Happy endings are bullshit, kid. That's what his grandfather said on more than one occasion. Life doesn't end up like that for people like us. You either stand up and take what you want, or someone else will take it from you.
The stars lit up the alley between the brick buildings where Sam was parked. It wasn't the best angle to see the sky, and the starlight was muted due to the lights of the city, but he was able to spot the W-shape of Cassiopeia, framed between two strips of old brick above his head.
Cassiopeia was the first constellation that his uncle taught him as a boy. When he was young, the two of them spent hours talking about the stars and the stories behind each of the constellations. Bobby was a natural storyteller, his rough fingers circling over illustrations of gods and creatures in Sam’s picture books, and it filled his imagination with thoughts of a life not his own. Sometimes those stories were the only way to lull him to sleep without nightmares.
Sam twisted his head to the left, looking further down from Cassiopeia to see Perseus and Andromeda, the lovers, and that made him smile. The adventures of Perseus were well known but Andromeda was only painted as a princess chained to a rock. Bobby said that there was more to the story - there’s always more to the story, Sam, you just need to read between the lines. She was a hero, too, according to his uncle, willing to offer herself as a sacrifice to save her people, and the two of them stood together shoulder-to-shoulder to create a family dynasty that lasted through the centuries.
All of the other Greek heroes had stories that end in tragedy and death, but not these two. They got their happy ending in the end. That was one of the things that his grandfather Samuel got wrong.
Sam shook his head. Tonight he needed to keep his mind on the job. Not on Samuel and not on the stars.
The weather was cool. Sam felt the chill of it in his bones, from the car fender he leaned against to the Taurus 9mm pressed into his back. Blowing on his hands for warmth and zipping his hoodie all the way up, he glanced once more toward the warehouse door where Bobby and Rufus disappeared earlier.
The long minutes ticked by and Sam glanced at the law school textbooks he brought along, piled in the passenger seat. If the two older men took much longer inside, he would dig one out because nothing made time pass like reading about corporate litigation.
It had been a long day, starting in Palo Alto where Sam had finished his last exam more quickly than expected, and was able to catch an earlier flight home. He walked in the front door of the mansion, just as Bobby and Rufus were heading out to a last-minute meeting with one of their suppliers. After a quick hug, Bobby offered to take Sam out to eat later - pancakes at the diner to celebrate the end of exams - so Rufus dug a spare gun out of the safe. Sam checked the chamber as they headed out.
"I don't like it.” Rufus grumbled, folding his legs up to fit into the cramped back seat of Bobby's car. “Terms with Gino have already been set on this deal, so explain to me why the hell we are dragging ourselves across town for this. And next time, we take my car, Bobby. The back seat of this shit heap is as tight as a duck's ass."
Bobby threw a look over the front seat at his oldest friend. When he became head of the Campbell crime family after Samuel died, Bobby could have driven anything he wanted and yet, in the words of Rufus, he chose this high maintenance piece of classic American-made crap.
Driving a restored classic Chevy wasn't the problem. It was Bobby's streak of sentimentality, his desire to hold on to a bit of the past, that worried some of his lieutenants. Ellen would roll her eyes fondly at him before turning back to the books scattered on her desk, while Gordon would simply ignore all of it before heading out to collect on bets. But Rufus couldn't leave it alone, like poking a bear with a stick. Hearing the two of them bicker like a married couple was one of the other good memories of Sam's childhood.
"Just shut up and get in the car, Rufus. Sooner we get this done, the sooner we eat. We don’t want our boy hungry. Right, Sam?" Bobby nodded in Sam's direction, but his friend wasn't done.
"My gut tells me this is bullshit, Bobby, and you know my gut is never wrong."
"And that's why I'm bringing you, Rufus. It sure ain't for your sparkling personality. Now, keep an eye out and shut the hell up."
Sam still had a fond smile on his lips thinking back on the conversation, when he heard voices in the alley coming towards him. The sounds were coming from around the corner and not from the loading bay doors where Bobby and Rufus had entered, so he pushed himself away from the car to get a better look.
"Dean, Dean, slow the fuck down. The bar is open until two. It'll still be there whether we walk or run."
Two men came around the corner, bumping shoulders and laughing. One was good looking, tall with dark blonde hair and green eyes and the other was short and balding with laugh lines around his eyes, gesturing with his hands while he talked. Both of the men looked up in surprise when they spotted Sam by the parked car. Their relaxed attitude disappeared as they assessed him, the taller man's eyes widened when he saw Sam's face while the shorter one reached into his jacket.
His eyes were drawn back to the first man, and Sam felt a tug of recognition. The feeling threw his reactions off, and he was reaching for the gun at his back too late when he heard Bobby and Rufus arguing as they burst through the swinging doors of the warehouse.
"I told you this was BS, Bobby. When are you gonna start listening to me? What the fuck did Gino really want cuz it didn't have to do with this deal. Shifty son of a bitch was wasting our time."
In the same moment that Bobby and Rufus noticed the two strangers standing in the alley with Sam, the roar of a loud engine caught their attention. A car barreled down the alleyway, black as night, spraying gravel as it skidded to a stop behind Bobby's car, blocking them in. A huge man jumped out of the passenger seat, and was just a shadow in the low light of the alley except for a painful scar that shined white across one of his eyebrows.
From his place in the shadows, Sam felt another case of dé·jà vu. He recognized the guy with the wild dark hair and beard and jagged scar, but couldn't place him and watched in panic as he pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and pointed it right at Rufus.
