Disclaimer: Supernatural is not mine, incidentally, the same goes for Dark Angel
Summary: He should have left this city the minute he walked into Crash and saw the double of his brother. Sam-centric, crossover with Dark Angel.
Author’s Note: I have no real recollection of writing this story, just trying to get Claire to make me stop so I could, you know, study for finals. Instead, she called just beta. So really, this whole thing is her fault. (Edited 12.06.06 mayatawi was kind enough to go over this for me and fix it up some more. Huge thanks to her.)
WARNING: Character Death and some cursing
What Comes Around
John calls exactly once in the four years Sam is at Stanford.
It’s three in the morning during Sam’s freshman year, and he's sleeping for the first time that week. When the phone rings, he’s not entirely conscious when he grabs his cell and flips it open.
He’s greeted with his father’s familiar voice, clipped and businesslike, speaking without preamble. “Sam, have you heard anything from Dean?”
“Dean?” he mumbles before the memory of the fight can seep back into the forefront of his brain.
“Your brother,” John snaps. “Have you heard from him?”
Something in Sam goes cold. “No. What’s the matter, Dad? Did something happen to him? Where are you? I can --”
There’s a click and, a second later, a dial tone. Sam looks at his phone in shock. He’s suddenly wide awake, worry for his brother overriding his anger at his father. He opens his phone again and dials Dean’s number, hanging up and redialing each time he fails to get through.
Twenty minutes later, someone answers. “How did you get this number? This is a private line.”
It isn’t Dean. Sam feels a sudden stab of betrayal. Dean wasn’t the one who forbade all phone communication. He shouldn’t have changed numbers without telling him. “I’m sorry,” Sam stammers. “I was trying to get to my brother, Dean, he… I just wanted to make sure he’s all right.”
“I’m sure he’s fine.” Sam isn’t sure, but there sounds like there is a note of certainty in the rough voice. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just remembered some business I have to attend to.”
“Sorry for waking you up,” Sam says, and quickly hangs up the phone, sinking down onto his bed. He tries to call his dad again, but he’s not answering, and a nasty little voice in Sam’s head whispers that this is what he wanted.
Three days later, Dean leaves a message on his phone, voice unsteady and slightly slurred. Stay out of Wyoming. I’m all right, but they liked me so much, they might decide they want to look for you.
Sam doesn’t know what the hell that means, but when he checks the callback number, he realizes, with a chill, that it matches the number he dialed.
There are three things Dean doesn’t talk about and after living with his brother for years. Sam knows better than to ask.
The first thing Dean doesn’t talk about is the fire, the first one, the one that killed their mom. Sure, he’ll make oblique references to her death, but he never tells Sam what he saw that night. Sam knows he saw something, knows it because, after any hunt that ends in a burning, Dean sleeps on his stomach like he’s afraid the ceiling will burst into flames if he looks at it for too long. Sam knows how he feels. The stench of burning flesh will haunt them both for the rest of their lives.
The second thing Dean doesn’t talk about it Layla and the faith healer, but every time they pass through Oregon, he sneaks out to see her grave.
Sam doesn’t know what the last one is, but sometimes, he can hear Dean mutter, “Lydecker,” in his sleep.
He's tried to ask about it, and his brother insists on pretending it's nothing.
In 2009, Sam finds a newspaper clipping about a group of kids who supposedly ran away from an orphanage in Gillette, Wyoming. He would have passed it over if it hadn’t been for the small row of pictures that ran with the story. Nine pictures, nine kids, military style haircuts, no names, an 800 number to call if anyone had information.
The eighth kid in the row is disturbingly familiar, and it takes Sam a second to realize that it might as well be a picture of Dean. It’s a different haircut, but even the eyes look the same, like the kid’s been training for a goddamn war.
Dean glances over his shoulder and asks, “Find anything, Sammy?”
Sam shoves the article under his nose, and waits impatiently for Dean to read it.
“Doesn’t look like our kind of gig,” Dean says, looking back to his brother.
“Did you have a kid and forget to tell me?” Sam says, and tries not to make it sound like an accusation.
“Dude, I haven’t been to Wyoming in like ten years.”
“Second from the end,” Sam insists, waiting for any sign of recognition. “It could practically be a picture of you.”
