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Summary: Sam Winchester has everything he's ever wanted: a wonderful girlfriend named Jessica and a normal life away from hunting at Stanford University. When his best friend, Connor, comes back from a trip to L.A. acting different, Sam begins to worry.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Connor-CenteredRiverchicFR15429,551593,56410 Jun 1110 Jun 11Yes

Chapter Four

They found the room where their dad was staying easily. After looking over the information about their diving ghost, Constance, Dean declared he was going to have a shower. Since he thought his brother smelled like a toilet, Sam wasn’t going to argue. It wasn’t his fault Dean didn’t have the sense to grab onto the bridge when he jumped over.

Sam noticed he had a voicemail on his phone and smiled as Jess bitched about Connor being even more overprotective than Sam usually was, but how it was nice that he had no qualms about kicking Luis and Zach out whereas Sam was too polite to do so. After the voicemail was done, he glanced down at his watch. Jess would be in class, but Connor would be free.

The shower was still running, so Sam dialed Connor’s number and sat on the edge of one of the beds, his eyes drifting over the articles his dad put up on the walls. Dean would be out of the shower soon, but he still wanted to check in at home.


“Hey, Connor. It’s Sam.”

“Hey, how’s it going?”

Sam chuckled lightly. “A ghost possessed Dean’s car and nearly ran us over early this morning. We had to jump off the side of a bridge to avoid death. It was an interesting start to the day.”

“You’re just saying that to make me jealous that I’m not there.”

Sam laughed loudly at that. “Whatever. You know I’d trade places with you in a heartbeat. How’s Jess? I got her voicemail.”

“She’s doing fine. Worrying about you like crazy. She’d make a damn good lawyer, if you ask me. She nearly had me spilling all my dirty, little secrets.”

He could just imagine Jess grilling Connor at every open opportunity, trying to find out about where he was going or what he was doing. “Well, it shouldn’t take too long. We found out what dad was investigating and once we get it taken care of, we’re hoping we’ll find him.”

“What was he hunting?”

Sam started to pace through the small bedroom, looking over the different articles on the walls. “A woman in white.”

“Wait, the ghost of a jilted lover?”

“The very same. Very violent and not wanting us to go digging around. If dad didn’t already get rid of the body, we’ll salt and burn it ourselves. But I’ll be b--”

Sam trailed off when he turned around and saw Dean standing in the bathroom doorway staring at him in disbelief. The anger was rolling off of him in waves, and Sam froze. “Gotta go,” he mumbled into the phone before snapping it shut and shoving it into his back pocket.

Dean pointed at him and to Sam, it felt like a loaded gun. “What the hell was that?”

“What was what?” Sam asked, trying to buy some time to figure out what Dean heard and how he could spin it.

“You know damn well what I mean, Sam. Who were you talking to on the phone about our hunt?” Dean slowly walked out of the bathroom and towards Sam. “Was it dad?”

“What?” Sam asked in surprise. “No! No, it wasn’t dad. I haven’t spoken to dad in years.”

The back of his legs hit one of the beds and he sat down as Dean kept advancing. “Then who the hell was it, Sam? Who are you telling about our hunt and about dad?”

He tried to figure out a way to tell Dean about the past year and a half, but there really was no way to do it without his brother getting extremely angry. “It was Connor,” Sam said after a few terse moments.

“Connor?” Dean asked in disbelief. “That girly kid who you called to stay in the apartment with Jessica? That guy?”

“Yes, Dean. Connor.”

“How the hell does he know what we are?”

There was no way he could tell Dean the truth, because his brother was a bit too black and white when it came to the hunt. “He...his dad’s a hunter. His biological dad is, I mean.”

Dean was starting to close off, so Sam surged off the couch and walked closer. “He grew up in this life like me, Dean. He didn’t want it, and his dad didn’t want him in it. He was legally adopted by another family and stopped hunting. When we first met, we had no idea who the other person was. We were just friends. About a year ago, there was a surge in demonic activity and we crossed paths trying to figure out what caused it.”

“Oh, and you’ve been Sid and Nancy on the hunting trail ever since?” Dean asked sarcastically. “Do you even go to school anymore, Sam? Do you really have a law school interview on Monday or were you too anxious that a few days with me and I’d find out the truth?”

