When Sammy Met Willow
~When Sammy Met Willow~
It had been four years since he last saw his brother, and as Sam lay on his living room floor, he couldn’t help but think that not much had changed. There was that traditional Dean smirk, that smug laugh, and the downright triumphant gleam in his eyes. Of course, considering that Dean had Sam pinned down to the ground after their pitifully short fight, there might be a reason for that triumph.
Heavy on the might.
His older brother was currently laughing at him and Sam felt some of the tension in his body start to drain away. When he had first heard the noise from upstairs, the daily nightmares of his previous life had flashed rapidly before his eyes. He had left Jess sleeping, slipped down the stairs, and thrown himself at the intruder without a second thought. It was all routine, though his rather quick defeat betrayed some rustiness on his part.
Sam fixed his brother with an exasperated look. “You scared the crap out of me,” he informed Dean through heavy breaths.
Dean only laughed again. “That’s cause you’re out of practice.”
The exasperation gave way to annoyance. Sam took a deep breath and swung into action. His brother was good, but he was incredibly cocky. Within seconds, their positions were reversed and now Sam was grinning triumphantly down at his defeated brother. Dean was stunned for a heartbeat and Sam was enjoying his brother’s shock when the loud (and very feminine-sounding) snort came from behind him. Sam let his brother go and spun on his heel, ready for action once more. He was greeted by dancing green eyes and a cheeky smile.
“Looks like he gets plenty of practice to me,” giggled the mysterious girl seated rather calmly on his couch. The girl looked right at home as she brushed strands of long red hair out of her eyes before leaning forward to rest her chin in her hand. The girl tilted her head at him, eyes looking him up and down in obvious scrutiny before she winked and gave him another bright smile. Sam was lost for a second before he realized that she hadn’t been speaking to him. He cast a curious look down at his brother, watching as Dean’s shock faded into a gruff expression that poorly disguised his obvious embarrassment.
“Keep out of it, Red,” Dean grumbled, shoving his brother roughly as he scrambled to his feet. Sam looked between Dean and the girl his brother obviously knew but apparently didn’t feel like introducing.
Said girl caught his eye and gave him another wink. “What? You don’t need my help? He doesn’t often need my help, you see. Not even when he’s gun-less and tied up, swinging upside-down above a crowd of ravenous flesh-eating ghouls.”
“I had that,” Dean snapped before Sam could comment, or question. He gave his brother a hard look. “I had that.”
Sam spared his brother an incredulous look. “Dean, what the hell are you doing here? And who’s the new back-up?”
“Well, I was looking for a beer,” Dean replied with a grin. “And she’s not back-up. Just some infatuated girl that’s been dogging my steps for the better part of a year now.”
The answer wasn’t an answer, and the delivery was weak. Mystery-girl gave another loud snort but said no more. Sam arched an eyebrow at his brother, disbelief evident in every feature. Dean was doing a spectacular job of avoiding looking at anyone clearly and was currently eyeing the kitchen entrance, as if trying to convince everyone that he really was just looking for a beer.
“Dean,” Sam pressed when it was obvious that his brother wasn’t going to elaborate. “What the hell are you doing here? And who-“ Sam jabbed a thumb Mystery-girl’s way “is the chick?”
“’The chick’?” Mystery-girl scoffed. “You two really are brothers, aren’t you?”
“Ignore her,” Dean advised his brother. “She’s desperately in love with me and trying to hide it.”
“I will shoot you with your own gun,” was Mystery-girl’s response, her voice deadly serious. She then turned to Sam, did an abrupt one-eighty, and fixed him with a warm smile. “Hi, I’m Willow, the smarter, nicer, cuter, and newest addition to your wacky little family.”
“Well, Dad knew you always wanted a little sister,” Dean winked at Sam and gave him a hard clap on his shoulder. “So, surprise! Now you have someone to paint toenails with while you giggle over the latest tween heartthrob and braid each other’s hair.”
“Seriously, I have his gun. Just say the word, and I’ll shoot him.”
