thanks again to rokhal for the awesome prompt:
Sam meets old friends from Stanford and they don't recognize him, what with him and Dean swooping in all huge and violent with guns and knives and arcane rituals to rescue them all from some horrifying eldritch creature.
And then his friends are all, "OMG! It's Psycho Sam who was a closet satanist and was wanted by the FBI!"
And Sam is very conspicuously injured, but he and Dean can't stop to patch him up because the eldritch creature is still trying to rip their throats out.
And Sam's feelings are hurt because his old friends are scared of him now.
Sam, Dean, season 5 or later.
"Nice shot, Sammy!" Dean pants as he rests against the wall. They've been fighting this damn thing for nearly two hours now. It's a flying serpent, a big one-- it's fast, it's deadly and it's pissed.
They'd been tracking it for days up and down the coast of California and finally cornered it on the Stanford campus and were determined to take it out before its already impressive body count got any higher. Sam, acting as bait, had lured it into one of the dorms and trapped it in a room. He got one shot from his flamethrower in before the serpent crashed through the window and flew back outside. They were only one floor up, so they followed the serpent out the window and chased it across the courtyard and right into the cafeteria .
The cafeteria is still open. It's nearly 10 pm, but college kids keep strange hours-- there are six people inside. Two employees and four students.
The serpent whips around the room, knocking over tables and chairs as it goes. The two employees in the back make a beeline for the exit. They run through the door, and as the serpent turns to follow them, Dean fires his shotgun, and misses, but it's enough to divert its attention. The serpent comes careening back towards the front, heading right for Dean.
Sam catches the serpent's side with the flamethrower as it heads for Dean and it whips around, swiping Sam with the barbs of its tail. Sam falls to the floor, his left shoulder bleeding. He lets out a hiss, but starts the flamethrower up again as the serpent comes back around and passes right over Sam. He hits it right on its underbelly and it screams, a hideous, pained noise that resonates oddly off of the glass walls of the cafeteria. The fire doesn't go out, it keeps burning and the serpent falls to the floor, thrashing violently as the flames flow up and over the rest of its massive body.
Sam reaches his hand out, his left hand-- his right one is clutching at his left shoulder, holding his torn flesh together, and helps one of the terrified college kids to his feet. Only, he's not a kid-- he's Sam's age and he's staring back at Sam with a stunned expression.
Sam smiles weakly, "Alex. Hey. Uh--"
"Sam Winchester. Holy shit!" Alex says, his eyes widening.
"Yeah, that's--" he gestures over his shoulder, "my brother Dean. You guys okay?"
Alex looks over to Dean, who is busy checking over one of the other three huddling against the wall. "Yeah, I think so... Sam, what the hell? What are you doing here?"
Sam chuckles, "I could ask you the same thing! Thought you were heading up to Seattle after graduation?"
Alex smirks, Yeah so did I, but...I ended up going for my masters and then they offered me an adjunct position and...here I am, I guess."
Sam grins, "That's awesome! Congratulations!"
Alex looks down at his feet, "For what it's worth, Sam, I am so sorry about Jess. Brady told us everything that happened. It must have been horrible."
Sam feels a rush of anger at the mention of Brady, but he closes his eyes and remembers the feel of Ruby's blade digging into the demon-- he remembers watching Brady die and the absolute lack of satisfaction in the kill. Sam looks back at Alex, swallows and says, "Thanks."
"Winchester! No way, no way!"
Sam turns around and sees another familiar face, "Regina! Hey--"
Regina puts her arms around Sam's waist and pulls him in for a hug, causing him to wince just a little-- he must have cracked a rib or two . "It's good to see you, Sam." Regina says, "Thanks for, you know, saving our lives and stuff."
"It's what we do." Dean says, walking up behind them, "Just-- most of the time people don't catch us doing it."
Regina nods, and her eyes dart nervously around the room, "So that thing...it's dead?"
Sam looks back to the smoldering corpse of the serpent. The other two students are outside the cafeteria staring back at the serpent's corpse. "Yeah-- pretty sure it's dead."
Dean nods his chin towards Sam and over to the courtyard outside. There are other people moving towards the cafeteria. "Sam..."
"Right. Yeah, Alex, Regina- it was really cool to see you again, but we've gotta get going--" Sam says.
"Yeah, the authorities don't usually take too kindly to people with shotguns and flamethrowers." Dean says and winks at Regina before turning and heading towards the rear door.
Twenty four stitches and three hours later, Dean and Sam head to the bar nearest their motel. The share a plate of fries and drink beer after beer, just listening to the din of conversation around them. They're both too tired for anything else.
Dean heads to the bathroom and Sam closes his eyes, leans his head back against the tall padding of the booth and tries to relax. He hears a group of familiar voices getting closer. Sam recognizes Regina's voice and thinks he hears Craig too. Alex and Craig were roommates during their Sophomore year. He almost gets up to say hello. Almost.
"Sam fuckin' Winchester. Seriously?!" Craig says.
"Seriously!" Regina says, "It was so weird-- so, so weird."
"I always said there was something wrong with him. Remember? You were all 'Oh he's just had a rough past...he's a nice guy, he's got nice eyes.' " Alex says, mocking Regina's voice.
Regina laughs, "I did not! I did not say he had nice eyes! I said he had kind eyes."
"Oh yeah, sorry that's totally different." Alex laughs.
"He was smart too! Remember? He was always in the library, always studying. He was on a scholarship, I think." Regina says.
"I still can't believe that scrawny bookworm killed a giant dragon-thing. What the hell!?" Craig says laughing.
Alex scoffs, "Dude. He is not scrawny anymore. Built like a damn linebacker."
"Did you see his brother? He had guns! Like a huge shotgun and another one--" Regina says and then makes a weird, squeaking noise, "Stop it Alex! That's cold! Dammit! What are you-- ten?"
"Winchester. Man--" Alex says loudly, "What a freak. What a goddamn freak."
Sam pulls out his wallet, puts a few bills on the table, and leaves.
"It's not what they said, Dean." Sam says into the darkness of the motel room. Dean turned off the lights nearly an hour ago, but Sam knows he isn't asleep yet.
"Sam..." Dean turns on the lamp next to his bed, walks over, sits down next to Sam and sighs, "Come on, man. You look like a kicked puppy. More so than usual, I mean."
"Dean--" Sam runs his hand through his hair, and sighs, "They saw us--- they saw me on a good day. I mean they're calling me a freak, they're terrified of me, and they don't even know..." Sam shakes his head, "they don't even know the half of it."
Dean swallows, "That's right they don't. You know what though, Sam? If it wasn't for us. If it wasn't for you they wouldn't even be here anymore. So you know what? Fuck 'em. They don't know how awesome we are. We're just too awesome for them to handle." Dean claps Sam on the knee as he gets up. "Come on, we should check those bandages again."