He should've listened to his gut instinct. Him and Jess - they would have been on the other side of the Country by now. If only he had just listened to himself, if only he had just hid himself away better, if only he had been more aware instead of getting comfortable with his new life, if only he had just...
If only won't change a damn thing.
It won't change the fact that he hadn't listened, won't change the fact that he did relax and let his guard down, won't change the fact that he had settled down with a beautiful girl and expected a stupid happy ending. Won't change the fact that Dad and Dean had shown up on his doorstep that night two days ago.
Two Days Ago.
Opening the door, Sam froze for a split second. He didn't even see their faces; he didn't have to. He recognized their leather jackets, recognized their body build, recognized their scent that floated over to him. A second later he was slamming the door shut but it was too late. A hand pushed it back against him - then two hands, than four; Dad and Dean working against him to get the door open.
Sam stumbled backwards, watching in horror as the door flung open to bang against the wall behind it. He didn't seem to hear the bang though; he stared at his family, fear etched on his face, his heart pounding in his ears and his palms sweating.
Why did he open the door?! He shouldn't have opened the damn door.
Dean and John stood side by side, the same gentle smile on their face as they finally looked at their youngest again after three years. Simultaneously they looked him up and down, trying to find any differences from the last time they saw him while also trying to see if he was hurt in any way. He was taller; a little taller than Dean now, which made the big brother inwardly frown. His hair was slightly longer and his style of clothes had changed. Instead of the baggy jeans and too-big-for-him hoodies that Sam used to favour as a teen, he now wore jeans that fitted him and a flannel shirt.
Looking back up at Sam, Dean let the smile turn into a cocky smirk, allowing it to cover up the fact that he wanted to run over and throw his arms around his brother. "Hey, Sammy."
Instead of answering, Sam backed up a couple of steps, staggering under the panic he felt. Yet, he didn't feel all that surprised; hadn't he expected this day to come? Moving backwards didn't do any good as Dean and John moved with him, further into the apartment. John turned and closed the front door before placing his hands in his jacket pockets, completely relaxed as he stepped up beside Dean again.
"It's good to see you, Son." John finally spoke, his smile never leaving. "You look good."
Quite frankly, Sam didn't know if he could say the same. His family looked the same but yet somehow different. Sam could see John's growing age clearly now; the lines on his forehead and at the corner of his eyes more noticeable than before. He could see the few grey hairs on John that weren't there when Sam last saw him. His father wore dark blue jeans and his black leather jacket that covered his top underneath.
Dean pretty much looked the same except that he had gotten taller, his shoulders were broader, he had more muscle in his arms and chest, and the bangs under his eyes that told Sam that Dean was tired; probably from searching for Sam for three years. He wore light blue jeans and his Dad's old brown leather jacket, which fitted him much better than it did three years ago. The amulet that Sam had given him years ago still hung around his neck.
John may have been showing his age and Dean may have been tired but Sam could tell by the way they were standing that they still possessed their strength, their skill of fighting and could probably no doubt still move fast. And Sam knew that they wouldn't have a problem showing him those facts if he tried to run again.
"Damn, you've gotten tall." Dean said with a bit of a chuckle, taking a small step forward.
John stayed where he was, guarding the door while he left his oldest to do what he had to. They were getting Sammy back tonight.
Sam moved further back until he was in the living room, trying to create as much distance as he could from his brother, and still not giving his family the satisfaction of hearing his voice. If there was one thing Dean couldn't stand, it was Sam ignoring him. And even though the last thing Sam wanted to do was piss his brother off more than he already had, he couldn't help but take that small victory.
Stopping a few feet away from Sam, Dean lost his smile. "You lost your voice, Kiddo?" A warning disguised as a question, and yet Sam still kept his mouth shut; not wanting them to hear the shakiness that no doubt would appear if he spoke. Dean shook his head and let out a humourless chuckle. "Okay, I get it. You wanna be difficult, that's fine..."
Before Dean could continue, a noise coming from the bedroom caught their attentions. Jess had come out of the bathroom. Sam's eyes widened in even more panic. Shit!
"Sam, did you get the door?" Jess's voice floated into the living room.
Sam watched Dean as Dean stared at the bedroom door, a hatred in his eyes that Sam had seen plenty of times. John was frowning heavily as he also stared in the direction of Jess's voice. Sam's heart banged against his chest and his breathing became faster. No! Please, God, no!
Dean slowly looked back at Sam. "You got yourself a girl, Sammy?" His voice was low - making sure Jess didn't hear him - and deep - letting Sam know he was pissed.
