A/N: This is a one-shot that's been begging me to write it for awhile. I don't have anything big in mind, just wanted to write a scene with teenage Dean asking his little brother for help with school. Let me know if you like it. Also, fair warning, Dean cusses just a wee bit. Nothing major, but just wanted to let you know that he says the bad word for crap and h.e. double hockey sticks.
Dean had a difficult decision to make. He'd been avoiding the issue for weeks now, hoping maybe it wouldn't come to this. Unfortunately, here he was, stuck in a mess worse than tracking a swamp monster through the bayou. He needed to ask his brother for help...with math.
At age seventeen, Dean was so close to getting this school stuff over with he could taste it. It was such a waste of time really, since they didn't teach demon hunting in high school. Still, Dean made the most of it by spending most of his time chasing girls, starting a few fights, and basically being a thorn in every authority figure's side. It had all worked out fine until now. Here he was, a senior about to graduate, except that if he didn't pass his math class, he wouldn't. And while his Dad was more than happy to accept Dean's numerous suspensions, having to deal with Dean being in high school for another year was not acceptable.
Dean had tried numerous alternatives to asking Sammy for help. He'd tried getting a tutor (her name was Christie and needless to say they hadn't even opened the book), he'd tried cheating (it had worked for him before, but the teacher had finally caught on to him and now watched him like a hawk), he'd even tried actually reading his textbook, but damn if the thing wasn't harder to decipher than the Latin rituals they used for exorcisms. So now he stood, poised on the brink of utter humiliation, outside Sammy's door. Dean paused for a second and debated which was worse, asking Sam to help him or facing his Dad's wrath when he failed to graduate.
"Come on, Dean." he told himself, shaking his muscles loose and cracking his neck as if in anticipation of a fight.
Dean took a step forward and, after one final moment of hesitation, knocked on Sam's door. He waited impatiently, rocking back and forth on his feet as he waited for an answer. There was none. Dean couldn't be bothered to knock again, not in his state of agitation, so with a growl of frustration he pushed the door open a crack and popped his head in.
Sam was, predictably, completely engrossed in a book.
"Hey!" Dean called, "Teenage wasteland!"
Sam looked up from his book, brushing his shaggy hair out of his eyes to glare at Dean.
"What do you want, Dean? And stop calling me that."
Dean pushed the door all the way open and strode in, trying to play the whole situation off as if he didn't care at all. He plopped down on Sam's bed next to his brother's feet, the addition of his weight disturbing Sam's position and causing him further agitation.
"I need your help, Sammy." Dean began, stealing Sam's book out of his hands. He ignored Sam's protest and flipped it over to look at the cover: Plato's Apology. Dean tossed it aside in disgust. He seemed to recall being assigned that book once. If memory served, he'd opted to hunt some werewolves with his dad instead.
"Help with what?" Sam demanded when it became clear that Dean wasn't about to spit it out.
Dean scratched the back of his neck before he looked over at his brother and flashed him a grin, "Geometry."
Sam was totally unprepared for that word to come out of his brother's mouth. He'd been expecting something about a hunt or maybe some hair-brained scheme to win over a girl or get in a party while Dad was out hunting. Anything but what he'd actually said. It was enough to make Sam blink in surprise and ask, "What?"
Dean's grin faded into a frown and he looked away, "You heard me."
"But I still can't believe it. You want my help...with homework?"
It had to be some stupid joke he was playing. That had to be it. Dean hadn't taken school seriously for a day in his life. It wasn't that he was stupid. Sam knew that his brother was about as smart as they came, but Dean just didn't care. He saw no use in learning things like geometry, so he didn't. He preferred to commit to memory things that he would need for hunting like how to hotwire a car or gun maintenance.
"If I don't pass, I won't graduate." Dean growled, jumping back to his feet and pacing the room.
Sam blinked again, this time because the force of Dean's voice was making him think that maybe his brother was actually being serious. Sam pushed himself into an upright position, "Okay. I'll help. Where's your book?"
