Sorry for the wait!


"God, I can't believe this," Dean groused. He was sitting in the principal's office along with Sam, Breck, Beau, Billy, Dallas, Lana, and Chloe. "Dad's missing and here we are, stuck here in this in' place."

"Dean!" The secretary reprimanded as she looked up from her typing at Dean's language. "Don't you think you're already in enough trouble?"

Dean rolled his eyes but didn't answer because of the look Sam shot him from the seat next to him. "I bet Missouri's here and waiting at the motel. Can we hurry this up?" he asked the secretary impatiently, "We've got places to go."

Sam groaned. "Dean, you're not helping this go any faster."

The principal finally exited his office in the company of an all black clad sullen looking boy. "Remember, next time, expulsion and summer school, Reese," he reminded.

When the boy passed the eight waiting students, Dean gave him an irate loaded glare. Sam was surprised the boy didn't drop dead, but the dark haired boy just answered with a scowl of his own.

The eight filed into the principal's office, Dean leading the way with Sam and the girls right behind him. Breck, Beau, and Billy dragged their heels and entered the room as if with dread.

"What have we here? Breckenridge, Beauregard, Billy, and Dallas in for fighting again? Against the two new boys no less? Have you not been warned already? Let's see…" the principal's voice trailed off as he flipped through their individual files. "You've each been in here for fighting two times already and been suspended each time. What are we going to do with you four? I think, you, Dallas, need to find some new best friends. This friendship has come to nothing but trouble." Dallas looked at the ground but didn't say anything.

"And you, Winchesters. Not even been here a week but fighting already."

"We were provoked," Dean said angrily and Sam shot him another look to shut up.

"Even if you were provoked, Mr. Winchester, you shouldn't have fought. You could have ignored them and told a teacher. Both of you," he said, looking down his glasses at Sam. Sam looked down, embarrassed. "I'm sure many of your teachers at all those wonderful schools would have said the same thing." At this, both Dean and Sam looked up with twin startled looks on their faces. "Now, would you like to tell me what Billy said that could possibly have caused you, Sam, to jump on and punch Billy here in the first place?" Sam looked at the ground but didn't answer. "You look like you're a good kid, just under the influence of your big brother. Let's see…" he opened up Sam's file. "Yep, just as I thought. Straight A's in all the schools you've been to. But, Dean, on the other hand, his average is a C. Sam, if you'll just come out from under your brother's shadow, you can become anything you want. Don't follow Dean's example." At these words, Dean's green eyes flashed and Sam's hazel ones became unreadable to everyone in the room except Dean. "I'm just saying this for your own good, Sam.

"For the rest of you… Breck, Beau, and Billy, you're expelled. I'll call your father. No, don't look so surprised. You've been warned many times. Chloe, Lana, as I understand, you had nothing to do with the fight, so you're free to go." The girls exchanged a glance.

"We'll wait for Dean and Sam," Lana said as they made no move to get up.

"Suit yourself. Dean and Sam, you're suspended for the day."

"Yes! Finally. Let's go, Sam," Dean said, rising from the hard chair.

"Wait. Since you seem to not care about being suspended, Mr. Winchester, you have detention for the rest of the week when you get back tomorrow. Sam, you're just suspended for the day."

"What?! That's not fair," Dean said heatedly.

"If you argue with me any more, I will add another day to your punishment."

Dean's eyes flashed and his jaw clenched but he didn't say anything as to the unfairness of his punishment. It wouldn't matter anyway. They'd be gone in a couple of days, hopefully before the week ended. "Let's go, Sam," he said, rising again.

"Sit back down, Mr. Winchester. You're not done yet. What's your mother's number? She needs to come and sign you out to take you home."

Everyone but the principal groaned at his error. Sam slid down in his chair. Dean said coolly and bluntly, "Our mom's dead."

The principal looked startled but quickly realized a number of things. "Well, then, your dad," he said, hoping they had a dad and he hadn't made another mistake.

"He's busy."

"Too busy to pick his children up from school when they're suspended?" He realized that too was a mistake when he saw the brief flashes of pain across both Winchesters' faces. Although they quickly covered their pain up, the principal, Chloe, and Lana didn't miss it.

Dean recited a phone number. "That's his cell. He probably won't answer though. He turns it off when he's working."

"And what exactly does your father do?"

Dean and Sam exchanged a glance that wasn't missed by the occupants of the room. "Oh yeah, I just remembered," Dean said, the inflection of his voice just believable. "Dad has a meeting today. He left yesterday night. He usually leaves for work early in the morning before we're up anyway, so I guess I forgot." Sam nodded in agreement.

"Well then, I'll just have to let you go. Just make sure you go straight home and don't do anything else."

