I'll be getting to comments soon. I've had a bad week.
But here is the first couple of scenes (first chapter) for my untitled Sam AU I started a few weeks ago where Sam gets sucked into a different reality. It's supposed to take place after Sex and Violence. I think I may work on it some this coming weekend. That, and I'm itching to work on some of my wing!fic. I deserve a break right? Heh.
I'm just posting it to share. You don't have to feel compelled to read it on my account. When it's done, I'll post it more formerly.
Sam skidded to a halt in front of the antique shop's basement window. He already had the majority of the windowsill salted when he heard Dean slam the door behind them. Growls of disapproval erupted from Dean's mouth, each curse and insult building on the last as he pushed hard against the door and salted the floor. Sam knew Dean blamed him – or more precisely Ruby – for the bad intel they'd received, but he didn't have time to dwell on Dean's sorely misplaced temper tantrum.
The demons were closing in on them. They were running out of time.
Sam grabbed his spray paint bottle, shook it, and started a hasty circle on the floor under the window, holding his breath as he honed his sense to any movement, any little noise. He glanced up and frowned, noticing another window partially obscured by a stack of moldy boxes. He was about to sprint toward it when Dean knocked him out of the way, charging to it first. The hard look on his face told Sam enough.
"Don't," Sam warned. "Don't go there."
"Just find the damn thing," Dean muttered.
And that was all he had a chance to say. Before Sam could even reply, there was a burst of shattered glass and Dean flew back, flipped through the air like a rag doll. He hit the ground with a loud crunch, bypassing an aging armoire, and smashed into a pile of now broken china sets, taking an antique mirror with him.
Sam didn't have time to check if Dean was okay. He kept his gaze focused on the now advancing demon, moving to position himself between it and his brother.
Sam narrowed his eyes. "Where is it?"
"Oh, it's here," said the demon, his curled mouth twitching. "I'm surprised you haven't found it yet. I'd heard such impressive things about you."
"Shut the hell up," came Dean's voice.
Sam heard him try to push out of the boxes, and while he was relieved Dean was all right, he couldn't just stop to help his brother. Something wasn't right with this whole scenario. The demon hadn't made a move. The rest of the demons who had pursued them into the basement hadn't come knocking. Something was wrong and it was unnerving him.
His gaze flickered left and right. Ruby had warned him that one of Lilith's minions was closing in on another one of the seals and that the object was hidden somewhere on the south side of Boston, but she couldn't give anything more specific than that. He wouldn't know what "it" was, even if "it" was right in front of him.
The demon cocked his head. "Are we just going to stand here all day? Or are you going to make a move?"
Sam swallowed hard. "You know what I can do."
"So I've heard," he said. "Call me a nonbeliever."
"Oh, you'll be a believer when I'm through with you," Sam said.
"Sam, don't you do it, I swear to God…"
The demon raised his eyebrow. "You always let your brother tell you what to do?"
Sam set his jaw and raised his hand.
Dean didn't hesitate. He flew past Sam, Ruby's knife in hand, and went for the jugular. But the demon just laughed as he jumped away and pushed back with an invisible hand. Dean had little time to react and stumbled, dazed by the blow. Unyielding in his resolve, he blindly thrust at the demon again. This time, the demon drew a knife of his own and before Sam could fully process what was happening, it was over.
The demon slashed the knife across Dean's leg, deep and wide. Blood sprayed hard, splattering across the mirrors, teacups, and other old trinkets lying around the room. Dean hit the floor.
The blood was gushing everywhere. Sam knew the demon had hit an artery, and they had little time before Dean bled out. Feeling his own blood boil, Sam lifted his hand again and stared the demon down.
"Don't do it," Dean warned him. His voice was laced with pain, his hands shaking as he struggled to stop the blood flow. "Don't."
But Dean's words were lost on him. Sam called on his reserve energy and pressed outward. There was that tingle, that energizing ripple that he'd grown to know, and it extended out of him naturally, comfortably. This demon would have to crawl his way out of Hell to hurt another person again.
He saw the demon start to jerk and knew his end was near, but that was when it went wrong.
There was a piercing cry that tore through the air, shaking the room from floor to ceiling. Sam felt hot and fuzzy, a thick cloud forming in his head. He stumbled back, unable to fight off the white noise that was eating away at the dark room. While he grabbed one of the mirrors for support, it wasn't enough to keep him upright. Sam gritted his teeth and fell to his knees.
And then everything – the demon, Dean, and the room itself vanished into an empty white haze.
Sam's eyes snapped open.
He didn't have time to think. He pushed the fog from his mind and bolted upright, thrusting out his hand to finish the job.
This wasn't the antique store.
