Title: The Five Times that Sam Winchester Didn't Die
Author: blackandwhite02
Character: Sam
Pairing: None
Word Count: 738
Rating: PG
Summary: See title
Spoilers/Warnings: A vague reference to the end of "Bloody Mary", but that's it.


I. Sammy is 4 years old and he swears he didn't see the car coming. The doctors don't expect him to make it and are surprised when he pulls through. Dean and his father come to visit and Dean immediately starts to sob on his brother. He says that he's sorry, that it's all his fault, and that he'll never let it happen again. John is grave and questions if he'll have any family left in a few years. Sammy solemnly promises to pay attention when crossing the street, and there's already innocence gone from his eyes that will never return.

II. Sam is terrified of fire due to an event from years ago that he doesn't even remember. He's almost ten and is sick of being afraid. Someone told him that the best way to overcome a fear is to face it head on so a book of matches sits in his pocket for a week. When he's finally home alone because his brother is outside flirting with some girl he shakily lights one match. He quickly drops it into the glass of water he'd prepared but not before a thrill shoots through his body. The next match stays lit just a little longer, as does the next, and then the next. Then he's finally able to hold one with a steady hand, and he's so transfixed by the light that he doesn't notice how low it is until his finger starts to burn. The panic sets in once more and the match hits the floor. Later, when the firefighters are leaving and the Winchesters are sitting in their sooty kitchen, Sam can only bury his head in his father's arms while his brother feels guilty again. Despite the slightly raised temperature in the room, Sam shivers and realizes that his fear is still there, and that it might even be worse than before.

III. In Sam's eighth grade class they're discussing meteorology. It's all fascinating to him because storms are completely natural and, aside from some mythology about thunder gods, there's nothing ghostlike about them. He wishes he was normal and his brother and father just don't understand. They're completely lost when he stands outside during a lightning storm, wonder filling his eyes as the sky is constantly lit up. Dean has to run out and drag his brother into the house when a bolt of lightning hits the ground a few feet away and Sam still refuses to move. John scolds him for constantly putting himself so close to death but Sam doesn't listen. He just stands at the window, a dull look in his eyes.

IV. Sam's on campus, living the life of an innocent freshman and wishing he wasn't faking it so much. Ghost stories and things that go bump in the night are still on his mind and he wonders if he really is cut out for this life. He can't shake the feeling that he won't make it here but he also knows that he can't give up and go back to his family. There are alternatives that pop into his head and several of them involve seeing his mother. The gun his father had gruffly given him as a condition for leaving is under his bed, wrapped in a sweatshirt in a box, hidden from prying eyes. He sometimes thinks of pulling it out, echoes of his father's voice talking about near-death situations floating through his head. He's the closest he's been to holding it to his head when some pretty blonde smiles at him, and suddenly he's okay enough to hold on a little longer.

V. Sam doesn't sleep for long anymore. He has nightmares whenever he closes his eyes and sometimes they're there when he's awake as well. Jessica dies and then he opens his eyes and finds her focusing on him in concern. It's the same dream every night, with a different woman every once in a while. Those dreams in particular scare him as he wonders whether they're some long buried memory of if his brain is fabricating actual events. Each morning he shaves and sees the empty look in his own eyes and for a moment he's ready to let the razor slip down his neck. He's only stopped because he knows it won't help, and he's hoping he's dreaming his fears and not the future. But he knows he's deluding himself and the days just get longer.