Chapter Four: Distance Makes The Heart Grow Lonely
The Paper It’s Written on
I know...I know! It's been forever. So without further ado I present the next chapter!Disclaimer:
I don’t own either Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural. Although I’m sure the lot of you would know what I would do with them if I did. -_^
Since we’re getting back into the cannon storyline, there will be bits of cannon conversation and it will go a little something like ‘this is a line from the transcript’
Supernatural Episodes Used/Mentioned:
S01.03 “Dead in the Water
S01.04 “Phantom Traveler
”Chapter Four: Distance Makes the Heart Grow LonelyNovember 10, 2005 - Colorado Dean pulled up to the parking lot of his brother’s apartment complex and sat idling, not looking at Sam. Sam looked at his brother and sighed, opening the door; he slid out of the car and reached behind him grabbing his duffle bag that he had packed. Slinging the bag over his shoulder, he walked over to the driver’s side of the car and leaned down to look in the open window.
"Thanks Dean, call me when you find Dad?” Dean didn’t answer, he just nodded, and moved to shift the car into gear when the brothers saw and felt a large flame shoot out of one of the apartment windows, shattering the glass, the roaring of the fire deafening in the previous silent night. Sam turned to look at the apartment complex in horror, he recognized that window. “Xander!” He shouted, dropping his bag, he tore off for the front door of the building where people were filing out in droves.
“Sam! Wait! Damnit!” Dean cursed throwing the car into park and turning off the engine. Opening the door, he tore after his brother as Sam ran headlong into the burning building. Dean caught up in no time and the two Winchesters were soon fighting the wave of people rushing down the stairs.
“Xander!” Dean heard his brother call out in relief as he reached the floor below theirs. Dean looked up and saw a battered and bleeding Xander lugging a trunk down the stairs. “Xander, talk to me, are you okay?” Sam asked reaching his boyfriend’s side. Xander looked up, his face reflecting the pain that he was in.
“Sam?” He asked, stopping on the platform between staircases. Dean rushed over to them, taking the trunk from the wounded man, and keeping the flow of people from knocking either down the stairs.
"We have to get out of here,” Dean urged. Sam nodded, and wrapped Xander’s right arm over his shoulder, his own left arm going around his waist to support Xander on the trip down the stairs.
“Damn yellow-eyed sadistic bastard,” Xander mumbled. His words caught both Dean and Sam’s attention, both whipping their heads to look at the young man in shock.
“What?” Dean thundered, forgetting his earlier warnings that they needed to evacuate the premises. Two pair of eyes trailed down Xander’s form with far more scrutiny, Sam wincing as he saw that Xander’s left arm and white t-shirt were soaked in blood, and that his shoulder was sitting at an odd angle.
“Outside, Dean,” Sam said, more worried about getting his boyfriend to safety and getting his wounds treated than the revelation that the demon had attacked Xander. Dean acquiesced and trudged down the stairs, the trunk firmly in his grasp, as Sam helped Xander hobble the last few levels to the lobby. Once the trio was outside, they moved away from the building and toward the arriving emergency response teams. Resting Xander against the Impala, Sam put his hands on the side of Xander’s face and forced the man to look at him. “Xan?”
Xander closed his eyes and bowed his head when he lifted his head, his lips were contorted in a twisted smirk. He cocked his head to the side and opened his lids, revealing golden yellow eyes. “I’m sorry, Xander isn’t home right now, but if you leave a message I’m sure he’ll call you back.”
Dean reacted immediately, drawing his gun from its holster, he took aim. “No!” Sam said, stepping between Dean and Xander. “What have you done to him?”
“I just had a little fun,” the yellow-eyed demon smiled, crossing his arms, Xander’s arms, over his chest. “What, aren’t you glad to see me? Your daddy has been looking for me for so long; it’s just too bad he couldn’t be here with us.”
“Wait, you know that…” Sam trailed off, as the demon’s grin widened.
“Of course I know what my favorite little family is up to, and really Sam? This is what you leave your father and brother for?” the demon said waving his hands over Xander’s body. “I think it’s time for a reunion,” and before Sam or Dean could move, the demon was reaching into Xander’s back pocket and pulling out a knife. Raising the knife to Xander’s throat, the yellowed eyed demon cut quick and deep, slicing Xander’s throat; blood bubbled and pooled to the surface. Xander’s eyes widened as thick black smoke poured out of his mouth and Xander gurgled his last breath, glaring accusing eyes at Sam.
