Another awful town and an equally awful school. At least now that he was in the ninth grade he and Dean were at the same school again. Not that they would be for long because Dean doesn't really give a crap about school and is already talking about dropping out. The only reason he hasn't yet is the novelty of being at school with Sam again for a little while. Dad has been on at Dean to quit school and pick up jobs to help with some legitimate money and to join him on more of the shorter hunts now that he thinks Sam is old enough to look after himself for a few days at a time. So if he stays much past the Christmas break Sam will be surprised. Sam thinks the whole thing sucks because Dean should be able to finish school and go to college but whenever he's said so Dean has looked at him like he's crazy or something and asked why anyone would actually want to go to school when they could be hunting.

Today, Sam is just really grateful that Dean is here because this place really sucks ass and having Dean around is the only thing good in this school. The people here are horrible.

They've been here a little over a week and Sam hasn't made any friends. Not that it's bothering him too much, he's used to being the freaky new kid and none of the kids in his year seem worth knowing anyway. Dean already has a group of girls drooling over him and doesn't really care about making friends with any of the guys. He thinks most high school guys are tools. Dean drives them to school every morning and waits for him in the parking lot each afternoon and that's all Sam needs to make things bearable.

They're only going to be in this town for another two weeks anyway and then dad has promised that they're going to stay in the next town or city for the rest of the semester. Not that dad hasn't broken that particular promise before but at least wherever they go they won't be here. Sam really hates this town, it gives off bad vibes and that's something he'll never voice aloud again because Dean spent days making stupid psychic hippy jokes at his expense.

When he walks over to meet his brother after school, Dean is leaning against the Impala talking to four girls who are all vying for his attention. Sam rolls his eyes at him as he approaches and Dean flashes him a toothy grin.

"Sammy, I was about to send out a search party. Did you get lost on your way out?" He wrapped his arm around Sam's neck.

"It's Sam and I had to get some books from the library."

"Of course you did geek boy." He laughed and hip-checked Sam then looked over to his little fan club. "As much as I'd like to keep enjoying your incredibly fine company ladies, I'm afraid I have to get Sammy here home so I'll see you tomorrow."

The four girls all gave their best flirtatious smiles and turned to leave. When the boys get in the car and the girls are walking toward the football field where practice is taking place, Lori Freeman bends down ostensibly to pick up something that she has dropped but it's obvious it's just to give Dean a good look at her ass and then she turns and gives a little wave.

"Looks like there might have something interesting to do in this ridiculously boring town after all." Dean leers and jabs Sam in the ribs.

"Dude, she's got a boyfriend. She's dating Bryan Mason."

"Am I supposed to know who that is?"

"He's the team quarterback."

"Lame, no wonder she's looking for something a little more spicy." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

"I've seen them around school, Dean. He's really possessive. If anyone even looks at her sideways he acts like he's gonna give them a beat down."

"You think some punk high school jock worries me?"

"No, I know he doesn't but we're only gonna be here another couple of weeks, it's not worth the hassle. Why pick the one that'll mean trouble? You could have any of those other girls, no problem."

Dean reached across and ruffled Sam's hair. "And where's the fun in that?"

He slapped Dean's hand away and rolled his eyes again. God, the next two weeks were going to be just awesome.

The next few days Sam watched the increasing flirtation between Lori and Dean and the threatening glares from the football team that were shot at both Dean and himself. He couldn't understand why they were looking at him at all, it wasn't his fault that all his brother had to do was look at a girl and her panties pretty much flew off. Great, it was bad enough he had no friends here but now that the football players seemed to hate him on sight, everybody was avoiding him like he had some sort of contagious disease. He loved Dean but sometimes he wished his brother would keep it in his pants occasionally. Why did he have to go after someone else's girlfriend?

On Saturday night Dean was out until after midnight and came back into their room in an odorous cloud of sex and perfume. Sam scrunched up his nose in disgust. "Dude, you reek!"