Dean lowers the paper slowly, not meeting Sam’s eyes, and Sam knows his brother too well to press him. “I think there’s a werewolf in Utah. They’ve found a couple mauled bodies in outside of Salt Lakes. Worth checking out.”
That night, Dean practically tears the covers off of his motel bed, fighting some invisible foe. Sam hears him whisper, “Lydecker,” and the name couldn’t sound more like a curse.
The Pulse hits six months later, wiping out everything computer-related in the country. Sam and Dean don’t know what happened until a day after the fact when they roll into a blackened city following a lead on a supposedly haunted house. The streets are overrun with people, looters, broken glass and their first thought is that demons have taken over.
Dean disappears for a few hours and comes back with a story. “It’s everywhere,” he says, his face blank. “Someone hit the computers. Wiped out anything electronic.”
“You think it’s something supernatural?”
Dean shakes his head. “Townies say terrorists. So unless demons have joined forces with the human underworld, which would defy so many laws of nature, we’re in the wrong place.”
He slides into the car—not an Impala, and even after three years, it still looks wrong—and starts it up. Sam reluctantly gets into the passenger’s seat. “Dean, we might just find more of the same next town up.”
Dean grins and adjusts the mirror. “Next town, we might run into some of those demon terrorists and get some work done.”
Dean dies two weeks and twenty dead towns later.
It shouldn’t have been like this, Sam thinks, staring at his brother’s makeshift grave, because while Dean always said he’d die young, this isn’t what he meant.
Dean meant he would die fighting. He meant getting between some monster and Sam. He didn’t mean this. Because here, Dean didn’t even have a chance.
They cornered a poltergeist, and Dean pumped its face full of rock salt while it had Sam pinned to the wall. But someone else happened to be in the house. The town was in a perpetual riot, and she'd taken refuge there from the dangerous streets. She heard the gunfire and she panicked.
And Dean pitched forward, drops of red and flecks of brain splattering the wall. Sam dropped to his knees, screaming his brother’s name, but knowing that he wouldn’t answer. He could feel himself bleeding, torn apart with his other half lying dead on the floor.
The lady who shot Dean was a slim, panicky mother of two, and Sam couldn’t even manage anger towards her. He just walked back out to the cemetery in a daze, dug up the ghost’s bones, and lit them on fire as the woman watched. He stared at his brother lying next to the burning hole in the ground, and almost would have thrown him into the inferno as well, but he couldn’t help thinking that Dean deserved better.
He let the flames die, almost knocking the woman down as he left. She looked at him with an unspoken question in her eyes. Sam could only snap, “That was my brother,” and push his way past her.
And then he shoved his brother in the back seat and started driving, because Dean deserved to be buried back in Lawrence with his parents.
But Sam runs out of gas before he is out of Washington and he has to bury his brother on the side of the road because he’ll never find enough gas to make it to the next state, let alone to Lawrence.
He doesn’t burn the body because right now, the thought of Dean coming back is the only thing that’s holding him together.
He thinks about going back to Stanford when Dean dies, but after the Pulse, school slides way down on his list of things to do. Right now, all he needs is to get as far away from his brother’s roadside grave as he can. So he takes his weapons, his clothes, and all of Dean’s things he can carry and starts walking towards what he hopes is south.
It’s ten hours and God knows how many miles later before he comes to a lone gas station on the side of the road. It looks more or less abandoned, but then again, almost everything does nowadays. Sam picks the lock and grabs all the chips and pre-packaged food he can get his hands on: Pop-Tarts, chips, candy bars, all the Winchester staples that can’t be found at the greasy roadside bars.
When he walks out, he sees the car. For just a split second, he thinks it’s the car, Dean’s car, the Impala. It's the same make but it’s a different year. There's half a tank of gas in it.
He picks the lock and hotwires the car before he’s even realized he’s made the decision to do so. He tosses the stolen food in the passenger’s seat and his weapons into the back. Sam adjusts the rearview mirror and just for a second swears he can see his brother lying unconscious in the back seat. But when he turns and looks to check for sure, all he sees is Dean’s stupid pendant.
Sam floors the gas, tears blurring in his eyes, and doesn’t come back to Washington for ten years.
When he’s honest with himself, he admits he only came back because of the mutants. Because despite years of fighting demons, he’s always been a little bit of a comic-book freak, and the picture in the tabloid is too good not to check out.
