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Fic: Loopy-Loop

Loopy-Loop
By PaBurke
Summary/Challenge: School has always been a touchy issue for Dean. He's smart but school's not a priority. The teacher thinking Dean's an idiot pairs him with the smart guy in class, so he won't fail and have to repeat, because the teacher doesn't want him in his class again. The smart guy resents being paired with Dean because he feels like the teacher and doesn't want to be stuck with all the work. Dean proves them both wrong and Dean's partner starts to realize that there is much more to Dean than he shows.
Rating: light PG-ish for a tiny amount of language and sexual insinuation, but GEN
Disclaimer: Only Sean Laughran and the other OCs are mine. No money made.

spnspnspnspn

“And Sean Loughran will be paired with Dean Winchester.”

Sean had been more interested in reading the rules of the Blue Earth High School science fair than listening to the Ms. Rich assign partners, but his head shot up now. He couldn’t –didn’t bother- to hide his horror at his assigned partner. Ms. Rich sent him a sympathetic look, but didn’t correct the obvious mistake. Why would any teacher pair the school genius with the new kid that had moved in with a town preacher without explanation.

Dean Winchester?

Was Ms. Rich planning on Sean doing the entire project by himself? Bad Boy Flirt Dumb-Dumb Dean wouldn’t even help carry items. Sean had no way of manipulating Dean into helping out. Obviously Dean didn’t care about his grades. He had been in the school a week and had been sleeping in class for most of it. Sean didn’t know if Dean cared about anything; he never showed the least amount of interest in anything but pretty girls.

“You have fifteen minutes,” Ms. Rich announced. “Please meet with your assigned partner and discuss your schedules and plan accordingly. You have six weeks to finish your project.”

Sean was still stunned when Dean sauntered over to the empty desk next to him in the front row. Sean hated Dean, from his buzz cut hair to the bottom of his combat boots and all the ragged jeans and leather jacket in between. Sean hated the fact that Tina Santos, the girl that Sean had had a crush on since seventh grade, flirted shameless with the new boy. Dean slid in the chair and lounged. He eyed Sean but gave Sean no hint as to his feelings. Sean was pretty sure his distaste was written all over his face.

Dean shrugged. “So what do you wanna do?” he asked.

If Dean was willing to let Sean lead, than Sean would. At least he wouldn’t get stuck doing some insipid project. “Well, there are quite a few options available. I –we could…”

“No,” Dean cut him off (rudely). “What do you wanna do later? You know, after college?”

Sean blinked. He wasn’t quite sure why Dean was asking this question, but he answered, “I’m going to be an aero-engineer.”

“Okay. Let’s build a plane.”

“A plane?”

“It’d hafta be a small one. Pastor Jim’s garage isn’t that big.”

“Someday, individual aircrafts will be as prevalent as cars are now,” Sean told him. “Everyone will travel in them.”

“Okay,” Dean agreed. “Though I will never give up my baby. Let’s build an individual aircraft.”

“In six weeks?”

Dean shrugged. “I don’t have anything better to do.”

“There’s not enough time.”

“You got a body for one?”

“Yeah.” Sean had been reading everything he could get his hands on and had designed a frame and a body he was sure would work, if only he could make it.

“Show me.”

Sean felt lost, but he handed Dean his science journal. Dean flipped through. Sean leaned forward to watch. Maybe, possibly, Dean was bored in class because he already knew it? Dean’s eyes scanned each page. He never looked confused. He didn’t skip over Sean’s equations. In fact, he grabbed a pencil and corrected one.

No way.

“Hey!” Sean grabbed his journal back. In looking through the equation he realized that he dropped a negative sign. How embarrassing. Even worse that Dean had caught it. Thankfully, it wasn’t one of his favorite craft designs.

“You got dimensions for that baby?” Dean asked. “Like actual numbers for how big it has to be for a person to fit inside?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay. Bring them to my car after school and we’ll plan then.”

Brrrrinnnggg.

The bell rang. It was time to change classes. Dean didn’t have any books to collect, so he was the first one out the door. Sean collected his many books and stood. The classroom was almost empty.

“Sean,” Ms. Rich called. “A moment?”