Sam jerked awake with a start, disoriented and heart racing in his chest so loudly that he thought it could be heard for miles. He ran one hand through his sweat caked hair and flitted his eyes around the…car…he was in Dean’s car. Xander was alright, the demon, Azazel didn’t posses him and kill him in front of him and Dean. Releasing a loud breath that ended up a desperate sounding chuckle Sam buried his head in his palms.
Dean looked over at his brother, brows furrowed. “Bad dream?”
“It’s nothing,” Sam said shaking his head.
“Sam, that yellow-eyed bastard has taken a shine to you, and hurting those you love, if you want to…talk about it or whatever,” Dean said, a pained expression on his face as he offered to discuss Sam’s feelings. Sam laughed, this time for real, his mood already improved.
“No, Dean, I’m really okay. You don’t have to worry about your manly sensibilities and discussing emotions. So where are we?” he changed the subject, looking around the quickly passing scenery.
“’We are just outside of Grand Junction.’
“Dean, are you really sure that Dad’s going to be in Colorado?”
“We don’t have any other leads, Sam, this is what Dad gave us, and so we’re going to track it down until we find him.”
“Alright Dean, I heard you, and I’m on board.” Sam said with a sigh as he took a closer look at the map around the coordinates John Winchester had left for their boys. “‘It’s weird man. These coordinates he left us, this Blackwater Ridge.’
“’What about it?’
” Dean asked looking at Sam from his peripheral.
“’There’s nothing there, it’s just woods. Why is he sending us to the middle of nowhere?’
”***November 10, 2005 – Stanford University, California
“And you just let him leave?”
“I didn’t really have a choice, Will,” Xander said flopping onto his bed, his cell phone pressed against his ear. He heard his best friend sigh as her fingers stopped clicking away on her keyboard. Uh-oh, Xander thought, Willow was giving him her full attention.
“There is always a choice Xander, even if he didn’t stay, you could have gone with him.”
“I could have, yes, but I couldn’t
, if you understand the difference. Sam has been avoiding dealing with his father, and his family and everything for four years now. He needs to face everything. And if I had gone with them, I would have been a distraction that he and his father would have used to avoid whatever family issues they need to work out.” Xander explained.
“No, I understand.” Willow finally said after an eternity of silence, “but what are you going to do? Long distance relationships are stressful enough as it is, but with our lives, it’s going to be worse. I mean, Sam isn’t out for a joy ride across the country, he’s out hunting things.”
“Don’t you think that I know this?” Xander said, upset at Willow’s words, even if he understood why she was saying them.
“I’m just making sure, Xan, I don’t want you to get hurt,” Willow said with a frown.
“I know Willow, I’m just missing him.”
“When are you going to see him again?”
“Well, winter break is coming up in about a month and some change; I’m going to meet up with him and Dean on the road for all of break.”
"You’re going to spend your break hunting?” Willow asked surprised. Ever since he had gone to Stanford he had been reluctant to have anything to do with slaying or demons. He helped out the minis when required, and kept tabs and a presence in the demon community, but for the most part kept a low profile and did normal college boy things.
“Yeah, what, you think I can’t hack it anymore?”
“You are getting a bit old and rusty, grandpa,” Willow grinned.
“Hardy har har grandma,” Xander cracked, “well I’ve got to get to class. I’ll talk to you later?”
“Sure, I got to get back to work anyway,” Willow said.
“Alright, later Will,” Xander said bidding his friend farewell. Tucking his cell back into his pocket after making sure that he switched the ringer to silent, he grabbed his backpack and left his new bedroom, to meet Jess downstairs. ***November 11, 2005 – Blackwater Ridge, Colorado
Dean pulled Sam aside, away from the rest of the group, leaving them to their speculations, “’You wanna tell me what’s going on in that freaky head of yours’
“Nothing is going on,” Sam began, only to be abruptly cut off by Dean,
“Bullshit,” he said crossing his arms and raising his brow, “’you’re like a powder keg man it’s not like you. I’m supposed to be the belligerent one, remember?’
“What?” Dean asked, as if that wasn’t the question he was expecting Sam to ask.
