” he admitted.

My brows knit together. “You’ve been back this whole time and this is the first I hear from you?” I withdrew my hand from his and crossed my arms. Tears stung my eyes.

“I’ve been trying to find you the whole time. None of the numbers I had could reach you, and no one knew where you were. The whole reason I came to Broken Bow was to wait and hope you’d come back. A case just happened to pop up while we were here.”

I watched his face carefully, weighing his words. His expression was an intense mask of pleading desperation. He seemed sincere. I sighed. “I dumped all of the burners I had after I left Dean with Lisa. I needed a fresh start.” He smiled sadly and held his hand out to me. I intertwined my fingers with his again. “I’m sorry, it’s just that these last few months haven’t been easy,” I said quietly.

He squeezed my hand and frowned. “I’m sorry I couldn’t find you sooner.”

“It’s okay, you still found me.” I paused, trying to find the right words to ask my next question. “How bad was it down there?”

His face hardened and he shook his head. “I don’t remember much, but what I do remember is awful. I’d rather not talk about it.”

“Okay,” I said, kissing his knuckles. “You don’t have to tell me.”

He smiled sadly. “Thank you.” I squeezed his hand.

I knew I needed to tell him about the pregnancy, but that was a can of worms I didn’t want to open yet. Right now, all that mattered was that he was alive, and he was here. Everything else could wait.


The sun had just gone down when we made it to the bridge in question, just south of a small town in western Nebraska. Sam pulled the Impala off to the side of the road, just before the bridge. Samuel followed suit behind us. We all climbed out.

“So, what’s the plan?” I asked. “I wait on the bridge until the Woman in White shows, and you guys take care of her?”

Samuel shrugs and nods. “Seems like the logical way to do it. We’ll probably have to stay off the bridge though. She might notice we’re there and refuse to hunt you if she’s outnumbered.”

I took a deep breath and looked up at Sam. He nodded sadly, agreeing with his grandfather.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s go hunting.”

Samuel nodded and grabbed a shotgun from the backseat of his car, handing it to Sam. “I’ll be on the other side,” he said. He got back into his car and drove across the bridge.

My shaky exhale caused Sam to take my face in his hands. He tipped my chin up so I would look at him. His eyes bored intensely into mine and he brushed the hair back from my face. “It’s going to be okay, Y/N. I’ll be here the whole time,” he reassured.

I placed my hands over his and nodded. “I trust you,” I told him.

I might have imagined it, but I thought I saw his face flick to a wicked expression I’d never seen before, but he kissed me before I could be sure. His lips were gentle, and I felt my fear melt away. He won’t let me get hurt. He’ll protect me and the baby. He kissed my forehead and I walked a few yards away from him onto the bridge and waited.

I didn’t know how much time had passed, but I had foolishly let my guard down and turned to watch the river while I waited. I heard one of the men shout right before I felt a chill run down my spine. I turned around and a ghastly woman appeared before me. She shoved me backward, and I toppled over the rail.

I didn’t have time to process that I was falling. All I felt was my body hit the water. All I felt was the air get knocked out of my lungs. All I knew is that the water was cold. I didn’t have time to close my eyes, so when the pale figure swam toward me, I saw it all.

Her hair billowed around her gaunt face like it had a life of its own. I saw her sinister smile just before she reached her hand out and struck my lower abdomen. I saw her vanish into the murky water just before the pain caused my eyes to roll back in my head, and the world went black.


“Y/N!” a far-away voice called. Why are they yelling? Why won’t they let me sleep? My eyes cracked open and I saw a dark shape descend towards my face, then felt warm air traveling through my airway. I rolled over and coughed a lungful of water out of my mouth, and gasped for air. “Y/N?!” It was Sam’s voice that I’d heard, and when my vision came into focus, his eyes were wild and panicked. His shirt was soaked and his hair was dripping. The moon reflecting off of each drop made it look like diamonds were cascading down.

“Sam,” I rasped, then coughed again. The sharp movement caused an explosion of pain to break out in my stomach, and I screamed.

He scooped me up in his arms as my body convulsed against the pain. “Something’s wrong,” I choked out.

His face was twisted in confusion, then glanced down to where my hand was pressed against my body: my lower stomach. He froze and stared at me in horror, dozens of emotions flitting across his face in a single moment. Another wave of pain shot through me, and I screamed again. He bolted into action, setting me down as gently as he could in the backseat of the Impala, and sped off in the direction we came.

