Sam flipped his cell phone closed, pushed off the wall of the building he had been leaning against and headed home. He had stretched the truth, hell, he flat out lied to Caleb. He knew his dad wasn't stupid and he realized that once his dad talked to Caleb his little scheme would be exposed, but that didn't matter; it would be worth the extra training he'd have to do. Sam groaned. "Oh, man I'm sorry," he whispered, "I wasn't thinking. Dad won't train you extra hard, you like training; no, he'll stick you with researching."
Feeling a little guilty he headed to the convenient store and hoped that a bag of peanut M & M's and a soda would suffice as a peace offering when it came time to face his brother. He didn't doubt that Dean would be angry with him, but desperate times called for desperate measures and this was about as desperate a time he had ever known.
Sam entered the store and made a bee line for the soda cooler in the back. He reached in, grabbed a couple sodas then headed for the candy aisle. He had picked up the M & M's and had turned to head to the check counter when he felt a hand land on his shoulder. He jerked away, dropped his intended purchases, swiftly spun on his heels and raised his hands in a defensive posture. The person who had come up behind him gave a frightened squeak and jumped back. It would have been funny if it had been anyone other than Allison.
"Damn," Sam muttered, and then quickly added, "Uh, sorry, Allison, guess I'm a little jumpy tonight." Sam felt his face grow warm and knew that he was blushing. He gave her a sheepish grin and dropped his gaze to the floor.
Allison smiled at Sam then bent down to pick up the soda and candy he dropped. She stood back up and handed them to him her cool blue eyes meeting his. She brushed a strand of her ebony colored hair from her face before she spoke, "No problem, Sam, I'm sorry I scared you. I thought you heard me calling for you."
"Yeah, uhm, sorry, guess my mind was somewhere else," Sam shyly answered.
"I suppose it was," Allison replied, "I hope you don't mind, but I was heading to the Dairy Bar when I saw you come in here. I thought I'd stop and ask if you wanted to go along."
"Yeah, sure. Let me pay for this and I'll meet you there." Sam took his phone out and thought about calling Dean to let him know where he was going, but quickly decided against it. He knew Dean would try to talk him out of it and well quite honestly he didn't think he could get in any deeper than he already was. He put his phone back in his pocket, paid for his items and headed off to meet Allison
John paced the small living room his anger growing with every passing minute. He looked at the clock, to the door, then back to the clock. He had been waiting for over an hour for his youngest to get back from the store. Shaking his head he grabbed his jacket off the chair he had thrown it on and called for Dean.
The younger man jumped at the sound of his dad's voice. He looked at his watch and noticed that Sam had been gone for over an hour. 'Oh, this can't be good,' he thought as he made his way back to the living room.
John stood leaning against the front door his arms crossed over his chest, lips pressed in a firm line. When Dean stepped into the living room, John pressed off the door and addressed the younger man, "I'm going to go out and look for Sam. I suggest you take this time and head out. I hope for your sake that nothing serious has happened and he just got sidetracked. He's been doing that a lot lately. I don't know what's gotten into him. Just because he's eighteen doesn't mean he can do what he wants."
Dean followed his dad out the door, his orders were clear. He was to go to the local bar and hang out for a few hours, or at least long enough for the story of him being beaten up by someone he had hustled would be believable. He walked to his car, climbed inside, started her up and lost himself in the comforting rumble of her engine.
The bar was like all the others he had found himself in. Cigarette smoke hung heavy in the air, the smell of liquor and sweat was thick and the music was louder than it needed to be. He made his way to the bar, found an empty stool and sat down. He motioned for the bar tender and ordered a beer from the tap. He picked up his drink and turned himself around on the stool so he could look out over the rest of the bar.
He spotted the pool table in the far right corner and decided that since he was there he might as well play a game or two. He stood from the stool, grabbed his drink and weaved his way through the crowded bar to the pool table. He walked up to the group that stood around the table watching the game that was being played. He watched the match and found himself being impressed by one of the players.
Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, to keep it from falling forward into her face and interfering with her game. She wore a tight pink t-shirt and a pair of tight fitting blue jeans. His breath caught in his chest when her brown eyes met his. She was attractive and she knew it. She landed the last shot and won the game. She brushed past him on her way to collect the money she had won, and he felt that all too familiar desire grow.
