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Challenge: A Case study

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Dean was watching the stream of students through the front doors. He was looking for his in, much experience had taught him that half of a perfect prank lay in the reconnaissance and that was made much easier if he had someone conveniently located in each new class of freshmen. He wasn’t particularly impressed by his options thus far.

 

But ooh. That was nice. He like that. Probably no good for an in with the rest of the class given how frankly terrified the guy looked but Dean had spotted someone new to play with. 

 

 

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Dean grabbed a chair on his way into the dinning hall and dragged it loudly behind him as he strolled between the tables. He caught Ash’s eye from across the dinning hall and point out his choice freshman as he passed the table where they all had congregated. Dean trusted Ash to do the actual recruitment for him. Taming a new pet was a much more interesting challenge. 

 

He let the chair slid to a stop and dropped himself into it facing the tall boy. “I’m Dean. Dean Winchester. And you are?” Dean kept a wide smile on his face but not the cocky grin he used when interacting with the general student body this kid was clearly terrified and more intimidation only went so far.

 

“Sam Singer”. The answer was soft and the boy’s eyes only flicked up to Dean’s face briefly. It was adorable.

 

Dean softened his voice even more. “You’re new here.”

 

“Yeah. Yes. Sorry.” The first answer came and then there was a short pause before Sam seem to have  realized the informal nature of his response and a look of terror quickly slid across his face as he corrected himself and apologized.

 

Dean’s smile twitched. That wasn’t what he wanted. Submissive he liked, scared though that wasn’t his cup of tea. To high maintenance. He scanned the boy’s face again, he was just so pretty. One last test then, before Dean cut his losses. But his hand had barely left the table before Sam was flinching away.

 

“Well. That’s disappointing.” Dean said as he pushed himself out of the chair and walked away. The sounds of the cafeteria covering up the little whimper that Sam let out at his words. 

 

 

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The new kid, Mike, was working out quite nicely and Dean strolled into the traditional freshman start of year party just as it was starting to get good and he was sure everyone was there (he had made sure to get Mike to heavily imply that the party was mandatory). Oh did he love being a senior. 

 

“Greetings young ones!” He jumped up onto one of the tables, nodding to Jo who was leaning up against the wall beside the door. “I’m proud to welcome you to The Pedowitz Preparatory Academy and as the most awesomest prankster to ever walk these halls I need to inform you of the rule of engagement.

 

Number One: I will prank you all. You are welcome to try and get me back but think carefully because I have never lost a prank war.

 

Rule Number Two: Mike here is your current class representative. Do what you want internally and if you should choose to establish a new ambassador do let me know. I just need someone to bark orders at so I don’t have to deal with you lot.

 

And finally Rule Number Three:  Pranks between students is all fun and games but the crazies that run this place are the real deal. They give us homework and detentions so it is our solum duty as students to make their lives hellish. Any and all idiots who decide to work with the enemy will find themselves in an uncomfortable position.

 

That will be all. Return to your party!”

 

Dean hopped down from the table as the noise started to pick up again and Jo shoved her way through the groups of freshmen to get to Dean. “Another year well started. Are we sticking around”.

 

“Yes. For a few minutes anyway. Want to make sure that all of the newbies got the message. Wouldn’t want them interfering with the grand plan.”

 

They found a place fairly close to the door with a good view of the rest of the party and nursed red solo cups filled with beer curtesy of Mike who was now feeling a lot less secure given the implications of rule number two. Ash was hitting it pretty hard but both Dean and Jo were holding back, they had other things to be doing tonight. 

 

He looked around at the party. It was mostly just the typical drunk bullshit that freshman always brought but then he spotted someone looking decidedly more coordinated than they should be given the location as they tried to slip out the door. Dean tapped Jo on the shoulder. Now was as good a time as any to leave. 

 

“Trying to get away early? Now thats no fun. Here drink this for me”. Dean shoved his half full solo cup into Sam’s hand as he passed and out of the corner of his eye he caught Jo doing the same and ruffling the kids hair. That made Dean surprisingly annoyed. Sam was his pet project. 

 

But now was not the time and soon enough the two of them were strolling down the corridors to the dinning hall. A quick meet up with one of the meat heads from the wood shop and some man hours later everything was all set. Dean was looking forwards to the reveal.

 

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Mornings were an incredibly stupid invention and whenever possible Dean avoided them but pranks just weren’t the same if you weren’t there to watch them play out.  So somehow at 7 fucking thirty in the morning of the first day of class Dean was awake, on time, and sitting in the dinning hall snapping at Mike to get him a very very large mug of coffee. And at 7:45 when the teaching staff of The Pedowitz Preparatory Academy filed into the cafeteria he was getting his caffeine hit and starting to marshal some enthusiasm. And at 7:47 the staff sat down and there was a bit of a snap like think wood breaking and then there was the resounding sound of farting. Followed by a moment of silence and then a loud roar of laughing and clapping from the student body. 

 

Dean nodded his head and smiled in acknowledgement, “I believe Principal Smith finished the year out by calling me juvenile so I decided to go back to the oldest, or rather youngest, prank in the book”. 