"We will," Sam said quietly. It was the first thing he'd said since they'd entered the office. So assured, the principal turned to face Breck, Beau, and Billy as the four filed out of the room.

"Well, good luck finding your dad," Lana said once they were outside.

"Yeah, call us if he's still not there when you get home. We can help you look. This isn't new to Smallville, so don't worry. He'll be okay."

Dean nodded but all three of them could tell that his mind was a million miles away already, thinking of things to do to find his dad.

"Thanks," Sam said shyly.

The girls smiled at him. "No problem."

Dean strode to the parking lot rapidly and Sam had trouble keeping up with his brother's long legs. They reached the Impala and Sam had barely closed his door when Dean floored the accelerator and left the parking lot with a squealing of his tires. Sam hoped the principal wouldn't look out to see how Dean was driving.

"What do we do if Dad's not at home?" Sam asked.

"I don't know, Sam. Hopefully Missouri will be there and can help us find him by sensing him."

"What if she can't find him either?"

"Sam!"

"Sorry." The rest of the ride home was made in silence, each brother lost in his own thoughts.

When they reached the motel, Sam's face fell. John's distinct black truck wasn't parked anywhere in the parking lot and neither was Missouri's car. Dean took a look at his brother and slung an arm around him. Although he hated "chick flick moments," his little brother looked like an injured puppy and he couldn't bear the look on his face. Sam relaxed into the contact and followed his brother into the dingy motel room. "Don't worry, Sam. We're gonna find him."

"What if a hunt went wrong and he's lying somewhere hurt?" Sam asked, troubled.

"This isn't the first time he's gone missing on a hunt."

"It's the first time in Smallville."

"So?"

"Haven't you heard all the rumors or read the paper? This isn't your ordinary town, Dean."

"Are you going to believe rumors?"

"Chloe and Lana believed them and besides, Lana's parents were killed by the meteor shower."

"So? That just means this is a meteor town. It doesn't mean there are "meteor freaks. There's no proof."

Sam sighed. It wouldn't make a difference if he challenged his brother's "proof and evidence theory." He'd just get the same lecture again.

"We've got to find Missouri first. I'm gonna call her. Hold on." Dean took his arm off Sam and pulled out his cell phone from his pocket. Scrolling down his list of contacts, he selected Missouri and pressed green.

Missouri immediately picked up. "Dean, honey, I'm really sorry. My car fell into a ditch. Some guys ran me off the road."

"How long's it gonna take you to come here?"

"I'm waiting for the tow truck right now but it's going to take awhile. I've been trying but I haven't been able to sense your father. I think the best thing for you to do is to start driving around and looking for him by yourselves."

Dean hid his disappointment as he ended the call. Sam's face looked so hopeful. He stayed strong for Sam, drawing courage from Sam's faith and belief in him. "Missouri's car fell into a ditch. Some bastards ran her off the road." Sam's face fell even more. "She couldn't sense Dad anyway. C'mon, we're going to start looking for him around town. Go get his journal and check if it says anything about where he went. I gotta take a leak."

Sam ran over to the table where John's journal was lying. Picking it up, he flipped its worn pages to the end.

"Find anything?" Dean asked, having returned from the tiny bathroom.

"Dude, that's gross."

"What is?" Dean had a quizzical look on his face.

"You didn't wash your hands. Do you know how many germs you can get?"

"Look geek," Dean started, "I have never gotten sick from not washing my hands before and I sure as hell ain't gonna start now. Do you always listen when people go to the bathroom, pervert?"

"How do you know you've never gotten sick from not washing your hands before?" Sam asked logically. "And I don't always listen when people go to the bathroom. These walls are so thin; you can hear everything that goes on in the next room."

Dean made a face. "That's not new but have you always been able to listen when I go to the bathroom?"

"Anyway, Dad's journal doesn't say anything about where he went."

"Great. Okay, let's hit the bars around town, then."

"Okay," Sam said unreadily. "I wish Missouri or anyone else was here though."

"You know we can't call anybody else, Sam. We're not sure that Dad's actually hurt."

Sam sniffed. "Fine, let's go."

They drove around town, Dean flashing a fake id at all the bars. Sam watched from the car. "If only the principal knew what we were doing right now," he thought ruefully. Dean came back and slid into the driver's seat again. "That was the last bar around here. Dad wasn't there and nobody has seen him or knows where he is."

"What do we do now?" Sam asked.

A loud rock song answered him. Dean pulled his phone out of his pocket. The caller id was unrecognizable.

"Hello?"

"Dean, this is Chloe. Did you find your dad yet?"

"No. We've hit all the bars around here but we still can't find him," Dean answered, deciding to be honest to her. She didn't question that they'd checked the bars. She was also from Smallville and could help them look.

