(Story idea was just bugging me. Had to get it out!!)

Principles versus Principals

Dean ignored his history teacher. She usually just droned on about American colonization or something. Now if she would throw in some myths or legends, he might be interested. Since that would probably never happen, Dean concentrated on the window to his left. Even from this awkward angle, he could see the field where Sammy had gym class.

All week Sammy's class had played soccer. Sam came home talking about it. Dean wondered if the coach was trying to talk Sam into joining the school team. On the one hand, Sam really seemed to enjoy the game, but on the other hand, it would interfere with some of Dad's weekend training programs…

Dean sat straight up. What was going on down there? It looked like four guys were standing on the edge of the field near Sammy. Now one of the guys walked right up to Sam. Dean wished he had a better view. Okay, it definitely looked like that guy was hassling Sammy. He ground his teeth, wondering if he should leave in the middle of class. That would be an automatic in-school detention, but if it helped Sammy out it would be worth it.

A blur of motion and Sam hit the ground. Without another thought, Dean jumped straight up from his seat. One foot caught on his desk as he tried to leap away. The ground rushed up at him as Dean yanked his foot free. He used his hands to catch himself, rolling forward as he heard a loud crash from behind him. Not bothering to look back, Dean raced for the door. He heard a couple of surprised screams, but he did not have time for that. He had to get to Sam.

His running steps echoed in the empty halls as Dean ran for the downstairs door, bursting through the outer doors. Outside Dean had the space to run full-out. He bolted toward the soccer field. As he rounded the corner, he could see four pretty big guys standing over Sammy. Sam appeared to be talking to them, from the ground. Not a good move there, Sammy. Dean poured on the speed when his feet hit grass. The biggest guy, probably the one that had knocked Sammy down, was also the one closest to Sam. Perfect.

When Sammy threw up his arms to cover his head, Dean knew his brother had seen him. He launched himself into the big guy. The guy fell like a rock. Pleased, Dean lifted his head from the massive body under him. Judging by their faces, it looked like he had taken them all by surprise. Good. Dean pushed up to his feet only to find a fist in his face. He staggered back a step, absorbing the blow. With a grin Dean stepped up to his new opponent.

This guy was not quite as big or heavy as the one still on the ground, but that might mean he was faster. The guy took another swing at Dean, but this time he was ready for it. He blocked two more punches before deciding it was time for a few of his own. The guy went down in two blows, literally. Wow, those lessons of Dad's really worked.

The big guy on the ground growled as he got to his feet. Dean maneuvered himself between Sam and the three guys still conscious. He planned to take those odds down considerably.

"Who's next?" Dean taunted, eyes darting between the others. "It's a little different when it's not four taking on one kid, huh?"

"Dean!" Sam snapped from behind him.

Dean waved a hand in Sam's general direction, silently telling him to shut the hell up.

"You and me," the big guy said. It might have been more imposing without all the grass hanging from his right sleeve. "Come on."

Dean stood, waiting. He shook out his arms, rolled his shoulders to loosen up. "Any time you're ready, Skipper."

The big guy's face flushed red. He charged. Perfect. At the last possible moment, Dean shifted his weight and brought a knee up into the bully's stomach. When he doubled over, Dean landed a strong left to the jaw. The big guy went down like a ton of bricks. Oh yeah! Thanks, Dad. Those hundred push-ups a day really did pay off.

"Well?" he asked the other two. They exchanged a quick look with each other before scurrying off.

Dean turned to his brother, who still sat on the grass. He held out a hand. Sam took it, frowning. "Dean, I was handling it."

"How?" Dean demanded, pulling his brother up. "By talking about it? Maybe you wanted to invite them over for cookies and milk later?"

Sam snorted, shaking his head. "You just don't understand."

Dean shoved his brother in the shoulder. "Then how about you explain it, Sammy?"

"It's Sam," his little brother hissed, nodding behind Dean. Dean turned around to find Sam's entire gym class watching them.

Dean offered them an awkward smile. Okay, this was embarrassing. He spotted a familiar adult face at the back of the junior high students. "Hey, Coach!" he shouted, waving Sam's teacher over. Dean tilted Sam's face to the side for a better look. "Maybe you should send my brother to the nurse, that looks like it's swelling."

The chubby coach pressed through the class. "Yes, it does. Come on, Sam." The coach pointed at the high school building behind him.

"I, uh, better get back to class."

Sam brushed off his butt. "See you after school, Dean."

Dean headed off the field. "Later, Sam," he said with a short wave.

As he walked through the still deserted halls, Dean realized that he would not be staying in history class. His hasty departure would require a trip to the principal's office. Okay, fine. Outside of registering for school a few weeks ago, he hadn't really met her yet.