 

Prank having panned out Dean bailed on the cafeteria, he did not like dealing with fall out. Plus breakfast was for losers who actually wanted to be awake.

 

 

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There was someone in his spot. It was way to fucking early to be dealing with this crap but when Dean walked into his first period Latin class there was very clearly someone in his spot. And whoever it was should certainly know better because this was senior latin and they had four years to get used to how he worked. So when he tapped the person on the back he had the full force of his annoyance painted across his face.

 

“You. Are in. My spot”. Dean took a drink from his covered coffee mug, juxtaposing the anger in his voice with the nonchalance of his actions in a way that he knew made people uncomfortable.

 

The person in his spot flinched but as they turned they straightened and even Dean’s uncooperative sleepy brain connected that this was the Sam kid he had been messing with the day before. That connection having been made he wasn’t particularly surprised at the flinch. And the quick “Sorry” that was echoed by a quieter string of the same apology murmured repeatedly under the kid’s breath. 

 

“Whatever. Just move over a seat”. And the kid did, he was a flurry of long limbs that were trying to pretend to be uncoordinated but the speed in which Sam moved himself to the next chair over indicated that he was well practiced with getting out of the way. Dean scowled into his coffee, he didn’t want to listen to his brain ramble on about the kid. His obsessive nature was much better suited to planning pranks.

 

But apparently in an act of protest for the return to 8:30 classes his brain had decided to observe Sam rather than focusing on the next round of pranks he had been hoping to plan out instead of listening to Kavenah ramble about uses of the genitive. What the hell was a freshman doing in senior latin anyway? It wasn’t like he was in a class a year above his own age, no Sam was three steps away from that. But it didn’t make sense for him to be sitting at the back. Anyone who was smart enough to skip right into senior Latin is too much of a suck up to want to hang out with losers like Dean in the back.

 

Dean spent the rest of class watching Sam take notes in small neat print and what appeared to be a short hand that the kid had made up himself. That kind of precision was useful in the execution of a prank….

 

Dean left the class as soon as the bell rang and tried to ignore the way that Sam flinched at the sound the chair made as he pushed back.

 

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His next class was with the rest of his crew and with a reasonable amount of caffeine in his system Dean took his place in English with a smile on his face. 

 

“Hello boys. We’ve got another good one coming. So lets talk strategy”. 

Chapter Text

By Thursday Dean had discovered that Sam wasn’t just in Senior Latin. He was also in Dean’s History of Mythology class and according to Jo he was also acing one of the senior math classes. Dean found this annoying, and not because he felt threatened like Ash had been suggesting but because it put Sam outside of the general order of the school. And Dean liked order, if only so that he could come in and fuck it up.

 

Dean had been dabbling with different ways to interact with Sam, doing the leg work so that later, he could predict any action or reaction. First he went in as a jerk, snapping at Sam, deliberately moving through the kid’s space, and letting loose a smorgasbord of insult. Sam rarely responded with more than a flinch and an apology. He sent Mike in after as the kind face: Sam didn’t respond any better to someone trying to be his friend. 

 

Three days in Dean flipped it, letting loose Mike as a malicious force and he himself trying to draw the kid into conversation. There was less apologizing at that point but whenever Dean came anywhere near the kid’s personal space he was still drawing away.  Dean throws in a day of indifference next and then goes back to the niceties. And on the Monday of the second week of class he gets his first unprompted sentence from Sam.

 

“Is this really necessary?” It was small and sarcastic and surprisingly bitter but Dean counts it as a win all the same.

 

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Dean is aware of the fact that Sam has become the new favourite target for the freshman class’s pranks. Probably because they know there is no chance of retaliation because Sam continued to bear it in silence and with no small amount of fear. So Dean watched him show up with his dress shirt pink from a red sock slipped into the laundry, and watched him peel saran wrap off all of his pens one morning in Latin. But the first time Sam ended up on the business end of one of Dean’s pranks it was simply because he was going after the whole student body rather than just Sam in particular.

 

He had been going for tradition this year, pulling off all the classic pranks as well as some favourites of his own invention over his time at the Academy. The one he was doing today though was one he was particularly fond of despite its reliance on getting up in the middle of the night. The last time he had pulled it was in his sophomore year and as he stood at the end of the freshman dorm hall he nodded to himself and acknowledged that it was much easier when you could make other people copy the keys and have a crew help string everything up. 

 

Dean pulled the fire alarm himself. As expected there were a few moments where very little happened, just the blaring of the alarm but soon students began to stir and he was not unsurprised when Sam was the first person to open his door. The cascade of water was immensely satisfying but Sam’s expression when it hit him was significantly less so.

 

But then all the other freshman were opening their doors and swearing and jumping and then traipsing down the hall to join the rest of the soaking wet students standing on the lawn outside the dormitory. Sam wasn’t moving though, he was standing right where he had been when the water hit him, dripping onto the floor. Dean considered leaving him there but the point was to play a prank not to get the kid in trouble so Dean grabbed his arm and pulled the kid along with him as he exited the building before depositing him with the rest of the shivering first years. 