The crowd dispersed and soon he found himself alone, well as alone as one could be in a crowded bar, with her. He racked the balls and asked her if she wanted to play a game, he even offered to let her break.
She smiled at him. "Alright," she answered, "Why not? Care to make a little wager on the game?"
He smiled back at her. "Alright," he replied and extended his hand to her, "Why not? My name’s, Dean."
She took his hand gave it a quick shake, "My name's, Cali." She took the first shot and soon found herself watching him as he played. She noticed his strong jaw line, the way his body moved as he walked around the table and most of all his eyes. His eyes were the purest green she had ever seen and in the depths of those eyes she would have sworn she could see his life story.
They played another game, had a few more drinks and then found themselves heading back to her apartment. He followed her into her bedroom well aware that she wanted/needed this as much as he. He let himself get lost in the moment with her. For a moment he felt wanted, loved. He knew it wasn't real, that it wouldn't last; but for the moment he let himself believe it would.
When he woke a few hours later he found himself alone. Cali had left a note on the pillow explaining that she had to go into work early, thanking him for the previous night and suggested that they try to hook up again.
He rolled out of bed, pulled his clothes on and headed to the bathroom. He quickly did what he needed to do, washed his hands and splashed some water on his face. He threw the note away, left her apartment and made his way back home.
Sam sat in the booth at the Dairy Bar his attention solely focused on the pretty dark haired girl sitting beside him, her hand tightly held by his. The hot fudge sundae they were sharing sitting in the center of the table with their two spoons sticking out of what was left of the ice-cream.
Allison playfully collected some whipped cream from the bowl, with her finger and plopped it on the tip of Sam's nose. Sam gave an indignant grunt; his mouth twisted in a false frown and proceeded to do the same to her. Soon they were both covered in the remaining sundae and found themselves being ushered out of the store, when Allison decided to end the little contest of who could cover whom the most by dumping the remaining contents of the bowl over Sam's head. The two teens fled the tiny ice-cream parlor, their laughter floating along the cool spring breeze; neither of them aware of the presence following them.
Sam walked Allison, the five blocks, back to her house and headed back to his apartment. His mind was still on her and the good time he had just had that he didn't see the hand reaching for him from between two buildings until it was too late. Letting out a surprised yelp, he found himself pulled into an alley and shoved against a wall.
John gripped the front of his youngest boy's shirt with an iron tight grip. He made sure he was standing well inside the boys personal space, his nose mere inches from Sam's. Sam shivered when his eyes took in the anger that burned deep in his father's. Sam's previous thought of not being able to get any deeper in to it than he already was changed, in the blink of an eye, to oh sh!t, I really stepped in it now.
John's hot breath tickled Sam's nose and he could clearly smell the alcohol that lingered there. He felt his dad's body tremble with rage and he prayed that whatever his dad had in mind would be quick and as painless as humanly possible.
John smiled when he saw the fear that had set up residence in his youngest. Taking a deep breath he let go of Sam's shirt and took a step back. "You lose track of time, Sam," John asked his voice letting Sam know that no nonsense was going to be tolerated.
"Dean, told me that you had run to the corner store and that you'd be right back. I realized once he had mentioned Caleb, it was his way of getting you gone so he could talk to me," John watched his son and noticed the way he began shuffling his feet once Caleb was mentioned. John's smile grew, 'Good, he's nervous, shows that he hasn't completely lost all his sense', John thought to himself; then continued, "Imagine my surprise when Caleb called and mentioned that he had been asked to join us on a hunt because I had agreed to let you go out. What I'd like to know is which one of you decided to call Caleb and lie to him? I know which of you did the calling (John pointedly looked at Sam); what I want to know is which of you decided that calling him before talking to me was a good idea?"
John already knew the answer; he wanted to hear it from Sam. Sam couldn't look his father in the eye, the level of agitation he felt from the older man making him feel all of six years old and brought back the memory of what happened the time he thought hiding from his dad was a good idea. Sam bristled as the memory came to him. He was a grown man, he wasn't six anymore and he wasn't going to allow his father to treat him like a child anymore.
