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DATE: 2012 MARCH 1 PLACE: Battlecreek, Michigan TIME: 11:00 AM ?
Though sun shone through the windows, it was blocked by the shades that cast a dim lighting on the studio. Painted in shades of blue, Lisa enjoyed the atmosphere with the potted tree in the corner and the flowers on the desk. It was just enough to give light fragrance to the air, making the studio dramatically different than the world outside.
The word was so softly spoken, one could easily have missed it if they weren't used to such an environment. Slowly tense muscles began to relax as Lisa's body slumped downwards, forming into a cobra position. A tight core balanced her body through the shift in positions as lean arms held her own body weight. Face gazing upwards to the ceiling, Lisa closed her eyes as lose strands of hair fell from her hair band to the back of her neck.
"Deep inhale and slowly turn over, balancing lotus."
Turning her body over, Lisa moved her weight to the back of her head and shoulders as her core and legs rose into the air. Crossing into the lotus position, Lisa's body balanced in midair, closing her eyes as she focused on breathing through the pose.
"Exhale, corpse pose."
Letting her body unravel and fall to the mat in a controlled style, Lisa lay on her back as she looked up at the ceiling. Rising to her feet, Lisa ignored the thin veil of sweat on her skin in the mildly warm room. Though the loose grey pants and black tank top weren't constricting, the full class was enough to warm up the studio. As her students lay on their backs, relaxing their minds and bodies to prepare to return to the world outside, Lisa moved to the front desk. Sitting in the wheeled chair, Lisa silently opened the ledger and checked over the names, all the students were current on their payments. Since taking the managing position, Lisa had brought in more money than before, the studio was thriving.
One by one, students rose to their own feet as they gathered their belongings, saying goodbye to Lisa on the way out. That bright smile of hers was enough to light up anyone's day, a mouthful of white teeth showing as she genuinely enjoyed the satisfied faces on the way out. As the last body left, Lisa moved to the stereo and removed the CD, returning the disk to its case, atop the stack of other calming music.
This was - by far - the most awkward and uncomfortable quest that Sam had ever taken behind his brothers back. As Sam stood there, strangely dressed, towering the other students, and clumsily mirroring his instructor: He began to wonder if signing up for Lisa Braeden's yoga class had been the best course of action. Obviously, the answer was 'no'. There was probably a better way to approach her with the subject, but he knew that erasing her memory was wrong, and he knew that Dean would live to regret it.
Preoccupied with thoughts of Dean, it was only by chance that Sam had followed Lisa's instruction, and awkwardly took a stab at the cobra position. Naturally, he had done his research before coming. He had to pass as a student who was actually interested in Yoga, in order to survive the session - and get Lisa alone. In hindsight, entering after the class would have been the more appropriate choice.
"Deep inhale and slowly turn over, balancing lotus"
What the hell was a balancing lotus? Apparently, he hadn't done all of his homework. Subtly watching Lisa, Sam did his best to imitate the position, suddenly grateful for his own physical training. Without it, he would have found this entire act a million times more difficult, but it was for Dean. Dean, who had spent their childhood protecting and raising him. Dean, who had time and time again come to his rescue, or gave him advice that he didn't want to hear. Dean who was totally in love with this woman, and at odds with himself, convinced that he had to let her go. Well, Sam wasn't buying it.
"Exhale, corpse pose."
Now that one he could do! Feeling accomplished due to the fact that he somehow managed to avoid turning Lisa's lesson into a bad game of twister, Sam remained in his position, until the other students began to move. In spite of the jokes that Dean would crack on him - in the event that he ever found out that Sam had participated in anything as 'fairy-like' as Yoga - Sam knew that speaking with Lisa was the first step to recouping not only his soul, but Dean's love life.
As the last student left the building, Sam cleared his throat to announce his presence to Lisa. "Um, hi, have you got a moment?" He asked, sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck. This - was definitely - the creepiest thing he would ever do. "I wanted to introduce myself. I'm Sam Winchester, and the only reason I joined your class was because I wanted to check up on you - Since I was in the car that ran into you.." He half lied.
The truth was that no car had ever collided with Lisa Braeden. It had been an angel who had wiped away her memory. At Deans behest. Sam still couldn't accept his brothers decision, and had taken a slight detour to Michigan - from Ohio - Under the pretense that he was going to pick up a rare item for Bobby before they approached Eve. Hopefully, Bobby would still cover for him after everything that he had done. "I'm probably coming off as a stalker to you, I know. Believe me, but I was really worried about you, and was passing through the area to visit a friend - and I heard you were teaching here, and - well. Here I am." Deciding to stop while he was ahead, Sam allowed himself to fall silent.
Lisa noticed him the moment he walked into class, new faces were easy to pick out, and even easier when the person was unusually tall. In a city of 52,000, new faces seemed to stand out quite a bit. Though Lisa taught her class, her eye lingered on the new student, clumsy and obviously not well trained in yoga. He was athletic, that much was obvious, but his balance was lacking a bit...as was his flexibility.
Though the bodies filed out of the studio, the newcomer remained, lingering behind until it was just the two of them. Turning to face him, Lisa gave him that huge smile she was so known for, Genuinely warm and inviting, Lisa didn't have to fake anything, she had always been that person. Though her younger years were a tad more wild, Lisa found stable ground in her work, balancing out the chaos of single parenthood. It worked for her.
"I'm always available." Lisa was quick to answer the man, expecting the usual request of lessons. Most of the time it was harmless, though Lisa had also been privy to the less harmless requests in her career. In all, it was a roll of the dice when someone asked for a minute alone.What Lisa didn't expect, however, were the words that followed.