"Oh, don't be like that, Sammy," Dean teased. "One day when you're a real boy maybe some geek girl will give it up for you."

"You suck. So were you with her?"

"If by her you mean Lori then yeah. That jock is history and I get to spend some quality time before we leave with the school's hottest babe. And man, that girl knows some tricks."

"God, Dean. Gross! I don't want to hear about your sex life." The older boy laughed and shoved Sam over so he could flop down next to him on the bed where he was lying down watching TV. "You know this means Bryan and his friends are gonna be pissed when we get to school on Monday."

"Meh, like I care what a bunch of dumb jocks think. It's not like they scare me and it's not my fault that Bryan guy wasn't enough man for his girlfriend. But if he wants to take a swing I'm more than happy to sit him on his ass."

Sam knew that his brother could wipe the floor with the tall blonde footballer with ease and even if they decided to try and gang up on him, he knew his brother could more than handle himself. He wouldn't be stupid enough to let himself get into a situation where they could get him at school and he was always packing when he was off school grounds. It still worried Sam though. There were other ways they could get at Dean if they really wanted to. The Impala was in the parking lot during the day and it wouldn't be hard for the idiots to find out the name of the motel where they were living, although God help anyone that touched Dean's 'baby'. But if Dean brought trouble to the motel, dad would kill him.

When they parked at school on Monday morning Dean asked Sam if he would be okay to catch the bus home that afternoon because Lori had told him that her parents would be at work until after six and Dean wanted to go home with her. That was okay by Sam as it meant he could swing by the town library on his way back to the motel, there were some books he'd been wanting to check out.

He hadn't seen Dean or Lori at lunch time and knew it was because they'd probably snuck off to some supply closet or other but he did see Bryan and his friends who watched him with poisonous stares in the cafeteria. Just great. Dean gets laid and Sam gets death glares. He kept his head down and ate his bagged lunch alone feeling eyes on him the whole time. He couldn't wait to blow out of this town.

He'd been held up a little after class because some asshole had knocked over a couple of boxes of supplies the teacher had been using and then blamed Sam so he was made to clean it up. He was at his locker when a guy from his Trig class – Jesse – jogged up to him out of breath and looking wide eyed. "That new guy Dean is your brother isn't he?" Sam nodded. "I think he's hurt bad, man." With that, Jesse started running toward the back exit.

Sam slammed his locker shut, threw his backpack over his shoulder and ran after him. "Hurt? What happened?"

"I dunno but he's lying on the grass and he's bleeding."

Sam ran past Jesse, charged through the back doors and was tackled to the ground with the wind knocked out of him before the door had even closed. He didn't have time to react before someone much bigger than him was hauling him to his feet with a painful grip on his arm – Bryan. He found himself surrounded by four very pissed off seniors. They had obviously seen Dean drive off with Lori and had known this was the perfect opportunity to exact their revenge and Jesse had led him right into it.

"Hey there, Winchester," the tall blonde sneered, "Your brother is messing with what's mine. Let's see how he likes it when I mess with what's his."

The young teen knew he was in a world of trouble if he didn't get out of there right now. Dean had already left so he was outsized, outnumbered and alone. His training kicked in and he used what he had been taught to break free of the hold pretty easily. When the larger boy stumbled, Sam kicked out and caught him in the knee causing a scream of pain and Sam dropped his bag and ran. He didn't get very far before one of Bryan's friends caught him by the back of his jacket. Sam whirled and landed a hard punch to the other boy's jaw before two others threw themselves on him and he fell heavily. He managed to hit one hard in the gut with his elbow before a fist slammed into his face and he was being held down.

Bryan limped over and snarled out, "I'm gonna mess you up good for that you little prick."

Sam was still bucking and fighting even though he knew it wouldn't do any good. If it had been one or two of them he could have taken them even though they were twice his size by fighting dirty but without a weapon he had no chance against four of them. He knew he was going to take a beating but at least he'd gotten a couple of good hits in and he wasn't going to make it easy for them. He tried to shout for help but had barely opened his mouth before he was punched again.