Sam squared his shoulders, brought his eyes up to meet his dad's and defiantly answered, "No, I didn't lose track of time. I met Allison at the store and decided to go get some ice-cream with her. It was my idea to call Caleb. Dean mentioned he was close by and said that he would talk to you about Caleb going in my place. I wasn't going to risk you saying no, so I called knowing you wouldn't say no and risk looking like an ass in front of him. I took the initiative and found someone to go in my place. It's not like you really needed me anyway, you just wanted to keep me from doing something I really wanted to. I'm eighteen dad. I don't need your permission to get ice-cream with a girl and I sure as hell don't have to go along on any hunts that I don't want to."
Sam paused to catch his breath and when he spoke his voice was low and laced with hate, "This way of life is something you choose for yourself, and you just dragged me along. I don't want this, I never did. You don't give a second thought about me, unless it's something to do with a hunt or something you do to impress your friends. All I ever wanted was to stay in one place, to go to the same school for more than a few months, to be normal. You can't make me do anything anymore. I'm an adult now and I won't have you treating me like I'm still a little kid. I can take care of myself; god knows I've been doing it long enough."
The sound of the slap echoed off the walls of the alley, along with the sound of Sam's surprised and pain filled cry. John grabbed the front of Sam's shirt and pulled him close; ignoring the blood that dripped from his sons split lip. "Enough," he ground out, "You think you're so grown up? Then leave. Go on and leave. I can't make you stay. I can't make you go. I can't make you do anything, right?" John let go of Sam's shirt giving him a shove back.
Sam stood his back against the wall, his father's hands on either side of him trapping him there. The defiance he had felt seconds ago having been replaced by trepidation; he lowered his eyes and surrendered. John smiled, "Not so sure of yourself are you, now? Yeah, Sammy the world can be a cold place when you're all alone. You think you have it bad now? Well, even you are smart enough to realize just how tough things could be on your own. I'll tell you what. I'm willing to let this little incident slide, this time, but I'm warning you Sam, you don't want to keep pushing me. I expect you to meet your brother right after school tomorrow, you both owe me for this little favor and I know just how you'll repay me. A friend of mine has a house a few towns over that needs some work done. You two just volunteered. I'll drive you over and you both can spend the weekend working on it, and when you're not working you can be training. I'll pick you back up on Sunday and we should all be here in time to have supper with Caleb. What ya, think Sammy, sound like a plan?"
Sam nodded, then quickly added, "Yes, sir."
John smiled, pushed himself back away from Sam and said "Good boy. Now what ya say we head back to the apartment? I'm kinda hungry. How's pizza sound?"
Sam just nodded and followed his dad out of the alley. He had been planning on going with Allison and a few friends to the beach cottage this weekend, but now; now he wasn't so sure. His mind went to the acceptance letter safely locked away in his locker at school and a smile tugged at his lips. 'All I have to do is make it through the summer. Come this fall I'm off to Stanford, he can't stop me.' His smile faded when he thought about leaving his brother, but he didn't have a choice. 'This life isn't for me and I can't live with dad for much longer, one of us is sure to wind up dead. I don't want to leave Dean. I'm not leaving Dean. I'm leaving dad and this life. Dean can come with, if he wants, but only if he wants.'
Sam woke and looked at the small alarm clock that sat on the nightstand by his bed; groaning he rolled over and attempted to go back to sleep. Another loud bang from the living room had him throwing off his blankets and angrily going to see what, just the hell, was going on.
He rounded the corner from the hallway and stopped dead in his tracks; the scene that played out in front of him was one he had, unfortunately, become accustomed to. John lay sprawled out on the floor having, in a drunken stupor, tripped over an end table after getting lost on his way back to his room from the bathroom.
Sam watched as his dad pushed himself to his feet and stumbled towards the hall; his ears growing red with the slew of rather colorful words that flowed from his fathers angered lips. Slinking back to his room, Sam closed the door and quietly made his way back to his bed, in the mood his dad was now in, it wouldn't do to let him know he had been up.
John trudged back to his room, his pride as hurt as the shins he had hit the end table with. He made it back to his room without further incident and crawled back into his bed; giving a quick glance to the alarm clock that sat on the table by his bed, he groaned. It was five-thirty and Sam would be getting up in an hour to get ready for school.