Dean stopped pacing, a puzzled look coming over him.
"You don't know where your book is." Sam surmised.
Dean shrugged, "Never used it."
"Think, Dean. You had to have gotten one. It must be somewhere." Sam urged.
Dean mentally reviewed everything roughly book-shaped he'd seen around the cheap apartment their Dad had rented for the year. The Winchester men traveled light and usually didn't stay anywhere for long, but their Dad had found this place and decided to try and keep them somewhere long enough for Dean to finish school. In the meantime, the boys had managed to accumulate some junk.
"Wait a minute!" Dean exclaimed, leaving the room and going back to the living room.
Sam followed on his heels, curious as to where a textbook in Dean's possession might end up. He paused as Dean dropped to one knee next to the ratty arm chair. He lifted one side and pulled a book out from under it.
"Leg fell off that side of the chair months ago." Dean said as he stood with the book held triumphantly in his fist, "Damn thing was just the right size."
Sam rolled his eyes. Count on Dean to find a textbook more useful for balancing a broken chair than for reading. He snatched the book from Dean and moved to the kitchen table, dropping into a chair and flipping the book open to the table of contents.
"Reasoning and proofs, perpendicular and parallel lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, transformations, circles, polygons, surface area and volume...any of this ringing any bells?" Sam asked as he skimmed through the chapter titles.
"Well I know what a circle and a triangle are, Sam, if that's what you're asking." Dean snapped.
Sam glanced up at Dean, "I know that. I'm just trying to figure out exactly how much of this you've gleaned from osmosis and what you missed while sleeping through class."
"Hey," Dean protested as he took a seat next to Sam, "I was awake for some of it."
Sam glanced at Dean skeptically.
"I was!" Dean insisted, "I was just...distracted."
Sam rolled his eyes, "And what was this distractions name?"
Dean flashed a wicked grin, "Michelle."
Sam sighed. This was going to be like pulling teeth despite the fact that Dean had come to him seeking help. He was sure Dean would pick up a lot of this quickly since much of it was common sense, but actually getting into the material would be easier if he had his brother at gunpoint.
"This may take awhile." Sam said out loud, "Let's order a pizza."
Four hours later, Sam was munching on a slice of cold pizza, actually impressed at how fast his brother could assimilate information and hang on to it when he really put his mind to it.
"Okay," Dean said, glancing down at his last chapter, "the volume of a sphere is four times pi times the radius cubed divided by three, right? So, if I know that the area of a circle is pi times radius squared, then if they give me the area, I just have to divide by pi to get radius squared, then take the square root to get the radius. Once I've got the radius, I can plug that into the equation to get the volume if they want to change the circle to a sphere. So, the answer is about nine hundred and four, right?"
Dean looked up at Sam questioningly, a pencil dangling between his fingers and his brow furrowed from thinking hard on the subject. Sam couldn't keep the smile from his face.
"Dude, you've got this."
"Good enough to pass anyway." Dean agreed with a similar smile.
He chucked his pencil down at his book and pushed his chair back onto the back two legs, balancing it precariously, "Thank God. I've had my fill of this shit."
"You know Dean, you're actually pretty good at this stuff. Maybe you should..." Sam began.
"Woah, woah, woah." Dean said, dropping the chair back onto all fours, "Stop right there with the 'should's,' Sammy. I'm getting the hell out of high school so I can help, Dad, okay?"
"Whatever." Sam said, getting up and heading back to his room so Dean wouldn't see his frown.
He should have known Dean wouldn't understand. Dean only did what he had to academically so that he could move on to the "important stuff," aka what Dad thought was important.
"Sam." Dean called after his brother before he disappeared back into his room and buried himself in another book.
Sam paused, shooting a questioningly look over his shoulder.
"Thanks." Dean said, for once completely serious, "I owe you one."
Sam nodded and continued on to his room. He'd keep that in mind when it came time for his one graduation. Unlike Dean, he had some other ambitions in mind.