Sam shook his head and gave his brother a hard look. “What the hell?”
Dean took in his brother’s expression and made the decision to get a little more serious. “Okay, all right, we got to talk.”
Yeah right. “Uh, the phone?” Sam raised an eyebrow and nodded at said device. He must have said or done something funny because Mystery-girl, or Willow, snorted again.
Dean smirked at the redhead before addressing Sam again. “If I’d called, would you have picked up?”
It was an honest question, but not one that he wanted to answer. Footsteps on the staircase spared him from that fate, but in no way made his life easier. Jess padded into the living room, rubbing sleep from her eyes. She reached over and flipped on the lights, blinking at the scene in front of her in confusion.
“Jess, hey,” Sam plastered a reassuring smile on his face and stepped forward to stand next to his girlfriend. Jess gave him a small smile in return, but her eyes wandered over to their guests, lingering on Dean, who was obviously checking her out. Right, time to nip this in the bud. “Dean, this is my girlfriend Jessica.”
“Wait, your brother Dean?” Jess frowned deeply and then switched her gaze to the girl on their couch. “And who-“
“That’s Willow, the sister,” Dean interjected before Sam could open his mouth. “She’s adopted, newly adopted. Still trying to break her in, and thought a quick visit to her new brother would help. By the way, I love the Smurfs.”
Jess’s eyes were wide with disbelief and Willow let loose her most impressive snort of the evening. “You’re an ass,” was all she had to say.
Dean smiled at Jess disarmingly. “We got a handle on the sibling rivalry thing early. Seriously though, I know this is a bit weird, but we need to borrow your boyfriend for a bit. We have a bit of family business to discuss, so-uh, nice meeting you.”
It was a dismissal, and a brisk one at that. Jess was offended, so was Sam. And Willow could only snort once more. “A total ass.”
“Whatever you want, you can say in front of her,” Sam told his brother angrily, gaze flickering over to Willow as if to level the challenge to her as well. The girl in question just grinned at him, leaning back against the couch cushions while sending an amused look Dean’s way.
Dean had lost his former cheer. He gave Sam a pained look before rolling his eyes. “Okay. Um . . . Dad hasn’t been home in a few days.”
It was time for Sam to roll his eyes. “So he’s working over-time on a “Miller Time” shift; he’ll stumble back in sooner or later.”
“Dad’s on a hunting trip,” came the reply from Willow. The redhead got to her feet and fixed Sam with a hard look. “And he hasn’t been home in a few days.”
Sam glared at the new girl while Jess looked between the two strangers before leaning in close to her boyfriend. “You never mentioned a sister,” she murmured.
“Newly adopted means newly,” Dean flashed the confused girl another charming smile. “I wasn’t actually joking about that.”
“She looks a little too old to adopt,” was the calm reply.
“Ignore him,” Willow advised. “He’s an ass. And seriously, Dad-not home-days. This raising any alarms?”
Sam sighed and pulled his girlfriend close. Jess tore her eyes away from her boyfriend’s ‘family’. He felt really crappy about what he was about to say, but there didn’t seem to be any other way.
“Jess, excuse us. We have to go outside.”
It was cold outside, but Sam’s indignation kept him plenty warm. Bad enough that his brother had broken into his home, with some strange new ‘sister’ in tow, but now he was asking Sam to drop everything and run off with him again. Sam swallowed a growl of frustration, turning away from his brother to gaze at his darkened bedroom window. Jess had gone off after only a bit of whispered argument. His girlfriend wasn’t happy, and she wanted answers. She deserved answers; but Sam would be damned before he gave them to her.
That part of his life was over, and it was not allowed to touch his new one.
“I mean come on; you can’t just break in, in the middle of the night, and expect me to hit the road with you and whoever she is,” Sam paused in his tirade long enough to give Willow a distrustful glare, to which the girl only continued to smile.
“I was all for waiting for morning and ringing the doorbell,” she offered mildly, not the least bit perturbed by his obvious suspicion. “But Brain Trust over there felt this way would be more effective.”
