Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or the Winchesters.
Characters: Dean, OC, mentions of Sam.
Reviews: Are always welcome.
A/N: A long overdue fic for sandrainthesun, who asked for Winchesters in high school, from outside POV. Since I'm so late with this, I tossed in some Smart!Dean for good measure.
Also, many, many thanks to my awesome beta, tru_faith_lost!
Summary: He just wanted to quit, said it would make everyone's life a lot simpler.
I've lost more than a few kids over the years. I'm not going to lose this one.
He came to my class four months ago, three weeks into the school year. He has a younger brother, or so I've heard.
I've seen his type before, but he sure does surprise me every now and then. He's one of the good ones, no matter what people may say, or how hard he tries to prove me wrong.
He usually sits at the back, near the windows, and it's not easy to get him to pay attention, but I manage.
He's smart, I can tell, even though he hides it. Why, I would never know. And he sure hides it well, or so I hear around the teachers' lounge.
Most of my peers here can't stand him. Well, all of them, really, except for myself, George, and Brenda. George keeps insisting that the boy's a math wiz, that he doesn’t even have to try in order to solve equations that are more advanced than he should be able to solve. Brenda told me he definitely has a head for science, told me he showed her some sort of gizmo he made out of his old walkman. She was very impressed by it.
I think that's part of the problem. I think, maybe, the boy's just bored to tears here. It sure would explain a lot – especially his belligerent behavior and his smart mouth.
There's a lot to this kid, and I'm not losing him. I'm not.
I heard him talking to his kid brother a few weeks back. Okay, overheard him in the parking lot after school, but still. He was saying he didn’t want to keep going any longer, that it was all pointless. He just wanted to quit, said it would make everyone's life a lot simpler.
I don’t really know his little brother. All I know is, had I stayed at the junior high instead of transferring to the high school, he would have been in my class. Edna, my replacement at the junior high, tells me his name is Sam, that he's a bright kid with a passion for learning. No wonder then, that the kid gives his brother a hard time.
Sam tried to talk some sense into him, but I could see it then - I've seen it before – his words were losing their meaning.
Dean Evans wants to give up.
Like hell am I gonna let him, though.
I've been a teacher for seventeen years, and I've seen kids dumb as bricks graduate. Dean will, too, if I have anything to say about it.
He's failed two of my previous tests, and it was more than enough for Rosie to gloat at my expense, but I'm not giving up. He's going to surprise them all, I'm sure of that.
Not so much as I watch him take this test.
The others are writing like their lives depend on it. Dean… Not so much. He writes a few paragraphs, erases them, and starts again only to repeat the whole process. He tires of it quickly, I notice, since he ends up writing just a couple of lines for each question.
He is the first one to hand me his paper and leave, and I have a few minutes before Katie hands me her test to go through his answers.
It's D- work at best, and it's not so often that one of my kids disappoints me this much. He's smart; he knows better. I know he does.
I find him after class and ask him if he even bothered to study for the test. It's obvious he'd rather be anywhere but here, squirming and fidgeting, but he says he did study. I give him my intent look, but it doesn’t look like he's lying. There's a moment where I think he wants me to call him on it, but then his expression changes and he looks like he couldn’t care less.
I'm pretty sure that boy will go on to win an Oscar one day.
I have an idea. A sudden flare of inspiration. I give him detention.
He looks at me like I've just stepped on his puppy, but it's okay. This is for his own good, even if he can't see it yet
I pull him out of detention after school. He looks suspiciously at me, but shoulders his ratty schoolbag and follows me to my class.
It's another thing I've noticed – about him and his brother both – and it makes total sense. His clothes are too small for him, his brother's are too big – obvious hand-me-downs.
I've lost kids to poverty before. Smart kids, kids with lots of potential, that quit school and found a job to help support their families. I overheard him more than once, talking to his brother about some family business.