Which is why he’s sitting in a dingy bar in Seattle, surrounded by a bunch of people far too young and far too happy to even notice the lonely thirty-something guy at the end of the bar. He hears snatches of conversations. Someone’s just been dumped. Eyes Only (whoever that hell that is) is back in business. There was an attack on a messenger’s service a little over a month ago and the business is only just picking back up. Someone on the other side of the club is cleaning up at pool.
Sam doesn’t know where to start. Doesn’t know who to ask about the mutant in the sewers. He gets this funny tickle in the back of his neck that tells him this laid back, easy-going atmosphere will explode if he says the wrong thing.
There’s a chorus of cheers from the pool table, and the loser shakes his head and hands a twenty to a figure Sam can’t quite see. There’s a shuffle and someone’s calling about for any other takers.
Sam throws a couple bills to the bartender for his drink and moves towards the table. He could use some extra cash.
Someone crows, “Fresh blood, Alec.” But Sam isn’t really listening, because the person with the pool cue and the cocky grin on his face is his brother.
Only it’s not really Dean, because even if Dean were alive, he’d have turned forty last year, and the kid with the pool cue is hardly out of his teens. His hair is too long and his jacket’s the wrong style and his name (apparently) is Alec.
But other than that, he’s just the perfect replica of Dean.
“You want to break?” the Dean Double asks, and Sam shakes his head because he’s busy trying to regain his balance.
“Bad move,” someone chuckles behind him. “You don’t have a chance.”
The Double breaks well, sending in two solids and busting up the rest. He lines up his next shot with careful, almost military precision, looks up and grins at Sam, and says, “You new here?”
“Passing through,” Sam says, as the Double sinks his shot and lines up the next one.
“Not much to see here,” the Doubles says, and hits the next ball in with that same drilled precision. “We got a space needle if you think you can get past the sector police.”
Sam recognizes the amiable chatter, knows the kid wants to keep him in good standing so maybe tomorrow he’ll come back and lose some more money. The kid misses the next shot just to prove he’s human, and Sam sinks eight in a row to prove he’s not.
“That’s twice now!” hoots the gangly-limbed guy from behind them. “First Logan, now this guy. Alec, my friend, you’re slipping.” He reaches up to give Sam a high five, which Sam half-heartedly returns.
The Double shoves a crumpled twenty into his hands. “Good game, man. I guess practice really does make perfect.”
Sam doesn’t miss the crack about his age, but he’s struck with the sudden, all-consuming desire to keep whoever this Dean look-alike is within viewing range for as long as he can. “I’d love to hang around, but I gotta find a place to stay that’s not my car. Name’s Sam.” He offers a hand.
The kid stares at it for a second like he doesn’t quite know how to respond, but he recovers quickly and replies, “Alec.” There’s a mock seriousness to his voice. “You show up here again and I’m going to get a rematch.”
Sam’s grin feels genuine. “Count on it.”
The Double—Alec—gives him a cocky grin and says, “See you around, Sammy boy.” He turns back to the pool table, calling for more takers.
The nickname feels like a sucker-punch, and Sam only just makes it outside and into the pouring rain before his stomach heaves and his eyes well up and he doubles over, clutching the wall of the dingy alley and thinking, Dean.
The next thing he knows, a fist that feels more like a freaking truck rams into his face, and he remembers, oh yeah, there’s supposed to be mutants or demons or whatever in Seattle. That's why he’s here.
He wheels around on autopilot and returns the punch. His attacker staggers back a step or two, and Sam fumbles around his waistband for the gun he always keeps loaded with a few rounds of rock salt, but it’s kicked away before he can even undo the safety.
He gets a good look at the mutant and it surprised to find that it’s a girl; long straight black hair, sunglasses despite it being well past and raining. He throws another punch but she blocks it with superhuman ease and, with her other hand, reaches up to grab his neck. “What the hell are you?” he chokes, but she either doesn’t hear him or doesn’t feel the need to respond.
“Who do you work for?” The girl can’t be older than twenty, but Sam has the suspicion that she’s not just a girl (and he can practically hear his brother roll over in the grave because of the obvious). He’s got to admit he hopes she’s possessed or something, because the last time he got his ass handed to him this badly, it was because a fucking semi had rammed into Dean's car.
