Subject: Dean Winchester, pre-series
Word Count: 773
Dean pulls the Impala into the car port, steps out and shrugs his leather jacket tighter around his shoulders as the cold December wind gusts around him. The sky is dark and cloudy, snow threatening to let loose any moment. He grabs his school bag from the trunk and tosses it over his shoulder, then takes the tarp and drapes it over the car so his dad won't scold him if he gets back tonight. John's been gone for a couple weeks and hasn't checked in for three days and despite himself Dean always worries after a couple days even though this is nothing new from his father. He makes a mental note to call Bobby to see if he's heard anything as he walks around to the front door and grabs the mail before going inside.
He tosses the mail on the kitchen table when he sees the bright red blinking “1” on the answering machine. These moments are now so routine he subconsciously expects the worst and holds his breath as he presses play.
“Dean,” Sam’s voice begins and Dean let’s out the breath he was holding, “don’t forget I’m going over to Jack’s after Debate Club. His mom invited me to stay for dinner. I’ll be home before nine. See ya.” The machine clicks off and he erases the message.
“Nerd.” he huffs but smiles to himself, glad that Sammy’s had the chance to even join an after school club or make real friends. They’ve been living in Salina for the last 4 months. It’s the longest they’ve stayed rooted in one place in the last 5 years and Dean is secretly grateful for the break too. His senior year at Salina Central High has been difficult, but he’s enjoyed the challenges of actually giving his work 100 percent and having consistent feedback, instead of passing by on half-hearted attempts and charm.
As he opens the fridge he frowns at it’s bare contents. There’s leftover chili, some eggs, a couple cheese slices, and a nearly empty carton of milk. He shuts the fridge and checks the coffee jar in the cupboard. A grand total of $32.56 remains of the emergency funds his dad left. If John isn’t back by tonight he’s sure he’ll have to make an emergency run over to Abilene this weekend just to hustle a couple games of pool. Last time he’d tried a dive here in town, called Rendezvous of all things, but the bartender kicked him out before he’d even finished his first game.
He sits down at the kitchen table and thumbs through the mail. Most of it junk ads or addressed to Tony Kendall, one of his father’s many aliases. But one envelope catches his eye. It’s addressed to him, his legal name, Dean Winchester. In the corner is the simple royal blue KU logo and the university’s campus address. His heart pounds rapidly. He’s not even sure why he applied in the first place. It’s not like they could afford to send him to college and he’s not about to get any scholarships or grants. If anyone does that, it will be Sam. Still, part of him just misses Lawrence and the connection he feels to his mother when he’s there. It would be nice to go back home for a while, just to feel close to her again. He taps the envelope nervously on the table then tears the end open and slides the letter out. It reads:
Congratulations! With great pleasure I offer you admission The University of Kansas for fall 1997. This offer of admission is for general admission to KU and does not guarantee admission to the competitive programs such as Mechanical Engineering. Your program of choice, Mechanical Engineering is a competitive program and requires a separate application for their considerations once you’ve satisfied departmental admission prerequisites. …
He smiles and folds the letter up, tucking into his jacket’s inside breast pocket. It feels good enough just being accepted. At least that’s what he tells himself.
John returns 2 days later and says they have to pack up and move again. There’s something big going down Pennsylvania and he needs Dean’s help. As they drive east on I-70 and pass the exits for Lawrence Dean feels his throat tighten and his eyes begin to sting a little. He shut his eyes and takes a deep breath and then glances at Sam in the back seat sleeping soundly with his head on the window. That night he leaves the dingy motel room for some air and quietly burns the letter where no one will see him.
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