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[personal profile] last01standing

Title: What You See
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Disclaimer: Supernatural is not mine, the same goes for Dark Angel
Summary: Alec’s not Dean. Sam’s having some problems adjusting. Sam-centric, crossover with Dark Angel. Sequel to What Comes Around.
Note: Thanks to both

[personal profile] astrothsknot and [profile] mayatawi for beta reading. This story is way cleaner for it.

 

 
 The What Come Around ‘verse (complete):

Manmade Monster 
What Comes Around  1 | 2
What You See 
What You Dream About 
What Can Hurt You 1 | 2

 

What You See

 
 

For the first 500 miles, Alec doesn’t say a word, just stares out the window as he and Sam wage silent wars over the radio’s controls. Sam keeps switching on Dean’s old tapes, a comforting habit that has always reminded him of his brother and makes him feel somehow less alone. Alec, on the other hand, flips the car radio to some hip-hop or techno shit that makes Sam’s head throb.

He doesn’t quite know where they’re going. His contact in Oregon called saying that the job turned out to be a hoax. Normally, when this happens, Sam stays put for a few days until he finds his next job. It saves gas and Sam’s so used to running broke, he’s learned to scrape the extra dough any way he can.

 
 


This time, it’s different. One glance at Alec is all he needs to know they need to get as far away from Seattle as humanly possible. Sam can’t think much farther ahead without snagging his brain on the only fact that really matters: the Demon is back.

 
 
 


Alec smells like fire.

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________________________

 
 


It’s easy to slip back into old habits: “My name is Sam and this is my brother Dean, we’re just looking for a place to stay.” But then he glances to his side where Dean should be, already well into character, smiling at their host and oozing charm out of every pore, and instead he’s met with an icy glare.
 

 
 
 

“You two don’t look like brothers,” their host, an elderly lady with a faint blue rinse comments as she steps back to allow them inside.

 
 

“Half brothers,” Alec corrects smoothly, attention front again as he slips nimbly into the house. “Dad remarried after Sam’s mom died. I was the unfortunate accident.”

 
 

“Brat,” Sam grumbles. He ruffles Alec’s hair, like Dean always used to when they were kids, and follows Alec inside. On the back of his neck he sees it glaring at him: a little row of vertical lines, a stupid tattoo to nearly everyone in the country. To Sam, a designer label, the only visible sign that Alec is genetically engineered.

 
 

Sam stares at the barcode.

 

He’s got to remind himself that this is Alec, even though when he looks to his side all he sees is Dean.

 
 


Alec isn’t Dean.
 

 
 
 

He stares at the barcode.

 

He’s got to remember that.

 
 

 ­________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
They get a room at the bed and breakfast where Jacklyn Longwood happily takes twenty dollars from them for the night. Sam gets the feeling that business is more than a little slow, but neither him nor Alec voice the thought when the elderly lady leads them up the stairs to a small room with two double beds and a bathroom attached. They both thank her as politely as they can but when the door slams shut, both drop the act immediately.
 

 
 

“You called me Dean again,” Alec says tonelessly. “It’s been two weeks since you met me and you’re still calling me Dean.”

 
 

It could be years, Sam thinks, and I’d still be calling you Dean. What he says is, “Sorry, old habits, I guess.”
 

 
 

“Yeah, yeah,” Alec grumbles, glancing around like he’s casing the place. Sam tries not to let the habit unnerve him.

 
 


The last place Alec checks is always the ceiling.
 

 
 

“You want to talk about it?” Sam asks hesitantly.
 

 
 

Alec’s gaze jerks from the ceiling to his feet and then back up to Sam’s eyes, and Sam can tell he’s not the same happy-go-lucky kid he met in Crash two weeks ago. “I need a shower,” Alec says finally, and moves into the bathroom before Sam can say anything else.
 

 
 

“Fuck,” Sam mutters to the garish purple bed sheets. Dean was never this bad. Even when they were pissed off and ready to tear each other to shreds, there’d never been silence like this. The more time he spends in Alec’s presence, the more he misses his brother. It’s like reopening an old wound that has never quite healed in the first place.
 

 
 

He wants his brother back. But Dean isn’t here: Alec is.
 

 
 

He hears a buzzing sound, and jerks his head around to find Alec’s cell phone vibrating on the nightstand. Despite himself, Sam picks it
up.

 
 

The caller ID reads Logan. He flips the cell phone open and brings it to his ear. “Hello?”

 
 

“Alec,” the voice comes immediately, slightly frantic and distorted with static. “Where the hell have you been? We’ve been trying to get in touch with you for a week!”
 

 
 

“Uh,” Sam says finally, scratching the back of his neck. “This is Sam.”
 

 
 

“Sam? What are you doing with Alec’s phone? Max said you left town.”
 

 
 

“I did,” Sam fumbles. “We did. It’s just…”
 

 
 

“Hold on a second, Alec’s with you?”

 
 

“Yeah,” Sam says, confused. “He camped out in my car when I was headed out of town. Insisted on tagging along. This is the first you’re hearing of it?”