Sam couldn't keep quiet anymore. "Leave her alone." He whispered quietly.
Dean's lips twitched up slightly for a split second, satisfied that he got to hear his little brother's voice. But right now, Dean's main emotion was anger. No, anger didn't really cover it. He had been looking for his brother for three friggin' years; frustration, fear, anger, worry, anxiety, exhaustion, emotionally drained but mentally determined - he had felt these and much more since the moment he discovered Sam wasn't in the Motel room Dean and their Dad had left him in. But yet, he still couldn't help but feel a little proud of the kid. After all, Dean and his Dad were two of the best trackers out there and it had taken them three years to find Sam.
And now here they all stood. His whole family in one room and Dean could've jumped for joy...if it weren't for that bitch in the next room. That bitch who was ruining their Family Reunion, the bitch who thought she could steal his Sammy away, who thought she could worm her way into his family by worming her way into his brother's pants. That bitch who took advantage of his baby brother while Sammy was vulnerable and alone. Dean's face darkened. That bitch had to go.
"Sam, did you get the door or what?" Jess shouted through, her annoyance that Sam had ignored her showing in her voice.
Hearing that tone of voice, the way she spoke to Sam, both Dean and John glared murderously. Dean took a step forward, intending to storm into the bedroom and shut the bitch up himself, but stopped when he saw Sam block his way.
Sam glared back in warning. It was hopeless - he knew it - but he had to do something.
Dean looked at him for a moment with an eyebrow raised before he gave another smirk. Raising his voice a little, Dean spoke. "Yeah, Sweetheart, he got the door."
Sam's glare disappeared, his eyes widening instead. Sam knew that once Jess heard a voice that wasn't his she would come out to investigate. That meant she would be in the same room as his family. That meant she was already dead.
No. No, he couldn't just write her off as dead. He had to fight for her; he will fight for her, the same way he had fought for himself. He owed her that much.
Putting as much urgency in his voice as possible, Sam shouted, "Jess, stay in the room...!"
That was as far as he got efore Dean made his move. Moving as fast as Sam knew he could, Dean grabbed Sam's shirt in both hands before he swung them around and pushed Sam into his father's waiting arms.
"No!" Sam shouted before his mouth was covered with his Dad's left hand. John's right arm had wrapped around his waist, making sure Sam's right arm was trapped at his side and grabbing hold of Sam's left arm without leaving a mark as Sam struggled against him.
He watched as Dean strode to the bedroom, watched as Jess met him in the doorway, her eyes wide. She froze when she saw Dean, despite Sam wishful thinking that she wouldn't.
"Hey, Darlin'." Dean greeted causally as he blocked her way into the living room.
Jess, her eyes wide with fear and uncertainty, looked over Dean's shoulder and spotted Sam. Sam, who was struggling in some guy's arms, muffled screams from behind the guys hand, clear signs of distress written all over his face.
"Sam." She whispered and automatically stepped forward until she remembered the other guy still standing infront of her. "Who are you?" She demanded with more courage than she felt.
Dean smirked. "Wouldn't you like to know." He looked her up and down, his lips curling in disgust at what she was wearing. What self-respecting woman wore skin-tight shorts - shorter than his bleedin' belt, he was sure - and a low cut top that showed more than he wanted to see. She had chosen her as his girlfriend? She didn't deserve someone as pure and innocent as his little brother.
Jess, seeing the guy eye her up and down, and mistakenly thinking he was interested, took a step back in fear.
Seeing this, Dean's face turned into a sneer. "Oh, don't flatter yourself." He spat out before throwing his hand out and grabbing her hair.
Jess screamed and Sam screamed along with her, fighting harder against his Dad, although it was useless. He had been right before. John definitely still had all his strength.
Dean ignored them both and dragged Jess across the room. He flung her down on the couch and took a seat on the coffee table infront of her. He reached behind him and brought out his gun, holding it in his hand loosely and casually resting it on his knee, pointing at Jess. Jess immediately shut up, as did Sam.
Dean nodded in approval. "Much better." He gave a quick nod to his Dad before turning his attention back to Jess, just staring at her as she squirmed in her seat.
Taking his cue, John walked forward, pushing Sam along with him. He stopped at the armchair next to the sofa. Leaning forward, he spoke softly in Sam's ear. "I'm gonna let you go now, Son. No talking, no sudden movements; just sit on the chair and stay put. Think you can do that for us, Champ?"
Never taking his eyes off the gun in Dean's hand, Sam quickly nodded, letting out a heavy sigh as John took his hand away from his mouth. Still keeping a cautious eye on his youngest, John gently but firmly guided Sam down into the chair before sitting down on the arm and resting his arm across his son's shoulders. If John noticed how tense Sam was, he ignored it.