Sean detoured to his teacher’s desk. “Yeah?”

“I’m sorry about pairing you with Dean. I know he’ll be deadweight but he really needs to bring up his grade.”

“Actually,” Sean glanced back at the seat Dean had been sitting. “He might not be too bad. He’s already offered Pastor Jim’s garage.”

Ms. Rich smiled. “I sincerely hope so. You better get out of here before your next class.”

Sean nodded and rushed off. He found himself distracted during the day, wondering about if he would really let Dean start a plane with his notes and plans. He had been working hard on the blueprints. Was he really going to show Dean something that he hadn’t even shown his parents or most of his teachers? He had put a lot of work into it. What if Dean made fun of them? What if Dean found something horribly wrong and pointed it out? That might be even worse. Sean was supposed to be the genius, Dean was supposed to be the failure.

But what if they made a plane for the science fair and wowed everyone. A finished plane with all the back-up work would be sure to win and a well-documented science win would make it easier to get into the college (and grad school) of his choice.

It was a risk.

A big risk. What if they didn’t finish?

But Sean had to take some risks, sometime. He couldn’t always play it safe. He had been playing it safe, messing with numbers and designs for two years. Everyone kept saying that he was a genius, but he had never given them true evidence. All he had shown them was that he could test perfectly.

If he was sure that Dean would hold up his side of the bargain (what exactly would be his side?) than Sean would agree to build a plane. After all, that was why he wanted to be an aero-engineer. Why wait until later when he could do it now?

As soon as the last class of the day finished, Sean dashed out to the student parking. It was easy enough to spot Dean’s car. Everybody knew Dean drove the black, classic Chevrolet in mint condition. The car stood out like a beacon among the beaters of the drivers who had to pay for it themselves and the hand-me-down cars from the middle class and the brand new cars of the richer kids. Dean wasn’t by his car yet. Sean hovered around. He didn’t dare touch the car, even to lean against it. (Dean had pounded one of the football players for doing just that.) Sean got nervous as he waited. He tried not to crease his blueprints and debated taking them back inside the school and returning them to his locker.

The idea –and the blueprints- were taken out of his hands, literally. Dean snatched them away and was unrolling them on the hood of his car. His fingers traced the elegant (Sean admitted it proudly) lines of the design. He silently examined every moving part that would make it possible for the plane to fly.

“Okay,” Dean said finally. “I think it will work.” He rolled up the blueprints and returned them to Sean.

“What about an engine?” Sean challenged. “I haven’t begun to research engines.”

Dean patted the hood of his car. “Engines, I know. I’ve been taking care of my baby for years. Dad’s been too busy. That’ll be the easy part. You need a ride home now or can you come over and help me start setting up?”

Sean blinked. “If we’re really going to do this, we have to start now. I’ll be able to call home at Pastor Jim’s?”

“Sure. Get in. I have to make a stop on the way home.”

Given Dean’s reputation, Sean was expecting Dean to stop at a bar or who knows what. He was not expecting Dean to stop at the junior high school.

“Be right back,” he said and then he was out of the car and loping for the entrance doors. Not two minutes later, he was back out. He walked beside a boy on crutches, with a cast on his left leg. The boy limped along and Dean carried his backpack. Sean noticed that the cast was clean, it probably had been broken only recently.

Dean opened the back door for the kid and tossed in the backpack. The boy slid in, not nearly as awkward as it should have been. Then he offered Sean his hand over the seat. “Hi, I’m Sam Winchester.”

Sean shook the hand, “Sean Loughran.”

Dean sat behind the wheel and turned the key. “Sammy, science partner. Sean, little brother.”

Sean was still blinking at the blunt introduction but Sam had started talking. “It’s very nice to meet you, Sean. So what are you two making this time?”

“This time?” Sean echoed.

“Is this going to be the bobsled all over again?” Sam addressed his brother.

“Bobsled?” Sean turned to face Dean.

“We were in nowhere, Montana,” Dean started the story.

“Black Creek,” Sam corrected.

“Just after the Winter Olympics and the physics teacher had this bright idea that each team in the class had to make a bobsled.”

Sean was interested in spite of himself. “Did your team win?”