 
 

“Alec’s taken off without warning before, but he usually shows up after a day or so. We didn’t think much of it until they found Asha. She died in a fire. The entire place went up. A couple people saw Alec leaving the scene. The police report showed no signs of arson, but the whole thing was just a little too strange. Max and I figured he might be in a jam.”
 

 
 

“It wasn’t an accident.” Sam stares at the bathroom door where he can still hear the shower running.
 

 
 

“That’s what we were thinking. We were afraid it was transgenic related.”
 

 
 

“It’s not,” Sam corrects hastily. “More my side of the tracks. A demon. I’ve run across it before.” Understatement of the fucking century. “Me and Alec are going after it.”
 

 
 

“Do you need help?” The question comes immediately, with no hooks attached. Sam nearly laughs at him. Logan has no idea what he’s dealing with.
 

 
 

“We can take care of it,” Sam says and tries not to make it sound like a lie. “Trust me, the last thing you want is to get involved in this.”
 

 
 

“And Alec’s all right?”
 

 
 

“As good as you can expect, given the circumstances.”
 

 
 

“That’s all I needed to hear. Take care of yourself, Sam.”
 

 
 

“Yeah, you too.”

 
 

He flips the phone shut just as Alec reemerges, wearing a pair of Sam’s pajama pants and a gray t-shirt. His hair is still dripping. “So Logan, huh?”

 
 

“Wha--?”
 

 
 

Alec grins at Sam’s confusion. It’s the first smile Sam’s seen on his face since the fire. “Got to love Manticore genetics.” He taps an ear. “Heard you loud and clear.”
 

 
 

“Sorry I answered your phone.”
 

 
 

“Don’t be,” Alec says dismissively, moving toward the unoccupied double bed. “I wasn’t going to talk to the guy and I was getting sick of my phone buzzing all the time. Like a freaking vibrator in your pants”

 
 


Sam looks at the floor. “I can do this alone. I’ve been doing it alone for ten years. You’ve got friends in Seattle, a life.”
 

 
 

“Friends?” Alec interrupts. “Max and Logan? Come on. I’m more an annoyance than a friend. No one’ll miss me. And besides, I need to do this.”
 

 
 

“Alec, this thing killed my mom, my girlfriend and then my dad. I thought me and Dean finally did away with, but now it’s back. You can still walk away.”
 

 
 
 

“After what it did to Asha?” Alec’s voice sounds a touch higher than normal and it scares Sam more than the seven days of silence. “Sam, I’m in this just as deep as you are and I can take care of myself. In case you forgot, this is what I was made to do.”
 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Alec doesn’t sleep.
 

 
 

Or if he does, he doesn’t sleep very much. He’s up later than Sam and wakes up earlier. Under his eyes are the beginnings of tell-tale dark circles.
 

 

Sam hasn’t had a dream since Seattle, and the more sleepless nights Alec has, the more Sam starts to think that it’s all connected.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
When Sam wakes up, Alec’s already dressed and scanning the net on Sam’s computer. “What the hell are you doing?” Sam moans. “It’s not even six yet!”
 

 
 

“I found us some leads,” Alec tells him shortly, shoving a legal pad full of cramped handwriting in his direction.
 

 
 

Sam blinks the sleep out of his eyes and stares at the paper. “Alec, this has to be every fatal fire in the last twenty years. Christ, Jess is on this list. Do you know how long it would take to investigate this?”

 
 

“I figure we should start with the most recent and work our way—“
 

 
 

“Goddammit, Alec, your fire is the most recent! This thing was gone. I thought it was dead for ten years. I would have heard of anything suspicious, someone would have called me if it had been back before now.”
 

 
 

Alec remains silent through the tirade, staring at him. When Sam finishes, he says, “Well all right then Sammy, what do you think we should do?”
 

 
 

Sam tries not to groan as he realizes, This is what Dean had to deal with when I lost Jessica. The mood swings, the silence, the obsession. Everything. “We can’t do anything. You can’t track this thing. The only way Dean and I could ever get a jump on it was when I had a vision.”
 

 
 

“So have a vision, already!”
 

 
 

“It hasn’t ever worked like that.”
 

 
 

Alec snaps his mouth closed and flips the laptop shut. “Fine.”
 

 
 

Sam hesitates. “I’ve got a lead on a poltergeist twenty miles up.”
 

 
 

“You’re kidding.”
 

 
 

“I didn’t ask for you to tag along,” Sam snaps. “And this thing may be back, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t other monsters out there. We’re doing things my way.”
 

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 

 
Alec may be faster and stronger than any of the Winchesters ever have been, but as Sam is quickly finding out, when it comes to fights, Alec is a bit of an idiot.

 
 
 

 
Granted, Sam probably should have explained that you can’t really fight a poltergeist hand-to-hand before they got into the place, but he’d half-expected Alec to know from the start. To be the hunter than Dean had been for as long as Sam can remember.
 

 
 

“Salt!” Sam hisses as he tries to push the couch off of him. “Alec! Shoot the thing!”
 

 
 

Alec’s spinning in the center of the room, fists raised in a traditional fighting stance. He doesn’t have a gun. Sam handed him a loaded saltgun before they’d came in, but Alec must have left it behind.
 

 
 

What the hell kind of a super soldier didn’t use guns?
 