“Why are we even still here Dean? You dragged me away from college, away from Xander to help you find Dad, so where is he?” Sam asked; arms flung out at his side in frustration. Dean sighed, shaking his head.
“Come on, Sam, you know how this game works. There is a hunt here, whether Dad is here or not, and I doubt Dad was ever here, because he left this behind,” Dean said holding up John’s journal. “’I think he wants us to pick up where he left off, you know saving people, hunting things. The family business.’
“But I got out of the family business; I don’t want to do this anymore, Dean. I want to have a normal life; I want to be with Xander.”
“Look, Sam, ‘the way I see it, Dad’s giving us a job to do and I intend to do it,’
besides, Xander isn’t exactly your normal civie himself.”
“That’s beside the point, Dean, getting back to Xander is the only thing that I can think about.”
“I understand that you don’t want to be on the road forever looking for Dad but ‘you’ve gotta prepare yourself. I mean this search could take a while, and all that anger, you can’t keep it burning over the long haul, it’s gonna kill you. You gotta have patience, man.’
“You and Xander are a lot alike,” Sam said looking at his older brother. Dean gave Sam a raised brow and a frightened look.
“I love you man, but…well, I don’t think I’m your type, I mean well we’re brothers,” Dean trailed off as Sam began to laugh, his hair flopping over his ears as he shook his head, right hand held up to stall Dean’s words.
“No! No, man, not like that. Xan just has a lot of patience in dealing with things, with life; he focuses on what’s in front of him, and he’s so damn passionate about everything, it’s exhausting sometimes.”
“Right, now if this chick flick moment is over, can we get back to the hunt?”
“Whatever, Dean,” Sam said, his words short, but a subtle smile tugged at the corner of his lips.***November 13, 2005 – I-70, Colorado / Stanford University, California
“Xander’s house of pleasure what’s your
“Hey Xan,” Sam said, his infectious laughter filling the Impala. “God I’ve missed your voice.”
“Me too, so how is the hunt for dad going?”
“Going, further than I want it to, but it’s going. We did finish the hunt in Colorado though.”
“Oh, what nastie did you have to defeat this time?”
“Wendigo,” Sam said.
“Not familiar, is it a demon?”
“Not really, it’s a creature from Indian lore, a cannibalistic tribe member or frontiersman turned monster. Their craving for human flesh overtakes their humanity and they become sub-human.”
“Huh, that’s interesting. How does one kill a Wendigo?”
“Good times, did you bring any s’mores?”
“Oh my God, you are my brother,” Sam said slapping his hand over his eyes.
“Sam!” Xander and Dean shouted at the same time. “We had this conversation,” Dean continued, giving Sam a look out of the corner of his eye, his attention divided on the road in front of him and eavesdropping on his kid brother’s conversation.
“I know! I know!” Sam laughed shaking his head at his brother. “I don’t mean anything by that except that the two of you have similar…tastes? Personalities? Manorisms? Whatever,” he said trailing off with a sigh.
“It’s okay; I think I know what you mean. And I take the compliment for what it was, it was a compliment right?”
“Of course!” Sam was quick to say, lest he further annoy his long distance boyfriend.
“Good, as long as we’re clear about that.” Sam heard a loud sigh on the other line, and he knew what was coming.
“You have to go?”
“Yeah, sorry, I have class in a few.”
“Alright, I’ll talk to you later.”
“Love you, stay safe.”
“Love you too babe, you stay safe too.” Sam hung up the phone and rested his head back against the headrest, his eyes closed.
“Sam…” Dean began, not sure what to say or how to make anything alright with his brother anymore.
“No Dean, not now. I’m going to try and get some sleep,” and with that Sam lowered the passenger seat of the Impala and closed his eyes, turning away from his brother. ***November 21, 2005 – I-43, Wisconsin / Stanford University, California
“I’m so sorry that I’m not going to be there for Thanksgiving dinner,” Sam said head in his hands as he sat alone in the Impala, Dean was currently in a local diner scrounging up dinner.
“Don’t worry about it, I’m going to have my hands full with Buffy and Willow and everyone. Be glad that you aren’t here. You are missing chaos and craziness and not to mention Buffy’s cooking.” Xander chuckled. Sam pulled the phone away from his ear, thumping his head back into the headrest of the seat. Tears pooled in his eyes as he bit the inside of his cheek. “Sam?” he heard Xander’s questing voice coming out of the earpiece of his cell phone.
