I shouldn't have yelled at Teach today. But, she should know that I can't read a book that thick. I struggle just to read the text book, what in the hell is she thinking? She really must be making fun of me, there isn't any other explanation. There just can't be. I don't even get why she comes and spends time trying to help me. I wonder if there is a quota or something, maybe she needs to reach out to so many hard luck cases per year in order to get a raise. God knows she just doesn't do it out of the kindness of her heart. No one spends time with me just because they like to.

I didn't want to go back to Bobby's house. I just didn't want to watch him teach Sam Latin, and watch them pour over ancient texts and watch them ohh and ahhh over things that I will probably never understand. Dad and Bobby tried to teach me the basics of Latin, needless to day it just didn't take. Sam understood all of it though. He was only 10, well, almost 11, and I was two days from 15 and I can't for the life of me learn what Sam can learn in a day in a year. Whatever.

I took the long way home. I walked down the railroad tracks, I made sure to walk on the wrong side of the tracks, it just seemed more right. I walked into town, I stood in front of the comic books in the book store and read about superheroes and dreamed that one day I would be the big guy with the muscles and the girls and the respect. No one ever asked the superheroes if they understood Shakespeare, or if they understood why the constitution was written, all they cared about was helping people. No one made them feel unwanted or said that they were too difficult to deal with. People loved them for what they did, for who they were. Even their alter egos who were either blind, or maybe paralyzed, or even nerdy, they were all loved and liked for who they were. Gosh. One day I wish I could be like them.

I went everywhere and anywhere just so I didn't have to go back, didn't have to be reminded for the rest of the day how I wasn't like Sam, and how yet another adult in my life has decided that Sam is the better person, the better everything. I always thought I was Bobby's favorite. I really really should have known that it was just a matter of time.


Worried was the word for the feelings that were just blasting through me. That stupid son of a bitch hadn't come home yet. He simply told Sam to go on home without him, that'd he'd be back by dinner. Well hell dinner had come and gone and he still wasn't here. I have half a mind to kick that little son of a bitch's ass when he walks through that door.

I've called in favors all over the state. If anyone even sees a glimpse of Dean Winchester they will pick up the kid, kicking and screaming if they have to, but they will pick him up and bring him back here.

Then I heard it. I heard the door knob turn on the back door. I was at it in a flash, and I threw open the door and there stood Dean, wide eyed and stunned.

"Where have you been boy! Do you know how many things out there could have eaten you? How many people could have just taken you off of the street and hurt you?"

The little shit just shrugged and walked through the door, dropped his bookbag next to the sink and went to wash his hands. He acted like nothing had happened, like it wasn't going on midnight and he had just now decided to step foot through the house.

"Dean Michael Winchester where in God's name have you been?"

"Around. What's it matter?" he asked, snotty tone that has been in his voice since he got here ever present. I wanted to smack that clean out of him.

"It matters a lot."

"What? Sammy want something and I wasn't around to give it to him?" I had to count to ten before I screamed at the kid. If Sam was right, all Dean wanted was to be thought important.

"No. He's worried sick, so sick he started to cry. And I've been worried too. Called hell and half of Georgia looking for you. I went out looking for you. Had to leave Sam here alone just in case you wandered in. Don't you ever make me worry about you like that."

"You weren't worried about me. You were worried that Dad would be mad, or that Sam wouldn't have a babysitter. You weren't worried about me."

"No. I was worried about you Dean. You. Not things…" I made a vague gesture with my hands indicating all of the stuff that surrounded Dean. "I was worried about you."

Dean gave me big eyes and leaned against the counter. "You can't tell me you didn't think that it would have been pretty okay if I just simply never came back? I mean, I'm not someone you like to have around. I'm not a nice person, I'm loud, I talk to much, I argue, I think I'm right all of the time…I'm not smart like Sam…"

"No son. You aren't smart like Sam." Dean's eyes watered. And he kept them wide so tears wouldn't fall from them. "You are smart like you. And is that what this attitude is all about? You don't think I like having you here?"

"You don't'. You spend all of your time with Sam. Sam can learn Latin, Sam can read better than I can, Sam is nicer than I am, Sam is just a better person. Everyone likes to spend more time with Sam. Even Dad…Why shouldn't you?"

My God, who would have guessed that this strong willed no nonsense wise cracking ingenious innocent kid would be so insecure?

"You need to get your head out of your ass there little man. Just because someone spends a little time with…"

"A little time! You haven't spent one second with me except to yell at me!" Crap. Kid was right.

"I'm sorry Dean." I said finally. That stopped his anger dead in its tracks.

"What?" he asked softly.

"I said I'm sorry."


Bobby just said he was sorry. To me. No one ever says that they are sorry to me. They always tell me that if I wasn't such a (fill in the blank) that that wouldn't have happened or that they wouldn't have had to say that to me. This was the first time someone has apologized to me.

"You okay son?" Bobby asked. I must have been standing there looking like a dumb ass.

"Yeah." My voice was quiet even to my own ears. I cleared my throat and repeated "Yeah."

"Good. Now, tomorrow after school you are to come right home. You are grounded. You will come home and I'm going to have to put you to work in the salvage yard." I sniffed and wiped my arm across my nose and nodded.

"Yes sir."

"Now get up there and wash up and go to bed."

"Yes sir." I took my bag and headed up the stairs. Sammy was sitting on my bed when I got in. He looked at me with watery eyes. They were swollen and he was scared.

"Where have you been?"


I was so scared when Dean didn't come home. And I knew that it was sorta about me. If I wasn't so smart, if I hadn't taken up Bobby's time, he would have come home, he wouldn't have been out there maybe eaten by a monster or kidnapped by a deranged murderer, he would have been here laughing and joking with Bobby about something I didn't understand. But that would have been better than starring out the window, waiting for my brother, or running down to the end of the driveway and looking for him, or just flat out being so scared I wanted to scream.

But he's home now. He's in the bathroom washing up, the water turns off, and I hear him walking towards the room, the door creaks open and he steps through. I turn to him, and ask, "Where have you been?"

I swipe at my nose with the back of my sleeve.

"I was out. I just didn't want to come home."


Dean shrugged. "You tell me that's not an answer."

"I didn't want to watch Bobby teach you Latin. He tried to teach me last year, I'm just not smart enough." He looked down at his hands and then at me. "But that was selfish. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have scared you or Bobby."

I couldn't hold it in anymore. I burst out crying and threw myself into his lap. "What would have happened to me if you didn't come back?"

"What do you mean Sammy? You would have been just fine with Dad and Bobby."

"No I wouldn't. How would I have eaten when Dad left? I don't know how to get money, I don't know how to make people not call Child Services, I don't know how to make it on my own. That's what you do. That's your job. I don't know how to do that stuff. People would have come and taken me away." It was all true. I didn't have those smarts. I wasn't smart like Dean.

Dean put a hand on my head and then he gave me a hug. The older I got the fewer hugs I got, I pushed into it with all I had.

"I'm sorry little brother. I didn't think about it that way. I just thought it wouldn't matter."

"It matters." I said. "It matters to me." He patted my hair down again and he hugged me tighter.