Title: High School Blues
Summary: Takes place during 'After School Special' (episode 4x13). Amanda Heckerling finds out why Dean thinks he's a hero.
High School Blues
Truman High School, Fairfax, Indiana
Dean was enjoying himself immensely as he made out with Amanda Heckerling in the school janitor's closet. From the moment he'd caught her looking at him with curiosity in class the other day, he knew he had her. He'd barely even had to turn on the charm to persuade her to sneak in here with him; in fact, she'd practically suggested it herself.
As he smoothly slid his tongue into her mouth and tightened his grip on her waist, tugging her closer, he felt her hand move up to his shoulder and grip the collar of his shirt in response.
This was the life.
Whenever Dad was off on one of his hunting missions and dumped the boys in a random school, leaving them to their own devices, Dean always made the most of the time by scamming on girls and seeing how many he could get to fall for his charms. After all, it wasn't like there was much else for him to do. He wasn't like Sammy, who actually enjoyed school and was perfectly happy to get a chance to settle down in one place for a few days.
No, Dean hated this boring waiting game, where he was stuck inside some crappy school building and had to pretend to be interested in learning something, instead of doing what he really wanted: going out hunting with his father, battling demons, saving people and actually making an difference in the world.
He also found that he got really antsy when he wasn't out there, training, researching… hunting, and sitting in class getting totally bored out of his mind really didn't help. So, being able to find a little excitement in the form of making out with a pretty girl in the janitor's closet was a welcome reprieve. Luckily, the frequency with which they moved around meant that he didn't have to worry about any of the girls getting too attached to him. It was a pretty sweet set-up, actually: he'd charm a girl, get her into the janitor's closet or wherever else was the popular make-out spot, maybe even into her pants, and then before she had time to start developing feelings for him, he would have to say goodbye and move on… and gorgeous, blonde Amanda Heckerling was just the latest in a long string of hook-ups for Dean.
He lifted his hand to cup her neck and cheek briefly as he kissed her again, before smiling against her lips and pulling away slightly. She opened her eyes and smiled back up at him in response.
"So, tonight, I'm thinking," he started, lightly brushing the tip of his nose against hers as he gazed down at her suggestively. "You, me, a bucket of popcorn, extra butter…"
"Mmm, kinky," she replied with a grin as she raised her eyebrows and gave him a quick peck on the lips.
"..and the midnight screening of I Spit On Your Grave at the Cinedome," he finished with a evocative wiggle of his eyebrows.
He kissed again, making his intentions clear, but she frowned apologetically as they parted.
"I can't. I have a curfew... at eleven."
"So?" he questioned, not understanding her point.
What the hell did a curfew matter?
"So," Amanda gave him a look as if it should be obvious. "If I break it, my folks will ground me for a month."
Dean just scoffed, "Yeah, parents. Terrifying."
He leaned in to kiss her again, not really getting what the big deal was. Parents were just parents, after all. They were nothing compared to the evil he saw and dealt with on a daily basis.
"Mm-hmm," she murmured against his lips, her tone implying she didn't believe he could seriously be so blasé about all this. "Well, when's your curfew?"
"I don't have one," he stated smugly.
Amanda gave a small, nervous half-laugh, before looking at him in puzzlement.
"Your parents just let you stay out all night, don't they?" she said, not sounding too surprised at that realisation.
"My Dad's out of town on a job," Dean told her, as if it was the norm for every kid. "It's just me and my brother."
She ran her hand up over his chest as she asked, "For how long?"
"Couple of weeks," he replied, not really caring to get into the subject of his Dad right now, not when he was about to get to second base with a hot cheerleader-type.
As a distraction, he tried to kiss her again, but she pulled away and shook her head in confusion, playfulness gone now.
"Yeah," Dean nodded, unsure what the big deal was. What did she care about his dad anyway? "We got a pretty sweet setup at The Pines."
"The motel?" Amanda's expression became almost worried now.
"Mm-hmm," he nodded confidently. "HBO… magic fingers… free ice. It's great."
"Yeah… I guess." She didn't look convinced.