The smile quickly faded, replaced mainly with confusion. "Um..." Lisa couldn't find the words as her mind searched for a memory of the man. He seemed familiar...no, his name seemed familiar. No, Lisa had never heard the name, and it wasn't everyday you ran into a 'Winchester' as a last name. "You were riding with..."
What was the other guy's name? Lisa was told she received a concussion, which explained for the gaps in her memory. She could see the face perfectly, the bad-boy type figure. The overly-worn jacket that looked like it had been on one too many camping trips. The slight hint of scruff along his jaw-bone. "Dean! That was his name, he said he was Dean."
Taking a step backwards, Lisa moved closer towards the desk, but also a bit further away from Sam. "You know, people don't usually think stalker until you put the thought in their mind. Or...you really are stalking them." Eying him as she moved, Lisa made the quick judgement call that he was safe...at a distance...for now. She didn't remember a second person in the other car, but then, Lisa had been trying to remember for weeks. The sound of glass breaking or metal crunching against metal. The smell of gasoline leaking or at least burnt rubber as brakes squealed. Nothing. Lisa had no memories of the event, and as far as she could tell, neither did Ben.
"I appreciate you being concerned, it was nice of Dean to come by my room as well. If it was either of you that called the police or got me to the hospital or whatever, thanks. I have no memories of the accident, but I feel like with a concussion so bad I can't remember, it's probably only because someone got help for me that my son still has me. I'm all he has. This time, I hope you're the one driving through."
Sam didn't know what to expect. Over several years of hunting, Sam had exchanged information with more strangers than he could count, so the idea of invading one woman's personal space shouldn't have seemed so foreign to him. Yet, as he struggled to find his next set of words, he couldn't ignore the pang of guilt that lingered in the depths of his mind. The guilt, that his brother had tried to cut himself out of Lisa's life, for a lifestyle that they had little choice in. For the dangers it introduced to Ben and Lisa. While Dean had sound reason to be worried, Sam couldn't brush aside the feeling that what Castiel had done – under Dean's counsel - to the Braeden's was wrong.
In his time, he had seen many things. He had shouldered his brother's burdens. He had died, and returned. He had watched his brother die, and return. He had witnessed dark events, such as striking bargains with crossroads demons, but nothing had struck a chord so deep in him that he had felt the festering need to go behind Dean's back and correct an action. Now was different though. He had to set things right, nothing was as it was supposed to be – and he needed to be able to trust himself again. Perhaps his plans to repair Dean's relationship with his new family would prove to be the first steps to just that.
The first thing he noticed when Lisa turned to face him was her smile. She appeared genuinely happy. Oblivious to the truth that truthfully stained her past. Sam wanted to tell her everything, but knew how crazy it would sound. He smiled back, although his own smile was less genuine. He had always had a knack for conversation, so giving Lisa the opportunity to recall Dean's name without feeling the need to intervene came naturally. ”Yes, that's right!” He answered, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically. If she remembered Dean's name, that was a good sign. He had still left an impression on her, or perhaps – somewhere buried deep within her subconscious she still knew who he was. ”Dean's my brother.” He confirmed.
As Lisa attempted to subtly move toward her desk, Sam rubbed the nape of his neck nervously. ”I know. I figured I'd be honest about who I was, because how weird Is it that I'm here, really?” He inquired gently. ”Do you... Remember anything from the accident?” What he really meant was: Do you remember anything about my brother? He knew that Dean and Lisa had spent large quantities of time together exclusively, and with Ben. He knew that Death's wall had leaked memories of Hell for him, and was hoping that perhaps Castiel's memory blocks were also as flimsy. Maybe if there was a way to crack the wall holding back Lisa's memory, she would remember Dean on her own. Maybe, there was a place that Dean frequented, that would inspire her to remember him. That was information he would have to try to snake out of Dean later.
As Lisa confirmed that she didn't remember anything, Sam frowned, slightly disappointed. ”You don't remember anything?” He probed gently, careful to make sure his voice was laced with more concern than anything else. ”Are you sure you're okay? I mean, loss of memory... That can't be natural can it?” Of course it wasn't natural. It was an interfering angel. Sam focused on maintaining eye contact, and listening for any clue that perhaps Ben remembered Dean as well.”Oh, that's right. You have a son... Is he all right? How is he holding up through all of this? “ Ben seemed to have formed an attachment to Dean prior to Castiel's hoodoo, maybe he retained a clue as to who Dean was? The whole scenario was just so heartbreaking, for both parties involved. ”I give you my word, I'll be the one behind the wheel. However, I think you'll find that Dean can be a bit stubborn about taking the drivers seat.”
What began as an ordinary day had flipped itself upside down, as Lisa stood face to face with a man who lived through the same horrific ordeal she had. Though she had no memories, she could logically piece things together. She had driven by accidents before, the red and blue eyes illuminating the night, men in yellow cutting through metal and dragging limp bodies from their seats. Was that how it had been? "Brothers? Wow...I honestly never even stopped to consider his family. I guess it's because he was okay..." Why hadn't Lisa thought of Dean's family? So worried about her own life for the sake of Ben, Lisa never even questioned a passenger, let alone people who would miss Dean if he had not survived. A pang of guilt struck at Lisa's heart as she realized the bigger picture, though she would always be grateful for her life that night.
Shaking her head, Lisa could not scrap together a single memory, not even a fragment. "I've been to a specialist. They assure me that amnesia is normal in head traumas and that there is a good chance the memories will come back. Of course, they will be when I least want them to return, like driving by the spot or something that would force my mind to remember." Chuckling slightly, Lisa tried not to think of the worst of the memories that might surface. "Honestly, I'm more shocked that I wasn't physically injured. Not even a scratch, weird right? The wonders of seat belts will never stop amazing me."
