The WFB is excited to present a new feature called Fan Fiction Fridays, a summer series that runs every 2 weeks during hiatus! Starting June 21st, follow Sam, Dean and their friends, and see what kind of adventures they have over the summer months!
To add to the fun, YOU get to help pick where the focus of these fictional stories go next, based on our Fan Fiction Poll questions: Who, What, Why, When, and How? The first Poll question was "Who would you like to see featured in an original fan fiction story?" The top vote getter was Sam, so he’ll be leading us off on the path to a summer adventure! Next up will be the second place winner, and so on.
Watch our Polls page for a new question, coming soon. In the meantime, let’s start our summer adventure with Sam, and his mysterious Thursday night excursions....
Every Thursday Night
"Hey, Sammy. Who do you think would win in a fight between - "
Dean stopped short, staring at the empty chair his brother usually occupied at the table in the library. Oh. Right. Sam had said he was going out.
Dean stood there for a minute, not quite knowing what to do. It felt a little weird, being here in the bunker all by himself. He and Sam were almost always together, even if they were engaged in solitary pursuits here at home. When the brothers had decided to take a couple of months off in the summer to take care of a few things at the bunker that they'd been putting off, Sam had enthusiastically applied himself to sorting and cataloguing all the items they had gotten from that occult shop a while back. Since that kind of stuff wasn't really Dean's thing, the elder Winchester had been occupying himself with the care and maintenance of the collection of classic cars that were stored in the bunker's garage. There were certainly worse ways to spend your downtime, Dean thought. Besides, he hadn't been lobbying for cases too hard, because Dean had a surprise lined up for his brother later on in the summer. He just needed a bit more time to pull it off.
The elder Winchester shrugged. Oh, well. It wasn't like he and Sammy were joined at the hip, or anything. Actually, it might be kind of nice to have the place to himself for a change. Even Cas wasn't here. Their Angel friend was elsewhere, taking care of angel problems. Exactly where Cas was or what those problems might be, Dean had no clue. He hadn't really been paying attention when Cas and Sam were talking about it.
Dean had no idea where Sam had gone either. His younger brother had just walked into the kitchen a while ago and announced that he was going out. Dean had asked him where, but Sam had merely given him a look, and then said he'd see Dean later. Then Sammy had turned and left, without another word.
Huh. Okie-dokie. Kind of odd, but Sam was a grown man, and not everything was necessarily Dean's business, was it? Sam's older brother nodded to himself. Sammy was probably seeing a girl. Yeah, that had to be it. But, if that was the case, why wouldn't he have just said so?
Dean was still puzzling over that, now. He couldn't think of anything that Sam could be doing that he wouldn't tell his older brother about. Well, not nowadays, anyway. They'd both hidden lots of things from each other in the past, but that was then, and this was now. Gone were the days of demon blood, and Crossroads deals. They had made a pact, after finding that keeping secrets from each other had bitten them in the butts for the umpteenth time. They would always tell each other the truth, no matter how bad it was. There was nothing so bad that they couldn't figure it out together, as a team.
It couldn't be anything like that, then. Besides, things were quiet right now. No major crisis, no apocalyptic events, just....life. Part of Dean was relieved about that, but the other part, the subconscious part, was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Wasn't that always the way things went for them?
But for now, he had the house to himself, the night was young, and it was Beer O'Clock. Dean headed for the fridge.
The sun was already starting to set as Sam drove down the two-lane highway into town.
He was tapping his hands nervously on the steering wheel, in time to the song that was playing on the radio. Because Sam had taken one of the spare cars from the bunker's garage and because his brother wasn't here, Sam could listen to whatever he wanted. He hadn't been paying attention to what was on the radio, though; not really. The only thing on Sam's mind as he drove into town was the place he was going to, and the reason he was going there.
Sam had to be nuts. What on earth had he been thinking? Now, he truly understood what people meant when they used the phrase "it seemed like a good idea at the time." But he had committed himself now, and Sam Winchester wasn't the kind of man to renege on a commitment. He was just glad that Dean hadn't pushed him harder, trying to find out where he was going. If Sam had to, he had been prepared to tell Dean to back off; that it was none of his business. But Sam hadn't really wanted to go there, if he could avoid it. He hated to fight with his brother. Besides, Dean Winchester was like a bloodhound. If he got a whiff of something unusual, metaphorically speaking, Dean wouldn't give up until he found out the truth. That would be all Sam would need. He was edgy enough right now, as it was.
A few minutes later, Sam pulled the car off the highway and drove into the parking lot of the facility. He shut off the engine and sat there quietly for a moment, taking a couple of deep breaths. He could do this. He'd wanted to do something like this for a while now, and this was his opportunity. There might not ever be another one.
Taking one more deep, cleansing breath, Sam grabbed his bag and got out of the car.
Dean was on his third beer now, and he was restless and bored. Having the place to himself wasn't the thrill he thought it would be. What was he gonna do here alone that he couldn't do with Sammy being here? Eat pie? Drink beer? Watch a movie? Dean wouldn't necessarily ever admit it out loud, but those things weren't nearly as good without someone to share them with. Ahhh, who was he kidding? Without Sam to share them with.