 

“Dude! That was awesome!” Ash ran up to him with a high five which Dean accepted with a grin.

 

“It was. And so much easier than last time I pulled it”.

 

Jo walked up next. “And this time you are even going to get away with it”. And then she unceremoniously dumped a bucket of water over his head. She did Ash next and them herself while Dean was still standing their spluttering.

 

“What the fuck was that? Half the fun is being the only dry ones!”

 

“Yes but being the only dry ones very clearly points to us being the ones who pulled it off. And I don’t fancy spending the rest of school year with detention”

 

Dean scowled at her, she was most definitely right but that didn’t mean he wanted to accept that. “ That didn't  happen last time and I didn’t have some crazy lady dumping water onto me.”

 

“Nope. Last time this was the culmination of a year you spent being a nuisance and they had a whole summer to get over it. This time you are just promising to make more trouble. And you know I am right because you aren’t nearly as stupid as you look”. 

 

Dean swore at her but was squeezed her shoulder in gratitude after the principle showed up looking surprised to see Dean looking so wet.

 

It took a long time for the fire department to clear the building and by the end of it most of the student body was mostly asleep on the ground outside the dormitory. Dean noticed that Jo and Ash slipped away and smiled. They would be good together but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to have fun ribbing them about it in the morning. He also noted that Sam was still standing exactly where Dean had put him. 

 

When they were allowed back inside Dean made sure to grab Sam gently by the arm and lead him back to his room. The physical contact reminded him that Sam was actually much taller than himself even though that was never the impression Dean came away from their interactions with. He left Sam in his room without trying to pull the kid out of his daze. If he didn’t turn up to Latin later that morning he would take action then.

 

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Three and a bit hours later Dean trudged his way into Latin and plunked himself down beside Sam. He set one of the two travel mugs of coffee he was holding in the centre of the notebook the kid had splayed out before him.

 

“Well look at that. Its been a wild morning and I’m only five minutes late.”

 

Sam didn’t say anything, just carefully moved the mug to the corner of his desk where it met Dean’s and started copying down the sentences Kavenah was writing on the board. That was not what Dean was hoping for. He turned in his seat to face Sam and then pulled the other boy around. One hand grasping his shoulder firmly and the other gently turning Sam’s head so that their eyes met.

 

“I need to make sure you are all there. Toys are less fun when they are broken.” Sam seemed to be present though. His eye’s focusing on Dean’s face and his pupils responding as the should be. But there was still no verbal reaction.

 

“Is it just the water? Or are their other things?”

 

Sam pulled his head away and looked down. “Other things, but mostly the water”.

 

“Okay. I’ll keep that in mind”. Dean withdrew his hands.

 

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It was the juniors who ended up staging a retaliation. Or rather the small group of juniors who still bothered to put up much of a fight. Most of the school at accepted the reality of Dean’s total domination of the prank scene. Gordon though never really seemed to realize that he had lost though and so Dean was not particularly surprised when he returned to his room to find that is stank of fish. 

 

He swore. Of course it had to be something that was going to take some time to fix, because it was late and Dean was tired and all he wanted to do was go to bed. So of course the universe was going to make his life difficult. He refused to give Gordon any kind of credit. He found Ash also standing in the hall way when he stormed out. 

 

“They hit yours as well?” Ash was looking significantly calmer than Dean was.

 

“Yes”. Dean kept it short because if he tried for anything longer he was going to end up snapping at Ash despite the fact that it was not at all his fault.

 

Ash seemed to understand this, “I already dug the fish out of my room. I can do yours and open everything up so it can air out. I think I’m going to crash at Jo’s tonight”.

 

Dean had to laugh a little at that “Of course you are. I doubt you were planning on sleeping in your own room even before the fish. I can find somewhere else to sleep, don’t worry about me… interrupting”.

 

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He dropped by junior floor first. It would be in poor taste not to acknowledge the challenge but Gordon would never be polite enough to accept the gesture without an argument so Dean settled for slipping a card under his door. Just his own business card, made expressly for moments like these with the words ‘challenge accepted’ printed on the back.

 

Dean showed up at Sam’s door next.

 

“On of the juniors wasn’t too happy and put a dead fish in my room. I’m going to stay here tonight”. 

 

Sam nodded and stepped aside to let Dean into the room. He was in casual clothes but the way he held himself still carried the sense of formality that the school uniform usually provided. Once Dean was inside Sam walked over to the neatly made bed and carefully shifted the single book that was laying in the centre onto the desk before moving over to the dresser and pulling out cleanly folded sweatpants and an old t-shirt which he held out to Dean.

 

Dean raised an eye brow at him.

 

“You’re tired and want to go to sleep. You don’t have any other clothes with you and I doubt you would like to sleep in your uniform. You will have the bed of course”.