"Bring him in here," Bryan ordered pointing to bathroom attached to the sports building.

The young men dragged the kicking and fighting teen in and threw him to the tiled floor. He immediately sprang up and charged the guy closest who fell back against a sink with a satisfying 'oomph'. The others scrambled and grabbed hold of him before he could get to the door.

"Fuck, Bry, the little shit can fight."

A tall dark haired boy held Sam around the neck with a muscular arm while a redhead – the one Sam had punched – kicked the backs of his knees causing his legs to buckle under him and stood rubbing his jaw.

Bryan towered over the kneeling boy still completely surprised it had taken all of them to bring the scrawny kid down. He was angry before about the way the kid's cocky dick of a brother had stolen his girl but now he was livid because he could feel his knee swelling where the brat had kicked him. He had originally planned on only scaring the shit out of the little punk by roughing him up a little to send a message to that asshole Dean not to mess with things that didn't belong to him but now – now he really wanted to make them both pay. He knew how much the kid meant to his brother – he'd seen the way they were when they were together – and he knew the best way to hurt Dean was to hurt his kid brother. It was just a bonus that he really wanted to cause some damage to the boy now because Sam had injured his Goddamn knee which could take him out for the season.

"Hold him steady and if he tries to yell again, knock the little fucker out."

Bryan rummaged through the bag he had with him and found what he was looking for. A couple of bruises would fade in a matter of days but he wanted to make sure this lesson would be remembered for a lot longer than that. If he thought he could get away with it, he would have broken both the kid's arms but he didn't want to end up under arrest. With what he was planning he knew that if they called the cops that it would be put down to it being a prank. It was handy that the coach and the sheriff were related, the team got away with a lot of shit because of it. The town didn't have much but their team was great because of him and they were treated like golden boys. He got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it, and he sure as shit wasn't going to let some white trash new kid come to town and steal his girl away without retribution. He'd show them who ran this school.

Sam was still on his knees on the floor in a chokehold, something he could have gotten out of if it wasn't for the fact that two other large older boys were also holding him down. He knew he was going to be beaten but he'd been hit by worse than a few football thugs before. He was pissed at being held helpless and he was pissed at Dean for getting him into this mess to begin with. Why couldn't his brother have just kept his dick in his pants for once.

"Big man aren't you? You're too scared to take on my brother so you have to pick on someone smaller and get your loser friends to help," he sneered. "You're pathetic."

"You should learn to shut that mouth before I shut it for you...permanently."

Bryan turned toward the younger boy and held up a large pair of scissors. Sam's stomach dropped. He'd thought that they were going to smack him around a little but maybe they were going to stab him. For the first time since they had jumped him, fear overwhelmed his anger.

"Hold him steady Jimbo, I wouldn't want to slip. You think you're a tough boy, baby Winchester? You look more like a little girl to me with that hair. Think it's time for a haircut."

The other boys guffawed and Sam started to struggle again in earnest. Fuck this, these guys were psycho. "Get the fuck away from me. Don't you touch me."

Bryan walked behind Sam and grabbed his hair in a tight fist yanking his head back. The first snick of the scissors cut part of his bangs off right to the scalp and taking some skin with it. Sam gasped as a shower of hair was dropped in front of him. "Please, don't!"

"Not so mouthy now are you, boy?"

Bryan almost danced around him mincing it up and getting sniggers from his friends. "What was that, some off the back? Why of course I can do that for you." He pulled Sam's head forward and hacked at the length, cutting huge chunks away.

Sam was crying now. He didn't care that it was embarrassing or how it was giving them satisfaction, he just wanted it to end. "Please stop. Don't do this."

"Snivelling like the little girl you are. Don't worry, you'll look more like a man by the time I'm finished with you. I'm doing you a favour." He started chopping hanks of hair from all over Sam's head while he continued with his gay hairdresser routine.

