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Supernatural Fic: Freaks and Monsters (1/3) - Bloodslave for Cookies
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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Sun, Jul. 16th, 2006 05:05 pm
Supernatural Fic: Freaks and Monsters (1/3)

Okay, all. Here's the one I promised y'all not that long ago (not the lynching one, that's still coming soon). This is for my Firsts Chart, and it started out as one of my two "First Love" stories, put after In the Beginning, As it Ends took that prompt as it's own, this one shifted over to "First Kiss" because, even though I don't think the kiss involved is actually Dean's first kiss ever, it is the first kiss of this relationship, and it very much is the hinge upon which this story swings.

This is a bit of an experimental style for me. There's a specific and intended schism between the way the two halves of it are told, with the first half being from Dean's perspective and the second have being predominantly from John's. I intended this, and am interested in knowing whether it works for you in the story, or against you. Special thanks to Mr. Dodger for giving me the perfect title.

As always, I'm VERY interested in any feedback y'all have to offer. This one is an important one to me in terms of my mainstream work, too; so anything you have to say about what does or does not work for you is very much appreciated.


Title: Freaks and Monsters
Author: dodger_winslow
Challenge: Firsts Chart: First Kiss
Rating: R for language and mature themes (take that seriously)
Genre: Gen, Pre-Series
Parings/Characters: No pairings. John, Dean and Sammy are the focus
Word Count: 24,000 (total)
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, I'm just stalking them for a while.
Summary: So that was Dean’s thinking on the matter. He figured he was just in it for the sex, but that isn’t exactly the way it ended up turning out, because the first time he kissed her, it totally fucked everything up.


Edit Note: Well, I just discovered LJ's post limits, so I guess I'm posting this in three parts instead of one. Oh well.




Freaks and Monsters

He picked her because she was a loner like him, and she seemed a little shy and unsure of herself, and she rarely talked, even if you talked to her first. She’d be pretty enough if you cleaned her up some; but not too pretty, even if you cleaned her up so much she sparkled brighter than the Impala after a good, hard polish; so he figured that was a good mix, or at least one that would do, given what he had in mind.

His intention was sex, because he’d decided it was time. His choice of partners was her, because he thought she’d probably let him, if he worked at it a little, and he’d never been one to be afraid of a little work if the reward was right. So the first time he walked up to her in the hall and said hello, he didn’t take it too hard when she looked at him like he was some kind of freak and just walked away. The next time he talked to her, she seemed a little less surprised, a little less willing to think he’d lost his mind, or mistaken her for somebody else.

By the time he’d been saying hello to her for a week, she was smiling in response. It was a vague, uncertain smile; but still a smile, just for him, because he’d said hello. He took this as encouragement, so he moved on to the next phase of his plan, talking to her a little more each day, just a few words at first, something beyond simply "Hi," like "Did you study last night?" or "Nice shoes."

To be perfectly honest, he didn’t give a rat’s ass whether or not she studied, and he cared even less about what kind of shoes she wore; but he figured something like that was general enough it wouldn’t run the risk of pissing her off, and he’d heard on a TV show once that girls liked to be complimented on their shoes.

It took him three weeks to get anything more than a nod or smile in return for his efforts; but one day when he said, "Man, it is hotter than a bitch today, isn’t it?" she actually said "Yes." And she smiled, too. So he figured that meant he was on his way.

He started carrying her books after that. Not every day, just sometimes, when they were walking in the same direction. A few times he carried them even though he was going the opposite direction himself, and it made him late to class, but that didn’t matter since tardy marks didn’t even count for detention until you got, like, twenty of them or something. He never told her about the tardies because he didn’t want her to think it was a big thing, him carrying her books; and he didn’t want her to freak out, thinking he was getting all stalky about doing it.

But if you wanted to be technical about it, he was stalking her in a non-creepy, non-scary way. Not that he viewed it as a hunt or anything – although he kind of did. It was more that this was the only way he knew to go about getting what he wanted. And since he didn’t have anybody to ask about a different way to do it, he figured go with what you know.

And this is what he knew. So he hunted her, but in a non-stalky kind of way.

The first thing he did, once he picked her as the one he wanted – before he started carrying her books, before he started talking about the weather, before he started saying "hi" to her even – was find out her name. He figured that was the first step. He should know that before he started talking to her, just in case she knew his, even though he was pretty sure she didn’t.

He found out by asking some girls who were making fun of her near the bathrooms. He knew who they were talking about because they kept referring to her as a lame freak, and one of them said something mean about the way she smiled – that it looked it looked like she was taking a bad shit – and they all laughed at that. That’s when he asked about her name.

He thought they’d called her Laney once, but he wasn’t sure, so he asked for verification by looking the meanest girl right in the eyes and saying, "I know her. She’s kind of cute. What’s her name again?" And he asked it that way because he’d caught this particular girl watching him more than once, so he was pretty sure it would make her feel like her smile looked like shit to him, which it did, mostly because the mouth behind it was always saying something like what she’d just said.

The girl – he didn’t know her name, and didn’t want to, he just thought of her as Bitch when he bothered to think about her at all – looked at him like he was crazy for asking, and so did her only slightly less bitchy friends; but she told him, which was all he wanted, so she could look at him that way all day long if that’s what blew wind up their skirts. He thanked her by saying, "Yeah, Laney. That’s what I thought. I really like her smile."

Once he knew her name, he started listening around, just to hear what people were saying. Mostly, they said what he thought they would: nothing. That was the loner thing, and why he liked that about her. If people at school didn’t talk about her, they wouldn’t talk about him just because he was having sex with her. That was a big plus for him. A big plus.

Dad said once that having sex was more than just the sex part. There were other things to consider, like how much attention you were drawing to yourself, and if that attention would be bad for the family, because bad attention meant moving again, and Dad only liked to move when he was finished with whatever they came here to do in the first place.

Of course, Dad hadn’t actually put it like that. He’d said it more along the lines of telling Dean to be sure he considered the ramifications of having sex with a girl before he did it, because if he couldn’t do that, then he wasn’t old enough to be having sex. But he knew what his dad meant when he said "ramifications," just like he knew what "take precautions" meant, which is why he knew Dad was actually telling him to keep it in his pants unless he could do it without drawing attention to himself.

Her being a loner was also good because it meant she wasn’t going to be talking about him either, telling her friends things they had no business knowing. He’d tried this once before, but he hadn’t planned it well enough, and he heard people talking about what he was thinking before he even did anything, which pissed him off enough to abort the whole thing on the grounds he wasn’t ready yet. Or at least, he wasn’t willing to have people talk about him being ready.

But he learned from that failure – which is the only good use to make of failure – so this time, he put more thought into the selection process, which is why he picked someone who didn’t have any friends to talk about him to. Or to compare notes with on what he should do, and what he shouldn’t do, and whether or not he was any good at whatever it was he did do. Because even though he was pretty sure he’d do okay once he got started – he’d been researching the whole sex thing for a couple of years now … long enough to figure there wasn’t much more he could learn without getting some actual, hands-on experience – it still didn’t hurt if her expectations weren’t too high.

And that was part of the appeal of the loner thing, too, because he didn’t like competing against someone else until he knew what he was doing, which he did on his end of the equation, but he wasn’t quite so sure on when it came to her end of the equation, which Dad said was just as important, because if the girl wasn’t feeling the same way you were, then you were doing something wrong. And Dean didn’t like getting things wrong, even the first time he did them; or being compared to someone with more practice under their belt. Or under her belt, more relevantly, as that was where his concerns were, due to his lack of hands-on experience.

It didn’t take very long to figure out this was going to be a non-issue with this girl, because even though he never really talked to them, he did listen to what the other guys said when they were bragging about shit they never did in the locker room, and her name never once came up. Well, okay, it did once, but only when the biggest dick in the school told his only slightly less dickish best friend that he wouldn’t tap Laney Swiggart if she was the last person on the whole planet.

Dicky Dickwad wasn’t tapping much of anything for a while after that – if he even was tapping something before that, which Dean didn’t really think he was – because it pissed Dean off that he said it that way, in front of everybody, and then said it again in the lunchroom, probably because everybody thought it was so hysterical the first time. The locker room was one thing: There weren’t any girls around, so it wasn’t such a big deal. But the lunch room was different. She was only sitting two tables away when he said it, and Dean could tell she heard by how hard she kept reading her book when everybody started laughing.