“She covers her rampant feelings of lust with barbed comments,” Dean punctuated this remark by blowing a kiss towards Willow. This time, Sam snorted alongside with her.
“Besides, you’re not hearing us, Sammy,” Dean abandoned mirth and became deadly serious. “Dad’s missing. We need your help to find him.”
“Actually, he needs your help,” Willow interjected quickly. “I’m more than capable of handling this; Dean’s just being an ass.”
Sam raised his hands, bringing the impending argument to a halt. He turned sharply on his brother. “You remember the poltergeist in Amherst, or the devil’s gates in Clifton? He was missing then too, he’s always missing and he’s always fine.”
“Not for this long,” Dean shook his head. “It’s been too long Sammy. Now, are you coming with us or not?”
“I swore I was done hunting for good,” he reminded his brother. “And besides, you’ve got yourself a brand new sibling-whose presence you won’t properly explain-so, you already got a partner. You don’t need me.”
“She’s a rookie,” Dean said dismissively, ignoring the squeak of protest coming from said partner. “She knows she’s a rookie. You should see her with a gun; it’s a fucking nightmare.”
“I don’t like guns,” was Willow’s petulant interjection.
“I thought you said you had his gun,” Sam reminded her.
“Didn’t say I had a problem with lifting things,” her voice oozed surliness. “Besides, it’s not like I’m useless. I’ve got my knives.”
“Knives don’t always cut it,” Dean said in a bored voice. This was obviously an old argument.
“And guns aren’t always the answer,” Willow retorted. “Besides, you’re acting like I can’t shoot. I can shoot.”
“Yeah, your rapid fire of one bullet per minute is really useful during a gunfight.”
Sam gave the girl a weird look and she shifted uncomfortably. “I flinch after I shoot,” she admitted. “I don’t know why, but I do. I’m working on it.”
She didn’t sound that convincing. There was something weird there.
“And besides, you’re acting like I’m being unreasonable,” Dean continued, picking up his conservation with Sam once more. “It wasn’t ever easy, but hunting wasn’t all that bad.”
Sam could only roll his eyes at his brother’s words. “Yeah? When I told dad when I was scared of the thing in my closet he gave me a .45.”
“Well what was he supposed to do?” Dean asked in bewilderment.
“I was nine years old,” Sam elaborated. “He was supposed to say ‘don’t be afraid of the dark’.”
“Are you stupid?” Willow asked. “How could he say that? We all know that the dark is pretty dark-you’d be an idiot not to be scared.”
Dean nodded, in sync with Willow for the first time. “What she said.”
Sam threw up his hands in defeat. “Yeah I know but still-- the way we grew up after Mom was killed, and Dad’s obsession to find the thing that killed her . . .” Sam trailed off and gave his brother a hard look. “We still haven’t found the damn thing, so we kill everything we can find.”
Dean shrugged, obviously not seeing the problem. “Save a lot of people doing it, too.”
“You think Mom would have wanted this for us?” Sam countered. “The weapon training and melting the silver into bullets? Man, Dean, we were raised like warriors.”
“So, what are you gonna do?” Dean demanded, anger creeping into his tone for the first time. “You just gonna live some normal, apple-pie life? Is that it? “
“No. Not normal. Safe”
“And that’s why you ran away?” this inquiry came from Willow. Sam gave her a nasty look and she shrugged. “Hey, that’s all I’ve been hearing for the past eighteen months, so if it’s a little one-sided, you know who to blame.”
“I was just going to college,” Sam clarified, glancing back at Dean to make sure his brother got his point as well. “It was Dad who said if I was gonna go, I should stay gone. And that’s what I’m doing.”
“Yeah well Dad’s in real trouble if he’s not dead already,” Dean grumbled. “I can feel it. And we can’t do this alone.”
“Yes we can,” Willow piped up.
“No, we can’t,” Dean shot back at her.
