Title: It's What Heroes Do
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with the television show Supernatural, although I did drive an Impala once, but I don't think that counts.
A/N: Set pre-series. Dean is 16 and Sam is 12. This story is complete! Chapters will be posted often, I'm a feedback whore so please, please, please let me know what you think!
Dean Winchester turned off the main road and passed through the ornate iron archway. He reached down and lowered the volume on his music, whistling under his breath as he took in the estate. Even in mid-November the property had a lush appearance. Unfortunately, the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach was back again, the same feeling that had been plaguing him since he agreed to attend this shindig.
As Dean carefully maneuvered the Impala down the long gravel driveway, trying to find a safe place to park his dad's prized possession among the variety of cars driven by the other high school students, he wondered why he agreed to show up at this party. Even though he needed some down time away from his dad and brother, this would not have been his first choice as a fun way to blow off some steam. But he would put on a happy face and play the part of the cool loner at the A-list party; partly to show his dad he was trying to fit in and partly to chow down on some high class party food. Dean had been promised chicken wings, barbeque meatballs, cocktail weanies, nachos and cold beer. His stomach growled as Dean chuckled to himself; yeah, there wasn't much Dean Winchester wouldn't do for free grub. Since he couldn't put his finger on the reason for his uneasiness he decided the best way to calm his anxious stomach was to fill it food.
There was a definite crispness to the late fall evening. The day had been bright and unseasonably warm, but the setting sun was bringing with it the promise of a hard freeze, and snow had been in the forecast for the weekend. Dean carefully parked well away from any other cars and sat for a few minutes in the quiet comfort of the car on a cool evening, reflecting on his first couple of months in Finewood, Wisconsin. So far life had been painfully dull and boring. Dean had spent time in some of the crappiest school districts in the country, but as he had tried to explain to his dad - blending was much easier in big city schools. You couldn't get lost in the crowd at small town schools. When there were only about fifty other kids in your grade, kids who all went to school together since their first day of kindergarten, you stuck out like a sore thumb.
His dad's response to his observations had been less than helpful. "Suck it up kiddo, sounds like you're afraid you might actually have to do some homework." That was John Winchester's great advice.
That didn't change the fact that Dean knew what he was talking about. Small town teachers noticed you, they noticed your grades and they put great stock in your appearance and general well-being. The atmosphere in smaller towns was a little more relaxed and the teachers took time to actually get to know their students. Heck, most of the time they had already taught brothers and sisters, in some cases even kids' parents were former students. An excess of bumps and bruises were a bad thing to have in a small school. Questions were asked, stories were verified and parents called. These were all bad things in the Winchester playbook.
Just as he had suspected, when they started the school year Dean discovered that everyone in his sophomore class had been going to school together for the last ten years. The pecking order was set in stone with cliques solidly established. Like most schools, the rich kids ruled the kingdom with the bullies, jocks, potheads, boozers, smart kids, nerds and losers all taking their assigned places in a school like Finewood High; and if those on the bottom of the pile knew what was good for them they didn't try to rock the boat. Usually Dean didn't give a rat's ass where he fit into the social structure, but Finewood was different. The Winchester family was sticking around here for a while and his father made it pretty damn clear that Dean was expected to tow the line and play nice at school.
The kids in Dean's grade were not overly friendly. You could go to school in a town like this for five years and still be known as 'the new kid'. However, his dad had been pretty insistent that Finewood was where they were going to be spending this entire school year; his argument being that it was centrally located to many of the prospective hunts he had been researching. John could work his part-time job at the local garage, research in his free time and hunt over the weekends or days off. His work schedule was very flexible and none of the cases he had been researching would take him more than a one day drive from Finewood.
At least his dad seemed committed to actually spending the entire school year in one place this time. Dean and Sammy had divided up their previous year between five different moves and even Dean had to admit that was a little bit much. Sam absolutely hated leaving each and every town behind, the friends he made and classes he loved. By the time they ended the last school year they both were having trouble remembering what the cover story was for the town they were in; both he and Sammy had more than a few close calls at school keeping their stories straight. There had been too many names and places, too many false identities, just too many lies. Sammy hated that part of their life and was becoming more and more vocal about sharing his unhappiness with their lifestyle.
Dean hadn't brought a book home from school for the last two years. Now at Finewood High he was expected to pull fair grades, keep out of trouble and not draw any unnecessary attention. No fighting, no back talking teachers, no skipping classes or homework. Gone was the freedom of knowing he wouldn't be responsible for incomplete work because they were going to be gone before the semester was done.
As a result of Dean's academic lagging he and Sammy had struck up a partnership. Dean swallowed his pride and asked his sixth grade brother help him with this sophomore homework and studying. Sammy also agreed to try a little harder in training to keep their dad happy. For Dean's part of the deal he agreed to sweet talk their dad into letting Sammy join the track team and knowledge bowl club. Once a month Dean promised to chauffer Sam and his friends out for pizza and to a movie, without complaint.
Two months had passed and so far Dean hadn't flunked any tests or assignments. Sammy and their dad hadn't had a single screaming match. Dean was on the track team too, a condition placed by their dad so Dean could keep an eye on Sam. He really didn't mind, after all, his goofball little brother was his best friend. One of the few good things about Finewood High School was that it was for grades 6-12, so he and Sammy saw each other during the day. Dean knew that was another one of the reasons his dad had chosen this town to settle in.
There was a solid class distinction in Finewood. On one side of the social railroad tracks were the blue collar kids, poor and brooding. They knew there was no future for them in a town like Finewood, where factory work and service jobs were the only opportunities they would ever have. On the other side were the rich kids, children of the old money families who ran the factories, the town and everything in it. Most of them were snobs of the worst kind. Dean walked the fine line between the two groups. He fit in naturally with the working class kids, after all, he was one of them. But his charm and athleticism helped him cross over and hang out with some of the more popular kids, even though he always felt out of place there.
As he locked up the Impala Dean thought maybe that was why he had a general feeling of unease about this party, because he knew he just didn't fit in. As he walked up to the brick mansion his years of training automatically took over. By the time he reached the door he knew there were 16 cars parked throughout the front of the property which meant a minimum of 24 people inside if he played the averages. The volume and style of music indicated adult supervision was most likely nonexistent. The smell of beer and weed was filtering out of the house. He knew he would have to be extra careful to monitor anything he consumed inside to avoid anyone slipping him something in a beer. He had no interest in any other kind of drug. Dean's real life had thrills, chills and excitement enough without being artificially enhanced.
Dean's plan was to make his appearance, grab a beer, schmooze the snobs a little bit, eat as much as he could and get the hell out of there without any trouble. His plans changed in a hurry when he stepped through the front door. He wondered why he hadn't listened to his instincts?
A/N: Hope you like it! Chapter 2 is on its way! Let me know what you think.