A/N: Normally I put some lengthy explanation behind the story here, but there honestly is none. I realize that Dean is rather OOC in some areas, but that is all for a reason which is later explained (can you believe it? OOC for a reason; what a shocker). Feel free to flame, for I love to laugh at your stupidity. And now, for my many disclaimers (because I'm a kleptomaniac), and for my dedication, because I feel that it is needed.
Disclaimer: First, I do not own Supernatural. Second, I do not own Angela. Well, I mean, I do... but... Okay, I own Angela as in the character, but not Angela as in the person. (I stole the name; so sue me). Third, I most certainly do not own Reyven Designs, their symbol, or the name; on the contrary, that is owned by much more creative people than me. Speaking of which, this is where I advertise for '', an up-and-coming designing corporation.
Dedication: This is for the few people who feel they may have been hurt by me during the past school year. For the people I cared about, who I still care about, and who I wish I could turn back time for. A smart man once said, "Life isn't fair." He was quite right, on both ends. It's a shame that we aren't the same people that we were a year ago. But I'm happy where I am. Are you?
. . . . . . . . .
For life to begin, there must at some inadvertent point in time, be death. I've never really understood this. It's never made sense. Why does someone have to lose a child, a parent, a sibling, a lover, a friend just so that someone can gain what was lost? Why can't they co-exist? It's never made any sense to me, the same way that God never made much sense. Why innocent people had to simply fall over, leave everything behind, and leave all those who loved them because someone else needed to be loved. Why the world wasn't big enough for the two of them was beyond me.
It took standing in front of a tombstone to finally understand. It always seemed to take death to open my eyes, and reopen the old wounds and awaken the dulled out pains in the scars. I know that people don't think I'm the brightest bulb, but I'm not as big of an idiot as everyone is convinced. But... keeping an oblivious face is an odd talent of mine. Let the pain dull out, let it even out across the surface to form a nice, firm mask. No, I'm not as dumb as you think I am.
So I joke around a lot. I've always got a joke to make the mood lighter. Even when my brother - my own flesh and blood, my sole purpose for living - was dying, I found a reason to laugh. Why the hell not? All those old sayings... 'Laugh in the face of danger.' 'Smile, though your heart is aching; smile, even though it's breaking.' 'Live, love, laugh.' Talk about my own personal mantra. Never once can I remember something that I wasn't able to laugh at. Never.
I had, when I was sixteen, promised myself that I would try to never think of this again. Surely it would come back around, but I would still shove the thought to the back of my mind and try to keep it there. It always came back to me every time I saw the silver band on the fourth finger of my right hand, but after a while the thought seemed to numb away. The sudden flash of what had been sort of died away, and it was like a black-and-white movie... like one of those old movies without any sound? Sort of like a piece of me that had been faded, and could not afford to be restored. In a way it was depressing. The thought had every right to be. Nevertheless, here it is, digitally remastered for your viewing pleasure.
I've often been asked about my necklace. You know, that little bronze pendant, looks like some type of Bull-God Minotaur or something? Right, well, that's not what I'm here to talk about. I've often been asked about my necklace, but rarely ever has anyone ever questioned the silver band around my fourth finger. It surprises me, because for some reason a ring draws my eye faster than a necklace does. Maybe that's just me.
When I was sixteen years old, I took this ring around my finger, and I made a promise. I made a promise that was stronger than a wedding vow, in my opinion. Nevertheless, this was one of the very few promises that I've ever had to break. And for that, I'm sorry.
I, Dean Winchester, am sorry.
. . . . . . . . .
The brunette was quiet, staring down at the print on the page before him. The neat black print read: How many grams contain 8.12 x 1019 atoms of Titanium? Though the students around him were busy scratching away at their own worksheets, Dean Winchester continued to stare blankly at his. Why he cared about this stupid grade, he was unsure. After all, how was knowing the molar mass of Titanium going to help him in life? Would it help him learn to shoot a perfect aim from 100 yards away? No, he didn't think so. So why did his father insist that he attend school, despite the waste of time it was? Nevertheless, John Winchester continued to send his son to school, day after day, despite the constant complaints and protests. And now, a brand new threat was attached: make a C or better in each class, or forget about any dates for the next school year.