 
 

Dean always…
 

 
 

Sam gropes for the gun in his waistband. The poltergeist throws Alec into a wall. Alec gets up slowly, awkwardly, in a way that makes Sam wince and think ribs. Sam’s hands latch onto his gun as the thing throws a vase at Alec from behind and he crumbles to the ground.
 

 
 

“Dean!” Sam cries and fires off two quick rounds of rock salt that dissipate the spirit.
 

 
 

The pressure the couch suddenly gone, Sam scrambles towards his brother, dragging them both to the door with a frantic, singled minded-intensity. When they get outside, Sam lowers his brother carefully, only to catch sight of the barcode on the back of his neck.
 

 
 

Alec isn’t Dean. Alec has never been Dean.
 

 
 

Sam feels sick to his stomach.

 
 

“What the hell is your problem, Sammy?” Alec growls and Sam nearly starts crying at the familiar nickname in the familiar voice.
 

 
 

Alec pushes himself up, wincing as he does. The left half of his face is coated in blood.
 

 
 

“You’re hurt,” Sam mutters.

 
 


“No shit,” Alec bites.
 

 
 

Sam rolls over and hurls into the grass.
 

 

They find and salt the spirit’s bones without much trouble, get into the car and don’t talk for four hours. They’re getting scarily good at silence.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Alec screams in his sleep.
 

 
 

Not that he’s asleep often enough for Sam to even notice. Most of the time and when Alec does sleep, he sleeps on his stomach and screams into his pillow all night long. When he wakes up, he seems even worse than he did the night before.
 

 
 

Sam stops asking about it after the first week. He thinks, Alec needs time, Alec needs space, Alec’s not going to get over her in one night. In his head, Dean chimes in to add, What Alec needs is a freaking grief counselor.
 

 
 

Dean was so much better at this than Sam has ever been. Dean always knew what to say and how to say it. He’d have coaxed Alec into speaking by now, teased him into something that at least resembled a smile. Sam doesn’t have that talent, can’t ever manage to bring a glimmer of mirth into Alec’s face. Sure, he can pick information out of a grieving widow without a problem, but comforting someone is completely different.
 

 

Sam doesn’t know what to say, so he doesn’t say anything at all. Alec seems more than happy to follow suit.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
A week later, Sam can’t stop talking. It’s not his fault, really. Sometimes the things they fight decide to leave him with a parting gift and the old witch who’d conjured up a troop of zombies casts a truth spell on Sam with her dying breath.
 

 
 

He manages to hold his tongue right up until they get back into the car and Alec grudgingly asks him if he’s all right.
 

 
 

What he means to say is something along the lines of No blood, no foul. But when he opens his mouth, what comes out is, “No, I’m not all right.”
 

 
 

Alec’s eyebrows raise sharply. “What’s wrong, you hurt or something?”
 

 
 

“I wish you were my brother,” Sam replies before he can stop himself. “But you’re not and it fucking hurts.” To his horror, he keeps going. “It’s been more than ten years since I had a partner on this gig and I still wake up thinking I’m going to find Dean sleeping in the next bed. You make it worse than it was before.” In desperation, Sam pulls the car off the road and turns on the music full blast, but his mouth kept right on going and he has the sneaking suspicion Alec can still hear him. “For a second, I’m sure Dean’s there, that it’s the two of us again. But it’s not.” He keeps his eyes fixed on the road, unwilling to look at Alec. “You’re not him. You can’t ever come close to being him.”
 

 
 

Alec doesn’t reply for a good long time and Sam thanks God that his mouth has stopped working on its own. The radio blares “Enter Sandman” at top volume, and for once, Alec doesn’t make a move to change it. Sam pulls back onto the road.
 

 
 

When Alec finally speaks, it’s barely audible over the music. “Tell me about him.”
 

 
 

“Tell you about Dean?” Sam repeats with surprise, but he doesn’t wait for conformation. “Well, for one, you look exactly like him. I mean, you’re missing most of the scars and the haircut, but when I first saw you I thought I’d gone insane.” He takes a deep breath. “He must have had a run in with this Manticore place of yours when I wasn’t around. Which means it happened sometime when I was off at college, because otherwise I would have known about it. We drove each other crazy sometimes, but we were just about as close as you could get. When we were kids, he practically raised me himself…”
 

 
 

Once he starts talking, he can’t stop. He isn’t sure he even wants to. So he tells Alec everything, stories he’d half forgotten, prank wars and hunts and how Dean would hit on anything that moved, the long nights spent researching in little public libraries, and how no matter how bad things got, his brother always found a way to make things right and how Dean had saved countless people and how Dean had saved him countless times and how the corners of his eyes used to crinkle when he smiled and how those same eyes hadn’t even had the chance to widen in shock when the bullet had hit him from behind and how he’d driven for miles with the body in the back seat because he Dean should have been buried back in Lawrence with their mother and their father’s ashes because that was what he deserved and how Sam had never in his life told his brother he loved him because Dean already knew.
 