 

It wasn’t until Sam looked down at the end of his little speech that Dean realized that the kid had been looking him in the face the whole time. But Dean suspected that if he commented it would be unlikely to happen again. So instead he took the clothes and walked over to set them on the bed before starting to strip down. He heard Sam pull out the desk chair and sit down, Dean hadn’t really expected him to watch and the fact that he hadn’t made Dean smile a little. 

 

He flicked off the main light before climbing into bed, leaving Sam sitting at the desk with his little lamp and a spread of pages. Sam turned off the lamp but didn’t move.

 

Dean raised an eyebrow even though he knew Sam couldn’t see it, “And what are you doing?”

 

“I don’t sleep” was the quiet reply whispering through the darkness.

 

He hesitated for a moment and then said evenly, “Sammy, come to sleep”.

Chapter Text

Dean discovered, much to his horror, that Sam was a morning person when at six in the morning when the alarm went off. The beeping only went on for a second as Sam sat up and carefully leavened himself over Dean’s prone body to turn it off. Dean propped himself up on his elbows and watched as Sam pulled running shoes and gym shorts out.

 

“Where are you going”.

 

“Running. You can go back to sleep, I’ll be quiet when I come back.” 

 

Dean sighed and flopped back against the bed, “I think you should just come back here and sleep”.

 

“I don’t sleep”.

 

“Then what were you just doing?”

 

“Watching the ceiling”.

 

That was annoying, the kid just wasn’t going to role with Dean’s plan was he. But he wasn’t going to give Sam the satisfaction of knowing that he was messing with Dean’s plan. He pulled himself out of bed and smirked at Sam’s expression. 

 

“I’ll come running too then.”

 

Dean didn’t talk to Sam for two days after the run he was subjected to. But the kid looked surprisingly morose when Dean wasn’t making some attempt to greet him every morning in Latin, so on the third day he showed up with coffee again as an apology.

 

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Dean got Gordon back with some crazy glue on his door knob, and Gordon had the  good sense to retaliate again so Dean could turn his attention back to a more interesting project. He had been trying to think of something to do with the library for a while and he thinks he had finally cracked it.

 

He gathered his people in the cafeteria at lunch to fill them in. “I want to bring a little rock to the library. I was thinking Metallica. Anyone got any thoughts on execution?”. 

 

Jo and Ash both looked at him with unimpressed looks on their faces. Ash spoke first, “You think either of us spends enough time in the library to have thoughts about execution.”

 

The way Jo smiled at him was cute in a gross sort of way, one of her hands was suspiciousonsly absent from the table and Dean guessed that it was on Ash’s thigh as she continued her boyfriend’s train of thought, “In fact anyone who would be willing to do something like that in a library is almost guaranteed not to be someone who spends a lot of time in the library”.

 

That apparently was the kick that Dean’s brain needed and stood up. “Wait here”. 

 

Sam was outside the cafeteria sitting by a tree, somewhere that Dean had discovered the kid spent a lot of time. Sam didn’t argue when Dean pulled him back into the cafeteria. He stood nervously beside Dean’s chair until Dean pulled out another one and nudged Sam into it.

 

“We want to do a little prank in the library”.

 

Sam frowned and looked down at the table “You can’t hurt the books”. 

 

He looked like he was expecting to get hit and Dean didn’t like that so instead of letting Ash let loose the quip he could see building Dean shushed him with a wave of his hand and softened his own voice. “I’m not going to do anything to the books, kid. I just want to give everyone in there a little jolt. Play some good music to break that god awful silence in there”.

 

Sam didn’t say anything for a minute but he looked thoughtful rather than completely terrifying which Dean took as a good sign. 

 

“There’s a PA system. I’m not sure how loud it would be but the infrastructure is there”. He was looking Dean in the eyes again which which was good and Dean smiled at him.

 

“Thanks. Good job Sammy”. 

 

And oh that was pretty, Sam was smiling at him, dimples showing and a flush of red over his cheeks. He turned his attention mostly back to Jo and Ash but when Sam tried to get up and leave again Dean reached out pulled firmly on the hem of his shirt. Sam sat back down and read quietly for the rest of lunch.

 

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Dean was surprised to find that he actually didn’t mind the library. They seemed like it would be a good place to hide out the next time he was trying to avoid the principal. He didn’t make the mistake of just leaving Sam to get swept up in the prank this time and instead handed the kid a set of earmuffs and sitting down beside him at the study carousel in the classics section. 

 

“Your not wearing any?” Sam wasn’t looking right at Dean but he also wasn’t staring at the floor as Dean helped him settle the earmuffs over his head.

 

“Nah. Its not going to feel too loud for me but you’re a little jumpier so I thought this would help you… appreciate my work”.  He sent a quick text to Jo and seconds later music started pumping through the library.

 

There had been much debate about how much music to play. Jo had thought that it would have more impact if they played a couple of songs at random intervals over the course of a day or two and Ash just wanted to leave it going for as long as possible but Dean vetoed both ideas. Part of the joy of pranking the school was showing off, letting them see how amazing he was and having his music cut out mid song would ruin that.  So instead it was just one song played at top volume so that Dean could feel it in his chest and so that everyone else would see his control.

