Sam Winchester is an orphaned only child. His mother died in a house fire, his father in a drunk-driving accident, and he was raised by good, God-fearing folk in Wichita, Kansas. He’s known for as long as he can remember that he wasn’t their son. He knows they only took him in for the points such a selfless act might get them when they die. But still, they treated him well: made sure he was clothed, fed, and sheltered. They didn’t love him, though. He always knew they didn’t love him.
When Sam is twenty-three, after he’s been at Stanford for four years with plans for law school and a fiancée named Jessica, he wakes up in a ghost town among half a dozen others. They each have abilities, stuff from fantasy novels and sci-fi movies. Sam hadn’t thought his dreams meant anything, but he’s seen all these people before.
And one by one, they die. Sam relies on instincts he didn’t know he had to stay ahead of the killer, and then Ava is smirking at him, Ava who he saw, months ago, kill a man who tried to kill her. And then Jake, superstrong Jake who lifted a car off his buddy, snaps Ava’s neck, and he looks at Sam with apologetic eyes.
(In Hell, Alistair’s greatest pupil breaks the First Seal by saying yes and taking the razor and slicing down. She doesn’t remember her parents or her husband or her miscarriage five years before her son was born.)
Jake lunges for Sam, who knows he can’t win. Jake’s a superstrong trained soldier. Sam goes to the gym twice a week and knows a little self-defense he doesn’t usually need since he’s a head over six feet tall. But Sam has a silver-tongue, so as he dodges back and to the left, he starts talking. He just lets the words flow, bullshit and entreaties and plans for how they can work together, him and Jake, figure out what that yellow-eyed bastard wants and then go their own way. Hell, they could rule the world.
But Jake doesn’t listen and keeps going for Sam, a dull, rusty knife in hand, and Sam knows he’s dead.
And the moment Jake touches him, something throws Jake off. He hits the ground hard enough to go half a foot in, and his body is broken. Sam can tell from where he still stands, gasping for air.
That something is suddenly there, standing next to Sam. He’s a little over six feet tall, with dark blond hair and hazel eyes, and he’s got to be the prettiest man Sam’s ever seen. He turns to face Sam, head tilted and gaze sharp, and he says, “So you’re Sam Winchester. Huh.”
More people are with them, appearing out of nowhere—a small woman with red hair, a short guy with long brown hair, and a guy dressed like John Constantine.
“What the fuck?” Sam asks. The first guy laughs and Sam is hit with déjà vu so strong he shakes with it. He’s dreamed about this guy, whoever he is. Dreamed about them all.
“My name is Michael,” the guy says. “These are Anachel, Gabriel, and Castiel.”
And no, that’s not right, Sam’s sure of it. But as the guy, Michael, keeps talking, the certainty slips away.
(The Final Seal is never broken. Lucifer stays in his cage, Michael destroys Zachariah, and Chuck Shurley never finds a publisher.
Sam Winchester is an orphaned only child, his mother is never Raised from Hell, and his father spends eternity reliving his wedding night in Heaven.
And Sam dreams about another life, sometimes, where he had an older brother named Dean who never said yes to the archangel Michael. But when he wakes to Michael smiling at him, he ignores those dreams and doesn’t wonder about the vessel housing Michael in this life.
Anachel tells him, once, that if an angel is powerful enough they can create a vessel. And Castiel mentions, offhand, that Michael had watched Sam for a long time before approaching him in Cold Oak. Gabriel likes to mock Michael for his voyeuristic tendencies, and taken all-together, Sam’s subconscious knows what he never truly realizes.)