Yeah, that was hysterical, all right. Make somebody feel like a freak who couldn’t get fucked if they were the last person on the planet. Just hysterical.

So it seemed like the right thing to do, stepping up to protect her honor a bit. And it was only fair, since he was pretty sure by this point that Laney was the girl he wanted to start out on, and a guy doesn’t let other guys talk that way about his girl, even if they don’t know she’s his girl, and even if she doesn’t yet either.

Since Dicky ran with a pack, he had to wait a little longer than he would have liked – he would have liked to do it right there in the lunchroom, while she was turning bright red and everyone else was laughing at how hysterical Dicky was – but in gym the next day, he got his chance, so he took it. They were playing what passed for a football game in this pussy town when he accidentally "forgot" the touch part of it and tackled Dicky so hard his teeth weren’t going to meet straight for weeks.

Not to mention his nuts.

"Try and tap that, bitch," Dean told the guy in a low voice as he got up, just so he’d know why he was pissing crooked for awhile.

Because the tackle he threw wasn’t legal in any game where there were rules, and because coach didn’t buy for one minute that he’d actually forgotten a damn thing, he got a detention out of the whole incident; but it was worth it, just to see Dicky’s face all pinched up and purple, wishing he hadn’t been so fucking hysterical back in the lunchroom now, with everybody laughing and Laney dying a little inside.

In addition to the detention, they called his dad to rat him out for what they "suspected" but couldn’t prove; but Dad was used to him getting detentions for much harsher shit than just knocking some jackass’s gonads together a little; so once he found out what Dean did to earn this one, he never even asked for any details. Details were for incidents that involved blood or broken bones. As long as there was no permanent damage done, Dad could give a rat’s ass what was going through his son’s head at the time, which is pretty much what he told the principal before he hung up on him.

He did ask Dean later if the guy deserved it though. When Dean said yeah, he was a punk bitch to some girl for no reason, his dad just nodded and didn’t ask him anything else.

That was one of the best things about Dad. He kept the rules of the house simple when it came to fucking up at school. One: Don’t draw too much attention. Two: Don’t jack up anybody who doesn’t deserve it. And three: Don’t kill anybody, even if he does deserve it. So as long as Dean didn’t break one of the big three, Dad couldn’t have cared less what the teachers thought of his parenting skills or Dean’s "burgeoning anti-social behavior."

And if Dad didn’t care, Dean didn’t care.

It did cost him a whole Saturday though, which pretty much sealed the deal on whether or not she was the one as far as Dean was concerned. Since he’d already taken a hit to defend her, Laney was the one. Period. That’s how it became official, at least in his mind.

Once it became official, he quit the planning part and started in on the working part. He found out where her locker was the Monday after detention by following her to it, and he committed her class schedule to memory before speaking to her the first time, because how else was he going to pop up in likely places to talk to her without looking like he was some kind of freak who was following her around and shit?

This kind of preparation is what makes the difference between success and failure on a hunt. He’d learned that from Dad back when he was just a kid, and he was putting it to good use now. Because even though he tried to tell himself it wasn’t a hunt, he knew inside that is exactly what it was: a hunt.

She was the prey, and he was the hunter; it was just a catch-and-release gig rather than a salt-and-burn one. He planned to hold her just long enough to get over that first hump (ha ha) and then move along to someone a little more challenging. Someone a little prettier, a little less shy, a little more willing to be interactive in the chase.

Someone who would probably talk about him to her friends, and who might even have some experience to judge him by, which he wouldn’t mind as long as he’d had his chance to figure out what he was doing first, because how else was he supposed to learn?

So that was Dean’s thinking on the matter. He figured he was just in it for the sex, but that isn’t exactly the way it ended up turning out, because the first time he kissed her, it totally fucked everything up.

*

He’d been hauling her books around for more than a week when it happened. He was leaning against the locker next to hers while she put away the books he’d been carrying and dug out a few more for him to lug to her next class. They weren’t really talking or anything – she didn’t really talk to him, she just gave him her books and then took them back when she got where she was going – when he decided to say something about her hair, that it looked cool the way she was wearing it and he thought it was a pretty color. She looked at him and blushed, then reached up with one hand to touch her hair like she hadn’t realized, until that exact moment, that she even had hair. So he figured what the hell? This must be it.

She wanted him to kiss her.

He’d been thinking about it for a while anyway, because he wasn’t the most patient guy in the world, and it seemed like time to take another step if he was going to get anywhere before they moved again and he had start all over in another school. But he didn’t want to screw it up by being impatient either, so he was waiting for some kind of sign from her that it was okay to kiss her. When he said that about her hair, and she blushed like she actually gave a rat’s ass what he thought about her hair, he really thought that was the sign. He really did.

So he kissed her.

Yeah, didn’t work the way he thought it would.

When his lips touched hers, she jolted like he’d zapped her with a tazer, which at first, he took for a good sign. But then her lips went cold as ice, and she made this little sound through them that he felt more than heard, and that’s when he realized it must have been a bad sign, because her skin going cold like that couldn’t be a good thing, so he pulled away, hoping he hadn’t totally fucked it up by misreading the signs and jumping the gun before she was ready.

He was already half way into an apology by the time he saw her eyes – something he thought through beforehand, then memorized, knowing he was going to need to apologize at some point, which is why he came up with something he thought would work for just about any situation – but the way she was looking at him killed the words right there in his mouth.

Somebody made a wise-ass crack about getting a room as they passed, but it only half registered in Dean’s head as he stared at her and saw what was looking back. It wasn’t the look he thought he’d see. It wasn’t even the one he was afraid he’d see.

To tell the truth, he didn’t really know what kind of a look it was. It was that bad a look.

And then she just turned around and walked off. Left her locker hanging open and everything. No books, no purse, no nothing. She just walked away.

She didn’t talk to him for three days. She wouldn’t even look at him. He tried to catch her after class that first day, but she walked right by him like he wasn’t even there. Then she sat all the way across the cafeteria from him at lunch, the only class they had together, so he decided he’d better give her some space and a little time to calm down.

She didn’t even go to her locker the next day, and the only time he saw her was once, when he wasn’t where he usually was at that time, and that’s how he figured out she’d changed her route to every single class, just so she wouldn’t run into him in any of the places he liked to stand and wait for her to pass by.

By the third day, he decided she was playing hard-to-apologize-to, which was a mad girl version of hard-to-get, so when she sat all the way across the cafeteria again, he got up, walked over and sat down right beside her. She was already on her feet before he got settled, and she walked away from him right in the middle of a word as he was telling her he was sorry. Right in the middle of a word. She just turned around and walked away. Left her lunch on the table, left her purse and books on the floor, and just walked away.

For the first two days, it really freaked him out that he’d screwed it up so badly; but after she left him looking like an idiot at the lunch table, he got pissed. Really pissed.

And that was the moment Dicky Dickwad decided to pick for payback. Dean didn’t even hear what he said from half way across the lunchroom; but he knew what it must have been by the way the whole place went quiet. Nobody laughed. Not a single person. When Dean turned to look at him, Dicky was looking around for all those people who thought he was so hysterical just last week.

None of them thought he was funny now. Most especially, not Dean.

It was probably good the lunch room monitor was already standing somewhere between them, because if he hadn’t been, he never would have gotten to Dean in time to grab his arm as he passed. Though Dean could have taken the teacher down without breaking stride, he didn’t. Instead, he stopped dead in his tracks the moment the man touched him, standing there without even pulling against the hand wrapped around his arm like it expected a fight instead of obedience.

The way Dean looked at Dicky made his point though. The guy sat down and shut up. He never said another word to Dean, or about Dean, again. Ever.

But that didn’t help Dean much right now. Right now, he was as mad as he’d ever been in his life. More than mad enough to kick Dicky’s ass until there was nothing left to kick, but not quite mad enough to go up against Dad by breaking two rules on the same day.

That was the only thing that kept him from doing what he wanted to do: Just the knowledge that he would be in such an ass-load of trouble with Dad if he broke the rule about killing someone at school – and he was just exactly mad enough to do it – and the one about drawing undue attention by getting himself suspended for hitting a teacher – which he would have had to do to get at Dicky – both on the same day.