“I’m here,” he said after clearing his throat, bringing the phone back to his ear.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine; it’s just that I want to be there with you.” Sam heard Xander sigh on the line, a deep, soulful sigh.
“I know, baby, but we’re doing the best with the cards that we’re dealt right? Besides, it won’t be much longer and then I’ll be joining you and Dean for winter break.”
“Are you sure you still want to do that? I mean, I know that you usually have a lot of plans during break,” Sam said hesitantly. He wanted nothing more than for Xander to be with him, but he could never handle it if Xander ever grew to resent him for forcing him to go hunting again.
“Of course I want to!” Xander said incredulously. “Wait…do you still want me to go with you?”
“Of course!” Sam said, fear clawing at his chest, at the thought that Xander thought he didn’t want him. His heart began to beat again at a regular pace when he heard Xander’s laughter.
“Okay, so we both still love each other, and want to be together. So, where are you now?”
“Wisconsin, the ghost was a kid this time. A little boy killed by two other boys years ago, and now his ghost was coming back to seek vengeance on their kids.”
“Ouch,” Xander said with a wince. “It’s always tough when it’s kids, because you pity them the chance at life that they never got to have. Even though the ghost or creature before you is no longer what he or she was, it never brings me joy to end their existence.”
“I just have to think of the lives that I was saving, in this case another little boy. But the ghost left, on his own. The sheriff, who had killed the boy as a kid, sacrificed himself to the ghost to save his grandson.”
“Wow, yeah our only real run in with ghosts was these two forbidden lovers that kept acting out their tragic deaths. They finally went away on their own, because one of the ghosts was possessing Angel, Buffy’s vamp boyfriend. So the fall from the school balcony didn’t kill him, cause already dead vampire and all, and the ghosts were finally able to work it all out.”
“That’s…different.” Sam said, not sure if he was referring to the fact that Buffy had dated a vampire (even though he and Xander had already had this conversation) or the fact that the ghosts just left on their own once they apologized to each other.
“I guess,” Xander said with a shrug. “Like I said, we never experienced many ghosts.”
“You would think on a Hellmouth there would have been a lot of angry spirits.”
“I don’t know, most people who died either came back as vampires, or were killed by demons, so I don’t know if they get to be vengeance ghosts. If they aren’t mad at humans I mean.”
“Yeah, I guess you are right. All of the ghosts we’ve run into were killed by humans, usually their loved ones and have some sort of grudge to fulfill, usually punishment on the one who killed them.”
“Demons that killed humans, were never alive long enough for the bodies to be buried.” Xander said, “Probably why they didn’t have much unfinished business. So do you and Dean have any plans for Thanksgiving? A nice turkey dinner, pie and demons?”
“Well, I can pretty much guarantee the pie and the demons,” Sam chuckled. “You ever want to bribe Dean or get in his good graces, just bring him pie.”
“Good to know, I’ll make sure to bring some when I meet up with you guys in December. Does he have any favorites?”
“As long as the word ‘pie’ is in it, I think you’re safe,” Sam smiled watching as his brother made his way back to the car, a to go bag from the dinner and unsurprisingly a pie box. “I got to run, Dean’s back with dinner and we were going to eat and work at the motel.”
“Alright, well I’ll talk with you later. Don’t work too hard and if you guys need any intel that you can’t find don’t forget about me. I have contacts and research materials coming out of my ears.” Sam laughed and promised that he would call if they needed help. In fact, he was still laughing as Dean opened the door and slid into the driver’s seat of the Impala.
“What?” He asked suspiciously as he handed Sam the bags of take out.
“Nothing, did you remember dessert?” Sam asked looking through the bags. Dean snorted and had the grace to look offended.
“Of course, apple pie, that the cutie waitress assured me would nuke up in a motel microwave just fine.” Dean stared at his brother in confusion as Sam dissolved into laughter that had his little brother doubled up, tears running down his cheeks. When Dean threatened bodily harm if he crushed the pie, Sam began to hyper-ventilate. Shaking his head, Dean put the vehicle into gear and drove the few miles down the road to their hotel room. He would never understand his brother sometimes. ***December 5, 2005 - motel, West Virginia
” Sam said walking into the motel room, two cups of coffee in his hands. Dean looked up at his younger brother, shaking his head to try and clear the drowsiness.
