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Mercy Be Revealed

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Summary: Alexis Castle has never done anything spontaneous or purposely dangerous in her life. That changes when she runs into Sam Winchester for the first time in five years in Garber, Oklahoma.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories > Crossover: OtherjacyevansFR15431,112331,35930 Jun 1030 Jun 10Yes

Part One

Title: Mercy Be Revealed
Rating: FR15
Pairing: Sam/Alexis
Warnings/Spoilers: AU after end of 5x2 of Supernatural; Abuse, bending and twisting of events in episodes 5x3 onwards to my own use and will;Very slight spoilers for Season 2 of Castle; Spoilers for Season 5 of Supernatural
Summary: Alexis Castle has never done anything spontaneous or purposely dangerous. That changes when she runs into Sam Winchester for the first time in five years in Garber, Oklahoma. Her entire life turns upside down as she is thrust into a world she never knew existed - one where monsters are real and Lucifer walks the earth. Her father always told her that life should be an adventure, but Alexis never imagined she would be fighting for her life at what might be the end of the world.
Author’s Notes: Originally written for the Supernatural Crossover Big Bang over at Livejournal. Title from "Witness" by Sarah Mclachlan. Quotes at the beginning of Part One and Four from "Castle" (Season 1).
Disclaimer: None of this is mine. I'm just playing in Kripke and Marlowe's sandboxes.

Part One

Just once, I'd like someone to come up to me and say something new.


Alexis never imagined she would be standing in the middle of a battle at the end of the world.

After watching Beckett and her father on their cases - putting together pieces of a seemingly impossible puzzle, interrogating criminals until they all but fell apart, the adrenaline rush of a chase - Alexis wanted to be a detective. She wanted to be them.

Life never quite works out the way she plans.

Well, she thinks wryly, at least the hours she spent at the shooting range are being put to good use.

"Alexis, get down!"

Alexis throws herself against the charred remains of a building. All that's left of the city she once loved is smoldering bits and pieces. She runs her hand along the side and rubs her fingers together, smearing the soot on her skin.

"Alexis." Alexis stiffens and turns with her back completely straight to face the grinning demon behind her, black eyes gleaming. "Such a pretty name."

Yanking the Colt from her waistband, she shoots a single bullet straight between the demon's eyes; he's still grinning as he flashes out of existence and falls to the ground. She spins, just in time to see Sam cry out, stumbling over the rubble at his feet. Damn it, he's exhausted, this is too much, they need to go, but his forehead scrunches up and he gasps, blood dripping from his nose and down his face.

Alexis takes an involuntary step backwards, eyes rooted to the scene as Sam raises his hand and flicks his wrist. The demons scream, scrabbling at their throats, eyes rolling back into their heads and they collapse in a flicker of light.

Sam kneels amongst the wreckage, chest heaving. He raises black eyes to Alexis and rubs a shaking wrist under his nose to wipe the blood away. He swallows, licks his lips, and lifts his chin; she would dare to say he does so haughtily. "Still want to stick with me, Lex?"

Alexis leans forward and cradles Sam's face in her hands. She swallows back her fear and slowly, gently, presses her lips to his. She tastes blood from the cut at the corner of his mouth, his lips taste like dirt and ashes, but he's still Sam, still the same person she fell in love with nine years ago.

"We're going to get through this," she whispers, pulling back to stare into dark eyes, wide, shocked and focused on her own. "Do you hear me, Sam? I'm not going anywhere."

Sam heaves a breath and closes his eyes. "Okay." He nods, shuddering from head to toe. When he opens his eyes, they're hazel again, familiar. "Okay."

"Good." Alexis stands, holding out her hand to help tug Sam to his feet. He surveys the devastation around him, but she doesn't let him look for long.

"So," Sam turns, and even in the midst of the destruction around her, Alexis feels a smile tugging at the edge of her lips, "Let's go save the world."

-----

Alexis falls in love with Sam when she is eighteen.

Stanford University is full of unfulfilled hopes and dreams, and Sam is a breath of fresh air enshrouded in mystery. He doesn't say much about himself, but his laughter makes her smile and his dimples make her breath catch. He calls her "Lex," and the nickname makes her fumble like her friends around her rich and famous father instead of making her glare until they each correct themselves. There are days she is sure he thinks she is an idiot.

Until one day he kisses her - touches her hand, leans over their Biology notes, and presses his lips against hers, right there in the library.

Then - and Dad would kill her for the overwrought cliché but - she feels like she could fly.