“Yes you can,” Sam interjected on her behalf. “If she’s been with you for eighteen months, then she can handle it.”
“Thank you,” Willow replied smugly, smirking triumphantly at his brother.
“Seriously, you haven’t seen her shoot,” Dean retorted. “And besides, this is Dad. I don’t want to do this without you. Sammy, it’s Dad.”
It wasn’t his problem. He wanted to shout that it wasn’t his problem. Dad had made things very clear that last night. Dean was either ignoring that or pretending it didn’t happen. He didn’t understand (more like didn’t want to understand) that Sam’s life was here now. It was here in Stanford, with his gorgeous girlfriend and promising future. Only an idiot would give those things up for a father that had kicked him out of the house for daring to want something more with his life.
And yet, it was Dean.
Sam sighed and felt like kicking himself. “What was he hunting?”
To his credit, Dean didn’t exactly gloat, but that smile of his spoke volumes.
It was insanely easy to fall back into old patterns. The drive down to Jericho was filled with gas station pit stops, meal after meal of greasy take-out, and Dean’s relentless barrage of eighties heavy metal. If he squinted, Sam could see a twenty-two year old Dean instead of this twenty-six year old one and it’s almost like the past four years never happened. But they did happen. And the starkest reminder of that fact was seated in the backseat during the entire trip.
Willow’s presence in this story was not just odd; it was almost entirely improbable. As sexist as it sounds, Sam’s family had always been a man’s show-and they were all right with that. Girls, pretty and soft and alluring as they could be, didn’t really fit well with their lifestyle. Girls could get hurt, girls could die, and possibly worst of all, girls would want to do girl things. Sam hadn’t really spent a lot of time with girls growing up, but his relationship with Jess had revealed many telling things about the opposite sex. The most significant of those things was the fact that girls were not at all like boys, and he didn’t have a single damn clue about what to do with them. He was lucky Jess was so understanding; any other girl would left him ages ago.
Dean had a way with girls, he always had. In high school, Dean was always the big man on campus. Cheerleaders and prom queens threw themselves at his older brother, and while Dean reaped the benefits of being the mysterious-hunky-new-boy everywhere he went, Sam knew his brother was clueless about girls. He had witnessed plenty of awkward moments and stupid remarks that had led to slapping and crying and lots of other weepy-angry-girl-things. His brother was a ladies-man, but he couldn’t have a meaningful relationship with a girl because he refused to get too involved. Dean said it was easier that way. Sam just replied that Dean was trying to excuse his man-whoriness.
Dad told them both to shut up. Dean listened-and so did Sam. Dad’s word was law, after all.
Maybe that’s why Willow was still here. Sam had no illusions about his father’s ability to handle girls and girl-situations (John Winchester was a lucky man to have fathered only sons), but since Dad had convinced Mom to marry him, he was obviously better at it than his sons. Maybe his Dad knew what to do with Willow or how to handle a girl settled permanently in his life, even if said girl had apparently been chucked out of the blue at his feet (and with amnesia to boot). The fact that Dad decided to keep her was more troubling, but neither Willow nor Dean had an answer for it. Dad had ordered, they had followed. End of discussion.
Both Willow and Dean put on a great act of not liking each other. Dean made numerous comments about Willow’s lack of skill in terms of hunting and Willow was constantly calling Dean an ass. It seemed like the bickering was routine, and though they put in the effort, Sam could tell there wasn’t much feeling behind it. Not when Dean was making sure Willow had at least three meals a day and Willow did her damnedest to keep his brother from wearing himself out by forcing Dean to agree to rotating driving turns. And especially not when they had found out about Dad’s current hunt and gone off to investigate only have the spirit in question nearly run them over.
After the scramble to get off the bridge and the few tense seconds when Dean was nowhere in sight, Willow had been near hysterics. Sam heard the panic in her voice as she shouted for her brother clear as day. And he also noticed how when Dean joined them on the road again, his eyes roamed over Willow three or four times, as if Dean were trying to reassure himself that Willow was all right. And though they tried to cover it by calling the spirit a few choice names and trading insults all the way to the nearest motel, Sam could tell they were immensely relieved to have each other safe and close at hand.
