It was not a sight that Sam could have forgotten. But then it was also not something that he could explain. Actually, he found that nothing that had happened so far could be explained. He wanted to believe that all this was real. That he had finally gotten the chance to say everything he wanted to say to his father. To finally have the normal life that he had wanted with Jess.
Even Dean, for all he has been like for the past five years, has been accepting of this world. There were times he wanted to confide in him but then he saw how happy he was with his life.
‘What if Dean was right?’
‘What if he was worrying for no reason?’
‘Didn’t Dean deserve this life?’
The truth was that what he saw was not so easily dismissed.
He didn’t sleep that night. He couldn’t. Instead, when he was sure Jess was fast asleep, he got out of bed. Pausing only to look at Jess, who was sleeping ; lost, hopefully, in some happy dream.
As he watched her sleep, he made a promise to himself. Then he crept out of the bedroom; without another second’s glance back.
He made his way to his father’s study, making sure that it was empty before making his way towards the desk. He didn’t hear Jess walking down, and following the light that peaked out through the door left ajar. Nor did he realize that she was standing there watching him working on his laptop. Until he felt her gentle hand on his shoulder. He turned around, startled. But when his eyes fell on hers, his expression changed.
Jess at first looked shocked at how much he jumped when she touched him. But soon calm returned to her face. It was in that calm that he saw in her eyes her true emotions.
Jess was not dressed as she was the last time they went shopping for their mom. She had forgone the short simple dress for a casual t-shirt and jeans. But that was not the only thing that had changed from last time. The happy, talkative Jess was also gone.
Even though they were walking almost shoulder to shoulder, it felt like they were miles apart. As if a void had filled between them.
Sam knew that this was his fault. She had caught him researching Djinns that morning. And she didn’t need to be told why. He wanted to explain to her but then what would he say?
‘I am sorry Jess I just can’t believe that all this is real?’
‘As much as I am happy to see you alive, I don’t think you’re real?’
The truth was that even he was not sure why he was doing this.
No, that was not true. The truth was that he knew, and it had nothing to do with Djinns or not believing that all this was real.
The truth was that he, Samuel Winchester, was afraid that this was all real.
The thought scared him more.
The silence between them had their perks. It gave him the chance to finally get the bearings of his surroundings; which turned out not to be that much unusual. It was the same suburban neighbourhood that he had grown up in, or at least he remembers his house being since the last time they had gone there.
The houses, the trees, the sidewalks, were just as he remembered them. As if someone had taken a picture from his mind and recreated it. This would prove the ‘Djinn theory’. Only, it would not negate the ‘Angel theory’ either.
He wondered if there was anyone around that he might recognize from the last time he had been here. But then the streets were empty and bare of anyone except themselves. There weren’t even any cars passing by. It was quite still and relaxing that he actually enjoyed the peace that surrounded them.
They had quite the distance to cover before they reached the supermarket. He did wonder if maybe he should have brought the Impala. The last time they had chosen to walk was because he looked forward to the time he would spend with her. But with her being silent, he now wished for a vehicle.
Fortunately, they finally reached the supermarket. As silently as they reached it, silently did they walk in.
He commandeered a trolley as he followed Jess around, as she went about knocking items of his mom’s grocery list.
The place was quite convenient. It had everything you needed, everything; in every possible brand. Though it didn’t seem, from the outside, to be that big.
He took the moment to look around him, at the people that filled it. Searching the faces, to see any he might recognize or who might recognize him. But the people for their part kept to themselves. Their eyes focused on their own tasks. As if they were lost in their own worlds.
He found people watching strangely fascinating. All the types of people around. Young, old; male, female; tall, short; fat and thin. It felt better now that he was not looking for demons or monsters.
He looked at the items in their own trolleys or baskets, the process they went through picking the items. All the little things that could possibly tell a lot about the people themselves. Like the young couple that lingered a little too long near the baby products, scrutinizing the choices of diapers available, or the young man that was standing nervously around the packets of condoms. Or the two men who were…
Sam found his gaze locked on the two men. At one point they turned towards him and he was certain that for a second there was a moment where recognition flashed in their faces. The two men looked at each other and then proceeded to move on.
Sam couldn’t look away.
He followed them as they pushed their trolley; walking fast causing him some concern in following without being noticed. He watched them as they moved towards one of the counters. The two men didn’t look back towards him as they stood in line. Finally, they reached the cashier and got their purchases tallied. They dumped a bundle of money and almost left without the change; until the cashier called them back. With hesitation, they walked back to pick up the money in the young girl’s hands. He almost lost the two men when he found himself distracted by the pretty girl, with golden blonde hair and blue eyes that seem to glow with the wide smile that was on her face. The man who took the change didn’t look at her but kept his gaze away for some reason.