“’What time is it?’
“’It’s about 5:45.’
“’In the morning?’
” Sam said giving Dean the grin that he knew got on his brother’s nerves.
“’Where does the day go?’
” He said sitting up in bed and giving his brother a look. “’Did you get any sleep last night?’
“’Yeah, I grabbed a couple hours,’
” Sam said evasively moving over to sit at the small two seat table where his laptop was set up.
“’Liar. ‘Cause I was up at three, and you were watchin’ the George Foreman infomercial.’
“’Hey, what can I say? It’s riveting TV.’
“’When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep?’
“’I don’t know. A little while, I guess. It’s not a big deal,’
” Sam shrugged, trying to get his brother to move on to a different topic. Problem was, their last hunt finished 15 hours ago, so Dean had nothing but time to focus on Sam and his lack of sleep.
“’Yeah, it is.’
“’Look, I appreciate your concern—‘
” Sam didn’t even get to finish before Dean snorted and shook his head,
“’Oh, I’m not concerned about you. It’s your job to keep my ass alive, so I need you sharp.’
” Sam was treated to another one of Dean’s appraising looks before he spoke, “’seriously, are you still havin’ nightmares?’
You do know that Xander is fine, he’s alive. We made it back in time.”
“Yeah, but every minute that I’m out here looking for Dad, it’s one more minute that I am away from him. That he’s in danger from yellow eyes, hell from any demon or supernatural creature that he faces.”
“Sam, you heard him. He’s in that demony contract thing with the bastard. Yellow eyes can’t hurt him, not if he wants to keep his cushy demon gig. He’s probably the safest of anyone right now. Besides he retired from hunting, like you did. He’s just doing normal, boring college stuff.”
“Yeah, cause that always works out so well for hunters,” Sam said glaring at Dean over the top of his laptop.
“Sam, you have to trust him, have faith in him, his abilities, hell the abilities of all the super hot, super power chicks he’s surrounded with.”
“’All right, whatever. I’m too tired to argue.’
” Whatever retort Dean had was interrupted by his cell phone. Sam only half listened to the conversation that Dean was having with apparently an old contact of his and Dad’s. He was also focused on trying to find some sort of meaning in Dad’s journal and the internet that would help them track the man down.
“We’re off to Pennsylvania, Sammy, better get packed up,” Dean said flipping his phone shut and stuffing it into the pocket of his jeans. ***December 6, 2005 – Somewhere over Indiana
If Dean wasn’t already having a shitty day just by virtue of being on an airplane, it was growing worse by the damn demon he was currently struggling with as Sam read the exorcism rite to send the bastard back to Hell where he came from. “'Hurry up, Sam. I don’t know how much longer I can hold him.’
” Normally, the copilot would have been easily taken down by Dean, even on a shitty day, but he was supernaturally enhanced and Dean was starting to lose the fight.
Using a burst of speed, the demon threw Dean back against the cabinets and with a strategic swipe of his arm; the bottle of holy water was on the floor, no longer held as a weapon in Sam’s hand. Standing his ground, Sam continued to chant the incantation that would vanquish the demon. Ripping the duct tape from his mouth, the demon possessed co-pilot turned black eyes up at Sam,
“You think your little boyfriend is safe? He has a target on his head so large that he won’t last much longer. So send me back to hell, I’ll get a chance to play with poor little Alexander. I can’t wait.” The demon hissed with a loud, boisterous laugh. Sam froze mid sentence, his heart clenched in fear as he processed the demon’s words. Dean screaming his name brought him out of his haze enough to rush to Dean’s side and help him hold the demon down.
“’I got him!’
” Sam shouted, staring down at the demon. The man began to scream and writhe on the floor, and then thick black smoke was pouring from his mouth as he opened it in a gut wrenching scream. “’Where’d it go?’
” Sam asked looking over at his brother.
“’It’s in the plane. Hurry up, we’ve got to finish it.’
” Nodding, Sam stood and moved over to where the journal had been kicked to when the plane took a sudden and sharp dive. Screams carried up to the brothers from the panicking passengers in the back. Sam quickly scrambled to get to the journal; he needed to finish the incantation.
