A/N: I have always thought that Dean was much smarter than the show sometimes portrays and it seems like he hides his intelligence. Why does he do that? There must be a reason. Here is my take on the reason why.
I would like to thank Soar for once again putting up with me and agreeing to beta read this story for me. I would, as always, like to thank Soar, Sinead-Conlan, and JuliaAurelia for their feedback and encouragment on this story.
Dean rubbed a hand over his tired eyes. He reached over and turned up the heater to try and stave off the dampness of the pouring rain.
Despite how tired he was, and despite the dull, damp atmosphere of the evening, it could do nothing to dampen his spirits. He couldn't keep the smile off his face as his eyes shifted briefly from the road to his younger brother, who was sitting next to him. His eyes then lifted to his rear-view mirror and he could see his father's truck keeping pace behind them.
It wasn't perfect, but his family was together again, and Dean intended to enjoy every minute of it while it lasted.
"There's a motel just up around the corner," Sam's voice suddenly cut into Dean's thoughts. "I'm getting a little tired and cramped. It would be good to stretch my legs."
"You stretch them anymore and they'll reach Canada," Dean quipped.
"Shut up," Sam mumbled. He could actually go for a while longer, but he knew that Dean was tired, and he had learned a long time ago that Dean was much more likely to give in if he thought Sam needed something.
"Sounds good," Dean said. He was actually glad to pull over for a while. He pulled out his cell phone and dialled his father's number. He couldn't help but hold his breath for a minute when he heard it ring. He was expecting it to go straight to voice mail. He tried not to make his sigh of relief obvious when his father picked up.
The Chevy and the truck turned into the parking lot of the no name motel. John went to the manager's office to check them in as Sam and Dean got their bags out of the truck. Funds were limited and they could only afford to spring for one room, but John managed to get a roll away cot delivered to the room, though.
He lay on his own bed and watched in amusement as his boys argued over who got the second bed and who slept on the cot. Sam seemed to be wearing Dean down, until he made the mistake of pointing out that he was taller. Dean sneered and put a quick end to the argument by claiming big brother rights, while John tried to keep the amused smile off his face. Dean wasn't short, by any means, but it really irritated his eldest son that he was the shortest of all his family, and smaller than his younger brother. For as smart as Sammy was, John thought with a chuckle, he had never learnt that pointing that out was a mistake.
It struck him then just how much he had missed his sons as he watched them banter. When Dean had overrode him and insisted that they should stick together, he had almost caved right away. He wanted to be with his boys, but he had to keep them safe. He had been surprised when Dean had talked back to him, telling him that was crap, yet despite that, Dean was right, they were much stronger as a family. The vampires would have killed him if Dean had followed orders.
After eating, the three Winchester men sat around, each doing their own things. Dean was laying on the bed and flipping through channels on the TV, John was making some notes in his journal and Sam had taken out his computer and was looking for any sign of demonic activity. He had tried for over an hour and could find nothing.
Dean had tentatively broached the idea of the three of them going on a hunt until something on the demon came up. John and Sam both decided it sounded like a good idea, as they knew they had to keep occupied to keep from getting at each other's throats. Sam switched his focus and tried to find something for them to kill.
"I think I got something," he said after a while.
"What is it?" John asked as he put down his beer and joined his youngest. Dean laid down the book he'd been looking through after he'd exhausted the available TV channels, and joined his father and brother.
"It's not even far, couple of towns over. There's a school, York Town Hall," Sam said. "It seems that every time they get a new physics teacher, he or she meets with some kind of accident. There have been 38 different ones since 1967."
"That's like a new one every year," Dean pointed out.
"Yeah," Sam agreed. "They all said they couldn't wait to get of there. All of them suffered some type of injury. There were 17 serious ones. There was a teacher who was blinded in an explosion, another one that lost a leg when sulphuric acid was spilt on him. Those are just a couple of things. Four others were killed and the rest claimed unexplainable things happened."
"Sounds like a spirit, or maybe it's a curse, kind of the like the defense against the dark art's position," Dean said.
Sam looked at him like he was crazy. "What the hell are you talking about, Dean?"
"Harry Potter," John finished.
"The last one that came out was great," Dean said.
"It was," John agreed.
His father and brother had read Harry Potter, Sam thought in surprise. When had Dean lastread anything? Sam couldn't remember his brother reading anything besides a magazine, and here was his father and brother discussing the finer points of the latest book and how the Order of the Phoenix planned to get rid of someone called Voldemort.
"If you two are done, can we get back to the task at hand," he said. He was a little jealous that he couldn't join in. He hadn't read Harry Potter, but he may have to pick up the book now, as he kind of wished he could join in the conversation. "Anyway, according to local legend, there was a physics teacher who was accused of making inappropriate advances on a student. He was fired and black listed and couldn't get a job anywhere else. He hung himself in the classroom, just before the truth was revealed. It was discovered that the girl in question had failed his class and offered to do anything for a passing grade. He turned her down and she got upset."