It wasn't his fault that he wasn't a nerd like Sam. So he wasn't as smart as his little brother. So what? He was a good soldier, always followed directions, never said no. So what if he wasn't book smart? Big deal! He didn't plan on being a great scientist or mathematician. He only planned to be a hunter. That was it. Case closed.
"Dean?" a soft voice said from before his desk. Looking up, Dean's eyes fell on a rather short, meek looking woman: his chemistry teacher, Ms. Wall. "Are you still having problems? With the work?"
"Uhh..." Dean looked down at his blank page, then glanced sideways at his neighbor's page, which was half completed. "Yeah, maybe just a little..."
"Well, Angela Reyven is finished with her work. Why don't you ask her for some help?"
Dean looked across the room at the only person not writing. His eyes landed on a girl two seats away. How to describe her? Though he didn't use many big words, the only word that came to Dean as he stared at this girl was 'frightful.' Her hair, cropped short and raggedly around her jawline, was jet black, with a thin streak of whitish-blond shot through her bangs. Said bangs were swept to the left side of her face, hiding one of her two tan, golden-flecked eyes. Skin, though somewhat tanned and unblemished by the plagues of acne that came with being sixteen years of age, seemed oddly pale set against the mass of black that were her clothes. Said wardrobe consisted of black converse, black tight-fitting denim jeans, and a black t-shirt, which had a blood red heart printed across the chest, and a bold, black 'X' printed across the center of the heart. Poorly kept nails were coated in black polish, and her only visible eye was coated in thick black eyeliner and eyeshadow. Zippers hung from her earlobes, and her peach lips were coated in dark lipstick, a deep maroon color.
Quickly taking back the word 'frightful,' Dean replaced it with a much smaller, yet fitting word: 'freak.'
"Don't worry," Ms. Wall said quickly, as if reading his mind. "Angela may seem a bit intimidating, but she's a very nice girl. Why don't you move your things to one of the two empty desks in the back of the room and I'll have her move as well."
The words obviously weren't a suggestion.
Reluctantly, Dean rose to his feet, grabbing his book, notes and worksheet and moving to the back of the class. As he took a seat at one of two vacant desks, he glanced back towards the front of the class at Ms. Wall and this Angela person. She and the teacher were talking quietly for a moment, but she finally rose to her feet and came to sit beside Dean, tugging along her things in a black messenger bag, with a black and gray striped hoodie draped over her arm. Crashing into the seat next to Dean, she pulled out her Chemistry work sheet and a pencil, and for the very first time she looked up at Dean.
"What are you having trouble with?"
"Uh..." Dean was quiet for a moment trying not to make direct eye contact. He could remember reading somewhere that you were never supposed to let monster's see your fear, which meant never making direct eye contact. "Just... just setting up the problems. And working them, actually."
"So basically you don't know what the hell you're doing?" Her voice, as expected, was somewhat cold and indifferent; her tone soft yet with a faint, unmistakable sense of anger. Anger at anything... at everything. It fit her shady demeanor quite perfectly.
"Er... yeah, pretty much."
"Well that's just great. Here." With an odd sense of efficiency that Dean wouldn't have associated with this girl if he had simply met her on the street, she took his paper from him and quickly began scratching away at its upper-left corner with her pencil. After a minute or two she slid the paper back to him, and pointed to the small diagram she had drawn. It read something like the following:
moles/atoms 1/6.02 x 1023.
atoms/moles 6.02 x 1023/1.
grams/moles Atomic Mass/1.
moles/grams 1/Atomic Mass.
"That's how you set up the equation."
"Is there anyway that you can show me how to do this in English?"
"This is English, smart ass. I'll show you. Look."
