For Dean's first day of school, no one could tell who was more worried.
John had been teaching him more and more about the supernatural. Dean knew about some monsters, and now he understood where his dad went all the time. And he was scared. He was so, so, scared.
John had thought that if he taught Dean simple stuff to protect himself, it would be easier to send him off to school. He was wrong. He was still worried about what might happen to him out there, unprotected. He was still worried about him getting taken or hurt. But he was also worried about Sammy.
Sammy didn't understand why Dean had to leave, but he certainty knew what was happening. "No, Dee, stay! Stay!" He bawled as Dean climbed out of the car. Up until then, Dean had stayed by his side practically every minute of every day, and he didn't want to be separated.
Dean didn't want to go, either. Not because he didn't want to go to school and meet new kids. But he didn't want to leave Sammy. His father loved his brother, and he knew that, but he didn't understand how to take care of him right. Dean knew exactly when Sam would want to eat and sleep and play. He knew the best songs to hum to him when he wakes up in the middle of a nap. He knew how to get Sam to eat all the yucky green stuff. Dean had been doing all that for two years, and he didn't want to stop now.
Back at home, Dean brought up the idea for him to stay home another year, which John immediately shot down. "Dean, you have to go. I already kept you out of school last year when you were five. But you're six now, buddy. You're a big boy. You can do this."
Can you do this? Dean didn't ask. He knew what his father's answer would be, and he knew what the right answer was. There was no point in arguing with his father, anyway. He would have to stick I out, and go to school.
Dean thought that everything at school was too much.
It was too loud, too big, and too crowded. There were so many kids it was a little overwhelming.
His teacher was Mrs. Evans, a young woman with curly red hair and big glasses. She had a big smile and a loud laugh, and she was really nice.
"What's your name?" Mrs. Evans asked, bending down to speak to him at face level.
Dean stared at her for a moment. "Dean." He answered, simply.
"Hello, Dean. I'm Mrs. Evans." She shook his hand, and Dean noticed she had a much more gentle handshake than any of the hunters he had met. They would shake your hand so hard it almost hurt. "Why don't you sit over there, next to Bryan."
Bryan ended up being the best thing to happen to Dean all day.
Bryan was a year younger than Dean. He had dark skin and dark eyes and wore a striped blue/white t-shirt. Bryan had an older brother that was in 3rd grade, so Bryan knew all about school. "If you need help, you can ask me," Bryan proclaimed to his whole table, which included Dean and two girls named Gracie and Katie.
"Does that mean we're friends?" Dean asked.
"Duh. Let's color."
The first half of the day was really simple. It was mostly for the kids to get to know each other, and Dean loved it. He hadn't really seen much of other kids for the past two years, and now there were 18 other kids his age, eager to play and talk with him. He even met a girl named Stacy, who's mother also passed away when she was little. "But then my daddy got married again, so now I have a new mommy," Stacy explained. "She's not as pretty as my real mommy, though. Too much make-up. What about your daddy? Is he married?"
Dean shook his head. "No, he works a lot." Dean explained.
Stacy nodded. "Good."
Noon was lunch. John packed Dean's lunch this morning, which contained a peanut butter sandwich, some crackers, and a water bottle.
"Is that peanut butter?" Bryan asked eagerly. Dean nodded. "I'll trade you for this Twinkie!"
The second half of the day was devoted to actual learning. They got a bunch of colorful worksheets with big letters on them to take home and work on, and Mrs. Evans promised stickers for everyone who finished them by Thursday.
"We have to do all of these by Thursday?" Dean leaned over to speak to Bryan.
"Yup. My brother has a bunch more. But it's okay. He can help me do mine, so I'll be done really fast."
Dean frowned. He didn't have a big brother to help him do his worksheets.
After school, Mrs. Evans had everyone line up, and she took them out to the buses, first. Once all the bus riders were on their bus, she took the rest of the kids to the car rider line. "Do you see your dad, Dean?" Mrs. Evans asked as she watched the other kids run off to their parents.
Dean looked around, squinting. He was about to answer no when he heard a squeal come from his left. "Dee!"
Dean spun to see his dad walking up with Sammy in his arms. Sam was squirming, trying to get down as fast as possible, so his dad let him go. Sammy was a confident walker at this point, but he was still a bit wobbly sometimes. Dean ran over to catch him. "Hiya, Sammy! Did you miss me?"
Sam nodded real fast. "I miss you!"
Mrs. Evans smiled and walked up to the family. "You must be Mr. Winchester. I'm Mrs. Evans, Dean's teacher. He's a real bright kid, you know."
John nodded, looking down at his boys. "Oh, I know. You should see his brother. He's really gonna be something, I can tell."
Dean picked Sam up, and knew that his dad was right. His little brother was going to be nothing less than a genius. Not only was he super smart, but he had a big brother, just like Bryan, to teach him everything he needed to know.
So maybe Dean didn't have a big brother to help him with his worksheets or help him on his first day of school, but he was going to be the best big brother ever to little Sammy.