“Who do you work for?” she says again, and slams him against the alley wall like she thinks it’s physically possible for him to answer while she’s crushing his vocal cords.
He tries to say, “Christo,” but nothing comes out.
He imagines Dean laughing in his ear, Dude, you got your ass handed to you by a chick. He would have told the voice to shut up if it wasn’t for the strangulation.
“Is it White?” the girl asks, slamming him against the wall again, and Sam hopes that wasn’t a rib that just cracked. “Lydecker? Manticore?”
Sam tries to ignore the stabbing pain in his side (yep, definitely a rib) and concentrate on his fallen gun, but his powers, or whatever the hell they are, never flare up when he really needs them. For a second, he thinks he hears Dean’s voice saying, Good to see you, Sammy. Been a long time. And then he really hears Dean say, “What the hell are you doing, Maxie? Christ, the guy beat me at pool, and I didn’t get bitter.”
Sam makes another attempt at pulling himself free, but the girl’s grip doesn’t falter, even when he manages to kick her in the side. She gives him a scathing glare as she pulls a wallet out of her pocket. His wallet, Sam realizes with more than a little shame. He’s slipping. “The guy's got a picture of you, Alec. Who did you piss off this time?”
The Double looks from Sam’s flailing legs to the picture with a mildly paranoid, very not-Dean look on his face and says, “You kill him and we get no answers.”
The air flooding back into Sam’s lungs would have been a relief if the kick to the head hadn’t come a second later.
There’s something dripping on forehead, but Sam doesn’t open his eyes, doesn’t want to watch some poor woman burn, but he can practically feel the fire scorching his…
Sam wakes with a start, breathing heavily. It’s been a long time since he’s dreamed of Jessica. After the Demon died, the nightmares disappeared with it.
He hears voices from across the room. He counts three people (there is no one on the ceiling). They must have moved him while he was unconscious. He tries to lift his arm, but as he suspected, it’s tied to the chair.
“He’s got four different IDs on him,” the dark haired girl says, flipping through them one by one. “FBI, Seattle PD, your standard driver’s license, Department of Homeland security…” Her voice lightens a little. “A level one sector pass, nice, you could always use one of those, picture of him with a girl, picture of a family, picture of Alec…”
“Got a pretty nice piece,” the Double says, and Sam can hear him unloading his gun. The next words come out tinged with amusement. “It’s loaded with salt.”
“You’re kidding,” says the girl, looking over the Double’s shoulder. “What’s the point of a gun loaded with salt?”
The third guy in the room is looking straight at Sam through thin, wire-framed glasses. He’s older than the other two, better dressed, but nowhere close to clean-shaven. “Why don’t you ask him yourself? Seems our friend here is waking up.”
The girl hesitates and looks at Scraggly Beard. “Logan, think you can find anything on these IDs?”
“Sure thing, Max,” he replies, but freezes when she offers him Sam’s cards.
The Double looks at them in exasperation, plucks the IDs out of Max’s hands, and puts them into Logan's. “What the hell happened to your ‘let’s all wear gloves’ rule?”
Max ignores the Double and smiles faintly at Logan’s back. “Thanks, Logan," she calls. "I owe you one.” Then she turns to Sam, her entire demeanor changing. “Let’s get this bitch over with.”
The Double’s staring at him as Max walks up and crouches in front of him, and Sam can’t help but feel a little betrayed when he makes no move to help.
“We’re going to start with the basics,” she says, sneering. “What’s your name?”
He raises his chin and stares back at her defiantly. “Sam.”
“If that’s all you’re going to give me, we’re in for a long night.”
Sam might have told her something if she’d gone for anything but his throat, but there’s a bruise forming around his neck and he’s too pissed to be cooperative. “Sam Winchester.”
“Matches the driver’s license,” the Double says.
Max turns around to glare at him. “He’s after your sorry ass, Alec. It would be nice if you worried a little.”
And Sam laughs because he can’t help it. He’s tied to a chair, being interrogated by a girl who has way too much personality to be a demon, yet still manages to kick his ass effortlessly while she argues with an exact replica of his dead brother. And the way they’re snapping at each other, he’d think they were Sam and Dean.
Max’s attention is back to him in an instant. “You think this is funny?” She grabs the arms of his chair and leans in close. “I’m not playing games. I want to know who you’re working for and why you’ve got a picture of,” she jerks her thumb in the direction of the Double, “this idiot in your wallet.”
