Summary: AU tag to "After School Special" – Injured Sam, Big Brother Dean – Dirk smiled as he began walking in Sam's direction; wondering if the kid who thought he was so tough was going to be tough enough to survive a bullet.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Warnings: Sensitive topic (school shooting) and usual language
All the other kids...better run, better run – outrun my gun. All the other kids...better run, better run – faster than my bullet. ~ Foster the People
Every day was hard when you hated your life.
And Dirk McGregor, Jr. hated his life.
Hated that his mother had died of cancer.
Hated that he had had to take care of her; that he had had to see and do things a kid should never have to see and do for his mom.
Hated that his dad had always been working during his mother's illness and had never been around to help carry the load.
Hated that the kids at school – who had no fucking clue what he was dealing with at home – had started calling him "Dirk the Jerk".
And it was all because of that new kid – that quiet little shrimp with the floppy hair – who had seemed like easy prey...until the kid had kicked Dirk's ass yesterday after school.
...which had led to Dirk's new nickname.
Sam Winchester had been the first to say it, but the other kids had immediately adopted it; had chanted it – Dirk the Jerk...Dirk the Jerk...Dirk the Jerk – until it had become one loud hum that had followed Dirk from the schoolyard to the bus and even home as he had laid awake in bed last night and had heard their voices; had still seen their faces leering at him in the dark.
And it was then – in the secluded darkness of his room – that Dirk had developed his plan to make them wish they had treated him differently; that they had remembered their place in the pecking order of high school and had given him the respect he deserved for all the pain he had endured...a dead mother, an absent father, and a life that was too fucking hard.
Once the idea had occurred to Dirk, the rest of the details had come together fast and easy.
Because he had known where his dad kept the one gun in the entire household – in the top drawer of the bedside table in his parents' bedroom – and he had known that since his dad was working a double shift, the old man wouldn't be around to stop him from taking it the following morning before school.
Dirk felt his lips twitch in a smile as he stood on the sidewalk outside Truman High, squinting in the morning sun as he stared at the school in front of him; his backpack left at home – because he wasn't here to learn today – while his hand was wrapped around the grip of the pistol he had tucked in his coat pocket.
Dirk the Jerk.
Dirk snorted and shook his head; still silently seething as he climbed the steps and approached the school's door; already anticipating the expressions of shock and fear and pain on his classmates' faces when they realized they had been shot...when they realized Dirk the Jerk had been the one to pull the trigger.
Dirk chuckled – feeling strangely detached and euphoric – and opened the high school's door; entering the building and merging with the moving crowd that filled the hallway; students cramming books into their lockers, gossiping, flirting, laughing...and having no idea what was about to happen.
Dirk smiled again – the secret power intoxicating – as his eyes scanned the hallway, looking for that small kid with the floppy hair; the one who was stupid enough to stand up for himself and then think he was going to live to tell about it.
"No fucking way," Dirk muttered under his breath, becoming increasingly frustrated when he didn't see Sam among the other students in the hall.
It would be just Dirk's luck if the little shit had decided to stay home today – today of all days.
Dirk growled his irritation and stopped in the middle of the hall; his hand twitching in anticipation as it continued to grip the gun hidden in his coat pocket; his finger literally itching as it hovered over the trigger.
And then that's when he saw him – Sam Winchester...at the far end of the hall...stuffing his backpack into his locker and talking to that other pathetic dork...Barry Whatever.
Dirk smiled – that tingling feeling instantly back and surging through his veins – as he began walking in Sam's direction; wondering if the kid who thought he was so tough was going to be tough enough to survive a bullet.
Dirk had six bullets in the gun he carried and only two were already spoken for – one for Sam and the other for Dirk once this was over...which meant there were four still available to take others along for the ride to the other side.
Dirk glanced to his left...then to his right; trying to decide who would be first to take an extra bullet.
But in the end, he guessed it really didn't matter.
Because they were all assholes who had helped make his miserable life even more miserable; assholes who deserved to fucking die.