In his history class he found all the students talking animatedly and the teacher at his window, looking out. Oh, great. Had he had an audience? His class papers and books were spread out across the floor, probably right where they fell during his hasty exit. He picked each one up, stuffing the papers inside his textbook. When he righted his desk, the teacher gave him a look he knew all too well.

"Yeah, I know. Principal's office."

John stretched out on the surprisingly comfortable mattress. He did not remember it being this soft the last time he slept in it, about a week ago. A hard hunt will do that to you. Freshly showered and rid of the stench and filth of hunting in the woods for a solid week, he was ready to sleep for three days. He closed his eyes.

The phone rang.

John frowned at the unpleasant sound. He ignored it, pulling the pillow over his head. It stopped and he settled into his clean sheets, content.

The phone rang.

Distinctly disturbed now, John decided whoever invented telemarketing must have been possessed. The next time he saw Bobby he wanted to ask about that. There was probably a way to determine possession over the phone. He did his best to ignore the ringing until it stopped again. Finally. John closed his eyes, allowing sweet, blissful sleep to overtake him.

The phone rang.

Okay. That did it. John threw off his covers and stormed into the kitchen, where the phone was. He glared at it as it rang a third time. John snatched it off the hook, ready to verbally ream out the very determined vinyl siding salesman.

"What!" he roared into the phone.

There was no immediate answer. Satisfied, at least for now, John moved to hang it up.

"Mister Winchester?" a woman's voice asked.

He froze, unsure what to do. Not many people had the number to their apartment. John did not like to give it out. "Who is this?" he demanded.

"This is Juliet Jones, principal of your son's school."

John rested his forehead against the wall. It felt cool and solid. "Which one?" he asked, resigned to not sleeping any more this morning. Morning? The kitchen clock claimed it was afternoon already. When the hell did they get a kitchen clock?

"Which one what?" Juliet Jones asked.

"Which son? Or which school?" He shook his head against the wall. "Either way."

"Oh. McDonnell High School. Dean."

"What's the problem?" he asked, closing his eyes. Would Principal Jones notice if he napped on the phone? Just for a moment?

"He has been caught fighting on school grounds. The district requires that we ask the parents to come in when something of such a serious nature occurs."

John groaned. Of all freaking days for Dean to pull something like this, it had to be today. When all he wanted was a little sleep.

"Yeah. Whatever. I'll head over." Just before he hung up the phone, another thought occurred to him. "Uh, Principal Jones?"

"Yes, Mister Winchester?"

"Where is the high school?"

Dean lounged in the chair just outside Principal Jones' office. He kept one ear tuned to her attempts to call his dad while he tried to make a little time with the cute girl who worked in the office. She was hot and he thought she might be a senior.

She found something to file near him. Dean grinned. He scooted as far over as he dared to talk to her. When her filing was done, he had a slip of paper with her name and number on it in his pocket. Score!

Dean settled back into the uncomfortable chair that made his ass want to fall asleep. Silence from the principal's office must mean she finally gave up trying to call Dad. About time. He told her his father was not home, that Dad was working.

The front doors opened. Dean concentrated on the brunette with the bouncy hair, among other bouncy things. Familiar tones reached his ears. He shifted his attention from the girl to the front office.

Dad stood talking to the office secretary. Oh great, of all days for Dad to come home early! Dad's hair stuck straight up on one side and his eyes were puffy and red. Perfect. She woke up Dad. That did it. Dean was toast.

He stood so Dad could spot him easier. Dad turned and headed his way. Dean braced himself, anticipating a chewing out for getting his father woken up right after a hunt. Dad stared at him for a moment before stepping closer and wrapping strong arms around him. With a breath of relief, Dean hugged his father back.

Once Dad let go, Dean stepped back to evaluate his father. He checked each side of Dad's face, looking for signs of bruising or any other damage.

"Hey." Dad turned Dean's head to the side with one rough, calloused hand. "Is that swelling?" A thumb rubbed gently over Dean's jaw.

Dean shrugged. He barely felt it now.

Dad sighed, dropping his hands to his sides. "Let's get this over with, huh?"

John led the way into the principal's office. He did not need to look behind him, he knew Dean was right there. After a brief knock on the principal's door, he motioned for Dean to take the seat furthest from the door. It was not a question of the possibility of his oldest bolting from the room, it was the fact John wanted to be the closest to any potential danger. Although, judging by the bruising on Dean's face, he was a couple of hours late for that.

"So," John lowered himself into the last open chair, "what's the problem?"

"Mister Winchester," the principal looked down her nose at him. "It's so nice to meet you in person. Finally."

Uh-oh. He wasn't in the right mood for this. With a guilty glance at his son, John shifted in his chair. With a few hours more sleep, he might be able to handle her. As it was, well, Dean might be home a lot in the near future.