"Water?" The word was quick as Lisa bent down behind the desk, opening the tiny fridge on the ground as she retrieved two bottles of water, putting one on the desk as she twisted the cap off the other. "My son, Ben, hasn't spoken about the wreck. I'm not sure he remembers anything either, from what we know, he passed out."
Her voice choked in her throat a bit as she thought of Ben in that kind of danger. Those are the thoughts that upset Lisa. "Please don't take this the wrong way, I think the world of my sister and I bet you're close to your brother, but I hope you don't let him drive for a long time. He was so clearly...off that day. I could see it in his eyes, his mind wasn't focused. The way he looked at me, it was obvious he felt guilty, but he wasn't paying attention and things could have been so much worse."
Lisa felt bad the moment she said it, speaking ill of someone she hardly knew. He had hurt her, and caused a full night of memories to disappear from her brain, but he was human too. "I'm sorry, like I said, I didn't mean for it to sound so bad. I would hate to see what seems like an otherwise good man get himself involved in an even more dangerous situation."
He could only imagine what thoughts were racing through Lisa's mind. In all actuality, he didn't actually know anything about her, well, apart from the fact that she had a son, and had been seeing Dean. What if she had replaced him with someone else all ready? Sam let out a small huff of air once he realized that he hadn't even considered the possibility before seeking her out. He had taken the time to prepare himself for her lesson, but somehow he had forgotten to focus on the more pressing hypothetical circumstances.
"He's all I've got." Sam explained, slowly making his way toward the desk. "Our father passed away a couple of years back, so it's just us now... But don't worry about that. You had a lot on your plate, nobody is going to blame you for not thinking about our family... Especially not after getting rattled up in an accident." Sam soothed reassuringly. "And even more so if you can't remember it."
Always one to remain attentive to his audience, Sam considered Lisa's recollection of her recent activity. Dean may have been relieved to learn of her drive to take proper care of herself by visiting a specialist, and making sure that her vitals were fine. However, Dean couldn't know. Not yet. After all, his brother was far from ready to hear Lisa's name again, which he had made clear on the day that they departed from the hospital. "Maybe you had an angel watching over you?" He offered, far from amused by the lack of fabrication in his statement.
"Uh-Sure!" He accepted, claiming the miniature bottle from the desks surface. "Huh." Sam acknowledged, preoccupied with trying to open his bottle. "Forgive me for prying, but it seems a little odd - you know? That neither of you remember anything, considering the accident wasn't really that bad." Of course, it would require an accident in order to qualify for 'bad', but then again, in Sam's mind the ordeal was beyond bad. It was troubling, meddlesome, and unnecessary.
Finally managing to pop the lid off of the bottle, Sam proceeded to take a small gulp of water. Yoga hadn't been as easy as he had expected it to be, and people actually found this activity relaxing? "Believe me, I don't want him behind the wheel either after this." Sam assured, trying to appear as honest as she likely considered him to be. As Lisa explained, in detail, how detached Dean had been during his last moments with her, Sam was flooded with pain himself. It wasn't like his brother had an easy life. He had been sold, and bought, and then sold again. His loyalty had frequently been tried, and in the end, somehow, Dean always found the will to keep going - Even if he couldn't catch a break. Sam blamed himself for part of this, since Dean had lost a large part of his childhood looking after him.
Gazing down at the floor briefly, Sam cleared his throat trying not to imagine what Dean had gone through while trying to ensure that Castiel's memory wipe had been effective. Stalling for time, he lifted the bottle to his mouth again and took another drink while he tried to think of a solid response. Finally deciding on a plan, Sam lowered the bottle and met her eyes. "I think there's more to it than that, but I'm not my brother, so I can't be sure what he was thinking."
As Lisa apologized, Sam could only smile. It was clear what Dean had seen in her, even if she didn't know it herself. Even if she couldn't remember Dean. It was tragic. "I understand, it didn't sound bad, it sounded like you were being cautious, which is to be expected. These sorts of things can change a person. Dean is - Probably a little bit more used to danger than he should be. However, I imagine this has probably effected him as well. How are you holding up though? Has your life managed to get back on track? How did your boyfriend react? I know I'd be kind of pissed at Dean if I were in his shoes..." It was a risky play, but this information was vital as it would make or break his purpose.
Lisa listened intently to Sam talk, her eyebrows frowning in concern when he told her about their own family situation. The more Lisa and Sam talked, however, the more holes opened up in her mind that she was curious to fill. "I'm sorry to hear about your father. What about your mother?" Sam hadn't mentioned her, and Lisa assumed it was for a very good reason, though a reason that was only obvious to Sam. Regardless of the answer, Lisa's gut already told her that it would only deepen the concern on her face.
She couldn't help but feel emotional while talking to Sam about such heavy topics. Though she hardly knew anything about him, save for his name and just a few details, she was learning things quickly...deep things. Things that people just didn't share the first time they met. Things that made forming any sort of friendship awkward when you sat down later and tried to sort through what you knew about the person. From the deceased family members to the tragic car accident that was claiming Lisa's memories, they hadn't discussed anything normal.
Shaking her head, Lisa's smile was still as wide as ever, always in a good mood. "It had to be a bad accident, we both can't remember things. Though Ben seems okay these past few weeks, I will keep taking him to follow up appointments. The only thing I can't understand is what really happened that night. When I got home, my car was in the driveway. I obviously wasn't driving, and we weren't walking. What exactly happened that night Sam? And why do you say it wasn't a bad accident? Unless angels really were watching over us, in which case, I am very grateful. We've never exactly had a guardian angel take care of us."