“Dean!” he snapped, trying to gain control of the conversation again. “Connor and I aren’t hunters like you and dad. It’s not our life. We both go to school and we both have lives outside of the job. We do it only if it doesn’t get in the way.”

Dean started pacing the same path Sam walked a few moments before. “You can’t do that, Sam. You can’t straddle the fence like that. You’re either in or you’re out.”

“I’m out, Dean,” Sam said with certainty. “But if something happens around campus and it’s not going to hurt me or those around me if I take care of it, I’m not going to turn a blind eye.”

His brother shook his head, taking a seat on the bed. “And Jessica has no idea?”

“No one does, except for Connor. He’s like me. He doesn’t want the life, but sometimes it finds us. But I made a promise that if Jess and I...if we really go the distance with this, I’m giving it up for good. I don’t want to raise a family the way I was raised.”

There was silence in the room before Dean stood, grabbed his jacket and headed for the door. “Dean, where are you going?”

“To get something to eat. I need to think for a while.”

“Dean,” Sam pleaded. “Come on, man.”

He held his hand up as he opened the door. “Give me some time, Sam. It’s a little blindsiding. I leave you alone for two whole years just to find out you’ve been doing the same thing you wanted to get away from.”

Sam had nothing to say to that, because it was true.

“I’ll call you later,” he said before exiting the room. Sam sat down on the bed with a heavy sigh. A few seconds later, his cell phone was ringing. When he saw Dean’s name on the caller ID, Sam scoffed as he flipped it open.

“That was quick.”

“Dude, 5-0. Take off.”

Sam shot off the bed and went to the windows to peek out the curtains. “What about you?”

“Yeah, they kinda spotted me. Go find dad.”

The line clicked then went dead, and Sam sighed. They didn’t need this on top of trying to find dad and Dean finding out about Sam’s extracurricular activities. When one of the troopers got too close to the window for comfort, Sam stepped back and grabbed his things, making a beeline for the bathroom window.


Sam sighed as he got back into the Impala. Talking with Joseph Welch hadn’t gotten him far, but he did discover that his father had already been to question the man about his late wife. He shook his head as he started the car. Sam promised himself that he would never follow in his father’s footsteps, and here he was literally doing the same thing.

He went over the facts they had accumulated as he started the car and headed back into town. Since the hotel room had been stripped by the police, they were left with the simple facts they learned for themselves and the articles they read before forced to escape. Sam looked down at his notepad with the notes he took as he questioned Joseph. It didn’t make sense that Constance Welch was still haunting the highway. If his dad knew where she was buried, why hadn’t he salted and burned the bones? Perhaps Dean would know, and for that, he needed to actually speak to Dean. As he neared town, he pulled the car over off of Main Street so he could park and think.

His phone started ringing and Sam quickly opened it, not checking the caller ID. “Dean?” he asked breathlessly.

“No, it’s Connor,” his friend replied worriedly. “What’s going on? You were supposed to call me back and you never did.”

Sam sighed and leaned back in the seat. “Dean heard me talk about the case and knows that I haven’t exactly been free from the life as I claimed. He wasn’t too happy.”

“Sorry, man. Anything I can do?”

He chuckled dryly. “Yeah. Help me break Dean out of jail?” There was silence on the end of the line for a moment and Sam wondered if he dropped the call. He pulled the phone back to look at the screen, but the call was still connected. “Connor?”

“You’ve been gone for twenty-four hours and one of you is already in prison? I don’t know whether to be impressed or worried.”

“Don’t let Jess hear!” Sam hissed, but Connor chuckled.

“Don’t worry. She’s in the kitchen doing dishes and can’t hear a thing. Now back to your brother. Why is he in jail?”

Sam knew Connor was never going to let him live this down. He sighed. “Well, we kinda impersonated federal marshals.”

The silence on the other end of the line was back. Sam knew Connor was rerunning the words through his head and trying to understand. “You what?”

“In order to get information from local cops, we impersonated federal marshals,” Sam said with a huff. “I told you what I did wasn’t exactly legal, Connor.”