The sound echoed like cannon shot in the entry bay of the warehouse and Sam turned away, ducking behind the car for protection.
BOOM. A second shot. BOOM. BOOM. Two more shots.
When Sam stuck his head back over the hood of the car, he saw the shooter looking down at the green-eyed man laying on the ground, who clutched his arm. Sam began to inch his way around the car when he heard the shooter laugh.
"Dean Winchester." Scar's voice was just as painful to hear as his face was to see. "What the fuck are you doing here? I expected to take out one or two of Bobby's guys but not John Winchester's boy. That's some seriously fucked up timing for you. Hey, maybe I'll get a bonus for taking you out. Oh yeah, definitely a big bonus from the boss."
Sam froze in place, not sure who he should be shooting - the asshole with a gun or the son of a Winchester.
Dean’s eyes were shiny with pain but there was no fear of dying in them. Not even looking down the barrel of a gun. He looked pissed as he considered the shooter. Then a smirk crossed his lips.
"I know you, don't I? But you’re not one of us, you're with the Campbells. Now, why the hell you shooting your own boss?"
"Fuck you, Winchester, it's none of your business. You'll be dead soon enough."
The man was raising his gun again at Dean when Sam stepped out of the shadows and leveled his Taurus. Sam never chose violence if there was another way, but this guy shot Bobby and Rufus. He shot whoever these two other guys were. Sam didn't hesitate, firing one shot to the man's head and one to the heart, just like his grandfather taught him - two taps to be sure - and the dark-haired giant crumpled fast.
Behind them, the black car revved up and squealed backwards out of the alleyway. Sam ran after it, firing off shots that busted the back window and one of the red tail lights before the car disappeared around the corner.
Turning back to the now silent warehouse bay, he ran to Bobby's side, skidding to a stop on his knees on the asphalt.
"Bobby, hey, hey, it's gonna be okay." He knelt down and gently took his uncle's head in his hands, stroking his hair and beard.
Looking in the older man's eyes, Sam knew that nothing was going to be okay. His hand ran down the front of Bobby's shirt, feeling for the heartbeat that was no longer there. The gunshot had gone straight through Bobby’s chest, and he was probably dead before hitting the ground.
Sam's anger burned white hot, drying away any tears that threatened to fall. Rufus had fallen in front of Bobby and even from a few feet away, Sam could see that a nasty head shot had done its work.
In only a few minutes, Sam’s whole world had fallen apart. Bobby was the only family he had left, and now he was well and truly alone.
He stood up and walked to the dead shooter's body laying on its stomach in the dirt and grime, the blood pooling below him reflected back the sliver of moonlight. Before he could stop himself, Sam began to brutally kick the body again and again before a voice interrupted.
"Hey, Sam. It's Sam, right? We need to get out of here, and we need to leave now."
Sam looked over at Dean, who stood pale faced and grasping his arm to stop the bleeding. Now he knew why the face was so familiar. This man, the son of John Winchester, represented all the grief his family had come to since he was a baby.
"And why the hell would I go anywhere with you? You and your fucking family probably arranged this."
Sam's voice was stronger to his ears than he thought it would be, but there was still a little quiver at the end. Showing that kind of weakness would have brought about a painful lesson at the hand of his grandfather, Samuel.
"Use your brain, Campbell. We didn't do this - I wasn't even supposed to be here. And he shot Caleb."
Sam's eyes went down to the body of the friend of his enemy. Caleb, Bobby, Rufus. All three were shot execution style in only a few minutes. Whoever the shooter was, he had been a professional.
"I will destroy these people," Sam said with his last burst of adrenaline, like the final shock blast of a bomb.
Dean's eyes softened in sympathy. He walked over and laid his hand on Sam's shoulder. "I hear ya, kid. Listen, man, you saved my life a minute ago - now it's my turn. If we wait here any longer, that asshole will back with reinforcements or the police will show up. Either way, that's bad for the two of us. So, let's move."
Dean grabbed Sam's wrist and pulled him towards the car, more gently than the situation called for. Absently, Sam looked down at his wrist where it stuck out of the red hoodie, as if the hand belong to someone else. With the exaggerated clarity of grief, he looked at Dean's hand with its silver ring, so similar to one he had in a box at home. Memories of a long dead mother that he barely knew. Dean's thin, black leather bracelets were almost a matched set to the ones around his own wrists. It was a weird sense of connection, one that Sam chalked up to shock.
Instinct told Sam to keep moving and that he should trust this guy. When Dean pushed him over to the passenger side door, he opened up the car door as if they had been doing this all their lives.
"You got keys to this?" Dean rapped his knuckles on the top of the car. "Caleb's ride is back a few blocks. We got no time to get it."
When Sam didn't answer right away, Dean snapped his fingers. “C’mon, kid.”
He dug the car keys out of his front pocket and tossed them over the trunk, where Dean caught them mid-air with one hand and grimaced at the motion, his wounded arm held against his stomach.
If they planned to get anywhere in one piece tonight, Sam should be the one driving, but he just didn't care. He didn't care if they were caught. Didn't care if they ran off the road. Didn't care because the last member of his family was dead. His mom, his grandfather, and now Bobby. He was the last Campbell standing.
Sam looked down at his textbooks stacked on the seat before pushing them onto the floor. He slammed the car door shut as Dean took off, the roar of the engine filling up the alley.