 

When the song faded Dean slipped the ear muffs off Sam’s head and smiled, “Its ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ by Metallica. Because its about that old book”.

 

Sam smiled, “I like that one. I didn’t think people who wrote songs like that enjoyed American Literature”.

 

“Yep. Metallica can be really deep if you listen to the lyrics. Plus they were fucking geniuses with guitars.”

 

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Normally Dean celebrates a prank well pulled with a party but Sam had contributed to this one and he knew there was no way the kid would enjoy a party so instead he grabbed an action movie and chips and shit and left them in his room for after they were done at the library.

 

Sam had followed Dean out without any fuss, even giving him a soft smile when Dean informed him that they were going to go watch a movie. The kid looks much more hesitant when they met up with Jo and Ash on the front steps of the dormitory, both of them were wound up and loud. But Dean glared at them and they quieted down a bit and Jo even tried to draw Sam into conversation as they walked up the stairs to the senior floor. Sam didn’t really say anything, Dean thought it was probably because football was not something he had a lot of opinions on, but he nodded and made inquisitive noises at all the right moments to keep Jo happy. 

 

When they entered Dean’s room Sam retreated into himself again and Dean had to actually pull him away from the door.

 

“Come on kid, we’re not going to eat you.”

 

“Plus Dean’s bed is the best. And he even got food!” was Ash’s typically juvenile contribution to the situation.

 

“Are you sure? I can go back to my room. I don’t want to intrude”. 

 

The nervous hesitance was back and Dean sighed. This was exactly why he didn’t usually bother with the scared ones, to much bloody work when all Dean wanted to do was chill out and feel very self satisfied. But Sam was adorable and he had already put enough time into the kid that he didn’t really mind anymore. He was just annoyed on principle.

 

But Sam didn’t seem to get that and Dean had to shush the kids apologies as he pushed the kid onto his bed beside Jo before turning on the movie and settling down beside Sam. Movie night was kind of  a staple for them but it was odd to have Sam there, the kid was still tense and not entirely focused on the movie which was just no good because it was Guardians of the Galaxy and that shit was to awesome to be ignored. 

 

So Dean gave Sam’s arm a good yank and pulled the kid against his chest. So that he could run a soothing hand up and down his back, “Calm down Sammy, we’re all good. Just going to sit and watch the movie and relax”. 

 

Dean ended up with a sleeping teenager on top of him which was unexpected but definitely not unpleasant. When the credits rolled on the movie he waved a hand at Jo and Ash to shoo them out of his room and then shifted himself and Sam so that he was leaning against the head board with Sam using his thigh as a pillow. Dean did readings for ancient mythology for a couple of hours but then his stomach started to rumble and he didn’t like the kid nearly enough to start skipping meals for him. 

 

“Kid. Its time to get up”. Dean tried to wake Sam gently with soft shake and for a few seconds it worked and Sam was blinking up sleepily looking quite content but then it seemed to hit him where exactly he was and he pulled away. 

 

There were more rushed apologies and then Sam was out the door with his face still stained red. Dean debated going after him but he was hungry and already way to attached to the kid so he went to the cafeteria instead, just to prove a point to himself. 

Chapter Text

Dean and Ash always celebrate the first snowfall of the year with a water balloon fight. Its a weird ass tradition and Dean isn’t entirely sure how it had started but now it was a large event. Dean had filled Mike in on the tradition when it had started to get cold, all the older students were already well aware, so there was very little coordination for Dean to do aside from acquiring his own stock pile of balloons. 

 

The first snow fall ended up on a Saturday which was ever so convenient, a couple years before it had been on a week day and Dean had spent two weeks in detention because of so many people skipping class.  It even started mid afternoon which mean't Dean was well rested, mostly recovered from his hang over and looking for something to do. And all was going well: he, Jo and Ash teamed up and were picking people off as they tried to go in and out of the dormitories. But then Dean’s phone started buzzing and Mike’s name was hoping up with a text notification.

 

Your boy toy is having a freak out. By the library. 

 

Shit. Sammy. He hadn’t thought about how Sam would react to water balloons but it wasn’t surprising that it wasn’t good given how the kid had reacted to the water before. 

 

Stay there and keep an eye on him. I’m on my way.

 

Dean wasn’t concerned that Mike would leave the kid, he was much too afraid of Dean for that, but he still took the short trip to the library at a jog. He found Sam and Mike sitting on the front steps. Mike stood up when he saw Dean but Sam seemed lost in his own little world.

 

“He was breathing all funny a couple minutes ago but he seems better now. Nodded at me when I told him you were coming but hasn’t actually said anything.”

 

“Okay. I’ve got him, you can go now.” Mike scrambled off quickly, probably to continue the water balloon fight. 

 

Dean walked over to Sam who was wet and shivering where he sat on the stairs “Heya Sammy. Think you can stand up for me?”