It took him a couple of minutes to get it under control enough to walk away. For a while, he was actually trembling, he was so fucking mad; and that’s what took the longest to force back from the edge, to pull down and put back in its place without letting some of it out first.

The whole time he stood there, glaring at Dicky in a way that was turning the guy whiter with every passing second, the teacher kept talking in a quiet, calming voice, just saying over and over again, "Relax, son. Just relax. Calm down. Just relax." He had a good grip on Dean’s arm, but it was in his voice that he knew that grip wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference of Dean went.

So instead of trying to drag Dean away, or putting himself between Dean and Dicky, or even calling for backup on that piss-ant little walkie talkie all the lunch room monitors wore clipped to their belts, the teacher just stood there, holding on to Dean’s arm in a way that reminded Dean of his dad, talking to him like you talk to a hell hound that wants to eat you, but hasn’t yet committed to an attack.

And watching him. Watching him just like every other person in the lunchroom was watching.

Like Dean was a freak who might just lose it at any second.

And they were not wrong.

He cornered Laney later, out behind the school. He was still so mad he couldn’t think straight, and still so pumped full of unspent adrenaline he felt like he was going to jump right out of his skin any second; so when she tried to walk away from him this time, he cut her off with a quick sidestep, then backed her into a corner, his voice shaking as he demanded to know what in the hell had crawled up her ass to turn her into such a fucking bitch.

She answered by giving him that look again. Only this time, it was worse, because along with everything he couldn’t figure out about what that look meant, there was one thing he recognized the second he saw it. Fear. Not normal fear, but fear fear.

She was looking at him like he was some kind of monster – the kind of monster he and Dad hunted when Dad let him go along – and seeing that in her eyes when she looked at him cut Dean’s anger off cold. It just went away. He wasn’t angry any more, he was sick. Sick all the way to his bones. And he got sicker when her you’re-a-fucker! face crumpled in on itself, and the girl behind it started to cry.

That freaked him out. It really freaked him out.

It freaked him out so much that this time, it was him who walked away. He just turned and walked away. Left her there, backed into a corner behind the school, crying. The sound of it echoed in his ears as he walked home: the sound of her crying and the sound of him walking away. He couldn’t get the look in her eyes out of his head, couldn’t get the fear in her face off his conscience.

It made him crazy the rest of the night. Made him crazy that he’d made her cry, but even more crazy that he’d just left her there, crying. Left her there like he didn’t even notice. Or like if he did, he didn’t care.

How could he not care?

He couldn’t quit thinking about it, and thinking about it made him so crazy he started making Dad a little crazy. It even made him crazy enough that he just about tore Sammy’s head off for saying some stupid shit like Sammy was always saying.

He couldn’t even remember what Sammy said, just that it was typical Sammy shit. And then, when Dad called him on it, he gave Dad a look that brought him right up out of the chair and into Dean’s face so fast it cut Sammy off in mid-complaint.

"You got something to say to me, Dean?" his dad demanded.

Dean muttered that no, he didn’t, and looked away.

"Don’t you look away when I’m talking to you," Dad ordered. "You have something to say, you be a man and say it to my face." He was so in Dean’s face that Dean had to take a step back to maintain his balance, which was pretty much the point. "I didn’t raise you to be some punk-ass bitch who thinks tossing dirty looks and mumbling insults behind my back is the way to work things out."

"Sorry," Dean said quietly.

"What?" Dad was making a point, and he wanted it made.

"I said I’m sorry, sir," Dean repeated a little louder. Then, looking over at Sammy, who’d turned about six shades of white the moment Dad jumped up from his chair and got in Dean’s face, he said, "Sorry, Sammy. I didn’t mean to bite your head off."

"S’okay," Sam said quietly.

Dean turned back to meet his dad’s eyes squarely. Dad was still mad. He was really mad.

"I’m sorry, sir," Dean said third time. Then he just waited. His dad would take saying anything more than a simple ‘sorry’ as making excuses for disrespecting him the way that look did, and saying sorry more than three times was being a punk, which he wasn’t going to do even if it meant getting his ass kicked, so Dean just waited to see which way he dad was going to fall.

It took a couple of seconds – and those seconds seemed like about ten years each – but the anger in Dad’s eyes finally let up. He backed off looking like he was ready to crawl inside Dean’s skin and turn him inside out to ask in a way that was almost as much question as it was reprimand, "What in the hell’s gotten in to you tonight, boy? You’ve been stalking around this place like somebody kicked your dog every since you got home from school. Did something happen today? Somebody giving you trouble?"

"No. I just …" Dean shrugged, then said again, "No."

"He made a girl cry," Sam offered helpfully.

"Sam!" Dean glared at his little brother in outrage.

"Well you did," Sam said, like it being the truth made narking on his brother all right.

Dean glared at him a second longer before turning back to face what he knew he was going to see. And sure enough, there it was. His dad wasn’t angry any more. In fact, he was trying not to smile now, which pissed Dean off more than Sam being a blabbermouth and a nosey-pokey and a blabbermouth.

"You made a girl cry?" Dad asked in such a level voice it almost seemed like he wasn’t making fun of Dean, but he was, and they both knew it.

"It was no big deal."

"Was she crying hard, Sammy?" Dad was still looking at Dean, not actually smiling, but absolutely looking like this was just making his day.

"It wasn’t his fault," Sammy said. "She was just being a cry baby."

That was Sam’s way of trying to make it up to him that he’d narked, and while Dean appreciated the gesture, it was way too late to do him any good. Dad was on him now. And dad was going to stay on him until he’d heard the whole story, right down to the gory details.

That was how it worked with Dad. As long as you could keep him from asking questions, you were fine. But once he knew there were questions to be asked, you might as well just give in and tell him, because no matter how long you tried to hold out – no matter how long you tried to pretend whatever he was after was really nothing in hopes he’d eventually get bored and let it go – that’s how long, plus one minute, Dad was going to dog you about it. He was impossible like that. It was something he’d learned in the Marines, and he could have been a five-star general at it, he was that good.

So Dean saved them all some time, and himself a lot of frustration, by just giving in and telling him straight out. He didn’t tell him everything, but he told him enough that Dad got the drift and Sammy didn’t.

"Ah," Dad said wisely. Then he sat back down and finished watching his show, trying not to look like he was smiling and doing a really shitty job of it. Which again, was pretty much the point.

"Thanks a lot, Sam," Dean said later, sitting on a swing at the park playground two blocks from their house.

Tired of waiting for Dean to return after Dean told Dad, as he slipped out the door, he’d be back in a while; Sammy came looking for him. And he found him, not only because the blabbermouth little nosey-pokey Geek Boy knew every place Dean went to get away, but also because he was actually scary good at guessing where Dean was at any given moment, and he almost always got it right on the first try.

Dean didn’t know whether it was because Sam knew him so well and paid attention to every little damn thing, or because he was just smarter than any geek kid should be, or because he was some kind of freak of nature who just guessed right every time; but whatever it was, the end result was always the same. No matter where Dean went to be by himself, within twenty minutes, Sammy came wandering up, kicking at the dirt, asking if it was okay for him to hang out there, too.

And Dean always let him, because Sammy didn’t have anywhere else to hang. Or anybody else to hang with.

"It just came out," Sam said, sitting in the swing beside him. "I didn’t know it was a secret."

"It isn’t. It just isn’t the kind of thing you tell your dad."

"Yeah. I guess. Sorry."

Sam was swinging just a little, watching him with that worried look he got when he thought Dean was pissed at him. He was trying to pretend it didn’t matter, but it did, and Dean knew it did, so he punched Sam in the arm and said, "Well don’t do it again. What happens in DeanWorld stays in DeanWorld, got it?"

Sam grinned. "So, does she kiss good?" he asked.

They talked about kissing until it was dark enough that the stars looked like pinpricks of light shining up from an oil pit. Most of what Dean told his little brother was a lie, but some of it was the truth, and a little of it might even help him out one day, when he was old enough to decide it was time to pick someone of his own to experiment on, just to prove to himself and the rest of the world that he wasn’t a total loser freak who couldn’t find a girl who’d fuck him on a bet.

Not that it mattered what the rest of the world thought.