Dean merely grinned. “You could say that.”

Sam leaned forward so that he could see Sean’s face as he told the tale. “Dean volunteered to make the bobsled track.”

Dean laughed. “That was fun. At least since it was colder than a witch’s tit outside, it wasn’t too hard to keep the track frozen. I had it so smooth that by race day, you couldn’t stand on it. Every single team lost control and crashed.” He snickered at the memories.

Sam waited a moment and then rolled his eyes. “That’s not the best part… so the other students complained that the track was too hard, that it was impossible, so that they should all get a pretty decent grade and out comes Dean with his bobsled that he made in addition to the track.”

“The track really wasn’t that hard once I got it set up and the right kind of bobsled would clear all the snow of the track for me and make my job of upkeep easier. Plus, it was fun.”

“It was a ton of fun. Dean let me take the bobsled down several times. What he had done was make a bobsled that could handle the speed and turns,” Sam finished the story. “He got an A and then we had to leave.”

“Good thing too,” Dean mused. “I thought the nerds were going to lynch me.”

“You coulda taken them,” Sam told him. “But I don’t like the idea of another big project. You spent all your time on it and neglected your other schoolwork.”

“I was doing the fun stuff, Sammy.” There was something in Dean’s voice that Sean couldn’t identify.

“And you were healthy then. You’re still sick. You throw everything into a project like that and don’t keep any reserves.”

“Sammy.” Sean could hear the clear warning now.

“Wait,” Sean finally caught up with the conversation. “You’re sick?” he asked Dean. “Is that why you sleep through all your classes?”

“You sleep through your classes!” Sammy squeaked. “I told Dad, I told Pastor Jim, you should stay home and recover. You’re too sick.”

“I’m fine,” Dean bit out. He glared at Sean, but Sean was too busy watching Sammy freak out.

“You are not fine. The doctor said you almost died. That you needed time for the infection to clear your system. If you’re sleeping through all your classes you should stay home and sleep in a comfortable bed.”

“Sammy,” Dean said again. “Home’s boring. I’m going to school where at least I can pick up hot chicks. And now I have the science project.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” Sammy said.

“No.”

“Rock, paper, scissors?” he tried again.

“No, Sammy.”

“Fine. You take all of your medication without complaining and get straight A’s at school and I won’t tell Pastor Jim that you’re sleeping through classes.”

“Snitch.”

Sammy set his jaw and glared at his brother. “I didn’t say that I would tell Pastor Jim about the new project or that you had to stay awake in class, just ace them. You keep telling me that high school is so easy that you could ace it in your sleep, let’s see you do just that. You take my deal and I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

“Fine. I just wanna have a little fun,” Dean complained.

“It’s not too big of a project,” Sammy worried.

“No,” Dean was quick to lie before Sean could answer.

“Okay then, do we have a deal?”

Dean huffed. “Fine, Bitch. We have a deal.”

“Good,” Sammy replied. “Jerk.”

Sean just shook his head at the byplay. Sammy had just turned his impression of his assigned science partner upside down. Sean’s first impression of Bad Boy Flirt Dumb-Dumb Dean was far from the truth, or maybe it was the truth that Dean wanted everyone to see. Part of him wondered if he should tell Sammy that the project was huge, but then this was probably his only chance while in high school to get a science partner that would be able to pull their weight.

He was about to build a plane.

spnspnspnspn

The next three weeks were a blur to Sean. He worked his ass off in classes and during study hall so that the entire evening could be devoted to the plane, until late every night. He and Dean pounded out the metal for the plastic molds and then poured the plastic in one Saturday. Dean hadn’t been sure if it was going to work, so they had extra molds and plastic. Sean had no idea where Pastor Jim had gotten his hands on this specialized type of plastic, but he was in too much of a hurry to ask. Sean would tell Dean as much of the homework assignments and class discussions as possible during this time.

Sean had figured out the Dean was a hell of a lot smarter than he appeared but it was frightening arguing with the guy. Sean was the star of the debate team, yet he lost as many arguments about history/literature/current events as he won with Dean. And heaven help them when Sammy was in the barn. Sammy could argue like nobody’s business.