"What?" Dean went on the defensive now, feeling slightly uncomfortable under this chick's inquiring gaze. "I do whatever I want, whenever I want. It's perfect."
"Yeah, but..." she still looked puzzled and he didn't understand why. "Don't you miss your Dad?"
At that, Dean just looked at her, his jaw clenching as her words hit closer to home than he wanted them to.
What business was it of hers what his home life was like?
What business was it of hers whether he missed his father or not?
He shook his head slightly.
"Nah, not really," he shrugged it off as best he could, before making the best distraction he could think of. "Look, it's no big deal. Come 'ere."
He slid his arm around her waist again and pulled her close to him, angling his mouth towards hers again. She just looked at him for a moment, her thoughtful and worried expression making him feel suddenly exposed and uncomfortable, before she gave in, her eyes sliding closed as she kissed him back. Dean did his best to lose himself in the embrace, but her words remained in the back of his mind, niggling at him in a way he really wasn't comfortable with and he tried to shake it off the best he could.
He was Dean Winchester, after all; he was cool and collected. He didn't let girly emotions get in the way of anything.
They spent a few more minutes in the closet, as Dean did his best to make her forget about their earlier conversation, but then the bell rang before they got any further than first base and they reluctantly emerged from the room. Standing in the doorway, Amanda rose up onto her tiptoes and, clutching at his shirt collar, gave him one last kiss before slipping past him and out into the hallway. He smiled and moved to follow her when he saw his little brother walk past with some geeky-looking kid in black-rimmed glasses.
"Yo, Sammy," he called out with a grin and nodded at his brother, who did the same, before he continued down the hall to his next class.
It had been a week and a half and Dean was still making regular trips to the janitor's closet with Amanda Heckerling. He had to admit that he liked hanging out with her; they'd gone to the movies a couple of nights ago—to the mid-evening showing of I Spit On Your Grave instead of the midnight one—and had spent almost the entire film making out in the back row. By the time the movie was twenty minutes in, he'd already gotten to second base with her and was seriously contemplating whether he dared to try for third in a public place, but unfortunately a group of kids had chosen that moment to come in late and sit in the row right in front of them, which had put a serious dampener on his plans.
Afterwards, he'd considered asking her if she wanted to go somewhere more private so they could continue what they'd started, but then he remembered that Sammy was back in the motel room, alone, and that he'd promised they would order pizza and play board games together tonight, so he'd reluctantly walked Amanda home and said goodnight with the promise of another make-out session at school the next day.
Unfortunately, his carefree adventure with her suddenly came to a grinding halt when she told him—right in the middle of him making a steady progression back towards third base again in the janitor's closet—that she wanted to invite him to dinner at her place… to meet her parents.
That had stopped him cold, a feeling of dread washing over him as the words came out of her mouth, and he'd had to try really hard not to let his fear show on his face.
There was no way he was meeting her parents.
He didn't do parents.
The fact that she'd even asked him meant that this thing they had going on had gone too far; it was getting out of hand and it was starting to suffocate him. He knew right then that he had to get out; he couldn't let her get any more attached to him than she already was. This whole thing was supposed to be a bit of fun; just something to pass the time while he waited for Dad to call and get them the hell out of here.
He did his best to stay cool as he dismissed her request with a shrug and an offhand, "Yeah, maybe," and then he got out of that damn janitor's closet as quickly as he could, trying to forget the conversation had ever happened at all.
Luckily, a distraction came in the form of Sammy and the fight he'd managed to get himself into in the corridor earlier that day. As quickly as he could, he tracked down his brother at lunch and demanded to know the whole story.
"Dammit, Sammy," he burst out pacing in front of the school bleachers, when Sam admitted what the bully had done to him. "That kid's dead."
"Dean," Sam tried to protest in a soft tone from his position sitting on the metal bleacher bench.
Dean just ignored him. No one treated his baby brother like a punching bag and got away with it.
"I'm gonna rip his lungs out!" he shouted angrily, allowing his frustration with the whole Amanda thing to come pouring out under the guise of being mad at Sam's attacker.
Sam sighed, "It's not a big deal."
