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] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5]
Sam followed Dean down the front steps, the question finally escaping his lips. "She knows?"
Dean nodded. "I met Charlotte when hunting a poltergeist, you know…no, you wouldn't know that," he finished with a sigh.
Sam felt a stab of guilt, but let the feeling subside.
When Sam and Dean exited the apartment building, Sam immediately looked for the Impala, surprised when he couldn't find it. A quick search led him past a few parked cars to Dean heading to the corner. His keys were already out and he was fumbling at the door of…a mini-van.
"Where's the Impala?"
Dean looked up from the side of the van. "Dad's car?"
Sam should have known. "Never mind."
They both climbed into the mini-van. As Dean started the car, Sam had a look around. There were various toys -- a stuffed bear, a few toy cars, and some children's books -- strewn across the carpeted rear seats. In the front, the passenger's side was pretty neat, though Sam thought he saw a few candy wrappers under Dean's feet.
The engine hummed as the van started, and suddenly all Sam could hear were the jubilant shouts of a kid's chorus singing.
Sam stared at the radio.
Dean averted his gaze, appearing mildly embarrassed. He jammed his finger onto a button and the tape popped out. "Could be worse," he said, flinging the tape in the back. "Last road trip was Barney 24/7."
Sam could not imagine Dean listening to Barney for even a minute with a straight face.
"There's a box under your seat. Grab it for me, will ya?"
Without argument, Sam did as he was told. Despite the differences between this and his other life, Sam had a good feeling what was in the box, a feeling that served as a light in the dark. He drew comfort from it.
Sam opened the box and smiled.
"Zeppelin," Dean told him. His right hand was extended, his fingers waving with impatience. Sam grabbed the tape and handed it to him.
"Your van is so high-tech it astounds me."
Dean slid in the tape and relaxed. Zeppelin started to rumble throughout the entire van. "I like to think of it as retro."
"CDs, Dean. Maybe you've heard of them?"
"My cassette tapes do just fine."
Sam shook his head, but couldn't keep from smiling. This was the best he'd felt since he'd woken up in this world.
The moment was fleeting, however, as Sam felt the pull back to his new mission. He couldn't waste time drowning in memories.
Dean seemed to read his mind. "So, where're we headed?"
"New Bedford. The wharf. But we need to stop somewhere first."
Dean eyed him suspiciously. "Where?"
The mini-van rolled into a parking space on the side of the street. Dean hunched over and peered out of the passenger side window past Sam. "I dunno. Place looks kinda sketchy."
Sam followed Dean's gaze. They had driven into the heart of Chinatown, stopping in front of a restaurant, where a young gang of teens hung out near the door. It didn't look any different than the dozens of places they'd visited over the course of their lives. Places like this shouldn't make Dean blink twice. Though Sam assumed that even if Dean had hunted for a little while, it wasn't enough to make much of a lasting impression.
"Don't worry," Sam said. "Just follow my lead."
"Because you do this sort of thing every day," Dean snapped in a whisper. He gave a pointed look at Sam's suit.
"Yes, I do. You're just going to have to trust me. Can you do that much?"
Dean glared at him. Finally, after a long pause, he threw the van in park and pocketed his keys. He looked outside again, this time squinting, as if he were trying to make sense of everything that happened. "Really?" he said. "A Chinese place is gonna help?"
"Let's go," Sam told him.
The two of them jumped out of the van. Sam had already started toward the restaurant when he realized he was alone. Concerned, he turned around, finding Dean by the van's side.
Dean wasn't listening. He tugged at his shirt, letting it fall free from his belt, and started to unbutton the front. When he was finished, he rolled up his sleeves and ran his fingers back through his hair, causing some of it to stand on end.
"That's not going to make you look tougher," Sam said.
"Lose the suit jacket," Dean muttered.
Sam took off his suit jacket and tossed it in the back of the van. He, too, rolled up his sleeves, and joined Dean as they passed the teens on the sidewalk before entering the restaurant. He didn't miss Dean giving them a worrisome look.
The inside of the small restaurant was neatly organized with little tables and beautiful paintings on the walls. On the way to the counter, they passed a fountain where fish swam through the currents of the fountain pool.
"May I help you?" asked a small man behind the counter.
"Yeah, my name is Dean Winchester, and my brother here is--"
"Sam Winchester!" The man exclaimed and clapped his hands. "I have seen your picture in the papers."
Sam let out an uneasy laugh. He could see Dean scowling through the corner of his eye, but that didn't deter the man behind the counter. He motioned them closer before he pointed to the menu behind him.
"First time customer, I give you 10% off. Plus, an extra 10% for you."
"That's great," Sam said, "but we're actually here on business."
The light, jovial nature of the man was replaced with a cold, hard look. "Business?"
"I'm looking to make a purchase." Sam's gaze locked onto him.
The man's eyes were awash in fear, but he made no other outward sign of understanding what Sam meant.
Sam kept his gaze steady on the restaurant worker. "Randy Pinto sent me."