John flopped over onto his stomach and pulled the pillow up over his head. He knew that once Sam was up and milling about, sleep would become all but impossible to achieve. He felt the familiar ache in the pit of his stomach and the wetness of the tears as they formed at the corners of his eyes. Cursing he pushed himself up, flipped back over and sat up, his feet touching the coolness of the wooden floor.
He reached out, picked the picture frame that sat by his alarm clock up and felt the dam break. He was tired, over tired, his nerves stretched as far as they could possibly go. Sam had been testing him these last few months, pushing to see just how far he could go. John knew he was strung tight. He knew the drinking wasn't helping, but, he didn't know any other way to deal.
He looked at the pretty blonde woman, who stood in the picture, her face smiling at him while she held her oldest in her arms, his bottom sitting on her extended pregnant belly. John ran a hand over his face and let out a sigh, the photograph bringing back memories of a happier time.
"Mary," he said his voice a mixture of sorrow and exhaustion, "I remember when you came home and told me you were pregnant, we were all so excited, although I think Dean was more so. I can still see the way his eyes lit up at the idea of being a big brother. I can still hear his giggles as he sat on your stomach waiting to feel his little brother kick, then the seriousness in voice when he asked you if it hurt.
Gah, Mary, what am I doing? You have no idea how much I wish you were here. Sam's pushing me, Mary, he's really pushing me. I never had this problem with Dean. With Dean things were easier, he was and is always so eager to please. But, Sam, he pushes my buttons, and the sad thing is Dean gets caught in the middle, and more often than not he catches the brunt of my anger. I don't know why, Mary, I wish I did, but I don't. Maybe it's because I know he'll take it, he won't fight me back unlike Sam. I know it's not fair and it's more than a little screwed up, but damn it Mary ever since you left things have been a little screwed up.
I can feel it Mary, Sam's slipping away. He's legally an adult now and I can feel him getting ready to run. I'm not sure, but I think he applied to and got accepted into some college. I've asked Dean about it, and he claims not to know anything, but, I swear Mary he's lying. He knows something I don't, and he just doesn't know how to tell me."
John drew in another deep breath and slowly let it out. He felt the tension in his back and shoulder's ease; he lay back down and curled up on his side, Mary's picture held tight to his chest. The tears had stopped and he felt the ache in his stomach ease. A soft sad smile formed on his lips and as he felt himself drifting back to sleep he whispered, "I miss you Mary."
Sam hit the turn off button on his alarm clock and rolled out of bed. He grabbed his clothes from the chair he placed them on the night before and headed to the bathroom. He flinched when one of the old floorboards squeaked and held his breath until he was certain he hadn't woken his dad up. As quickly and quietly as he could he showered, dressed and made his way to the kitchen.
Deciding cereal would be the quietest option for breakfast he pulled the half full box out of the cupboard, a bowl out of the drying rack next to the sink and the almost empty carton of milk out of the refrigerator. Sam sat at the table and thought about how he was going to tell Allison he couldn't go to the cabin tonight to help get things set up for next weekend. He was tempted to ask Dean to cover for him, but he scratched that idea right away, he had already gotten his brother deep enough into it, he wasn't going to risk piling any more on.
Sam's head snapped up when he heard someone enter the kitchen. "Geez, Dean what happened to you? You look like you went a couple rounds with Mike Tyson and got your ass handed to you" he said as he took in his brother's appearance.
Dean stood in the doorway wearing nothing more than jeans, his wet hair sticking up in little spikes, a dark purple bruise gracing one side of his face while lighter bruising spotted his stomach. Unconsciously he reached up and gingerly touched his discolored cheek. "Well good morning to you too, Sammy," he wisecracked, lowered his hand and continued, "Hey you didn't use up all the milk did you?"
Sam gave Dean an apologetic nod, "Sorry there wasn't much left. Hey, Dean, that's not all I'm sorry about. About last night, I know I shouldn't have called Caleb when I did, but I couldn't risk dad saying no. I'm real sorry. I really am….."
Dean raised his hand, cutting Sam's apology short. "Look, its ok. Well, maybe not ok, but I understand. I agreed that dad could be a real hard-nosed son of a bitch didn't I? But, Sam it would have been nice if you would have let me handle it."