"Alright." Dean sighed, still looking at Jess. "We have a few catch-ups to do..." He tilted his head towards Sam. "...so why don't you sit there, keep your mouth shut and stay the fuck still. You do that and we'll get along just fine, okay, Sweetheart?"
Jess hesitated for a moment, glancing over at Sam. Seeing him nod his head slightly, she turned back to Dean and copied the move.
Dean nodded back. "Great." Still keepig the gun pointed at Jess, he turned his body slightly in the direction of Sam. "So." He started, pausing for a moment to just stare at his brother. "How you been, Sammy?"
At first, Sam didn't respond. His Dad had told him he wasn't to talk, so he wasn't gonna talk; childish, Sam knew, but he needed to control something in this situation. Then he took another look at the gun and decided it wasn't worth it. "Fine." He answered shortly, fear and anger mixed together.
Dean nodded a few times like Sam had said a full sentence. "Good, good." He mumbled, more to himself. "Glad one of us could say that, ay?" His tone was joking, but every one in the room, including Jess who had no idea who these people were, knew it was far from a joke. "So, Stanford, huh?" He continued. "Got to admit; it took us awhile to figure it out." He gave Sam a genuine smile. "Always knew you got most of the brains in the family." He said proudly.
Jess frowned, gasping out, "Family?" before she could stop herself.
Dean sharply turned back to her. "What the fuck did I say?" He snapped. Jess jumped and tried to become one with the couch, startled with his sudden change in tone; one second, his voice was soft as he spoke to Sam and the next...
Jess was beginning to think this guy had a personal problem with her. But Jess couldn't figure out what that problem could be.
Sam tensed more, sitting up slightly before he felt the weight of his father's arm and settled back down, clenching his fists and jaw.
Dean dropped his head a little and took a deep reath, calming himself down. He couldn't even have a goddamn conversation with his brother without the bitch butting in. After a few more seconds, he looked back at Sam, his tone going calm once again. "You wanna do the introductions, Sammy?"
Sam stared at his brother, wondering if he was being serious. Than decided it didn't matter. Gesturing with his head, Sam muttered, "Jess, this is Dean and John. My..."
But Jess, forgetting about the gun, about the threat that gun held, gasped again, this time louder as shock took over. "Your Dad and brother?" She asked disbelievingly.
Sam squeezed his eyes shut, immediately recognizing a big mistake when he saw one. His chest tightened and his eyes watered a little before he pushed the tears away.
Dean and John had both froze, staring at each other before staring at Jess. After a moment of silence, in which Sam was trying his hardest not to hyperventilate, John spoke firmly. "What did you tell her, Sam?"
Jess, realising she had said something she really wasn't supposed to, covered her mouth with her hand and finally allowed a tear to fall. Everything Sam had told her about his family...These weren't people she wanted to piss off. 'I'm sorry.' She thought, knowing it would be useless to say it out loud. Apparently the damage was already done.
Dean, tired of waiting, raised his voice a little to get his brother's attention. "Sam!"
Sam's body twitched in response as he opened his eyes but kept them pointed to the floor. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..." He rushed out before clamping his mouth shut as he felt John's hand in his hair.
"Shh." John whispered soothingly, stroking his son's hair.
Dean glared at Jess, raising the gun a little higher in warning to stay put before he slowly stood up and walked to Sam. He crouched down infront of his brother and placed a comforting hand on his knee. "Stop working yourself up, Kiddo, there's no need for it." He said gently. "It's okay, Sammy. Just tell us what you told her."
But Sam knew it wasn't okay. The words Dean had spoken were just that; words. Something to comfort him and settle him down. And while that had worked when he was a kid - before he knew the truth, when he had been so unbelievably naive - Sam knew better now.
Closing his eyes again, Sam let out a sigh. "Dean, please." He begged, hoping against hope that Dean wouldn't make him be the reason for Jess's downfall.
Dean frowned, hating it when he couldn't give Sam what he asked for. But he and John needed to know how much Jess knew about them.
Sam came back to himself when he felt something wet dropping on his arm. Glancing up, he saw that it had slowly started to rain. Closing his eyes for a second, he fought the urge to sob. That was just what they needed. Another thing to hold them back.
"Sam, please." Jess whispered breathlessly, falling forward with her free arm out to stop herself from falling on her face. "I can't...Sam, I can't...Need...to stop." She pressed her hand against her side, feeling a stitch that just made her want to drop to the floor in pain. They slowed down as Jess bent over at the waist. "It...hurts." She moaned.
