“Remember that time my dad kicked you out of the house because he thought we were making out in my room?”
If Sam had to listen to that story one more time, he’d kick her ass himself. “Y/N, this is serious, will you shut up?”
Old floorboards creaked underfoot as they stalked through the dilapidated house. The stark white light of their flashlights bounced from corner to corner, then Y/N’s flipped to the back of his head. “This is serious, Y/N, hurdur,” she mocked from behind him. “You can be a real Debbie Downer sometimes, you know that?”
Sam rounded on her with a finger to his lips, then pointed to the opposite side of the large living room.
“Sam, there’s nothing there,” she said. “Seriously. I think we got the wrong house. This place is a dump.” She kicked the leg of the couch and it shattered, weight thudding on the floor. “Hey, remember that couch my dad made you sleep on after he let you come back when you convinced him we were just friends?”
He did. And god dammit, he couldn’t help but smile. “Dude, you need to pay attention,” he insisted through his grin. “We could—ah!”
A solid mass collided with Sam and together they crashed to the floor in a thunderous clatter loud enough to wake the dead. Except the dead was already very much awake. Cold fingers grasped at his wrists and nails bit into his skin as he struggled against the vampire. His pistol popped free of his grasp as the vampire slammed his hand on the floor, skidding out of his reach over his head.
When the pale white face reared and bared his fangs, Sam glimpsed a flash of a memory before the vampire’s teeth sank into his neck.
But instead of that sting, an explosive gunshot split the air and flecks of blood sprayed across his face in a fine mist. A gaping exit wound disfigured the otherwise pristinely pale face of the vampire, and the body slumped to its side, lifeless. Behind him stood Y/N, her pistol lowered to the floor and flashlight pointed at him.
She leaned over him and reached out to help him up, and his hand clasped hers. “You good?” she asked.
As Sam stood, he said, “I will be once we’re—hit the deck!”
Two more vampires vaulted over Y/N and lunged for Sam, but his quick aim and rapid fire put them on the floor in the blink of an eye. Both bodies crumpled atop the first, motionless. When he looked to Y/N, she said, “Looks like you were right. This is a—”
Four vampires manifested from the shadows, one from each direction available to the central living room. Snarls bared their teeth as Sam backed into Y/N, guns at the ready. The click of the hammer from Y/N's pistol tipped him off, and in the next beat, he spun over her head as she ducked under his arms.
Sam fired both shots in rapid succession, each striking true. The thumps of their bodies as they hit the floor echoed those behind him, and he turned to find two more lifeless vampires laying one atop the other.
“Dammit,” Y/N hissed. “We should clear the rest of the house. You were absolutely right.”
Sam laughed as he confirmed all the bodies were indeed dead. “Remember that time you didn't believe I’d found a ghost on Bobby's property?”
“Oh great, here we go,” Y/N said as she turned for the hallway.
“You didn't believe me,” he continued.
“I was ten! My dad told me it wasn't real otherwise I’d never go to bed!” Y/N explained.
“Oh, c'mon, you knew it was all real,” he said as he followed her to the basement stairs. “You killed a chupacabra when you were like, twelve.”
“Because my dad made me for practice!” Y/N retorted. “He’d told me everything by then. Mainly because you kept coming home busted up with your brother and he couldn’t keep telling me you were getting into bar fights.”
Oh, he remembered that week as if it were only yesterday. “You asked me questions for a month,” he teased. “You wanted to learn everything.”
“And you know everything,” she said as she started down the steps. At the bottom, she paused and turned over her shoulder. A pained twist contorted her lips, and Sam could hardly bear to see such anguish in her eyes. He wanted to say something, anything to see her smile again, but no words he conjured in any combination sufficed.
“I'm glad you were there, Sam. And I'm glad you’re here with me now,” she started. “My Dad… dammit, I miss him. Can't imagine where I’d be without you, now that he's gone.”
She fell silent then, and turned into the basement. Sam followed as they cleared the floor, his mind a whirlwind of endless thoughts. Mostly memories from a simpler time, but he recalled them with such fondness, he couldn’t help but smile.
Back at the stairs, he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder as she ascended. “Hey, Y/N?”
She turned over her shoulder, their eyes level. “Yeah?”
“I'm glad I'm here, too,” Sam said. “I've always got your back.”
At last, her brilliant smile returned.