Sam knows what she’s talking about, but somewhere in the past ten years, he’s picked up Dean’s unfortunate habit of pissing off the enemy. “What picture?”
She rolls her eyes but shows him the picture. There were only a handful of pictures of Dean around (Sam half thought it was because he believed the shit about a photograph taking a piece of his soul) and this was one of his favorites. He’d taken it about week before he had left for Stanford. He’d caught Dean off guard, smiling.
Sam glances up to the Double for a split second before turning his gaze to Max. “That’s my brother.”
“Yeah,” she says, “real funny. Try again.”
Sam doesn’t miss a beat. “Dean Winchester.”
“Where is he now?”
Sam falters. “He’s dead.”
“Convenient,” Max scoffs. “When did he die?”
Sam starts to answer, but catches himself just in time. “We talking officially or unofficially?”
“There’s a difference?”
Sam nods. “Three years.”
He can feel the Double watching him.
“Give me the official story.”
“2006,” Sam says. “St. Louis, Missouri.”
He doesn’t let himself look at the Double. “Shot twice in the heart.”
“Doesn’t sound like something you can get out of,” the Double says. “Your brother cut a deal with the devil?”
“Mistaken identity,” Sam mutters, trying to explain without using the word shapeshifter. “He’d lifted Dean’s ID and there was a definite resemblance.”
Max gives him a look that says, yeah, right, and pigs fly out of my ass, and asks, “Unofficially?”
“2009,” Sam mutters, and stares at the floor. “A month or so after the Pulse. It was an accident. He…” Sam fumbles for the words but doesn’t find them. “I buried him just outside of Washington.”
Max nods but looks far from satisfied. “Sit tight, Sam. We’ll figure out what to do with you when we check out your story.”
When she turns to leave the room, Sam hisses, “Christo,” at her back, just to make sure. Nothing happens. There’s no demon in this room.
The Double doesn’t follow her out, just leans up against the wall and stares at him wearing his brother’s cocky grin. “So what’s the deal with the salt?” he asks.
Sam blinks and answers truthfully because he doesn’t have time to think up a decent lie. “It gets rid of ghosts.”
The Double looks at him blankly for a second and then laughs. “Ghosts." He turns to walk out of the room. "Evil or not, I kind of like this guy."
It’s an hour before someone comes back, and Sam spends the whole time wishing they could have just been like normal people and tied his hands behind his back instead of to the arms of the chair. He can’t reach the razor he’s got tucked in his waistband, and no matter how much he squirms, the ropes don’t loosen.
He’s almost to the point of trying to run while tied to the chair when he hears the Double’s voice. “Your story checks out.”
Sam looks up and meets his eyes. “Great news. You think you could untie me? My arms are cramping up.”
The Double takes a step closer and says, “Max was lobbying to keep you here anyway, but I don’t think Logan’s up for a roommate.”
Sam realizes the Double’s waiting for his inevitable question, Why do you look like my brother?, but Sam isn’t going to bother asking when the kid probably doesn't have any idea himself.
So he forces a grin and says, “Look, I just want to get back to my car before someone steals the thing.”
The Double shrugs, pulls a pocketknife out of his coat, and bends down to cut off the ropes. Sam opens his mouth to ask about the IDs, because even though they’re forgeries, they’re good ones, but when the Double’s hand brushes against his arm, something flashes in Sam’s brain. Before he can control it, his mouth says, “Do you dream of fire?”
The Double’s already cut the rope off Sam’s left wrist, but the knife freezes at the comment. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Sam doesn’t have the slightest idea, and when the Double cuts him loose completely and hands him back his wallet, he can’t get out fast enough.
He spends the night in the car because it’s too late to get a hotel and he doesn’t have the money anyway. He dreams of Jess on the ceiling and Dean clutching the colt and when he wakes up, he half wonders if last night’s exploits were part of his dreams as well.
But his ribs are aching, and when he looks in his wallet, he realizes he’s down forty dollars and a few IDs. There’s an emergency roll of twenties in the weapons compartment of the truck, but the ID, he really needs. He sighs and curses himself because if there is one house he does not want to visit again, it’s that one. Hell, he’s not sure he can even find it again.