She opened a file on her desk and removed a stack of stapled papers. "Mister Winchester, can you tell me if you've signed these?" The principal held out the stack. What was her name again?

He took the papers and flipped through a few. Dean really did have his signature down well these days. "Yeah," he replied, tossing it back on her desk. "So what does this have to do with the fact my son needs an icepack for his jaw?"

One of her perfectly plucked eyebrows arched. "And did you read them?"

He arched an eyebrow right back at her. "Icepack?"

She frowned, staring at him. When he dropped his gaze, he noticed she had a nameplate on her desk. Principal Jones. Now why couldn't he remember that? And why didn't he notice the nameplate earlier? Lack of sleep, John decided. He rubbed both hands over his face.

Principal Jones looked Dean over like he was some kind juvenile delinquent. John really was not in the right frame of mind for this. He never hit a woman, unless she was possessed or a vampire. He cleared his throat. Loud.

She frowned at him before picking up her phone. "Elizabeth? Please send one of the girls to the nurse's office for an icepack. Thank you."

"That will take a few minutes," Jones informed him. John still had the feeling she was looking down her nose at him. "In the meantime, shall we discuss Dean and his abrupt departure from history class this morning?"

John stole a glance at Dean. "He left during class?" Okay, fighting he really could understand. Some guys were just asking for it. But during class? It couldn't wait at least for the hallway or lunch?

"He did. To run over to the junior high's field." She replied, bright red nails tapping insistently on the desk. "But he refuses to explain why he felt the need to attack two boys on the field."

"Four," Dean said, interrupting.

Principal Jones' mouth opened but John held up a hand. "Dean, you attacked four boys? Explain."

Dean scuffed one toe of his sneaker on the floor. John noticed Dean's shoes were nearly worn through. Didn't he just buy those? That did it. Next pair of shoes for Dean would be boots. Period. He'd make it an order this time.

Dean turned his head to look at John only. "I saw them hassling Sammy."

"No one named Sammy was involved," Jones snapped. "He's lying."

John turned from Dean long enough to glare at her so she would shut up. Her mouth snapped shut in a thin, disapproving line. Better. "Dean?"

"I didn't do anything until one of them pushed Sam down. That's when I headed out there."

Principal Jones' brow furrowed, her eyes darting between him and Dean.

"Well, that's good enough for me." John stifled a yawn. "So are we done here?"

It was her turn to glare at him. "I don't think so, Mister Winchester." He really hated the way she said 'mister.' "Who is this Sammy?"

"My son," John snapped. John stood and noticed Dean leap to his feet as well. "Speaking of which, how is Sammy?" he turned to face his son again.

Dean stood at attention. "He had some swelling here," his son motioned near one ear, "but it didn't look too bad. His coach was taking him to put some ice on it."

As if on cue, there was a knock at the door. A young girl opened the door. "You wanted an icepack?" she asked softly.

Principal Jones motioned to Dean, who smiled brilliantly at the girl. John could not resist smiling at the obvious flirting. John waited until the girl left before directing Dean's attention to the icepack. His son put it on the wrong side of his face. John scratched at his beard, wondering, before taking the icepack away and pressing it to the injured side.

"Oh," Dean muttered, flinching as he took it from John.

"If it isn't hurtin'…" John prompted.

"It isn't workin'," Dean finished with a smirk. God, he loved his boy's cocky smirk. Who wouldn't? When he caught sight of Principal Jones' face, he saw who wouldn't. This woman really grated on his nerves.

"Maybe you need to do a little more research before you accuse my son." John headed out the door. "We'll be at home when you've made your decision."

As they left the school, John noticed Dean looked, well, uncomfortable. After they left the building, he learned why. "Am I going to pick Sam up after school?"

John chuckled, clamping a hand on Dean's shoulder. "Sure, as long as you two let me sleep until dinner. So what do you feel like? Pizza? Burgers?"

Dean's face broke into a wide grin. "Burgers? We're going out?"

"Sure." John rubbed Dean's shoulder. "We can definitely go out. Getting tired of being cooped up in that apartment, huh?"

Dean's shoulder shook as he laughed. "More like I'm tired of listening to Sam talk about his homework."

John gave his son a shove. "Drive your car home after you check up on Sammy. I'll be in bed."

Dean waved as he walked away, toward the junior high. "Yes, sir!"

In his truck, John rubbed his face again, trying to wake up enough for the drive home. Well, if Dean got expelled for protecting his little brother, they'd just move. Sam would bitch and moan about it, but what else was new? He couldn't allow Dean to find an excuse for not finishing high school. He had to make sure both boys finished school, for Mary. It wasn't enough, it never would be, but at least it was something. He wiped the wetness off his cheeks. Yeah, he really needed to get back to bed.