Probably would have been easier if he'd made any friends here. I see him at the cafeteria – always on his own, or if he'd joined a table, he keeps his distance. It's hard, being the new kid at school. There are so many reasons for him to just give up, but I'm not going to let him. After all, where would I have been now had my teacher not pushed me as hard as she had?
When we get to my classroom, Dean sits in the second row, keeping his distance without being disrespectful.
"Shouldn’t even be here," he grunts. "I studied for that stupid test. What a big friggin' waste of time that was," he mutters under his breath, but I got great ears. Always have.
"Prove it," I say, and slap another copy of the test in front him, catching him by surprise. "You can go as soon as you finish it," I tell him.
Dean gives me this puzzled look, probably trying to decide if I'm just yanking his chain, but I just turn around and sit down, watching him right back, showing him I mean business.
He takes a couple of minutes to look through the test, and then looks up at me quizzically.
"Didn’t I already fail this?" He asks.
"Now's your chance to pass it," I say, and him rolling his eyes at me does nothing to help him. "You are going to sit here until you finish this test. Do you understand?"
He gives me this look, this long-suffering look, and just gets up and hands me the paper. "Not gonna be any different than the last one," he says and hands me the paper. I look at him, but make no move to take the test from him.
"I'm sorry, I don’t think you heard me," I say slowly, trying to hold my temper, because I'm no saint, and the boy is getting to me. There are only so many chances I can give him without seriously breaking some rules. "You are not going anywhere before you finish this test."
He sighs again and goes back to his seat, shuffles in his schoolbag for a pencil. He ends up writing nine words on the page – his name; that's two, and 'why don’t you flunk me already?'
I look pointedly at him, but he won't take the paper back. "Look, my brother's waiting for me to take him home. You said I could go as soon as I finish this, so here," he pushes the paper my way again. "I'm done."
I cross my arms over my chest. "You sure about that?" I ask. He nods. "Fine," I say. "You better study tonight, because tomorrow we're going to spend the entire night here if we need to, but you're going to finish this test. Understood?"
"Why, Mrs. Schultz, if I didn’t know any better, I'd think you were coming on to me," he smirks and I have to stop myself from slapping him. He wants out, he really does, but I'm not letting up so easy.
"Tomorrow after school then," I say, "And every day after that, Mr. Evans. Detention. Make sure your brother knows not to waste his time waiting for you to take him home." I say and leave, pretending not to hear his curses.
The next day I can't even get him to look at me in class. It's obvious he's not paying attention to anything I say, not even bothering to write anything down.
I finally lose my temper when the boy pulls out some magazine from his backpack and starts leafing though it, looking bored. I kick him out of my class, and he just smirks at me and asks if I want to give him detention. I'm halfway through writing the slip before I remember I already gave him detention.
"I'll see you after school, Mr. Evans," I say as coolly as I can, and he just shrugs and walks out of the class. I have to take a moment and force myself to calm down before I can go back to teaching.
He's already there when I get into the classroom. I half-expected him to just ditch detention, what with the way he acted up in class that morning, but here he is – sitting in the third row this time, but still present.
I don’t really waste my breath, fighting back the anger that tries to take over me for the way he'd acted earlier that day. I am trying to help the ungrateful fool; the last thing I deserve is the disrespect he showed me this morning.
I drop my purse on my table with a little more force than necessary and pull the test out. I walk over to him and just slap the paper down in front of him. His shoulders sag a little.
"Are we seriously going to do this again?" He asks me. "Why are you wasting your time with this? I'm obviously just going to fail again," he asks me, and there's something in his voice that gets my attention. He has already given up. He wants me to give up on him, too.
Not going to happen, mister.
I might want to strangle him sometimes, but I'm not giving up on him.
"You studied this time?" I ask him coolly.
"Studied last time, too. Wasn’t really worth it, was it?" He asks back.
"You didn’t know the questions last time," I point out, and he just shrugs at me. "Well? Go on then. You have forty five minutes, and you're not getting out of here a moment sooner." I say and turn my back to him, going back to sit at my desk.