He continued talking as he set a fresh pot of coffee up to brew. "I know you don't think I'm as smart as you are, but when it comes to dad I am. I know him better than anyone. If you would have let me handle things, we wouldn't be spending the weekend working on some stranger's house….not to mention I wouldn't be nursing a bruised face and mid-section, Dean thought to himself…. I know how much this dance means to you, Sammy, but when all is said and done, the dance will be over and then what? Life would be so much easier if you'd just accept the way things are. We aren't normal, we aren't ever gonna be normal. You can have your little fantasy this time, but don't fool yourself into thinking it's anything more than that, cause that's all it is, a fantasy."
"Why," Sam asked, "Why is it just a fantasy? Who says I have to do this the rest of my life, huh Dean, who? Dad? Yeah, like I'm gonna let him run me like he does you. I'm tired of moving around. I'm tired of having to lie to everyone we meet. I'm tired of worrying about which one of us won’t make it back from a hunt. And, most of all I'm tired of not being able to be who I am. I'm not like you and dad, Dean; I don't live for the thrill of the hunt. I want to go to school, and I don't know, maybe study law or something. All I know is I want out, to get away from all this."
Dean's stomach clenched, Sam's words hit him harder than his dad's fists had the night before. Sam wants out. He wants to get away from everything, including me, after all, I'm part of this; his thoughts swirled around that one concept…Sam wants to leave me.
Sam noticed the slight flicker of emotion that had flashed over his brother's face, it was hard to catch because as fast it appeared it was quickly shoved back down under the mask he always wore, but Sam was certain he had seen it.
Dean cleared his throat and turned his back on Sam under the pretense of pouring himself a cup of coffee. He could feel Sam staring at him and he cursed himself for letting that slight flicker break through. "Yeah, well that may be, but for now you're here and I'll pick you up after school, right after," he turned back around, having once again successfully gotten his emotions under control, "dad'll be waiting for us. You better get going, wouldn't wantcha to be late."
Sam stood up from the table, took his empty cereal bowl to the sink and then headed out to the living room. He sat down on the chair closest to the door and put his shoes on; as he was walking out the door he heard call to him, "Don't forget Sam, right after school. I don't want to spend another weekend working on some house, or god knows what because you decided you didn't want to do what dad said."
"Mr. Winchester," Sam's French teacher snapped.
Sam raised his head at the sharpness of the teacher's voice which had managed to cut through the thick fog that had set up residence in head. His cheeks blushed as he realized that he had been asked a question and instead of answering he had been caught daydreaming. His voice thick with embarrassment, Sam stuttered out, "I-I-I'm sorry, what was the question?"
Mr. Franklin sighed, he wasn't a stranger to the ease with which seniors so often became distracted the last few weeks of class, as the excitement of graduation approached, but he refused to tolerate it. Final examinations were coming up and this material would count for a third of their grade.
Mr. Franklin always covered the book titled Les Jeux Sans Faits, which translated means The Plays Are Made, by Jean-Paul Sartre. He felt that the core message of the story was a fitting lesson to the outgoing class. He believed the lesson of freedom as an illusion but also being necessary, was important; as was the lesson that it is impossible to know whether your choices are right or wrong even if they were done under the best of intentions and that we are destined to follow our choices whether bad or good helped to prepare the children for their new roles as adults in the world.
He wanted them to leave his class with an understanding that what they choose to do had an effect on the world around them and that they had better be prepared to deal with the consequences of their choices. He wanted them to realize before it was too late that the only thing that would keep them from living ineffectual, momentary lives would be their ability to interact with the world surrounding them in accordance with their choices.
He wanted to empower them to be more than mere ghosts who walked among the crowds but instead to be actively involved in their lives and the world around them. He didn't want for them to miss out on any opportunities that were to come their way because they couldn't let go of things in the past. He didn't want them to end up like, Pierre and Eve, the main characters who missed out on a second chance because they were unable to see the folly in trying to change the past and were unable to move on. It was for these reasons that he refused to tolerate any daydreaming in his class.
Mr. Franklin stood from his behind his desk and walked to stand in front of it. He had the distinct feeling that there was something more than senior distraction going on with Sam, as it was uncommon for him to be anything less than an active participant in class. In fact, it was Sam's genuine enthusiasm that reminded him why had become a teacher in the first place.