“You’re pregnant?!” Sam called back to me, panicked.

I was too focused on the pulling, twisting, squeezing pain in my stomach to answer him. The heat of the tears streaking down my face drastically contrasted with the rest of my chilled body. I glanced to the front seat, and the first thing I saw was how bone white his knuckles were against the steering wheel. He ran his hand through his hair nervously as the car thundered down the road.

Another wave of horrific pain coursed through me, and I sat up with the force of it. When it crested and subsided, I felt between my legs and felt something hot and wet. I pulled my hand away and saw that it was covered with a dark, sticky substance.

Blood.

“Sam!” I cried. His hand reached over the back of his seat and I grabbed it, squeezing both as a distraction and a comfort. I barely heard his reassuring shushes over the roar of the engine and the pained, ugly sound of my crying.

Not a moment too soon, he pulled into the emergency wing of the hospital. The floodlights were blinding, and I was caught in the middle of too many sensations. I felt myself slipping.

“No, no, no, stay with me,” I heard Sam shout. His hands were on me, then under me, and I felt my body lift out of the car. Shouts of unfamiliar voices sounded in the distance, and my stomach pulsed with an unspoken need.

“Sam,” I pleaded desperately. His arms were steady as he ran toward the lights, and the unfamiliar voices grew closer.

“What’s happening?” one asked.

“I- I don’t know,” Sam stuttered in panic.

A scream ripped out of me, and my body hunched in on itself again. I wrapped my arms around my stomach and sobbed as the pain wracked through me.

“Is she pregnant?!” another voice shouted over me.

“Maybe?” Sam replied, uncertain and pained. He rushed forward.

I barely noticed my body heading through doorways, down hallways, in and out of rooms. Voices and beeping and unfamiliar noises created a cacophony of chaos and turmoil around me. I struggled to stay awake.

I faded in and out until my body curled around my stomach again. A blinding pain shot through my veins. A raw, ear-splitting scream echoed around me and all my muscles contracted at once. A sudden hollowness was the last thing I felt before I blacked out again.

Chapter Text

Beep.

Everything hurt.

Beep.

I squinted against the white lights and gradually opened my eyes enough to see a paneled ceiling.

Beep… Beep…

I turned my head to the source of the noise. A screen with jagged lines synchronized with the staccato tones sat a few feet from me. Why am I in the hospital? I braced my hands next to my hips and tried to sit up.

“Woah, there. Hang on a second,” a nurse said, hurrying into the room. She gently pushed me backward until I was laying down again. She handed me some sort of remote. “Use this one,” she said, pointing at a button.

I pressed it and the bed folded in half, allowing me to sit up. “What happened?” I asked. My voice was hoarse and I coughed. She handed me a plastic cup with a straw. I gulped down the water greedily.

“Do you not remember anything?” I shook my head, causing her to sigh. She fidgeted with the clipboard in her hands for a moment. “I think the doctor should be the one to talk to you. I’ll go get her.” The nurse left before I could protest.

I flipped back to the night before. Samuel had come to my door and mentioned a hunt, and then Sam was there. “Sam,” I whispered. I looked around the room, but I was alone. Disappointment and panic surged through me.

The doctor came in then. Her eyes were wary. “Hello, Miss Y/L/N,” she said carefully. “My nurse tells me you’re not sure why you’re here?”

“I remember falling into a river, but that’s it.”

The doctor leaned against the counter, taking a deep breath. “In short, you nearly drowned, and as a result, you miscarried your child.” I turned away from her and stared at the wall as tears fell from my eyes. “I’m so sorry, miss. We tried everything we could, but it was too late.”

“And Sam?” I sobbed.

“Was that the man you came in with? He left a few hours before I got here. But he left you this.” She hands me an envelope. “If you don’t need anything, I’ll leave you be.”

When I didn’t answer, she stepped out of the room. I turned the envelope over and ripped it open, pulling out a single piece of paper.

Y/N,

I can’t do this.

Sam

Fresh tears welled in my eyes again. I turned the paper over and over, searching for more writing. Some explanation. This wasn’t like him, was it? I clutched the paper to my chest and cried.

I was completely and utterly alone.