“Exactly. You said you did things that weren’t entirely legal. I assumed you broke into places to get supplies and lied, not that you impersonated federal employees. You do know that’s a felony offense, right?”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Yes, Connor, I do, but right now, I need to figure out how to get Dean out of jail so we can destroy the bones of this woman in white and then find dad so I can come home.”

“All right, all right,” Connor said defensively. “Geez. Don’t bite my head off.”

“Sorry,” Sam said with a sigh.

“It’s fine. Now, how big is this town you’re in?”

“Not big at all,” he confessed. “Couple hundred people, I think. Maybe a thousand?”

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Connor muttered. “So the town is small, right? That means a very small local sheriff or police station. This is their big case, but they think they have a suspect or at least an accomplice in a fake federal officer. If they think they have another big crime occurring, they’ll keep him there and rush out.”

Sam ran his hands over the steering wheel absently. “Look, I get what you’re saying, but how am I supposed to stage a huge occurrence that will evacuate the building? It’s not like I can walk in and pull the fire alarm.”

“Sam,” Connor said with amusement in his voice. “It’s the 21st century. You don’t have to do anything. You just have to tell them that something is happening.”

“I still don’t get it.”

“I refuse to believe you made a 174 on your LSAT. Refuse.”

Sam sighed. “What am I supposed to do, Connor?”

“Make a fake 911 call, Sam!” he said in a huff. “Call and say that you saw a ghastly hit and run or that a bus full of kids rolled over or something!”

With a frown, he glanced down Main Street, seeing children playing. Grinning, Sam finally had an idea of what call to make. He would need to wait until nightfall so that Dean could escape under darkness, but sunset wasn’t that far away. Until then, Sam would grab something to eat and go over the case facts one more time.

“Got it. Thanks, Connor, for helping me break the law.”

Connor groaned. “Just hurry up and get back, will you? And try not to get arrested.”

Just after nightfall, Sam drove back down to the road he scouted earlier, grabbing some loose change and heading toward the pay phone. He took a few quick breaths, then dialed 911. As the operator picked up, Sam put the theater class he took after losing a bet with Zach – never mind the experience in lying picked up on various hunts over the years - to good use.

“Please, you have to help,” he said breathless, changing the pitch of his voice to make it sound higher and in distress. “I’m on Whiteford Road, and there were children playing, and I heard gunshots. Lots of gunshots, like popping noises.”

“Sir,” the calm operator said on the other side of the line, “do you see the gunman?”

Making a face, Sam kept an eye out for anyone who might see him and identify him. There was a group of teenagers on the other side of the street, but they were paying him no attention.

“There’s more than one,” he said quickly, still playing his part. “I saw at least two, maybe more. Please, you have to hurry! Whiteford Road, multiple gunmen, save the children!” Sam finished quickly, wiping the phone down to remove his fingerprints and quickly rushing back to the car. Earlier, he planned a route using back roads so he could head out to the end of Breckenridge Road to salt and burn the bones of Constance Welch and not be seen by the cops heading to Whiteford Road.

Just as he started to drive down Centennial Highway proper, his phone rang. Dean’s voice came across loud and clear. “Fake 911 call? Sammy, I don't know, that's pretty illegal.”

Sam chuckled wryly with a grin. Connor had probably wanted to bang his head into a wall for giving Sam the idea. “You’re welcome.”
“Listen, we gotta talk.”


Sam’s chest still hurt from where Constance shoved her hand into it, trying to kill him. His legs were also sore from the large dresser she shoved at him and Dean. He considered that a small price to pay since the ghost was finally gone. After listening to Dean bitch about how he was going to kill Sam if he damaged the Impala by driving it into the house, he helped his brother get the car out of the living room and back onto the road. Now, Sam was looking over a map. Their dad’s journal was on the seat in between them, open to the page with the coordinates left for Dean. “Okay, here’s where dad went. It’s called Blackwater Ridge, Colorado.”

“Sounds charming. How far?”

He glanced down at the legend and tried to guess how far the town was from where they were currently in Jericho. “About six hundred miles.”

Dean nodded absently and peeked at the dash, probably checking the fuel and oil levels. “If we shag ass we can make it by morning.”

