The book slams shut with a satisfying thud. Sam grins, clearly pleased with himself.
"Only took you two hours." Dean does his best to sound unimpressed. Mostly, he just sounds like he has his mouth full, though. Because he does.
A few bits of chewed up pizza escape from his mouth and land on his shirt. Sam makes a face. Dean just shrugs and crams them back into his mouth. He smirks and Sam's scowl remains firmly in place.
"You're disgusting, Dean," he informs the older boy, pushing the heavy book and the pages of completed homework off to one side of the coffee table. He ignores Dean's sophomoric retort, which is to stick his tongue out, giving Sam a good view of... Eew. "and I'd like to see you do Trigonometry."
"It's against my religion to do schoolwork on Fridays," Dean says loftily.
"You don't have a religion, Dean," Sam points out.
"It's FRIDAY," Dean reiterates because clearly, Sam has missed the point.
"Yeah, and I'm getting my homework out of the way so I don't have to scramble to do it later, like you."
Dean rolls his eyes. "You're such a geek," he teases, no real heat in his voice. He just likes to rile Sam up sometimes. The kid is too uptight for his own good ever since he started high school. GPA this, permanent record that. Blah Blah. "And I don't scramble. Procrastination is an art, Sammy."
"It's Sam," the younger insists adamantly.
"Whatever." Dean snags another piece of pizza from the box only to have it snatched from his fingers by Sam. He growls. "Dude! Get your own!"
He reaches out to grab his piece back. Mostly on principal. No one takes food away from Dean Winchester. Sam's hands have been stabbed by forks enough that he should know better.
Obviously, the lesson hasn't sunk in yet. Sam jerks it out of reach, grinning slyly. Dean narrows his eyes. He takes a sip of his soda and sets it carefully on the coffee table before standing up.
"You sure you wanna go there, little brother?" he asks, giving Sam an out.
Sam looks up at him, making eye contact and deliberately takes a bite. "Mmmmmmm," he says, grinning impishly around the mouthful.
"I hope you choke on it," Dean snarls and launches himself toward his younger brother.
The bad news is, the coffee table stands between the two of them and suffers a heavy knock as Dean goes over the top of it and lands on top of Sam, pinning him to the floor. The good news is that it's heavy enough and strong enough that it doesn't tip over.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the objects on top of said table. Not that either of the boys notice.
Sam shoves Dean off him and scrambles to his feet. He's still coltish and awkward; too-long limbs and not enough meat on his bones. Dean's bigger, solid. Faster. He's on his feet first and he takes the immediate advantage, poking Sam in the sides and ribs where he knows his brother is most ticklish. Sam yelps and squirms away from Dean's touch, thrown off guard. He throws a poorly aimed punch (more out of reflex than anything) and Dean catches it easily, twisting his brother's arm expertly until he has Sam on the ground in a hammerlock. He's got a firm grip on Sam's wrist with one hand, is smooshing his face into the carpet with the other.
Sam pants and squirms, whimpering a little when Dean's grip doesn't relent. After a minute, he goes limp in defeat and Dean reclaims the stolen pizza. "If I had a fork, I would stab you with it," he tells Sam resolutely before letting go.
Sam twists away as soon as the pressure eases and he sits up, face flushed and sweaty. He glares at Dean and snorts. "You cheated."
"It's not cheating if you win." Dean takes a bite of his pizza. Delicious.
"You tickled me."
"Gonna cry about it, Sammy?" God, this is just too easy.
"DEAN!!" The sheer volume in the exclamation is enough to sober Dean, marginally. He looks down to where Sam sits on the carpet, about to tell Sam to stop being a girl and just get his own slice, but Sam's not even looking at him anymore. Sam's looking behind him, eyes wide beneath furrowed brows, mouth hanging open.
"What?" Dean turns, trying to see what would put an expression like that on his brother's face. "...oh."
"You RUINED it!" Sam sounds pissed. For good reason.
Dean stares down at the coffee table. His can of soda spreads sticky and dark across the surface, destroying every paper in its path.
Including Sam's homework.