“Baby, hey, what’s the matter?” Sam asks me. His brows are furrowed together and his eyes are intense. As reality sinks back in I realize I’m fully clothed again. He brushes my cheeks with his thumbs and it takes me a moment to recognize that he’s wiping away my tears. Suddenly, all the stress of the last few days collapses onto my shoulders, and I break. I slap his hands away, storming away from him. “Y/N?” He asks, confused.

“You-” I start, furiously wiping my eyes. “You left me.”

“Y/N,” he pleads, walking toward me.

I shove him backward, and he thuds against the side of the car. “You left me!” I yell.

His expression is still confused, and he steps toward me again, hands reaching for me.

“No!” I scream, pushing him back against the car. “I had just gotten you back, and you left me! I had to lose you and the baby all in one day! You didn’t give a damn about me! You were just gone!”

His chest seems to deflate and he closes his eyes in understanding. “Y/N,” he begs quietly.

“I had just found out I was pregnant! I had just gotten some hope back after you went to the pit! I had been completely alone! I got you back for a day, and the second things got hard, you ran! How can you live with yourself knowing that?!”

“Baby,” he starts.

“Don’t you dare call me that! Don’t! You! Dare!” I pound on his chest, enunciating each word. He takes the beating without protest, letting me hammer my fists against his chest. “You left me, you coward!” I scream at him. “When I needed you the most, you weren’t there! I was so alone.” My yells reduce to sobs, and I turn away from him, hiding my face.

“Y/N...”

“Just- take me home,” I snap through my tears. I get into the passenger’s side of the Impala, and he gets in the other. I refuse to look at him as he drives back to the bunker.


Thankfully, the ride isn’t long, and I jump out of the car before he can cut the engine. I storm through the front door of the bunker. Dean calls out a friendly greeting from the library, which I ignore. I run down the stairs and into my room, slamming the door behind me.

I collapse onto the bed and curl up on my side. I press my hands against my lower stomach and allow myself to cry. My sobs are heavy as they force their way from my chest. He left me, all alone, more alone than I’d been my whole life. He left me, I repeat over and over in my head.

A small, timid knock sounds at the door.

“Go away,” I call halfheartedly.

The door opens and I roll over, not wanting to look at Sam. I squeeze my knees to my chest and cover my face. The bed sinks next to me and I scoot away from the impression.

“Y/N,” a voice says, but it’s not Sam’s voice. It’s Castiel’s. In surprise, my crying stifles for a moment. “Y/N, you need to know something,” Cas says.

“What,” I choke out.

“Sam, he didn’t really leave you,” he says gently.

I scoff and sit up. “Right, so that memory just was a fluke, then.”

“No, that’s not it.” He pauses, looking for the right words. “It’s my fault.”

I turn to him. “Cas, Sam leaving me isn’t your fault, it’s his.”

“That’s just it. The Sam you loved didn’t leave you.” I glare at him, incredulous. “The version of Sam that left you… He didn’t have a soul, Y/N.”

I laugh, humorlessly. “I can’t,” I choke out. I stand from the bed and leave the room.

I nearly trip over Sam where he’s sitting, with his knees pulled to his chest, next to the door. He looks up at me and his eyes are consumed by guilt. “Y/N,” he murmurs, hopeful.

“Are you going to hop on the pathetic excuse wagon, too?” I snap. He flinches at my words, but says nothing.

I storm off in the opposite direction and head to the den. I throw the liquor cabinet doors open, grab a glass and search for the closest thing to whiskey I can find. “Looking for this?” Dean asks from behind me.

I turn, and he’s holding out a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. “For Christ’s sake,” I hiss. I leave the glass behind and grab the bottle, intending to leave the room.

Dean doesn’t let go of the bottle, though. “Let’s talk, Y/N,” he says coolly.

“I’m not interested in hearing the same excuses again, Dean,” I bark back, snatching the whiskey out of his hand.

“Sit. Down.” It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command. I glare at him for a moment, sizing him up. He takes a drink and looks up at me without tilting his head. He’s absolutely menacing.

I set my jaw and lean against the arm of the couch. “What,” I snap at him.

He raises his eyebrows and nods to the couch. “Sit,” he repeats.

“No.”

He stands and stalks toward me. For a moment, a spike of genuine fear races through me. He reaches behind me and grabs the glass I’d left behind. He smells like gunpowder and leather and the whiskey that he’s drinking. He takes the bottle from me, pours a drink and gestures toward the couch again. I let out a frustrated sigh and plop down on the couch. He smirks, narrowing his eyes at me, and hands me the glass. He tops off his own drink and sits back down in his armchair. I wait patiently, but he says nothing.

