Apologies for the delay in posting the next part of this - what with my brother's birthday, a weekend away and going back to work after the holidays the last couple of weeks have been rather hectic and tiring.
Title: It Starts With Goodbye
Characters: Dean, Sam, Jess, Bobby, OFC
Pairing: Sam/Jess, Dean/OFC
Spoilers: Set in the back end of season two (pre-finale) so anything before that is fair game.
Summary: Dean would do anything to make Sam happy but what would Sam let him give up? How far can you push brotherly love before you have to be selfish for your own sake?
When the windows flew in Dean’s instincts immediately told him to hit the deck which he did so with practiced efficiency, his arms folding over to protect his head. When the shower of painful rain stopped he briefly glanced around to check that the others were okay. Sam and Izzy were sitting up, both shaking glass from their hair but unhurt. Wendy looked sheet white but was still alive and she should count her blessings for that given the circumstances.
He hurriedly returned to looking in his bag, knowing that they really had to get out of there, and was just wondering if salting the door might help when he heard a sudden cry of pain that he knew from unwelcome experience was Izzy. He immediately looked across, expecting to see her lying on the floor having taken a book to the face or something.
But she wasn’t. She was looking at Wendy in a surprised manner. Wendy who was holding her arm in a death grip with one hand whilst holding what looked like a scalpel up in the other.
Dean was on his feet immediately, momentarily forgetting the danger around them in the face of this more pressing one whilst simultaneously trying to remind himself that Wendy was just a girl and punching her in the face wasn’t on. Except of course if it turned out she was actually a demon who’d been playing them, then punching her in the face was a damn fine course of action.
He strode across the room and was almost there before he was suddenly broadsided by a table. It knocked him clean to the floor, shattering about him, leaving him momentarily winded.
As he lay there, taking a few seconds to recover, the room around him finally became still once more, the ghostly assault apparently over.
By the time he sat himself up and pushed the table debris aside, Izzy was lying on the floor not moving and Wendy’s back could be seen fleeing through the now open door.
“Sam!” he called, but Sam was already scrambling to his feet and hurrying over to Izzy rolling her onto her back and pushing his fingers firmly into the crease on her neck.
“She’s okay,” Sam said hurriedly, quickly finding a good pulse, “Go!”
Dean didn’t need telling twice, sprinting out the door after Wendy, firmly intending to catch her and find out what the hell she was playing at.
Sam sat there utterly still for a few moments hoping more than expecting Izzy to quickly regain consciousness. He hadn’t seen what had happened and had only heard her cry out but he suspected that she’d been hit on the head by something. Nothing too bad though he presumed since there wasn’t any sign of injury.
When she didn’t quickly open her eyes however he shrugged off his jacket, balled it up and placed it under her head. It wasn’t exactly top quality first aid but he didn’t know what else he could do. She didn’t have an obvious wound, her pulse was strong and her breathing was steady. He’d been knocked out cold enough times himself to know it wasn’t necessarily pleasant but it didn’t do too much damage. He also knew however that if she didn’t wake up soon they’d be forced to drive her to the local ER just in case it was serious and the thought already made him feel uncomfortable. Two guys arriving with an unconscious girl and a sketchy explanation of what had happened was bound to raise questions and it was the sort of suspicion that they should really be trying to avoid when they were wanted by the cops in various States.
“Come on, Izzy,” he muttered, placing a hand on her arm, “Make this easy and wake up okay?”
Continuing to will her to save them some hassle and wake up sooner rather than later, Sam suddenly frowned when he noticed a dark trace of blood on the side of her trousers. Worried that he’d missed something serious he quickly checked her over, finally finding the injury in the unlikely place of the palm of her hand. Lifting it to his face he peered more closely at the wound. At first he thought she must have cut it on the glass from the windows, but the cut was too clean and seemed to have been caused by a blade not a jagged edge as he would have expected. Upon placing her hand carefully down again he noticed something else unusual. There were small pieces of glass lying around where her hand had been. Not necessarily strange considering that the windows had just imploded, but when he picked a couple of the pieces up he noticed that they were too thin and too curved to be part of the glazing. No, they appeared to be from a small tube or bottle. But he hadn’t seen any science equipment in the room.
He was still pondering what it all meant when a light groan emanated from Izzy’s lips, turning his attention back to her.
“Hey,” he said, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder as her eyes slowly opened, “It’s okay.”
It seemed to take her a moment to regain focus and when she did her eyes slowly scanned the area around her, her face getting more and more worried by the second. Sam’s stomach fell a little as he saw the confusion on her face. She clearly had no idea what had happened to her or even where she was. Short term memory loss was never a good sign and it meant they really should take her to the hospital and get her checked out.
He was just about to explain what had happened, to reassure her once more that all was fine and that Dean would be back in a moment, when all of a sudden she sat bolt upright, Sam springing back slightly in surprise.
“Sam?” she asked, still looking round her, unnaturally frightened, “Oh my god Sam...How did I get here? What happened?”
She looked at him, pleading for answers with both her voice and her eyes and his stomach clenched so violently that he was surprised he didn’t throw up. The only thing that stopped him scrambling back in horrified denial was the fact that his whole body seemed to have paralysed at the realisation. In one heart stopping, gut wrenching moment he instantly knew. He just knew, even though it shouldn’t be happening. But the signs were all there – the cut, the broken glass vial. He should have realised straight out. Should have been smarter.
A possession ritual.
And he couldn’t deny that he saw it right away. Izzy never looked at him like that. It was her skin, her green eyes and her lips but everything about the way they were being used was all wrong.