While he grinned at Dean’s crude remark, Sam sighed and put away the map. “Dean, um…”

Dean took his eyes off the road and trained them on Sam for a few moments before darting back to the asphalt. “You’re not going.”

He sounded disappointed, and Sam winced. “The interview’s in ten hours; I gotta be there. Plus, I need to go back to Jess. Connor can’t watch her forever.”

“Yeah,” Dean said with a nod. “Yeah, whatever. Go back to your school, your girl, and this ‘safe hunting’ or whatever the hell it is you do at night to make yourself believe you’re still living the normal life. I’ll take you home.”

Sam opened his mouth to argue, say that Dean didn’t get it at all, but the words wouldn’t come. He ended up turning his head to the side and staring at the black landscape that passed in a blur. He let the lull of the engine and the motion of the car put him in a sleep, trying to think of an excuse to give Jess when she found out that he hadn’t found their dad in case Dean came back again, needing his help.

It seemed like only a few minutes before Dean was hitting him on the arm, trying to shake him awake. “Sam. Sammy!”

He jolted awake, rubbing his face. “What? What is it?”

Dean pointed off to the side and that was when Sam realized they were at his apartment complex, but something was wrong. Fire trucks lined the perimeter of the building and part of the parking lot was taped off. Spectators gawked as they watched firemen put out the massive fire coming out of familiar windows.

“No...” Sam whispered before hastily unbuckling his seat belt and rushing out of the car, ignoring Dean calling his name. “Jess!” he shouted. “Connor! Jessica!”

A fireman grabbed him as he tried to rush past the barriers and into the complex. “Whoa, you can’t go in there. Stay back.”

“No, this is my place! My friend and girlfriend are in there!” Sam argued, trying to muscle his way past, but Dean was at his back, pulling him away.

“The building was evacuated, son,” the fireman said. “We have no reason to believe anyone was inside.”

Sam went slack and Dean pulled him away from the crowd. “Dean, where are they? If they’re not in there, where are they?”

“I don’t know, Sammy.”

He ran his hands through his hair as he tried to get his mind pulled together. His phone started buzzing in his back pocket and he pulled it out, eyes widening when he saw Connor’s name on the caller ID. Sam nearly ripped the phone apart trying to get it open. “Connor? Where the hell are you? Where’s Jess?”

“We’re fine, Sam. We’re both okay. We’re at my apartment, and you need to come over, now.”

“We’ll be there in five minutes. Just...stay there.”

He turned around to find Dean, who was talking with one of the fireman. Sam rushed over and pulled him away. “They’re at Connor’s. We have to go.”

“Sam, I--”

“Let’s go,” Sam hissed, pulling at him one more time before running back to the Impala. Dean had no choice but to follow. Sam was anxious the entire drive over to Connor’s apartment. Sam didn’t even wait for Dean to park the car before he was pushing the door open.

He entered the code on the keypad by the door and as soon as the light turned green, he pulled the door open hard. Sam heard Dean catch the door and yell for him as Sam headed for the stairs, not wanting to wait for the elevator, taking them two at a time. When he came to Connor’s door, he beat on it with his open palm. “Connor! Jess! It’s me, open up!”

Dean caught up to him in the time it took Connor to open up the door. Sam lurched inside and his eyes honed in on Jess, sitting on the couch with a bandage around her stomach, her right ankle wrapped, and a first aid kit spread in front of her covered in bloody bandages.

Sam rushed over to her, his hands ghosting over her warm skin but too nervous to touch. “Oh God, Jess...”

She put his hands on his face to drag his wandering gaze from her injuries to her own eyes. “Hey, Sam, I’m okay.”

“Jess,” he choked out, “you’re not okay.’re injured. We need to get you to a hospital.”

“And say what?” Connor snapped, and Sam remembered that he and Jess weren’t the only ones in the room. While his friend wasn’t too bad off, there were still bruises on his arms and one blossoming on his cheek. “That one of our friends was possessed by a demon and tried to filet your girlfriend on the ceiling before setting your apartment on fire?”