He walked into the library area and sat down at the table, hooking his foot around the leg of the chair next to him. He drew the second chair closer. It made a scraping sound across the floor, and Dean grinned. Sammy hated that sound. He also hated it when Dean put his feet up on the chairs, so naturally, that was what Dean did now. He didn't see what the big deal was, but sometimes, Sam would get on his case about it, especially if there was dirt or mud on Dean's shoes. But Sammy wasn't here to see it now, was he?
Dean leaned back, taking a drink of beer. There. That was more like it. But after a moment or two, he realized how ridiculous he was being. As rebellions went, it was pretty lame. Half the fun of doing something like that was seeing the look on Sammy's face when he did it.
So Dean took his feet off the chair and looked around the room. His eyes landed on the bookshelves, but then he quickly looked away. How desperate for entertainment WAS he, anyway? Not that desperate. No way.
He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and called Cas. "Hey! How's it going, Buddy?"
"I'm a little busy right now, Dean," their angel friend said. "Is everything all right?"
"Yeah, Cas, I just...."
"What is it, Dean? What's wrong?" Now, Cas sounded concerned.
"Nothing. It's nothing," Dean said quickly. He felt a little embarrassed, now. Cas was going to get all wound up for no reason. Their friend acted a lot more human than he used to, but Dean didn't think Cas would understand how he was feeling at the moment. How could he? Dean didn't understand it himself.
"Forget it," Dean told his friend. "We'll see you when you get back." He hung up the phone and tossed it on the table, looking at the books again. Then he shuddered a little. Nope. Just because reading was Sammy's idea of a good time....
Dean finished his beer, then left the library in search of something to do.
There was an elevator, but Sam took the stairs. He liked to stay in shape, however he could. Whenever he and Dean were between cases, the tendency was to lounge around a bit too much, which also meant snacking more often. Contrary to the jokes and snide remarks Dean made from time to time, Sam was no saint in that regard. He enjoyed sitting with his feet up and watching a movie or two when they had some downtime, and those movies were often accompanied by beer, and snacks. But Sam also made sure to go for a run in the morning, or to work out in the bunker's gym. Moderation and balance were the key.
He came out of the stairwell and moved into the corridor, pausing momentarily outside the door. One more breath. He inhaled deeply, then exhaled slowly. He had nothing to worry about. This was going to be fun.
Sam opened the door and stepped into the classroom. Boy, did this take him back. The hastily-erased blackboard, and the smell of the chalk. The students' desks, which had gotten increasingly smaller and less comfortable as Sam himself had gotten taller and lankier. He put his bag down on the wooden teacher's desk and tried one on for size. Even though these desks were clearly meant for adults, he still found that he didn't fit very well.
Sam smiled, looking to the front of the classroom. He could picture some of his former teachers up there, standing by the blackboard. "Who can tell me what year World War II ended?" "Give me a noun, an adjective, and an action verb, and use them together in a proper sentence." "Spit out that gum, Jason; I see you back there." "Who can tell me....?" And young Sam would always be sitting in the front of the class, raising his hand, eager to learn, and to show how much he had learned.
A young girl entered the classroom then, and she stopped short, looking at Sam curiously.
"Ummm....why do you have your hand up?" she asked him. "There's nobody here."
Sam grinned sheepishly, lowering his arm. "Sorry. Just got caught up in the moment, I guess," he said to her. "I was reminiscing about the days I was in grade school. Way back, when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth."
The girl nodded matter-of-factly, and Sam frowned slightly. He'd kind of been hoping she would contradict him. She slung her bag onto the desk next to his and sat down.
"I'm Heather," she introduced herself. Sam made a motion, to shake her hand, maybe, but she was no longer looking at him. Her cell phone was in her hand, and she was texting. Amazing. He hadn't even seen her take it out of wherever it had been. Maybe it was an extension of her arm, Sam thought with dry humour. It sure seemed like that, these days.
"Russ," he ventured, giving his alias, and Heather gave him a curt nod. At least he thought it was him she was nodding at. She was still looking at her phone.
"Speaking of dinosaurs, I wonder what our teacher's going to be like," Heather remarked, her fingers still flying. "I hope he's interesting. I signed up because I thought the subject would be fun, but I hope we don't get some old guy with no sense of humour, just droning on and on."
Sam's lips twitched with amusement. "You mean like that ghost teacher, in those books about the boy wizard?"
Heather abruptly stopped texting and looked at him, startled. "That's right!" she exclaimed.
Sam gave her a tentative smile, but he wasn't sure if he should be happy that she got the reference, or insulted that Heather seemed to be so surprised that he had known enough about the books to make it.
"I don't think he'll be - " Sam started to say, but before he had the chance to finish his thought, a short, dark-haired woman came barrelling into the classroom, with a tall man right behind her.
"What's the rush?" Frank said to his sister.
"I hate being late," Grace said impatiently. "I don't know why you have to drive around in the parking lot five or six times, to try to find the closest spot. You waste so much time doing that, and it's unnecessary. We've got legs, you know."
"My knee hurts," Frank complained. "My friend Matt and I fell, running for a bus in London. I told you that."
"You fell off a barstool, in the pub," she retorted.
