A/N: This one is for LilyBolt, who requested a while back one when Dean realizes Sam has surpassed him in scholastic knowledge. I know it's a little late, but I hope you enjoy! Huge thanks to LilyBolt, judyann, mb64, zekeschance, deanstheman, BranchSuper, and reannablue for your reviews to chapter 24. You guys are awesome! And thank you to all who just read, follow, and/or favourite this. And as always, I don't own Supernatural.

Chapter 25 – Grunt

Dean had always been a bright child in elementary school. He remembered report cards riddled with straight As, sandwiching the occasional C (normally in the "works well with others" category). The boy had been determined to excel in school, the desire to teach his new found skills to his little brother one day trumping his desire to goof off. In fact, other than the occasional reprimand for acting up (even as a child that Dean Winchester cockiness threatened to rear its head, even at the tender age of seven or eight) the boy had been a relatively well behaved student as well. Teachers just couldn't help but like the little guy, despite his occasional desire to get into mischief. After all, what little boy didn't get in trouble every now and then?

Come middle school, Dean's grades began to slip. Teachers couldn't understand for the life of them why a little boy who had been so successful in elementary school, always diligent to get his work done, was suddenly slacking off. Assignments were rarely complete on time, and when they were passed in, looked hastily done, if finished at all. The boy would doze off in class, answer questions with more smartass comments then before. His teachers did not know that instead of working on his own homework, Dean would stay up and help Sammy with his, leaving him tired and in no mood to complete his own work. As and Bs slipped to Cs and Ds. Dean's first F was in the sixth grade, history. Who cared about the capitols of the states when he should be studying the lunar cycles and how to properly dispatch a ghoul?

So the decline in his grades never really bothered Dean. His brother was doing well in school, the same As that dotted his report cards now appearing on Sam's. And, needless to say, the elder Winchester was near bursting with pride. He had helped his little brother excel in elementary school; he had spent hours after school teaching the boy to read when the constant changing of schools had slowed his progress in learning. Science projects, writing assignments, every single A made Dean's slipping grades and exhaustion worth while. Anything for Sammy.

It was the summer after his first attempt at twelfth grade when Dean finally realized that even with all the extra help from him, Sam was just overall smarter than him. At least in all things academic. The elder boy looked down at his failing report card, the odd C standing out amidst a sea of D-s and Fs. Sammy, of course, had proudly displayed his own, straight As, as usual. Not once was Dean ever resentful of his brother's book smarts, and rarely did the sing of his own failures truly bothered him. He was the grunt of the family, after all. Sure, he was a damn fine hunter, and would no doubt be one of the best someday. As the years passed, he split his energy between hunting and cars, having spent hours watching either Dad or (more often than not) Bobby work on the in the long, summer months between hunts. He knew every part, every minute detail by heart, and could tear apart and rebuild the Impala piece by piece with no trouble at all. But he had to admit, sometimes it stung when Sam would roll his eyes, look at Dean like a total moron, and recite some fact he had memorized in biology class or whatever.

But it wasn't just that. Despite the annoying history or literacy lessons given by the kid he was now affectionately calling Geek Boy, something else truly bothered Dean, even more than the fact that he sometimes felt like a complete idiot in comparison to his younger brother. That very afternoon, Sam had told him that once he got into high school, he was planning on acing every course. When Dean had arched an eyebrow, complete with his snarky "don't think you have to worry about that, Geek Boy", the kid had slipped out something which was no doubt a secret, something that he probably had even considered not telling Dean, but then brushed off as if it were nothing. "You never know, I might wanna be a lawyer or something when I grow up."

Dean felt as if he had been kicked in the gut. The kid wanted to leave. To go to some preppy college like Yale or Harvard. Not only had his kid brother far exceeded his own eight grade report card, but he was possibly contemplating college. Worse still, leaving the family business behind; leaving Dad. Leaving him. And yet a small part of him wanted Sam to go. The kid was a freaking genius. No doubt he'd make the Dean's List or whatever that shit was every semester. And he knew it was selfish of him to want to keep his brother away from college, the normal life he deserved. But what if Sam chose some overseas college? Oxford or Cambridge or the University of fucking Russia or whatever? How could Dean possibly look out for Sam when he was half way across the damn globe let alone the country?

But that was still at least four years down the road. Plenty of time for Sam to change his mind, to put this idea of a university degree behind him. Dean sighed, gave one last glance at his dismal report card. And looked up at the kid across from him, buried in one of his favourite novels. And he couldn't help but smile. The kid was reading for pleasure. What a Geek Boy. But damn if he wasn't proud of him.