The Winchester watched and listened as Angela explained to him how to work the equations. Slowly the words began to make sense, but it took some time. More like all hour. Nevertheless, Dean finally felt like he was starting to understand how to do all this bogus Chemistry stuff. By the end of class, he felt like he knew something. Not that it was going to give him some spark for learning, but at least he'd gotten something under his belt. He thanked Angela and moved on to the most important subject of the day: lunch.
. . . . . . . . .
"Hey, Tucker, tell me something."
The brunette was sitting outside with two of his friends: Tucker Smith, another brunette Junior, and Liza Davies, a fair headed Junior with the body to rival a supermodel. The three of them were lounging around a tree: Tucker was lying in the grass on his stomach, Liza was sitting cross-legged with her back against the trunk of the tree, and Dean was stretched out on his back with his head resting in Liza's lap. Liza had gently been toying with a lock of his hair before he spoke, and still was as Tucker sat up slightly, glancing over at Dean.
"Do you guys know anything about some girl... Angela Reyven, I think?"
Tucker chuckled, while Liza made a disgusted noise in the back of her throat. "What do you want to know about her? I thought you went for the normal girls, like Liza here? Not the freaks like Angela..."
"Who are you calling normal?" Liza growled, glaring at Tucker.
"Guys, cool it. Liza, you're a babe. Tucker, shut it. I'm only asking about Angela 'cause Wall had us pair up today in Chemistry, and... well, she was a bit of a freak. It was weird. I've never seen a chick like that before."
"She's one of those new age girls," Liza mumbled, slowly returning to her normal stature as she toyed with the Winchester's hair once more. "They call themselves 'Gothics.' They wear lots of metal, like clothe pins and chains and spikes, and a whole lot of black, not to mention the hardcore metal and rock music. Lots of them are atheists. Ugly little creatures, that's what they are. Ugh. A disgrace. They're like nerds with an attitude."
"Correction, they're like nerds with an agenda. Most of them are little recruiter freaks. Try to convert people to be little goth freaks too. Better watch your back, Winchester. If you aren't careful, she may start to get a thing for you. May try to drink your blood or something."
"Drink my blood?"
"Yeah. Some of those Goths think they're vampires. There are some people in New York and stuff? They get their 'significant other' to believe that they're vampires and bleed for them, and then they drink the blood. I'm telling you. Total. freaks."
Dean glanced up at Liza as she finished her words, unable to keep from laughing. Vampires were extinct. Everybody knew that. But still, he was inclined to believe her words; after all, the first word that had come to mind after first seeing Angela was 'frightful,' followed by 'freak.' "I don't know. I mean, sure, she was a little scary, but--"
"Ugh. Scary doesn't even begin to cover it. Don't you see that make up she wears? And those clothes!? A total skank!"
"Sure, Liza," Tucker laughed, throwing a twig at her hair, "you're just pissed because she isn't in your legion of prep zombies."
Dean's eyes rolled. "As much as I would love to continue having this conversation, I've got places to go, things to do..." The Winchester rose to his feet, grabbing his backpack from beside the tree trunk and giving a farewell salute to his friends.
"Where are you going?" the blond asked, watching him.
"Home. I've got homework. Besides, if I don't get home by six, my dad'll skin my ass, and that's something I could do without."
"Kinky," Tucker murmured through gritted teeth. Again, the Winchester rolled his eyes.
"See you guys tomorrow."
It was, with these last words, that Dean Winchester turned his back on his friends and began to idly wander down the park path. As he continued to walk in an eastward fashion towards the 'Come Easy Motel,' he noticed sitting under one of the large elm trees, a dark fashioned girl. No doubt it was Angela Reyven. Remembering that he had been struggling with one last chemistry problem, he decided to detour off the path and ask her for a little assistance, seeing as how Ms. Wall had already assigned her as his personal tutor.
"Hey," the brunette called, coming to a stop a foot or two away from the 'goth,' "Angela right?"