"Not a big deal?" Dean questioned coming to stand in front of his brother. "Sammy, look at yourself. If Dad was here—"
"He's not," his brother cut him off.
"Well, I am!" Dean retorted, feeling the usual protectiveness he'd always had for his kid brother. "And as soon I'm finished with that dick—"
"Just shut up, okay?" Sam burst out just then, looking fed up. He paused and looked down for a moment, before saying determinedly, "I don't need your help."
"That's right, you don't," Dean countered, wondering why on Earth Sam hadn't just stood up to the bully himself and ripped the kid a new one. "You could have torn him apart. So why didn't you?"
"Because," he sighed. "I don't want to be the freak for once, Dean." Sam glanced to the side. "I want to be normal."
"So taking a beating," Dean scoffed. "That's normal?"
Sam just looked away, indicating that the conversation was over. Dean did the same, letting out a sigh.
Why did Sammy have to be so intent on being 'normal' all the time? What was so great about normal? From what he could tell, being normal sucked. He'd rather be out hunting demons and fighting things than doing crappy, boring normal things any day of the week.
Sam chose that moment to change the subject, "Any word from Dad?"
With a frustrated shake of his head, Dean fished his phone out of his pocket, hoping to find a new message from their father, but no such luck.
"He called this morning, said he's going to be another week at least," he sighed in annoyance. "We weren't supposed to be here this long."
He shrugged his shoulders uncomfortably. He'd had enough of this place already; he just wanted to get as far away from here as possible, as soon as possible.
"At least you've got Amanda," Sam tried, unsuccessfully, to cheer him up. "She's cool."
Dean just raised his eyebrows.
"Dude, she wants me to meet her parents," he told Sammy, his tone almost incredulous as he tried not to shudder. He shook his head vehemently. "I don't do parents."
A few days later found Dean doing his best to put Amanda and her 'meet the parents' invitation to the back of his mind… by making out with some random brunette from his History class in the very same janitor's closet he'd spent most of the last couple of weeks with Amanda.
He was just getting into it, cupping the girls face in his hands as their make-out session heated up, when there was a frantic knock on the door.
"Five more minutes, Jerry," he called out, figuring it was the janitor wanting the use of his closet back, before turning back to the girl in his arms and resuming the kiss.
What he wasn't expecting though was for the door to open and for Amanda to be standing on the other side, looking both confused and pissed at him at the same time.
He quickly turned around to face her, schooling his features into the best innocent, 'it's not what it looks like' expression he could muster.
She just looked at him in disbelief.
Thinking quickly, he turned back to the brunette and improvised, "Gettysburg address, 1863, right?"
The girl just stared at him in confusion and he could feel dread building in the pit of his stomach as he fought to think of a way out of this one. Amanda just stared at him, her arms crossed over her chest, as the brunette slipped past him with her head down and made a quick getaway.
"History test next period," he told Amanda hastily, by way of explanation. "We're studying."
She shook her head and shot Dean a look of disgust and disappointment before turning to walk away.
"Come on, baby," Dean tried to reason with her as he followed her out of the small room. "She means nothing to me. Don't be mad."
Sure, he had no intention of continuing the relationship, or of meeting her parents at any point in the near future, but he always did his best to stay on the good side of the girls he messed around with. Nothing good ever came out of them thinking he was a douche bag.
Amanda stopped out in the middle of the hallway and shook her head at him in disappointment.
"I'm not mad, Dean," she said purposefully. "I thought, maybe, underneath your whole, 'I couldn't give a crap,' bad-boy thing," she shook her head sadly as she spoke, "that there was something more going on."
She folded her arms again and pressed her lips together, as she continued to shake her head.
"I mean, like the way you are with your brother?" she said, her tone almost hopeful as she gave a small sigh and a shrug. "But I was wrong."
Dean just looked at her, his jaw clenched, anger building inside of him as her mention of little Sammy hit a chord within him.
"And you spend so much time trying to convince people that you're cool,"—Dean licked his lips at that and looked down uncomfortably—"but it's just an act."
He couldn't believe she was saying these things to him. No one got away with making assumptions about him or his family.
"We both know that you're just a sad...lonely little kid. And I feel sorry for you, Dean."
