Summary: Ephram’s escaping a Ghost Town, and Sam is exorcising his demons. Hunting of a different kind.
Pairing: Sam Winchester/Ephram Brown
Original story: A Common Disaster by azurejay (part of his ‘Consciousverse’)
Warnings/Spoilers: Set between "No Rest for the Wicked" and "Lazarus Rising" on Supernatural, post-series futurefic AU for Everwood. Implied past Sam/Dean.
Notes: So Azurejay noted that his OC, Brad, was played (in his mind) by Jared Padalecki. This was written in the “Cute Dean” era, but I saw no reason “Brad” couldn't really be Sam, instead. Why yes, I've played fast and loose with the timelines of both shows. Lucky thing this nice TARDIS icon was there for me to use.
Dean is thirty-seven days in Hell, and Sam doesn't want to think about anything but getting payback. Getting him back. When he isn't hunting, he doesn't want to think at all. Each town is different, but the routine is almost the same. Send one more creature that belongs there back where it came from, get one step closer to brining Dean back from hell. Doesn't matter how it happens, what road he takes, what choices he makes.
Sam digs through the pile of fake I.Ds to see who to become next. “Brad” this time, frat-boy Brad, who comes from a good home, and likes beer and football on a late fall Colorado evening.
Dean would say different, but Dean’s not here to argue with him, or tell Sam how he’s fucking up. Sam would give anything – will give anything -- if he were.
Colorado is mostly cold and dead – just like Dean – with mountains that hide too many secrets. The small towns have the most to hide, but there’s just as much rot under the surface in Denver, and maybe more agreeable places to disappear. It doesn't take more than a little asking around to get a tip about a party, not the kind he and Jess used to go to back when he had a future, but just what he needs now. Music Dean would hate, and tell him why in great detail. Packed full of people, but enough dark spaces to pair off. No questions asked because no one is straight enough to ask them. Or maybe nobody wants answers more than “Yes, here, now.”
Despite the techno that’s already playing, there’s a guy noodling around at the piano. Sort of stupid, but Sam listens more closely, and he’s good. Really good, making the sounds tie in together with the cacophony of voices.
It’s already a good party, and Sam can feel himself winding down after a pretty disgusting couple of days. Grave-dirt and unexpected death and people who aren't what they seem.
Piano guy – Sam’s going to assume he’s legal from the way he’s knocking back the drinks – is slight, and pale, the kind of complexion writers would call ghostly, unless they happen to know what real ghosts look like. He’s got dark hair tinted blue-green, and bruised looking circles under his eyes. Dean would call him a pussy. He looks like Sam feels, and right now Sam feels like being someone else.
Easy enough to do that, of course. Pick a name, paraphernalia to go with it. No hunting tonight, at least not the usual kind. No need for fake expertise. Sam can almost be himself. He picks Brad Majors, randomly out of the bunch that look promising. Another of Dean’s stupid joke names, it’s a wonder no one’s called them on it.
Piano boy is having none of it. “Right, and I’m Frank N. Furter, What’s your real name? I'm Ephram.” He looks like an Ephram, privileged trust fund kid rebelling with his green hair, nothing more to worry about than pre-law vs English Lit, and when it’s safe to tell his disappointed parents that he’s gay.
Sam passes on the tablet of E that somebody slipped him. “E for Ephram”, Ephram laughs, already more than a little wasted. Once upon a time Sam, too, tried to pass as a clueless college kid with a bright but lonely future ahead of him. Once he'd made choices that lost him family. Now, the choices are gone and the family is, too.
After a few hours, Sam’s head is pounding louder than the bass, and the party is over for him. He still doesn't want to be alone, doesn't want to be himself yet.
‘You want to get out of here?” Sam listens to the sound of his own voice, it feels like he’s very far away. But he’ll never be far enough.
Ephram shrugs. “Here’s as good as anywhere.” He seems disinclined to do anything but sit there looking belligerent. Still, there’s definite interest underneath the brusque exterior. Ephram might not know his own interest, but Sam’s always been good at reading people, so he presses on.