Dean was chatty while his hands were moving. He would discuss WWII troop movements while they were sanding and Shakespeare’s issues while they were fitting the molded pieces together. Supreme Court cases could be argued while they searched through local junkyards looking for the instrument panels of crashed airplanes. Sean worried a little about using such wreckage, but Dean swore up and down that he could get it working correctly. Since Sean’s own grades were going up as a result of their conversations and Dean was effortlessly getting straight A’s now, Sean decided to trust his science partner.

It helped that a small engine –capable of fitting into any of the three plane shells they had created- was slowly taking shape in the corner of Pastor Jim’s barn/garage. Sean didn’t know when Dean had time to work on it, but no one else was touching it. Sean was exhausted just with what they were doing together and didn’t have much time for other activities. Sean’s dad picked him up every night at 10:30 or 11. Sean slept on the way home and dragged his ass out of bed every morning for school.

Sean was please with how the science project was taking shape, please with his grades and especially pleased with his partner. Then his partner proved even better than just smarts… he had connections. Dean hadn’t even hinted that he was going to ask someone for help. Or that he knew anyone who could help. But the fourth Tuesday of the project, Dean approached Sean’s father about a road trip to Cleveland. Dean knew someone who worked at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Wind Tunnel Division.

Sean was astonished and flabbergasted and... and…

He wanted to go. He had to go.

He had to go.

Sean knew all about wind tunnels. That was where they tested the aerodynamics of planes. Sean had hoped to work with one during/after grad schooling. If they left right after school on Friday and drove, they would rest Saturday and then begin testing Saturday night. They would have (limited) access to the lab until Sunday noon and then they would be able to drive home. They would be able to use the equipment to test each of their plane bodies to see which one truly worked the best. Even if they never finished the plane, analyzing that data would easily give Sean first place at the science fair, not to mention what adding that to his résumé would do for his career.

Sean’s dad wasn’t thrilled with the idea. Pastor Jim had responsibilities at home and Sean’s dad had work that he simply could not miss. No adult was available to supervise or to drive. Dean would be doing all of the driving. Pastor Jim, who had hovered in the background for most of the last three weeks took Sean’s father aside and somehow convinced him that Dean was responsible enough to drive all that way. Then Sean’s dad started asking about the researcher at Glenn. It turned out that Dean’s dad –that Sean had never laid eyes on despite spending every waking free minute at Pastor Jim’s- had saved the researcher’s life. The researcher, Dr. Murphy, was pleased to help them. It seemed that Dean had sent him the blueprints and Dr. Murphy thought they looked promising enough to get them in the door.

Finally, Sean’s dad relented. After all, he did understand the awesome opportunity it represented. He did have conditions. During the waking times, Sean had to call home every four hours. Sean readily agreed to the conditions.

He, Dean (and Sammy, of course) were allowed to drive down to Cleveland for testing. Dean and Sammy planned most of the trip. Sean only had to show up; though his mother did pack plenty of snacks for the boys. The rest of the week both rushed by and dragged.

Then it was time to leave. The Impala was packed, the plane bodies were tied down on the trailer and they left. As they were pulling out of the driveway, Dean dropped a huge book in Sean’s lap.

“That’s the instruction manual for the wind tunnel,” Dean told him. “Find out everything we have to know before we start.”

Sean eagerly read the book. If he deemed things pertinent, he read them allowed. Sometimes he had to pause as Dean navigated traffic or if Sammy had to give directions to their next exit. Sean had never enjoyed a car trip more. It passed by much too fast and suddenly, Dean was pulling up to the security station of the NASA base. They were on the approved visitor list and Dean drove confidently to the correct building.

Dr. Ewan Murphy was waiting outside. He was short, pudgy and completely bald. The only thing missing for the stereotypical PhD was the glasses. Dr. Murphy didn’t need corrective lenses. Dr. Murphy told Dean where to drive and directed him as he backed the trailer (and Sean’s life’s work) up to the opening of the wind tunnel.

Sean told himself that even if all three designs failed, he could still win the science fair and nothing was cooler than testing his work. Sean was disappointed that his favorite design burst into pieces, but the other two held up great. Sean had tons of data to correlate and read and organize. He couldn’t wait to get started.