Except-

Sam avoids questions about his family like the plague and runs circles when she pokes and prods into his past. She knows his mother died in a fire when he was a baby, that he lived with his father who didn't want him to go to college, has an older brother named Dean who he misses more than anyone else in the world, and hates when people call him Sammy, but even discovering these small bits of information is like pulling teeth. He changes the subject so effortlessly when he feels she invades his privacy that she doesn't realize she hasn't received any answers until she's already halfway back to her dorm, the cool, night wind blowing reality across her face.

She doesn't want to know all of his secrets - doesn't need to know any of them really, just wants to break down the walls and get behind the public facade of Sam Winchester. She even goes as far as to ask Beckett to run a background check on Sam over Spring Break in her desperation.

Beckett refuses, of course.

"Alexis, I want to help you - really, I do, but when you pry into someone's past like that - once you open that door, you can't ever close it again. No matter how many times you pretend or shut your eyes, you can't unsee the truth." Alexis sighs, and Beckett gives her an understanding smile. "Give Sam a chance, he'll come around."

"I doubt it," Alexis grumbles, sitting back in her chair and folding her arms sulkily.

She breaks up with him three weeks later.

Over the years, the two of them remain acquaintances, the awkward, uncomfortable kind who say hello in hallways and classrooms, make small talk among large groups of friends and at parties and sometimes study together for tests. The giant "ex" always looms between them, making the air heavy with tension.

Once - just once - Alexis gives into the unbearable urge and kisses him across the table in the library. A second first, almost like their beginning. The difference is, this kiss isn't gentle and doesn't end with a shy smile and a nod. Note cards scatter, books fall to the floor, and somehow, she maneuvers herself into Sam's lap, clutching her fingers into his hair. Nothing will come of this kiss; she knows too much. Or, more appropriately, she doesn't know enough.

"Stay," Sam whispers, a plea pressed against her jaw, "Lex, stay."

She wishes she could, but one thing still lies between them. "Will you tell me the truth?"

Sam stiffens beneath her, fingers digging into her hips. He takes a deep breath, shaking his head slowly. "I can't," he exhales against her neck.

Alexis sighs and nods, smiling sadly. "I know. I just wish you would tell me why."

She slowly extracts herself from his arms and gathers her fallen books while he watches, stubbornly silent. She kisses his cheek, lips lingering, then turns her back and walks away.

When Sam starts dating Jess four months later, Alexis ignores the jealousy running hot through her veins. He deserves to be happy, she doesn't love him. The feelings are residual, fleeting. She does not love him.

Still-

Every day, a surge of courage rushes through her that makes her want to march up to Jessica and demand to know, Does he tell you the truth?

That bravery always fades when she sees the smile on Sam's face; she swallows down her pride and gives him a wave and a shy smile instead.

Seven days after Jess dies, Sam disappears.

There isn't a day that goes by Alexis doesn't wonder what happened to him.

-----

On a Fall day in 2009, Alexis finds herself in Garber, Oklahoma, standing outside of the only motel the small town has to offer, shielding her eyes from the sun, sure that someone, somewhere, has cursed her with bad luck.

With two days left of her vacation, she's stranded in East Jesus, Nowhere, but doesn't even have decent enough reception on her phone to call her father or her boss and let them know she isn't dead on the side of road.

"Just my car," she grumbles, holding her phone up over her head, as if that will boost the signal. She sighs, dropping her arm and shoving her cell into her jeans pocket as the cab driver gets out, chuckling when he sees her exasperation.

"This 'aint Kansas anymore, kiddo," the cabbie says handing Alexis back her change. She rolls her eyes.

"Clearly, this isn't New York, either," she tells him tersely as he closes the trunk, shoving an extra five dollar bill into his hand for his trouble. She heads into the main office, asks for a room, and begs to use the phone.

The manager turns the phone around with a smile, holds out his hand, and says, "Twenty dollars and you can call anywhere in the U. S. of A. Canada's extra." Alexis fumbles around her wallet for a twenty and then punches out the numbers so fast, she misdials twice.

Her father laughs, of course; he would probably pat her head if he were anywhere in the vicinity.

"Aw, sweetheart, I'm sure it isn't that bad," he cajoles, and she bites back a growl.

"Please tell Beckett I'll be back as soon as I can. I left her about a half a dozen messages, but I want to make sure-"

"Alexis, Kate knows you aren't just going to blow off work." She can practically hear him grinning over the phone. "That's my job."

Alexis can't help the smile that crosses her face. "Kate, huh?"

"Goodbye, Lexie-pooh," he sings, and she hangs up rolling her eyes, shaking her head. She can say, with absolute certainty, that she is the only child in the continental United States who finds her father's relationship with his girlfriend adorable.

Alexis drops her bags off in her room, and then spends the day wandering. She’s traveled everywhere by foot her entire life - she knows how to fend for herself.