It was actually kind of cute.
It was decidedly less cute when the cops busted Dean, and Sam and Willow had to hightail it out of Dad’s hotel room to avoid arrest. After getting a suitable distance away, Sam and Willow commenced an hour-long argument about what to do. Willow wanted to go get Dean and Sam thought it would be better to try and deal with the Constance Welch issue.
The redhead’s obvious concern for his brother was amusing, but not practical. In the end, Willow consented there was no real way for them to help Dean at the moment, considering the police were looking to arrest the two of them as well. Besides, it wasn’t the first time Dean had been snagged by the cops, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. His brother knew how to handle this type of situation, but never seemed adept at avoiding it. That observation got a laugh out of Willow before she agreed to his plan.
Finding Joseph Welch hadn’t been too difficult, trying to deduce the proper way to question him was. It was then that Sam learned the benefits of having a pretty young woman along for the ride. Willow was all warmth and smiles when Joseph answered the door, politely asking for a moment of his time. Sam hadn’t done much after being introduced to the man, and he settled back to watch the girl work.
Willow knew how to read a person (a trick Dad had probably taught her). She was cheerful one minute and sympathetic the next. She knew what response would get her the information that she needed. She pushed gently at first, trying to establish trust. An understanding nod here, a sympathetic pat on the shoulder there-it was masterfully done. And when the time came to take a hard line with the man, Willow didn’t back now. She looked him straight in the eye and confronted him about his past. Constance Welch had become a Woman in White. She couldn’t have done that without a betrayal on Joseph’s part. And though he was struggling to deny it, Joseph caved in the end. He might have ordered them out of his sight at the last minute, but by then they had the information that they needed.
It was different to be riding around in the Impala with a girl, but Sam had to admit, Willow seemed pretty comfortable where she was. And though she had initially been slightly hysterical about the Dean situation, she was rather calm when she brought it up the next time. They had a plan, of sorts, and they would need Dean. Sam was still adamant that Dean could get himself out of this predicament, but he wasn’t against helping his brother just a bit. He suggested the bogus 911 call, and Willow hopped out of the car at the next available phone booth and made it. She was equal parts hysterical and pleading with the operator, who assured her help would soon be on the way.
Sam watched as Willow ended her call and jumped back into the car with a grin. “That should do it,” she chirped happily.
Her perkiness was catching, and Sam couldn’t hold back his grin. “Nicely done,” he admitted, pulling away from the curb and heading towards the old Welch residence. Constance was buried behind her old house and Dad would have gone there after talking with Joseph.
“Wow, a compliment,” Willow let loose a low whistle. “I never thought I’d see the day.”
Sam frowned. “Meaning?”
“Meaning, that you’re pretty distrustful, which is reasonable considering my back story,” Willow wrinkled her nose as she looked out at the road. “I know it doesn’t make any sense, me being here with your family. Trust me, I didn’t exactly go for it in the beginning. Logic dictated that I get myself to a police station and try to find out who I am. But then I saw Dad hunt-he was in the middle of one when he found me-and then I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where I was, who I was, and all of a sudden I’m being told that I need to stay with this strange man and his pervert son until it all comes back to me.”
“So, why did you agree to it?”
Willow sighed and shifted in her seat. “Well, Dad had a pretty convincing argument. And if the world was really full of all these monsters, well then I was pretty sure that I wanted to be near the Monster-Killer at all times. And I don’t know-it just felt right. First case after being introduced to Dean and I found myself at the laptop, researching like it was nothing new. Dad thinks it means that maybe I’m from a hunting family myself, maybe the only surviving member of a hunting family. He’s been asking around, but so far there haven’t been any leads.”
Sam nodded, flicking a curious look at his companion before turning back to the road. “How-“ he broke off, unsure of what he wanted to say. He gave her another look and then shook his head. “Never mind.”