"Tell your brother he messes with what's mine, I mess with what's his. Tell him I hope fucking my girl was worth it."

By the time they had finished, all of the fight had gone out of Sam. He just wanted to go home, put on a hat and never come out of the room again. His face and arms were bruised, his scalp hurt where the scissors had scraped him and he was covered in his own hair.

He picked himself up from the floor after they had left and looked at himself in the mirror. It took all of his strength not to burst into tears again. His dad would love this, he was always on at Sam to cut his hair and now someone had done it for him. He shuffled out of the bathroom and found his backpack still on the ground near the back of the school building. He'd well and truly missed the bus so he started the three mile trek back to the motel on autopilot, still too shell-shocked to think or he would have called Dean to come and get him. He was crying again by the time he got home.

He knew Dean would think it was girly to cry over hair but it was the one thing that he had control over in his life – the one thing he and his father didn't agree on but he let him have his own way with. He hated the bullies who did this, he hated this stupid town, he hated always being the new kid and not having any friends, he hated his dad for dragging them from one stupid place to another but despite the fact that this was retaliation for something Dean had done, he didn't hate his brother. He just wanted Dean to come home. He wanted Dean to make it better like he always did.

Dean was barely out of the door of the Impala when Sam came flying out of the motel room and into his arms. It wasn't until he pulled back to look at his brother that he saw what was wrong. Jesus Christ! The kid looked like he'd had a fight with a lawnmower and came out on the losing side. His clothes were a mess, his face was bruised up and he had dried blood under his nose and on his forehead where – fuck – his hair had been massacred.

He automatically went into fight mode. He needed a weapon because something had hurt his little brother and he didn't know what or where the threat was. He pulled his brother toward the trunk of the car so he could get to a gun. "Is it in the room?" Sam had his face buried into Dean's shoulder and was crying in loud hiccups. "Sam!"

"N-no, it was f-f-football players."

Dean's world tilted. A monster hadn't hurt his little brother, some dumb jocks had. He pulled Sam in close and led them into the room. "What the hell happened? Why? Where?" He wasn't thinking coherently, none of this made any sense, Sam never did anything to bring attention to himself.

"Bryan M-mason and his friends. They h-had a message for you. He said he hoped Lori was w-worth it and you messed with what was his s-so he messed with me."

Dean's brain couldn't decide what it felt more at that moment. He felt an almost all consuming murderous rage at the fuckers who did this but he also had to fight back the urge to vomit because this was on him. Sam was beaten. Jesus what did they do to his hair? And it was all because of him.

He had to calm himself down enough to find out how bad his little brother was hurt beside the obvious disaster they had made of his hair. Sam had stopped the worst of the crying now that he felt safe in his brother's arms and all Dean wanted – needed – to do was to get in his car and hunt them down and make them pay but Sam came first and he had to be sure he was alright. Plus, he needed to know exactly who was involved so he could kill every last son-of-a-bitch that was part of this.

After checking over Sam and finding that apart from a lot of bruising – that the worst that was done was the butchering of his hair – he made Sam tell him everything from the beginning.

"I was getting some stuff from my locker and was about to leave when a kid from my class came and told me you were hurt and bleeding. When I got to the door they jumped me."

"They're dead," he growled. "I want names."

Sam was scared of what his brother was going to do. He didn't care what happened to his attackers but he didn't want Dean to do anything that would get him into trouble – or worse – arrested. "Dean, you can't...they're just people."


Sam swallowed nervously." It was Bryan Mason who cut..."he choked back a sob, " hair. There were three others, Jim Steadman, Mark...I don't know his last name but he's always with Bryan and Justin Bakerfield."

"Mark Strzlecki. What's the name of the kid who lured you out?"

"Dean, you can't hurt him, he's only fourteen like me. If you hurt a minor you'll go to jail."

