Their Own Devices - S.N. ficlet
disclaimer: I hate repeating myself…
love: In this case I don't mind so much.
"Come in and sit down Mr. Stuart…" Principal Drafke ushered Dean into his office then closed the door and instead of sitting behind his desk actually sat in a chair off to the side.
Dean looked around and settled himself stiffly in the chair, his green eyes hard and penetrating the deep brown one in front of him, he'd met the principal a couple weeks ago and got a good feeling from him. He seemed like he was the kind of man who genuinely liked kids.
"Mrs. Baxter told me what you told her… would you mind telling me precisely what you saw? Just so I can make sure there was no misunderstanding…" he invited.
Dean felt his lips curl into a sneer as he rose to his feet, his heart pounding in his 12 year old chest in much the same way he wanted to pound his fist into something. He took a breath and let it out hard and fast, "Sandy's dad called her over while we were playing kickball…"
"Sandy Harris right?" Principal Drafke asked.
"That's right… I guess he was bringing her lunch cause when I went over to her she had a lunch on the ground with her… but she went around to the drivers side and Teddy kicked the ball right into my face… I was at 3rd base but I caught it and he was out then it was our up… so I didn't really see everything…" he was trying to keep events straight, trying to give the principal a clear picture but it wasn't coming out quite right. He could tell by the look on the older man's face.
"Hold on a second…" the principal suggested and stepped out of the office, giving Dean a chance to take a deep breath and punch his hand a few times with his itching fist.
He forced himself to sit back down. Barely at the edge of the seat he sat perfectly straight, his hands clutching his knees, his eyes closed and his slender chest trembling as he forced himself to breathe deeper, to be still enough to relay the moment clearly.
I hope she stays there…yeah, there's no reason she'd leave, I did promise her… I'm also breaking that promise but like dad says… there are some times when breaking a promise is more important than keeping it. This is one of those times… and she doesn't have anyone to look after her… she doesn't have a big brother…how would I feel if it was Sammy and no one stepped up to help him? I'd be mad as hell… I wonder how his book report's going… ackh it's Sammy… he's probably got an A already… Dean smiled to himself and shook his head.
He heard the door open and startled, relieved when the principal returned with two cups of water, one for each of them.
"Thanks," Dean smiled tightly and sipped the cool liquid, his breathing seemed to slow and his eyes closed for just another moment as he gathered himself properly then set the cup on the desk blotter.
"Okay… so we were playing kickball… I was on 3rd base when Sandy's dad pulled up and waved her over. I saw her go from the passenger door to the driver side, I got distracted… I'm sorry… if I'd known I would've gone with her but I didn't know… I mean she always looks fine y'know?" he felt himself moving in the right track now as Principal Drafke nodded.
"Well… I'm last at bat so I look over to the car again and I don't see Sandy, then the car pulls away and she's on the ground… not sprawled or anything but not looking like she fell either… like she was pushed… so…" he shrugged awkwardly, even blushing a bit. He wasn't sure if it was because her name reminded him of his little brother, or if it was because she was just really cute and always had a smile for him, but he'd liked Sandy Harris the instant he'd met her, and what Dean Winchester aka Dean Stuart liked, he looked after.
"So you went over to see if she was okay?" the principal prompted.
Dean nodded, "Yeah… only she really wasn't…"
"How so Dean?" he asked somberly.
Dean nodded and swallowed, "Well I could tell someone hit her… it was fresh too cause it kept getting redder… right here…" he drew his finger along the upper ridge of his cheekbone, "but that wasn't the worst of it… now I didn't see much but it was enough… she was starting to cry but she didn't… you know her eyes were all full up… but right here…" he pulled down the neck of his t-shirt, "… right at her collarbone… I saw a big black bruise… I should've noticed it earlier since she was kinda favoring the left arm but I didn't… I should have but… it… I mean… I didn't know…" Dean felt his fury beginning to boil up once again. He'd seen enough abused kids in his young life to recognize the signs and somehow this one had managed to hide them from him.
"But Dean she hasn't been back to classes this afternoon… do you know where she is?" Principal Drafke asked.
Dean nodded, "Yeah… she said she couldn't face everyone, she made me promise not to tell anyone… and I know I lied but… it's important… and if I didn't promise I don't think she would've stayed there…"
"Is she at the barn?" the principal asked.
There was as place on Roseing Road that kids hung out. It was an abandoned farmhouse with a barn behind it. During the light hours on week days, and immediately after school it was pretty much swarmed over by the elementary and middle school kids, at night and on weekends it belonged to the High School kids for different kinds of education.