She finds a restaurant, a diner and a small grocery store easily enough, committing the locations to memory. The mechanic is at the very end of the road and he tells her the transmission blew, they need to wait for a part to come in, shouldn't be more than a few days.

"Just sit tight, and we'll have you on your way home in no time," he says offhandedly, with a cunning smile that clearly says, We tell all the customers that, you could be here until Christmas.

She sighs, rubbing at her temples as she leaves. That bar she passed on her way over actually looks rather tempting right about now.

Alexis walks through the door of the bar and halts.

It's like something out of one of those old movies her grandmother used to insist they watch, curled up on the couch so she could "study" before a big rehearsal - though secretly, Alexis knew she just wanted to ogle the actors. He stands behind the bar, the rag in his hand hanging limply at his side, while she stands in the middle of the doorway, continuing to stare back dumbly.

Alexis hasn't seen Sam Winchester in almost five years, but she recognizes him immediately across the room, feeling a rush of emotion she can't explain well up inside of her.

The spell breaks when the girl behind the bar jostles Sam with her hip and laughs. Alexis blinks, shaking herself when she overhears her call him Keith. She slowly approaches the counter, sits down on one of the stools and orders a beer from said girl - more as an excuse now to stay than to actually drink. Sam doesn't say anything; he continues wiping down the tables, and then rushes off behind the counter into the kitchen.

Alexis orders another three beers, trying to hold out until the end of Sam's shift. She's glad she left her gun in her room when she remembers why she doesn't drink - she is such a lightweight. She sighs, leaves a tip on the bar, and hops down off of the stool. She sways on her feet, stumbles, and a pair of hands grabs her shoulders, steadying her.

"You always were a lightweight," a voice murmurs fondly, and Alexis spins too quickly, so she has to grasp onto Sam's arm for support.

She looks up - and up, and up, and wow, she forgot how tall he is - stares at him for a moment, then wobbles on her feet again. "Yeah," Alexis says, a bit delayed, "I know." She licks her lips. "Sam..." she says slowly, so she doesn't slur her words, "I think... I'm drunk."

Sam sighs, shakes his head, and for a brief, terrifying moment, she wonders if he's just going to leave her there. She can't read the expression on his face, though she tries - exhausted, wary... scared? She isn't sure of that last one.

Then, Sam wraps his arm around her back, firm and supportive, and says, "I know, Alexis." She doesn't realize how much she misses the sound of her nickname until he doesn't say it. He hoists her up and starts walking with her towards the door. "Come on. Let's get you out of here."


Alexis sits on the edge of the bed in Sam's motel room, her favorite shirt wrapped around her shoulders. The soft flannel falls to her knees, and she has to keep the sleeves pushed up to her elbows to keep her hands free. She used to steal this shirt from Sam all the time. She can't believe he still owns it after all these years. She clutches a cup of steaming coffee between her hands, fingers warm through the Styrofoam. The caffeine helps the raging headache she already feels pulsing at her temples.

"You know, you really should be drinking water," Sam tells her from where he stands leaning against her dresser, arms crossed over his chest.

"Yes, Doctor Winchester, you already made me drink two bottles," she groans, rubbing a hand over her stomach, "I think I'm going to burst."

Sam reaches for the garbage can sitting next to the bed; she slaps his hand away with a glare, and he pulls back with a smirk.

"So...you live here now?" Alexis asks tentatively, taking another sip of her coffee. His room is just three doors down from hers. She doesn't believe in fate or coincidence but she considers it, just this once, with them running into each other after all this time in a small town in Oklahoma.

Sam stiffens, slow coiling of his muscles - muscles he most definitely did not have while he was at college, because yes, Alexis will admit to having ogled him. If anyone asks, she'll just blame it on the alcohol. "Sort of," he says, scratching idly at his arm.

"And you work at a bar," she states, thinking of a full scholarship at Stanford, rigorous class schedules on top of insane work schedules that would have driven even her crazy, but he seemed to handle with ease.

"Yeah," Sam says slowly, but he doesn't elaborate more than that. Alexis laughs, shaking her head.

The reaction seems to startle Sam, and he takes a moment to compose himself before asking, "What?"

Alexis places her cup on the nightstand and shrugs. "Nothing. I just didn't think you could possibly get more evasive than you were when we were dating." She stands, stretching her arms over her head. "Guess I was wrong."

Sam cards a hand through his hair and sighs, "Alexis..."

"Yeah?" She arches an eyebrow, folding her arms across her chest. She isn't a teenager anymore; she's an accomplished woman, a New York City detective. Mysteries are her life, and Sam Winchester has always presented one of her most frustrating unsolved riddles.