"Not gonna hurt him but I am gonna put the fear of God into the little bitch. Who was it?"

"Jesse Truman."

"So tell me exactly what happened."

Sam told how they had knocked him down and overpowered him. How he had fought back and even got a few hits in and possibly damaged Bryan's knee and Dean felt a huge surge of pride. The kid was set upon by four guys a hell of a lot bigger than him and still managed to get some licks in. He told of being dragged into the bathroom and the hits and torment that followed culminating in Bryan taking a huge pair of scissors to him and how at first he thought he was going to be stabbed and how scared he'd been. Dean was so angry his vision was whiting out. Four big seventeen and eighteen year old men picking on a fourteen year old kid who hadn't hit his growth spurt yet and all because they were too pussy to come after Dean themselves. Now he was going to take the fight to them.

"I don't want to go back to school here. I look like a freak and...please don't make me go back," Sam pleaded.

It almost broke Dean's heart. Sam usually begged to go to school and they had a hard time keeping him away even when he was sick. Dean realised just how traumatised this had left his baby brother.

"You don't have to go, Sammy. Dad'll be finished up by the end of the week and we can blow this burg. I'll pick up our stuff tomorrow and then when school's out there's going to be a little payback."

"Don't do anything stupid. Please, Dean. I don't want you to get into any trouble and dad will be so pissed that I let this happen. It was my fault, I should've known it was a trap...should've known you weren't hurt. Dad's right, I can't do anything right."

Sam started to curl in on himself, hugging his knees to his chest and looking at the floor. Dean lifted the smaller boy's chin and looked him in the eyes.

"Don't you dare, Sammy. None of this is your fault, it's mine. You warned me not to go after Lori, that it would bring trouble and I didn't listen. The stupid thing is I'm not even that into her. I did it because it fed my stupid ego to be able to get one up on the school jocks. I'm an asshole and you paid for it. This is all on me and I'm so damn sorry, kiddo. Don't you worry about dad, it took four of them to hold you down and you still fought back. I know he's hard on you but not about stuff like this okay? I'm gonna fix this, I promise."

Sam raised his hand to his head and gingerly ran his hand through the mess of his hair and the almost bald patches at the front and base of his skull. "Everyone thinks I'm a freak and now I look like one."

"You're not a freak, Sammy. It's a mess and I'll have to cut most of it off to even it out and make it look a bit better but it'll grow back. It grew back when you were twelve and I put the Nair in your shampoo remember?" He elbowed the young teen gently giving him a small smirk and got a tiny hint of a smile in return.

"Still gotta pay you back for that, assmunch."

"Bring it on, bitch." This time they both smiled.

"Come on, let me clean up the cuts on your scalp so they don't get infected."

Later that night after Sam had finally stopped shaking and drifted into an exhausted sleep, Dean called his father and told him what had happened – minus the part about him being the reason his brother was attacked – he didn't have a death wish. John had agreed that staying in town after this might bring them unwanted attention.

John was angry. Like Sam had anticipated he had immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was somehow Sam's fault and went on about how Sam was careless – how he was supposed to fly under the radar and knew better. Dean very rarely spoke back to his father but this time he had talked over him, ready to admit the whole thing was actually his own fault but he had made his dad listen and explained that the boys were much older, bigger and Sam was clearly outnumbered and that he had done nothing to deserve the attack other than being the new kid...again... and also, that Sam went down swinging. A chagrined John admitted he was proud of Sam for fighting back. Pity he would never tell Sam that but John Winchester rarely gave praise to either of them. Dean had no doubts at all that their father loved them but it was hard to live up to his sometimes impossible expectations – especially for Sam.

The next morning Dean laid newspaper on the floor and sat Sam on a chair. He pulled out the hair clippers and saw his brother's anguished face.

"I can take you to a barber."

"No, you always cut my hair. Just do it, Dean."

Sam was fighting not to cry but treacherous tears were escaping and he wiped at them roughly with his sleeve.