Wrong for her any way but right for someone he used to know.
He swallowed hard into his suddenly painfully dry throat, feeling a sharp, cold burst of shock flying through his veins as he watched her still glancing about herself, trying to get a handle on where she was and what had happened. Normally he’d comfort her, normally he would hold her to him and tell her it was okay. Right now though it was all he could manage to not just bolt from the room.
“Jess?” he asked, quiet and pained, hoping that he’d somehow been mistaken. It was too cruel otherwise.
She immediately turned her attention back to him.
Not, ‘yes, it is me’, simply a ‘yes, what do you want?’ As far as she was concerned there was obviously no question over who she was.
“Nothing...” he said quietly, barely able to get his vocal chords to work as they seemed to freeze up along with the rest of him. It couldn’t be happening, he told himself. It couldn’t.
But it was. Izzy would never play such a sick joke on him and he knew from personal experience that possession was entirely possibly. There was simply no other viable explanation.
“Nothing?” Jess asked through Izzy’s lips, her eyes wide and incredulous at Sam’s reaction, “What do you mean ‘nothing’? Seriously Sam, what is going on? How did I get in here? What happened to this place, why is it such a mess?”
It was only then that it hit him.
She didn’t know.
She really didn’t know.
She didn’t know that she wasn’t in her own body, obviously didn’t know that she was dead. Oh god... What did he tell her? How could he tell her?
Thankfully it was dark enough and she was confused enough not to really have noticed that anything was amiss beyond being in trashed classroom and having no recollection of how she had got there. Sam didn’t know how long though she could go without noticing that she was now several inches shorter with a slightly curvier figure and brunette hair instead of blonde. They were hardly the sort of changes you could miss in the long run.
“What’s the last thing you remember?” he asked, his voice sounding distant even to him as he made a stab at professionalism. He lied to himself, his brain firmly stating that this was just another job.
Pulling herself together just a little bit, obviously trusting Sam implicitly to help, she frowned as she tried to remember.
“Cookies,” she said after a moment of silence, the knot of her brow showing how difficult the memory was to drag up, “I made some cookies for you and left them out. I kept thinking you weren’t going to get back in time for the interview...”
He’d known she’d worry.
“I went into our room,” she continued slowly as though walking it through in her head, “And...oh god Sam there was someone in there...There was a man and I thought it was you for a minute and-”
Her voice caught as she obviously remembered her fear.
“And?” Sam asked hesitantly. Part of him wanted her to remember, wanted to be saved the pain of having to explain himself what had happened to her. A bigger part though realised that he didn’t want to see her face if she did remember it, didn’t want to witness her recalling the fear and the pain. He didn’t want her to have the memory of how she’d been pinned to the ceiling, unable to scream as her blood poured from her. How the last thing she saw was his look of horror before she was engulfed in flames.
“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head, trying to concentrate harder but failing, the memory well and truly gone, ”I don’t remember anything else. Sam, what happened to me? Did he do something? How did I end up here?”
She’d calmed just a little now, the overwhelming panic gone now she was in Sam’s reassuring presence but replaced by a dire need to know.
“Don’t worry,” he said painfully, “You’re okay now.”
Which was an utter lie. She was dead and inhabiting someone else’s body. There wasn’t much more not okay you could get. But it felt like the right thing to say. Just as it felt like the right thing to do when he pulled her close, wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly to him. It was odd but it was preferable to facing any more of her questions.
He held her like he would Izzy, how he’d comfort his friend not embrace his girlfriend. His body remembered how he had hugged Izzy like this once, how her small frame had suddenly felt very vulnerable as she sobbed uncontrollably into his chest. Dean had been seriously hurt and when she’d left his room and returned to the hospital corridor, needing a break from sitting at his side, she was still shaking hours after the incident. It had only taken a few reassuring words from Sam to break her resolve and she’d collapsed into tears. Which he hadn’t liked to see but which had at least given him something to focus on rather than wondering if his brother was going to live.
His mind remembered things too though, different things, things about the way he’d once held Jess. It remembered the night he’d come home to find her in tears having gotten a phone call to say her grandmother had died. He’d held her then, curled up on their bed and she cried silently beside him, needing to grieve. When she’d kissed him, hands gliding over his body, principle had made him question her actions but she had said she simply didn’t want to go to sleep on a bad memory and couldn’t think of a better way of making sure that didn’t happen than by being with the guy she loved.
Still at a loss, still as confused as hell over what to do, Sam was startled a little when Dean came jogging back into the room, ever so slightly out of breath.
“Lost her,” he admitted grouchily, “Damn girl can run and this place is like a rabbit warren...”
He might have said more but he was distracted by the sight of Sam holding Izzy so close. He had no problem at all with them being friends, understood that they cared about each other and that Sam was utterly at ease with giving her a hug if she needed it, but he could instantly tell that something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t like her to fall all over him in that way let alone his brother.
“Is she okay?” he asked with a deep frown.
Without waiting for an answer he went to crouch down beside her, to find out what was wrong with his girl. But right now she wasn’t his girl, not really.
Intercepting a potentially very awkward moment, Sam released Jess and stood, blocking Dean from moving, causing his brother to frown at him in askance.
“No, she’s not okay,” he said quietly, trying to make his words sound meaningful without giving the game away to Jess, “We have a big problem Dean.”
He looked at his brother carefully and after a moment Dean seemed to register that Sam was asking for him to tread carefully. Dean nodded in acknowledgement, still clueless to what was going on as he looked at Izzy with a deep, concerned frown.