Dean and Sammy packed the plane body prototypes into the trailer again and they set off for home. Sean fell asleep rereading the third page of wind tunnel printouts. Dean drove them home. Sean really didn’t remember much of the return trip. He vaguely remembered Dean dropping him off at his house and his dad pushing him into bed. He did wake up when his mother tried to take the wind tunnel data out of his hands. Sean didn’t want to let go. His mom assured him that it was safe on the bedside table and the next thing Sean knew, his dad was waking him up for school Monday morning.

It was the fastest, best weekend of Sean’s life.

spnspnspnspn

Monday was a trial for Sean. He –who had never slept a wink in school in his life- found his head bobbing. He did a half-assed job with his homework so that he could spend more time with the data from the trials. There was so much data. He had to figure out a way to organize and present the data.

Ms. Rich’s class was the second to the last one of the day and Sean was looking forward to the end of the school day. Dean apparently was too. He slept through her class, like he had most of the others. Sean didn’t mind at all. He would tell Sammy though. He had already grabbed whatever homework assignments Dean would need to continue his straight A streak.

Ms. Rich called to him as he was leaving, “Sean?”

Sean turned toward her desk.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“What for?”

She looked as confused as Sean felt. “For pairing you with Dean?”

“Dean’s awesome,” Sean told her.

She blinked. “I noticed that his grades greatly improved and I had hoped that your influence would continue, but today…”

“He was tired,” Sean told her. “He drove me down to Cleveland, Ohio this weekend and back and participated in the experiments there. I’m not sure how much sleep he got the whole weekend because he was the one in charge and he takes that scary seriously. He made me call my dad every four hours on the dot, no matter the experiment we were running.”

She blinked again. “Why did you need to go down to Cleveland for your science experiment?” she asked.

Sean grinned and bounced because he couldn’t help it. He was too excited by the secret to be mature. He dragged out the instruction manual for the wind tunnel with NASA Glenn Research Center written right on it. “He could get us into the wind tunnel laboratory,” he crowed. “It was awesome. But it was a really, really long and exhausting weekend. I’m tired today and I didn’t drive. He had to do all of the driving by himself. He should be at home but he hates being that far from Sammy.”

“Sammy?” Ms. Rich echoed.

“Sam Winchester,” Sean corrected himself. “Dean’s little brother. He’s in the middle school and Dean likes to be close by.”

“Oh. So you’ve spent a lot of time together.”

Yes. Every spare second. But the actual experiment is a surprise.”

Ms. Rich wasn’t dumb. She knew his goals and plans and blueprints. She added all the clues together. “Sean, did you build a plane?”

Sean bounced again because his life was too cool.

“In six weeks?”

“It’s only been four,” he pointed out.

“And Winchester?”

“I never would have attempted it without him.”

Ms. Rich leaned back in her chair and thought for a moment. “Sean what would have happened if I had paired Dean up with someone who hates science.”

Sean shrugged. “Probably would have gotten another celery stick in the food coloring experiment. Or a volcano. I can see Dean pushing for something resembling an explosion.”

“And that’s rather scary.”

“That’s Dean.”

The bell of the next class starting rang. “Can I go now?” Sean asked. “I have to get my homework and Dean’s together.”

Ms. Rich scribbled out a tardy permission slip. “I look forward to you presentation.”

“Yeah, about that. Can we have a really big area and one near the back doors?” Sean asked.

Ms. Rich scribbled another note to herself. “I’ll see that it happens.”

“Thanks,” Sean enthused. Absolutely nothing could go wrong today.

spnspnspnspn

Absolutely nothing was going right today. Sean’s equations were stupid wrong. He completed two statistical analysis… analyses? before realizing that the two sets of data he was trying to compare didn’t relate to one another at all. He was dropping everything in the garage. This was the part he was supposed to be helping Dean put the engine together and he was so tired he was confusing himself in his head.

Dean sighed, took the wrench out of his left hand (or was that his right) and the screwdriver out of his other hand and sat him on the cot. “Sammy?” he called.

“Yeah?”

Sean tried to twist to see where in the barn/garage Sammy was but nearly tipped off the cot. Dean caught him and pushed him back.