"I can't really save any of the length, Sammy. It's too close to the scalp at the front and a couple of patches at the back. It's gotta be short kiddo, I'm really sorry."

"You always say my hair is stupid anyway so what does it matter?"

Dean crouched down in front of the little brother that was hurting because of him. He would do anything to be able to go back and stop this from ever happening and he was going to do everything he could to make it up to him including letting him pick the music for a while even though he hates the emo shit Sam likes and running interference with dad so he could do more homework and shit instead of so much training. Even though that sounded more like punishment to him he knew it would mean a lot to Sam.

"It's not stupid, Sammy. You know I just like to tease you but I actually kinda like your ridiculous hair and it'll grow back fast. I'll buy you some cool hats if you want."

Sam looked at Dean with watery eyes and gave him his first genuine smile since this happened and it warmed Dean's heart.

After he cut Sam's hair he settled up their bill with the motel and told Sam to be ready to leave that night. He'd gotten their next location from dad so they were heading off tonight and he would meet the boys there later. They could stay in another motel until their dad joined them and then together they would find something a little more permanent because John was determined this time to keep his promise to his youngest and stay in one place until the end of the school semester. That had cheered Sam up significantly but he was still nervous about whatever Dean had planned as payback.

Dean drove to the school midway through afternoon lessons, cleaned out both of their lockers and went to the office while the rest of the students were in class. He told the administrator that their aunt was gravely ill and they had to leave immediately and, laying on the charm, asked if they could possibly get the copies of the transcripts they had brought with them. Not that he cared at all about his own but he had to get Sam's. He needed everything to go smoothly. He didn't want to raise any suspicions or let on about what had happened to Sam the day before because he didn't want any reason for this to come back on them when he finished with those football jerks because the school knew their real names.

He put everything into the Impala and waited. First cab off the rank was Jesse Truman. He wasn't hard to find because he was the only kid in Sam's year that had flaming red hair. Dean was guessing that he was most likely related to Justin and that was why he had helped the assholes by luring Sam out.

When Jesse walked around the corner toward the bike racks, Dean stepped out of the shadows, grabbed the kid by the arm and said, "You're going to come for a short walk with me. If you make a sound I might have to snap that skinny arm of yours which is no more than you deserve but you come quietly and you can walk away in one piece."

The kid looked at Dean with terror filled eyes, gulped loudly and nodded. Dean led him past the bike racks and behind the building that housed the gym. While they were walking Jesse realised that his idiot cousin and his friends must've done a lot more than scare Sam like they'd told him they were going to. He'd been a little worried when Sam hadn't been in Trig this morning but when he'd asked Justin during lunch he'd just laughed and said there was nothing to worry about. He was more than worried now. He was so scared he felt like throwing up.

"So, what do you think you deserve for leading my little brother out to get tortured yesterday? Should I do the same thing to you that they did to him?"

Torture? They never said anything about torture!


"Should I kick your legs out from under you? Should I hold you down and punch you in the face?" Jesse visibly paled and Dean realized that the kid obviously didn't know what had gone down but that didn't mean he was going to let him off the hook. He'd still led his little brother into an ambush by a bunch of bullying dicks and he needed to feel some fear. He pulled out the knife he had strapped to his ankle under his jeans. "Or maybe I should hack your hair off down to the roots and make you bleed like they did to Sam."

He saw the stain spread on the front of the younger boy's jeans before the smell of urine hit him. "You're lucky, kid. Unlike others here, I don't beat on anyone younger and smaller. You may want to rethink things when someone asks you to be a part of bullying because next time you might not be so lucky. Understand?" The boy nodded violently. "Now I've got a few more people I have to see and don't even think about warning anyone or even telling anyone about this or I might have a change of heart about hurting you. You best be on your way but you might want to wait until the other kids have gone before you pick up your bike, it looks like you've had a bit of an accident." He pointed to the boy's crotch and the kid went a brilliant shade of puce, clashing fiercely with his bright ginger hair and he backed up and fell on his ass.