Alexis always did love a challenge.

"Let me buy you dinner," Sam blurts out, and she blinks at him, stunned into silence for a moment. Of all of the words she expected to slide out of his mouth following her name, those five never crossed her mind.

Alexis bites her lip to keep the smirk pulling at the edges of her mouth from breaking across her face. "Are you asking me out?"

"I'm making up for lost time."

She should say no. She should refuse and leave Sam Winchester in the past where he belongs. Instead, Alexis smiles and says, "Okay."

She meets Sam at the bar at the end of his shift the next day. She doesn't order anything to drink this time - she likes being able to stand on her own two feet and walk a straight line, tTims - just gives him a smile and a wave where he sits with a couple of guys, sits down at one of the tables across the room and waits for him to finish. The three of them give her a once-over, looking her up and down in a way that makes her quickly avert her eyes.

"You know, with a hot little number like that, I'd be staying off the grid, too," one of them says, much to the others' amusement; out of the corner of her eye, she sees Sam punch him in the shoulder jokingly, rolling his eyes as he stands.

"Hey, beers are on you when we get back," one of the others says, and Sam nods, shaking each of their hands.

"Good luck," Sam says, and Alexis' brow furrows as she realizes these aren't just casual acquaintances - Sam knows them.

Sam grabs his jacket from the back of his chair and slings it over his shoulders as he approaches her with a smile.

Alexis gestures her chin towards the table. "Friends of yours?"

That look comes across his face again, the closed-off, wary expression as all of his protective walls fall into place. Sam stares at her, and for a fleeting moment, she wonders if he's going to cancel, make some excuse and send her back to her motel room alone. Then, Sam shakes himself, shrugs his shoulders, and says, "Yeah, sort of." He quickly rushes to add, "You ready to head out?"

Sam is uncharacteristically quiet at dinner. When he isn't picking at his food - picking rather than shoveling like the food was going to grow legs and walk off of his plate if he didn't eat it fast enough, a habit her grandmother would have found horrifying, her father amusing, and she used to find endearing - he lets her fill the silence with small talk. She pokes and prods with insignificant questions she knows won't scare him off or make him run for the door.

"So, who were those guys you were sitting with back at the bar?"

"Just some old friends. Hey, how's your salad?"

Instead, he continues to completely fail at subterfuge. Alexis sighs, tosses her napkin at the side of her plate and folds her hands on the edge of the table in front of her.

Sam's brow furrows, fork pausing midway to his mouth. "What?" he asks, like he doesn't know how much he frustrates her with his lack of answers and easy brush-offs.

"Just some old friends?" Alexis repeats incredulously, arching an eyebrow, and Sam stares at her blankly, pretending he has no idea what she could be talking about. She leans back, crossing her arms over her chest. "Do they know you as Keith, too, or do you always make a habit of lying about your name on your job applications?"

Sam winces almost imperceptibly, brings his fork to his mouth and chews slowly so he doesn't have to answer. He puts his fork down on the edge of his plate, lowers his eyes and remains stubbornly silent.

She sighs. "I know you're hiding something - and hiding from something." Sam's shoulders stiffen, but she plows forward, not giving him the chance to bolt for the door. "I know you have more secrets now than you ever did while we were dating, and they're a giant weight on your shoulders pulling you down." She puts her hand over his, and Sam startles at the touch, finally meets her eyes across the table. "I'm not asking you to bare your soul to me, Sam. Whatever history we have... you still don't owe me anything, but sooner or later, if you don't share that weight or put it down, just for a moment, you're going to collapse under it."

Sam pulls his hand back and speaks to the tablecloth. She bites her lip, letting him talk - she wasn't expecting an answer at all.

"I... made a mistake. Did some things I'm not proud of. Hurt a lot of people." Sam wrings his hands together on the table. "I did things I can't even-" He swallows and stares down at his hands. "No matter what I do... how much I try to change... there isn't any going back, Lex. Not ever."

Alexis reaches into her bag and slides her badge across the table into his line of sight. She doesn't miss the way his eyes track the movement, entire body stiffening further, almost like he's waiting for her to pull a pair of handcuffs out next and charge him for some terrible crime.

"I catch criminals, Sam. My dad worked on cases while I was in high school that would make your hair stand on end." She puts her hand over his and tilts her head down to try to get him to look her in the eye. "Trust me when I say that whatever it is you've done - I've seen worse."

Sam raises his eyes, and Alexis swallows past the guilt, stark and written all over his face. "Trust me, Alexis. You haven't."

Alexis practically chokes on the awkward silence as Sam walks her back to her motel room before the second half of his shift at the bar, ever the perfect gentleman even in the wake of his own discomfort. She turns, intending to say goodnight when they reach her door, but he surprises her - as he always does.