 
 

He talks until his voice becomes rough and the road in front of him starts to blur from the weight of his tears. And to his surprise, when his voice fades completely, it’s Alec who fills the silence, quietly relaying an abbreviated version of his life, from the boot camp that was his childhood that made Sam’s own past look like something out of a Lifetime movie to his solo missions and assassinations; to Rachel, the first girl he’d ever loved, to Max, who was his salvation and Asha, who had been the one. He doesn’t talk about the fire, but Sam can hear its effect weighing in Alec’s every word. He finishes with a sheepish look at Sam and a muttered apology: “I’m sorry I’m not Dean.”
 

 
 

Sam can’t make himself reply for a long time. Finally he says, “It’s all right. You and me. We can make this work.”
 

 
 

And he’s surprised to find that it’s the truth.
 

 

They lapse into a more comfortable silence as the car speeds towards the rising sun.

 
 

 

________________________________________________________________________
 
 


Things get a little better after that, or at least the silence isn’t as hostile as it was before. Sam turns off on a deserted patch of road and spends the day giving Alec a crash course in demonology. He shows Alec exorcism techniques and tells him which bullets work on what types of bad guys and shows him how to load a gun with rock salt. He goes over all the old contingencies he and Dean had in place forever ago: what to do if they get separated, how to talk to cops, how to get information from a witness with exactly the right smile.
 

 
 

He thinks he might be going too fast, but Alec seems to be soaking it all in, never asking for clarification and mimicking most of Sam’s motions with almost perfect precision. “You learn fast,” Sam comments as Alec draws a nearly flawless devil’s trap from memory.
 

 
 

Alec glances up at him, Dean’s eyes full of honest confusion, like picking up exorcism rituals in less than a day isn’t the least bit strange. “I picked up the piano quicker than this.”

 
 


“We’ve only been at it for a couple hours,” Sam mutters, surprised.
 

 
 

Alec narrows his eyes and gives Sam a look, and Sam thinks that maybe that was his point.
 

 
 

“It’s getting late,” Sam said. It was getting dark and the next town was at least seventy miles out. He had hoped to spend tonight in an actual bed.
 

 
 

Alec brushes himself off and stands up. “It’s all right. I think I’ve got most of it.”
 

 
 

“Man, I don’t even have all of it,” Sam gripes. “And I’ve been working this gig since I could walk.” He hesitates for a second and then starts digging around in his pack, finally coming up with his father’s battered journal. “Here,” he says gruffly, and presses it into Alec’s hands like it’s some sort of precious relic.
 

 
 

“What the hell is this?” Alec asked, turning the leather-bound journal over in his hands.
 

 
 

“That’s,” Sam chokes on his words. “…It’s Dad’s journal. He’s the one who started this whole crusade after our—my Mom died.” It takes him a second to remind himself that he isn’t speaking to his brother. “He started hunting after it happened, putting everything he learned here. And when he died, Dean started writing in it. It’s the Winchester bible of all things evil.” He pauses, feeling suddenly sheepish. “I never wrote in it. Not a word. But whatever you want to know, odds are, it’s in there.”
 

 
 

Handing that book to Alec feels just a little bit like betrayal. It’s the first time in nearly two decades that the journal’s been entrusted to someone out of the family. Then again, Alec’s as close to a Winchester as anyone can get without being born into it. Hell, even the blood’s there if you can get past the manufacturer’s label.
 

 
 

Sam’s not sure he’s ready for the realization. After Dean died, he’d gotten used to the idea of being alone, of fending for himself, almost convinced himself it was better this way. Alec isn’t Dean. No matter what Alec does, he will never become Dean.
 

 
 

And the funny thing, Sam realizes as he watches Alec flip through the journal’s yellowed pages, is that he’s starting to be okay with that.
 

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 


“How do you do it?” Alec asks to the dark room.
 

 
 

It takes Sam a few moments to wake himself up. It’s two AM and Alec is sitting straight up in bed apparently wide awake. “How do I do what?”
 

 
 

Alec doesn’t answer, but when Sam’s eyes snag on the open journal on the motel’s bedside table, he feels his heart clench a little. He can recognize his brother’s cramped handwriting on the page. The entry is about Jess. Sam knows it without even seeing the words.
 

 
 

“She died like Asha,” Alec continues in a daze. “Did you see it?” he asked.
 

 
 

Sam squeezes his eyes shut. He can still see it if he lets himself. Jess on the ceiling. Jess with the gash in her stomach. Jess blazing, burning, dying. “Dean had to pull me out. I couldn’t make myself move. If it wasn’t for him, I’d have burned too.”
 

 
 

“I ran,” Alec admits softly. “I saw her burst into flames and I ran. I keep thinking that there might have been something I could have done, but I ran. It was a tactical withdrawal.”
 

 
 

Sam can see the last few words settle over Alec’s face and for a second his eyes are alight with barely suppressed rage, but it’s gone as quickly as it came. “I don’t know how you keep going.”
 

 
 

Sam automatically moves to place a comforting hand on Alec’s shoulder, but he stopped himself before it got there.
 

 
 

This isn’t Dean. This isn’t Dean. This isn’t Dean.
 

 
 

“I had my brother to kick some sense into me,” Sam says and tries to smile. “You’ve got me.”
 

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Alec still won’t answer his phone, and somewhere along the way, Logan gives up on him completely and starts calling Sam instead. He calls once or twice and week, at first just to deliver details about Asha’s case and random tidbits about Terminal City, but later to toss around conspiracy theories and talk cases.
 