Dean put his knife back in its sheath and walked to the street where he had parked the Impala. He knew from Lori that Bryan and his cronies always waited until everyone else had left after football practice and then went back to the field to hang out and drink. He couldn't have set it up better himself. All he had to do was wait and he could be a very patient guy.

After watching all of the cars leave the parking lot except those belonging to his intended targets, Dean hoisted a small duffle bag over his shoulder and quietly followed the four football players as they walked back to the field with bottles of liquor, companionably jostling each other and laughing. He was far enough back that they didn't see him but not so far back that he couldn't hear their conversation and their laughter was about Dean and what they had done to Sam. His face formed a rictus of a smile. I'm going to enjoy this.

When they had settled onto the grass and started passing a bottle back and forth Dean stepped onto the field and sauntered toward them.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here? The annual meeting of Pussies-R-Us?"

All four boys startled at the approaching man but none of them felt in the least bit threatened. In fact this was what they had been hoping for by going after the little brother. They could have easily just beaten up the idiot older Winchester but Bryan had wanted him to suffer first. He didn't like being humiliated and this James Dean wannabe was going to learn just what happens when you go up against him and his friends. He was cracking his knuckles in anticipation of smashing his fist into Dean Winchester's pretty face. He knew that the guy was probably good in a fight, he had that tough guy look about him but he was just one guy and there were four of them. He didn't think the idiot would be so stupid to approach them when nobody else was around to help him. I mean, how dumb can the guy be? Bryan had been bitterly disappointed when neither Winchester boy had turned up at school today but now he was positively joyful.

"He really is a dumb sumbitch isn't he?" His friends all laughed as they rose to stand. "Or did you like the haircut I gave your brother so much that you wanted one for yourself?" Expecting him to yell in anger or rush him to try and land a punch he was a little thrown off balance when the young man laughed and kept walking toward them at the same leisurely pace. Justin, Mark and Jimbo all moved to place themselves in a position to grab Dean when he made a move so they could hold him while Bryan taught him a lesson. Dean never flinched, he just kept approaching.

"Am I interrupting a little manicure party girls or are you swapping stories on who has the best 'My Little Pony'?" He walked close enough that the boys started to circle him, waiting on the cue from Bryan to grab him. When they had him surrounded he placed the bag he was carrying on the ground and said, "Hey I usually like my activities a little more masculine but you boys seem to be having so much fun painting each other's nails maybe I'm missing out or something. But if it's a private party then I guess I could go amuse myself doing something fucking your girlfriends."

Bryan lunged forward, took a swing and connected with...air. "Come on sweetheart, do you wanna hit me or just dance for a while?" The quarterback rushed forward to tackle his opponent but Dean deftly sidestepped the move, spun and shoved Bryan to the ground with a boot to his backside. Justin lunged from behind and grabbed Dean in a bearhug and found himself flat on his ass and bleeding when Dean slammed his head back cracking the redhead's nose. Bryan having regained his footing joined the other two in rushing the man. A roundhouse kick took Mark down and Jimbo toppled over his downed friend when an open palm connected with his ear causing bells to ring loudly in his head and his eardrum to pop. Bryan roared and moved to throw a punch but telegraphed it so far ahead it was almost laughable. Dean dodged his head to the side and grabbed the extended arm pulling Bryan forward to connect his stomach with Dean's knee.

He could see the bloodied and winded men rallying for a second assault and rolled his eyes. "Not that this isn't fun but it's not exactly why I came tonight fellas." He reached behind him and pulled out the Smith and Wesson that was tucked into the waistband of his jeans. He was extremely grateful for the tree cover that blocked the field from view of the road and the fact that there was no housing in the immediate vicinity. This was going to take far less time with a gun. The boys froze. "I just don't have the time to fill your dance cards tonight girls so let's just move things along shall we?"