“What do you want Dean?” I demand.

“Just for you to sit the hell down for a minute and chill out,” he explains.

“Excuse me?”

“You really think Sam would leave you like that?”

“It doesn’t matter what I think. He did.” My voice, however defensive, is pained. I take a long drink.

“There’s more to the story and you know it.”

“Is there? Because all I can remember at this point is that he left me, alone, right after I lost our baby.” Dean grimaces at that and I narrow my eyes at him. “There is more, isn’t there?”

 “That’s not the point.” He leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “I love you, Y/N, but you gotta get your head out of your ass. I’ve been patient this whole time because I know that you don’t remember, but now, you’re jumping the gun and assuming the worst when you don’t even know the whole story. You’re hurting Sam, acting like this, and I’m not standing for it.”

“You’re still protecting him even though he left me?”

“He wasn’t himself. I hope you remember that soon, because you’re being a real bitch right now.”

I glare at him. He takes a drink and shrugs. “It’s true. Sam and Cas are being gentle with you, but right now, you need some to tell it to you straight. I’ve always been the one to do that when they couldn’t. And right now, you’re acting crazy and you need to sit down and chill the hell out.” He stands and hands me the bottle of whiskey. “Don’t talk to Sam until you’ve calmed down.” He leaves the room.

I down my drink and scoff. What the hell does he know that I don’t?

Probably a lot, you ass, I chastise myself.

I sigh and pour another inch of whiskey. I swirl it around, watching it climb the sides of the glass. “Soulless,” I mutter. “Really?”

 

Chapter Text

I down the rest of the third glass and stood up. The whiskey had calmed my anger enough and replaced it with an alcohol-fueled haze. I swallow my pride and walk back to my room.

Sam is sitting on the edge of the bed, staring at something in his hands. I knock on the open door, and he looks up. His face is tormented, and he looks away from me.

“I’m ready to listen,” I say quietly.

His jaw clicks and he runs his fingertip down the edge of whatever he’s holding. After a moment, he pats the bed next to him.

I step into the room, closing the door behind me. I sit tentatively next to him and I notice what he’s holding is a photograph. The light glares across it, keeping it from my view. I stare at my hands instead. “Sam,” I murmured, “I’m sorry I yelled at you.”

His jaw unclenches and he sighs. “I know this is hard for you, Y/N,” he acknowledged, “but it’s hard for me, too.” I look up at his face, my gut twisting with guilt. “When you died, I lost you, and it killed me. But this? You not remembering? It’s worse.” He stands, running a hand through his hair. “I know you’re trying, and I really appreciate it, but I know you better. You don’t love me right now.”

My eyes well with tears. “Sam, no,” I sob.

“It’s not your fault, and I know that. And you’re damned convincing, but you’re pretending. You won’t love me again until after you’ve remembered everything, and even then, you might not. After everything I’ve done. After everything I’ve done to you. I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to walk out.”

I shake my head and start to protest, but he stops me. “I was soulless when I left you that September. But I still left you.” He takes a deep breath before continuing. “And what’s worse, is that I’m the reason you lost the baby.”

My stomach drops. “What?”

“The hunt, it was my idea. I listened to you and Samuel talking in the graveyard that night. The only thing I was thinking was how inconvenient it was for you to be having my baby,” he spits, disgusted by himself. “So I found the Woman in White case, and I convinced Samuel to use you as bait.”

My heart stops, and my throat constricts. “But she was just supposed to hunt women,” I rasp out.

Sam’s lips tighten into a thin line and he looks down at what he’s holding. “She only hunted pregnant women,” he whispers.

I leave the room before I start crying or yelling. I run back up the front stairs and out the door. I take deep, painful breaths of air, trying to stop my head from spinning. Trying to ease the betrayed feeling in my heart. I sink to my knees and sit on the ground.

It’s dark out, now. The crickets sing their chorus, and the stars are peeking through the veil of night.

“Cas,” I whisper. “Please come talk to me.”

The whoosh of his wings cuts through the crickets, and he sits down in the grass next to me.

“His soul,” I whisper. “Was it really gone?”

 “Yes.”

“What happened to it?”

Cas sighs. “It was my fault. After he’d gone to the Cage, I went and retrieved him. But Lucifer had tricked me. He told me I could have Sam back, but failed to mention that his soul was not part of the arrangement.”