He raised his eyebrows at that. Who was she to feel sorry for him? She didn't know anything about him, or about his life.
"You feel sorry for me, huh?" he said calmly at first, before the anger and defensiveness took over and he bit out, "Don't feel sorry for me. You don't know anything about me."
She shook her head one last time and began to walk away, which only caused Dean to get even more angry and worked up.
"I save lives," he called out after her, his voice rising with every word. "I'm a hero. A hero!"
But she was already gone, and all that was left was a bunch of kids looking at him with disgust on their faces. He faced off against them, wondering what on earth made them think that this conversation, or his life, was any of their business.
"What?" he burst out at them. "What?"
Fed up with the school, the other kids, everything now, Dean turned around and began making his way down the hallway, trying to ignore the mean stares and whispers from the kids around him. As he walked, he heard the sound of kids congratulating someone and the words, "Nice one, Sam.", "Way to go, Sam.", and "Sam the man.", drifting down the corridor. He glanced in their direction, only to witness his scrawny kid brother being patted on the back and congratulated for something.
Well, that was just perfect.
His life was a living hell right now—he'd gone from being the cool, aloof, popular guy to being someone no one would even want to step in—while his geeky brother was suddenly the most popular kid in school.
He really needed to get out of here.
Where the hell was John Winchester with his noisy Impala when you needed him?
Later that evening, Dean sat on his bed in their crappy motel room at The Pines, sulking with a beer in his hand as he stared mindlessly at the TV screen. Sam was watching some cartoon or another, but he couldn't bring himself to focus on it.
The extra week their dad had said he would be gone for had passed and there was still no sign of him. Dean was angry and frustrated; he hated that he was stuck here with Sammy when he could have been out there helping his father, wherever he was right now. Not that he minded taking care of Sam, not at all, but it just all seemed so pointless for him to be sitting here with nothing to do but drink and watch mind-numbing TV when he could be doing something useful.
"I have to get out of here," he muttered suddenly, downing the rest of the illegally-obtained alcohol (after all, fake IDs needed to be useful for something) and tossing the empty bottle in the trash.
"Dean?" asked Sam curiously. "What's up?"
"You'll be all right here for a while, won't you, Sammy?" he stated, rather than asked. "I need to get some air."
"I'll be fine, Dean," nodded Sam, looking at Dean as if he could see right through him and knew exactly what was wrong. "I have homework to do anyway."
"On a Friday night?" Dean scoffed. "Dude, you need to get a life."
"Whatever, Dean," Sam shook his head and turned his attention back to the cartoon.
"I'll be back soon, okay?" he told his brother. "But call me if you need anything."
"And be safe," Dean replied giving Sam a meaningful look.
Sam just gave him a look that said, 'Dude, do you think I'm stupid?', but Dean just raised an eyebrow and stared him down.
"I'll be safe, Dean," Sam sighed, as if he'd been over this a million times… which actually, he had. "The windows are salted, the door will be too after you've gone. I have my gun and rock salt bullets under the bed, there's a silver knife in the bedside drawer and another in the bathroom. It's safe."
Dean nodded and shrugged on his jacket as he headed for the motel room door. He checked that his gun was safely tucked into his jeans, that the bottles of holy water and container of salt he always carried were still in his pockets and that his knife was secure against his ankle, before he gave Sam one last glance and stepped outside. The cool November Indiana air was refreshing against his skin and it made him feel somewhat calmer, as if it were fanning the angry heat inside of him.
He hated this place, hated Truman High and its judgmental students; at this point he even hated his father for dumping them here in the first place. The only saving grace now was that he had Sammy here with him too. Looking after his little brother helped him to focus; it gave him something to do and it also gave him a purpose. His number one priority all these years had always been to keep Sammy safe.
Hunting demons and taking care of Sammy were the two main things he lived for and they were all he really needed. Trivial crap like school didn't matter, not when you saved lives for a living, and really, what was the point of keeping up the pretense of being a normal high school kid when you weren't? It wasn't like he was actually going to graduate or anything and it wasn't as if he would ever need English Lit or French or History in the future… as least not human history anyway. Demon and spirit lore, maybe, but you couldn't learn about stuff like that in high school.