Sam finally allowed a few tears to fall as he stared at his girlfriend. She didn't eserve this. He crouched down infront of her and took her shoulders. "Jess, please." He began softly. "I know, okay. I know it hurts, I know you're tired, and I know you don't deserve to go through this, and I'm so goddamn sorry that you are, but we need to keep going." He tightened his hands and felt another tear roll down his cheeks, mirroring Jess's tears. Leaning forward, Sam rested his forehead against hers and squeezed his eyes shut when he heard Jess let out another tired sob. "We need to keep going." He repeated in a desperate whisper.
He felt Jess nod her head and opened his eyes to give a small, encouraging smile, dispite his own pain; both physically and emotionally. In this very moment, he hated his family with a passion. Hated them for putting him and Jess through this. And it hurt that he hated them; you're not supposed to hate your family.
Standing back up, he helped Jess straighten out and pressed a light kiss on her forehead before taking her hand again and carrying on. The urge to sob came back in full force when he heard his Dad's voice shouting his name, forcing a whimper out of Jess as she whipped her head around, trying to spot him. He was nowhere in sight but the sound of his voice didn't sound very far at all, and the panic built up in Sam when he realised that he didn't know which direction his Dad was in. If only he could find that direction than he could figure a few things out.
If his Dad was to the right of them, then that meant Dean would be to the left. If Dad was infront, than Dean would be behind. Easier to corner their prey that way.
Refusing to give in, Sam turned and ran, silently praying that Jess would forgive him.
Two Days Ago
Everyone was silent for a moment. Dean, John and Jess stared at Sam while Sam stared down at his knees.
Dean bent his head down and let out a sigh before looking back at Sam. "Sam...Kiddo...I'm gonna need an answer."
"Why?" Sam asked, his tone indicating how tired of fighting he was. "It doesn't matter about the answer; you're gonna do what you're gonna do anyway."
"Maybe." Dean conceded with a nod, never lying to Sam if he can help it. "But I still need you to answer."
Sam turned his head away and stayed silent.
Dean let out another sigh. "Getting a little impatient here, Kid." He warned.
Sam sealed his lips together.
Dean nodded, knowing Sam would see it out of the corner of his eye. "Dad."
Sam felt John's arm leave his shoulders and get up from the chair. It took a moment to realise what his Dad was doing, but when he noitced John heading for Jess, he panicked. "Alright! Alright, fine, I'll tell you! Just sit back down!" He rushed out, looking back and forth between his Dad and Dean.
John paused and looked back at his oldest, wonderong what he wanted to do next.
Dean calmly stared at Sam, making sure Sam was telling the truth before he nodded again, knowing his Dad would take the cue and sit back down, this time on the arm of the sofa; closer to Jess, something Sam was sure to notice.
And Dean was right. Sam took the hidden meaning behind the gesture and told the truth. Looking back at Dean, he said one simple word, a word that would destroy any chance Jess had. "Everything."
Dean shook his head and let out a disappointed sigh. "Oh, Sammy..."
"I told her everything." Another pause before Sam whispered brokenly. "I'm sorry." He didn't know who he was apologizing to; his family or Jess. He supposes it doesn't matter much either way.
"It's okay, Sammy." Dean automatically soothed, patting Sam on the knee before he stood up.
John stood also and as Dean moved to the couch John moved back to the chair; always in tune with his oldest.
Dean turned to Jess and stared at her for a moment, silently impressed with the steady gaze she held as she looked back. He let out a small chuckle. "So...you know everything, huh?"
Jess glared. "Yes." She spat out disgustedly.
Dean nodded a few times as he chewed his bottom lip. "And...you're not scared?" He asked mockingly.
Jess said nothing.
Dean gave a smirk and sat back down on the coffee table, placing the gun down beside him. Leaning forward, he rested his arms on his knees and looked Jess in the eye. "'Cause let me tell you something, Sweetheart." He paused, allowing the build up to put more fear into her. "You should be." He whispered.
Lost in his memories, Sam didn't hear the rustle of leaves or the snapping of twigs that was far too close for comfort. He jolted when Jess pulled him back with all her strength and let out a scream, quickly turning to face her. "Sam!"
She was staring at something behind him and dread pooled in his stomach, already knowing what he'd see when he turned. Doing so anyway, his stomach turned in knots and his heart jumped a few beats ahead. "Dad..." He let out on a breath.
John let out a heavy sigh, letting his shoulders relax now that he had his youngest in sight. "Stop while you're ahead, Son." He advised.