Dirk nodded in agreement with himself and finally pulled the gun from his coat pocket, vaguely aware of gasps and screams as he took aim.
"Mmm..." Amanda Heckerling sighed; her eyes closed in blissful pleasure as she savored the feel and taste of Dean Winchester on her lips.
"You liked that, huh?" Dean asked knowingly, leaning back and cocking a smile to match his attitude.
Amanda opened her eyes and stared at the charming badass within inches of her face; inexplicably turned on by that leather jacket he wore and mesmerized by his piercing green eyes that seemed to sparkle even in the shadows of the janitor's closet in which they were currently crammed.
"Mandy..." Dean called.
...which usually annoyed the hell out of Amanda – because her name was Amanda, not Mandy – but Dean Winchester could call her whatever the hell he wanted as long as he kissed her like that again.
"That was amazing," Amanda praised, sounding as breathless as she felt.
Dean's smile widened as he nodded.
Because it was true.
He – and everything he did – was amazing.
He had been told enough over the years by various girls to count the statement as researched fact.
"What time is it?" Amanda asked suddenly, her eyes darting to the closet door as she remembered they were still in school; that she still needed to make it to first period in time to escape Ms. Hornsby's wrath.
Dean shrugged; obviously not caring that they were in school...or that students shouldn't be tardy to class unless they wanted detention.
Amanda narrowed her eyes playfully. "Don't you ever worry about anything?"
Dean stared at her, his expression briefly softening. "Just one thing," he admitted.
And although Amanda wished that one thing was her, she wasn't foolish enough to delude herself.
Because she had seen Dean with his little brother – had been unexpectedly touched by how different Dean had seemed with the kid – and Amanda knew that was the one thing Dean worried about...his brother.
Amanda sighed and then blinked as muffled commotion erupted in the hall outside the janitor's closet.
"What's that?" she wondered aloud at the sharp popping sound mingled with screams.
"That's a fucking gun," Dean answered as he turned to face the door; his tone harsh as he instantly transitioned from an easygoing, wisecracking Romeo to the seasoned, lethal hunter he was. "Shit. Sam..."
Amanda's eyes widened at the revelation. "A gun?" she repeated, her voice panicked as another shot was fired in the hall. "Who the hell would bring a gun to Truman?"
Dean shook his head; caring less about who was doing the shooting and more about who had gotten shot; his own panic beginning to rise at the thought of Sam being out there in the hall.
Dean sighed harshly, reminding himself that while Sam was young and didn't have as much experience as he did, the kid was still a hunter; still knew how to defend himself and when to get down if bullets started flying.
But still – Sam was out there...alone.
Dean sighed again, wishing his own gun wasn't back at the motel. "Stay here," he ordered Amanda and reached for the doorknob of the janitor's closet.
"Wait!" Amanda yelled, moving on instinct as she grabbed the sleeve of Dean's leather jacket. "You can't go out there! Not if somebody's shooting a gun!"
"Sam's out there," Dean growled, snatching from her grasp and shoving her back.
"How do you know that?" Amanda countered, stumbling over the mop bucket and bracing herself against one of the shelves that lined the closet; knowing she had been right – that Sam was the one thing Dean worried about. "Maybe he's already in class."
Dean shook his head – because he knew exactly where Sam was...right where he had left the kid...standing by his locker about 30 feet down the hall from the closet.
"Dean..." Amanda called, her voice trembling.
Dean ignored her; didn't even look at Amanda as he continued to stand by the door; his attention focused on what was happening in the hall as he developed a quick plan.
Amanda sighed, her heart beating wildly in her chest as another shot rang out. "Maybe..."
"Shut up," Dean snapped, glaring over his shoulder at her for emphasis. "Don't say another fucking word and don't come out of here until this is over."
"Dean..." Amanda called, her eyes widening as Dean turned the doorknob; realizing he was actually going out into the hall; out into the proverbial line of fire. "Dean! No! Wait!"
But she was talking to herself.
Because Dean was already gone; was already out the door and yelling Sam's name.
