Not mine. Not making any money from this. Just playing

Anyone watching would have thought that he was paying strict attention to the girl he had been talking to for the past 5 minutes. She had seen him pull the car up to the curb, get out, walk around to the passenger side and lean against the front fender of the car. As she walked past, he gave her one of his patented smiles and casually said "Hi." That was all it took for her to stop and talk to him.

He wasn't going to complain Talking to a pretty girl always beat waiting around by himself. He was almost positive she had said her name was Darlene and she was 16. 'Okay, that's cool.' She was on her way to the library to finish some sort of English project. 'I think that's where she said she was going.'

He had really stopped paying attention to her the moment he saw Sam emerge from the school. Sam had come through the doors with a boy that Dean recognized as a kid who had befriended his brother shortly after they moved into town. But what had really caught Dean's attention was the kid behind them who appeared to be giving Sam a hard time. Dean watched as the boy purposely stepped on the heel of Sam's shoe, causing it to slip off his heel. Sam tried to maneuver his foot back into his shoe by pushing his heel into it, but the boy behind him used this opportunity to push Sam forward into his friend and it was all that Sam could do to not lose his balance and drop his schoolbooks.

Dean was about to head over to his brother when he saw Sam turn and confront the boy. He decided to wait and see what would transpire, knowing that Sam could probably defend himself. So Dean continued talking to Darlene. 'What was she saying again?' He just gave her another smile and hoped that she wouldn't notice that he hadn't been paying attention.

Dean saw Sam turn around and ask the other boy to leave him alone. 'Oh, come on Sammy. Leave me alone? Like that'll work. You're just asking him to keep picking on you.'

The bully just laughed at Sam and gave him another push backwards causing Sam to collide with his friend once again. Both boys moved a little farther away from the kid tormenting them.

'Come on Sam. Stand up for yourself. Don't let him push you around'

"Look Rick, I don't know what your problem is, but Jake and I are just going home. I don't know what we did to upset you, but whatever it was, I'm sorry," Sam said to the bully as he slowly backed away and tried to catch up to Jake.

"I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE DID. I'M SORRY" mocked the other boy as he advanced towards Sam once again. "I'll tell you what you did. You showed up in my face is what you did."

"Look, we're just going home. We'll be outta your face in a minute, if you just leave us alone"

'Aww, Sammy. You're not helping yourself.'

"Oh! Well…you're gonna go home to Mommy. Just like that. Nah! I don't think so," replied Rick with a menacing look on his face. He leaned in towards Sam and Dean could see the boy's hand form into a fist.

'Okay. That's enough.' Dean pushed himself away from the car without even a second thought about Darlene. "Sammy!" he called as he walked towards his brother and the boy tormenting him. "Got a problem?"

Sam looked quickly at Dean and then turned back to Rick. "No. No problem. Just going to Jake's house."

Dean watched as Rick looked over at him and the realization dawned on the younger boy that he would not be bullying Sam any more that day. Rick slowly retreated towards a group of teenagers that had materialized behind him hoping to watch a fight between Rick and the new kid at school.

"Well, come on. I'll give you both a lift to Jake's."

Sam gave one last look at Rick and then both he and Jake headed towards Dean. As they got closer, Dean noticed the scowl on his brother's face. "What's the matter with you?"

Sam walked right into Dean, hitting him with his left shoulder, which caused Dean to take a step backwards. "You can be such a jerk sometimes, Dean. I wish you'd just leave me alone!" and he continued walking past Dean and headed down the street with Jake.

For a moment, Dean simply stood and watched his brother walk away with his friend. Then he turned to see what Rick and his group of friends were doing, but they had headed off in the opposite direction. Dean set off towards the Impala and noticed that Darlene was still waiting beside the car. He gave her a quick smile, said "Later" and climbed into the car. He didn't have either the time or inclination to try to impress her right now. He just wanted to find out why Sam was so upset with him. He pulled the car onto the road in the direction that Sam and Jake had gone.

As he neared the two boys, Dean slowed down and leaned over the passenger seat so he could talk to Sam. "Hey Kiddo. What did you mean that you wish I'd just leave you alone? To get your ass kicked? You didn't seem to be doing so well back there, ya know."

Without slowing his pace or looking at his brother, Sam simply replied, "I was doing just fine until you showed up. Maybe I just didn't want to fight. Fighting's not always the answer you know."

"Maybe not - but when the other guy seems to be intent on kickin' your ass, telling him you're sorry isn't much of a solution either," shot back Dean, who was becoming increasingly annoyed with his little brother. "Maybe if you'd stood up for yourself, I wouldn't have had to jump in to save your scrawny ass."

That seemed to get Sam's attention and he stopped and went over to the car. He bent down to look into the window at his brother. "Save my scrawny ass? I can defend myself you know. I don't need you always jumping in to save me. Why don't you just get lost? I'm tired of you hanging around me!" He stood up and moved back to where Jake was waiting on the sidewalk. Together the two boys continued walking until they came to Jake's house and they proceeded inside.