 

Sam looked up eyes focusing on Dean’s face for a minute before he dropped them again. But he nodded and stood up. Dean knew that he really should get Sam back to his room and into something dry but Sam looks sad and lost so he takes a minute to wrap him up in a hug. Sam seems to like this and immediately tries to get as much of himself in direct contact with Dean as possible. It takes them a while to get back to the dormitory.

 

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Dean discovers that Sam seems much more responsive when he was freaked out. Sam had clung to his hand the whole walk back and glommed onto Dean’s side when he bundled them both into Sam’s bed. Dean started humming as he smoothed his hand up and down Sam’s side, enjoying the way that he relaxed into him, fingers tangled into Dean’s shirt.

 

He wasn’t sure if Sam actually slept but they stayed there for a while until Sam was completely relaxed and Dean was confident that he wasn’t going to freak out again.

 

“You good Sammy?”

 

Dean felt him turn his head farther into Dean’s shoulder and wasn’t sure if he would get an answer but after a moment Sam murmured back. “Yeah. I’m sorry for freaking out.”

 

“Nah, its all good. I should have remembered that you didn’t like the water.” He paused for a moment and then asked “Can you tell me why it bothers you?”

 

“My dad used to send me to summer camp. And I’m strange so the other kids didn’t like me so they would push me around in the lake, hold me under sometimes. I just don’t like it when its a surprise, it feels like it I can’t breath again.”

 

Dean scowled pranking was all well and good but that sounded vicious and he wanted to track them all down and impress upon them just how little right they had to go after Sam. His hand paused on Sam’s back and the kid whimpered into his neck jolting Dean back into the present.  He tilted Sam’s head up gently so that he met Dean’s eyes.

 

“Its okay Sammy, its not your fault. And you are most certainly not strange, not in a bad way anyway. You’re just smarter than them.”

 

Sam frowned and shook his head.

 

“Don’t do that, I’ve seen you in Latin. You were plowing through that Cicero like it was English and I saw the scribblings in the margins, I’ll bet that you are writing in Latin too. Its amazing and you should be proud of it.”

 

Sam still seemed sceptical and Dean didn’t think that he was going to get through to him in that moment. So instead he changed tracks to something that he wanted and hoped would help make Sam feel more secure. “Can I kiss you?”

 

There wasn’t a clear response, Sam just made a small noise of confusion. So Dean repeated his question, thumb rubbing gently across the kid’s jaw while he waited for his question to process. 

 

“But why?”

 

“Because you’re adorable and I want to.” This didn’t seem to make it any clearer for Sam, he was still looking at Dean with his brow furrowed. “You don’t have to, and I won’t unless you say I can but I would really like to kiss you”.

 

“Okay”.

 

Dean moved in slowly giving Sam time to change his mind and pull away but he didn’t and Dean pressed his lips softly against Sam’s. He pulled away after a second and watched Sam’s eyes flutter before kissing him again, this time licking across Sam’s lips until he opened them and let Dean explore. Sam made a small noise and Dean pulled away again.

 

“You still doing good Sammy?”

 

Sam smiled, both dimples showing “Yeah. Its nice, not like I expected though”.

 

“You haven’t done this before”. Dean wasn’t shocked and his ego was admittedly quite happy that he was the first person to have Sam like this but he was also a little sad that Sam hadn’t had the chance to be held and taken care of.

 

“No..”

 

Dean could see the apology coming and cut it off with another short kiss. “That okay. You’re so good Sammy and I just want you feel to good”.

 

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Dean wasn’t sure that Sam slept but the kid was still laying against Dean’s chest when he woke up the next morning looking content.  “You ready to get up Sammy?”

 

Sam shrugged without moving his head from where he had tucked it against Dean’s neck. And Dean laughed a little about how snuggly the kid was, apparently given permission to be close Sam was going to be unwilling to move. “We can come back later but I want to eat and I should probably check in with Jo and Ash.”

 

There was a little grumbling but Sam pushed himself up off Dean’s chest and moved to his dresser. Dean was very much tempted to stare but he figured that Sam probably wouldn’t appreciated that so instead he stretched out on Sam’s bed looking at the ceiling. 

 

“You want to come with me to see Jo and Ash or are you going to run? They would be cool with you joining us for breakfast but I’m not going to go running with you later. After last time I discovered that I’m clearly not cut out for it.”

 

Sam huffed out a little laugh. “I’ll go running then. Will you…” He cut himself off with a shake of his head. 

 

Dean assumed that Sam wanted to ask for something and now that he wasn’t quite as freaked out he was doubting himself again. “Its okay Sammy, you can ask for things”. But Sam just shook his head again and put on running shoes before heading out the door. Dean took another minute to collect himself and scowl at the closed door. He snagged on of Sam’s sweatshirts in retaliation. 

 

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Jo and Ash were at the usual spot in the cafeteria clutching coffee mugs, not surprising given that the water balloon fight usually took a pause for curfew before continuing into the night. Dean found that he was surprisingly okay with having missed the rest of it. 

 

“Heeeyyyy!” Ash called out in an exaggerated high pitched voice, “You disappeared quick last night”.