“How does it feel not knowing who you are?” Willow offered, giving him a pleasant smile. “Is that what you’re trying to ask?”
Sam nodded sheepishly, too embarrassed to look at her this time. Willow just gave a soft laugh. “I don’t know how to describe it. It felt awful, those first few months. Having nothing to base anything on, no background knowledge to guide my actions-it was rough. But after a while, travelling with Dean and Dad, I picked up a few things, started learning new things. Then it was like I had something to go on, and while it doesn’t make up for twenty plus years of lost memories, it sure as hell beats being all dazed and confused all the time. I adapted, made myself a brand new identity, to get through it.”
“It’s just weird,” Sam grunted. “I mean, having a girl in the family is just . . . well, it’s just weird.”
“Yeah, well I said I adapted,” Willow reminded him. “Dean did a little less well with the adapting. I’m hoping you’re a little easier to break in.”
“I won’t be on the road with you guys after this,” Sam reassured her. “This right here, it’s a one-time thing only. I’ve got a life waiting for me back at Stanford.”
“Ah yes, law school and the lovely Jess,” Willow nodded in understanding. “Can’t say I blame you. A promising future in law sounds a whole lot more enticing than hunting boogeymen for the rest of your life.”
Sam gave her a curious glance. “You know that you don’t have to-“
Willow held up a hand, cutting him off mid-sentence. “Yes, I do,” she informed him. Willow flashed him a warm smile. “It’s not like it is with you, Sam. Someone did this to me; I don’t know who, or why, but someone took away my life. I need to find that person, or thing, that did it. And it’s something supernatural, we’ve figured that much out. So I’ll stick to the hunting trail for just a while longer. I’ve got to; there’s no other way back.”
Sam nodded, a teasing grin on his face. “And there is Dean to consider, of course.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing, just that I’ve been noticing a few things-“
“What things?” Willow sounded very defensive. Sam just shrugged and chuckled as Willow huffed something that sounded a lot like ‘stupid-observant-hunters’. She might have had other things to add, but then Sam’s phone rang.
“Fake 911 phone call Sammy? I don’t know, that’s pretty illegal.”
Sam grinned at the sound of his brother’s voice. “You’re welcome,” he replied before mouthing ‘Dean’ to Willow.
Dean sighed, playful mood gone. “Listen, we gotta talk.”
“Tell me about it,” Sam muttered, ignoring Willow’s request for the phone. The redhead gave him a dirty look and he gave her another knowing grin before turning his attention back to his brother. “So the husband was unfaithful, we are dealing with a woman in white. She’s buried behind her old house. So that should have been Dad’s next stop.”
“Sammy would you shut up for a second.”
Sam continued on, as if his brother hadn’t spoken. “I just can’t figure out why he hasn’t destroyed the corpse yet. “
“Well that’s what I’m trying to tell you!” Dean interjected. “He’s gone. Dad left Jericho.”
“What? How do you know?“
“How does he know what?” Willow demanded.
“I’ve got his journal,” Dean told Sam.
Sam frowned, ignoring Willow once again. “He doesn’t go anywhere without that.“
“Without what?” Willow was sounding very annoyed by this point. Sam waved her off distractedly.
Dean sighed again, his frustration obvious. “Yeah, well he did this time.”
“What’s it say?”
“Same old ex-marine crap when he wants to let us know where he’s going.“
Sam rolled his eyes. “Coordinates. Where to?”
“I’m not sure yet,” Dean admitted.
Sam twisted to the left when he saw Willow trying to make a swipe for the phone out of the corner of his eye. The redhead seethed angrily at her failure, making deadly eyes at the youngest Winchester. Of course, Willow was cursed with an adorable face that didn’t project deathly anger well. Even her ‘I-hate-you” face was cute, what with her cheeks going all red and lower lip jutting out in full pout. Sam winked at her playfully before returning to his conversation with his brother. “I don’t understand, I mean what could be so important that Dad would just skip out in the middle of a job? Dean, what the hell is going on?”
