Chapter Twenty-Nine

Dad arrived quickly, on tailwinds and temper. There was a lot of shouting in the conference room beside the principal's office, which Dean waited out. The principal had vacated the premises to let them deal with it. It was only when Dad turned on Sam to ask what the hell he had been thinking that Dean said, shortly and abruptly, "No!"

Dad hadn't seen how Sam ran crying to the goblet and smashed it to bits. He hadn't seen Sam gather every splinter and set them on fire. Dean wasn't going to let Dad take any of this out on Sam. That temper could blow itself out on Dean, who wasn't going to take it to heart like Sam would.

"That was his girlfriend, Dad," Dean said, and the rant stopped with a splutter and never picked up again. Then the two spoke about the facts of the case. Sam just stared at his hands, looking small and miserable in his chair.

The Warwick parents came, to meet with Dad and the principal, and Dean watched out the window as they went. The mother wouldn't even walk with the father. When he tried to put a hand on her shoulder, she wrenched away in revulsion and screamed at him that she wanted a divorce.

As Dad came back into the room, Sam said quietly to his hands, "Did you finish your case, Dad?"

It was the first time he had spoken. Dad looked at Sam, and Dean saw that his father looked a little broken. It was weird to make that observation: that Dad didn't know what to do with Sam and was just making it up as he went along. After a fumble, he said, "Yeah, Sam. We took him down. We won."

"You didn't," Sam said. "You took him down, but you didn't win."

Dad bridled a little at being contradicted, but restrained himself. "What do you mean?"

"You don't win, Dad," Sam said, his voice breaking. "Because those people are still gone."

Looking at him helplessly, Dad raised a hand like he wanted to pat Sam on the back. Then the principal knocked and Dad's neck nearly cracked as he turned to answer it. Dad couldn't deal with this, and Dean didn't know what to say either. He took the chair next to his little brother and watched a single tear roll down his cheek.

"She was so brave, Sammy," Dean said in a low voice as the principal spoke with Dad about what to do now.

"I don't ever want to be a hunter," Sam whispered. "Because winning still means losing."

Dean bit back that he wanted to be a hunter. What had been lost was in the past; what had been won was the future. There would be no Sixth Gen Kronoan club at this school, no more freaky accidents and deaths as ridiculous retributions. It was finished, this ugliness started a century ago. Students wouldn't have to be afraid that being something special was making them a target. But none of this seemed right to say to Sam at the moment.

"Since it was only a temporary placement, it might be better if we severed our relationship here and now-" the principal was saying.

"Of course I'm withdrawing them from this school!" Dad barked. "Come on, boys, let's pack up."

Classes were long underway by that point, so campus was deserted. The story to be spun to the student body and local news was of a tragic fire in the basement, which sadly resulted in four deaths. Only one of the deaths was truly tragic. While Dad talked to Bobby on the phone, Dean packed up his belongings. It took fifteen minutes. He wasn't going to bother returning his textbooks to the library. Those would just be left on the desk and someone else could take care of them. He didn't need his Penworth uniform either.

Dumping everything into the car, he went to see how Sam was doing with packing up. The door to his room was cracked open. Sam was just looking out the window, not having packed a thing. Dean turned around and went to the vending machines to buy two sodas. He came back and opened one, which he pressed into Sam's hand.

Sam looked at it for a long moment, and then said, "Thank you."

Dean drank from his own soda and set it down on the desk. Then he packed up Sam's things. Tonight they'd be far away, and Dean was eager to be in that place. Dad came in and didn't say anything about Dean packing up while Sam did nothing. Perhaps that was what was under a lot of the barking and yelling, Dad not having anything in his toolchest but those two things. Right now he couldn't do either of them, so he was rendered silent and uncomfortable.

Once they loaded Sam's things into the car, Dad said, "Maybe we could get some burgers on the way out of town. That sound good, boys?"

"Sure, Dad," Dean said. Sam just got into the back seat of the car and slammed shut the door. The bell rang and people flooded out of the buildings toward the cafeteria for lunch. "Do you have another case lined up?"

"Not at the moment," Dad said, his eyes on the back window. "I'm thinking we'll go back to Indiana, get you guys enrolled in school there."

Any school that wasn't this one! They got into the car and Dad started it up. The mass exodus of students was gone, except for Kappie. He drifted out of a classroom with his nose in a book and wandered in the general direction of the cafeteria. Then he stopped, whatever geeky thing he was reading so fascinating that he forgot to keep walking.

"Do you want to say goodbye?" Dean asked Sam, seeing that he was looking out the window to his friend. But Dad was already pulling away from the curb.

"Shine," Sam whispered to Kappie, and they left the school behind.


Author's Note: Thank you all for your comments and support with Idle Hands! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to revisit Sam and Dean as adults in another story later this summer.