I nod, trying to be open. “So, what did that mean, exactly?”

“Sam had no conscience. And without that, he didn’t experience fear, or love, or any emotion at all.”

“I didn’t notice any of that when I saw him, though.”

“He’s a very good actor,” he says sadly. “Dean was the only one able to see through him.”

“So, when he caused me to lose the baby,” I begin.

“That really wasn’t him,” Cas finishes.

I take a deep breath and nod. “Okay.”

Cas rubs my back and stands, then offers me a hand. I take it and stand up, too. “You should talk to Sam,” he suggests. “His mind is going to places where he shouldn’t be.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m sure you caught a glimpse of it when you just talked to him a minute ago. He’s trying to push you away, because he’s convinced no one can love him. Dean is the same way.”

I glance at the door to the bunker. “I’ll talk to him.”

“Good.”

“Cas?”

“Yes Y/N?”

“Thank you.” I wrap my arms around his waist and hug him. He chuckles lightly and pats my head, hugging me back briefly. We walk down the stairs and he holds the door open for me as we enter the bunker. Once he shuts the door behind him, he vanishes, presumably to find Dean. I take a deep breath and head for Sam and I’s room.

He’s still standing where I left him, head down, staring at the photo in his hands. Without saying anything, I walk over to him and wrap my arms around his waist, resting my head between his shoulder blades. I notice that he doesn’t smell like sandalwood and orange, but the pine and cinnamon that I’d grown to love. He tenses in my embrace, ready to push my arms away. “Y/N,” he murmurs in protest.

“Don’t you dare,” I warn, holding him tighter. “You’re trying to push me away because you think it’ll make me happier. But Sam, you’re forgetting that I made a vow to you. And I will stand by your side long after I remember everything. You know too well that I’m stubborn. So, every time you try to push me away, I won’t budge, because I know you. I know that you think you deserve the punishment, the pain, but I will tell you time and time again, always, that you deserve to be happy, because you do.”

He’s quiet and still for a moment, but then he turns around in my embrace and wraps his arms around me. “I’m so sorry,” he whispers.

I nuzzle my face into his chest. “You have nothing to be sorry for. I, however, do.”

He pulls back and looks me in the eye. “No, you don’t.”

“Yes, I do,” I argue. “I snapped at you. I hurt you. I refused to listen to you when I knew that there was more to the story. I should have trusted you. It took Dean yelling at me to make me realize that I was being an ignorant twat and that you would never lie to me.”

His face flickers to anger. “Dean yelled at you?”

“Not entirely. He just told me what I needed to hear.” He sighs and looks away, jaw ticking back and forth. “Sam, I’m glad he did. Who knows how long I would have been an idiot if he hadn’t.”

He searches my face, then sighs. “Okay.”

I pull him tight against me and we stay like that for a while, before I ask, “What were you looking at?”

He uncoils his arms from me, showing me the photograph in his hand. In it, he and I are laughing. My hands are on either side of his face and his arms are wrapped around my waist. “This is-” he begins.

“The night you got your soul back,” I finish. “I remember.”

He stares at me with an incredulous smile on his face.

It dawns on me. “Sam. I remember,” I whisper.

And there it is.

Orange.

Chapter Text

This hunt is everything.

I cleaned my Taurus PT92 carefully, sliding the upper receiver back onto the lower one.

This is when I can finally avenge my mom and James.

With Dean out of the life, Sam gone, and my womb empty, there was nothing holding me back anymore. And the best hunters are those with nothing to lose.

Months of tailing, stalking, learning and hiding had brought to me to a bit of poetic coincidence. The hunt had brought me to close to Sioux Falls. This thing was a loner, traveling from town to town under the name Tracy Baptist. Whether that was its real name or not, or even if it had been bitten or born, I didn’t know. Frankly, I didn’t care. The only thing I cared about was killing the bitch that stole my life.

“Y/N, don’t do this alone. Let me help you,” Bobby said.

“No,” I replied curtly.

“You don’t know what’ll happen. This bitch’s been avoidin’ you for nearly two years,” he protested.

“No,” I repeated firmly.

He sighed. “You’re gonna get yourself killed,” he cursed under his breath. He stomped through the kitchen and left out the back door.

“Maybe that won’t be so bad,” I muttered.