Only that’s a lie and he knows it. He can find the house again, find the girl with super strength and his brother’s double. He’s just not sure he wants to.
He shakes his head and tells himself to remember the mutants. That’s why he’s here, after all. So he grabs his laptop, slips it into his bag, and gets out of the car.
He walks until he finds the park. It’s an overcast Monday morning and there’s hardly anyone around. Sam picks out a secluded bench and flips open the laptop.
The Double’s name is Alec, Sam thinks, and brings up the search engine. He doesn’t know anything about hunting.
Mutants, Seattle, he types into the search engine and waits There are more hits than he expected. Apparently it’s not just a tabloid story. Mainstream news has been covering it as well. Sam rubs his temples and clicks on the first link.
Nothing useful. Nothing referencing the attacks the tabloid reported. Something about genetic engineering. He clicks on two more links and finds more of the same.
These so-called-transgenics are a menace to society.
The ones who look human are what scare me. You can only tell they’re not because of the barcode on their neck…
After a dozen stories filled with more of the same, Sam’s nursing a mild headache and thinking, Damn. No demons, just xenophobia and science gone haywire. Why don’t you ever bother to check before you show up?
He clicks on the next link and scans the article, just fact-checking now. He’s wasting time here. There’s a gig in Oregon that he can make by tonight if he leaves now. But he’ll need that forged sector pass to get out the city with any sort of speed, and there's an annoying little piece of him that doesn't want to leave.
He blames the double of his brother for that.
His eyes snag on the word Manticore and he can practically see the light bulb hovering over his head.
Who do you work for? Is it White? Lydecker? Manticore?
He types transgenic, Lydecker, and Manticore into the search engine, and twenty seconds later, his suspicions are confirmed. The connections come almost immediately, flashing across his brain at light speed. Mutants, transgenics, Manticore, Max, the Double, Lydecker, Dean.
He curses softly and leans back against the bench. He’d been kidnapped and questioned by genetically engineered mutants. He wishes there were a way to say that without sounding crazy.
Then again, a genetically engineered girl kicking his ass is a lot less embarrassing than a normal girl doing it.
And somewhere, Dean’s laughing at him and saying, Jesus, Sammy, you make it sound like it’s hard to kick your ass.
He slams the laptop shut, head throbbing.
The Double’s name is Alec, Sam thinks, the Double probably has a barcode stamped across the back of his neck.
Sam has the feeling he'll be staying for a couple of days.
It’s surprisingly easy to get the story on transgenics, Sam finds as he orders his second coffee. He’s the only one in the café, and the friendly elderly waitress is perfectly content to fill him in on the mutant happenings of the city.
Apparently they live in a place called Terminal City. “Fitting name,” the lady says, “sounds like the grave.”
There were troops outside the city for two weeks after the incident involving transgenics at a bike messenger place called Jam Pony. The stand-off lasted two weeks without incident. The transgenics attacked no one. The troops left when it became apparent that there was no threat.
Sam thanks her for the coffee, puts his last few bills on the counter, and leaves.
He finds himself standing outside the house again without remembering quite how he got there. He raps twice on the door and a few seconds later, Scraggly Beard is standing in front of him, looking vaguely surprised.
“Logan, right?” Sam says, shuffling his feet like he's ten years old again, waiting to apologize for breaking a neighbor’s window. “Could I maybe talk to you for a minute?”
Logan gives him the once over and opens the door wide. “Come on in.”
Sam follows him inside. There’s a wheelchair tucked in an unobtrusive corner of the room. Sam missed it yesterday, but today the incongruity of it all unnerves him. He starts to ask, but when he looks at Logan’s back, he gets the distinct feeling that that would be a bad idea. Instead he says, “Do you have a barcode on your neck?”
Logan turns around and looks at him seriously. “I could ask you the same question.”
Sam shakes his head and laughs. “You could have checked when I was unconscious yesterday.” There is a pause, silence, and Sam says, “You didn’t answer my question.”
Logan’s eyes flicker to the wheelchair in the corner, and he quietly he replies, “Not me. I’m one of the mortals.” He shakes the look away and continues, “I’m a couple of years too old to boot.” He leans against the wall and crosses his arms. “I didn’t expect to see you again. I would have thought Max had scared you off.”
“I was hoping to get my IDs back.”
