Author: Erileen PM
Each night, Dean helps Sam with his homework. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 1,888 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 3 - Published: 10-25-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3214253
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural in any way, shape, or form
Author's Note: I've realized that running is like writing. When you run consistently things are fine, but if you take a long break from running it becomes increasingly harder and harder to put your sneakers back on and start running again. And, even when you start running again, you aren't nearly as efficent because you haven't been practicing and conditioning. When you stop writing for a while and you come back to it, words seem to get stuck in some sort of deep crevice in your head and many never quite make it out to the paper. This is the first story that I've written for a while that I've felt it decent enough to post, but criticism is still greatly appreciated, as always
Warnings: Some light language
On Monday nights, he helps Sam with geography.
He's learning the capitals and locations of all the Spanish speaking countries. Montevideo is Uruguay's capital; Asuncion is Paraguay's; Spain's is Madrid. He has to be able to fill in the locations of all the countries on a blank map come next week, and he's already stressing about it.
He makes a practice sheet for Sam, tracing North America and South America from a history textbook, sketching the bumpy borders of each country. He takes them to the library and makes ten photocopies for five cents apiece, telling his brother that he can practice on those.
By the end of the week, Sam is filling them in like a pro.
On Tuesday nights, he helps Sam with physics.
Physics never really made sense to Dean. Teachers say that if a student is good at math, he should also be good at physics. But math makes sense; math has a purpose. Physics doesn't. Who cares about the speed of an object? In his eyes, if it's faster than you you're probably screwed and if it's slower than you you're going to be okay unless it's hurling something sharp at you head.
But he helps Sam anyway. He's working with the Law of Momentum Conservation, or Newton's Third Law – that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. "It doesn't make sense," he groans.
He sits on the little shabby sofa, taking the heavy, aged textbook from his brother and pulling it into his own lap. His brow crinkles for a moment in confusion, and then softens in understanding. "Okay," he says, "imagine you're facing down a spirit, okay? And this thing is really pissed, throwing stuff all over the room and it already got you on your arm because you weren't paying attention, but you're hyped because in that moment you weren't paying attention you managed to grab an iron club. You with me?"
Sam nods his head uncertainly. "How does this have to do with physics?"
"Give me a second. So you're facing the thing down and it's holding a dagger and coming closer to you –"
"Why a dagger?"
"Because she died trying to defend herself from her raging husband with a rusty dagger, okay? So anyway she's coming nearer and nearer to you with the dagger and you're skittering away, backing yourself into a corner so that it thinks it has you trapped –"
"Dean, come on, just get on with it!"
"Right. So you swing the club through the spirit and she disappears. Now, why didn't the club just stop when it hit her arm?"
Sam thinks for a while, and even once he speaks the words come out slowly. "Because…because there was nothing to block it with? Because the girl isn't solid?"
"Exactly. Now if she were solid, there would have been something for the club to hit and have a reaction to, and it wouldn't have swept right through and repelled her and then she would have just beheaded you right then and there."
"How the hell did that help me with physics?"
"Honestly? I can't remember anymore."
On Wednesday nights, he helps Sam with English.
Sam's reading The Little Prince. When he hears this, he scoffs and shakes his head. "That entire thing is bullshit," he says, pointing to the novel.
Sam, however, protests, picking the battered book up and stroking it gently along the spine. "Come on, it's not that bad!"
"The entire thing is those stupid symbolic things that I could never wrap my head around. Honestly, why can't stupid writers just come out and say what they want to say instead of making you hunt around for it?"
"Because," Sam counters, "writers can't just come out and say things, or there wouldn't be a story. You can't just take what's written at face value; you have to really look for it."
He raises an eyebrow. "Alright, Smart Ass, what does this friggen book say to you?" He swipes the novel from his younger brother, pinching it between his right index finger and his thumb like some sort of disgusting filth that he can barely bear to touch.
Sam considers for a minute before he speaks – "Loneliness. It says what a terrible thing it is to be lonely. Like, when The Little Prince comes down to Earth, he doesn't really want to be there but he has an important role to fulfill in the life of the Pilot. He is lonely, but he does his job, and he does it well. By the end of the book he really means something to the Pilot, because he is real to the Pilot."
Dean drops the book slowly to the table and let out a low whistle. He had read that book nearly a hundred times, but never had he been able to find such a meaning in it as Sam had.