If only Lisa knew the full truth, from the demons to the angels and everything in between that goes bump in the night. The conversation would be a much easier one, but it wasn't meant to be easy. Instead, things just seemed to turn even more personal. Again Lisa's brows pressed together, though in confusion this time. Sam was so cryptic, it was hard to read the man, though Lisa did feel safer than when he first spoke to her. Just something about him made her feel more at ease, though she couldn't quite pinpoint what that was. "What do you mean there was more to it?"
Reaching up, Lisa tugged at the hair tie holding her hair, pulling it off and letting her hair fall around her shoulders. She definitely needed a shower, but the constant pulling at her scalp was beginning to give her a headache, or was it how hard she was trying to remember? Laughing slightly, a bit nervously, Lisa took a drink from her own water bottle. "Ben and I are holding up very well. Thankfully I'm not dating anyone, so we could just focus on ourselves. I mean, I've seen someone a few times since the accident, but I'm not so sure Ben likes him." Why was she telling Sam this? The eyes, that was it. Sam was tall and obviously athletic and strong, someone that might intimidate people if it weren't for his eyes. Those soft hazel eyes that seemed to just know everything. It made him so much easier to talk to, knowing that he understood.
"Honestly, and I know this is completely crazy so please don't say anything, but Ben seems hung up on Dean. He keeps saying he wants me to find someone nice enough to stop by after an accident and be concerned. If only Ben knew, your brother looks like someone I would have dated in high school, and believe me, I dated all the wrong people."
A careful silence filled the space between them, as Sam contemplated how he would answer the unexpected inquiry. Folding his arms over his chest, he began to wish that he hadn't brought up his father. After a flash of consideration, he finally consented. ”Our mother died when we were very young, our father was really the only parent we had.” Of course he hadn't been the best father figure, either. It had been Dean who had looked after him for so many years. However, unlike Dean, Sam had managed to strike out on his own early in life, and learn to think independently – In ways that had managed to upset both father and brother over the years.
He couldn't remember the last time that he had revealed so much detail about his own life to anyone outside of Dean or Bobby before speaking with Lisa. There was something about her that made her seem easy to talk to, maybe it was the fact that Sam felt as if he all ready knew her. He was curious to know of Lisa's background himself. Eager to learn what it was that had drawn Dean into her. He knew that much like himself, Dean had always preferred a more socially acceptable lifestyle. However it seemed that the lifestyle of a hunter had dug its talons into the brothers every time they made an attempt to stray from it's path.
Sam admired the woman's presentation of herself, wondering if she was genuinely as cheerful as she appeared. He frowned, and wished that he could share in her ability to seemingly remain light-hearted. He had heard the phrase “Ignorance is bliss” coined before, but never had it seem so appropriate. The only difference between them was that he knew what really happened, and she was completely oblivious to the idea of demons, or angels, or any other supernatural creature. Everything was as it should be, but wasn't meant to be. Furrowing his brow when she asked what had happened, he bit his lower lip. He hadn't meant to give out too much information, and this seemed to be happening repetitively. Maybe he was getting sloppy, or maybe it was just the fact that Lisa was too easy to talk to.
”Well. Um... How do I say this?” He clearly was at a loss for an answer, since no accident had actually occurred. Furthermore, he had no information based upon what Lisa had all ready been told had happened. ”Well... I” This was not the time to be a terrible liar, and he could no longer pretend that he didn't know what happened. Suddenly, an idea came to him. ”You weren't driving, you were with some man in a trench coat, do you know him?”
He tried not to dwell on the idea that Lisa might have actually believed an angel was watching over her, particularly if said angel was meant to be driving a car. Sidetracked for a moment, Sam had to wonder if Castiel would even be able to drive a car, did angels have magic powers that taught them how to operate a motorized vehicle? He decided that he would solve this nonsensical question at a later time, and ask the next angel who crossed his path.
”I mean that.. Have you ever met someone, and felt like you all ready knew them?” He asked gently, avoiding actually answering the question. ”He said you seemed familiar to him. That's all I know.” He lied. Oh, he knew more. He knew a ton. He knew that they had dated before, that they were involved for at least a year during the time that he had been soulless, that she had even known the truth about the Winchester's. He knew that she had been captured by Crowley, and been brain-wiped by an angel. The more he thought about it, the more disturbed he became over the fact that he actually knew more about her than she knew about herself.
”Well, you know boys. They get attached to their mothers, and they don't like sharing much.” He couldn't quite relate to the idea of clinging to a mother figure, but he understood the value of their importance. They had spent years of his life trying to track down the yellow-eyed demon who murdered his mother... If only the story had ended there. The worst part about the Supernatural world was things didn't stay dead. They had dispatched Meg once, and she had returned. Sam could only hope that Azazel was gone for good this time.
”My lips are sealed.” Sam promised, although his smile grew as Lisa spoke. ”That's kind of sweet actually. Not the part about him looking like someone you dated in high school, but the part about Ben liking my brother. Dean's kind of a misunderstood fellow, but he always has the best intentions.” That much was true.
Lisa's heart sunk to the pit of her stomach when she heard about their mother. To lose her son, Lisa could fathom the idea, but for him to lose her...there was no greater punishment for Ben. Sam said that their father had been around, but even a single parent wasn't good enough, Lisa had seen that over and over with Ben. He wanted to know about his father, the questions seemed on the tip of his tongue, but every time the subject came up, Lisa had to shut it down. How could she tell Ben she didn't know his father? Sure, she knew who the guy was in a sense, but she knew nothing about him, hardly even a last name. They had met and slept together almost immediately, and that was that. He left, and Lisa had Ben. There was no more information to give. He might as well have been dead because he was never coming back.