Sam leans down before she has a chance to get a word out and kisses her, one hand gently cupping the side of her face, the other cradling the back of her head, fingers threading through her hair. As one of her hands tightly clutches her room key, fingers tightening around the metal, the other slides up to his shoulder and pulls him closer. This kiss feels different than any of their others, final. This feels like a goodbye.

Sam presses a gentle kiss to her forehead, then silently turns and walks across the parking lot. Alexis watches him go with a hand to her lips until she can't see him anymore. She shakes herself, opens her door, and stops just over the threshold.

Her room looks no different than when she left. Everything remains in its place, but instincts tell her something is wrong, and yell at her to turn around, follow Sam, go, go, go.

The door slams behind her, too strong to be the wind, and she spins, hand immediately reaching for the gun at her side that isn't there, damn it all to hell and back again.

There are two of them against one of her, two men shorter than Sam but built just like him. When her eyes adjust to the darkness, she recognizes the man with the cap from the bar – they’re Sam's friends, the ones he offered to buy a beer. Odds are she can't beat them, but if she could just get to her suitcase, she might be able to at least have a fighting chance; no one likes a gun pointed at their face, she could out run them, maybe find the local police -

"Looking for this?"

Alexis stops dead, hand frozen on the top of her suitcase. The man with the cap holds her gun between two fingers. Her heart roars in her ears as he smiles. He doesn't point or shoot but swiftly, expertly unloads the clip and tosses the now useless gun on the bed.

"Sorry, sweetheart," he says, shrugging a shoulder, "Nothing personal, we just need your help with a problem we have, then we'll be on our way."

Alexis lets him approach her, playing the terrified, meek little girl until he gets close enough for her to jab him in the face with her elbow. She kicks her leg up and knees his friend in the groin. He goes down with a wheezing groan of pain.

She makes it as far as yanking the door open before he grabs her arm, swinging her around against his chest.

"You're a feisty one," he says, catching his breath, and Alexis struggles as he pulls both her arms behind her back with one hand, hard enough that her shoulders pull painfully. "No wonder Sam likes you so much."

The butt of her gun smacks her hard in the temple and the world goes black.

She comes to in the back of an unfamiliar car with her hands tied tightly in front of her and the right side of her head throbbing painfully. She groans and slowly opens her eyes, squinting at her blurry surroundings.

"Morning, sunshine," says an overly cheery voice, and everything comes flooding back. She warily opens her eyes the rest of the way, unsurprised to find the man with the cap standing just outside the car door. His grin falls, and he opens her door, grabs her arm and yanks her out of the car. "Walk," he says, shoving her towards the front door of the bar. She sees Sam arguing with someone standing in front of the bar, and oh, God. She realizes their plan when their faces come into view, dread pooling in the pit of her stomach. She's bait.

As the front door chimes, Sam visibly pales and grabs onto the edge of the counter. "Alexis!"

"Sam-" Her words are cut off by a knife against her neck. Alexis stills, relaxing her throat so less of the edge presses against her skin, self-preservation 101.

"Just let her go, Tim," Sam says, hands fisting at his sides, and the man holding the knife to her throat laughs, but the one with the cap is the one who answers.

"Don't think so, Sam."

Sam takes a deep breath in, letting his hands open as he exhales. "Fine then just - just put the knife down, okay, Reggie? Please."

She feels a burst of air against her face as Reggie purses his lips, but the knife falls from her throat and Reggie slowly places it on the bar. Alexis tracks the movement, wondering how quickly she could work the knots on the ropes holding her wrists together, grab the knife and-

Tim tips his chin and Reggie quickly handcuffs her wrists to the bar. He stares her down as if he knows exactly what she was thinking. Sam jumps as the cuffs snap into place, the clanging sound of metal against metal resonating.

"Don't even think about it, sweetheart. You're not goin' anywhere," Tim says gruffly, turning back to Sam. "Well? Let's hear it. I want to hear you say it, Sam, no more of this ‘demons lie’ bullshit when we both know it 'aint true."

Sam stares over Tim's shoulder at Alexis, guilty misery changing to bitter resignation before his eyes slide back to Tim. "I did it. I started the apocalypse."

The world seems to tilt on its axis, shifting and bending like colors and shapes through a kaleidoscope. Alexis wants to tell them all that they're all crazy, find the nearest police station and have them sent to the local psych ward, strait jackets, padded walls, the works, but the dangerous gleam in their eyes, all of the secrets Sam keeps, the walls he erects in place of emotional connections...

Crazy or not, he believes the delusion.