” Sam shouted from the front of the plane. Screaming the remaining part of the exorcism, despite the cries of the surrounding passengers, and Sam’s own fear as the plane continued its dive. As Sam finished, there was a resounding crack of lightening as the sky lit up as if it were daylight, and the plane suddenly began to level off continued to fly normally. The passengers all began to calm, looking around at each other as they tried to make sense of what had just happened, and the relief was almost palpable. Sam looked up toward the curtains as they opened, revealing Dean’s face. Sam returned the look and gave a sharp nod. ***
Sam and Dean walked into the terminal, maneuvering around the crowds and police. The authorities were stopping all of the passengers for interviews about what had happened on the plane. Dean turned to Sam and motioned with his head toward the bustling airport, “’Let’s get out of here.’
” Dean kept shooting circumlocutory looks at his little brother, “’You okay?’
Sam looked at Dean, his eyes pained and fists clenched at his side, “It knew about Xander, that he’s not safe, it said!”
“Sam!” Dean said cutting his brother off, grabbing his arm he hauled him bodily behind a concrete column, “not here. Come on, let’s get somewhere more private and then you call him okay? You know demons lie to try and hurt you.”
“Yes, but they tell the truth too, when it hurts more,” Sam said shaking his head, having gotten it into his head that Xander was in danger, or worse, already dead.
“Come on,” Dean said dragging his brother by his jacket sleeve until his brother began to follow of his own accord. Of course finding a private or empty room in an airport that didn’t require a badge; a badge that Dean probably had on him, but was unwilling to flash, was not easy task. He almost told his brother to hold on until they got back to Pennsylvania and the Impala, but one look at his brother’s stricken face and Dean knew he could ask no such thing.
“In here,” Dean ordered, shoving Sam into a men’s room that had a “Work in Progress: Please Pardon Our Mess” sign on it. Ducking in, he flicked the light on and quickly surveyed the room. It appeared that the airport was currently in the process of retiling and fixing all of the plumbing in this older wing. Once Sam was in, Dean quickly shut the door and snicked the lock into place. “Make it quick,” Dean ordered, moving to stand away from his brother to give him as much privacy as he could.
“Dean,” Sam said waiting until his brother turned to look at him, brow raised.
“Thanks,” Dean just nodded and motioned for Sam to get to it. Pulling out his cell phone Sam hit speed dial and put the phone to his ear anxious to hear his boyfriend’s voice.
“Hello? Ow! Jess easy on the merchandise, and don’t make me laugh, it hurts too much, hello?” Xander said again when he heard only breathing on the other line.
“Xan?” Sam asked, voice cracking.
“Sam! Hey! How’s it going?”
“Are you injured?” Xander was about to make a snappy comeback when her heard the strange undertone in Sam’s voice.
“I’m fine, just a minor disagreement with a demon.”
“Oh God, Xander I’m so sorry, this is all my fault. The demon said,”
“Whoa! Whoa there cowboy. Before you go on laying blame where it doesn’t need to be laid, let’s talk. Why do you think it’s your fault? What what demon said?” Heaving a sigh, Sam began,
“Dean and I were exercising a demon from an airplane, but before we could, he said that you were going to die, that he was going to torture you in Hell and that you were marked for death.” Sam had expected many reactions; however boisterous laughter was not one of them.
“Ow! Ow! I’m sorry,” Xander said wheezing, “but it really does hurt to laugh right now. Babe, please, I’ve been marked by demons long before you came into my life, and like I said, I’m safe from Azazel and his brand of demons. The demon was lying. Well,” he said after some thought, “I probably do have a big target on my head, a big ‘DO NOT KILL’ target. Azazel won’t risk his plan for my life.”
“Then what happened?” Sam asked confusion in his voice as he sank onto a closed toilet seat.
“I caught a Grothal cheating at kitten poker and he didn’t take too kindly to my catching him cheating and getting kicked out of the games.”
“Wait…what? You play poker with demons?” Sam asked incredulously, Dean’s head jerked over to look at Sam in surprise, surely he didn’t just hear what he thought he did from his brother’s lips.
“Yeah,” Xander said slowly realizing that he was revealing a bit more than he thought.
"So, all of those weekly Sunnydale Survivor poker games?” Sam said shaking his head.