Sam felt Jess tense next to him and he when he looked into her eyes, he saw the haunted look that mirrored every single person he’d saved in the past year. The disbelief, the hurt, the anger was all there and it broke his heart that she was subjected to it.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Dean interrupted loudly. “You said one of your friends got himself possessed and tried to do what?”

Sam tore himself away from Jess. “Who was it?”

Connor answered Sam first. “It was Brady.”

“What?” he asked loudly, the denial on the tips of his tongue, but in hindsight, his personality shift suddenly made sense. When Brady came back from Thanksgiving nearly two years ago, he was a completely different person, and when Sam and Connor took up hunting on the side, Brady all but disappeared.

“Can we get back to the part where some demon just tried to fry a person on the ceiling?”

What Dean was trying to get across to Sam was finally filtering in. “You don’t think...” he asked, trailing off.

“Oh, that’s exactly what I think,” Dean replied, walking over to Jess and sitting across from her in one of the arm chairs. “Did this Brady guy say anything to you? Anything at all?”

Jess bit her lip, then winced. There was a cut on her bottom lip and Sam dabbed up the blood that started to spill from the open wound. “He said that his master sent him to give you a message,” she said to Sam. “He said that you were getting too lax, and you were forgetting who you really were. You were losing your potential by doing things on your own terms, and that my death would give you the drive you needed to go back to the way things were supposed to be.”

She took one of his hands in her own, and when she spoke, her voice was clear, calm, and even. “What the hell is going on, Sam?”

“Do you need a minute?” Connor asked quietly, but Sam shook his head.

“No, having you both here will help.” He sighed and looked down at Jess’s battered hands. “I didn’t lie when I said dad was on a hunting trip. I just didn’t tell you what he was hunting.”

“What was he hunting?” Jess asked.

“A woman in white. It’s the spirit of a woman who died a violent death after learning her husband was unfaithful. She prowls the area looking for unfaithful men and kills them. My dad went to stop him.” He took a deep breath and finally looked back into her eyes. “My family hunts evil spirits and demons. Up until the moment I stepped on campus here, I helped them.”

When she pulled her hands away, he didn’t protest. Since she couldn’t stand and walk around like she tended to when she was thinking, he put some distance between them by walking to the other end of the room.

“Why?” Jess started looking between the three men in the room. “Why do you do it?”

Dean cleared his throat. “Because the master of this Brady dude killed our mother. Shoved her on the ceiling of Sammy’s nursery, gutted her, and burned the place down. Ever since, dad’s been on a hunt to find the thing, and we’re taking out any evil son of a bitch that we can along the way.”

Sam couldn’t look at Jess as Dean told the story. She knew his mother died in a fire, but that’s all he told everyone but Connor.

When Jess looked over at Connor though, he tensed. “My story is more complicated than that.”

“Does it have something to do with your biological dad?”

Connor sighed. “He’s a vampire.”

Dean blinked and turned around to slowly face him. “Excuse me?”

“Not the breed that’s nearly extinct, but another one. Hunters don’t run across them because they converge on mystical hotspots and are taken care of by vampire slayers.”

Dean snorted. “Yeah, hate to say it man, but those are myths designed to scare the demons. It’s their bogeyman.”

Connor smirked at Dean. “Tell that to my ex’s sister.”

“Who, Dawn?” Jess asked in shock before falling back against the couch. “Holy shit.”

Sam and Connor both laughed in surprise, since Jess hardly ever swore. He turned to Connor. “Where’s Brady?”

“Dead,” Connor said flatly. “I snapped his neck and threw him out the window after the fire started. It’ll look like he jumped and fell. I didn’t make the break clean.”

Sam sighed. “Damn it.”

It was quiet in the room for a full minute before Jess asked Dean a question. “What are you going to do now?”

He shrugged as he glanced at Sam. “Our dad left us coordinates in a journal he left behind. That’s where I’m headed. Sammy here has that big interview.”

“No,” Sam said firmly, and didn’t back down when Connor and Jess looked at him in shock.

“Sam!” Jess exclaimed.

“No, Jess. You don’t understand. We’ve been trying to find the thing that killed my mother since I was six months old. I need to find him before this gets out of control. What if he comes after you again, or Luis or Becky or Zach or the entire school? I won’t let that bastard control my life anymore.”