No, there had to be something else going on and he intended to find out. He lent back against his desk and addressed Sam, "Well, Mr. Winchester why don't we discuss the question after school today in detention. I will expect you to be at the library promptly after the last bell of the day, understood?"
Sam nodded, his eyes once more staring at his desk; thoughts of what do I do now ran through is mind. The period bell rang and everyone started to pack up, including Sam. He briefly thought about asking his teacher if he could put off detention until next Monday, explaining that his dad had a trip planned, but he knew it wouldn't make a difference; he was going to have to figure out a way to tell his dad he was going to be late.
Sam spent the next two classes trying to come up with something, anything, but all he could think of was to call Dean. He didn't want to involve him, but every scenario he played out ended in disaster. No, he was gonna need his big brother's help with this one.
Dean sat in the county library, located a few towns over from where they were staying, dated editions of newspapers stacked high on the table. He was checking obituaries, looking for anything that might resemble a pattern. He had stumbled across a few deaths that looked suspicious, an entire family violently wiped out as they slept. The police were stumped as to what would have been the cause. The bodies showed no outward signs of injuries, but their autopsies revealed major internal damage that could have only been caused by the victims having been brutally beaten. The police were baffled.
Dean's lips turned down when he looked at the picture of the family. It showed the typical, happy family, mom, dad and two young children. It was the children that got to him. He looked at the two boys and guessed them to be around nine and thirteen years old. At thirteen Dean was, probably, helping his dad kill something similar to what had killed this family and showing his little brother the right way to handle a shotgun.
His cell phone started to vibrate so he picked it up off the table and flipped it open. Frowning at the number on the caller ID (What's wrong with Sam that the school would be calling? And, why didn't they call dad?), he answered the phone; "This is Dean Winchester."
"Hey Dean, its Sam, look man I'm sorry to bother you but we have a little problem. I got detention after school and there isn't a way to get out of it."
"What do you mean we have a problem? From the sounds of it you're the one with the problem. What happened anyway?"
"I was thinking about having to go with you and helping dad's friend instead of being able to go with Allison to the cabin and got caught daydreaming. My French teacher has a real issue with kids not paying attention in class so he gave me detention. Dean, I have to go. I have to. If I skip out of it, I could end up suspended; that could affect my graduating, even keep me from going to Prom," Sam explained hoping that his voice conveyed the fact that he had his patented puppy eyes working.
"Yeah, well Sammy, if you're late meeting dad you'll get a lot worse than suspended. I guess you need to decide what you'd rather suffer…..the wrath of dad or a suspension from school."
"Dean! Please," Sam pleaded, "Look man I don't want to get you into more trouble than you're already in, but please. I can't miss the dance or graduation, and I can't have dad getting anymore pissed at me….please, Dean, please help me."
Dean ran his hand down his face, his eyes falling to the picture of the murdered family and the two brothers, smiling with their arms wrapped around each other. He drew in a deep breath and replied, "Alright, Sammy, calm down. I'll think of something, but you're gonna owe me." Dean reached up and touched his bruised cheek, "You're gonna owe me big."
Sam let out a sigh of relief, "Sure Dean, no problem. Thanks man." Sam hung up the phone and headed back to the cafeteria, if he was lucky he could grab a quick bite before lunch was over and he had to head out to his afternoon classes.
Dean flipped the lid to his phone closed, "Damn it Sammy," he said then he flipped the phone open and dialed their dad's number, "Well, here goes nothing." Dean waited while the phone rang, trepidation building in his stomach. His heart stopped when he heard his dad pick up on the other end. Swallowing the lump of fear that had built in his throat he managed to say, "Hey dad, it's me Dean. I'm running a little late. I lost track of time and have hit some traffic. I just wanted to let you know. I'll still get Sam from school, but we're gonna be an hour or so late."
Dean's face went pale, "I'm sorry, sir. I know. I understand. No, you're right. I should have left when you told me to. Yes, I'll try to get home, sooner. I just need to follow up on this one thing. I won't. I promise. No. it's alright. Sam can hang out in the library until I get there. That'll make him happy. Yes, sir." Dean ended the call with his dad; his hand trembled as he stuffed his cell into his jeans pocket. Touching his bruised cheek, yet again, he hauntingly said, "Yeah, Sammy you owe me big for this."