Stepping around the desk, Lisa felt almost compelled to reach out and lightly touch Sam's arm. It was a common move, to try and comfort someone when you didn't know what else to do. For her friends, Lisa would have wrapped them in a hug and let them work it out, and talk it out to her, but Sam wasn't her friend. He was verging between a stranger and an acquaintance. "I am so sorry to hear that. I'm glad you both made it safely from the accident. Were you injured too? I only ask because Dean came by the room himself, were you in the hospital as a patient?"
A tragic event seemed to slowly be bringing them together, to try and piece together the truth of what happened. Lisa had no memories, and the memories Sam was providing her were just...strange. Things she couldn't seem to explain, though she would do her best to try. A man in a trench coat? Pulling back her hand, Lisa closed her eyes and tried to will memories that didn't exist to appear. A blur of faces flashed through her mind, though none stood out, except for Dean. Between Ben and Sam talking about the mystery man, it was becoming harder and harder to forget his face.
Finally Lisa shook her head, opening her eyes to look up at Sam. "I wish I could explain the guy for you. I don't think I've ever been around someone in a trench coat, not in that type of setting. And especially not with Ben." The more she tried to explain it, the more it didn't make sense. No answer came to mind, regardless of how she tried to spin it. "What if I was dating someone and I've completely forgotten them? If Ben was there, it would mean Ben finally liked someone...except..why wouldn't he visit and remind us?" Lisa was talking to herself mostly, speaking out loud as the realization hit that maybe, just maybe there had been someone important in her life. Could she have so easily forgotten who he was? "I'm sorry Sam, I don't mean to drag you into my problems. I'm sure I'll remember at some point, everyone needs to have hope, right?" That blissful ignorance, it poured out of Lisa, though what Sam had never realized was that it was always there. Even when she knew that things with Dean couldn't work out, her heart leapt every time the man showed up on her doorstep with problems too big for anyone to fix. Lisa was always full of hope.
Though Lisa smiled, she couldn't hide the faint blush that heated up her cheeks at the thought of Dean seeing something more in her. Those silly high school fantasies of the bad boy seemed to creep back into her mind, like she was nineteen all over again. "I know what you mean. He seemed almost familiar to me, though I've never seen him before. I think he was an idea, more than a person, really. You know, that idea from childhood fantasies."
Forcing the blush down, Lisa took on a more serious expression the longer she looked at Sam. "Can I ask you something? How did it work for you? Not having your mother around? Ben has me, but I know he wishes he had a father around. I've tried so hard to give him the family he deserves, but then he doesn't like any of them. I thought being a single parent of a toddler was hard, but a teenager is kicking my butt."
If one was to sit down and analyze the Winchester brothers, they would take instant notice of a certain set of differences and similarities. Of the two, neither of them spoke much of their past, and that wasn't likely to change anytime soon. Lisa had all ready been through enough because of them, and Sam felt that this entitled her to a fair bit of truth - If not all of it. However, it was not the time nor the place to familiarize the young woman with the past that she had lost, or never knew. Nor was it his mess to clean. After all, it had been Dean and Castiel who had opened this new jar of worms, and given her a fresh start, regardless of whether she wanted it or not. It was morally wrong, and Sam knew that Dean would never reconsider his actions unless he first gave Lisa a little push - In Dean's direction.
It was an interesting experience, to be on the receiving end of comfort from someone who believed that they had never met before. "Yeah, me too." Sam agreed, unsure of how to act around her. "Actually, no. I wasn't. I mean, I was very lucky. I should have been, but I got out without a scrape on me." He hated the lie that came from his mouth, he hated pretending as though this fictional event had actually come to pass. What had dean been thinking? "They wanted to check us out for whiplash, and make sure we were all right, so our check up was brief. It looks like you and Ben got the worst of it." He stated, trying to sound as confused as she was. Naturally, for the time being, he had to stick to the story. Even if it was not of his fabrication.
He decided then and there that he would be sitting Dean and Castiel down and lecturing them on right and wrong. Castiel was an angel, and Sam felt that he should all ready be able to tell these concepts apart. Then again, angels were nothing like he had expected. You know the halo, wings, unshakeable faith. No, instead, they seemed more like childish brats who were lost without direction, and their god had left the building.
Sam's expression gradually shifted from calm to alarmed. He had made an implication that could turn the tides against his intentions in the worst possible way. While his story labeled this man the driver, he had not thought of the message that it might send. Castiel, also known as the man in the trench coat, was definitely not an eligible bachelor. At least not for Lisa. "I didn't get the impression that you two were together, but then again I didn't know him." Sam attempted to save himself. "He can't be that important in your life, if he hasn't come around, right?" The ice was getting thinner, and he could feel it beginning to become dangerous. Maybe this plan really was a bad idea.
"I feel like I should be the one apologizing. I was the one who crashed your class." Sam deflected with a small smile. "A strong mind always has hope." He agreed. Hope was a powerful ally, and his own life could serve as testament. He had been through several desperate situations, and each and every time it was hope that pulled him through. Hopefully it would serve Lisa just as well.
Sam grinned, perhaps triumphantly, as the flush took over Lisa's face. "I know what you mean."