Sam was trying not to grin. He made a mental bet with himself: husband and wife, or brother and sister?
Frank saved him the awkwardness of having to ask. "I'm Frank," he said, offering his hand to Sam for a shake. He pointed down at Grace. "This is my little sister, Grace. Both literally, and figuratively."
"I think you mean chronologically," Frank's sister said, rolling her eyes.
Sam did smile, now. Siblings. He should have figured as much. Frank and Grace talked to each other in much the same way as Sam and Dean did.
The brother and sister introduced themselves to Heather, and the girl gave them a half-hearted wave of her hand. She'd gone back to looking at her phone.
Grace was staring at the desks. Heather and Sam occupied two of the desks in the front row, and now, her brother plunked himself down in the third. "What?" Frank said, noticing his sister's expression.
Sam made the connection. "I'll tell you what," he said to Grace, rising from his seat. "Why don't you sit here? That way, you can sit next to your brother. Plus, you won't have to crane your head, to look around taller people."
"I think he's saying you have a big, fat head," Grace said, poking her brother as she sat down at the desk Sam had vacated. Then she looked up at Sam, thanking him for giving up his seat for her.
"That's OK, it wasn't really my seat, anyway," Sam said affably. Then, he sighed. Might as well tell them. He moved to the teacher's desk. "This is. I'm Professor Russell Johnson, and I'll be teaching the class." When Sam had first had the idea that he might want to try his hand at teaching a night class, he had come up with that pseudonym for himself, figuring that most of those interested in taking the class would be younger, and would have no idea that Russell Johnson was the actor who had played the Professor on Gilligan's Island. Then, he had created an online profile for himself as Professor Johnson, one that would withstand the most stringent of background checks.
Heather was so startled that she shut her phone off and put it away. "You?! You're the teacher?" she exclaimed.
Sam opened his bag, taking out a few of the books he'd intended to use for the class as more people began to arrive. He didn't show it outwardly, but Sam was relieved. One of his biggest fears going into this was: what if no one showed up? Just because he was keen on the subject, that didn't mean that others would be, too. Students who attended this college during the day did so because they were required to, and because the classes they took were geared towards the career path they wanted to follow. But this was a much more fanciful subject, and many people who signed up for night courses were using their precious time off work, and sacrificing time that could be spent with their families.
Once everybody was seated and settled down, Sam counted heads: 11. Not bad. Not bad at all. He had them all introduce themselves as he jotted down their names on a diagram he'd hastily drawn up. Grace had given him the inspiration. If they all sat at the same desks each time they came in, he'd learn their names in no time.
"Welcome to 'The Lore and Lure of Monsters, and Things That Go Bump In The Night'," Sam said with a smile. "That was the working title I came up with, anyway. Do you think it's too long?"
His smile faded a bit as a girl in the back of the class said, "Yeah."
"You know what you should call it?" Grace piped up. "'Monsters, Inc.'"
"Yeah, and then the advanced class could be 'Monsters University'," Frank added with a smirk.
Sam brightened. "Hey, that's pretty good. Mind if I steal it?"
"Steal away," Grace said with a wave of her hand.
"Don't give up the farm so easily," Frank admonished his sister teasingly. "I'd hold out for a bump in your grade, if I were you."
"Is this going to be really scary?" a timid-looking older woman sitting at one of the middle desks asked.
Sam was able to keep a straight face, but just barely. "Yes, it'll be a little scary, but we'll have some fun, too. I plan on throwing some pop culture into the mix, along with the lore. I've even printed a few pages of script from one of those cheesy slasher movies that we can act out. We'll have a Hallowe'en-themed night, and you can all dress up as your favourite monster."
"'Favourite'?" a man wearing a blue shirt with the name Quentin stitched on the pocket said scornfully. "I thought we were here to learn about the things, not become them."
"Oh, like monsters are real," Tuan said with a snort of derision.
"Hey, if learning about make-believe monsters will help me write that million-dollar screenplay, they'll be real to me," Quentin assured the young Vietnamese man, shrugging.
Sam smiled. When he'd had the idea to teach others about the monsters that he and Dean had encountered over the years, that was one of the suggestions he'd made in the teaser blurb to advertise the course. "Who else is here for that reason?" he inquired, looking at the prospective students. "Show of hands?"
Most of the people raised their hands, but Sonya didn't. "I'm just a server at a restaurant," she said shyly. "I just enrolled in a couple of night classes to give myself an excuse to do something different on my nights off, but there's no way I could ever see myself actually writing a screenplay."
"Nonsense," Sam said, shaking his head. "Never put limits on yourself - " he consulted his floor plan " - Sonya. You can do anything you want to do, if you try. I never thought I could teach a class, but it's something I've always wanted to do, so here I am. I'm fascinated by supernatural mythology, so I thought other people might be, too."
Grace was thoughtful now. Like Sonya, she wasn't confident enough to share her reasons for being here. She wanted to write books. She'd always had a fanciful imagination as far as story ideas went, but she could also distinguish fantasy from reality.
Or, so she'd thought. There were a couple of reasons she was taking the course, but Grace didn't want to admit the other reason to anyone; at least, not yet. She strongly suspected that her and Frank's next-door neighbours were monsters.