*

Although he still had no idea what he’d done, he figured whatever it was, he’d screwed up his chance of ever fixing it when he left her there by herself, crying, so Dean quit talking to Laney after that. He quit waiting for her by her locker, or hanging out in any of the places he used to stand until she walked by. He quit offering to carry her books, and he just basically left her alone, figuring that was best for them both, seeing as she thought he was a fucking monster, and he figured she was a crazy bitch.

But even though he gave up on fixing it with her and started looking for someone else to experiment on instead, it still bothered him when he thought about the way she looked at him when he asked her what crawled up her ass, and then the way she started crying, like he’d done something horrible to her when he hadn’t. Or at least, he didn’t think he had.

He saw her a couple of times in the lunchroom and made a point of it to sit far enough away that she wouldn’t have to look at him. He passed by her locker once when she was there because he forgot wasn’t doing that any more; and when she looked up, she saw him. When he realized it was him she was looking at, he put his head down and walked faster, turning his back to her a little as he passed so he wouldn’t have to see if she had that look in her eyes again, the look that made him feel sick in his gut.

It was nine days after he made her cry that she said "Hi," to him, really quiet, as if she wasn’t completely sure she wanted him to hear. She was standing out back of the school when she said it, and he was cutting across the track field on his way home, trying to act like he hadn’t noticed her, like he didn’t see her, like she could stand there if she wanted to without having to worry he was going to show up and make her cry again.

It surprised him so much when she spoke that he just stood there for a moment, staring at her like some kind of moron struck mute right in mid-step. She was cornered up in almost the same place he’d trapped her the day she started crying; and when he stopped to stare at her, she smiled the same way she did when he first started talking to her, which wasn’t so much a smile as it was just a nervous twist of her mouth, but it was close enough he knew what she meant.

It took him half a ten-count to get it together; but when he did, he walked her direction as if that was where he was going all along. Though she’d already seen him gawking at her the way Sammy was gawking the day Dean found him hanging out by the football field, watching a handful of cheerleaders practice bouncing themselves up and down just to make guys gawk at them exactly the way Sammy was gawking; he figured it couldn’t hurt to try and play it cool, so he gave it his best shot.

Pastor Jim taught him a long time ago that sometimes a good bluff could get you out of hell before the devil realized you were supposed to be there; and Bobby swore on the silver in his teeth that bluffing was at least nine tenths of the secret to beating John Winchester at poker; so even though Jim had never spent a day in hell, and Bobby had never once beaten John Winchester at poker, Dean put his back to it and bluffed like a son of a bitch.

She didn’t buy it for a minute. He figured it was probably the way he couldn’t completely meet her eyes that gave him up.

"Sorry," she said after a while of saying nothing, like the fact that she’d spoken first meant it was his turn to say something, which he didn’t do, because the last time he said something to her, it made her cry.

"Yeah," he answered. He didn’t know what else to say, so he didn’t say anything. Being cool was a lot harder than it looked on TV. Sure, it looked easy enough to always know the right thing to say to a girl; but in real life, it was a hell of a lot harder to talk to them without coming off lame than it was to track down a whole pack of werewolves and put them to a good salt-and-burn.

And a hell of a lot scarier, too.

"I miss you," she said finally.

"Yeah," he said again. Then, thinking it would sound cool, or at least be the right thing to say, he added, "Me, too."

"I just …" she shrugged, and looked down at her feet. She was wearing the shoes he told her he liked. He thought it was funny that he noticed that … funny, in fact, that he remembered what those shoes looked like at all, given that he didn’t like them any more than any other pair of girl’s shoes he’d ever seen.

Which was to say, not at all.

But he did notice, and then he realized that she wanted him to notice, which was why she was looking at them, then peeking up to see if he’d noticed, then looking back down at them again. Realizing that was what she was doing felt weirder than anything he’d ever felt. It was like realizing Dad wasn’t leaving them with Pastor Jim so much that first year because he didn’t want them any more, but because he thought they’d be safer in the church than with him. And just like realizing that about Dad changed everything he was thinking then; realizing this about Laney changed everything he was thinking now.

"You’ve got those shoes on," he said because that was all he had, and he figured if she wanted him to notice them, he should show her that he noticed them.

It sounded a lot dumber out loud than it seemed like it would inside his head, but it made her nod, and she came back at him with, "Yeah," which was a lot lamer than a shoe compliment, even though ‘you’ve got them on’ isn’t really a compliment as much as it is an observation. But still, better than just ‘yeah.’

Her response encouraged him to say something else, but he didn’t have anything else, so he just told her what he was thinking, which was the same thing he’d been thinking since he kissed her beside her locker, and she looked at him in a way that still made his gut bunch up when he remembered it.

"I don’t know what I did wrong. I mean … I thought you liked me. So I was just … I mean … " he shrugged helplessly, then finished weakly and repetitively, "I don’t know what I did wrong." Then he added, almost as an afterthought, "Except make you cry. I didn’t mean to do that. Sorry."

She nodded, but wouldn’t look at him. "I know."

He waited for several seconds, then asked, "Are you going to tell me what I did then?"

"I meant I know you didn’t mean to make me cry. I feel stupid about crying. It was stupid."

"Well … it was kind of confusing."

She nodded again, then sniffed. "Sorry."

"It’s okay. I just didn’t know what I did wrong."

She sniffed a second time. "Yeah."

He hesitated, then said, "Well, I guess I’ll see you in class or whatever then."

"Okay." She sniffed a third time, then wiped at her eyes with one hand.

He was watching her, trying to see her face, but she wouldn’t let him, turning away a little when he ducked to see past the way her hair was hanging. "Are you crying?" he asked because he figured he should, and because what the hell did he have to lose at this point anyway.

"No."

"You sound like you’re crying."

"I’m not."

"Oh. Okay." But she was crying, and he knew it. And for the life of him, he didn’t know why, but he was pretty sure it had to be something he said again. Or maybe something he didn’t say. "Well, um, I guess I’m gonna go then."

"Don’t go yet," she said as he turned away. It was so quiet he almost thought he’d made it up in his head; but then she said it again, a little louder, like she really wanted him to hear it this time. "Don’t go yet, okay?"

At that particular moment, he couldn’t think of anything he wanted to do more than just go. Go anywhere, as long as it wasn’t here, listening to her not cry. But he didn’t. He didn’t because last time, he did. He just left her here, crying; and that was such a bitch thing to do, he didn’t even want to admit he did it. So this time, he didn’t. Instead, he went back to stand beside her, waiting for her to say something that made sense, or say nothing at all, or say "Go away" or "I hate you" or "you’re a fucking freak" or anything at all that wasn’t her crying and him being the reason for it.

"I’m not mad at you," she said finally. She wasn’t crying any more. He could tell it by the way her voice sounded, but she still wouldn’t look at him.

"Okay."

"I’m just … I don’t know. I just cry sometimes. It’s nobody’s fault, I just do it. I guess I’m a freak or something."

"You’re not a freak," he said quietly. Then he pushed at her a little with his shoulder and added, "You’re kind of freaky, but you’re not a freak." He wasn’t sure how that would go over, but she didn’t start crying again, so he took that as a good sign. "And I like that," he added after a moment. "Freaky girls are my thing."

She laughed a little at that. It wasn’t a real laugh, but more of a snorty sound that he was pretty sure would have been a laugh if she hadn’t just been crying. He decided not to tell her as much, but he thought it was pretty funny, and kind of cool, that she didn’t apologize for sounding like she just swallowed a snot bubble.

"Thanks," she said.

"Sure."

"Sorry about the lunchroom."

"No problem."

"Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow then."

He figured that was his cue to go, so he did, still not sure of anything except that she was sorry, and he was confused. But on the other hand, she wasn’t crying any more, and he’d almost made her laugh by calling her freaky, which was a lot better than the last time they talked.

So at least he was moving the right direction again. Or at least, he thought he was; but with her, sometimes it was really hard to tell.

 

*

He waited for her by her locker the next day, and just kind of took her books away without asking once she got them out. He figured the worst that could happen was that she’d start crying again, but she didn’t, so he carried her books all the way to her class and only gave them back to her when she was ready to go in.

"Thanks," she said very quietly.

"Sure."

She was waiting for him behind the school again, and that became their meeting place, the place they waited for each other when one or the other of them was doing something that required waiting if they wanted to talk. Which they started doing.