He found himself sitting on a king-sized bed in a spacious room with soft, padded carpeting. On one side of the bed, he found a small nightstand with a single modern styled lamp, while the opposite side held a large window that stretched the length of the wall, covered with satin lined blinds. He could even see hints of a master bath, the door slightly ajar, from across the room.
There was no sign of Dean or the demon. There was no indication that any antiques had been remotely close to this room.
Sam had no idea where he was or how he got there.
He fumbled for his jacket pockets only to realize he was wearing a t-shirt and sweats. As he scanned the room again, he found no sign of his clothes or anything that would connect him to the store. Sam was a little unnerved that he had no recollection of getting to this place or that someone may have undressed him, but he chose not to dwell on it. He needed to get out of here and make it back to the antique store.
Quietly, Sam rose to his feet and started to take a more detailed inventory of the bedroom. From what he could tell, it seemed like a normal room, nothing supernatural or odd about anything inside. The place felt lived in, but barely so. In fact, Sam sensed a newness to the place.
He just didn't understand why he was here. He felt like he had been plucked right out of thin air and dropped into the room. Sam held onto the hope that if someone had taken the time to dump him in a polished apartment, then they would have had the courtesy to get Dean some immediate medical care. Maybe whoever had brought him here had taken care of Dean as well.
The demon troubled him. Sam knew he hadn't finished the exorcism. Therefore, the demon was still out there. It obviously knew what the seal was and with Sam out of the picture, it would have had free access to anything in the shop.
Sam needed to figure out where he was.
He gently tapped at the bathroom and peered inside. Empty.
Next, Sam crossed the bedroom and glanced out into the rest of the apartment. The living room was huge. The décor was simple and open, with a flash of elegant restraint, but not lacking in finesse. Sam noticed the state-of-the-art entertainment center on display against the wall above a fireplace. Again, the outer walls were glass, but without the cover of blinds, they showcased a breathtaking view of the cityscape.
Sam studied the skyscrapers. He was still in Boston. Getting to the antique shop shouldn't be difficult, he realized with some relief.
He scanned the rest of the living room, bypassing the full living room set, the glass vases, and the sharp furniture. From where he stood, he saw hints of a dining room and kitchen, but more importantly, he noticed a closed off room to his right.
Without a sound, Sam crept across the hard wood floor in his socks and grabbed the doorknob. He gave it a quiet, careful tug and poked his head inside the darkened room.
He called out for his brother in a soft, tentative voice, still uneasy to make his presence overtly known in the strange place. He had no weapons, no means of defense other than his own physical strength. If he needed to get the jump on someone, he didn't want to ruin the element of surprise.
But as the minutes ticked on, his sense of anxiety over the place began to wane as a feeling of comfort and familiarity hit him. He couldn't discern any sense of foreboding from anywhere in the apartment. There was only quiet confusion.
"Dean?" Sam called again.
He slipped inside the room and flipped on the light. To his surprise, he had entered a large study, filled with bookcases, which in turn were packed with tomes upon tomes of texts both old and new. A sturdy desk stood in the back center of the room, topped with a tasteful smattering of items and a laptop. But unlike the other rooms the study was dark and windowless. There was still no sign of his brother.
His gaze fell to the edge of his desk.
Sam grabbed the cell phone and immediately dialed Dean's number. Only, the phone refused to connect.
Sam swore and shoved the cell phone into his pocket. He scanned the room again and found a cordless phone near the computer. That one would work, he told himself, as he proceeded to manually dial Dean's cell number. He tried not to think of all the different alternatives as the phone rang.
Sam frowned. He didn't recognize the voice. "Dean?"
"Sorry, got the wrong number."
The line disconnected. Sam wasn't about to let that stop him. He knew he had the right number. Once again, he dialed and once again he was shot down.
Frustrated, Sam tossed the phone on the desk and pressed his fist to his mouth. He felt the anger boiling just beneath the surface of his skin, but he knew he had to remain focused. As much as he didn't want to consider them, Sam knew what he was looking at were several scenarios: he could be delirious or dreaming; he could have been moved by someone after he had lost consciousness; or he could be experiencing something demonic or the result of spell work.
Whatever the scenario, he knew that chances were the demon had broken the seal or was on the verge of doing so. He also knew that if Dean hadn't received medical attention by now, he would be dead.
But sitting here pondering the possibilities would get him nowhere. He needed to figure out where he had been taken and quickly double back to the antique shop.
Sam started to flip through some random paperwork on the desk, searching for an address, when he heard a soft click. He tensed and crept to the study's exit, holding his breath as he listened to the gentle rustle of clothing in the next room. Sam pressed himself against the wall and waited.