She just shook her head. “Connor, will you please talk some sense into him?”

Connor was silent for a moment before he sighed. “He’s right. And I’m going to help him.”

“No, you’re not, Connor,” he replied. “This isn’t your fight.”

“The hell it’s not, Sam. I’m a player in this now, and you need me and my resources.”

While all that was true, Connor didn’t have the luxury of dropping out with no consequences that Sam did. “What is your dad going to say?”

Connor chuckled. “You know how he feels about lawyers. He always thought I was going turn evil the moment I got my degree.”

Sam smiled sadly. “I meant the Reillys.”

Connor flopped onto a chair. “I’ll tell them the truth. Their original memories have been slowly coming back since we left LA, so I think they’ll accept it well enough. I’m pretty sure they’ll soon forget I was even a part of their family.”

“Memories?” Dean questioned before he looked at Sam. “What the hell kind of people are you hooking up with here?”

“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you on the way to Colorado.”

“Good,” Jess said as she straightened her back. “I’m rather interested.”

All three men stared at her, but it was Sam who spoke. “Jess, you’re not coming with us. You still have school to finish.”

When her eyebrow went up, Connor groaned and Sam winced. Dean didn’t know what that look meant yet, but he was about to find out. “The hell I’m not, Samuel Winchester. One of our friends was just… possessed and nearly killed me to get at you. You think that the moment you’re gone another one’s not going to try again? How can I finish school when I’m dead, Sam?”

“She’s got a point, dude,” Dean chimed in, which prompted Sam to glare at him.

Jess patted the seat Sam vacated earlier and he sat next to her. “Sam, I get that you need to get this...demon out of your life, but I need to help you get him out of my life. Now that I know about all this stuff, I can’t just let you walk away and leave me here.”

“But Jess, I can’t protect you while we’re hunting. I can’t keep my eye on the bad guys and you.”

“So you’ll teach me.”

“Teach you?” Dean asked with a laugh. “Teach you what?”

Jess glared at him and his laughter tapered off. “Teach me to hunt. Teach me what you do. I can help you research and do background stuff.” She gripped his hand hard and Sam knew it was hurting her more than it was hurting him. “We’re in this together now, Sam. You can’t leave me behind.”

The air was tense before Connor stood out of his chair. “Sam, she’s right.”

“I know. It doesn’t make this any easier.” Sam grimaced as he looked up at Jess. “Fine. You can come with us.”

The way she was smiling at him made him think they were planning a romantic trip to a faraway place, not a trip to Colorado to go hunting. He returned the smile, but wasn’t heartfelt.

“All right, kiddies. Let’s gear up and head out.”

Jess whipped her head to look at Dean. “What, we’re leaving tonight?”

He smirked at her as he popped his back. “Welcome to the life of a hunter.”

Sam glared at his brother. “Do you not see all the bandages on Jess? We can’t leave tonight. It’s not safe for her to move.”

“We have to check out those coordinates, Sam.”

“No, you do,” he snapped, standing up. “Dad left those for you, not me. I need to stay here with Jess until she’s well.”

Both brothers were in a standoff, glaring at each other, while Connor and Jess watched. The silence stretched on as no one spoke in the tense room. Suddenly, the cell phone sitting on the table started to vibrate and Jess reached out painfully to grab it.

“It’s Becky,” she said after looking at the screen. “She probably saw the fire trucks.”

“Don’t answer it,” both Connor and Sam snapped. She looked up in concern.

“But it’s Becky. She’s our friend. I can’t just ignore this.”

Sam resumed his spot by Jess and pulled the phone out of her hands. He ignored the call and then turned the phone off, flipping it over and removing both the battery and the SIM card. “What would you tell her, Jess? That you were attacked by a demon living in her ex-boyfriend’s body?”

She held her hand to her mouth as tears filled her eyes. “Oh God, Brady. I can’t…I just can’t believe…”

“The signs were there,” Sam said sadly as he put the pieces of Jess’s cell phone onto the coffee table. “His mood swings, his abrupt change of behavior, and even the fact that he couldn’t stay in our room very long. I had it warded.”