"So, what do you think?" Barry Cook asked seriously, readjusting the horn-rimmed glasses on his face before nervously fidgeting with the backpack straps across his shoulders.
"I think my brother needs to think more with his upstairs brain," Sam answered, staring down the hall and watching as Dean approached his flavor of the week; that blond girl – Amanda Hecker...something.
Barry frowned but followed Sam's gaze. "Wow..." he commented, his voice quiet with amazement as he realized what Sam was staring at. "Is that your brother with Amanda Heckerling?"
Sam nodded; his expression communicating his quiet disapproval of Dean's priorities – to make out...again...before first period with some random girl he had only met a couple days ago.
"He's so cool," Barry declared; his eyes wide as Amanda grasped Dean's outstretched hand and laughed at something the older boy said. "Really, really cool."
Sam snorted. "Yeah," he agreed dryly and rolled his eyes as Dean winked at him over his shoulder before ducking into the janitor's closet with Amanda and closing the door.
There was a beat of silence as Sam turned back to his locker; taking out his textbook and notebook for his first class and then shoving his backpack into the small space that was embarrassingly high for him to reach.
"What do you think they do in there?" Barry asked curiously, referring to Dean and Amanda as he continued to stare down the hall.
Sam stopped struggling with his backpack and cut his eyes at Barry.
Barry shrugged. "Just wondering..." he defended lamely and then laughed self-consciously.
Sam shook his head. "I don't want to think about it," he responded, finally cramming his backpack into his locker and shutting the metal door. "It might give me nightmares."
Barry laughed again and playfully shoved Sam's shoulder.
"So..." Barry sighed, shifting from one foot to the other as they continued to stand by the row of lockers lining the hall. "Like I was saying...what do you think?"
Sam frowned, holding his books across his chest. "About what?"
"About being the school's hero!" Barry informed excitedly.
Sam rolled his eyes.
"Everybody's talking about what happened yesterday after school," Barry continued to gush. "I mean...you kicked Dirk's butt and gave him a new nickname. It was awesome!"
Sam shrugged, uncomfortable with praise for what he regretted; not that he was sorry for defending himself against a bully, but he did wish he could take back the nickname.
Dirk the Jerk was just something he had said; something that had popped into his mind because it rhymed and had seemed to fit the situation at the time and had just come out before he had thought about it.
Sam had never expected the name to stick or for everyone to latch on to it with such joyful ferocity.
"Dirk the Jerk," Barry said and then smiled at his friend. "That's genius, Sam! You're just as cool as your brother!"
Sam chuckled, imagining Dean's horrified reaction to that comparison.
Barry continued to beam and then sighed, glancing around the hall. "Do you think Dirk will even come today?"
Sam shrugged. "Probably," he replied. "If for no other reason than to kick my ass for yesterday..."
Barry laughed. "A rematch," he declared and then nodded. "I like that idea. And I bet you could take him again, too."
Sam shook his head, having no intention of fighting again with Dirk McGregor – that was more Dean's style than his – and wishing everybody would let the issue drop.
"Well..." Barry sighed, glancing at the clock in the hall. "Guess we should – "
"Wait..." Sam interrupted, looking past Barry to the far end of the hall toward the school's entrance. "Do you hear that?"
Barry paused and turned, following Sam's gaze. "Hear what?"
But the words had barely left Barry's mouth before he did hear it – a sharp, rapid pop...the unmistakable sound of a gun being fired.
Barry frowned as the sound came again, followed by screams of panic and fear and pain. "Oh my god..." he gasped quietly and turned back to face his friend. "Is that a – "
"Yes," Sam responded, feeling remarkably calm as his training took hold; because he knew about guns...knew about the kinds of people who used guns...knew what to do when someone tried to use a gun on you.
"Get down!" Sam ordered, dropping his books to the floor and reaching for Barry.
"What?" Barry asked, too shocked to think clearly much less move.
"Down!" Sam repeated loudly, motioning to other students around them and then shoving his friend to the floor seconds before another shot was fired nearby.
...which would take the total number of bullets discharged up to four...which would mean there were probably only two bullets left to fire before the shooter would have to reload.
