It's 2:42 in the morning when the doorbell rings and Luke responds to the sound by answering it with three barks of his own. Sam stirs immediately, opening his eyes to the darkness of his bedroom. It isn't the first time he's been woken in the middle of the night, and it won't be the last.
Beside him, Jess stirs, not as easily woken, and Sam puts a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Do you need help?" she murmurs, eyes still closed.
Sam smiles, still blessing his good fortune for the wonderful woman beside him. "No," he replies, "I've got it handled." A loud cry from the next room over belies his words and Sam winces slightly. "On second thought…"
Jess rolls over, opening her eyes to smile up at him. "I'll handle Leah, you greet our midnight visitor."
He nods in agreement, still smiling gratefully, and moves over to the nightstand. After pulling on a t-shirt and some jeans he slips a gun into his the back of his waistband and palms a small silver knife. You can never be too careful. Letting Jess slip out of the room before him, off to comfort their one year old daughter, Sam gestures to Luke to follow him.
The German Shepard does so obediently, trailing just behind Sam as he always does, and Sam makes his way down the stairs. There's no need to be silently or stealthy, not in his own home, but he angles himself so that the knife isn't visible when he answers the door. After all, it could just be a neighbor who needed his help - they all knew the Winchesters weren't afraid to open their doors.
It isn't anyone he recognizes though, just a young woman with blond hair and a full backpack, tense with nerves as she waits anxiously on the front porch. Sam recognizes the type - runaway.
"Sam Winchester?" she asks, eyes taking in his height, stance, and the fully grown German Shepard beside him. No doubt she can tell he's armed.
Luke huffs slightly, ready to defend Sam if need be, and the pieces he's gathered cause Sam to revise his thoughts. She's not just a runaway, she's likely not human as well.
He nods though, relaxing his hold on the knife slightly, if she had been sent here to attack him she wouldn't waste time asking questions.
"I'm Kate," she continues, "I was…"
She trails off nervously and Sam takes over for her. "Looking for a place to stay?"
It's her turn to nod. "Can I…?"
Sam smiles down at her, relaxing his stance fully, and stands aside to let her in. She walks in nervously, eyes still constantly moving, and Sam closes the door gently behind her. Kate shifts, eyes moving to the knife in his hand, and the ex-hunter places it on the table beside the door.
"Sorry," he tells her, trying to seem comforting and friendly. "Can't be too careful." She smiles weakly in understanding but still relaxes in relief when his hand leaves the knife. "Don't worry - I've got an extra bedroom upstairs, you can stay as long as you need."
"And you don't mind that I'm…" she trails off, raising an eyebrow, and Sam shakes his head with a chuckle.
Kate jumps. "How'd you know?" Her nervousness seems to have dissipated, and she's staring at him with unabashed curiosity.
"Lucky guess," he responds with a shrug. "That and the fact that Luke can smell werewolves easier than other things."
She smiles for real at that and Sam flicks on a nearby light switch, leading her into the living room. "Just out of curiosity," he asks, "who gave you the address?"
"It was a hunter," Kate says, "named Garth. He said you could help."
Garth, he was one of Bobby's network and a good hunter, if a bit odd. "I can," Sam says, deciding to move the conversation to the more serious topics. "There's just a few rules in place."
Kate nods eagerly. "Anything," she says solemnly.
"You can't go into the kids' rooms," he starts.
Sam shakes his head. "No, I mean you literally can't - they're warded against the supernatural: silver door knobs, iron door frames, anything you can think of. I prefer the master bedroom to be off limits as well but just remember that if there's an emergency I don't react well to being woken suddenly. Any weapons you have need to stay in your bag, or in your bedroom, I don't want to see them around my family."
Kate nods again, obediently. "Anything else?"
Pausing to study her, to make sure that she actually means what she's saying, Sam can tell that she's not a danger, not to him at least. "My wife will tell you the rest of the rules in the morning." He stands, motioning for her to follow him, and Luke loyally trails behind. "You know, clean up after yourself, don't chew your food at the table, that sort of thing."
The young werewolf grins as they come to a stop outside the guest bedroom.
"Oh, and one more thing." Sam opens the door, revealing a woman laying down in one of the two twin beds, a small lamp providing just enough light for her to read her book. "You've got a roommate. Sara, this is Kate, werewolf. Kate, meet Sara, vampire." He grins at her astonished expression, and then leaves her to get settled.
When he returns to the bedroom, having retrieved the knife (best not to leave weapons lying around), Jess is already tucked back into bed. He puts everything away and slips under the covers beside her, moving close.
"Everything alright?" she asks tiredly.
"New roommate for Sara, she gave her name as Kate, Garth sent her," Sam tells her. "How's Leah?"
"She fell asleep remarkably quickly," Jess responds.
"And James?" Sam asks, mentioning his almost four year old son.
"Didn't even wake up."
Sam grins. "Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?" he asks, kissing her briefly.
"Go to sleep, you've got work in the morning," she murmured grumpily.
Settling down next to her, Sam wasn't fooled, he could hear the smile in her words, but Jess never did like to wake up early.
He paused for a moment, listening to the soft sounds of a werewolf and a vampire talking in another room, and then closed his eyes. It was a weird life, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
AN: Just transferring a few old things over from my tumblr account... Hope you like it.