Before, they didn’t really talk that much, just a few words here and there, mostly about stupid stuff, none of it actually requiring them to think about what they were saying. But now, they started talking. Actually talking about stuff.

It was awkward at first, but at least it didn’t involve crying, so the more they did, the more comfortable Dean got with it. Pretty soon, he was carrying most of the conversations, telling her all sorts of lies about every life he’d never led, filling her up with all sorts of stories about things he wished he’d done, but really hadn’t.

He thought she probably knew most of it was bullshit, but if she did, she never let on.

When he ran out of lies and stories, he started telling her a few select truths. He told her a little bit about his dad, what he really thought of Wolverine’s regenerative powers, and how many hotdogs he could eat in one sitting along with how he found out what his maximum capacity was.

She laughed pretty hard at that.

She asked about his mom once, but he completely ignored the question and went on telling her whatever it was he was telling her. She figured it out and didn’t ask again.

He never asked about her parents because he didn’t really care, but he did find out she didn’t have any brothers or sisters pretty quickly because he couldn’t actually tell her anything truthful about himself without Sammy coming into it somewhere. So when he mentioned Sammy and she seemed really interested he had a brother, he thought he should ask her about her brothers or sisters, which is how he found out she didn’t have any. He felt sorry for her on that and even told her so; but then again, she still had her mom, so it all worked out that way toward being even.

When they’d been talking – really talking – for about a month, he asked her if she wanted to go with him to pick up Sammy after school. Sammy was into all sorts of geeky after school activities like drama club, and fossil hunters, and chess olympics – dork, much? – so he only rode the bus a couple of days a week. The rest of the days, Dean had to walk to the elementary school to meet him so they could walk back home together.

Well, "had to" wasn’t really accurate. He bitched about it once, when they first moved here; and Dad told him he was right, it wasn’t his job to walk all over town just so Sammy could be a geek, so he didn’t have to do it if he didn’t want to. But if he didn’t, Sammy had to take the bus home, because that was safer than walking a little over two miles by himself.

It was blackmail, but it worked.

Even though it meant enabling his little brother to become a major league Geek Boy, Dean made the trip at least three times a week … sometimes more. And he never bitched about it again, but not because Dad was right, or even because Dad had looked at him with that "you selfish little bastard" look when he brought up the whole "not my job" thing.

He didn’t bitch about it again because Sammy quit Drama Club so it would only be two days, instead of three. And because Drama Club was his favorite, but it was the one that fell on the day Dean wanted to stay home and watch some stupid TV show he couldn’t even remember now, which was what started the whole fight in the first place.

So Sammy just quit. Dad didn’t tell him to. He didn’t even ask him to. Sammy just did it all on his own.

Which made Dean feel like shit. And a selfish little bastard. Which if Dad had been doing it, would have been the point. But it wasn’t the point for Sammy. Sammy just did it to try and make it easier on Dean to have a pain-in-the-ass little brother who expected him to walk all over town just so he could be a geek.

When Dean figured that out, he made Sam go back and tell the drama teacher he didn’t want to quit after all. And then he quit bitching about being inconvenienced by stuff Sammy wanted to do just because he wanted to be a regular kid like everyone else, instead of some freak with no friends who thought watching a TV show was more important than his little brother.

The first day Laney went with him to pick Sammy up, Sammy was lit like a firecracker. Dean had warned him he was going to bring her and told him not to act like a geek and embarrass him, so Sammy was on his best behavior, which for Sammy was kind of like a Mexican jumping bean trying to sit still for an hour.

When Dean introduced them – "Laney, this is my geek brother, Sam. Geek Boy, this is Laney" – Sammy pretended it was the first time he’d ever seen her, even though he’d seen her a hundred times while he was sneaking around, spying on them without thinking Dean knew he was doing it. But because he really wanted Laney to like him, Sammy acted like this "my brother has a girlfriend" thing was all a great surprise to him, and then he told her three jokes that were more funny than stupid, and complimented her on her shoes.

After that, he and Laney made it a thing to go pick up Sammy together. Sammy really liked her – really, really liked her – and she seemed to think he was funny-funny rather than just dopey-funny, so the two of them talked like crazy while they all walked to Laney’s house to drop her off, which was good because most of the stuff she and Dean talked about wasn’t something they could really say in front of Sammy, so as long as Sammy kept her busy while the three of them walked, Dean didn’t have to come up with anything to say that didn’t sound lame, which meant he could just relax and watch her, which he found he really liked doing.

It wasn’t that she was all that pretty or anything, but more that she was really funny in her own kind of freaky way. And she made Sammy laugh like crazy, which was really cool to watch, because the way she did it made Sammy feel like he was the center of the whole world, which Sammy didn’t usually feel with anybody but Dean, and maybe Dad.

And Sammy craved that. He wanted to have friends so badly, but they never really stayed in one place long enough for him to make any, so whenever anybody paid special attention to him, he just kind of glommed onto them like a suck monster or something, which usually made people back off, so he ended up feeling like he did something wrong, which he didn’t, but he always thought he did.

So it was fun watching Sammy laugh as much as he laughed every time he and Laney talked; and it was fun watching Laney laugh, too, which she did even when Sammy’s jokes were really, really, really stupid.

Because she was like that. Nice and thoughtful and stuff. And smart enough to figure out it made Sammy really happy when people laughed at his stupid, geeky jokes.

Dean never asked her to come over when Dad was home, but sometimes on a weekend, when Dad was out on a hunt for a couple of days, she came over and ate mac and cheese with them, or pizza, or burgers; and the three of them watched cartoons and played the kind of dumb kid games Sammy liked to play. Dean’s favorite thing about her was that she never once acted like she was bored doing that, and she never once made Sammy feel like she thought he was a geek when he jumped up to do his Sammy dance when he beat her at Risk, which he always did, even though Dean was pretty sure the only reason he ever won was because she let him win.

His second favorite thing about her was that she never let Sammy know she was letting him win.

One night, when Sammy fell asleep on the couch watching cartoons while they were out in the kitchen, dishing up ice cream and talking about stupid stuff and making fun of stupid people and just laughing because it felt good to laugh, Dean leaned over and kissed her just because he thought it would be a cool thing to do. And, too, because she’d just said something about knowing everybody at school thought she was lame, and he wanted to prove to her that not everybody did.

He knew as soon as he did it that it was the wrong thing to do. She didn’t start crying or anything this time, but she did stop laughing, and she stopped talking, and she just stood there in the kitchen by the refrigerator, her arms folded in front of her, watching him finish dishing up the ice cream without her. He asked her if she was mad, and she said no; and then he said he was sorry if he’d screwed up again, and she said it wasn’t a problem, that he hadn’t screwed up, that she wasn’t mad, and that she was glad he’d kissed her.

He told her she kissed good for a freaky girl, but she didn’t laugh. She didn’t even smile. And then she said she had to go, like she just realized it that second; and she left while he stood there with three ice cream bowls in his hands and no way short of dropping them to stop her.

She didn’t even say goodbye to Sammy. She just left it to him to try and explain why she left without saying goodbye when Sammy woke up, which he did just a couple of minutes later, looking around for her like something he needed was missing, and then nodding like he believed it when Dean told him she’d wanted to wake him up and say goodbye, but he hadn’t let her.

But Sammy wasn’t that stupid. Dean told it to him that way, hoping he’d believe it just because he wanted to believe it. Sammy pretended he did, but he didn’t, and they both knew it, which made Dean mad at Laney, even though he knew it probably wasn’t fair.

He figured she wouldn’t be talking to him the next day, but she was. She gave him her books like nothing had happened, and she asked about Sammy, and said she was sorry she didn’t tell him goodbye before she left. So everything went back to just the way it was, except he knew better than to ever kiss her again now, no matter how right he thought the timing was, or how much she might look like she’d take it as a compliment rather than him being some kind of monster or a lame freak or just someone she didn’t want to kiss.

Three days later, he couldn’t stand it anymore, so he asked her why she left. She told him she wished she wasn’t such a freak. He said if him kissing her made her feel like a freak, he wouldn’t ever do it again. He promised. He said they could pretend like it never happened and just be friends. She said that wouldn’t work. She said pretending like it never happened doesn’t work. He said they could try. She told him she was sorry she was such a freak.

That night, she tried to kill herself, and she almost got it done.