 
 

Sam gets the feeling that at the right time in the right place, they could have been friends. In a weird sort of way, Logan reminds him of his old college buddies, albeit more mature and less sex crazed, but with the same razor sharp mind. They never talk about more than work. Logan is the best computer guy Sam’s ever met, better than even Ash was.

 
 


When they’re somewhere in Montana, Logan calls to say there’s a package waiting for them, and when Sam goes to pick it up, he’s surprised to find a full set of identification for Alec: passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, the works.
 

 

The name on every one reads Alec Winchester, and it doesn’t sound nearly as wrong as Sam thought it might.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Sam wakes up to the sound of Alec’s heavy breathing. He spots Alec doubled over in the motel bed, hands clutched to his forehead. Sam stumbles blindly towards him, tripping over the bedsheets.
 

 
 

Alec thrashes wildly when Sam lays a hand on his shoulder, catches him in the jaw with a stray fist. Sam’s head snaps back and he has to wonder what the full weight of the kid’s punch would feel like. He wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end.
 

 
 

“Alec,” he says, trying to pin down the flailing arms. “For God’s sake, Alec, it’s me. It’s Sam.”

 
 


Alec’s eyes are open, but Sam doesn’t think he can see a thing. He’s staring blindly out into the room.
 

 
 

“Wake up, Alec.”
 

 

He prays it’s not some freak transgenic thing that he can’t fix.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 


Alec sits slumped in the passenger’s seat, staring out at the barren landscape. Sam doesn’t quite know how to deal with it. “You’re sure it’s Idaho?”
 

 
 

“I’ve never been to Idaho,” Alec responds dully, “How the hell am I supposed to know?”
 

 
 

It feels like an impossible task. They’re two states away, they don’t know the right town and the gas gauge is dipping dangerously low. They’re not going to get there in time.

 
 

“How you doing?” Sam asks. He knows the feeling. Like someone’s knocking bowling balls around in his skull. “I’m sure I’ve got some painkillers kicking around here if you need them.”
 

 
 

“I’ve had worse,” Alec grunts. He goes quiet for a long moment before adding, “We’ve got to get there before it does.”
 

 

Sam drives faster.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Logan calls them with news of a fire the next morning. A mother, dead. An infant missing. A grieving father the main suspect. “Boise, Idaho,” Logan says. “The whole thing sounds a lot like the Asha’s fire.”
 

 
 

Sam glances at Alec, asleep in the passenger’s seat. “We were headed that way,” he mutters evasively.
 

 
 

“How’d you manage to hear about it? I don’t think there’s much on the net yet.”
 

 
 

“We had a tip. We were really hoping to get there before the thing went down. The demon’ll be gone by now. Me and Dean hunted it for years and the only real way to beat it is to get there first.”
 

 
 

There’s a long pause from Logan’s end and for a second, Sam’s sure he’s lost the connection.
 

 
 

“Who tipped you off?” Logan asks finally.
 

 
 

“I can’t tell you,” Sam says, looking towards Alec’s sleeping form. “Protecting sources. You know how it is.”
 

 
 

He can practically hear Logan nodding. “I can put you in touch with someone in law enforcement if you still think it’s worth checking out.”
 

 
 

“I don’t think we’ll find anything, but Alec will want to make sure.”
 

 
 

“You’ve both got friends,” Logan offers softly. “If you ever need help, all you’ve got to do is ask.”
 

 
 

Sam hasn’t had a friend in years.
 

 

“Thanks,” he croaks, and means it.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
They don’t find anything in the charred shell of the house. Nothing but an irregular pattern of burns, a dead mother and a missing infant.  Sam is disappointed, but it’s what he expected. He’d known what they would find before they got there.
 

 
 

Alec takes off for the night and comes back just past dawn sporting about two hundred dollar (either stolen or hustled), a torn jacket, and a black eye. It’s the last part that worries Sam the most, because no one (no one human, at least) he’s seen can even get close to dropping Alec in a fair fight.
 

 
 

So either the fight wasn’t fair or Alec hadn’t bothered to make it a fight.
 

 

Sam’s not sure which option worries him more.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Two weeks later, they’re both laughing as Alec tells him about Joshua, the dog-boy himself, off one day delivering packages in Alec’s place. By the end of the tale, Sam’s practically gasping for breath.
 

 
 

Alec sags back in his chair, looking more than a little wistful, and says, “Max was so pissed. Asha thought it was a scream.”
 

 
 

Sam abruptly falls silent. Alec looks away.
 

 
 

“You know,” Sam tries finally, “I used to tell Jess about the same stuff, never about hunts or the danger, but the stupid little things. Like the time Dean went and put Nair in my shampoo.”
 

 
 

“You’re kidding.”
 

 
 

“I shaved his eyebrows for it,” Sam shakes his head at the memory. “That was not a fun month for the Winchester boys.”
 

 
 

“I’m more stuck on the thought of you bald,” Alec says. “With that thing you’ve got growing on your head, I half think you’re Manticore looking to cover a barcode.”
 

 
 

Sam laughs.
 