He enjoyed being able to talk to Lisa, actually open up to her a little bit. Confiding in others never really seemed so easy, but it wasn't as though he had the option to talk about hunting with civilians. However, Sam only realized just how deep their conversation had progressed when she asked about parenting. "I suppose it worked out. I mean, Dean and I still have each other, and we turned out all right - or at least I think we did. Our dad wasn't around a whole lot, so we've always had to lean on each other. I think it's completely natural for Ben to be possessive of you. You are his mom, you know?"
So much sadness in such a short time, it was enough to bring down anyone's mood, anyone except for Lisa. Maybe it was just her, or maybe it was the yoga instructor in her, but she tried like hell to always find that bright light in things. Sure, she got angry and frustrated in her personal life, but she was only human. Regardless of her personal frustrations, she left them at home, determined not to bring down someone else's day. When you had a teenager starting to rebel at home, that was a much appreciated trait. "I really am sorry Sam, I didn't mean to pry, it's none of my business. You don't even know me, you shouldn't be answering personal questions." Yet, he had answered, and Lisa had opened up too. It was like there was some connection they had, though they knew nothing about each other. Almost like they met before, but Lisa didn't feel any deep connections. It wasn't like meeting an old friend on the sidewalk, more like...something Lisa couldn't put her finger on right away. "I am so glad to hear that you weren't harmed, you and your brother. I know Dean said that it was his fault, but I would feel terrible if something had happened to someone else. The details really don't matter, everyone is okay now and back to living our lives."
Though she may always be curious about the details, Lisa understood that the bigger picture was more important. She and Ben were alive, with no physical wounds, while the others involved were just as alive. That alone put Lisa at ease. As Sam brought up her class though, Lisa couldn't stop the giggle fast enough, as her hand went to her mouth. "I'm sorry, that's so rude of me. I kind of gathered you weren't experienced with Yoga when you came in, and now knowing who you are, I'm not at all surprised your brother didn't join you. From the worn jeans and jacket to the way his jaw was set that night, I'm guessing he's barely heard the word 'yoga' and has no idea you came to class. I've been doing this long enough to read people, about yoga at least. I know the look of people who don't even believe it's a physical activity. Though I think you did pretty good for a beginner, I'd be happy to help you improve if you were actually looking to take it up."
Trying to push the more difficult topics aside, Lisa couldn't help but let her inner instructor out. It came so naturally to her, it was certainly a deep part of her. "Your brother isn't here...right?" Such a strange question to clarify as Lisa's eyes dashed to the side for a moment, to glance out the glass door, only to see people walking to and from their destinations. No sign of the stranger with the tough exterior.
Attention snapping back to Sam, Lisa's face melted into a softer smile, as she thought of Ben protecting her. "Dean told him to look after me, I think my son took that a bit too literally. I swear he looks for monsters in every guy I even talk to. Like I turn my back and they'll sprout fangs or something. I must sound so desperate to a stranger. I'm happy with my son, but I see the hole in his heart at every birthday, or when take your father to school day comes around. He doesn't have siblings to get close to, and he's at that age where he's getting too old for mom."
”Not at all, by all means, if there is something you want to know – I'm an open book.” Another lie. Wonderful. Apparently this was becoming a habit for Sam. His smile remained on his face, in spite of his own personal reservations revolving around his dishonesty toward her. If a man became great by deeds, and not by birth, Sam wondered whether or not he would be considered a righteous man. Such thoughts were far from his normal train of thought, however he found himself meditating on whether or not the good outweighed the bad.
The possibility that he had played even a small part in Dean's decision to steal away the yoga instructors memory unknowingly weighed heavy on him. Then the idea came to him. ”I have a suggestion.” It might even lead her to answers – Ones he couldn't give, while he was away from her. He couldn't be sure, but it was worth a shot. ”Do you keep pictures of important events? Maybe you should go home and look through them. I bet they would answer all sorts of your questions – Whether or not you forgot someone important or not.” There was one person that Sam was confident that she wouldn't find in any picture, and that was Castiel's. Providing that Lisa followed through with the suggestion, it would remove any doubt that she might have otherwise had about being romantically involved with Castiel at all.
Then again, maybe Lisa did want to be memory wiped. Sam frowned, somewhat guilty, as he recalled just how many times he had wished he could live a normal life and forget about the things that went bump in the night. As it turned out, he was never truly given the choice of normalcy. It was a nice change of pace, to attend a yoga class - Even if it was a slightly odd activity to have attempted.
He beamed at Lisa as she went into a small-scaled giggle fit. "And here I thought I had you fooled." Sam said in good nature. "You know, I did manage to get through my first yoga class without falling on my face, or knocking over some unfortunate girl who might have been in my bubble. I think I deserve a pat on the back at the very least." He admitted. At the mention of his brother, Sam stiffened uncomfortably. "Do me a favour, and don't tell him that I participated. He would never let me live it up. And believe me. We have enough fairy jokes floating around between us." Albeit, most of the fairy jokes were literal, and targeted Dean. Either way, the idea of Dean finding out about his yoga escapades was horrifying. "I'll definitely be considering it." He stated, unsure of how he felt about yoga.
"Definitely not. Believe me, a yoga studio is the last place you're going to find my brother." Though the idea of Dean wearing spandex, or some equally odd looking yoga uniform, and attempting the art provoked a few entertaining thoughts. "He has no idea that I am even here, I promise."