A few weeks later, Frank and Grace invited Sam out for a drink after class. The younger Winchester considered the invitation, for a moment. Dean had become more and more inquisitive about where Sam was going at the same time every Thursday night, and although Sam had been able to dodge the questions so far, he wondered if Dean would be waiting up for him. But then, he decided that was silly. Sam was a grown man, wasn't he? Besides, he liked Frank and Grace. They were smart, funny people, who paid attention in class and asked the most interesting and insightful questions.
Once they were sitting at their table over drinks, Grace said, "I'm stressing out. I have no idea what kind of monster to put in my midterm composition."
Frank looked dubiously at his sister. "You're kidding, right? This is a night class. I mean, no offense, Russ, but...."
Sam gave him a half-shrug. "None taken. I wanted the midterm to be fun. It's supposed to show how much you've all learned, but it's also supposed to be a creative exercise, too."
"I'm pretty sure we've got this, but just in case, the drinks are on me," Frank joked, taking a sip of his beer.
"Now what kind of a teacher would I be, if I let myself be bribed?" Sam asked lightly, doing the same.
"My kind," Frank quipped.
Grace smiled absently, taking a sip from her glass of wine. But she was staring at their Professor now, wondering if it was too soon to bring up the subject of their neighbours.
Frank wasn't nearly as shy. "Grace thinks our next-door neighbours are some kind of monsters," he told Sam.
She sputtered. "Frank!"
"What makes you think that?" Sam asked her curiously.
Grace sighed. Well, it was out now, wasn't it? Thanks a lot, Frank. "I don't know, Russ," she replied. "They're just....weird. Sneaky. They keep strange hours, and I've seen people go into their house that don't come back out."
Sam's brow furrowed. He liked Grace, but: "Is that it? I mean, that's not much to go on."
"I know, right?" Frank agreed. "I told her they're probably just shift workers, or something. We've never actually seen them do anything monster-y."
Grace let out a frustrated breath. This was why she hadn't wanted to say anything to their teacher; at least, not yet. She knew you couldn't go running around accusing people of things without any sort of proof, but every time she saw them, they gave her a creepy feeling.
Sam was trying to think of a tactful way to tell Grace that she should probably save her imagination for the midterm when the news bulletin came on. There was a TV set hanging on the wall just above their table and, although the volume was down, the graphics had caught his attention.
'MISSING GIRL'S BODY FOUND", the banner read, and Grace gasped. "That's one of the people I saw go into their house!" she exclaimed, grabbing Frank's arm.
"Watch it. You're gonna make me spill my beer," her brother groused, but Sam was intrigued, now. "Can you turn up the volume?" he asked their server, gesturing to the TV.
Sam was standing in the morgue the next day, dressed up in his FBI suit. It felt weird to be doing this without Dean, but if Sam had tried to include his brother, there would have been a whole bunch of questions that Sam wasn't prepared to answer. As it was, he'd had a hard enough time ditching Dean this morning. Sam had told his brother he was going for a run, but then Dean had countered with a question: If that was the case, then why was Sam going to the garage to get a car? Thinking fast, the younger Winchester had answered that he was going to drive to a park across town that had a really good track to run on, and then, he was going to get some groceries. Dean had accepted his response, but Sam had had to put his FBI suit in a gym bag and then change into it in a restroom at the coffee shop he went to, before arriving at the police station.
He wasn't sure exactly why he'd come, Sam thought as he waited for the Medical Examiner. There had been nothing in the news report to suggest that anything supernatural was in play, here. The reporter had merely said that the unfortunate young woman's body had been found a week after she'd gone missing, and that preliminary findings suggested she had been strangled. That was terrible, but it wasn't very monster-y, as Frank would say.
But Sam had wanted to look into it a little more anyway, to see if there was anything to Grace's intuition. Sam knew better than a lot of people how important it was not to ignore those kinds of feelings.
"Hello, Agent Dion," the Medical Examiner said, walking briskly into the room. He took a pair of surgical gloves out of his pocket and put them on. Then he went to the other side of the room and pulled out the drawer where the murder victim was.
"As you can see here, it's a standard case of strangulation," the doctor told Sam. The younger Winchester peered closely. "Wait a minute," he said softly, pointing. "Are those - ?"
"Puncture marks, yes," the M.E. confirmed. "Irrelevant to the cause of death, but that's very observant, Agent Dion."
Sam almost smiled, but he knew that to do so would be highly inappropriate in this situation. He'd chosen the name on purpose, of course, because Dean wasn't here. Instead, he said, "Have there been any other vics found recently with the same marks?"
The doctor nodded. "This brings the total to seven, now. Five women, and two men. I'm surprised it took you this long to come."
Sam shrugged. "You know how it is," he said noncommittally. But he was more than a little surprised, himself. This woman was the seventh victim in a series? Why hadn't Sam heard anything about it, then? He watched the news all the time. Plus, he had always had an interest in serial killers. Dean deemed that weird, but Sam disagreed. It was just an extension of what the brothers did. Monsters of a different sort, but monsters, nonetheless.
