Category: Angst, Drama, Humor
Spoilers: Spoilers through On the Head of a Pin
Summary: When a hunt to protect one of the seals goes wrong, Sam awakens to find he's a hot-shot lawyer and Dean is a mechanic. Now, as the end of days nears, he must navigate a foreign life to figure out what went wrong, and get back to who he should be even if it means sacrificing the ones he loves.
Word Count: Approx. 33,000
Disclaimer: See previous posts
[Chapter 1][Chapter 2] [Chapter 3]
The night hadn't been a restful one. After the little incident with the phantom Castiel, Sam had snapped the computer back on and tried a new tactic. A few Internet searches later, and he still couldn't connect the number for the antiquer to the actual warehouse. Sam had decided to leave the apartment to try to find any antique shops or warehouses in the general vicinity that might hold the mirror. When that had proved to be a dead end, Sam had returned to the apartment and spent most of the night poring over the invoices, finishing additional research on the mirror, and trying to make sense of how it all linked to angels and demons. Sometime after two, he must have fallen asleep at his desk.
Sam lifted his head off the desk and rubbed his eyes. The computer had shut down long ago, but his paperwork was still spread across the desk. Sam took a moment to straighten out the mess before he leaned back in his chair and sighed.
Dean had to be on his way by now. Sam considered giving him a call to see what state he was in, but then thought better of it. The last thing he wanted was to make this problem even bigger than it already was.
He glanced down at his watch. He figured he should check his messages and start making cancellations for the day. Then, if he had a chance, grab something to eat before he hunted down the mirror.
Sam wandered out into the kitchen and checked the phone. Ten messages blinked on the answering machine. Sam went through them quickly. Two were about potential clients. Three were from Ms. Diego, angry he blew their appointment at a restaurant this morning. Two more were someone named Ross who seemed annoyed he didn't "show" last night, whatever that meant. One was from a girl named Rhonda and another from Maddie saying she'd be late. The last one was just a reminder of all the appointments he had to keep today.
Sam scribbled down the various meetings he had for the day, called his office, and promptly canceled every single one. When Tabby questioned him about all the cancellations and what to tell Ms. Diego, Sam reassured her everything was fine and that he was still dealing with a family matter.
He wasn't sure how much longer he'd be able to use that excuse with nothing to show for it. Until he could think of something more concrete or until Dean arrived, it would have to do.
Sam grabbed an apple and opened the phone book. He had a busy day ahead.
Sam crossed off the eleventh antique shop on his list. Between last night and today, he'd managed to hit the most well-known shops in the downtown area of Boston, some known just by word of mouth and others that were heavily advertised online and on the street.
None of the shops carried anything remotely close to the mirror he needed. When he asked some of the shop owners about the mirror or asked if they knew a Patrick Shaker, the gentleman he'd been trying to reach for over a day, they just shook their heads and sent him on his way.
Sam knew he was going to have to expand his search by starting to look into different sections of Boston and perhaps the suburbs around the city. That could take days. Even weeks.
He didn't have that much time.
Frustrated, Sam threw the notepad on one of the kitchen counters and plopped down on a barstool. He'd been in this place for a couple of days, and he was still no closer to discovering the truth of this reality. At this point, all he really knew was that the mirror was key somehow, angels were involved, and he seemed to be the only one affected.
If he could only figure out why.
Sam sighed and grabbed his notepad again. He couldn't wallow in misery. He needed to get this finished.
That's when the doorbell rang.
He frowned. Sam had specifically told his contacts that he wasn't to be disturbed today. He let his gaze linger on the door before he turned back to his tasks. He would have ignored the doorbell and continued when he heard it buzz again.
Whoever the person was, they were persistent.
He thought maybe it was Dean.
Sam slid off the stool and walked to the door, stooping to peer at the surveillance monitor by the entrance. Outside stood a slender, polished looking man, with long dreads that were tied at the nape of his neck. He tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for Sam to answer.
He certainly wasn't Dean. And he certainly wasn't anyone Sam recognized.
The man buzzed again. And again. Sam could see him grumble something to himself as he waited outside the front door into the building.
Sam knew he wasn't going to go away.
Sam held down the call button and leaned into the door. "I'm not taking visitors today."
"Visitors? Man, it's Ross. Quit the act and let me in."
"Ross?" Sam recalled the name from his answering machine. He still had no idea who Ross was. "Look, I'm sorry. Family emergency. I can't right now."
When he turned back to the monitor, he jerked, surprised to find Ross had vanished. A sudden sinking feeling hit him. Whoever this guy was, he wouldn't easily quit. Sam had gathered that much.
Sure enough, he heard a rapping at his door.
With a sigh, Sam opened the door and glared at him.
Ross was just as abrasive as Dean. He pushed Sam aside and entered, not even to bother to wait to be asked inside. He immediately went into the living room and eased himself onto the couch.
"So, what's this big family emergency?" he asked.
Sam gave him a pensive look, trying to size up the stranger. He was sure what kind of relationship they had, but if he were to take a guess, he would have to say Ross came to the apartment often. "My brother's coming to town," Sam said. "I've just been busy trying to take care of family business."
"Your brother? The idiot mechanic from Kansas?"
Sam's face darkened. "Don't call him that."
Ross rolled his eyes. "When did you get so high and mighty?"
Sam didn't answer him. He found he wasn't all that surprised Dean was a mechanic. He'd figured it all along, but hadn't bothered to look it up and confirm it for himself.
"You blew off the club last night. Not even a call to cancel." Ross looked down to pluck a piece of lint off his business suit. He glanced up and gave Sam a pointed look. "It's not like you."
Sam stared at him. He supposed it wasn't like him. He wondered just what would be like him. He didn't know what kind of person Ross kept expecting to see. He didn't think he really wanted to know.
"We were supposed to do lunch today with Cindy and Tammy when I got off my shift at the bank." His eyes darkened. "Didn't remember that either?"
"I cancelled my appointments today."
"So, you're treating your friends like business appointments now."
Sam sighed. "It's not like that."
"Then what's it like?" Ross asked. "I heard about what's going on. About how you've blown off your bosses and you've been just wandering around looking at antiques all day." He shook his head. "Man, what's wrong with you? This isn't the Sam I know. The Sam I know would be out there, living it up, and working his ass off. What's going on?"
"I've got a lot on my mind."
"So?" Ross stood and crossed the room to stare him in the face. "None of this normal, Sam. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought the job made you snap. But I know you well, and I know that's not it. What is it?"
Sam shook his head. "Look, I really don't have to time to get into it. My brother will be here any time."
"Your family is like poison, man. You know that."
Once, Sam would have agreed with him. Now, family was all he really had left.
"I promise when this is all over, everything will be normal again. It's just this one thing I have to do."
Ross eyed him closely. Sam could see doubt, maybe even a hint of fear, in the man's face. Mostly, he saw pain from being shut out.
"I promise," Sam repeated.
"Yeah, yeah." Ross brushed by him again and headed to the door. "You owe me a good explanation once your bother leaves town." And with that, he walked out the door.
Sam shut the door and closed his eyes. That was the second false promise he had made in the past two days. Knowing he was lying to who seemed like good people ate him up inside. He wondered just how far his lies would take him, and if there were ever a day where he could stop.