“Sam, you have to understand why I never told you? How exactly do you explain to your civilian boyfriend that you play a rousing game of kitten poker with a bunch of demons every week?”
“Let’s try how do you explain it to your Hunter boyfriend?” Sam’s tone was dangerous, there was an undercurrent of rage and anger that Dean had never seen in his little brother and he took a step closer, as if to prevent whatever was coming.
“Do you really want to open that door?” Xander asked, teeth clenched.
“I say that door has been opened for us, so why don’t you walk me through it?”
“It’s simple Sam, not all demons and creatures are out to kill or eat humans or have epic world domination plots. Hell, most of them, couldn’t give two shits about what humans do. We aren’t their prey or their predator. They want what every living thing wants, to live, to breed, to love, to make a place for their families to feel safe.”
“How can you say that knowing what you know? What you’ve, what we’ve all been through?” Sam countered.
“Because we’re different; our lives are different. You spent your entire childhood hunting things that were killing, that were a threat to humans, searching them out. I’ve spent my entire life living in a place with more demons and supernatural creatures than humans; where I was forced to recognize that there are differences in all of the species, that some are more pacifistic than humans. Everyone one of us, has dated, loved, or turned into the darkness which we hunt. Things were never so black and white in Sunnydale, and they aren’t in the world either, Sam.”
“Yeah, well they look pretty black and white from where I am Xander, demons kill humans, and I protect them by killing demons.”
“You protect your naïve view of the world. It’s easier to kill the monster in the dark than to realize that the monster is protecting her babies.”
“You are defending…I can’t even begin to have this conversation,” Sam stood, pacing the length of the bathroom. “Why Xander? Just tell me what purpose your poker games serve?”
“I play poker to gather information. Like I said, not all demons want the death and destruction of the human race. Some even share the same enemies that humans do. Idle chat, gossip, is all safe ways for the lesser demons to pass word to me, and through me to the Slayer network of big events, swarms, and attacks without fearing the wrath of the demon community.”
“So you play to protect humans?”
“Yes, and I really do like a lot of them too. They’ve become friends over the years.”
“Xander, I…I don’t know what to say right now.”
“Should I…finals are next week, did you still want me to-“
“Yes!” Sam said cutting off Xander’s words, “Gods yes, Xander, I need to see you, please,”
“Alright, well I got to go; Jess is threatening bits of you that I like just where they are if you don’t let me hang up.” Sam smiled; leave it to Xander to end with a joke.
“Of course, I’ll see you in two weeks.” Sam closed his phone and sat down on the toilet seat with a sigh, head falling into his hands. Dean walked over to his brother and hesitated before setting his hand on his shoulder.
“Are you alright dude?”
“Dean, we just…that was our first fight.”
“Well, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner,” Dean shrugged.
“What do you mean?” Sam asked his tone sharp. Dean hesitated before he continued,
“Think about it Sam, long distance, both of your lives are constantly in danger and you two never had a chance to hash out the whole lying to each other for the entirety of your relationship thing, need I go on?”
“No,” Sam said, head bowed. Dean was right. In the excitement of Azazeal’s attack on Xander and the revelations that both had been hunting the very same thing for years and the hurried goodbye sex, they had never really gotten a chance to talk. Sam found himself feeling betrayed, that Xander had this entire world that he was a part of, a world that even Sam and Dean weren’t aware of. He had been feeling guilty that he was lying to Xander about his life, about what he had experienced, what he had been through only to find that Xander had been lying more.
That thought made Sam wince, how could he put a degree on the level of deceit they were each guilty of? Lying was lying, even if they each thought they were protecting the other. Dean was right; he and Xander were long overdue for a conversation. One he intended to have in just a few short weeks.
“If you’re done with your self pity and this made for TV moment, can we get the hell out of here now?” Dean gazing down at his brother, heart aching. He hated to see his family in pain and suffering but his father and brother sure worked hard to hurt; and to push him away.
“Right,” Sam said standing and shoving his phone back in his pocket. He began to head for the exit when he stopped suddenly and turned to face his brother, hand on the door. “Thanks Dean,” giving a half smile Sam continued to leave the bathroom. Dean felt his own lips twitching into a smile, perhaps Sam wouldn’t be like their father in this after all.TBC!Next up – Xander joins Sam and Dean during his winter break.