*

Continue on to Part 2

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43CommentReplyShare

eloise_bright
eloise_bright
Eloise
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)

Fabulous.

Last line floored me, but I knew something like that was coming.

Goes to read next part...


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC)

Thanks! It was a hard line to figure, how much to foreshadow and how much to hold back. I wanted readers to have a very uneasy feeling about her, both here and later ... kind of that feeling you get when you meet someone you know is on the road to their own personal hell even though they seem perfectly normal on the outside of the shell.


ReplyThread Parent
lady_octavia
lady_octavia
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)

Wow, poor kid! But somehow I was expecting something traumatic from the first kiss.


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)

Excellent. That's one of the things that is hard to judge ... where your hints are working and where they aren't. I wanted to make it clear to the reader that this was WAY more than just being caught off guard for her, yet still play it in a way that Dean could think it was that. Because this piece is ultimately about the John and Dean relationship, as well as the Sam and Dean and the Sam and John one, I didn't want Laney's revelations to steal the punch. I was hoping it would come off more as the readers wanting to push Dean on to conclusions they'd already reached.


ReplyThread Parent
lady_octavia
lady_octavia
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)

I liked watching as it unfolds, where I was sure what was happening but Dean wasn't and then you're never quite sure what Sammy thinks is going on and then John getting it and trying to protect Dean from it. The progression was great.


ReplyThread Parent
embroiderama
embroiderama
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)

Oh, I'm so excited to see this story! It's long--yay! (I'm also looking forward to the "lynching" story.) I've saved it so I can read it at work tomorrow (bad!), so I'll comment more then. :)


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)

Saving it to read at work? LOL. I'll look forward to your response ... and hope you don't snork too loud at what Dean gets out of John telling him to have safe sex. ;)


ReplyThread Parent
cocombat
cocombat
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC)

Interesting.
It's making me a little uncomfortable because well, ok, Dean doesn't realise how stalkerish he's being, but more than that, ah, she's got siren going over her head saying 'Messed up' and urgh. I just can't deal - ok, correction, I can deal with that but by now I just get an immediate '*fear, run away now*, oh, by the way - please go see this nice counsellor' reaction when I come across people who are a little messed up.

Oh, and this does have a pairing, it is Dean/OFC - Original Female Character. Pairing doesn't just refer to sex (or canon characters)), but to romantic attraction or relationships as well.


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC)

Poor Dean doesn't have a lot of resources to figure out the whole girl thing, does he? And although he has figured it out to be a whole bunch of other things, I tend to believe what really drew Dean to her is exactly what you're seeing ... the flashing siren over her head. He can sense how screwed up her life is, and he sees a commonality with himself there, which I think makes him feel safe in approaching her, as compared to the Bitch girl he knows likes him and would be receptive. That Dean goes to Laney is, in my mind, very much a part of what makes him the guy who always has to rescue people now.

In terms of pairings, I didn't really see this as anything romantic between Dean and Laney, which is why I didn't count them. It's a friendship that just happens to start with a kiss and the subsequent melt down ... something I tried to touch on with how much time they spend around Sammy instead of just around each other, and how much more Dean enjoys watching her make Sammy happy than he does interacting with her himself. So I felt referring to Dean and Laney as a pairing would be misleading, and that OFC designation is so leading to the notion of Dean's Girl du Jour that I didn't really want that in people's heads when they were reading, as I felt it would lead them astray of where I wanted them to go. Hope it didn't throw you off too much.


ReplyThread Parent
cocombat
cocombat
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)

Awww man. Dean as rescuer. So true.
*headdesk*

Re: pairing
Oh no, it was fine.
I mean, I picked that up from the summary, so I was just clarifying how I've seen the label usually used, I know some people read on a purely het or slash or gen basis, and some don't want to read about het relationships. *shrugs*
It was otherwise more than clear. ;)


ReplyThread Parent
almond_tiger
almond_tiger
plums deify
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)

Because of all your fics I decided to watch Supernatural, but I'm having an awful time downloading it. I'll have to just keep bookmarking.


ReplyThread
eloise_bright
eloise_bright
Eloise
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 08:03 am (UTC)

Try going to YouTube and watching. Quality isn't always great - but at least you can see the eps.

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=HorrorGoddess

Try that link and do searches for the eps you want to see.


ReplyThread Parent
almond_tiger
almond_tiger
plums deify
Wed, Jul. 19th, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)

Very cool, thanks. :)


ReplyThread Parent
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC)

That is so cool of you to say! I don't think I've ever turned anyone on to a show through fanfic before. Although I may have turned a few off from a show that way ... ;)

I'm still waiting the DVDs to catch all the episodes myself. The youtube link Eloise supplies helped me with several of them.

Be sure to give me a yell and tell me what you think of the show once you've some of the episodes.


ReplyThread Parent
almond_tiger
almond_tiger
plums deify
Wed, Jul. 19th, 2006 03:05 am (UTC)

I'll do that. :)


ReplyThread Parent
starhawk2005
starhawk2005
Queen of Sassgard
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC)

And since he didn’t have anybody to ask about a different way to do it, he figured go with what you know.

Heheh, figures.

he’d been researching the whole sex thing for a couple of years now

*lol* We love a man who comes prepared. ;)

She was the prey, and he was the hunter; it was just a catch-and-release gig rather than a salt-and-burn one.

Love the parallels made with hunting monsters throughout, heheh.

he was actually scary good at guessing where Dean was at any given time, and he almost always got it right on the first try.

It's because he's psychic, Dean-O. ;)

That night, she tried to kill herself, and she almost got it done.

Yeesh, how Dean will blame himself for that. No wonder he sleeps with so many girls now. Trying to make up for Laney?


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)

Ha! I figured you'd get a big kick out of John telling him there was more to sex than the sex part, and that if she wasn't feeling what he was, he must be doing something wrong. I think John missed his calling. He should be teaching dads how to have "the sex talk" with their sons ... I'll bet there are a lot of women would would pay on delivery of a man who looks at it that way. :D


ReplyThread Parent
starhawk2005
starhawk2005
Queen of Sassgard
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC)

I think John missed his calling. He should be teaching dads how to have "the sex talk" with their sons

But, of course! John's a certified 'SEX GOD'...knowing how to have The Talk with his sons would just come with the territory. ;)


ReplyThread Parent
a_decembrist
a_decembrist
decembrist
Mon, Jul. 17th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)

Whoa...whoa...and whoa again. You know how for no reason whatsoever (although this fic had plenty of reasons) some stories just hit you hard and blow you away? This was one of those for me. I just loved the way you portray Dean and his totally misguided sense of chivalry and courtship and sexual normalcy. I love that all the hunting and monsters and freaky monsters just sort of fall away and become unimportant in the face of the fact that at school, Dean is just a loner that other kids are kinda scared of. I also love how you effortlessly go back and forth between Dean's relationship with Laney, then with Sam, then with Laney again with just a touch of John's pervasive influence. I even love how this part ended, because one way or another, you got me to care about Laney, if only because Dean seems to care about her. LOVE.

Anyway, I'm sorry this comment has turned into a novel. Onto part two!


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, Jul. 18th, 2006 05:50 am (UTC)

Thanks so much for the feedback. Going back and forth with Dean and Laney and Sammy was very natural to the way the story was flowing for me, and John kept showing up in the oddest places without warning ... like in how Dean viewed his responsibility to the girl's feelings in sex. When that ended up on the page, I looked at it like, whoa, John, where did that come from?

I really did the Dean-as-Loner theme. He's so Playa in the series, but I think in HS, he would have been such an insular unit, so outside the flow of anything relating to HS, scary enough that the bullys wouldn't pick on him and scary enough that the rest of them would be a little scared of him. I thought the idea of all the other kids laughing like crazy when Dicky was dogging on Laney but going dead silent when he said something dogging on Dean was very reflective of how they might view him, as was the teacher's way of dealing with his anger, seeing it as a viable threat to be calmed down the way you talk a man out of his gun, not the way most teachers would shut and angry kid off from attacking another kid.

I can very much see where, given the notion that Dean is trained to kill, the kinds of teenage hormonal rushes and anger bursts that would be manageable in another kid might lead him to act in a deadly fashion out of anger. I felt that might be a real viable threat with Dean, and tried to communicate that when he was thinking about tearing Dicky down, if that teacher hadn't caught him when he did, he might have seriously hurt him, not just put him down and walk away.