 

“And you have a massive hickey on your throat so fuck you” was about the best Dean could come up with since he hadn’t had his caffeine fix yet. He sunk into a chair and gave his best ‘I am in charge and you will listen to me’ glare while digging into his food. 

 

Jo waved her hand at both of them in a general shushing motion, “The administration didn’t even really try and do anything about our water balloon extravaganza, I think they have just kind of accepted that its going to be a thing that happens and I don’t think the staff were targeted at all this year which helps”.

 

Dean nodded, that was good. He hadn’t expressly said not to hit the staff, it wasn’t his style to make rules like that, but it did make the aftermath of the fight much easier to deal with. “Thats good. We got anything else coming today then?” 

 

Jo shook her head but Ash looked up from his eggs which wasn’t a good sign, “Well I hate to be the one to rain on this parade but I’m guessing you’re going to get some shit about the kid. Or at the very least people are going to be much more aware of him. You kind of swooped in a rescued him yesterday”.

 

“Shit. Yeah, okay. I’ll try and keep an eye on the kid. You two should as well”. Dean hadn’t considered that but it was probably true, this was the closest he had been to an exploitable weakness since he had started his prank campaigns. He was going to have to take it in stride though and at the very least it would be an excuse to keep Sammy closer. 

 

“I’m taking the rest of the day to chill out but I want to get moving on the next one in English”.

 

Jo smiled and Ash smirked, both looking quite smug about the way Dean was clearly trying to get out of there as fast as possible. Jo would have kept it at the smile but Ash was never one for subtly and added “Have fun with Sam!” As Dean was walking away. Dean flipped him off without turning around.

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Dean picked the lock to let himself back into Sam’s room. He briefly considered waiting outside but there was no way he was going to reduce himself to sitting on the floor in the hallway. Once he was in the next question became whether to take the desk or the bed, he had brought his Latin homework with him but Sam’s bed looked far more inviting than the desk and Dan did most of his homework in bed anyway so he flopped down and opened his text book.

 

Sam came in a few sentences into the Cicero passage they were supposed to have finished for Monday. Dean looked up when he first heard the sound of the key in the door and watched Sam as he came into the room. He was sweaty and a little red, a good look for him, but there was a sad look on his face and his lips were moving like he was having a silent conversation with himself.

 

It took Sam a few moments to notice that Dean was there but when he did a large smile spread across his face. “You’re here”. Sam managed to sound both incredibly happy and utterly shocked at the same time.

 

Dean smiled back at him “ Of course I am. I said we could go back to bed later and I’m not one to break my promises. Although I was kind of hoping that you could help me with some of this Latin first, I seem to have missed something crucial because the cases don’t seem to be lining up properly.”

 

Sam nodded eagerly and started to move towards the desk before pausing and looking back at Dean, “Can I shower first?”.

 

“Of course. I’ll be right here.” That made same smile again as he grabbed a towel and clean clothes.

 

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“ …and the medieval writers were always messing up so sometimes when you read his passage quoted in later works its missing the dative in the fear clause when is a little disconcerting but is actually kind of interesting considering that they such a good grasp of genitive uses”.

 

Dean smiled absently and hummed in acknowledgement as he headed Sam back towards the bed and grabbed his laptop. They had just finished working through the Latin homework, probably much slower than Sam would normally do it and now Sam was rambling off on some kind of excited tangent that Dean honestly wasn’t listening to. But he let it go on while he settle them into bed and pulled up Fast and Furious on his laptop. Dean kissed Sam to shut him up, the kid blinked and managed to look surprised about the relocation to the bed despite the fact that he had been present for all of it.

 

“Sorry to interrupt kid but I really wasn’t following anything you were saying anyway and I’d much rather watch a movie with you.”

 

Sam smiled and relaxed into Dean’s arms, turning his attention to the movie. Dean let a self satisfied smirk slip onto his face, this was exactly what he wanted. Of course Sam was always surprising Dean and part way through the movie Dean felt hands fiddling with the hem of his t-shirt. Dean looked down and Sam was looking back up at him, a hesitant smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

Dean smiled back, using it to take a moment to figure out how best to proceed without freaking Sam out. His instinct was to strip both of their shirts off, roll Sam underneath him and kiss him until he was writhing with want and pleasure. But somehow he didn’t think that Sam would respond to well to that. So he decided to keep it open to what Sam wanted, hopefully without freaking him out too much.

 

“Do you want it off or just under”. Sam’s eyebrows twitched inwards a bit, probably trying to figure out what the right answer was, “I’m happy with either one, or neither, I just need to know what you want”.

 

Sam nodded and then dropped the eye contact in favour of tucking his head into the crook of Dean’s neck. Dean worried for a moment that Sam was going to shut down but then his voice came, sounding surprisingly confident.

 

“I just wanted under but then you said off… and that sounded better”.

 

Dean laugh, “Well why don’t we go with off then”. Sam nodded and let Dean shift him back onto the pillows so that he could strip off his shirt. Sam’s hands immediately drifted toward Dean’s chest and brushed over the tattoo. “You like that?”