"All the classic signs of a disgruntled spirit," Dean said.
"Ya think?" Sam replied.
"Boys, enough," John said. "This one should be easy. We just find where the teacher's buried, salt and burn the bones and we should be good."
"That may be," Sam said, "But he was cremated."
"Then why is he still haunting the school?" John asked.
"There must be something else tying his spirit there," Sam replied. "There must be something that was really important to him still in that classroom."
"We need to get in there," John replied.
"One problem. It's a private school, and it's surrounded by a gate and security guards. There are probably really strict rules about who's allowed to come and go as well."
"Everybody has his price," John said. "We can probably bribe our way in, or find..."
"Dad," Dean said. "We can't afford two hotel rooms, we have no money for bribes. I could find a bar and go hustle, but the Impala needs gas and a tune up, and there's a rattle coming from your truck, so any money I get would be better spent on that. We could try to break in, but that's more trouble then we need. There's a much easier way to get in."
"What's that?" John asked.
"You said the last physics teacher quit, so they need a new one. A quick call to Jefferson and one of us could have a teacher's license. It would give us much more access to the whole campus." Dean said naming their contact who supplied fake IDs. Jefferson was a computer geek and came up with anything they needed.
"It would be hard," Sam said. "There's probably a ton of applicants, despite everything. Teaching at this school is probably a really big deal. The odds of one of us getting hired would be slim to none."
"We don't necessarily need to get hired on a permanent basis," John said coming up with an alternative. "One of us could just show up, saying we're a sub until a permanent replacement can be found."
"It's a good idea," Sam admitted. "Just one problem with that. We might have to teach a class, and none of us knows anything about physics. Don't you think that might alert them to something?"
"You're a brainiac," Dean said to his brother. "Think you could pull it off?"
"If it was English or History," Sam said. "Science was always my weak spot. I don't know a proton from an electron. Dad, what about you?"
"Mechanics and urban legends," John admitted. "I don't even know what they study in physics. Your..."
"Well, we could break into the town hall and look for plans to see if there's a weak spot in the perimeter," Sam said, interrupting his father.
"We still have another option," John said. "Dean, what about you?"
"Me?" Dean said in surprised. "I, um, I don't think it's a good idea," he finished uncomfortably.
Sam couldn't help the soft snicker that escaped him. "Dean, a teacher," he mumbled.
"He was good in science and math," John said.
Crap, why did his dad have to remember that. "There's got to be another way. I don't think... I mean, I'd give it away," Dean stammered.
"Dean you got..."
"A better idea," Dean cut his father off. "Not right now, but give me a minute to think of something."
"Dad, no, I can't do it, okay," he said, a touch of desperation entering his voice.
"It's our best option," John said.
Sam looked back and forth between his father and brother with the distinct feeling that he had missed something again. "I could do some reading," Sam suggested half-heartedly. He didn't think it would do much good. He wouldn't understand a word of it.
"I still think Dean's our best bet," John insisted. "He..."
"Dropped out of high school when he was 17. How's he supposed to pretend to be a teacher?" Sam said. He was not trying to hurt his brother, he was trying to be practical.
John didn't miss the flicker of hurt that washed over the face of his eldest son. It disappeared as fast as it appeared. "I'm going to the bar to get us some cash. Alone," Dean said as he grabbed his jacket and the Impala's keys and stormed out of the room.
"Sam, why did you do that," John said with a touch of anger. "Why did you have to put your brother down like that?"
"I was just..."
"No," John cut him off. "You pretty much just told your brother that he wasn't smart enough to pull this off."
"None of us are," Sam pointed out.
"That's where you're wrong. Your brother can do this, Sam. He's the only one of us that could."
"Dad, I know Dean's not stupid, but he did..."
"Drop out. I know that, Sam, and you don't need to keep reminding him of that."
"You were all for it, dad. It allowed you to hunt that much more and..."
"I was most certainly not all for it," John said firmly. "Dropping out was entirely your brother's decision. I didn't want him to. I wasn't even there when he made the decision. He just simply stopped going, and no matter how much I ordered him to, he wouldn't go back."
"What's going on, dad? What aren't you telling me?" Sam asked.
"The problem was, Sam, it looked to be happening all over again, and Dean wasn't about to let that happen."
"Now I'm really confused. What the hell's going on, dad? You have to tell me."
John sighed and sank down onto the nearest bed "Do you remember when you were about 7, and Dean was 11?"
"Yeah," Sam said with a shudder. He really didn't like thinking about that time. He and Dean had been taken away from their father and sent to foster homes, separate foster homes. "What does that have to do with Dean dropping out of school?" Sam inquired.
"Everything, Sam," John said with a tired sigh. "Have a seat. It's a really long story."
Do you want more? Please read and review and let me know if I should continue?