Sam looked up just in time to see the two men pass through the glass doors of the supermarket. He quickly abandoned his own trolley and made for the door himself.
The two men had gotten into a car and drove off. They were keeping to the speed limit, for some reason. But that meant that Sam could keep up with them. The problem was that there were no other cars on the street for him to get cover behind.
The men were driving through his neighbourhood; they passed his home.
Sam gripped the steering wheel of the Charger tight, letting his grip go only to change gears. His eyes were fixed in front and his face was contorted into a mask of sheer concentration that if Jess had seen him then she would have thought he had finally lost his mind. As his concentration stayed fixed on the car ahead he noticed none of what happened around him; at where he was going or the never changing landscape on either side.
The 2008 SRT8 Charger did well to keep up with the Chrysler ahead of him. He was glad for it. It also had a full tank, which was fortunate because he had no idea how far he was going to have to travel. Fortune it would seem was his today, as if the fates were themselves aiding him to catch up with the men.
He had not given much thought as to what he would do when he picked the car. He had rushed to the first car his eyes fell upon; the first one that would give him least trouble breaking into. Then it was a matter of hot-wiring. But then that was second nature to him by then.
The car ahead of him finally started to slow down. With no intersection in sight, he was hopeful that they were finally wherever it was that they were heading.
He parked the Charger a few houses down as the Chrysler turned into a house similar to his. The car didn’t pull into the garage, as the two men got down and picked up their groceries. Their behaviour should have struck Sam but then he was not concerned with their behaviour. His interest was elsewhere.
He waited until the two men were inside before stepping out of the Charger and making towards the house.
He moved cautiously so as to avoid attracting the attention of any curious eyes. There was, of course, no one in sight. But then someone could happen to peek out from the rows of curtained windows that lined either side of the street.
He reached the house and carefully made towards the door.
He paused for a second trying to decide whether he was going to pick the lock or just break in. When, for whatever reason, he decided to try the knob. It turned and the door opened.
He hesitated again before remembering why he was here.
He pushed the door open and walked into the house.
He had barely stepped into the house when he found himself flying through the air.
He slammed against a wall, hard enough that he felt the air knocked out of his lungs.
He then found himself pinned against the wall; his brain starving for air.
Finally, he found the strength to regain his senses and air into his body.
His eyes immediately fell on the two men he had followed.
One was facing Sam, his hand stretched out towards him and his eyes as black as coal. The other, strangely enough, was turned towards the first demon and seemingly in an argument with him. The second demon’s words were not clear, he just heard the tone, which sounded extremely agitated. The second demon’s eyes were still normal but Sam could still smell the stench that was present at the supermarket.
Soon enough he started to hear exactly what the second demon was saying. He was having a one-way argument with the other and he seemed to be trying hard to persuade the other demon to let him go.
‘Strange’ should have been the word that should have sprung into his head at the moment. But Sam’s mind was preoccupied with other thoughts. Like what he would do once he got free from the demon’s hold.
For a second he almost wished he had his old powers back.
However, for all the second demon’s efforts, the first one seemed to have no intention of letting go.
‘At least he was not trying to kill him’
Finally, he heard the second demon scream out in desperation:
“You really want to screw all this up and go back to hell?”
At that Sam found himself again flying through the air.
This time he didn’t slam into a wall, instead, he hit the floor and slid several feet.
As Sam fought to get back on his feet, the first demon turned to the second and gave him a cold and evil stare. Sam took the opportunity to look around him.
He was in a dining room of sorts. It was not partitioned off from the rest of the house. Actually, for all the house’s outward similarity to his own, that was where it ended. It was clear to Sam, instantly, that his memory of his own home was of no use here.
No matter how hard he looked around him, he couldn’t find anything to use as a weapon. The house looked as if it had been picked from a Martha Stewart catalogue. All light and bright, everywhere he looked, with nothing sharp or metallic in sight.
Suddenly he realized that the sounds of the demons had died down and he turned instinctively to where they were. Just in time to see the first demon charging towards him.
His eyes were still black and demonic as before. But now, his face was also twisted and looked nothing human at all. His once handsome face was hideously twisted into a snare. Sam could see clearly the veins stretching across his face.
There was no doubt what his intentions were as he made towards him.
By then, the other demon had himself gone silent.
The demon bent down and picked Sam up and slammed him against another wall.
Pictures on the walls shook and fell down. Sounds of china and glass rattling in a cabinet nearby filled the air. As the demon pinned Sam hard against the wall, its face was inches from Sam’s.
Sam could feel his hot breath against his skin. And the stench was strong and pungent that it took all his strength to fight the urge that brewed inside of him.
“It’s going to be worth it, to get the chance to rip this do-gooder’s face off,” the demon said as his sneered at Sam.