The sun had gone down an hour ago, and the last traces of light were fading from the sky. The moon was high and I was thankful for the light it shed. Tonight was the first night of a full moon, and I waited in the Impala, parked in the lot outside the Sunnyside Inn Motel.

Tracy exited the room, closing the door behind her. She wore a jacket with the hood pulled over her head, shadowing her face. But it was her. I knew it. I’d spent too long following her to have any doubt. I got out of the driver’s seat as quietly as I could after she disappeared around the corner of the building. I tore across the pavement and grass in pursuit.

When I turned the corner, Tracy was just entering the woods behind the building. As soon as she was through the trees, I heard the sickening moan of changing flesh and teeth, then the heavy footfalls of a sprinter. I leaned against a tree and waited for her to return.

I didn’t have to wait as long as I imagined, because the next thing I knew, the werewolf was there, watching me. I pulled the trigger of my Taurus, which missed, clipping the beast’s shoulder. It let out a feral shriek and charged toward me, kicking up leaves from the previous fall. I shot again and the round pierced through the skull. It dropped dead with a dull thud.

I exhaled and approached the body. I shot it in the heart out of spite, using my last silver bullet.

Finally.


The next afternoon, I leaned on the desk as Bobby came down the stairs. He took one look at me and crossed to the fridge. He grabbed two beers, cracked the caps off, and handed me one. “So?” he asked.

I took a long drink of my beer, savoring the hoppy taste on my tongue. “Dead.”

“And you?”

“I’m fine.”

“No bites?”

“No bites,” I confirmed.

He nodded in approval and took a swig of his beer. He set it down on an end table and headed to the bathroom. I pushed off the desk and headed out the back door. I needed to take a walk. I made a beeline for the woods.

Twenty minutes or so later, my phone rang in my pocket. I fished it out and checked the caller ID. Unknown Caller. I hit the accept button. “Yeah,” I barked.

“Y/N? Is that you?”

My heart sank when I recognized the voice. “Dean??”

“I’ve got some news, kiddo.”

“I’m not young enough for you to call me that, you know.”

“You’re, what, six years younger? That counts.”

“Hardly,” I scoffed.

“Well, that’s not the point here. I called to tell you Sam’s back.”

My heart dropped even further, settling into the soles of my shoes. I couldn’t force myself to reply.

“I know, I know. Don’t die of excitement. He’s not the only one either. Some crap is about to go down, so I’m bringing Lisa and Ben to Bobby’s right now. Almost there, actually. Come out and meet us, okay?”

“Okay,” I managed.

He hung up.

Damn it, Sam. You drug Dean back into the life. If I didn’t hate you for leaving me, I’m sure as hell gonna hate you for screwing up your brother’s chance at happiness.

I jogged back to the house to tell Bobby.

When I opened the back door, the tension hit me like a tidal wave. I closed the door silently behind me. “How long?!” Dean shouted.

“All year,” Bobby admitted reluctantly.

“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Dean groaned. I hung my jacket on the peg by the back door and listened intently before I made myself known to them.

“And I’d do it again,” Bobby insisted. I stepped into the kitchen silently, and by the way the three men in front of me were turned, Sam was the only one to see me.

“Y/N,” he acknowledged without emotion, halting Dean’s inquisition.

“Sam,” I replied, trying my best not to sneer.

Dean swiveled his head back and forth between his brother and me like he was watching a tennis match, then fixated on me. “What the hell happened between you? You knew too?” He asked angrily, hiding the heartbreak on his face.

“Yeah.”

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?!” he roared.

“Because you were out, Dean!” I snapped in reply. “You walked away! We were so damned grateful for it!”

“Do you have any idea what walking away meant for me?” he demanded.

“Yeah,” Bobby replied, “a woman and a kid and not getting your guts ripped out at age 30; that’s what it meant.”

“That woman and kid, I went to them because you asked me to,” he reminded bitterly.

“Good,” Bobby affirmed.

“Good for who? I showed up on their doorstep half out of my head with grief. God knows why they even let me in. I drank too much. I had nightmares.” He turned to Sam. “I looked everywhere for you. I collected hundreds of books, trying to find a way to bust you out.”

“You promised you’d leave it alone,” Sam scolded.

“Of course, I didn’t leave it alone! Sue me! A damn year?! You couldn’t put me out of my misery?”

“You were out, Dean,” I pressed.

He turned around and looked me in the eye and said, “Do I look out to you?”