Lisa's smile proved contagious, as Sam found himself smiling along with her. "I wouldn't discourage him from checking the corners myself, but I'm pretty superstitious. You know, a circle of salt is said to keep bad spirits and demons out." He wasn't sure if the information would ever come in handy, but he'd rather sound momentarily crazy now and have the advice save her life later if the need should arise. It certainly beat saying nothing on the matter, especially after Crowley had kidnapped the Braeden's. "You don't sound desperate. You sound - Normal, like you know what you want out of life. Like you haven't given up hope. It's that sort of mindset that will get you to your goal, whatever - or whoever it is." Sam encouraged. "Maybe you have a male friend who could accompany him to those events? Or, maybe he could have a friends parent go with him? I don't know if that's good advice or not, but it seems like it would be possible."
"It's funny, people who say that usually aren't. Thou protest and all that. Not that you really aren't open, you just don't hear it truthfully very often." Lisa was going to stop talking, fearful that her words might upset Sam. Lisa was in the business of reading people, she was no con artist, but she did rely on her instincts. When her students were angry, it was her job to properly calm them down. When they were sad, Lisa needed to motivate and challenge them. As an instructor, Lisa served as a rock for her students, balancing them out to bring out the best in them.
At the mention of pictures, Lisa took a quick, deep breath, as though a part of her memory had been jogged. In reality, it had been jogged, though not in any helpful way. Lisa's memory was working against her, her own worst enemy for the time being. Nodding, Lisa moved behind the desk again, riffling through a desk drawer for a moment before she produced a cellphone. "I haven't seen any pictures besides Ben, or my sister and her family. But there are texts on my phone, I called someone six times in a short amount of time, though it doesn't look like the person ever picked up. If they did, we had the shortest conversations known to man. I feel like they must have been important to me, though I saved the contact as just 'D'. Obviously at one point it was so obvious to me who it was I didn't need the full name, and yet now...I guess I've tampered with my investigation before I even got started. I did try calling the number, but it's been disconnected." Sighing deeply, Lisa shook her head as she pulled up the older messages. Nothing important within the words themselves, but the way Lisa and 'D' seemed to check in on each other, it felt like there was something there.
Eyes shot upwards as Sam's face contorted, in a sadness of sorts. Just what he was sad about, Lisa could only grasp at straws for that answer, but sad none the less. "You're frowning. I'm sorry, you came all this way to check up on me and I've made you uncomfortable. I think that I will find my way back to my memories one day, at least, the important ones. it takes time, I'm just being unusually impatient."
Just as quickly as the frown came, it disappeared from Lisa's own giggling, the reaction she couldn't contain when she thought back on the class. "I think you did marvelously for your first class, I applaud you. If I thought I could reach your back, I'd give you a pat. In the future, however, I would suggest maybe working on opening up your hips more, it'll give you more flexibility. Normally I might suggest something simple like Lotus, however, it's much more difficult in someone of your height." Forcing the instructor within her down, Lisa knew that Sam wasn't really interested in learning how to improve his yoga, he had other reasons for showing up. "I do teach a lot of high school football players, though I'm sure that won't fly if you try to explain that to your brother. I promise, I won't tell him. And honestly, I doubt I'll ever see him again anyway. Are you the older brother with the tough exterior? Or the younger brother constantly in your brother's shadow?"
Curiosity overtook Lisa as she questioned their age gap. It could go either way, from what Lisa knew about the brothers, which was very little. Smirking, Lisa rolled her eyes at her own thoughts. "Like I said, your brother reminds me of old flames. I caught them in the studio...sitting in the back observing. Sound about right?"
"Salt? I will certainly keep that in mind if things start going bump outside. What I'm more interested in knowing, is how do I best get the salt off the hardwood floors without that last little bit that refuses to be cleaned up." Lisa didn't fully buy the whole monster under the bed stories, though she wasn't so opposed to the thought of the angel. It was an odd concept, to be on both ends. "I wish I had some good men for Ben to look up to, but I really don't. Thankfully, I do have my 'mom' voice, and that seems to clear things up for now."
"Well, they do say that irony regards every simple truth as a challenge. Maybe that's why it's so uncommon." Sam suggested, a little nervously. He couldn't be sure, but the way that she had placed emphasis on her words had led him to believe that she didn't really think that he was being dishonest. Letting his shoulders relax a bit, Sam moved around the desk slightly, just enough to lean against it comfortably, and opened his water again. "Sometimes people surprise you." He, for one, was surprised. The conversation had been going much smoother than he had at first anticipated.
"Just because you haven't seen them, doesn't mean that they aren't there." Sam encouraged, accepting her reaction as a positive omen. "Maybe you have pictures that you keep that aren't in plain sight. Like in an album, or a shoebox?" Encouraging Lisa's train of thought, Sam leaned toward her to examine the phone for himself. It didn't look like much, but that was the interesting and magical thing about technology. Without understanding it's use, one could not appreciate the fact that it stored so much memory in such a otherwise insignificant item. "Maybe you should call the number later." Sam suggested, hoping that she wouldn't call it for a while at the very least. "Maybe you'd be able to put a name with the voice." The shortest conversations ever? That was definitely Dean. Dean had never been much of a phone person, even when they were younger Dean's calls had usually been abrupt and straight to the point. As it was, Sam wouldn't have it any other way.
Sam's feelings of guilt only sank deeper into the pit of his stomach when his remorse was acknowledged. "I've never had much of a poker face." He admitted reluctantly. "But, it's not you. It's me." He paused, studying the woman's actions and weighing her words. "I just, I can't imagine what it would be like to not be able to remember anything. It seems tragic to me." What was worse: His brother was to blame. He and his brother were both guilty of following through with some questionable plans, but this? This wasn't like the others. Lisa was someone that Dean knew, and loved. Of all the shady crap that they had done, this was the lowest and cruelest of them all.