Those puncture wounds were bothering Sam, though. He peered at them again. "And the other victims all had these same marks?" he asked again. When the doctor confirmed, again, that they all had, Sam started to wonder: why did those marks look so familiar? Not vamps, but....
"Were the victims all found in the same general area?" Sam persisted. The doctor nodded, and Sam looked thoughtful. "Are there any snakes in that part of town?" he inquired.
"Why do you ask?" the Medical Examiner said, puzzled. "Do you think those marks are snake bites? We ran a tox screen on everyone who had those same wounds. The tests were all negative."
Sam asked a couple more questions, made a little small talk, and then left the morgue, thanking the doctor for his time. Hmmm. He would have to think about this some more. Luckily, Sam kept a spreadsheet in his laptop, a master list of all the cases he and Dean had ever worked. Type of monster, its strengths and vulnerabilities, and how to recognize the monster in question. He'd used a lot of that material as a teaching aid, actually. Dean called his brother a nerd, but Sam found it very helpful. Maybe he should have a look at it when he got home, and try to jog his memory about where he'd seen those puncture marks before.
Dean was talking to Cas, who was still doing his angel thing out there, somewhere.
"It's driving me crazy," the elder Winchester complained. "Every Thursday night he goes out, at the same time. Every Thursday. And the other day, he went out in the morning. Said he was going to get groceries, but when he came home, he didn't have any grocery bags!"
"Have you tried asking him where he's going, Dean?" Cas asked his friend.
"Now, why didn't I think of that? Way to go, Sherlock," Dean said sarcastically. "Of course I asked him! He won't tell me!"
"Do you want me to come home?" Cas inquired earnestly.
"No, Cas. I just...." Dean thought for a minute. "Never mind. I'll handle it. Goodbye." He hung up abruptly as Sam walked into the room.
"Handle what?" Sam asked his older brother.
"What? Oh; nothing," Dean said, waving his hand casually. There. See how Sammy liked it.
"Oh. Okay," Sam said, shrugging. "Well, I'm going out. I'll see you later." He turned around and walked out of the room.
Dean was incredulous. Really? All right, then. Fine. If Sam wasn't going to tell him where he was going, Dean was just going to have to find out for himself.
"I feel kind of weird about this," Garth said to his friend. He was driving behind Sam's car, casually following him. Garth had Dean on the phone, using the hands-free system he had gotten for his birthday.
"Why?" Dean asked.
"Because," Garth replied. Oh. Well, that clears that up, then, Dean thought, rolling his eyes.
Garth elaborated: "Because, maybe it's none of your business where Sam is going. Did you ever think of that?"
"My brother, my business," Dean said brusquely, and Garth sighed. Whatever. Everybody knew how protective Dean was of his younger brother. Was he being overprotective? Probably. But Garth had agreed to do this, hadn't he? So he continued to follow Sam, and when they got to the destination, Garth told Dean where they were.
Half an hour later, Dean pulled Baby into the parking lot of the school. He got out of the car and shook Garth's hand, thanking him.
Garth was looking curiously at the elder Winchester now. What was he doing here? The mystery had been solved. Sam was taking some kind of night class. It was kind of strange that he wouldn't have just told Dean about it, but that was between the brothers, wasn't it? Garth had done the favour for Dean, and now, he was out.
As Garth drove away, Dean looked up at the windows of the school building. Why HAD he come, anyway? So, Sammy was taking a class; so what? Dean's little brother had always been an egghead, a nerd who liked nothing better than to crack open a textbook. Sam was the smartest guy Dean knew, although his big brother would rather fight any kind of monster you could name before he would admit that fact out loud.
Dean should just leave. There must be a reason Sam didn't want his brother to know about this. What could he be taking that he'd be too embarrassed to tell Dean about? A cooking class, maybe? Hey, Dean was all for that, unless Sam was gonna start trying to turn him into some kind of vegan, or something. He shuddered at the thought.
Sam's older brother stood there in the parking lot for about ten minutes, debating with himself. But in the end, his curiosity was too strong. He locked up the Impala, and went inside.
"Who can tell me how to recognize a werewolf, and the most efficient way to kill it?" Sam asked the class. He was unaware of the irony, of course. His big brother had just been talking to one, in the parking lot.
Dean was astonished. Sam wasn't taking a class, he was teaching one. On monsters, and lore. Well, if anybody was qualified to do that, it would definitely be his little brother. Overqualified, was more like it. He opened the door to the classroom and walked in. "Got room for one more student?"
Sam frowned. Great. Just great. He should have figured as much. Here it came. But, to his surprise, Dean merely went to one of the desks and sat down quietly.
The younger Winchester was distracted now, though, and he fumbled a bit. "What were we talking about?" Sam asked the class, and the students all exchanged glances. But after a couple of minutes, Sam collected himself and carried on.
Dean became more and more impressed with Sam as the remainder of the two-hour session went on. His brother was a pretty good teacher. Dean still thought it was weird that Sam had chosen to teach people about monsters, but he could see that the people in the class were enjoying themselves.
Soon, the two hours were up. "Don't forget your assignment for next week," Sam reminded everyone as they started to file out of the classroom. "Write a short murder mystery based on the monsters we've learned about, so far. Explain how the lead detective was able to identify the killer, using the lore to support your findings."