Tim holds up a test tube of red liquid. Sam takes a step backwards, looking even more terrified than when they dragged her through the front door.

"Get that away from me," he hisses, and Alexis jumps back at the vehemence in his voice.

"Away from you? This is for you." Tim laughs, shaking his head. He takes a step forward and Sam takes another step back. "Hell if that demon wasn't right as rain. Down the hatch, Sammy boy."

"You're insane."

"I think you're all insane," Alexis mutters, unsurprised as they all turn to face her. Sam looks shocked, probably by her sheer gall, while Reggie and Tim appear clearly nonplussed.

"Stick around, Lexie; you might be surprised by what you find out."

Tim makes the mistake of getting too close, and Alexis kicks her leg out, catching a bruise on his right thigh before Reggie restrains her. "Don't call me Lexie," she spits out, struggling against Reggie's hold.

Tim coughs, stands up and glares at Sam with a hand against his side, the other still clutching the little, red vial. "Your girl is severely testing my patience, Sam, so I suggest you drink up, or I'll show you exactly how that demon killed Steve," He picks up the knife, running the tip of the blade down the sleeve of her jacket and she stills, "In painful, bloody detail."

"You wouldn't do that." The waver in Sam's voice says he isn't so sure.

"Funny how watching your best friend die changes things." He dangles the vial and slides the knife back to the counter as he and Reggie both slowly advance on Sam, leaving Alexis to watch helplessly.

Sam easily tosses Reggie over his shoulder into the pool table, but he only has two arms and can't watch both of them at once. Alexis pulls at her wrists as Tim restrains him. Reggie pulls himself to his feet, holding Sam’s mouth closed so Tim can pour the contents of the vial into his mouth.

Tim grins while Sam lies limply on the floor beneath them. "There, was that really so bad?"

Alexis sees clearly from across the room what they don't - Sam doesn't swallow, so she isn't at all surprised when he spits the red liquid in Tim's eye and attacks him and Reggie both with renewed vigor; Reggie collapses, boneless and breathless practically at her feet. Sam slams Tim into the bar, holding the knife to his throat.

"Sam..." Alexis says softly, the sort of voice she uses to soothe dangerous animals, the one she was taught to use during cases gone wrong. Don't show them how afraid you truly are, Alexis. Let them think you're the one in control.

Sam picks up his head, his eyes meet hers, and all of the anger leeches out of him. He shoves Tim towards the door, and he barrels into Reggie on the way out.

"Go." He makes the word a command they would be fools not to follow and Alexis can't help the flinch as the door slams shut behind them, leaving her and Sam alone.

Sam takes a deep, calming breath, then immediately jumps behind the bar. He comes back with a paper clip in one hand, something small and white fisted in the other that he places on the bar. He picks the lock on the handcuffs easily and uses the discarded knife to cut the ropes binding her wrists. Alexis pulls her arms protectively against her body, rubbing her hands against the raw, red marks along her wrists.

"Alexis-"

"Don't." She cuts Sam off before he can explain, and his face immediately falls, but she can't focus on him right now. Her mind is reeling, her arms ache, and her head feels like someone jabbed her in the skull with a sledgehammer. She wants a hot shower and her bed. She wants her world to make sense.

"I don't want to talk about this. I just- I can't -" She wraps her arms around herself and shivers. "Just take me back to my motel room."

Sam bites his lip and nods, holding out his hand. "Here," he mumbles, handing her an ice pack, she realizes, making sense of the small, white square, "For your head." She carefully takes it from his hand and presses the ice to her temple with a wince.

Alexis doesn't say a word as they walk back to the motel, letting Sam walk just ahead and a step to the right. She tosses a casual, "Goodnight, Sam," over her shoulder as she reaches her door before he can get a word in edgewise. She doesn't want to hear what he has to say, not now while her heartbeat still thuds in her ears. The adrenaline is starting to fade, willful stupidity giving way to outright panic, and she leans against the closed door as her legs quake.

Alexis' hands shake as she slips out of her clothes, fumbling for the knobs in the shower. She holds herself up against the tile, lets the hot water cascade against her back, and fights a losing battle against the tears welling up in her eyes. The night finally catches up as her mind winds down, beginning to process everything bit by outrageous bit.

Somewhere, deep down, she knows Sam isn't crazy - knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that for the first time, he was telling her the truth - and it scares her to death. She falls asleep with her hand on her gun beneath her pillow, the other closed in a fist in the sheets.

The last thing she expects to wake up to at four o'clock that morning is a knock at her door. She glances at the clock, throws the covers off of her legs, and heaves herself out of bed, her gun pointed at the floor in her right hand, safety off.