"Okay, well, school's over. Do you want us to help you look?"

"Yeah, I guess so. That would be great."

"Okay. Do you know where the Talon is?"

"Yeah, I think so. That's the coffeehouse, right?"

"Yeah. I'll meet you there."

"Okay, bye."

"Bye."

Dean ended the call and turned to his brother. "Chloe and Lana are going to help us look, okay?"

Sam nodded. "They're nice."

"Nice and hot, especially Lana."

"They're both nice. How can you think about girls when Dad's missing?"

"You've got a lot to learn, little brother. Besides, Dad could just be caught up in a hunt or something."

"Come on! Do you really believe that?" Sam asked, exasperatedly. "Why can't you just admit that you think something's wrong?"

Dean was silent for a minute. "Okay, I admit that I think something's wrong but we don't know what yet. Dad might not be hurt."

"Fine. Who forgot to clear our records anyway?"

"Oh yeah. It doesn't matter. We'll be gone soon, anyway. As soon as we find Dad. The principal totally had it in for me. It wasn't my fault."

"He hated you," Sam agreed. "But you shouldn't have fought."

"And what about you, Mr. Perfect?"

Sam's face clouded over. "He provoked me."

"Dude, I know that. What'd he say? What made Sam Winchester, a.k.a Mr. Perfect, fight him?"

Sam didn't answer.

"You can tell me, you know. I'm your big brother. I saved you from bullies, monsters, spirits, werewolves, black dogs, Dad's wrath… I've even changed your diaper."

"Ewww!" Sam exclaimed, looking repulsed.

"What?" Dean asked nonchalantly. "It's true."

Sam shook his head.

"Fine, don't tell me. I'll guess. Did he say that you were a geek? No, I tell you that all the time, so you already know. Did he say that you would never have any luck with the ladies? Did he make fun of me, saying something that made you feel like you had to defend your hero?"

Sam punched him in the shoulder.

"Oh, did he say you hit like a girl?"

Sam hit him again, this time harder, in the stomach. Dean doubled over. "Oomph. Okay, he didn't say you hit like a girl."

"He said something about Mom," Sam said quietly. This shut Dean up and he sat up, still clutching his sore stomach.

"Okay, well, I see why you had to hit him. I'll shut up now. I thought he said you were a girl in your past life."

Sam hit him again. "Oww! Quit hitting me, Sam. You're going to leave a bruise." Suddenly, Dean smiled slyly. "But then again, chicks dig scars." Sam rolled his eyes. "Hey Sammy, did you leave a scar on my lovely chest?" Dean asked, lifting his leather jacket and shirt to look for bruises.

"Yeah," Sam answered, "you have a scar right there." He pointed.

"Where?" Dean asked, looking down.

"Right there," Sam walked over to Dean and poked the pinkish, tender looking spot in the middle of Dean's flat stomach hard.

"Oww!" Dean screeched. "What was that for?"

"Serves you right," Sam laughed, making a run for the Impala.

"God Sam, I'm gonna get you!" Dean followed his brother, mock angrily. Inwardly though, he was glad that he'd made Sam laugh. It was the first time he'd laughed since they'd arrived at Smallville. His stomach would get better. Next to all the other assorted scars and bruises he possessed, it was nothing.

Dean and Sam arrived at the Talon. Chloe and Lana were already there, waiting for them. As Dean led the way to the girls' table, he stiffened.

"What?" Sam asked him when he stopped.

"What?" Clark asked at the same time from the table. "You didn't say anything about them," he said indignantly.

"Clark, their dad's missing and you know as good as any all that could've happened to him. You are going to stay right here and help us find him. As soon as we find him, you can go," Chloe said. "I know you have nothing else to do today."

"Why do you need me to help find their dad?" Clark asked sullenly.

"Clark, we could use as much help as we can get, and besides, with you, we could find him a lot faster," Lana said, not knowing how much help Clark could actually give.

"Fine."

"We don't need his help," Dean said.

"Yeah," Clark agreed. It was one thing they could agree on.

"C'mon, guys. Dean, let Clark help. Things will go a lot faster, I promise," Chloe pleaded.

"Fine," Dean said, not looking too happy at this change in events.

"Okay, let's split up," Chloe said, designating a part of Smallville for each person to search. "We'll meet back here in an hour." The five went to their respective cars to start the search.

An hour later, the teens were back at the Talon.

"Okay, so we have one more place to look," Chloe said, surveying the map, "Crater Lake."


I forgot who the principal was in the fourth season. I think Kwan was in the first 2 seasons or something but I don't know who came after him.

If you want a big, juicy spoiler for the next chapter, request one in your review.