Dean sauntered up to his brother, grinning. "Well, well. If it isn't Professor...." His voice trailed off. Man! He couldn't think of one.
"In keeping with the murder mystery theme, how about Professor Johnson, in the study, with a candlestick?" Frank wisecracked.
Johnson? Dean was puzzled for a moment, but then he realized: that must be the alias Sam was using. He and his brother almost never used their real names in the real world. Definitely not in their home town, that was for sure.
Sam glared at his brother, who was still smirking. It was going to be Professor Winchester, in the classroom, with his two bare hands, if Dean didn't wipe that grin off his face. He sighed heavily. "What are you doing here, Dean?"
"You two know each other?" Grace said with a tone of surprise. She had been taking her time gathering up her books and papers, hanging back so that she and Frank could ask their teacher what he thought about their neighbours. But now, this guy was here, and Sam didn't look too thrilled to see him.
"This is my brother....Bob," Sam told her, introducing Dean to the brother and sister, who were the last two students in the classroom. It was the only name Sam could think of on such short notice. He could hardly have introduced Dean as Gilligan, he thought, smiling inwardly.
"Your brother? That's great," Frank enthused, offering his hand to Dean for a shake.
"Yeah. Great," Sam said unenthusiastically. He began to pack up his books and notes, wondering what was taking Dean so long to begin mocking him.
"So, are you interested in monsters, too?" Grace asked, looking up at Dean. Wow, she thought. He was almost as tall as his brother.
Dean opened his mouth to speak, but then he closed it, again. He wasn't exactly sure how to answer a question like that. "'Interested' in them?" he said eventually. "Yeah. I guess you could say that." Right. Interested in killing them, he thought to himself. But he didn't say it out loud. It wasn't a good idea to talk to people you'd just met about killing monsters. They'd probably think he was a psycho, or something.
The two pairs of siblings left the classroom, heading down to the parking lot.
"Want to go out for a drink?" Frank invited the brothers, but Sam shook his head.
"No, thanks," the younger Winchester said. "I'm tired. I think I'll just head home."
Grace let out a frustrated breath. She'd been hoping to ask him what he thought about her and Frank's neighbours, and whether he'd been able to find out anything from the police. Russ had said he had a few connections at the local P.D. But she and Frank gave each other a half-shrug. They'd just have to wait until next time.
The brother and sister said their goodbyes and drove off, and Sam looked at Dean, preparing himself for what was to come.
The grin was back on Dean's face, now. "Do you make them call you 'Professor Johnson'? Or is it just 'Teach'? Do they have to bring you little notes from their parents, if they miss a class?"
"Dean...." Sam said, glaring at his brother, who held up his hand.
"I've got one more," Dean said, raising an eyebrow. "Does Grace play 'Hot For Teacher' when you walk in?"
"It's not like that, Dean - " Sam started to say, but his brother wasn't done yet. "She's kind of cute, Sammy, but isn't she a little - " he lowered his hand " - short for you? Maybe you want to keep looking. I don't think she's finished growing, yet. It's probably just as well, though. It'd be tough to get anywhere, with her brother underfoot, all the time."
"Not that I'd have any idea what THAT'S like," Sam muttered under his breath.
"What?" Dean said sharply.
"Nothing," Sam said quickly. He sighed. "Are you done?"
"I just have one more thing to say," Dean replied, and Sam sighed again.
His older brother looked at him. "Look, Sam," Dean said, his smirk fading. "You know I had to rag on you a bit, because that's what big brothers do. But, you know what? I've gotta admit, I was impressed. I guess we all kind of take you for granted, sometimes. But when I saw the way those people were looking at you, paying attention to what you were saying....I felt proud, Sammy." Dean clapped his brother on the shoulder. "Come on; let's go home."
Dean got into the Impala. Sam followed him in the spare car, smiling the entire trip home.
The brothers were talking about Sam's excursion to the police station.
"So, what do you think? Is it a case, or not?" Dean wanted to know.
Sam was thoughtful. "I don't know. It's not much to go on. But the M.E. said there've been six other victims with those same puncture marks. I was pretty sure we'd seen that pattern before, so I checked my database, and...." He slid the laptop across the table. "Are you thinking the same thing I'm thinking?" Sam asked his brother.
"That you're a total nerd? Absolutely," Dean quipped, but he peered at the computer screen. His face fell. "No. No way, Sammy. Not again."
Sam was nodding. "I think we're looking at a...."
"....a vetala," Sam finished, sipping from the mug of coffee Frank had brought him. The younger Winchester had paid the siblings a visit the day after class, to talk to them about what he and Dean suspected might be going on at the house next door. They had asked Sam about his brother, and their teacher friend said that "Bob" had gotten a call from another friend of theirs, who'd needed his help with something.
"What's THAT?" Grace asked Sam curiously.
"It's a serpent-like, vampiric creature, that can appear human," he responded bluntly. When Sam had first arrived at Grace and Frank's house, he'd told them straight up that monsters were real, and he and his brother hunted them, full-time. If their next-door neighbours were vetala, his new friends needed to know.