And in that vein, I think some of the things John has instilled on him militaristically speaking are essential to safeguard other kids from the weapon he has made out of his son. That being in an ass-load of trouble with John for breaking John's rules is actually so deeply ingrained in Dean as an unacceptable consequence is essential in order for him to be able to put down an anger that might, if unleashed, kill another kid who is just being a kid, even if it is a jackass of a kid.

So the fact that Dean got THAT angry over that small a slight made at the wrong time, and that he was only held in check from acting on that anger by his dad's rules and the fact that the teacher held on to him in a way that reminded him of his dad rather than fueling his anger by trying to dominate him, I think is relevant to how dangerous Dean might actually be to other kids under the wrong circumstances; and how much other kids might perceive that about him, and stay clear of him just to be on the safe side.

Writing the firsts challenge on "friend" is definately going to have to be a Dean story, just so I can explore that dynamic a little, to see what kind of a kid Dean might actually become friends with, given what a loner I see him to be at that age.

LOL @ your comment turning into a novel. Obviously, I'm not one to take issue with anyone leaving long and detailed comments. In fact, the longer and more detailed the more I love it. So novel away any time you like!


ReplyThread Parent
a_decembrist
a_decembrist
decembrist
Wed, Jul. 19th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)

Oh man, you've just reminded me of how weird high school was. At first I kinda thought Dean would be super popular wherever he went (I mean, Jesus H, look at what the guy looks like), but you're right - the rage and hormones that go along with the teenage years had to have amplified all the qualities of danger Dean has. I think at this point in his life (meaning during the show) he's learned how to shuffle it under the carpet so to speak, but that trick must have taken time to learn. Anyway, if he's 'off' just enough, that would definitely be enough to freak other kids out.

Also, it says a lot about John that he's able to instill that much fear/respect into his child, but it also says a hell of a lot about Dean that he cares enough to let his father instill that fear/respect in him. I think at the core of him, despite his somewhat draconian (from what I can tell from SN, anyway) and vigilante moral code, he's a good cookie. If he was a bad kid, he wouldn't have given a shit about his dad's opinion of him or about Sammy's desire to be a full-blown geek. He could have just given it all the finger and run away or something. (Of course, I'm speaking strictly in terms of his relationship with his family - the way you write him, he seems almost clinical in his dealings with the outside world.) In that sense, I think it's a bit tragic that he's been turned into this lethal machine by his circumstances. Then again, I suppose it's impossible to say whether or not his difficult situation sort of molded his fierce sense of loyalty. Maybe he would have been a total prick if Mary hadn't died.

Hee...you realize this is what you get for giving me permission to blabber away...


ReplyThread Parent
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Jul. 19th, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC)

I enjoyed making him the outsider MUCH more. I just can't see Dean fitting in at school. Something about that just seems off to me.

In that sense, I think it's a bit tragic that he's been turned into this lethal machine by his circumstances. Then again, I suppose it's impossible to say whether or not his difficult situation sort of molded his fierce sense of loyalty. Maybe he would have been a total prick if Mary hadn't died.

Exactly how I see it.

Hee...you realize this is what you get for giving me permission to blabber away...

LOL! I LOVE it when people blabber. Makes my day. :D


ReplyThread Parent
a_decembrist
a_decembrist
decembrist
Wed, Jul. 19th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)

One more thing (sorry)...I also love how you have Dean bitching about having to take care of Sammy. I feel like in some ways Dean is being pushed towards a grumpy sainthood for having helped raise Sam, but I think no matter how good of a kid you are, and no matter how responsible, there must still be times where it just sucks and you hate it. So...yeah. :) I liked that you showed that aspect of Dean as well. :)


ReplyThread Parent
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Thu, Jul. 20th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)

Oh, I absolutely agree with you on that. So often Dean is portrayed as willingly nailing himself to a cross on Sammy's behalf. And while certainly, Dean is self sacrificial to Sammy's needs, especially when he's younger, I just can't imagine that there wasn't some resentment in there somewhere for it.

And John's "you selfish little bastard" look ... such a parent thing, eh? So unfair, but yet, still so much what a parent so often does.


ReplyThread Parent
a_decembrist
a_decembrist
decembrist
Thu, Jul. 20th, 2006 02:16 am (UTC)

Totally a parent thing. My parents used to give me the, "he's your brother, he's your family, so be nice to him, for the love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" look all the freaking time. At least Dean sucks it up and realizes his mistakes, and realizes that Sammy should be more important to him than, well, things like TV. There were times growing up when I didn't get that and there's nothing I regret more. But c'est la vie, I suppose.

Still, I do love the Sammy-first attitude Dean has sometimes. *pats Dean on head* Such a good cookie. :)


ReplyThread Parent
medea_aries
May-tai
Fri, Jul. 21st, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)

This is... lovely. It´s been a while since I´ve read this quality of writing. Beautiful prose, excelent grammar and very good rithm on the plot. It flows beautifully. I loved the fic and it seems I´m becoming quite a fan of your writing.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Fri, Jul. 21st, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)

Thanks! Prose and rhythm are very important elements to what I try to accomplish in fic, so I appreciate you giving feedback on them.


ReplyThread Parent
belleimani
belleimani
Sun, Jul. 23rd, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)

Oh wow, this is so heartbreaking. Your build is so good and I have this picture in my head of Tara from Buffy. You capture the Dean we get glimpses of and it's so beautiful and heartbreaking.
Poor Laney.
::hugs Laney::


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 24th, 2006 07:02 am (UTC)

Thanks so much. I loved writing Dean in this one ... letting him be a little younger, a little less guarded, a little more vulnerable, especially in terms of not knowing how to handle something he so desperately needs to know how to handle.

And being inside his head was a hoot, especially in considering what he might have ACTUALLY have gotte out of his sex talks with John rather than what John was actually trying to tell him. I love miscommunication between fathers and sons. It is truely the greatest playground in the world in which to play, cause men miscommunicate when they are saying exactly what they mean, so when the two of them are dancing around an issue, being intentionally vague ... that just opens up WAY to many potential misunderstandings for it to be anything BUT fun to write. :D


ReplyThread Parent
belleimani
belleimani
Mon, Jul. 24th, 2006 11:43 am (UTC)

Well you nail the interaction between them extremely well and the idea of John giving 'The talk' cracks me up to no end for some reason!


ReplyThread Parent
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, Jul. 24th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)

Thanks. :D


ReplyThread Parent
belleimani
belleimani
Tue, Jul. 25th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)

You're welcome!


ReplyThread Parent
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
Tue, Aug. 1st, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)

Very interesting story you’ve crafted here. I like the setup, how Dean’s slowly trying to get this girl, but she’ s even more “out there” than he originally thought, which of course complicates everything. I have suspicions about the kissing thing, but I’m probably wrong, so I won’t embarrass myself by saying them here. *g*

Favorite lines:

But if you wanted to be technical about it, he was stalking her in a non-creepy, non-scary way. Not that he viewed it as a hunt or anything – although he kind of did. It was more that this was the only way he knew to go about getting what he wanted. And since he didn’t have anybody to ask about a different way to do it, he figured go with what you know.

I really like that paragraph. It shows just how messed up his life is -- just how skewed his perspective is -- because of everything he’s seen and done.

He thought they’d called her Laney once, but he wasn’t sure, so he asked for verification by looking the meanest girl right in the eyes and saying, "I know her. She’s kind of cute. What’s her name again?" And he asked it that way because he’d caught this particular girl watching him more than once, so he was pretty sure it would make her feel like her smile looked like shit to him

Love that, how he’s so mean to the snotty girl. She so deserved it.

So it seemed like the right thing to do, stepping up to protect her honor a bit. And it was only fair, since he was pretty sure by this point that Laney was the girl he wanted to start out on, and a guy doesn’t let other guys talk that way about his girl, even if they don’t know she’s his girl, and even if she doesn’t yet either.

*g* I really like how you wrote that paragraph. How you wrote Dean feeling this sense of honor toward someone who’s not even his.

Tired of waiting for Dean to return after Dean told Dad, as he slipped out the door, he’d be back in a while; Sammy came looking for him. And he found him, not only because the blabbermouth little nosey-pokey Geek Boy knew every place Dean went to get away, but also because he was actually scary good at guessing where Dean was at any given moment, and he almost always got it right on the first try.