That night, after his brother is asleep, he steals the book from his brother's backpack and reads it again, squinting in the dim moonlight, searching for a hidden meaning.
It is just as weird as it has been the previous hundred times he read it.
On Thursday nights, he helps Sam with math.
Now, math he understands. Math has a purpose. In math, there are no shades of grey. There is black and white; right and wrong; do or die. In math you don't have to interpret a thing, just use what you are given to solve something. He can do that.
Sam's doing proofs, and he is nearly giddy in delight. There's nothing that he loves more than a good proof. He can't help but get mildly infuriated when he sees how slowly Sam does his proofs, and it takes all of the self control that he has not to rip the pencil out of his brother's hand and do it himself.
Prove: Angle ABC is congruent to angle DEF.
"Come on, Sammy, just look at the givens!"
Sam groans in frustration, yanking on the ends of his hair. "They don't help me!"
Dean rolls his eyes. "Come on, Sam, don't be a moron, of course they help you." He's sitting on the floor next to his brother, and leans up against the sofa. "Say that you're in a hunt and you only have a revolver with two bullets left. Now, it's not exactly the best of resources but you still use it, right?"
Sam nods. "Well, yeah. It's better than walking in with nothing."
"Exactly. So even if the 'givens' aren't great, you still use them because you can't solve a proof with nothing. Read them again."
Sam sighs and reads. "Segment AB is perpendicular to segment BC; segment DE is perpendicular to segment EF." He throws his hands up in the air. "See? Nothing!"
Dean rolls his eyes and tries to stifle the groan he feels rumbling in his throat. "Come on kiddo, think about it for a second. If two segments are perpendicular, what do they intersect at?"
Sam shrugs, and Dean scowls. "Come on, you didn't even give it half a second of thought. Use the thing on your neck a more than a hatrack!"
Sam sighs and finally punches out – "An…angle?"
"Good, but what kind of angle?"
"A right angle?"
"Yeah, so angle ABC and angle DEF are both…?"
"And if two angles are both right angles, what are their measures?"
"So we can conclude…?"
"That…that…" Sam feels like his brain is about to explode before he finally extracts the information from the innermost corners of his head. "That Angle ABC is congruent to Angle DEF?"
Dean thumps his brother on the back. "Good job, kiddo."
Sam smiles as he copies down the answer. The praise from his older brother is far more satisfying than any right answer he could ever ascertain.
On Friday night, Dean looks through the mail…
He sits on his bed, eyes bugging out of his head. A ripped envelope from the SAT College Board lays ripped and forlorn on the bedroom floor.
Dean whistles in spite of himself, and shakes his head.
How the hell did that happen?
Doors in his brain are suddenly swinging open. College. Good college, for crying out loud. The kind of college that usually privileged rich kids only got into.
For a split second he thinks of nothing but hot girls, fraternities, the hardest math course he can find, and his one midnight viewing of Animal House
The thought of a fraternity quickly dashes away from his mind.
Suddenly he hears the front door open and close. "Dean?" a voice calls. He quickly stuffs the letter back into the envelope and pushes it into the first space he sees – his pillowcase.
"In here, Sammy!" he calls.
Sam enters the little bedroom, smiling and waving a test paper. "I got a 92 on my math quiz!"
Dean forces his face into a grin. "That's great, kiddo." He pushes himself up off the bed and reaches for his jacket. "How about we go get some pizza to celebrate?"
Sam nods, and then points to his brother's pillowcase. "What's that?" He's reaching out for the envelope when Dean intercepts his brother's hand.
"Uh-uh-uh. Not for you, kiddo."
"Come on, I'm almost twelve!"
"Exactly. I'll tell you once you're eighteen."
"Why not now?"
Dean waggles his eyebrows up and down.
Sam's face suddenly morphs into understanding. "Dean, that is disgusting."
Dean pushes a laugh out from somewhere inside of him and thumps his brother on the back. "Come on, go grab a sweatshirt and we'll get some dinner." His brother heads off to track down his favorite sweatshirt while Dean picks up his car keys, spinning them slowly on his index finger.
And, as slowly as the revolution of a car keys around his finger, Dean realizes that he will never find any cute college girls.
He will never join a fraternity.
And, above all…he will never take the hardest math course that he can find.