Shoving his hands into the pockets of his well-worn jeans, Dean looked around the street their motel was on with an annoyed sigh. Why was it that they always ended up renting rooms in the most rundown, awful dives in the crappiest parts of town? Just once, Dean would have liked to have stayed in a semi-decent motel; one with an actual, fully- functional shower, one without peeling wallpaper that looked like it had been there since the '70s, one without unidentifiable marks on the carpets. Just once, he mused, it would be nice to stay in an actual house or apartment… somewhere he could call home, even if only for a few weeks.
He continued walking down the street, lost in thought, making a left turn here, a right turn there, until he found himself in one of the nicer parts of the small town. Here, the buildings were clean and the houses were big, complete with neatly mowed lawns and shiny, new cars parked in the driveways. There wasn't a rundown motel or cheap convenience store in sight here in this little corner of suburbia. As Dean ambled down the sidewalks, he thought back to a time when he'd lived on a street a bit like this: back in Lawrence, Kansas when he was a kid, Sammy was just a baby and their mom was still alive. Fleetingly, he found himself wondering how their life might have turned out if that fateful night had never happened, if his mom had never been killed and his dad had never become a hunter.
Maybe they would have been your typical, normal family; maybe he would have done better in school and been making college applications right about now, instead of wishing he could be anywhere else than in school.
Exhaling heavy, Dean shook his head and rolled his eyes at himself. There was no point in wondering what could have been. He would never have that life; he, Sammy and John would never be a 'normal' family, and he would never get to experience that All-American normal life. He was so preoccupied with his thoughts that he didn't notice the girl jogging up the street towards him until it was too late and Dean practically knocked the poor girl flat on her back.
"Oh, I'm sorry," he apologised quickly, reaching for her hand to help her up. His eyes widened in both surprise and annoyance when she refused to take it and he realised he recognised her. "Amanda?"
"Dean," she acknowledged coolly as she brushed herself off and then folded her arms across her chest. "What are you doing here?"
What kinda question was that?
"Just walking," he said, somewhat defensively. "It's a free country. What are you doing here?"
"Well," she stated, as if it were obvious. "I live here."
She gestured to one of the large houses across the street and Dean belatedly realised that his aimless wandering through the town had brought him right into Amanda's neighbourhood. He really should have been paying more attention to where he was going.
"Oh," was the best he could come up with.
He shoved his hands into his pockets again and shifted uncomfortably as Amanda simply continued to look at him expectantly.
Well, this was awkward.
"What?" he raised his eyebrows, not entirely sure what she was expecting from him.
Her eyes narrowed for a moment before she sighed, letting her hands fall to her sides.
"Well, you know, I really don't have time to be standing out here in the cold all night—" Dean glanced down at her attire, realising that her arms were covered in goosebumps; she was only dressed in a T-shirt and jogging shorts. "—so I'm gonna go. Bye, Dean."
Her gaze was frosty as she made to turn away and Dean suddenly felt a pang of guilt. She was mad at him and the gentlemanly manners his father had tried to instill in him as a kid were threatening to rear their ugly heads. However, he wasn't the one who had insulted her family and called her a sad, lonely kid, so in that respect he had no intention of apologising to her.
But watching her starting to walk away, looking small and vulnerable with her arms wrapped around herself, his instinct kicked in and he called her name.
She turned back to face him, one eyebrow raised expectantly, "What is it, Dean?"
He didn't get any further however, because a man suddenly appeared out of nowhere and stepped between them, leering at Amanda with a predatory grin, who stepped back nervously.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" the man leered. "Pretty little thing, isn't she?
"I suggest you get away from her," Dean stated, his tone deceptively calm, hand moving towards the gun tucked into the waistband of his jeans. "Right now."
"Oh yeah," the man turned away from Amanda and sized up Dean. "What are you gonna do about it?"
"I'm gonna kick your ass," he retorted arrogantly.
"Really?" the guy looked smug and for a moment Dean wondered if he knew something he didn't. "Winchester's got some guts."