He considered Lisa's coaching, pleased that she still had something to be passionate about in her life. Sam had never gotten the impression that she had much outside of Dean and Ben, and now her family was one short. During the time that he had been soulless, Lisa had taken care of Dean. Sam could empathize with Dean now, which he couldn't then. Maybe if he had told Dean that he was alive, things would have turned out differently. Maybe all of this was his own doing. Before he had been given too much time to dwell on his own crimes, however, Lisa had inspired a response. "Dean probably thinks football players are pansies too..." He answered with a bit of a grin. Football players didn't hunt werewolves, and that made all the difference. As Lisa asked her next question, Sam almost answered automatically, before he decided to spin the tables. "Out of curiosity, which one do you have me pegged for?" He asked curiously. He had never been asked the question before, but he had always thought the fact that he was the younger one was obvious.
"That sounds like Dean..." Sam confirmed, suddenly plagued with the mental image of Dean sitting in the back of the room, eating pie, while watching a bunch of women practice yoga. "He has always been a bit of a womanizer." Maybe he shouldn't have said that.
Lisa was unique. Sam couldn't wrap his head around how Dean had let them go so easily. They could have had everything, even now Lisa didn't seem opposed to the idea of questionably unnatural conversation topics, or lesser known superstitions. "Yep, salt. It's the most useful household ingredient ever, trust me. Name one food that doesn't taste good with salt..." It was a challenge, but it actually wasn't his. He and his brother frequently argued over health foods, but Sam wanted Lisa and Ben safe. Maybe if he made a big enough scene about salt, and it's other uses, she'd remember it in case the time came where it was needed. "Trust me, a mom voice can go a long way. As for men, I'm sure you'll find someone."
Lisa's face took on a slightly awed expression for a millisecond, before the mini-expression disappeared. She hadn't expected Sam to say something like that, it took her by surprise. "I've never heard that before, where did you learn that?" Sam's past with school was lost on Lisa, who never went to college herself and could only recite common phrases of philosophy and the like. "That's the beauty of people, you never know what you're going to get, even if you think you know the person."
Eyes rolled upwards, towards the ceiling as Lisa tried to think of where she might keep extra pictures. Her closet was cluttered with clothes that had to be sorted, some that should probably be donated. Under the bed? Well Lisa never was one to put things under the bed, it only made cleaning under the bed that much harder. "I suppose I should look when I get home. Maybe in the basement, though that's a horrible place to keep pictures if it floods." Shrugging it off for now, Lisa would revisit actively thinking about a hiding place when she was home, and able to root through things. "If the number is disconnected, what are the chances the same person will get the number back? Maybe this is like the man in the trench coat, someone from my life that didn't come to check on me and just isn't worth the effort. I'm sure they could have at least visited me, even if they couldn't call, right? It's all so crazy, I can live with the car accident, I just hate that I have memories I can't remember for the life of me. I can meditate all day long, and nothing. It's like there's a wall between me and my memories, and I just can't find a way around. I'd even consider a hypnotist, though that's a bit scary too."
Lisa had let go of the phone, allowing Sam to check it out if he wanted. There was nothing that had jogged her memory, other than just knowing someone she had communicated with a lot was out there in the world. Letting go of her water bottle, leaving it on the desk, Lisa wrapped her arms under her chest, subconsciously putting up barriers between her and the rest of the world. She was frustrated and sad that she couldn't unlock her own mind, the thought of someone else doing it, even someone as sweet as Sam, was only scarier.
Lisa's compassion broke through her own feelings as she unfolded her hands, reaching out to lightly touch Sam's arm again. She was a mother and a yoga teacher, the need to comfort people flowed through her. "I know you said you're just passing through, but if you pass through again and you want to talk, you can stop by with or without taking the class. You've been really helpful to me, I can't exactly talk about this with my son. If I can do anything to be helpful to you, please let me know." Those big brown eyes again, the way someone might look at a lost boy, Lisa got that vibe that Sam may have been a little lost himself too. Not literally of course, but he lost his way in life somewhere.
As fast as Lisa's compassion came out, so too did her laughter at Sam's joke. Was it a joke? It sounded like a joke. Pulling back, Lisa's hand went to her mouth as she laughed openly at his football comment. "I'm guessing Dean never played in high school. If that's what Dean thinks, what exactly does Dean do that is so tough?" Even as she asked the question, a part of Lisa knew that she didn't want the answer. She had seen it from across the hospital room, he had that bad boy exterior, he did something, and Lisa wasn't sure it was going to be totally legit. Or he was really just someone's assistant trying to break free on his days off. Eying Sam up and down, Lisa pondered his question for a bit before she answered. "Older. That's why you're here, isn't it? You came to check on me, but you're also here trying to clean up your brother's reckless mess. You want to make sure I'm okay, because if I'm okay, then it means your brother is safe. You're doing the responsible thing, while I'm guessing your brother has already forgotten and is off on his next fun adventure." Lisa spoke with such certainty, she could only hope she was right. Dean had checked in on her, yes, but he wasn't here now, having a real conversation with her.
As though Sam had already confirmed her thoughts, Lisa nodded that knowing nod that she gained as a mother. "I think I pieced that one together on my own when I saw him. Traveling around, stand offish, unavailable, yes, women love that. Some never grow out of it."
Raising an eyebrow, Lisa silently realized that Sam really did believe in his salt theory. A bit more superstitious than Lisa, though Lisa would never tell him he was wrong. If he felt like every time he poured salt, nothing bad happened, then she encouraged him to pour salt. Anything to put the mind at ease. "I guess I should buy more salt at the store next time. Any other tips?"