The man's eyes widened. Sam wasn't sure if it was just shock, distrust, or a mix of both. Whatever the case, Sam was prepared to show him a copy of a business transaction between the store and Randy Pinto if he couldn't get some cooperation. Becoming involved in the middle of a criminal investigation would do this man's reputation no good.
"Are…are you here for his case?" the man asked.
"No. I'm here to make my own purchase." Sam smiled.
If it were possible, the man's eyes widened further. Then, without a word, he scurried into the back kitchen and disappeared.
"What was that about?" Dean asked, the scowl still planted on his face.
"We can't just waltz into the building housing the mirror," Sam said. "We need to be prepared."
"I don't think I like where this is going…"
"You didn't think we'd just walk into a store, buy a mirror, and leave, did you?"
From the exasperated look on Dean's face, that was exactly what he was thinking. Sam was beginning to have doubts about taking Dean with him to retrieve the mirror.
The man came back from the kitchen with another, larger gentleman. They both regarded Sam and Dean for a moment before the larger man grunted and beckoned Sam to follow. Dean stepped forward to walk with him, but the smaller man shook his head.
"You stay here and order. Then bring your van around the back."
Dean gaped at him. He looked to Sam for some kind of assurance, but Sam was already being led into the back. He waved Dean on, hoping he got the signal to do as the man said, while he was taken past the kitchens for his transaction.
Sam said nothing as he passed several of the workers, likely family, working in the hot kitchen. The smell of fried rice, dumplings, pork and chicken filled the air. If he wasn't occupied and full from his meal earlier, Sam thought he might be enticed by the food here.
The large man ushered him behind a thick curtain. Sam stopped short.
The room was packed with every weapon he could imagine. One wall was covered from top to bottom with shotguns, pistols, antiques, and machine guns. Another wall had an assortment of knives, most of which Sam had never before seen, though he recognized a few different machetes and sickles. Yet another wall was decorated with all manner of trinkets, charms and amulets. Sam saw a big chest on the floor. He had no idea what was in there. He didn't think he wanted to know.
His eyes fell to an elderly Chinese man sitting next to an arrangement of charms.
"Sam Winchester?" he asked. "Sam Winchester, the attorney?"
"You trying to shift blame from your client to me?" When he narrowed his eyes, Sam felt the larger man move closer.
"No, I'm not here to discuss my client's case, which is confidential. I'm here as a paying customer."
The man arched his eyebrows. "Oh? Attorney Sam Winchester, hunter?"
Sam undid the buttons on his dress shirt and pulled it back to reveal his tattoo. The man blinked, amazed. Then, he nodded to the larger man, whom Sam assumed was his bodyguard, who in turn slipped out of the room.
"Sam Winchester. A hunter. I would never have known." He shook his head. "I only thought you represented our kind."
"I'm full of surprises," Sam said. "Now, I'd like to browse your collection."
Sam spent the next half hour going through the man's arsenal. He'd learned he was called "Big Chan," which served as his code name throughout Chinatown. Sam guessed even the restaurant name was a front.
By the time he was finished, Sam had purchased a few sturdy silver knives, three shotguns, several sidearms, a few rosaries and buckets of holy water to save time, shells and salt, and a few charms to be safe. Big Chan's bodyguard assisted him in taking the weapons around the back where Dean had parked the van. Dean was leaning against the side of the van, shoveling a heap of Chinese noodles drenched in light gravy into his mouth. When they emerged, he stopped, his face turning white.
"You're not putting that stuff in my van."
"No, we'll just tie it up on the luggage rack."
Sam ignored his brother's moody fit and urged him to come into the weapons' room. Dean kept glimpsing back at his van, like it was as precious as the Impala, which unnerved Sam more than he wanted to admit.
With a sigh, Dean finished off the lo mein and tossed the empty box in the trash. He followed Sam back to the rear of the restaurant. Once they were inside, he heard Dean whistle.
"Who is this?" Big Chan stood, his eyes narrowing.
"Just my brother." Sam waved to the weapons on the walls. "Pick a handgun and then we can go."
"You want me to get a gun?"
"Yes, come on, Dean. Just pick one."
Dean wandered over to the wall covered with guns and mulled over the selection. After a bit of indecisiveness, he reached over and picked a polished looking handgun, one that Sam found to have a striking resemblance to Dean's engraved gun in their other life.
Sam paid for the gun and walked with Dean to the van. He thanked Big Chan again and happened to glance at the sky. The stars snuffed out, overtaken by the storm clouds that rolled in from the bay. Just what they needed. Complications.
He sighed and settled into the passenger seat. Dean was already muttering to himself.
"We just bought illegal weapons from Mr. Myagi," Dean said. "And they're next to my kids' stuffed Big Bird."
Sam peered over the bucket seat. Sure enough, the yellow bird was resting against the covered side of a double-barreled shotgun. He tried not to recall his own memories, which includes books and toys next to his dad's own guns.
"So, we just go in, get this mirror, and it's going to be over?" Dean eyed him hopefully. "It's that simple?"
Sam nodded, though deep in his gut he knew it was never that simple.