 

And for a little while, things are good.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 


Alec’s back to the insomniac’s sleeping schedule, awake whenever possible, dark circles under his eyes the only bruises on his body that don’t heal. He spends his days drinking coffee at an appalling pace.
 

 
 

“We can’t afford all this caffeine of yours,” Sam says, trying to make light of it all. “It’d be cheaper if you just slept.”
 

 

“Then I’ll steal it,” Alec says and closes the conversation.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Somewhere along the way, Alec stops being the double of his brother and starts just being Alec. Sam doesn’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way, he stops cataloguing all the ways Alec is the same as his brother and starts counting the differences. Despite the almost identical appearances, they’re different people sprung from the same skin. He starts to find differences in how they smile, differences in how they fight, differences in how they talk, differences in what they mean…
 

 
 

And always, he sees the barcode peeking out from behind Alec’s (way too shaggy to be Dean’s) hair.
 

 
 

And somewhere between the fire in Idaho and the ghoul in Montana, Sam’s old habits die hard, and when he steps up to a new place and a new person, he finds himself saying, “My name is Sam and this is my brother Alec.” And when he glances to his side, he counts the thousands of minute differences between Alec and his brother.
 

 
 

It still doesn’t come naturally and it sounds thick and clumsy on his tongue, but it’s a sign of change.

 

Only Alec is the little brother now and that makes Sam the older one--makes Sam the replacement Dean instead of Alec.

 
 

 
In one way, it makes things easier. In another, a thousand times more difficult.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

 
Six months to the day, Sam thinks, watching Alec’s restless sleep. They left Seattle six months ago. The demon came back six months ago. They still have no real lead, no way to track the thing, and Sam still hasn’t had any dreams.
 

 
 

Alec jerks awake in the bed beside him, breathing heavily. Sam turns in his direction planning to tell him he should just go back to sleep, but when he catches sight of Alec’s face, he knows that isn’t an option.
 

 
 

He thinks the Demon may have found a new target.
 

 
 

“We’ve got to back to Seattle,” Alec says hoarsely.
 

 
 

Sam doesn’t have to ask why.
 

 

END

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Before you ask, yes, another story is planned, no I don’t know when it’s happening. I’ve got the bare bones of the plot and the first scene, but nothing more than that at the moment. I hope you enjoyed the story. =)

 

(no subject)

31/12/06 17:16 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
*twirls*

Thanks again for the beta read!

(no subject)

31/12/06 03:29 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] scornedsaint.livejournal.com
If only I had been in town to beta! Grr! I'll catch you next time, though.

He ruffles Alec’s hair, like Dean always used to when they were kids, and follows Alec inside.

That made me incredibly sad. The idea of Dean being gone and Sam having to be the older brother just made me...well, sad.

He flips the phone shut just as Alec reemerges, wearing a pair of Sam’s pajama pants and a gray t-shirt. His hair is still dripping. “So Logan, huh?”

Can I ask why you, like the writers, have a thing against letting those boys be shirtless? If I can't see that Pretty on TV, why take it away from me in fic?

He finishes with a sheepish look at Sam and a muttered apology: “I’m sorry I’m not Dean.”

I love that moment. It's such great developement, that he says that. And Sam's response is equally as great.

“I never wrote in it. Not a word. But whatever you want to know, odds are, it’s in there.”

Innnnnteresting that Sam never wrote in it. With him being the "brainy" one, I thought he would have.

(no subject)

31/12/06 17:19 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Can I ask why you, like the writers, have a thing against letting those boys be shirtless? If I can't see that Pretty on TV, why take it away from me in fic?

Claire, Claire, the whole point of that passage was that Alec is wearing Sam's pants. You've got to analyze... Didn't IB teach you anything?

That made me incredibly sad.

It never ceases to amaze me how this idea (which was so clearly crack) turned into ANGSTANDWOE all the time. *shakes head* I don't get it...

(no subject)

31/12/06 22:26 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] scornedsaint.livejournal.com
Didn't IB teach you anything?

Nothing, duh!

ANGSTANDWOE all the time. *shakes head* I don't get it...

You're so good at it, that's why! Seriously, you write some damn good angst.

(no subject)

31/12/06 06:03 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] r-a-l-i-g-h.livejournal.com
Alec may be faster and stronger than any of the Winchesters ever have been, but as Sam is quickly finding out, when it comes to fights, Alec is a bit of an idiot.
Heh. Yeah, he kinda is, isn't he?

Only Alec is the little brother now and that makes Sam the older one--makes Sam the replacement Dean instead of Alec.
Oh...OUCH.

Nicely done.

(no subject)

31/12/06 17:21 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. Alec and Sam seriously have more issues than Sam and Dean and that's saying quite a lot...

(no subject)

31/12/06 08:09 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mellaithwen.livejournal.com
sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet

:D

even though Alec's there you really feel the sort of missing presence that is Dean and I love how you've conveyed that :) and you didn't completely forget about Seattle, you had Logan call in and now them going back.

So, Alec's getting visions now? It makes sense as far as the demon's choosing is concerned so maybe this means there was something in Dean's dna?

Only Alec is the little brother now and that makes Sam the older one--makes Sam the replacement Dean instead of Alec.