"I was thinking about the fact that the seven victims were both male and female, and they all had those strange puncture wounds on their bodies," Sam went on. "I knew I'd seen those types of marks before. Vetalas prefer to hunt in pairs, and unlike most serial killers, they don't make any distinction between male and female prey. They sedate their victims with venom, then feed on them until....well, you know."
Grace's eyes were wide, but she was paying close attention. Her brother Frank's expression was matter-of-fact. It occurred to Sam that neither sibling had seemed particularly surprised about the fact that monsters were real, and that the brothers had dedicated their lives to hunting them.
In fact, Dean had been less calm than these two, Sam thought with amusement. "Son of a - " his older brother had said, his nose wrinkling in disgust. "I HATE vetalas. They look like humans, but when they feed on people, their eyes get all snake-y, and the fangs come out. I'd almost rather deal with a Leviathan."
But then, Dean had been saved by the bell, as the saying went. Jody had called, looking for some help with a possible Wendigo situation. Dean had eagerly offered to go, telling Sam to call if he needed him. How convenient, Sam had thought to himself, suppressing a grin.
Right now, though, the situation was merely hypothetical, Sam advised Frank and Grace. He was just here to talk to them about what might or might not be going on next door.
"If it IS one of those things, how do you kill it?" Frank wanted to know.
"Actually, it's pretty easy," Sam said, taking another sip of coffee. "You just stab it in the heart, with a silver knife. I've got a few of those in the car, just in case."
"Bring 'em in here," Frank said. "You and I can put them in our pockets, and then go knock on their door. Maybe we could ask them to borrow some power tools, or something. Then, you can give me the high sign if they're those snake monster things, and we can take it from there."
Sam was bemused. "I'll tell you what," he said to Grace's brother. "Depending on how many of them are in the nest, if you can help me take them out, you'll get an A-plus on the final exam." Then he frowned. "How many of them ARE there, do you think?"
"Probably four or five," Grace told him. "Bring me one of those knives, and I'll come with you."
"Oh, no. Nooo. You're staying here," Frank said sternly.
"Why? Because I'm a woman?" she said, annoyed.
"Honestly? Because you're five feet nothing, and because you're my little sister," Frank retorted.
Grace looked at Sam, but the younger Winchester was shaking his head. Nope. No way was he getting in the middle of this. It would be a no-win situation for him. If Sam agreed with Frank that Grace should stay here, she would think he was a sexist. But if Sam said that she could come, she could end up getting hurt.
"I'm coming with," Grace insisted stubbornly. "End of story."
Sam and Frank exchanged looks as Sam stood from his chair. "I'll go get the knives," he said.
When Sam returned from the car, Frank's lips were pressed tightly together. "Give her a knife, Russ," he said, sighing. "I can't talk her out of it."
"They'll be less suspicious if me and Frank knock on their door," Grace stated. "But, how will we know if they're those 'vitality' things, or whatever you said?"
Sam's mouth twitched. "Vetalas. I don't know, Grace. We'll have to figure it out when we get there." He was reluctant to emphasize that the vetala only morphed into a snakelike form when they were feeding. These neighbour people might not even BE vetala. But Sam had a very strong intuition that they were. Either way, they had better find out, before there were any more victims.
A tall, thin man answered the door to Frank's knock. "What can I do for you?" the neighbour asked them, pleasantly enough. After a bit of a debate, it was decided that Sam and Frank would lead the way, and Grace would stand behind them. That way, if there was any trouble, the men could be the first ones in line to deal with it.
"I'm your neighbour, Frank," Grace's brother said.
The man frowned. "I know who you are."
There was a pause, but the guy didn't invite them in, or open the door any further. "Uhh....can we come in for a minute?" Frank prompted the man.
"I don't think so," his neighbour said, somewhat rudely.
Suddenly, there was a noise coming from further inside the house. It sounded like a woman's voice, but it was muffled, like she was trying to shout out from behind someone's hand.
Frank and Sam exchanged quick glances as the man who'd answered the door tried to slam it shut. But Sam pushed on the door, hard, and it flew open. The man staggered backwards, and his eyes narrowed into yellow slits.
"I've got this!" Frank said, and incredibly, Grace's brother rushed forward, in the direction of the woman's cry. Even more incredibly, Grace was right behind her brother, the silver knife in her hand.
But before Sam had the chance to decide if he should follow the siblings, the man who'd answered the door punched the younger Winchester in the face. Sam went flying backwards, into the wall. He took the silver knife out of his pocket and rushed the man, and the fight was on. Sam punched him a couple of times, pinning the man against the wall with his arm. "Show me those fangs, Snake Man," Sam said.
"'Snake Man'? That's pretty lame, for a teacher," Frank called out from the other room.
"Hey, sue me!" Sam retorted, but he was grinning. "I couldn't think of anything better, on such short notice!" He grunted as the vetala fought back, breaking Sam's hold on him. It spun Sam around, pinning him against the wall this time. Then, finally, it bared its fangs.
"Thanks for the confirmation," Sam said in a cheerful tone. Now that he knew for sure, he plunged his silver knife into the vetala's chest, and it crumpled to the floor.