I pull my own magazine out of my purse and pretend I'm reading it instead of watching the boy like a hawk.
I'm not stupid. And I do not tolerate cheating. If he cheats, that's the last chance he's getting from me.
Dean buries his head in his hands for a few minutes, and then pulls out a pencil.
Forty five minutes later, and the best he could do is a C-. He doesn’t even look at me when he gets out, doesn’t hand me the paper. Just leaves it on the table and walks out with long, purposeful steps.
I sigh as I read his test. Either he didn’t study, or I'm doing this all wrong.
Dean already has his pencil out the next day at detention. His face is the epitome of despair. He doesn’t see the point in this, doesn’t believe in himself.
But I do. And I have a plan.
I take the test out of my purse – the one he handed me yesterday, I didn’t bother bringing a new one – and sit at my desk, pretending to go over it again and secretly looking at the boy for any reaction.
He looks resigned. Doesn’t say anything, just sits there and waits for what he thinks is coming. I'm interested to know who's sitting in my classroom; the smart kid I want to help, or the smartass know-it-all I kicked out of class the day before. When he buries his head in his hands again, I know it's the former.
I clear my throat, but he doesn’t budge from his position. "Mr. Evans, front and center please," I say, and that gets his attention. He looks up at me, but I give nothing away, just point to a chair right in front of me. He sighs but gets up, grabs his bag, and sits where he's told.
"Did you study for this test?" I ask him again.
"No," he says this time, and gives me this angry look. "Look, I get it, okay? I'm stupid! That what you want to hear? I'm stupid! I couldn't pass this frigging test if my life depended on it, okay?" And there's a crack in his voice, and he looks away, doesn’t want me to see the tears pooling in his eyes.
I say nothing, because dear Lord, he doesn’t truly believe what he'd just said, does he? He can't honestly believe…
"So I get it, okay? I do. Fine. You win," and this time, there's anger in his eyes. "Do we really have to do this again?"
My throat clams up, but I force myself through it, because God Almighty! "Yes, we do," I say, and hope like hell my voice isn’t as shaky as I feel.
Dean narrows his eyes, clenches his jaw and crosses his arms over his chest. "Fine," he says in a dead kind of voice. "Let's get on with it so I can get the hell out of here."
I swallow hard. Thoughts are racing through my mind. I'm letting this boy down, I'm going to lose him, and I can't. Not him. Not Dean.
"Put the pencil away," I say as calmly as I can. He gives me this look, and then gives a little defeated nod. He puts the pencil away and gets up to leave. "Sit down!" I snap at him. He looks a little confused, but I'm pretty sure he can see my face quite clearly, and my face is saying what I know it's saying. And it's saying we're not done here.
I take his test in my hand and give him a pointed look before reading the first question out loud. Dean frowns. I read it again and wait for him to figure it out. It takes a couple of minutes for him to understand what's going on, but when he finally opens his mouth to answer, it's exactly what I knew it would be.
I write down notes as he speaks; things I want him to clarify, things I want him to elaborate on. I rephrase the question when I see he doesn’t get it, doesn’t understand what it is I'm asking for.
He answers haltingly at first, as if unsure of himself, unsure of what I'm expecting of him. Half an hour later, and it's almost as if he's a different person. Confident, engaged, almost excited.
It takes nearly two hours, but when we're finished I give him back his test, the one from yesterday.
It's amazing to see the difference in his answers, now that he actually gets what it is I'm asking. When he understands what it is I'm expecting of him.
He stares at the red A- I scribbled on top, and then looks up at me, a disbelieving look on his face.
"You can go now, Mr. Evans," I say, but he makes no move to get up, still staring at his grade.
"Does this mean I don’t have detention tomorrow?" He asks in a small voice, still not looking at me.
To be honest, I was kind of waiting for this question. I had already made up my mind about it halfway through the test.