In one way, it makes things easier. In another, a thousand times more difficult.


loved that, that Sam finally saw it that way instead of Alec as Dean. great installment dude!

(no subject)

1/1/07 20:19 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Glad you liked it.

So, Alec's getting visions now? It makes sense as far as the demon's choosing is concerned so maybe this means there was something in Dean's dna?

...of course Dean has powers, everyone knows that. It's only logical that Alec should have some wacky visions too. =)

(no subject)

31/12/06 09:10 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] aesvir.livejournal.com
The long-awaited sequel! What a perfect new year's gift!

The differences between Alec and Dean really speak to Jensen Ackle's skill in portraying tough but inwardly vulnerable men. He could have done the same person twice, but produced two such difference personalities.

Poor Sam. Now he knows what Dean went through all these years.

(no subject)

1/1/07 20:30 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Yeah, the wait was sort of long wasn't it? I got stuck on something (that as it turned out, will effect the next fic way more than this one) but I couldn't make things work until I worked it out.

There are way more differences between Alec and Dean than I originally thought and then I started writing them....

Thanks for reading!

(no subject)

31/12/06 11:06 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] taniapretender.livejournal.com
OMG I love you so much for having kept on with your verse !!!

I love this soooo much. Ok, Maybe the idea of Asha being alec's LOVE is...Well, quite disturbing, but I guess it was for the need of the story

Please, update soon, I just can't wait !

(no subject)

1/1/07 20:33 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Aw, come on, it was either kill Asha or kill Max and in the end, let's face it: I'm a die hard Max/Logan shipper so Alec/Max never even occurred to me.

Glad you like this verse. It's been growing on me too--it's a lot more fun to play in when it's not distracting me from Chem homework.

(no subject)

31/12/06 12:25 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] damerel.livejournal.com
This is fantastic. All the way through I was still in mourning for Dean, and I could feel myself following Sam's emotional journey in some ways, slowly growing to accept Alec on his own terms (which are pretty damn awesome, it must be said). And I just love that even all these years on, Dean is still looking out for Sam, through Logan. I also have to say that I *like* your Max, which is no mean feat given my response every time she turns up on the screen...

Wonderful, if bittersweet, stuff. Thanks so much.

(no subject)

7/1/07 04:02 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
So glad you enjoyed this. There was originally going to be much more of the plottly stuff in this part, but Sam's journey ended up taking presidence. I'm glad it could carry the story.

(no subject)

31/12/06 14:49 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] lucywiggin.livejournal.com
Yeah! Love the story, also my heart is breaking for both of them.

Swoonworthy

31/12/06 18:11 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
OMG ... this ... is ... gah. I've been following Sam and Alec since "What Comes Around" and "Manmade Monster" is simply a perfect merge between the two 'verse. You did an excellent job. Can't wait for the next installment. Write more? Please?

-Labseraph

Re: Swoonworthy

7/1/07 04:03 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
More is on the way. I'm going to try not to let it get pushed to the backburner like this story did...

(no subject)

1/1/07 03:14 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] dolimir-k.livejournal.com
I read all three stories today and I have to say I enjoyed the heck out of them! I just finished watching Season 2 of Dark Angel and this story couldn't have been better timed. *g*

(no subject)

7/1/07 04:04 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
oo! A New DA convert. Isn't it awesome? It was totally my first TV love and SPN just sent me coming back for more...

Glad you like the story!

(no subject)

1/1/07 11:57 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] nan-an.livejournal.com
OMG...! Another story of this! I's sooo happy!

I loved how Sam was seeing Alec as his long lost brother, and then how he managed to see past this Dean's-look-alike facade to see the real Alec. And I loved the new name of Alec - Alec Winchester. It's strange, but it sounds right. I felt really sorry for both of them - for Sam, that he had constant reminder of Dean, and for Alec - oh God, for losing Asha.

And you know - Logan here is a nice guy. But I really felt for Alec - he has nothing in common with this lucky-go sociopath, that cared only about his ass, like at the beginning of the second season of DA. And I think that that witch spell of truth was a really good thing for them. A little funny, but still it made then both only good.

Thank you for writing - can't wait for more!

(no subject)

7/1/07 04:06 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Thank's for such a detailed review. I was really hesitant on going forward with this 'verse because I didn't know if this sort of Alec was believable or even recognizable as the show's Alec. I'm glad I found the right mix.

(no subject)

1/1/07 16:47 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] swanseajill.livejournal.com
I enjoyed this a lot. I don't usually like DA/SN crossovers, but I thought this was really well written and a very interesting concept to explore. Can't quite get my mind around Dean not being there any more, but it's certainly fun seeing Sam and Alec relate and Sam having to be the big brother. I'll be looking out for the next story.

(no subject)

7/1/07 04:08 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
I honsetly didn't mean to kill Dean. I swear. The first story of this verse just sort of popped up in my harddrive and I don't remember writing most of it. I think my evil alter-ego did it....

Glad you like it.

(no subject)

2/1/07 19:57 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] blackcat333-99.livejournal.com
Late to discovering this series - but AWESOME. Despite the fact that you killed Dean! *sob* lol.