Dean alternated between chewing on his finger nails and nervously tapping the steering wheel as he sat waiting for Sam in the high school's parking lot. Sam was already five minutes later than he should have been.
"Damn it Sam, come on, dad's already pissed enough," Dean huffed out as he smacked the steering wheel. After five more minutes of staring at the school's entrance and not seeing Sam, Dean opened the door to his car and climbed out; his frustrations got the better of him and he slammed the door closed behind him.
He cringed, turned and tenderly placed his hands on the sun warmed metal of his car. "Sorry, baby," he lovingly whispered, "didn't mean to take it out on you. I guess we'll just add that to the growing list of things Sammy owes me for." Dean gave his favorite girl a gentle pat then headed into the school to find his errant brother.
Sam sat at the library table his books packed away and watched the clock as it ticked down the final few seconds of detention. The clock turned to read four on the dot and he stood with the others to leave. He followed the line out of the library to find himself being stopped by Mr. Franklin's hand on his arm. "Sam can I have a moment please," Mr. Franklin asked.
Sam looked back at the clock and shook his head, "Mr. Franklin, I really have to get going. My brother's waiting for me and our dad is waiting for us. We really need to get home. Can't this wait until Monday?"
"Sam, I wish it could, but to be honest I've grown very concerned about you. You seem much more distracted lately in class. Your work hasn't suffered, you are still at the top of your class, but you're not as focused as you usually are. I've let it slide for a few days, but today was the worst it's been. Is everything ok at home?" Mr. Franklin detected Sam's reaction to his question so he continued on, "I noticed your lip was split today and it hasn't been the first time I've noticed something like this. Sam, there's no reason to be afraid or embarrassed to talk to someone about what's going on; if you need help I want to let you know all you have to do is ask. You have a bright future ahead of you; don't let fear or embarrassment hold you back."
Sam stood, staring, slack-jawed as he listened to his teacher. He knows; he knows and even though Sam wanted to tell him the truth he lied like always, "Mr. Franklin, really everything is alright. My brother and I like to play football, we're both really competitive and most of the time we get a little rough; you know take things a little too far. You should see him." Sam sighed; he could tell by the way Mr. Franklin was looking at him that he didn't believe him, "Seriously, there's nothing to be concerned about. I'm not keeping anything from you. I'm more out of it now because, well because my dad planned this trip out of town for this weekend and I wanted to stay and hang out with my friends. Nothing more than that; I promise. Ok? Look I really need to get going I'm already late."
Mr. Franklin nodded. "Alright," he said, even though he didn't believe Sam explanation, "I expect you to be ready to pay attention on Monday, no more daydreaming, understand?"
Sam nodded, "Yes, sir."
Dean, who had been eavesdropping in on his brother's conversation, turned and quickly headed back to his car, he didn't want Sam to know he had been listening in. He slid back onto the driver's side of the front seat and waited for Sam. He watched as his little brother walked towards the car, with his head down and his shoulder's slumped.
Sam slid into the passenger's side of the front seat. "Sorry, Dean, Mr. Franklin wanted to talk to me. I tried to tell him I had to leave but he wouldn't listen," Sam quietly said, "So just how mad is dad?"
Dean took a close look at his brother and mentally kicked himself; he couldn't believe that he hadn't noticed his brother's lip, it was hard to miss. 'That bastard,' he thought, 'he hit Sammy.' Shaking his head, Dean started the car. "Don't worry about dad, Sam, it's covered," taking a deep breath to steady the anger he felt growing over his dad having hit Sam, Dean asked, "Uh, Sam, hey man what happened to your mouth? That's a pretty nasty split you got there. You go and get mouthy with the wrong person?"
"Uhm, no, I was getting a drink out of one the water fountains and a group of kids walked by, they were horsing around, and one of them got pushed into me and I ended up hitting my face hard on the spout. It's not that bad. It's not," Sam huffed at the look his brother gave him, "You just worry too much."
"Yeah, whatever," Dean replied as he put the car in drive, pulled out of the parking lot and headed home.