Dean sat in the car dumbfounded by his brother's attitude. What had he done wrong? He had tried to stay out of it until it looked like Sam was going to let this kid start pummeling him. What the hell had Sam wanted him to do? Just stand there and watch this kid beat the crap outta him?

After a few minutes, Dean pulled away and headed to the motel where they were currently staying. He screeched to the car to a halt right in front of the their room, threw it into park and got out of the car. He slammed the door shut with as much force as he could muster hoping to dispel some of his anger. As he entered the tiny motel room, Dean threw the car keys on the table that was just inside the door and very heavily set himself down in a chair across his father.

"What's wrong, Sport?" his father asked trying very hard to sound concerned and not simply exasperated with the antics of his 17 year-old son. It seemed Dean was always upset about something.

"Nothin'," was all that Dean bothered to offer to his father.

Not feeling like pressing the matter, John tried to change the subject. "Where's your brother?"

"He went to Jake's house," grumbled Dean.

"Are you picking him up later?"

"Why the fuck should I?" came the uncontrolled response as Dean finally looked at his father. "Let the little bastard look after himself. That's what he wants anyway."

"Dean," came the warning from John. "First off, you don't talk to me like that. And secondly, what the hell's eating you?"

Dean didn't answer but instead turned to look out the window. He didn't much care that he was pissing his father off; Sam had pissed him off and now he was supposed to act as if everything was okay.

"Dean. Answer me."

Dean looked over at his father and then just as quickly looked away. What was he supposed to say? 'Sam told me to fuck off and leave him alone after I stepped in to stop some kid from beating the crap outta him.' So instead, he shrugged his shoulders, said nothing and just looked back out the window.

Dean, I want to know what is going on," cautioned his father once again.

"Nothing's going on," countered Dean as he started to get up from the chair. His father's hand on his arm stopped him from leaving and the pressure being exerted his arm caused him to return to his seat. Still, he opted out of saying anything further and simply stared at the floor.

"Dammit, Dean," retorted John. "Tell me what happened, NOW."

Dean glanced over at his father and then let out a slow sigh. There was no sense getting into further trouble by taking his frustrations out on his father. "I stopped by Sammy's school to pick him up – like I'm supposed to. When he came out of the school, there was some kid behind him giving him a hard time. He pushed Sammy a couple of times before I walked up and asked if there was a problem. Sam got pissed off and told me to leave him alone. So I came home."

"You left Sam alone with this kid?" asked his father incredulously.

"No. The kid backed off and took off with his friends. And Sammy was with Jake. Besides I followed them to Jake's house before I came home."

"Did you try talking to him?"

"Yeah. Told me that he didn't need me saving his ass all the time and to get lost."

"Are you sure that's all that happened?" asked his father trying to make some sense of what might have transpired between his two sons.

Dean rolled his eyes. Why was his father questioning him? Hadn't he always looked after his younger brother? "Dad, that's all that happened. Some kid was giving him a hard time. I was gonna step in as soon as I saw them, but I waited to see what Sam did first. He knows how to fight. So I waited for him to start looking like he was going to stand up for himself, but he never did, Kept telling this kid he was sorry that he'd pissed him off. It wasn't until I was sure the kid was gonna haul off and punch him that I stepped in and then all I did was ask if there was a problem."

"But he hadn't actually hit your brother at that point?" asked John. "Maybe Sam would have defended himself once he realized the threat was real."

"Yeah?…and I was just supposed to stand there? Just stand there until after the kid smacked him?" responded Dean, obviously stressed with the way this conversation was going. "Sammy was still holding onto his schoolbooks and backing away from this kid. If I'd waited any longer, he'd have pummeled Sammy a few times before I'd have been able to reach them. Is that what you wanted me to do?"

"I'm just saying that maybe you should have waited to see how Sam was going to handle it before you stepped in." was the only explanation his father could offer.

"I did. And he didn't handle it. Just let this kid push him around. Next time I'll just let some kid beat the snot outta him," countered Dean. He got up from his chair and headed towards the door not wanting to stay in the same room with his father any longer. As he reached for the doorknob he turned, "Just don't expect me to keep looking outfor him if all you're gonna do is tell me I shouldn't get involved. If that's what you both want, I can stay out of all his problems. I got better things to do than babysit some stupid 13 year-old kid anyway."

Dean stormed out the door and jumped into his car. He heard his father call his name as the door shut behind him but he didn't bother to acknowledge him. He didn't understand why his father was giving him a hard time about this. He knew that he would have been in real trouble had he let the other kid hit Sam before he intervened and he also knew that, like it or not, Sam knew he was there and had counted on the fact that Dean wouldn't let anything happen to him.

So why were they both acting like he was the bad guy?