Sam snapped his fingers. "Kaa!" he exclaimed.
"What did you say?" Frank shouted. "Are you speaking English?"
"Kaa," Sam repeated. "The snake from The Jungle Book." He hurried into the next room, just in time to see Frank fighting with two vetala at once. Sam rushed over to help. He knocked one of the monsters to the floor, and they struggled with each other for possession of the silver knife Sam had in his hand. The vetala's eyes narrowed, and fangs came out. "So hungry," the vetala said in a raspy voice. It held Sam down on the floor, and leaned in close. Sam could see the drops of venom forming on its fangs. He struggled to break the vetala's hold, but its yellow eyes were staring into his, transfixing him. Kaa! This was how the cartoon snake in the movie had mesmerized....
"Frank! Watch out for their eyes!" Sam shouted, turning his head to avoid eye contact with the vetala. "Remember how the snake from The Jungle Book - " He didn't get the chance to finish his sentence. The vetala went for his throat. With one last, desperate burst of strength, Sam flipped the monster off of him and stabbed it with his knife.
"The what book?" Frank said, puzzled.
"That does it; next time, I'm teaching a literature class," Sam quipped. He got off the floor, trying to catch his breath.
But suddenly, Frank was standing still, his knife hand at his side. The vetala he'd been fighting with was staring into Frank's eyes, mesmerizing him. Then, another one of the creatures emerged from a dark corner of the room and grabbed Grace's brother from behind, applying a chokehold.
Sam sprang into action. He attacked the vetala that was hypnotizing Frank. But even though he was able to take care of that one without much of a fight, the one that had a hold of Frank was exposing Grace's brother's throat now, and its fangs were out.
Frank fought back, twisting his body to the side just long enough for Sam to flip the silver knife in his hand. He threw it hard, sticking it in the vetala's chest. The creature slumped to the floor as Frank coughed, holding his throat. "Man, that was close," he said in a shaky voice. "Thanks. You'll have to show me that knife thing, sometime."
He looked around the room, and his smile faded. "Where's Grace?"
Then, they heard Grace yell, "Little help here, guys?!" Oh, no. Sam pulled his knife out of the vetala's chest, and the men ran further into the house, in the direction of her voice. Frank's sister was backing up, as four vetalas advanced on her at once. They had her surrounded. The female voice they'd heard had been a vetala, attempting to lure them further into the house so the nest could feed.
Frank and Sam took the monsters on, and Sam was surprised to see Grace fighting with a vetala who was twice her size, and more than holding her own with it. What the - ?
A few minutes later, it was all over. "Boy, it's a good thing this house is on a corner lot," Frank remarked with a grim smile, panting from his exertions. "I'll check out the rest of the house, but I think we got them all."
He left the room as Sam stared at Grace, open-mouthed.
She smiled sheepishly, giving him a shrug. "Sorry, Professor. There's one little thing we forgot to tell you about ourselves: Frank and I are hunters."
He was bemused. "Well, it's a good thing you are, because if you were in customer service, I'd say you're in the wrong business."
They exchanged a smile. "I'm sorry we didn't tell you," she apologized again. "Frank and I knew who you and Dean were, of course. You're legends in the field. We came to your class because we were obviously interested in the subject matter, but also because we were hoping that you would be the teacher. Frank said that 'Russell Johnson' was the name of the actor who played the Professor on Gilligan's Island, so he said he thought it might be a Winchester, using an alias. We wanted to see if it WAS one of you, because we wanted to learn from the best, and also because we had no idea what we were dealing with, here. We've been hunting for a few years now, but we'd never run into anything like this, before. I apologize for misleading you. But, hey, on the bright side, I have a great idea for my midterm essay, now."
Frank came back into the room. "We got them all," he announced. He looked at Sam. "Did Grace tell you?" Sam nodded, speechless for the moment. "Good," Frank said, nodding. "I didn't feel like writing an essay, anyway."
"Well, you're going to," his sister said, poking him with her index finger. "We're finishing the class." She smiled up at Sam. "It's the most interesting class I've ever taken."
Sam smiled back. He took his cell phone out of his pocket. "I'd better call Dean. I'll see if he and Jody can come and help us clean up, here."
"Is it true that you and your brother live in a secret bunker, with a bunch of cool weapons?" Frank asked Sam after the younger Winchester had completed his phone call.
Sam nodded. "Yeah, pretty much. We have a garage full of classic cars and a library full of books, too."
"Who ARE you? James Bond, or something?" Frank quipped.
"More like Indiana Jones," Grace said, looking at Sam with admiration. The younger Winchester nearly looked behind him, to see if Dean was standing there. It had been a while since he had made a new friend, and now, he had made two. Deciding to teach that class was one of the smartest things he'd done in a long time.
- THE END. -
What do you think? Would Sam be a good teacher?
What would YOU write your midterm about, if you took his class?
What do you think Dean has planned as a surprise for Sam?
Have you ever taken a night course or adult learning course, just for the fun of it? What was it and how did it work out for you?
What would everyone like to see as the subject of our next Poll? Is there a storyline from the show you’d like to see fixed, or expanded?
Check out my other Supernatural stories on the WFB Writers’ Page! Happy reading!
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