Sam scoots over to the coffee table, scooping up the papers in hopes of salvaging them. It's a lost cause. The papers are sopping, having been the closest thing to the soda when it'd been tipped over. They're dripping for God's sake.
"You asshole!" Sam intones, eyes flashing dangerously. "You did that on purpose, didn't you?"
"Of course not!" Dean snaps back, reply immediate, tone wounded. He might be a jerk, but he'd never intentionally sabotage Sam's schoolwork. That's just one thing you don't fuck with. "It was an accident. And don't forget that you started it."
Sam just glares for a long, hard moment before storming out of the room, taking his ruined homework with him.
Dean sinks back down onto the couch, feeling like a complete ass.
His brother is an idiot. A stupid, thoughtless, son of a bitch. Sam paces around his room, furious. Two hours of work down the drain. Fuck. As if he weren't having enough trouble with Trig as it was.
Sam tries drying the papers out, with hopes that he'll at least be able to copy the work onto fresh paper, but it only takes a couple minutes to see that the ink has run too much to be legible. With a snarl and a curse, he throws the papers violently into the trash can. He'll have to re-do the entire assignment.
The task seems daunting now. And he's definitely not doing it right this moment. One, because he's pretty sure he'll end up bald from tearing his hair out in frustration. Two, he left his book in the living room and the last thing Sam wants at the moment is to talk to Dean. So yeah. Trig can wait until tomorrow. Thankfully, it's the only assignment he'd been given for the weekend, and Dad is away.
He can skip weapons training tomorrow. Dean owes him. Sam growls again, still angry. He refuses to come out of his room or talk to Dean for the rest of the night. He even stubbornly ignores his brother when he comes with apologies and offers of dinner. After a few minutes of muffled wheedling from Dean and a snarl of fuck you from Sam, Dean retreats.
By morning, Sam has calmed enough to feel bad about that. A little. Really, he knows Dean hadn't done it on purpose, but his brother could be so infuriating sometimes. A guy can only be expected to take so much.
Breakfast is terse and quiet. Sam keeps his eyes fixed on his Lucky Charms and Dean doesn't even sit at the table. He's got his head stuck in the fridge, grazing. He's eating anything and everything he can find that doesn't need to be cooked. Half of it's probably not even breakfast food, Sam bets.
He finishes his meal as quickly as possible, and drops the bowl in the sink, heading off to the living room to retrieve his book. The sooner he starts, the sooner he'll be finished. He doesn't notice that Dean trails behind him, leftover Chinese takeout still in hand.
There are papers sticking out of his book. Sam eyes them warily, certain they hadn't been there before. Dean being the only possible culprit, Sam is reluctant to look at anything Dean might have written to him, but curiosity wins out in the end. Opening the book (still a little sticky), he finds they're tucked between the pages he'd earmarked yesterday in class. He picks the papers up, peering down at them.
His jaw drops. Eyes wide, he thumbs through the entire stack. His assignment, all done, all correctly done, stares back at him from the sheets. It's all in Dean's handwriting.
In the doorway, Dean slurps cold lo mien decidedly noisier than necessary. Sam turns around, staring at him almost disbelievingly.
"You?" he asks, just to make sure.
"Figured I owed you one," Dean says with a shrug.
"You never took Trig."
"Nope," Dean confirms, shoving more noodles into his mouth. Christ, does he ever stop eating? "It's not that hard."
Easy for him to say, Sam thinks, scrunching his nose. Sometimes Dean surprises him with his intelligence. It's not that Sam thinks Dean is stupid or anything; he knows he's not. It's just that Dean chooses to put his brains towards things he deems important, and school is pretty low on his list. So sometimes Sam forgets how smart his brother really is.
Sam drops his eyes to the papers again, looking them over. When he looks at Dean again, his brother is watching him appraisingly, as if he's still unsure that his apology has been accepted. In some ways, Dean really is an idiot.
"I thought it was against your religion to do homework on Fridays," Sam goads, cracking a smile for the first time.
Dean's returning grin is brilliant, even if there are noodles hanging out of the corner of his mouth.
"I guess it's good I'm not religious."