Really liked how Sam is having to adjust to the differences between Dean and Alec, and it probably makes it all that much harder because those two really do have a lot in common while still being two distinct personalities. Alec's amusement with Dean's Nair prank - LOL. Yup, if Alec and Dean had ever really gotten the chance to bond Sam's life would have been an utter hell. Hee.

Despite getting so much of Sam's POV there is some nice subtext in Alec's actions, his leaving Seattle/everyone he knows, basically cutting his remaining Manticore ties because he's latched onto his new "family", blood family, in Sam. Yes, shared agenda hunting the demon, but even before Asha got torched we got the sense of his curiosity about his "brother(s)"/their life. And of course, his curiosity about Dean, mirroring his curiosity about his "twin" Ben.

Looking forward to the next story.

(no subject)

7/1/07 04:11 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Late comers are always welcome. =)

You know every time I write Alec i spend the whole time asking myself "are you writing Alec or Dean?" It's maddening.

Alec has taken over the POV of the next story, so a lot of the stuff you mentioned is going to be addressed. I'm hoping it'll be around in the near future.

(no subject)

5/1/07 01:17 (UTC)
trinity_clare: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] trinity_clare
I just now found this series, and it ROCKS. Anything with Dark Angel is automatically awesome, but this is amazing.

(no subject)

7/1/07 04:12 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Thank you!

(I miss DA so very much)

(no subject)

5/1/07 23:17 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] goodnightbert.livejournal.com
I just read the three-part series you wrote, and wow, I love it. I love Alec and Dean almost equally, but you're right...they're not the same person, and I love the many ways you point that out. Sam's adjustment to having Alec around is heartbreaking, but understandable, and I love when he finally starts to see Alec as his own person. And I love that Logan and Sam have an almost-friendship. They totally would be buds given the chance.

This is so great, I can't wait to read more in this 'verse. Great job, I'm going to go feedback the other parts now. :)

(no subject)

10/1/07 19:36 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. I'm really happy those differences stood out especially considering the scary amount of time I spent tweaking Alec's dialog so he sounded like Alec and not Dean. =)

Can't you just imagine Sam and Logan geeking out together? Over some book they both read in college or some fancy new part for the exoskeleton. hee. Just the thought makes me laugh.

So happy you enjoyed this. The next part's in the works.

(no subject)

12/1/07 02:43 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] minim-calibre.livejournal.com
::Flails::

At one point in my life, I'd have probably managed a slightly longer and more useful response than that, but I'm just sort of sitting here and enjoying the continuation of this particular AU. It has very good Sam. And good Alec, too.

(no subject)

28/1/07 02:59 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
The flailing's fine by me. Glad you've enjoyed the 'verse. The next story should be out soonish...

(no subject)

20/1/07 09:59 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_turtledove/
Hi, there! Hope you don't mind a stranger commenting.

I just stayed up reading the three stories in this series so far, and they are amazing. Your blending of the Supernatural and Dark Angel universes is seamless, the co-existence of a post-Pulse and demon-riddled America plausible, and Sam and Alec's relationship beautifully heartbreaking. Your Sam and Alec are especially well-written, and I love the way you portrayed Logan and Max in light of Sam's coming and Alec's eventual departure.

I could go on and on about Alec, but I'll probably end up quoting every other line. :) I look forward to your next installment!

(no subject)

28/1/07 03:01 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
Got no problem with strangers commenting. Pleased to meet'cha.

(DA is so Supernatural's future. I've got it stuck in my mind that if SPN exists through 2009, we will see the Pulse happen.)

Thanks for reading. Glad you liked it.

(no subject)

14/2/07 07:48 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] nevcolleil.livejournal.com
At first I didn't even see that there was a Sam POV to this period! Oh, but it's awesome. I love the way his and Alec's relationship is developing and if I haven't mentioned it, I love your Logan and the idea of giving Alec visions and the Winchester last name! I wonder if Logan realizes Dean is the one who helped him when he was a kid and what he thinks about that/if Sam knowns Logan had known Dean.

(no subject)

18/2/07 03:35 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
(yeah, I miss linked on of the posts pointing here originally. Glad you found this)

Glad to hear you liked it! I had a great time playing with Sam and Alec's relationship. They both have so very much angst. =).

Logan... Logan definitely can guess the Dean-Alec connection. In my twisted little verse, it's the reason he still put up with Alec after the guy tried to kill him.

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on (all!) these parts. I really appreciate it.

(no subject)

18/2/07 16:22 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] calicokat.livejournal.com
Yay! This verse is fun. *g* Eagerly looking foward to reading the next part! (I think I'll do it right now.)

(no subject)

4/3/07 20:30 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] last01standing.livejournal.com
(grin)

Thanks!

(no subject)

22/4/07 02:34 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] dharkapparition.livejournal.com
This completely killed me. I could barely read the first part. Very good.

(no subject)

22/4/07 04:59 (UTC)
ext_14447: (SPN: Sam)
Posted by [identity profile] aaronlisa.livejournal.com
Only Alec is the little brother now and that makes Sam the older one--makes Sam the replacement Dean instead of Alec.

Poor Sam.


I am really like this series. I like how you've intertwined the two worlds.

(no subject)

4/1/10 04:58 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] pathsforme.livejournal.com
Totally awesome story, loving it. Those two belong side by side.

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