“You roomed with this dude?” Dean asked incredulously. “And when all this happened it didn’t scream ‘danger’ to you?”

He sighed in irritation, not at Dean, because he was thinking the same thing himself. “I thought it was drugs, Dean. I didn’t think that my roommate would become possessed and plan to kill my girlfriend in the future.”

“Why the hell not?”

Sam spun around to glare at his brother again. “Because unlike some people, I don’t think ‘demon’ when someone acts weird around me.”

“And look where it got you.”

When Sam stood up and Dean took a step forward, Connor rushed in between them. “Guys, can we not do this right now?”

They ignored him. “Did you really think you could ever be normal, Sam?” Dean asked. “You’re not normal; you’ve never been normal. You can’t straddle the fence between this life and the life of a hunter. I let you play the college card for a while but you’ve got to face up to what’s happening.”

Sam’s jaw clenched. “I’m not you, Dean, and I’m sure as hell not dad. I don’t want this.”

“You don’t have a choice.”

“Sam,” Connor said softly, “if you two want to have a no-holds-barred fight, then fine, but we have to get out of here. Once people realize it was your apartment that was on fire, the next place they’ll look is here. We have to get to the safe house.”

Sam knew that Connor was right, that it was likely the cops would want to question him, not to mention their friends would be extremely worried. He nodded and stepped back, looking at Jess with a wince. She rolled her eyes at him.

“Sam Winchester, do not give me the pity face. I will be fine.”

When Connor walked over to look at her bandages, he gave her a wry grin. “You’re just saying that because you’re in shock.”

“Probably, but we’ll deal with my not-shock attitude when we come to it.” When Jess swung around to get ready to stand, Connor was by her side. Sam started to walk over, but he shook his head.

“I can carry her easier and safer than you. I grabbed your emergency bag before we ran out of the apartment. It’s by mine in the closet. Grab that and whatever you can out of my chest so we can get out of here.”

Sam hesitated as Connor gingerly helped Jess stand then picked her up in his arms, but he couldn’t stand to see her in so much pain, so he did what Connor asked. Dean followed him into Connor’s bedroom and stood by the large closet as Sam reached for their emergency bags.

“This discussion isn’t over,” Dean reminded him seriously, “and I still don’t agree with Mr. Girl and your sweetheart tagging along.”

He threw the bags down onto the bed hard. “Their names are Connor and Jess, Dean. Stop joking around; this is serious.”

“You think I don’t know that?” his brother hissed. “Your ex-roommate is dead after being possessed by a demon and your girlfriend nearly ended up dead like mom. People are dropping like flies around you, Sammy. We need to find dad and figure out what’s happening.”

Sam dragged Connor’s chest out from under the bed and flicked the lid open. “You really think dad’s going to know what’s going on?”

“You got a better plan?”

He paused in loading up a spare duffel bag. Sam really didn’t have any sort of plan, but Connor and Dean seemed to have their wits about them and knew what needed to happen. As much as he hated to admit it, he trusted Connor more than Dean at the moment, but only because Connor was as emotionally involved in this as he was.

“Fine,” he snapped, zipping up the duffel bag and tossing it over his shoulder. “You go find dad, but I’m staying with Jess at the safe house until she’s well enough to travel. I don’t want to leave her here.”

Dean picked up the emergency bags with a skeptical look on his face. “And how do I know you won’t ditch the safe house and crawl into another hidey hole the moment I’m gone?”

They made their way out of the apartment and Sam made sure the door was closed tightly behind them. “You don’t, but Jess is injured and Connor will need some time getting in touch with his dad and getting everything settled. If we do change positions, I’ll let you know. I promise.”

Connor had his own car pulled up at the entrance. Jess was lying in the back propped up with some blankets and Connor was settling her in. The trunk was open and Sam put the duffel bag full of weapons inside. When he turned back to Dean to take back the two emergency bags, his brother had his jaw clenched tightly.

“You call me every night to let me know you’re still okay,” he said after a tense moment. “And if you even think about moving locations and don’t tell me, I will hunt you down and kick your ass until there’s nothing left.”

“Dean—” Sam began, holding out his hands for the bags, but Dean didn’t hand them over.