Sam continued to crouch beside Barry, trying to decide what he should do; what Dad would do...what Dean would do.
Sam's attention jerked to the opposite end of the hall at the thought of his brother; not seeing Dean in the frenzied crowd that clogged the hall and hoping that meant Dean and Amanda were still safe in the janitor's closet...even though Sam would give anything to see his big brother striding down the hall in his direction right about now.
"Oh my god...oh my god...oh my god..." Barry chanted hysterically, still face down on the floor as other students yelled and ran; some taking cover in classrooms or bathrooms while others ducked behind the nearby water fountain or simply sprawled on the floor as well.
"We're gonna die!" a red-haired girl moaned through her tears as she lay beside Barry; her hands grasping either side of her head. "We're all gonna die!"
Sam swallowed his own panic and fear and shook his head as he continued to crouch. "No," he assured with more confidence than he felt. "It's gonna be okay."
"How?" the red-head demanded as another voice rang out in the hall.
And even before Sam looked, he knew who he was going to see; knew he was the one being called to.
Dirk smiled his satisfaction as Sam looked at him; pleased with the fear he saw in the new kid's eyes.
Sam swallowed, staring at Dirk as the larger boy pointed a gun straight at his chest.
"Stand up," Dirk ordered, his expression as hard and cold and empty as he felt.
"Sam! No!" Barry hissed, angling his head to look up at Sam from the floor.
Sam glanced at his friend.
"Now, Winchester..." Dirk growled, his gaze as unwavering as his aim.
Sam sighed and then glanced over his shoulder – desperate for his brother – but slowly stood to face the danger looming ahead...because that's what hunters did.
Dirk shook his head at the scrawny kid standing in front of him; freshly pissed that this was the kid who had kicked his ass in front of practically the entire school yesterday...and then had christened him with that fucking nickname.
"Who's the jerk now, Winchester?" Dirk asked, the taunt having sounded cooler in his head.
Sam said nothing, nervously shifting on his feet as his mind raced for a way out of this situation; his backup plan having always been Dean or Dad...but neither were here, so...
"I'm going to enjoy this," Dirk gloated, slowly cocking the gun he held; so focused on his aim that he didn't notice the male teacher silently creeping up behind him.
Sam blinked, his gaze flickering to Mr. Wyatt and then back to Dirk; not wanting to alert Dirk as to what was about to happen
"Dirk..." Sam began, hating how his voice trembled. "Just...just put the gun down, and we'll talk about this...okay?
Dirk shook his head. "Too late for talking," he answered. "I hate you about as much as I hate my life, so I figured first one..." He nodded at Sam. "...and then the other."
Sam frowned as Dirk indicated himself with the gun. "No, Dirk," he protested and took a step forward. "Nothing is worth killing yourself over, man...or anyone else, either. Let's just – "
Dirk shook his head again and extended his arm; the gun pointing back at Sam. "Shut up."
Sam did, wondering if his English teacher was ever going to make his move on Dirk...or just spend precious seconds preparing to make his move.
Dirk smiled, the expression strangely vacant; as if part of him was already gone. "See you on the other side, Winchester..."
Sam shook his head in denial as his heart hammered in his chest. He swallowed against the sudden urge to throw up and closed his eyes; feeling his body tense in anticipation of being shot at the same time he heard his name being called behind him.
Reacting on instinct to Dean's voice, Sam turned; feeling instantly relieved at the sight of his brother running toward him down the hall.
But the relief was short-lived as Dirk fired the gun.
In the same instant, Mr. Wyatt finally made his move; grabbing Dirk from behind and pinning the boy's arms to his side, causing the shot to go wide.
Screams of renewed panic filled the hall as students reacted to the scene.
But all Sam could hear was Dean calling his name again, telling him to get down.
Sam nodded that he had heard his brother and then jerked awkwardly to the side and slightly back in an effort to dodge the advancing bullet.
But Sam was too late; the shot slamming into his right shoulder and throwing him to the floor even as Dean yelled his name once more.