Sam opened the trunk of the Impala.
Recently he'd taken to browsing around second-hand shops whenever he got the chance, and although the bulk of the stuff on sale was rubbish, now and then he'd discover a little pearl like this old book on Chinese water spirits.
He added it to the slowly-growing cache of books that he tucked away in the back corner of the Impala's trunk, anticipating a quiet moment when he could give it his undivided attention.
His eyes fell on one of those weird Supernatural books by Carver Edlund that Dean had insisted on keeping.
"You never know when they might come in useful, Sammy," Dean had admonished, wagging a finger at him.
"Right!" Sam had just huffed and shaken his head at his brother in disbelief. God, their lives were weird.
Being hunters was already something completely alien to any normal person, but to have been designated as vessels for Michael and Lucifer and have had a friggin' Gospel written about you into the bargain, well…..What the Hell….!
The book brought to mind their brief visit to that other universe where they were actors on a televised version of the stories.
He and Dean had never really talked about that experience again, and Sam still wasn't quite sure if that world really existed at all or if Balthazar had been powerful enough to have created some temporary dream world like the Djinn's.
Well, it didn't matter anyway!
They were Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers, and not two douche-bag actors who had their self-same faces and bodies and who didn't even speak to each other!
However, Sam mused, that universe hadn't been without its perks, big house, plenty of money and weirdest of all, an actress who was a twin to the last incarnation of the Ruby demon, and his double Padalecki's wife.
He wondered curiously if there was some lesson to be taken from that.
Did it mean that he too had felt some sort of sentimental attachment to this world's Ruby, other than the addiction to her blood, he grimaced?
He tried to analyse the whole thing unemotionally. Would he have been attracted to the woman if she hadn't been possessed by Ruby? He knew he had a weakness for a certain typology of girl, nearly always preferring attractive brunettes; women who were intelligent and could hold a conversation on any subject.
There was no denying that the Ruby host had fitted his parameters as far as beauty was concerned, and he wondered what she had been like as a woman before she'd had the misfortune to fall into an irreversible coma and be possessed by the demon.
Yes, he concluded, he could possibly have fallen for the original woman, so he supposed that the other-world Jared, if he had his self-same tastes, could conceivably have married her human double.
He remembered when she'd mistaken him for the actor.
She had dragged him upstairs to bed but he hadn't laid a finger on her. Perhaps to the Jared of that world she was just his actress wife, but she reminded Sam far too much of that bitch Ruby who had initiated him into a spiralling world of drugs, treachery and pain, to ever contemplate touching her.
He'd been rather proud of the fact of how he'd managed to keep his horror under control when he'd first seen her.
It had been great acting on his part and he laughed thinking back on the way he and Dean had performed so awkwardly when actually asked to on a set!
Then Dean had generously offered to stay in that reality and let Sam live that comfortable existence.believing that a world without magic, demons or anything supernatural could have compensated for the life of fear and suffering that his little brother had had to endure, but Sam hadn't even paused to consider it.
In that world, he would have been Jared Padalecki and Dean, Jensen Ackles and though they would certainly have "talked" to each other, they wouldn't have been brothers, shared the same blood-line or have been real Winchesters, and all the money, fame, attractive actress wives or easy living could ever substitute that!
He closed the trunk, a feeling of contentment filled his soul and he watched as Dean confidently made his way to the driver's door.
There was nothing he could desire more than having Dean for his brother, and his heart was light as he took his place in the Impala next to him.