Dean froze, his heart stopping for a split second at the sound of his name. Who… or what… the hell was this and how did it know who he was?
"What did you say?"
"That's right, kid," The guy stepped closer to him. "I know all about you… and your daddy."
"Where the hell is he?" snarled Dean menacingly, his hand shooting out to grab the guy's neck. "What did you do to him?"
"Dean?" He vaguely heard Amanda's voice calling to him worriedly, but he kept his attention on the person in front of him. "What's going on?"
"I didn't do anything to him… yet."
"I swear to God, if you've hurt him…" Dean threatened in the most intimidating tone he could muster.
"What you gonna do, boy?" taunted the man. "You have no idea what you're dealing with."
Dean's eyes widened as the guy's eyes suddenly turned black, before he wrenched himself out of Dean's grip. Blinking, the man's eyes returned to normal and he turned to Amanda now, advancing on her once more.
Dammit, Dean swore under his breath. This was a demon possessing a human.
He hadn't encountered many demon possessions in his life before and if he could recall correctly, he'd heard there was a way to exorcise them from the human body they were inhabiting, but damn if he knew what that way was.
Thinking quickly he dove into his jacket pocket and smashed one of the bottles of holy water over the demon's head. The man roared in pain as the liquid burned his face and neck and he lashed out at Dean with a kick to his leg. Readying himself for a fight, Dean clenched his fists and swung out at the demon, who ducked from the intended blow to the face.
"That all you got, Winchester?" jeered Black-Eyes. "Thought your daddy would have taught you better than that."
"Fuck you," sneered Dean.
He rounded on the guy now, ignoring the fact that Amanda was staring at them with terror in her eyes as he threw a punch to the demon's gut. He didn't have time to think about the fact that she was witnessing this right now. The demon retaliated with a series of hits and punches and Dean found himself staggering to the ground from the sheer force of it. A rush of anger and determination wove its way through his body and, reaching down to retrieve the silver knife from his ankle, Dean leapt to his feet, standing off against the demon with a threatening snarl.
"Oh, you're goin' down, bitch," he growled out.
Giving it everything he had, he lashed out at the demon again, the silver knife glinting in the dim streetlights as he sliced the air with it. A string of punches, kicks and swings of the knife followed his words as Dean showed the demon exactly what he was capable of. He might not be able to actually kill the thing, but at least he could slow it down, maybe knock it unconscious for long enough to get himself and Amanda to safety.
It was a good thing that the neighbourhood was relatively quiet this evening at that the curtains were closed in most of the houses and no one seemed to have noticed that there was a supernatural being in the middle of their quiet residential street.
Dean kept up his attack on the demon until he had him pinned to the ground. Hovering over the man dangerously, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the container of salt. The demon's eyes widened as he opened it and poured some into his hand.
"See how you like this, sucker," he taunted before pushing his hand over the demon's mouth and forcing the salt down its throat.
The demon struggled and gagged, but Dean just smirked arrogantly.
"Something stuck in your throat?" he asked silkily, grabbing the demons shirt to hold him still. "Maybe you need to wash it down with something…"
Pulling out more holy water, Dean opened the bottle and poured it into the demon's mouth, holding it closed as the creature struggled. Smoke began appearing from beneath Dean's hand and it was a few more seconds before he moved it away. The demon glared up at him ask if he was going to say something, but suddenly his head tilted back on the sidewalk and a slew of black smoke came pouring out of his mouth and into the sky.
When it stopped, Dean sat back on his heels as the man fell back onto the sidewalk limply. The guy lay there for a few seconds before stirring slightly and groaning as he opened his eyes.
"What happened?" the man croaked. "Where am I?"
Dean eyed him suspiciously for a moment before realising that the demon was no longer possessing him and this was just a normal, regular guy now.
"What do you remember?" he asked as the man scrambled to his feet and looked around at his surroundings in confusion.
"I don't know…" the man shook his head. "I was driving home from work and had just pulled into the driveway when I blacked out… and next thing I know, I'm here." He looked around. "Uh, where is here, exactly?"
"Uh…" Dean wasn't really sure himself.
"Sadler Street," supplied Amanda helpfully, although her voice was shaky.