The knocking persists, and she peeks through the curtains before slowly opening the door, shocked to see Sam standing on the other side with his hand poised to knock again. He drops his arm, swallows, and Alexis stares at him. His clothes are wrinkled like he just rolled out of bed, feet bare like he ran down to her room in a hurry.

She swallows back any lingering fears or questions she has and asks, "Sam, what's wrong?"

Sam tightens his jaw and doesn't look at her right away. His hands open and close at his sides in involuntary movements. She sighs and opens the door wider behind her. "Come on; come inside." She ushers him in, shivering against the cool night air and flicks the safety back on, sliding the gun onto the dresser.

She barely has the door closed behind him before he throws himself at her, cupping her face tightly in his hands and pressing her against the door. She takes a moment to catch her breath, head spinning as his lips press insistently at hers, hands slipping around her waist under her shirt.

Alexis throws her arms around him and rides out the storm.


She lays with her back to him, facing the wall; she thinks this makes things easier for him, somehow. He runs his hand up and down her back, rubbing his thumb in nonsense patterns against her hip as he talks - about Dean, why he left Stanford, what he's been doing all these years, why he's alone now. Why he came charging into her room half-desperate, half-terrified.

If anyone else sat down beside her and told her their family business was fighting monsters, that they started the apocalypse by killing a demon named Lilith because another demon named Ruby told him to, and were just told by Lucifer himself that they were the devil's vessel - oh and by the way, did she mention that his brother is the archangel Michael's vessel and he's running around with an angel named Castiel? - she would have patted their hand, excused herself, and called the nearest hospital for backup. Instead, she stares at the wall, focuses on her breathing, and attempts to take everything in stride.

She finally has exactly what she wanted - the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God, possibly quite literally in this case - and she has no idea what to do.

Alexis takes a deep breath, turns over and props her head up on her elbow. He's still the Sam she fell in love with, still her Sam, with the ability to turn her world completely upside down, albeit in a completely different capacity than she ever could have imagined. She reaches down to run her fingers over his knuckles and bites her lip. "So, what are you going to do?"

Sam sighs, his relief that she isn't running and screaming and that she left the question open, lets him interpret her words however he wants, clearly evident. He shrugs, the gesture simple yet open, stating a thousand words he can't and isn't sure he knows how to say. "Anything but say yes." He shifts on the bed so he sits up, and she follows, pulling one of her legs up so she can lean her chin on her knee.

Predictably, he doesn't elaborate further on his brother's rejection but buries his feelings deep down where she can't see; she doesn't call him on it. "There's a gun - the Colt. If I can find it, I might have a chance. It can kill anything, any supernatural creature."

"Including the devil." Alexis laughs, buries her face in her hands and shakes her head.

"What?" Sam shakes her shoulder gently. "Alexis, what's wrong?"

Alexis groans, picking up her head slowly. Sam doesn't lift his hand from his shoulder but lets it rest there, a warm, comforting weight. "Nothing. I just can't believe I'm having this conversation."

Sam laughs, nothing but a short breath of a sound. "Yeah, must sound like something out of your Dad's books."

Her lips quirk, eyebrow arching upwards. "You've read my Dad's books?"

Sam's neck reddens the slightest bit, like it always does when he's embarrassed. He ducks his head, lifting his hand from her shoulder to scratch his neck. "I might have," he mutters.

"Then you know what happens at the end of them," Alexis says seriously. He stares at her blankly and she slides into his lap, one leg on either side of his thighs as she slips her arms around his neck. Sam swallows, letting his hands rest hesitantly on her hips.

"The hero always wins," she says with a grin, and Sam huffs a laugh, dropping his eyes. She tips his chin up, kisses him softly, lingering and leans her forehead against his. "And he always gets the girl," she whispers, feeling his lips curve upward, just slightly, against her cheek.

-----

Alexis calls Beckett with an excuse about her car still not being fixed, even though the mechanic calls her the next morning with an absolutely outrageous final total. She uses the remainder of her meager vacation to spend more time with Sam.

She's never been this irresponsible in her life. She finds it exhilarating.

"Are you sure you won't get in trouble?" Sam asks for what has to be the twenty-fifth time in the past fifteen minutes. Alexis rolls her eyes, picking her head up from where she roots around in her trunk to press her hand to his lips. Sam kisses her fingers, and her stomach flutters.

"Everything will be fine, Sam," she says, and then shrugs, slamming her trunk closed, twirling her key ring around on her finger. "Besides, I'm Daddy's perfect little angel," she flutters her eyelashes and Sam laughs, "No one would ever think to accuse me of lying."

Sam grins, tugging her closer, wrapping his arms around her waist. "Just wait until they find out you're ditching work to run around with a wanted felon." He ducks his head to kiss the juncture between her neck and shoulder as they walk.