Logan nods and turns to grab them off the counter. “They’re forgeries,” he says, sounding vaguely accusatory. “Took me ages to figure it out.”
“Thanks," Sam says, rubbing at the back of his neck and grinning sheepishly. "Most of those have lasted me ten years. I wasn't looking forward to making new ones.”
Logan hesitates but hands them back. “If you’re not working for White, where did you get all of those?”
“Dean made them,” Sam says, and for a second the whole room is silent. “It's kind of a necessity in our line of work.”
“And what is your line of work?” Logan asks, peering at Sam over his glasses.
Sam doesn’t answer for a second. He’s never been able to find a standard lie that sounds believable. He mumbles, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” and prays he’ll be allowed to leave it at that.
Logan pulls up a chair and sits down. “You’d be a surprised at what I’d believe.” His eyes flicker to the wheelchair in the corner and the ghost of a smile appears on his lips. “I’ve had a weird couple of years.”
Sam can only imagine what Dean would have said if he got an opening like that. Probably he’d spend an hour telling about his exploits as a spy until Logan recognized the plot from some old Bond movie.
Sam doesn’t have that kind of imagination, doesn’t have that same flair for storytelling, doesn’t have the absolute confidence he’d need to sell a lie.
So he sits down in the chair across the table from Logan and surprises himself by telling the truth.
An hour and a half later, Sam’s voice is hoarse from speaking and Logan hasn’t said a thing to interrupt him. Sam tells him everything—tells him about Jess, Mom, Dad, the Demon, the fires, the Colt, Dean—spills every single one of the Winchester secrets to a complete stranger because it’s been ten years since he could talk to anyone about this, and once he starts he can’t, for the life of him, stop.
When he finishes, he’s breathing hard and just short of tears, and he finally meets Logan’s eyes for the inevitable reaction. ‘You belong in a mental institution,’ or maybe, ‘Real cute, Sammy, let's try this again.’
Logan says neither, just studies him with unnerving green eyes and finally says, “And here I thought my work was unusual.”
“Wait, you actually believe me?”
Logan shrugs as he pushes himself out of the chair. “Two years ago, a genetically engineered super soldier broke into my apartment.” There’s a fond smile on his face. “I keep an open mind.”
Sam shakes his head and says, “Huh.” At this point, the past couple of days have been too strange to feel more than a little surprised.
“What brings you to Seattle?” Logan asks, and the complete normalcy of the question makes Sam smile.
“I saw a picture of a mutant and figured you might have a demon problem.”
“You got the picture on you?”
Sam searches through his jacket, pulls the crumpled paper from his pocket, and hands it to Logan, who takes a quick glance at it and hands it back. “His name is Mole,” Logan says. “He’s Manticore, not a demon. A little gun happy, and not real fond of normal humans, but not really dangerous. Smokes a lot.”
“I really wish I was.”
Sam sighs. “Well, that’s a tank and a half of gas gone for nothing.”
Logan turns, walks over to an old computer, and grabs a pencil and a scrap of paper. “Actually, I've got something you could check out for me.” He scribbles something down and hands it to Sam. It’s an address, 123 Park Boulevard. “There was a suicide in apartment 61C last night, but a contact of mine on the police force says something’s fishy. There have been four suicides there in the last year alone.”
“Yeah,” Sam says, staring at the paper with an inexplicable feeling of relief. “I can look into it.”
“I didn’t tell them,” Logan says abruptly, and Sam’s mind was so wrapped up in the possibility of a legitimate gig, he’d half forgotten the rest of his problems.
“Tell who what?”
“Alec,” clarifies Logan. “Max. I didn’t tell them about what surrounded your brother’s death.”
Unwanted memories well up in Sam’s head. The shape-shifter, the murders, his brother’s body lying on the floor. Cops are blaming this Dean Winchester guy…“Dean had nothing to do with it.”
“I believe you,” Logan assures him, “but Max would probably make you dig up his grave for proof or something, and Alec…” Logan suddenly stops, and Sam can see him carefully choosing his words. “There was an incident with another genetic double of his.”
“Jesus Christ,” Sam whispers. “How many Dean clones are running around this town?”
“Just the one now,” Logan says, and somehow that makes it that much worse.
I had to put this up in 2 parts because it was too long for LJ to handle
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