Dean suggested that the man that perhaps just been sleepwalking or something, and somehow managed to convince him to just go home and forget about what had happened. After the poor guy had headed off down the road, Dean turned back to Amanda to find her watching him with a mixture of confusion and fear on her pale face.
"What the hell just happened here, Dean?" she demanded to know. "Who are you?"
"Look, I'll explain everything, okay?" he assured her. "But first we need to get inside where it's safe." He glanced toward her house, noticing that the windows were all dark. "Are your parents home?"
"No," she shook her head. "They're out of town for the evening."
"Great." He took her elbow and urged her to cross the road. "Let's get going."
They didn't speak as they made their way over to Amanda's house, but as soon as they were inside and Amanda had closed the door behind them, she spun around to face Dean.
"Okay, spill," she demanded. "Who was that man out there and what happened to him?"
Dean sighed. This was it: truth time.
"I don't know who he was, but he was being possessed."
"Possessed?" She was looking at him like he'd lost his mind.
"By a demon," he said matter-of-factly.
"A…what?" Amanda let out a nervous laugh. "Um, Dean, demons don't exist. They aren't real."
"Oh, I beg to differ," he said, giving a small snort. "And demons aren't the only things out there. Ghosts, spirits, shapeshifters… they're all real too." He smirked, "I should know; I've been hunting them my whole life."
"You've been… what?" she asked faintly.
"I'm a hunter," he clarified. "We travel across the country, hunting demons, ghosts and whatever else is out there, and we kill them."
"We?" she questioned, her expression changing from anger and confusion to one of genuine curiosity.
"My dad, my brother… and me," he told her, shrugging as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "We save people."
She took a step closer to him, watching him intently. He felt slightly uncomfortable under her gaze and took a step away from her, moving towards what he assumed was the living room.
"It's a long story," he muttered, turning away from her.
"Hey," she reached out a hand, touching his jacket-covered arm. "I've got time."
She gestured to the living room and he followed her inside, taking in the cozy, plush décor as she took a seat on the soft couch. He followed suit and they sat awkwardly on the sofa for a long moment, before Dean finally spoke.
"When I was four years old and Sammy was just a baby, our mom died," he started.
"Dean, I'm sorry." She actually looked sincere. "What happened?"
"It was a fire… in Sam's nursery," he told her, looking down at his hands as he recalled the horrific events of that night. "My dad grabbed Sam from his crib, handed him to me and told me to get out of the house as fast as I could… so I took him and ran. Dad stayed behind to help Mom, but it was too late and the whole place went up in flames. He just barely made it out alive… but my mom didn't."
"The fire wasn't an accident. A demon got into the nursery and killed her… my dad heard her screaming and when he got into the room, he found her pinned to the ceiling, blood all over her stomach. She was still alive when she suddenly burst into flames."
Amanda's hand flew to her mouth in shock.
"Afterwards, my dad swore he would hunt down the demon responsible and kill it. He took Sammy and I with him and we've been hunting it and other creatures ever since."
"Wow… that's just…"
"Yeah," he shrugged. "When we were kids, Dad would go off on hunts on his own, leaving Sammy and me to take care of ourselves—I pretty much raised him by myself."
He looked up when he felt Amanda place her hand on his shoulder and saw that she was watching him with an expression of sympathy.
"Dad taught me how to shoot a gun when I was seven and I killed my first demon when I was twelve," he admitted. "Dad and I work jobs together… well, except for right now, of course. He's off on a job on his own. Sammy helps too, but I think he's still too young for all this. He's a pretty good fighter though—he might be a scrawny kid, but he's got a mean right hook."
"So, that's how he managed to beat up that kid this afternoon," mused Amanda thoughtfully.
Dean's head shot up in surprise, "He did what?"
"You didn't hear?" she looked surprised too. "It was all over the school—he took down Dirk MacGregor at lunch today."
"No shit," Dean whistled. "Go, Sammy. Guess he didn't need my help after all."
"You really love him, don't you?"
"I would do anything to protect him," Dean swore vehemently. "I'd give my life for him."
"Wow…" murmured Amanda, awe creeping into her voice now.