"No, Mr. Evans, it does not," I tell him, because I can help him. Dear God, I can help him. "I'll see you tomorrow after school." I say, and then get up to leave.
It's going to be tricky, arranging it all so quickly, especially considering how late it was, but I am not going to let him down. I'm not.
It turns out after school is not a possibility, so after an exhausting conference with Principal Whitman, I get permission to pull Dean out of his regular scheduled classes.
He seems confused when I pull him out of George's classroom, and to be honest, I'm a little envious of the way George is able to get the boy engaged in his class. Then again, there aren’t many students that feel passionately about history.
I walk him down the hall to the library. It wasn’t easy getting it closed for the day, but I can be very persuasive when I want to. And loud.
Dean looks questioningly at me, but I just nod him on inside. Susan, the school counselor, is already waiting inside, along with a balding man with gold-rimmed glasses. Dean hesitates, looking at me again, but I just smile and tell him to go on in, watch him as he does.
It's a long test, but it's accurate and the school board accepts the results without question. It's expensive, and it's coming out of my pocket, but I think it's worth it. If that's what it takes to save this kid, it's worth it.
I'm there when Dean walks out of the library. He stops for a moment, as if surprised to see me. "Mrs. Schultz," he says, and I nod at him. "So… detention?" He asks hesitantly.
I smile at him. "I think your brother is waiting for you," I say, and just smile at him when he gives me another one of those looks, as he tries to decide if I'm just yanking at his chain.
And then he straightens up, and I can't help but notice how handsome he is. He's definitely not one of the shy ones, which makes me wonder for a moment why he doesn’t have a girl wrapped around his finger, but I quickly force myself to stop thinking about it. This is not my business, and it's one I'm happy to stay out of.
Dean nods his thanks and turns to leave, but I stop him. "I took the liberty of getting your assignments for you," I tell him, and his smile falters a little. "Wouldn’t want you to get behind on your schoolwork," I say with a smile of my own. My smile grows a little as his shoulders sag again. What can I say? I'm a teacher; I take my fun where I can get it.
The test results confirmed my suspicion that Dean Evans suffered from a learning disability. His IQ test was rather impressive, and made me even happier I didn’t give up on the boy.
The results convinced Principal Whitman to let the boy take all his tests orally. He was forced to spend a few hours a week with Suzan, trying to overcome his dyslexia, but I consider it another win.
By the end of the semester, Dean Evans wasn’t a straight A student, but the lowest grade he got was a B-, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more of him.
My peers all seemed to have noticed the change in the boy, and some even started to treat him better for it, which I was grateful for.
I wanted to watch Dean Evans graduate.
I got to him in time. He still had a year to improve, and Suzan and I both started talking about colleges with him. His options improved so much already, and with another year to go, with his potential and the right recommendation letters, I knew he would get far.
Getting him excited over college was not an easy feat, but I am not one to give up easily.
He didn’t believe me when I told him I could get him an interview with Harvard, but I knew a guy. And I had faith in Dean.
I wanted to watch Dean Evans graduate. It was a fight I was determined to win.
That's why my heart broke a little one day, when I got to school and realized he was no longer a student. A little poking around told me his brother was gone, too. Moved, Edna told me.
There was nothing more left for me to do but hope, and pray, and trust Dean.
It took two years for the letter to arrive. I was rather surprised when it did, and was quick to open it.
I tore open the white envelope and pulled three papers out. A photocopy of a high school diploma, and two admittance letters to college.
With the name Dean Winchester on them.
My brow furrowed, because my memory might be slipping a little, but for someone to send me their graduation diploma, I must have known them really well.
A note fell out of the envelope when I shook it. I recognized the handwriting immediately.
'Thank you,' the note said, 'I couldn’t have done it without you.' It was signed Dean Evans.
I've lost more than a few kids over the years.
But I didn’t lose him.
Teaching is hard work, but moments like that, students like that, they make it worth my while.And he did get into Harvard.