"They'll never let me hear the end of it," she agrees breathlessly, fumbling to get his door open while he chuckles, lips still pressed distractingly against her skin.

She asks him questions about his life she knows he wouldn't have answered before. Sam is still hesitant to answer; he plays with the sheets in his fingers, stares at the walls instead of her face. Sometimes, he bites his lip and switches back to his old tactics - always on the easy questions, the ones she doesn't understand.

"Why won't you let anyone call you Sammy?"

"Why won't you let anyone but me call you Lex?" He counters. She exhales loudly, stares at the ceiling praying for patience, and blows her bangs out of her eyes.

"You're avoiding the question."

"I'm answering the question."

She tests the waters, just once, and his answer is immediate and thoroughly predictable. "Sammy-"

"Don't call me Sammy."

She shakes her head. Just one more mystery to leave unsolved in her mental case file labeled Sam Winchester.

Sam gets a lead on the Colt the same day Alexis plans on heading back to New York. She packs her bags slowly as he speaks quickly but quietly into his cell phone in the back corner of her room next to the bed. She can't make out his words, but his voice holds a thread of excitement she hasn't heard before, not since Stanford - happier days, before Lucifer and the weight of the world rested on his shoulders.

"Thanks, Bobby," Sam says, and Alexis picks up her head at the name, remembering from one of the many precious things she learned about Sam over the past two weeks.

He swallows, jaw tightening as he swallows convulsively. "I tried; he would barely talk to me." Alexis drops the shirt she's holding, crosses the room, and hesitantly slides her hand along the back of Sam's shoulder, not sure if he wants the comfort. He stiffens under her touch, then takes a deep breath in, relaxing on the exhale. He sits down on the edge of the bed.

"No," he says, and only Sam could sound both vehement and defeated in the same breath. "No, Bobby. I won't try again. It's all on him now. He wants to talk, he'll pick up the damn phone."

She can't be sure, she isn't close enough to the phone to hear the other man's voice clearly, but he growls something to the effect of, "Damn stubborn idjits, the pair of you."

Sam says nothing in return, and the voice on the other end grows quiet again. Sam closes his eyes and sighs, "I will, Bobby. I promise. Bye." He snaps the phone shut and clutches his hands in his hair. Alexis sits down beside him, rubbing her fingers soothingly through the hair at the base of his neck.

"What did Bobby say?" She asks quietly, and Sam drops his hands.

"He wants me to call Dean." That wasn't the answer she was expecting and she pauses, hand stilling against his neck as he raises his eyes. "He wants me to try talking to him. God, Lex, I wish I could, but if he sees my number on the phone I don't know if he'll talk to me or ignore me, or just -" His voice chokes off and he shakes his head.

Nothing Alexis says could make this better or right, so she says nothing and lets him work through his grief. He takes a deep breath, and when he lifts his head, the wall has fallen back into place. Alexis mourns its appearance, but doesn't fault him.

"Bobby got a lead on the Colt. He called Chuck, who told him 'Bela never gave the Colt to Lilith, and if you read my damn books, you would know that.'" He smiles wryly as he imitates Chuck's voice and rolls his eyes.

Alexis chuckles; she's still absorbing the reality of Sam's extraordinary life. Hers is abysmally tame in comparison. "1-900-Prophet. Now I've heard everything." She pauses when Sam doesn't continue, pulls her hands into her lap and hesitantly asks, "So...where to now?"

The simple answer would be none at all, the silent, tearful goodbye with all of the trappings she thought she was receiving the other night - a sweeping kiss, his arms tight around her back, her fists clinging to his shirt until he walks away and doesn't look back.

However, this isn't one of Gram's movies, and she should know better than to expect Sam Winchester to keep to the script. Instead, he licks his lips and speaks down to his boots. "There's a crossroads demon named Crowley. He was Lilith's right hand man, but he plays to his own agenda."

"Which means he's dangerous," Alexis states unnecessarily, and Sam sighs, as if this wasn't the answer he was hoping for.

"He moves around a lot. I don't think I can track him myself, but if I can get a handle on his location through other demons then I might have a chance." Sam shifts uncomfortably, clasping his hands together, tapping his feet against the floor.

Alexis recognizes the look in his eyes as he raises his head - the pleading, treacherous hope, against all odds. She takes a deep breath in, out.

She's going to ruin her life - or maybe this is exactly the way things are supposed to be.

Alexis Harper Castle has never done anything spontaneous or dangerous in her entire life, which is why even after she tosses him her car keys, the next words out of her mouth shock them both. "We need to make a stop first. You're driving."
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