“Sam, look out!”
Sam jerked at the sound of Willow’s panicked shriek, eyes snapping to the road in front of him. He saw the figure in white, dropped his phone to grip the wheel with both hands, and slammed on the brakes, cursing as the car squealed to a stop. Dimly he could hear Dean shouting his name over the phone while Willow frantically tried to get her breathing under control. Sam looked out the front windshield, glancing from side to side, but unable to spot the person he had been trying to avoid hitting.
“Take me home.”
It was a feminine voice, but not the one he had gotten used to hearing. Sam exchanged a fearful look with Willow before glancing in his rearview mirror. Seated primly in the backseat, hands folded in her lap, was Constance Welch. Her eyes met his in the mirror and she repeated her demand.
“Take me home.”
“Hell no, sister,” Willow answered for him, hands snapping at the glove compartment box. Sam watched as Constance narrowed her eyes in Willow’s direction before reaching out to the redhead. But he was too late. The passenger door swung open, Willow’s seatbelt snapped in half, and soon the redhead was tossed bodily from the car. Sam heard her shriek of surprise and turned quickly to open his own door.
But again, Constance was faster than either of them. The passenger door slammed shut, the doors all locked, and soon Constance was sitting in Willow’s former spot. The car’s engine revved and the Impala shot forward, leaving an irate redhead in its dust.
He tried to grab the steering wheel to force the car around, but Constance had taken complete control of the car. Sam pulled at the door lock frantically, trying repeatedly to shove the door open. It wouldn’t budge. Soon the Impala was shooting over the bridge and rolling onto a gravel driveway. Sam looked up at the old house in front of him and knew that Constance had forced him to take her home regardless.
“Don’t do this,” he whispered, trying to plead with the specter.
“I can never go home,” Constance said in response, eyes intent on the house.
“You’re scared to go home,” Sam countered angrily. Constance’s head snapped his way and then suddenly she was on his lap. Sam flailed for a minute, trying to push her off. The seat buckled and then shot back, and Sam found himself laying almost flat with the Woman in White on top of him.
“Hold me,” she purred in his ear. “I’m so cold.”
“You can’t kill me,” he rasped as he tried to hold her off. “I’m not unfaithful. I’ve never been.”
Constance just grinned. “You will be,” she promised. “Just hold me.”
Sam spotted the keys, hanging in the ignition just behind Constance. He dove for them, just at the time that Constance fell upon him. She kissed him hard, but he struggled to push her off, never giving into the kiss. His resistance seemed to piss her off, because suddenly she stopped kissing him and growled fiercely. In an instant, gone was the beautiful woman and in its place was a monster. Sam yelped and dove for the keys again, relieved when the monster seemed to disappear. And then there was blinding pain in his side. Sam screamed as he felt something stabbing him. He tore open his shirt and shouted as he saw five jagged wounds appear on his torso.
Gunshots rang out through the night air, shattering the driver-side window. Sam raised his arms to protect his face, dropping them when the shots ceased. He saw his brother and Willow running up to the car, but he didn’t wait for them.
“I’m taking you home,” he muttered darkly, not seeing Constance at the moment but knowing she was still in the car. Sam grabbed the keys and turned over the engine. He shifted gears and then slammed on the gas, heading straight for the house. The Impala smashed through the front of the house, coming to a stop just before the stairs.
Sam’s head was spinning and he barely had time to turn off the car when Dean and Willow were at his door.
“Sam!” Dean’s voice was laced with panic. “Are you all right?”
“I think so,” Sam muttered in answer.
“Can you move?” Willow asked as she tried in vain to open the car door.
“Yeah, help me,” Sam grunted, reaching his hands out to Dean. Dean and Willow grabbed an arm each and hauled Sam out through the shattered window. He stumbled to the ground and Dean pulled him back up as Willow wrapped an arm around his waist to help keep him upright.