Mark looked fearfully at the gun and spoke first. "You're crazy! You can't shoot us!"

"Well the fact that I'm holding the loaded gun says I pretty much can if I want. And right at this moment I really, really want. You see there is just one thing I hate more than scum-sucking dirtbags who beat up kids and that's scum-sucking dirtbags who beat up my kid brother so I wouldn't focus on can or can't here if I were you, I'd focus on will or won't."

"What do want frob us?" Justin asked nasally, wiping at the blood streaming from his nose.

"Just a little something for my brother. Now strip down to your tighty whities."

"Oh God, Oh God..." whined Jim, "He's going to rape us."

Dean let out a snort, "Don't panic princess, your virtue is safe. I wouldn't touch your lily-white asses with someone else's dick."

"You'll shoot us anyway."

"Well, that's up to how co-operative you are. Personally, I'd like to put a bullet in each of your pea-sized brains and I wouldn't even raise a sweat about it but Sam didn't want me to hurt you too much even after everything you did to him because he's a hell of a lot nicer than I am. You should be grateful that I don't like to let my little brother down. You do everything I say and maybe the only thing that'll be wounded tonight is your dignity. Now line up and strip!"

The bruised and bloodied men began to remove their clothes and put them on the ground. Dean waved his gun to indicate for them to move back and when they did he collected the discarded clothing. He reached into his bag and took out sections of rope which he placed on the ground in front of them.

"Okay Bryan, now you're going to tie up your friends and you're going to make sure the knots are nice and secure or I may forget my manners. Hands behind backs and ankles together."

Expressions of fear and anger were at war on the quarterback's face but he did what he was told. When he was finished Dean checked the ropes and when he was satisfied they were secured he tied Bryan's wrists and ankles. He walked back to his duffle and pulled out his Bowie knife which made Mark start to sob loudly and Bryan lose control of his bladder. The other two just looked terror-stricken.

After he finished up he moved the boys to the entrance of the gym, sat them down on the cold concrete and secured them to the railing. He had one more thing he needed to do and when he was done with it he dumped their clothes in a pile on the asphalt, squirted lighter fluid over them and set them alight.

"Next time you have a beef with someone you might want to settle it like men and not pick on kids. This is not even close to what I wanted to do tonight or what you deserve and for that you can thank Sam."

He turned and walked away.

Sam slid into the passenger seat next to a grinning Dean. "Got something to show you before we leave, Sammy."

As they approached the school Sam became more and more confused. Dean parked the car and asked Sam to follow him. When they walked around the back toward the gym Sam couldn't contain his laughter. All four boys were tied to the metal handrail, naked except for their boxers, their hair in a worse mess than Sam's was and behind them hung a spray-painted sheet that read 'Oakland High has Zero Tolerance for Bullies' echoing the posters that adorned the walls of the cafeteria for a policy that was never enforced for the football team.

"Are we gonna leave them there all night? It's gonna get a lot colder."

"They're tough guys, they can take it."

"Can we make an anonymous call later?"

Dean couldn't believe how kind-hearted the kid was after all he had been through. He admired him for it even though that softer side of his baby brother always worried him. It was a trait that could easily be exploited by both people and monsters and used to hurt Sam.

"We have to put some miles between us and here first but sure, if that's what you want. I don't think they're gonna tell anyone about us anyway especially seeing Bryan pissed his shorts."

Both boys were laughing on the walk back to the car, bumping shoulders as they went. Dean pulled a beanie out of his back pocket and tugged it onto Sam's head.

Sam ducked his head shyly in a move that normally would have hidden his eyes behind his bangs and it made Dean's heart clench. "Thanks, Dean."

As they started the car Sam slipped an Oasis cassette into the tape deck.

"Oh, hell no."

"Hell yes! For the next month shotgun picks the music, driver shuts his cakehole." Sam flashed a full dimpled grin at his brother. Dean couldn't help grinning back.