 

Sam nodded and smiled, “You’re gorgeous” then what he said seemed to register and he blushed.

 

Dean lowered himself on his arms so that his chest  was just brushing Sam’s and pressed their lips together, letting the kiss linger for just a moment before he quickly shifted and flipped them so that Sam was laying on his chest once more. 

 

“Well thanks Sammy”.

 

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Dean walked into Latin on Monday morning with his arm around Sam’s waist and a smirk of epic proportions on his face. This had worked out better than he expected, Sammy was warm against his side and the quiet Latin class was the perfect intro the the stares that Dean wasn’t unused to but would be a whole new experience for Sam. 

 

Neither Jo nor Ash commented on his good mood in English and when he walked into the cafeteria at lunch Jo had already pulled Sam over to their usual table and even seemed to have pulled Sam into conversation.

 

“…we’re going to dress up all the statues on campus next I think. Dean’s trying for this throwback vibe this year and he did that one in his freshman year”. Ah. Apparently Jo was trying to draw Sam into the pranks, Dean didn’t think that was particularly likely.

 

But it seemed that the kid was going to just keep bringing the surprises because Sam not only smiled and nodded politely but also offered suggestions, pausing to smile up at Dean when he sat down.

 

“You could do them in drag. There are thrift stores in town where you could find dresses and stuff and then use chalk to draw in makeup.”

 

“Like the kiddy shit for sidewalks?” Ash looked skeptical and it was showing through in his tone.

 

Dean walked up and sat down beside Sam, he wasn’t sure that Sam would deal well with being challenged like that, he wasn’t exactly swimming of self confidence. 

 

And Sam’s shoulders did drop a little but he seemed to accept Dean’s smile of encouragement and continued.

 

“Yeah. But like Crayola makes these huge boxes with a lot more colours which is really cool.”

 

Jo stepped back in, “I like that, much better than just randomness like we did last time”.

 

“I’ll send Mike on a shopping trip and Jo you track down some more people to help with the actual dress up. Once we get all that shit together I’ll put together a plan for each individual statue to make sure things run smooth. Ash you’re on timing and staff avoidance. We aim for the Friday after next”. Dean didn’t want the debate about details to run on for too long because Jo and Ash would just end up getting each other worked up. 

 

With the prank based conversation closed  Ash and Jo turned to their ubiquitous squabbling and Dean turned his attention back to Sam. The kid looked happy and marginally less nervous than he usually did which Dean took as a good sign. It was an endearing look and Dean leaned over to kiss him.  Because he wanted to encourage Sam’s confidence, yes that, he’ll roll with that.

 

But also because the epic blush that spread across Sam’s face was cute. That too.

Chapter Text

Sam fiddled nervously with a bit of thread he had pulled from one of his socks, he just wanted everything to run perfectly but his brain was stubbornly running through everything that could possibly go wrong.  Charlie, a girl his math class, hip checked him as she walked by and spurred him into movement. 

 

Pomp and Circumstance started playing and the first grads began to process into the auditorium. Sam thought the song was actually kind of nice and the tradition aspect of it was really cool. Maybe he should just let it go. But then he heard Dean’s laughing voice echoing in his head “But its so old, and like, unimpressive. Why can’t they play something epic?”. Dean had done so much for him, the least Sam could do was provide some epic.

 

Sam had been tempted to get Jo and Ash to help him out but they were both graduating too and Sam had realized that he would need help with the execution. Thus he now had Charlie waving excitedly at him, she had been surprisingly eager to help out and her enthusiasm helped cover a lot of Sam’s nerves.  So he took a deep breath and waved back giving her due. 

 

There was a few moments where the music just stopped but then the guitar riff opened up and Highway to Hell was pouring out of the speakers. 

 

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Sam didn’t pay much attention to the reactions of the staff, crowd and other students, unlike Dean he wasn’t really interested in the shock and awe. But when Dean walked into the auditorium with a huge grin on his face and gave Sam a thumbs up he sort of understood where Dean’s love of pranks came from. 

 

Not one to be out down Dean grabbed the mic when he was called up to collect his diploma, “For the record that music wasn’t me, but it was fucking awesome!”. The staff winced and most of the student body laughed as Dean walked off the stage, diploma in hand.

 

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Sam was waiting outside the auditorium when Dean walked out, Dean had said that he like it but Sam was still nervous about his reaction. Dean seemed to understand this and immediately wrapped Sam up in a tight hug, it made Sam feel much more secure to be back in his usual place.

 

“Did I do well?”

 

Dean laughed and pulled him into a kiss, “You did amazing. I totally wasn’t expecting it but it made commencement so much better”. 

 

Sam smiled and kissed Dean again before tucking his head back into the warm place where Dean’s neck met his shoulder, quite possibly Sam’s favourite place in the world.

 

“Come on Sammy, we need to get celebratory food in recognition of your prank. Also, an this is just an fyi, I love you”.

 

That motivated Sam to move but only far enough so that he could watch Dean’s face as he whispered it back.