Sam looked around for Constance and spotted her across the room, in front of a dresser. She had a picture in her hand and it seemed to fully occupy her attention. Willow tugged on his waist, motioning with her head that they should leave the building. Dean nodded and both tried to shuffle Sam outside. Their movement tore Constance’s attention away from the picture and she threw it to the ground. Sam watched as the dresser shook and then shot across the room towards them. Willow and Dean shouted in alarm, arms abandoning Sam as they tried to deflect the oncoming piece of furniture.
The dresser slammed into them, pushing them against the car. All three of them tried to push it off, but Constance was too strong. She glared at them, approaching quietly as they struggled to get free. She was just a few feet away when the sound of running water distracted her.
Sam turned his head towards the stairs and saw a flood of water come rushing down. The lights of the house flickered on and off a few times and suddenly, there were two small figures at the top of the stairs. The lights flashed on for a few seconds and Sam saw a young girl and an even younger boy standing side-by-side at the top of the stairwell.
“You’ve come home to us, Mommy.”
Their voices are child-like, and yet so lifeless that it sets Sam’s hair on end. Constance also appeared frightened as she looked up at the ghosts of her dead children. The lights flickered off again and when they came back on, the children were standing behind Constance. The Woman in White wailed, as if in pain, as her children took her by the hands. Sam watched in horror as all three of them seemed to shake and then melted right before his eyes.
The force behind the dresser disappeared in an instant. Sam, Willow, and Dean heaved the dresser back and stumbled back from the car. Willow edged closer to the puddle that had been Constance and her children, stopping only when Dean grabbed her hand. She gave him a startled look and then stepped back, turning her head to look up at the stairwell where the children had first appeared.
“She drowned her kids here,” Willow whispered, disbelief and horror in her voice.
Sam nodded sadly. “That’s why she could never go home. She was too scared to face them.”
Dean pulled Willow back towards the car, giving her shoulder a quick squeeze before sending his brother an approving smile. “You found her weak spot. Nice work Sammy.”
“I wish I could say the same for you,” Sam laughed. “What were you thinking, shooting Casper in the face, you freak?”
Willow giggled. “I told him not to, but he seemed about sixty percent sure he would end up shooting you, so-“
“Very funny,” Dean grumbled. “And hey, it saved your ass, didn’t it? And I tell you another thing: if you screwed up my car, I’ll kill you.”
“Nice,” Willow commented. “Very brotherly. ‘Well, I know you’ve had a near-death experience, but you better not have messed up my car’. You’re an ass.”
“So I’ve heard,” Dean replied, rolling his eyes at Sam.
“Are you two done flirting yet?” Sam asked with a grin. “Because I would like to go home now.”
The amount of affronted sputtering was really too funny.
It would have been nice if that euphoric feeling could have lasted. But reality set in too fast. Willow found out what the coordinates Dad left behind meant, and then Sam broke it to his brother that he wouldn’t be joining them. Dean didn’t say much after that, but Sam knew his brother was upset. The drive back to Stanford was almost painful, though Willow tried her best to alleviate the tension.
Dean had dropped him off at his apartment and when prompted, promised to phone Sam when he found Dad. Willow had snorted at this behaviour and made a big show of pulling Sam in for a hug and wishing him luck on his interview. Dean just rolled his eyes at this, mentioned something about being a good team, and then drove off with Willow admonishing him from the passenger seat. Sam had laughed to see them go off, knowing in his gut that something more would come of this relationship than either Willow or Dean realized.
His good mood had lasted all the way up until he got to his bedroom. And that’s when it all went wrong.
Jess on the ceiling. Jess dead on the ceiling. And then the fire, once again . . .
Dean had pulled him out while Willow called 911. But it was all too late. Jess was gone.
Sam stood by the Impala’s open trunk, Willow beside him, ignoring the actions of the emergency crews behind him. He didn’t look back at his burning apartment, not even when Dean came up behind him. Willow grabbed his arm and squeezed it comfortingly, but he didn’t care. He looked up at his brother and then at the weapons stored in the trunk.
“We got work to do.”
And he slammed the trunk closed.