“You promise me, Sammy. You promise that as soon as you can, as soon as she’s able to, you’ll meet up with me. Something’s going down and I don’t like the idea of splitting up until we know what it is.”

“Go to Colorado. Find dad and then we’ll work this out, okay?”

Dean shook his head. “Promise me, Sam.”

He gave Dean an exasperated look. For a moment, Sam pretended that this hadn’t been the night from hell, that Jess wasn’t lying in the back of Connor’s car heavily bandaged. Connor wasn’t giving up his promise of normalcy for Sam, and that Dean wasn’t looking at him like they would never see each other again. For a moment, Sam was just irritated with his looming older brother who wouldn’t give him a break.

“Sam,” Connor said, “we need to go.”

His friend’s words broke the silence like a hammer shattering glass and the moment was over.

“I promise,” he said softly.

Dean handed over the bags and Sam put them in the trunk, slamming it down to close. His brother walked over to the Impala. Before getting in, he gave one last look to Sam. The Impala roared to life and Dean quickly exited the townhouse parking lot.

Sam sighed as he got in the front seat of Connor’s car. He turned to look back at Jess. The shadow of the night hid most of the bruises and cuts, but the stark contrast of the white bandages shone like beacons.

“I already called Dad,” Connor said as he got in the car and turned the engine over. “He’s sending over a doctor to look us all over.”

Jess held out her hand and Sam gripped as tight as he dared. ‘I love you’, she mouthed before closing her eyes. He kept her hand in his, damning the awkward twist of his back to do so.

“Where’s your brother going?”

“Colorado,” he answered softly. “Dad left him coordinates leading to Black Water Ridge. When he finds Dad, he’s going to call and we can meet up.”

Connor gave him a dubious look as they pulled away from the townhouse and down the back roads of Palo Alto. “Are you sure that’s wise? I know you all don’t really get along, but do you really want to drag your family into this?”

As Sam glanced back at Jess, he sighed. “I already did.”

With a snort, Connor focused entirely on the road, putting as much distance between them and Stanford. “You’re a masochist.”

The car was silent for a few moments before Sam finally dragged his gaze away from Jess. “Thanks, Connor. For uprooting like you did and for keeping Jess alive. For not even asking questions that I know you must have.” He sighed and leaned his head against the headrest.

“You’d do the same for me and you know it. Besides, Dean was right,” he said lightly, but Sam recognized the stress in his shoulders. His eyes were darting along the road almost too quickly, scanning for any threats that might pop out at them. “We couldn’t have the best of both worlds. One of them was bound to bite us in the ass and it makes sense that the world with the most teeth was the one to bite first.”

He snorted at the imagery. “Yeah, well, I think it’s time we bite back.” Sam stared out the window as the scenery flashed by in a dark blur. “We have work to do.”


Notes and Acknowledgements

Thanks for reading, if you indeed got this far. Thank you for sticking with me this long, all the way to the bittersweet end, even if the only sweet part of that deal with that Jess survives. I hope you enjoyed my take on this universe!

As always, I want to thank a few people who directly influenced this story and without them, I would not have finished. For me, writing a story is always a group effort and I want to take some time to acknowledge them.

First, thanks to the lovely mods of Supernatural Crossover Big Bang for hosting and organizing this challenge. This is my second year to participate and I really enjoyed it.

Second, my artist, dollarformyname is frickin’ fantabulous. She went above and beyond her call of artist duty, being a cheerleader and giving me ideas for scenes when I was stuck. I told her I wanted to kidnap her and chain her up in my basement so she could do art for me all the time, but alas. I have no basement. The artwork she created is simply amazing and jaw-dropping awesome. I love all the pieces. Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun working with you. See all the amazing art she made for me here.

Last but never least, my undying gratitude (and at this point, my firstborn and every other child I have) goes to the lovely Jacy Evans. She’s my beta, brain twin, and best friend. When I was putting the finishing touches on this monster last night, she was up cheering me on and going through, pointing out errors all the while. This fic would, quite frankly, suck without her. *loves*

There is a soundtrack complete with free downloadable songs, lyrics, and the cover art located here. Enjoy!

The End

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