"It's just… it's what I do, you know? He's my responsibility."
There was a moment of silence, as Dean stared down at his hands, while Amanda shifted a bit closer to him on the couch.
"Well, I guess I was wrong about you," she told him then. "That's good to know."
Dean just shook his head.
"No, actually you were pretty much spot on," he admitted, turning his head and looking over at her with his eyebrows raised. "I act the way I do because… it's the only way I know how to deal with it all."
"Dean, you don't have to explain yourself to me."
"Yeah… I do," he returned softly, his voice slightly throaty. "I'm sorry about what I did this afternoon."
He sighed, shaking his head slightly.
"Moving around as much as we do… we don't get the luxury of making friends, of settling down anywhere," he explained. "It's easiest all around to just have some fun and not get in too deep, you know?"
"I'm still sorry for what I said to you in front of everyone today," she apologised. "I didn't know…"
"You were right though; it's a lonely life, being a hunter," he confessed. "I try to put on a brave face and not let it affect me; you know, play it off like I'm cool and it's no big deal that I don't get to spend more than a few weeks in any one place, but sometimes I do wish…"
He broke off, not really sure how to put what he was feeling into words.
"Hey, it's okay. I get it." Amanda placed a soothing hand on his lower arm and he looked down at it briefly before lifting his eyes to hers.
Dean smiled, "You're a pretty cool chick yourself, you know that?"
"I know," she smiled gently. "But if you call me a 'chick' again, I'll punch you."
He quickly straightened up, his expression serious now.
"I don't envy you, Dean," she said then. "That's one tough life you lead."
"It's all I know," he just shrugged, brushing it off.
"Dean, look at me," she urged.
He did, and next thing he knew, her lips were on his and she was kissing him gently. It was different from other kisses he'd experienced before… it was soft and soothing, and almost tender. It was the kind of kiss he'd always avoided, because it was the kind you gave or received when you had real feelings for someone.
And Dean didn't let himself develop real feelings for anyone.
"Amanda," he murmured in confusion when she pulled away.
She seemed to understand though and just smiled at him, before sliding her hand over his cheek and then letting it drop to her lap. He just looked at her in bemusement for a moment, before her expression changed to one of puzzlement.
"Dean… that man—demon—whatever he was…" she started. "He called you 'Winchester", he knew your name… he knew about your father. Who was he?"
"I have no idea," Dean shook his head, his expression changing to one of worry. "I mean, no one knows who we are… we use aliases when we're working jobs, we keep a low profile. I don't get it. Guess we'll just have to wait and see if anything like this happens again."
He had no idea what was going on. Why would some random demon even be interested in him or his father? Why would it even know who they were? And what would it want with them anyway—it wasn't like they were special or anything.
It didn't make any sense.
"So, um, how much longer will you be at Truman High for?" Amanda asked then.
"For however long it take Dad to finish hunting whatever it is he's hunting right now," he shrugged. "We were supposed to be done and out of here a few days ago, but there's been no sign of him yet."
"Well, if you're still around this weekend, maybe you'd like to hang out or something?"
Normally, Dean's internal warning signals would be going into overdrive about now, indicating a serious case of 'going too far' and 'getting in too deep', but for some reason he wasn't scared anymore. After all he'd confessed to this girl tonight, and how well she'd taken it, he was actually fairly relaxed about the idea of spending some time with her outside of the school janitor's closet or the back row of the movie theatre.
"Yeah," he nodded slowly. "That'd be cool."
They shared a smile and Dean was about to try his luck and lean in for another kiss, but they were suddenly interrupted by the sound of the front door opening.
"Amanda, honey, are you home?" called out a warm-sounding female voice.
"In here, Mom," Amanda called out and stood up from the couch.
Dean followed suit, nervously swiping his hands on his jeans as he did so. It had just occurred to him that he was about to meet the parents. His heart started beating rapidly in his chest and he suddenly felt short of breath. As Amanda's parents rounded the corner and appeared in the living room doorway, he gulped and prepared himself for his worst nightmare come true.
Dean Winchester might shoot guns, wield knives and fight demons, but he did not 'do' parents.