He frowned. It was a woman's voice, a woman who clearly knew his last name, but whom he didn't recognize. He reconsidered pouncing the stranger and slid further away from the door to listen.
He heard her come closer. "Mr. Winchester? Are you awake now?"
Sam held his breath, hoping that she might miss him. But the woman, pretty and middle-aged, stopped in the doorway to peer into the room, jumping when she saw him. She took a deep breath and held her shaking hand to her chest.
"Oh, Mr. Winchester." She laughed and shook her head. "You scared me."
Sam stared at her. He filed through every memory he could, trying to place her face, but nothing clicked. He had no idea who she was.
The woman sighed. "Already working. One day you're going to burn out, you know."
He glanced back at the desk. He started to find an uncomfortable but recognizable pattern to the items located on the surface.
Sam turned back to the woman. "I'm sorry, but do I know you?"
This prompted the woman to roll her eyes. "Always a tease. Tsk." She shook her head. "You did have a tough night last night, didn't you?" As he went to speak she held up her hand. "None of my business, I know. We'll have to see if those blood stains come out or not."
"You took my clothes?" Sam asked.
She laughed again and, to his surprise, patted his arm. "Such a tease."
He watched her step out of the study. The woman went back to straightening out the living room, humming as she went, before she grabbed a stack of fresh towels and headed to a second bathroom.
Sam followed her.
The woman didn't even turn her head as she worked. "Mr. Winchester, you may pay me well, but there will never be enough money to get me on board with your little mind games." She stacked the towels in the closet and turned to face him. "So whatever's on your mind, you should ask it while I'm still on my coffee buzz."
He didn't quite believe what he was hearing. He had hired help – apparently his hired help – working in what was likely his apartment.
None of which was possible.
Sam pushed the thoughts aside. "Did you pick up anyone else?" he asked. "One might have had dark eyes and the other would have had a gash on his leg."
She stared at him. "Picked up? Honey, you drank way too much last night. Are you getting into those bar fight crowds these days?"
He frowned and shifted his weight, trying to bite back his impatience. "No, no. My brother. One of them would have been my brother."
"Your brother?" She gave him an odd look and then shook her head. "No one but you. I found you passed out in the study, all bloodied up and trashed. And do I hear a, "Thank you, Maddie'?" She arched her eyebrows.
He had never been in the antique shop? As Sam tried to make sense of that piece of information, he realized Maddie was still staring at him. He let out a nervous chuckle. "Thank you, Maddie."
She nodded. "Better. But I'll be honest with you," she said as she wiped the bathroom sink. "I never liked that mirror. It wasn't right."
"Mirror?" His face darkened. "What mirror?"
"Calm down," she said. "I'm sure Archie took that thing out this morning. Awful thing. I'm glad you decided to sell it."
Sam tried to envision the mirrors from the antique shop in his mind's eye. There had been so many different trinkets and old furniture that he couldn't be certain what might have been important and what might have been junk. At least he was certain of one thing – this connection was not a coincidence.
"Did I keep any invoices of this mirror?"
She shrugged. "I don't touch your paperwork."
"Thanks, Maddie. I appreciate it."
He didn't bother to hear her response. Sam hurried back to the study and threw himself into the leather chair in back of the desk. He knew the mirror was key. He just wasn't sure what it had done. Whatever he was experiencing wasn't the work of Djinn. This was something else.
Sam concentrated on the timeline in his head. After Ruby had warned him of the seal, he and Dean had headed to Boston to get to Gibaldi's Antiques. The demons had followed them there and his exorcism had gone wrong somehow. He recalled several mirrors in the basement, but he was struggling to visualize any special one. After the hot white, he apparently had ended up here. Maddie insisted he had been here the entire night. That would have meant no antique shop, no demon, no Dean. That didn't make sense.
He knew he could be dreaming, but at this point, he hoped that wasn't the case. God knew what the demon could be doing to himself, Dean, or any unfortunate soul if he was somehow trapped in a trance.
The mirror could have changed time. It could have sent him to a mirror world. It could have done any number of things, depending on the spell work.
Sam needed to find that mirror and make sure nothing else had been damaged. He needed to make sure the seal was still intact and find Dean.
He filtered through the stray paperwork on the top of the desk, but didn't find anything of interest. One note was a reminder of some party on Saturday night, while two of the other papers dealt with a building somewhere downtown. When he tried to start the computer, the password protected prompt popped on the screen.
Sam would save that for later. He had to have some other information lying around somewhere.
He saw a telephone book resting near the printer. He grabbed the phonebook and, after a quick scan, found Gibaldi's number. Sam wasted no time dialing.