At first, she did not respond. Glancing up from a black, hard-cover book, she examined Dean for a moment as though trying to place his face, then nodded. "That's right. And you're that Winchester boy from chemistry."
"Right. Look..." There was a moment where Dean glanced around, as if he were afraid that anyone would hear his next few words, before continuing. After all, it wasn't normal that Dean Winchester would ask for help in something as trivial as school work. "I was wondering if I could get your help on that last problem? Uh... most of the stuff was pretty easy after you explained it but... I don't know, it seems like I'm not doing it right or something."
Again, Angela appraised him with sharp, steely eyes. There was a moment, some flicker of light in the bronzed irises, where Dean felt that she would turn him away. However, after this one moment, she shrugged. "Sure, why not?"
Within minutes Dean had tugged his chemistry work out of his bag and was sitting in the grass beside this shady girl, scratching marks into his paper as ordained by his tutor. It was surprisingly easy, he realized, to sit here and work with this girl. Just as easy as it was to talk to Tucker or Liza, or any of the other countless 'friends' he had made over the years. There was nothing really different about her. Of course there was the odd, shadowy disposition, but still nothing absurd. It would've taken video evidence to convince him that this girl would try to drink his blood.
"See, you did it perfectly the first time," Angela murmured minutes later. There was a faint, uncharacteristic smile wrapped across her darkened lips. "It's a lot easier than it looks. People just try to make it much too complicated."
"It doesn't help that the teacher is an idiot."
"I suppose it doesn't." There was a pause for silence as Angela looked down to her watch. "I've got to go. Sadly, it's my night to cook dinner."
"D'you mind if I walk with you?" Dean watched as an eyebrow slowly arched over Angela's forehead. "I mean, I--"
"Where d'you live?"
"Come Easy Motel."
"Over on fourth. You're a block from me." A moment of being scrutinized from the darker of the two. "Sure. Why not? I'm in the mood for some entertainment."
The two rose to their feet, gathered their things, and slowly began the five minute walk to third street. It was decided somewhere during the gathering of homework that Dean would walk Angela home, since her house was closer, and then would find his own way back to the motel. The brunette had found that it was fairly easy to keep up light conversation because Angela was, contrary to her appearance, a somewhat humorous person who could find a way to laugh at almost any joke he told. Nevertheless, by the time they came to Angela's doorstep, Dean was summoning up his little academic courage to question Angela. There was another instance where he looked around as if he was worried somewhat might overhear. He had a reputation to maintain, after all, even if it was only for a few weeks.
"Look, I'm gonna ask you right now. Wall was talking about having that huge test over equations on Monday and I'm definitely not ready. I figure she'll give us another worksheet tomorrow and the day after, expect us to study over the weekend and be totally prepared by Monday. I already know I'm gonna bomb. D'you think you could... ugh, how do I say this without sounding like a total nerd?"
"Help you brush up on your chem skills?"
"Sure, that's a good way to word it. I was thinking maybe Thursday and Friday after school?"
"Well, I guess it wouldn't be a problem... Thursday is fine. Only, I've already got plans for Friday night. Unavoidable stuff. What about Saturday?"
"Plans," the Winchester mumbled, remembering he had promised to help his dad with their latest hunt on Saturday, or rather his dad had promised him that he could help on Saturday. "What about Sunday?"
"I can do Sunday. But... wait a minute, the library's closed this week. Water and plumbing lines are busted."
"Who says we have to work at the library?"
The two stared at each other for a moment, thinking this over. Neither wanted to be the one to volunteer their own living space as the location for these impromptu study parties.
"What if," Angela began slowly, as if speaking to Dean slowly would make things sound less awful, "we do Thursday at your place and Sunday at mine?"
"Sounds fine, as long as you're willing to put up with an annoying little twelve year old and a freakishly weird old guy."
"Sure. I can deal. So I'll see you tomorrow at school?"
"Tomorrow at school."