Love that! I’m all for playing up Sam and Dean’s extremely close connection to each other. :) I like that Sam knows Dean that well.

"And I like that," he added after a moment. "Freaky girls are my thing."

*g* This is charming in a wacky way.

He didn’t bitch about it again because Sammy quit Drama Club so it would only be two days, instead of three. And because Drama Club was his favorite, but it was the one that fell on the day Dean wanted to stay home and watch some stupid TV show he couldn’t even remember now, which was what started the whole fight in the first place.

Aww, Sammy’s a good little brother. *pets Sam*

The first day Laney went with him to pick Sammy up, Sammy was lit like a firecracker. Dean had warned him he was going to bring her and told him not to act like a geek and embarrass him, so Sammy was on his best behavior, which for Sammy was kind of like a Mexican jumping bean trying to sit still for an hour.

LOL!

And then she said she had to go, like she just realized it that second; and she left while he stood there with three ice cream bowls in his hands and no way short of dropping them to stop her.

That image just made me so sad for Dean.

That night, she tried to kill herself, and she almost got it done.

Yikes. Didn’t see that one coming. Figured there’s something wrong in her life, but didn’t peg her as suicidal.


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Aug. 2nd, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)

I LOVE the way you feedback. You always provide such detail for me to consider: You rock!

At the risk of anticipating your suspicions, you're probably right. ;)

It shows just how messed up his life is -- just how skewed his perspective is -- because of everything he’s seen and done.

My original intention with this story was to show how much Dean has to feel his way through all the normal things in life that other kids get guidance on. That he's such an observer of others, as well as his father, that he gets the broad strokes right, but he really doesn't have anyone he can ask questions of, so he kind of has to fill in the details the best he can.

Love that, how he’s so mean to the snotty girl. She so deserved it.

The way he deals with those girls, and with the guy who embarasses her in the lunchroom, to me are the beginnings of who Dean will become later. That their victimization of Laney just irks him on such a deep level that he can't stand the injustice of it, and find ways to hurt them back for her. Not necessarily a perfect world response, but for Dean, one of those things that shows how early his sense of right and wrong kicked it. And, too, the fact that he was not unaware of the popular girl's interest in him, he just didn't have any interest in her because she didn't meet his minimum standards of not being a mean fucking bitch to other people. :D

*g* This is charming in a wacky way.

Dean's still kind of charming in a wacky way, isn't he? LOL. I can just see him at this age, not really thinking he is on anybody's radar, considering himself someone they probably consider a freak, too. The contrast between how gentle and instinctive he is here with Laney and how angry and border-line out of control he is in the lunchroom was an important dichotomy for me in the youth of his character ... as was the notion that even at that age, the teacher would be able to tell, when he was really angry, how much he wasn't just a normal kid who might blow the way normal kid would and responding accordingly.

I have a Dean and his teacher fic or two in me. I don't know when they'll get written, but I really want to write them eventually.

That image just made me so sad for Dean.

It almost makes him seem like a normal kid there for a moment, doesn't it? Like he's having this wonderful evening doing real things with his brother and his girlfriend and just being a kid like he's supposed to be, and then boom, there he is, just standing there, watching his normal walk away because of something he thought was good, but now he thinks was a terrible mistake ... his mistake.

Definately, part of the draw of the way this story went was in how much Dean assumes the guilt for everything, and only begins to see where the guilt might rightfully lie after Sammy points out that he isn't the reason she's done this stuff. But without Sammy pointing it out, he is so consumed by the notion that it must be him, that he doesn't realize it might be something else. I loved that aspect of the story, and think it plays into other guilt complexes I think Dean has about other things, his mother's death among them.

Thanks again for the detailed FB. I REALLY appreciate it.


ReplyThread Parent
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
Wed, Aug. 2nd, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)

I LOVE the way you feedback. You always provide such detail for me to consider: You rock!

It was a pleasure providing feedback on this story. :) And I appreciate your detailed comments on the feedback. It's always interesting getting into a writer's head and finding out what drove the story.

The way he deals with those girls, and with the guy who embarasses her in the lunchroom, to me are the beginnings of who Dean will become later. That their victimization of Laney just irks him on such a deep level that he can't stand the injustice of it, and find ways to hurt them back for her. Not necessarily a perfect world response, but for Dean, one of those things that shows how early his sense of right and wrong kicked it.

Yeah, I like that. Dean is very much a product of his world, having been shaped in so many ways from things that happened very early in his life. He grew up more quickly than most, poor dear. *hugs Dean*

I can just see him at this age, not really thinking he is on anybody's radar, considering himself someone they probably consider a freak, too.

Yup, and so the way Laney was treated would hurt him in part because it's a glimpse into how others see him. Not only doesn't he want Laney hurt, but he has no desire to be treated so shabbily, either.

I have a Dean and his teacher fic or two in me. I don't know when they'll get written, but I really want to write them eventually.

Sounds interesting. :)


ReplyThread Parent
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Thu, Aug. 3rd, 2006 05:45 am (UTC)

always interesting getting into a writer's head and finding out what drove the story.

You kinda have to be careful about getting into my head. Cause sometimes it's really sticky in there. And its almost always dark.

Yup, and so the way Laney was treated would hurt him in part because it's a glimpse into how others see him. Not only doesn't he want Laney hurt, but he has no desire to be treated so shabbily, either.

Very much so. And I can see how he would realize the fact that he can kick their asses keeps them off his back, but how strongly he would empathize with someone he feels is being treated the way he would be if his dad hadn't taught him to take care of himself.

Sounds interesting. :)

As a matter of fact, between you and Eloise, y'all kinda motivated me to actually finish one of them. I originally stopped on it half way through because it kept trying to go really dark in a way I didn't want it to go (saying exactly the opposite of what I wanted it to say, in fact). So I decided to step off it for a bit. But when I went back today because you guys inspired me (I was NOT procrastinating, damnit! Who is spreading that rumor?!?), it just kinda popped for me.

So thanks! :D


ReplyThread Parent
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
Thu, Aug. 3rd, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC)

You kinda have to be careful about getting into my head. Cause sometimes it's really sticky in there. And its almost always dark.

*snickers*

teacher fic
As a matter of fact, between you and Eloise, y'all kinda motivated me to actually finish one of them.

Cool!

I originally stopped on it half way through because it kept trying to go really dark in a way I didn't want it to go (saying exactly the opposite of what I wanted it to say, in fact). So I decided to step off it for a bit.

I can identify with fics going off in unexpected directions. I started on a crackfic last week, but the first 700 words came out way more angsty than expected, so I yielded to the muse and the ficlet is now simply going to be angsty. The crack part will have to be in another fic.


ReplyThread Parent
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Thu, Aug. 3rd, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)

I almost always let the fic have its way, but this time, it just wanted to go in such an opposite direction and I was already bonded to the OC in a way that didn't want him to go there, so I decided to stick to my ground. Maybe I'll go the other way some other time, but this time, with this character, I thought, hey, I'm the writer, not you! (which, of course, is a really good way to piss off your muse, but she seems to be more or less reasonable most of the time ... especially since I let her win 99.9% of the time. *G*)


ReplyThread Parent
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
iamstealthyone
Thu, Aug. 3rd, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)

Now having read the story, I'm glad you stuck to your guns with the OC, because I like how it turned out. Not that I would have minded seeing the darker version, but this one was nice. :)


ReplyThread Parent
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Thu, Aug. 3rd, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you like the version I went with. I, too, have this urge to see how it would have gone if I'd allowed it to go darker, but my muse is pretty insistent and really likes to get her way, so I suspect that story will come back to me in another form somewhere. Usually does.


ReplyThread Parent
darthnikki
darthnikki
darthnikki
Tue, Feb. 3rd, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)

I'm gonna go on and read the rest but, am I right in thinking Laney's been abused? It feels that way....shuts up and goes off to read the rest.....


ReplyThread
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Wed, Feb. 4th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)

Heh. Now I can't really answer that for you without spoiling it, and you know how I feel about spoilers ... ;)


ReplyThread Parent
winchestergirl
winchestergirl
demons I get, people are crazy
Sun, Apr. 20th, 2014 10:30 pm (UTC)

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