"Yes, hi. My name is Sam and I'm calling from The Antiquers' Association. My colleagues and I had planned to come down for an interview this afternoon, but I had heard some rumors that there has been a recent break-in. I was just calling to establish if we could still come by today."
The man snorted. "Break-in? There's been nothing going on here."
"Really?" He frowned, noticing two different photos on the desk. "No one broke into your business late last night or early this morning?"
"No, I was here all night." He paused. "Who'd you say you were again?"
"From the Antiquers' Association," Sam said. "We'll see you later." He put the phone down and grabbed one of the photos.
It looked like an older photo, but the face was unmistakable. Jess smiled one of her stunning smiles as she snuggled up with a younger version of himself.
Sam bit back the pain and quietly placed the photo where it was. There was a part of him who was dying to know more about her, if she was here, if she was alive in whatever fantasy he was trapped in, but the other part of him couldn't go there, refused to go there, and shut the ache out.
He picked up the other picture. This one was more recent, but equally as painful. He stood tall and proud, holding a framed piece of paper. His dad stood beside him, just as proud, while his mom was on the other side of his dad. She looked as if she'd been crying. Dean stood by their mom, hands in his pockets, struggling to appear subdued, but failing miserably at it. He looked just as full of pride.
Sam glanced behind the desk and found the same piece of paper hanging on the wall. He stared at the law degree.
"I'm a lawyer."
The idea no longer seemed appealing to him. It hadn't for quite some time. At least Sam knew he could definitively rule out a Djinn at work.
Sam returned his attention back to the desk. He still couldn't rule out some kind of dream world, or a time change, or something else. Whatever it was, he knew it couldn't be good. The demon was behind this somehow which meant Sam didn't belong here, whatever here was.
Deciding to take a page from Dean's book, he grabbed a paperclip out of the desk organizer, unwound it, and started to jimmy the locks on the desk. He didn't have time to play detective work on where he would have hidden the key.
After a few unsuccessful attempts, he heard the lock snap. Sam yanked the top drawer open and started to flip through the inside. Mostly, he found just extra supplies, pens and pencils, and some new pads of paper. He grabbed one of the tablets and threw it on the desk for later use.
Next, he tried the locked side drawers. Sam realized every single drawer had a lock, and while he found that curious, he didn't ruminate on it for very long. The next drawer popped open and he fished through the contents inside. He found a couple of folders neatly stacked on top of each other. Once he had grabbed them, he started to flip through the contents, finding some random photos and notes about some restaurant in New York, and some other bits of information, newspaper clippings mostly, that made little sense.
Sam was about to reach for another folder when he found a small black book. Without hesitation, he snatched it and started to flip through it.
An address book. Finally.
Sam found "W" and opened it. There, he found Dean's name and address. His heart stopped. Lawrence, Kansas.
Just below it, he had his parents' address listed. Unsurprisingly, it was their old house. He stared at his father's number for a minute, tempted, but thought better of it. Sam dialed Dean's number.
"Hey, Sammy. To what do I owe this honor?"
Sam sighed with relief. "You're okay."
"I would hope so."
Sam nodded to himself. Chances were that whatever had affected him hadn't rippled out to anyone else. If Sam had been dislodged into a dream or a different kind of reality and Dean hadn't been transplanted with him, this Dean would be clueless. But Sam had to be sure.
"What's the last thing you remember?"
There was a moment of silence. Sam could hear the frown through the phone. "We're playing twenty questions?"
Sam groaned. "Just humor me."
"Okay," Dean said. "I ate a tuna sandwich."
Sam rubbed his forehead. That wasn't exactly the type of answer he was looking for, but it would do for now.
"Anything weird going on?" Sam asked.
"Weird?" He heard Dean sigh. "You're not getting in with the druggie crowd, are you?"
"Dean, just answer the question."
"No. I don't know." He paused again. "Well, now that you mention it…"
Sam frowned. "What?"
"See, today I got this phone call from my brother who never, ever calls. Scary stuff."
Sam scowled. "Nice."
"Ask a stupid question…"
"Okay." Sam slammed his hand on the desk and stood. Dean, whoever or whatever he was here, was okay. That was all he needed to know. "I just wanted to make sure you were all right."
"Something going on I should know about?" Dean's voice grew dark, the concern laced throughout the question.
"No. I'd just heard some reports of some power failures out in Lawrence and I wanted to check."
"Take it easy." Sam cut the call.
He exhaled and braced the desk. Dean wouldn't be any help to him this time. Either he was different, mind wiped, or some other alternative. Sam needed to find this mirror and figure out what it did so he could reverse it or fix it. Dean would just slow him down.
Sam was alone on this one.