"I’ve had enough party for the night. Thought I’d head home. It’s a lot quieter there. We could – talk. Or not talk.” A pointed glance, and a meaningful lean in and Ephram follows Sam out to the street, eyes squinting against even the glow of the streetlights.
Home for these purposes is a room in a nearby boardinghouse, furnished in Early Emo, probably from the last University student tenant. It doesn't quite fit the “Brad” persona, but Ephram is clearly too out of it to care. If Sam were a better person, he'd insist they both leave their vehicles and walk the block or so to his room, but he’s not, so he just tells Ephram to follow him. He’s surprised to see him get into a late model Republican asshole truck, but then this is Colorado.
Ephram seems at a loss when they get to Sam’s room, and Sam has a moment of ‘maybe this was a bad idea’ panic. But it’s not his job to worry about mistakes that aren't his.
“So. You want.” Ephram says. Hands at his sides. Nice hands, Sam’s noticed them since the piano, and wants them on him. They don't remind him of Dean at all.He doesn't think they'll feel the same.
“Anything you want.” Ephram still doesn't make a move, so Sam takes the few steps forward to kiss him. That works. Ephram leans into it, eager.
Still, he has to repeat himself. “I'm not gay, you know. I’m just –“ Sam doesn't know. Wasted. Bored. Delusional. Deluded.
“I know. You've got a girlfriend waiting for you back in Hicksville or New York or wherever. I've got a dead brother. It doesn't matter. I wasn't asking you to marry me. I just thought we could --”
He moves into Ephram, crowding him backward until they both fall onto the bed, more graceless than he would like, until he remembers that this kid’s opinion of him doesn't mean anything. Nothing does. He'll be on to the next job in a day or two.
Ephram gets into the kissing, and when Sam reaches down to unzip his jeans. Ephram doesn't raise a complaint. Instead, he’ falls asleep before Sam can finish. Great.
Asleep, he looks even more lost and needy. He just wanted to get laid, Sam tells himself, not to care. Too late.Sam' wakes up a few hours later, to the sound of Ephram moaning in his sleep. Night the good kind of moaning, he's having a nightmare. Sam can't help himself, He pulls the kid's jeans the rest of the way off, and slides down, distracting him from his nightmare. Just like he used to do for Dean.
It’s awkward the next morning, when Ephram starts to wake up. Sam can see him deliberating over what to say, to do. He does his best to reassure him without saying anything incriminating. Passes him the breath mints because the kid really needs them.
Ephram wakes up fully when Sam is putting him back together. He still looks a little lost, so Sam does his best to help. "Brad," he says, to remind him.
"What?" Ephrams' voice is raspy.
Sam sucks on his own mint for a moment. "Before," he says. "On the way here. You asked me my name."
Ephram swallows.. "Brad."
"You too?" Sam says, and laughs a little bit.
Ephram doesn't get it, then. Then he does. Sam can tells he's blushing, even though he can't see it in the darkness of the room. "No. I'm, um—"
Sam shakes his head. "Ephram. I know, man. You were wearing a nametag. Plus, you know, you told me."
Maybe Ephram does deliberate a little, but he gets his courage up quickly enough, leaning down to touch Sam's chest,warm fingers stroking the tattoo, then he kisses him. Closed mouth at first, but that's okay.
Sam’s right, Ephram's hand does feel good when it wraps around him, finally. “You never did tell me what you're doing in Denver. Going to school? Working a piano bar?” Sam asks, after. He'd kind of like to know something about the guy he’s spent the night with, even if the night mostly consisted of half a hand-job and Ephram passing out.
“I live in a Ghost Town,” Ephram tells him. “Everwood’s full of dead people. Sometimes I think I’m one of them.”
“I happen to be a Ghost Hunter,” Sam says, laughing, like it’s a big joke. If Ephram is lucky, he'll continue to think they're both speaking in metaphors, small town and closed minded people as ghosts, the demons we make up out of our own fears. Sam sinks to his knees in front of Ephram to stop himself from blurting out more truth than Ephram probably wants to hear.