Dean nodded but held up his hand, "Please… Principal Drafke… if you're going to call the cops or anyone… let me go be with her when they come… don't make Sandy go through that alone okay? Please?" he asked wondering, hoping he'd made the right decision to take this to an adult rather to try and handle it himself or bring it to his dad, whenever he got back from the hunt he was on. If there was one thing that made John Winchester completely lose control, it was anyone hurting someone largely defenseless. Dean thought about the standard he'd learned from his father, that being; anyone that hurt a child, pregnant woman, or an old person, (keeping in mind that any of the above weren't possessed or evil), deserved an ass kicking that would leave them in a wheelchair for the rest of their days.
The principal couldn't help himself, he was proud of his newest student and rested his hand on his shoulder. "I bet your parents… I'm sorry… your dad is very proud of his young man…I'm going to ask you to do me a favor Dean… there are a few people I'm going to have to call, consult with about just what we can do. I want you to get Sandy's homework together, bring it to her and stay with her at the Barn. If there's something that we can do today we will, but if not you're going to have to understand that she might have to go home tonight…"
Dean nodded and swallowed hard, "Okay… I mean not okay but… she probably figures on having to go home tonight anyway… so okay… so we just act natural? That what you're saying?" he double checked.
Principal Drafke nodded, "That's exactly it. Now… does your brother know where the barn is?"
Dean nodded, "Yeah…"
"Okay… you go tell him to meet you there after school then go back to homeroom, Mrs. Trask will have your assignments ready and you can leave okay?"
Dean nodded and rose, his hand was on the door when the principal stopped him, "Do you need to call your dad or anything? Do you want me to call him? Let him know you're taking an excused absence for the day?"
Dean smiled and shook his head, "No… I'll explain it to him when he gets home… if he has any questions he'll call you…"
"Okay… we'll see you in class tomorrow morning though… and I might need to ask you some questions with some other adults here too… and Miss Harris might get very angry with you Dean… you do know that don't you?" he asked.
"Yes sir… I guess she just might…" he nodded and on impulse turned and faced the authority figure before him. He'd never had a penchant for anyone's authority but his fathers' or Caleb or Pastor Jim or even Shep, though Shep never really tried to be too bossy. He extended his hand and met the man's eyes, sizing him up boldly, which was part of his nature and probably why most people thought he was trouble at first glance.
Principal Drafke pressed his hand to Dean's and nodded with a sad but faint smile, "Thank you for coming to me with this Mr. Stuart…"
Dean nodded, "Thank you sir… for a lot of stuff…" he smiled, squeezed the adult hand and let himself out of the office to do as he'd been instructed.
"…you got 23?" Dean asked peering over their books toward Sandy's paper.
She covered her paper but smiled, "It's a preposition…" she gave him the answer anyway.
"Y'know I wish I knew how you get this stuff so easy…" Dean sighed watching her chew the tip of her pen and grinning, wondering what that pen felt like with her teeth nibbling on it.
"Well you get math so I guess we're just a good team huh?" she smiled catching sight of his expression. Something felt different and she looked at him with her eyes narrowed, "Dean… what did you say to get my homework?"
Dean felt his heart leap and swallowed but plastered on his most charming smile, "Just that you got sick during gym… and that I wanted to bring your homework to you…"
"Prfft!" Sam snorted across the hayloft but wisely kept his nose in his book. He'd gotten the A plus Dean expected on his oral report for the book Mists of Avalon which he'd read over the summer. There were advantages to being a late starter and the new kid in class after all, but honestly, Dean had expected no less from his little brother. Sam seemed to have a gift when it came to books. It was almost as if he could take a picture of the page and then go over it at his leisure.
Dean was good with math, perhaps even far better than average but when it came to English and Literature oriented stuff Sammy smoked him, even though he was four years younger, and man sometimes it made Dean downright furious! Fortunately they often relied on each others strengths to shore up their own… less than strong areas, so as was the case with Sandy… they made a good team.
At that particular thought Dean felt a twitch in his stomach, he knew his little brother, he knew what Sam craved over all else and he wondered how much longer it would be before he wound up either running away from home or turning his back on he and their dad entirely. The idea made Dean's guts clench and he decided he'd cross that bridge when the time came. As their dad frequently said, '…if you knew the future you'd avoid it…' so Dean shoved the idea of a life without his little brother hard to the side and decided to relish the time he had with him instead.
It's a short... and a WeeChester… so
what cha think? should I bother going on?
You are the hope that keeps me trusting…