“Can you call Mr. Loughran and tell him that Sean needs a pick up?”

“Sure.”

“It’s 10:30 already?” Sean asked. He was delighted.

Dean coughed, which might have been a laugh. “It’s time for bed,” he said.

“You goin’ to sleep too?” Sean demanded.

Dean yawned and stretched. “That does sound like a good idea.”

“Awesome.”

Somehow Sean’s dad showed up to drive him home. Sean was never so glad to go to bed.

spnspnspnspn

Sean spent most of the following week analyzing data, making charts to present and pleading with various friends and family to borrow their VHS tape players and TVs on the day of the science fair. He would use the TVs to play the recordings from NASA. He offered to help Dean with the engine and the electrical, but the older teen said that he preferred working on it himself and since Sean was plowing through the reams of data and writing the reports, it was a fair exchange in labor. Sean stayed at home for most of that week, rarely stepping into the barn that had been his home-away-from-home for four weeks straight. So he was hugely surprised and pleased when Dean called Friday night to ask if Sean knew a pilot: the plane was ready to be flown.

Sean screamed with joy like a girl.

The plane was done. The plane was done. The plane was done.

Dean was laughing. He pointed out that they couldn’t prove that the plane was flight-worthy without a pilot. Sean proudly informed his science partner that while he didn’t have a driver’s license, he did have a pilot’s license. It was all a matter of priorities. Sean had decided long ago (when he had decided to be an aero-engineer) that he would be more than a numbers guy; he would also be practical enough to fly his creations. Thankfully his parents supported his education choices and had never complained about having to driving him to all of his events.

Sean didn’t tell his parents that the plane was finished. Thankfully, his parents had been out for ‘date night’ when Sean had heard the news. His mother would worry herself sick if he told her that he planned on flying his plane first thing Saturday morning. It turned out that he didn’t fly the plane the first thing Saturday or Sunday for that matter.

Dean, reverting back to his scarily serious protective persona, would not let Sean fly until he was familiar with the instrument and control panels. Dean had thrown together a poor man’s simulator. It was mostly cobbled together extra parts, just in the same orientation as the real thing. Sammy would shake the plane or tell him what the ‘current atmospheric conditions’ were and Sean had to adjust accordingly.

Dean was in the barn, as well. He was fiddling around with the wires and connections, ensuring that everything worked every time and nothing would crap out on Sean a hundred feet up. He put the motor through a couple test runs. Late Sunday was the first time Sean saw his creation in the sky. After dinner, Dean made the simulator into a remote control device. Sean worked the simulator as Sammy, Dean and Pastor Jim watched the plane soar above for the very first time.

Sean was in a hurry to place himself in the actual pilot’s seat for the second run but Pastor Jim vetoed it. Instead, Pastor Jim donated three-fifty pound bags of rock salt (Sean was too excited to ask why Pastor Jim had that much rock salt in May) to place in the pilot’s seat as a dummy. If the plane could handle that much weight, it would have no problem with Sean. The plane wobbled enough to make Dean frown. Sean was not allowed up on Sunday. Dean promised that he would fix it up so Sean could fly it Monday after school.

Sean nearly asked his parents to call him in sick. He wanted to fly. But even if they had agreed –and they might have if he explained it correctly- Dean would have said ‘no.’ Sammy was getting the cast cut off of his leg Monday and there would be no one home to help Sean. Sammy, Dean and Pastor Jim would be in a doctor’s office most of the day.

Sean barely remembered school Monday. The only thing he cared about was gathering up all of the schoolwork for Dean and himself. His father picked him up thirty minutes after school let out to drive him to Pastor Jim’s. They made a quick detour to the middle school for Sammy’s homework and then finally they were at Pastor Jim’s. Sean wanted to strap himself into the plane, but Pastor Jim and Dean wanted Sean’s father to be happy with the arrangement. So Sean had to waste an hour using the simulator as a remote control. In the back of his mind, he knew that he needed this kind of practice because he was the one who was going to give the presentation at the science fair, so he couldn’t be up in the sky during that time. He would use the remote control for the presentation.

Finally, finally, it was time for Sean to fly the plane. It was even more awesome than he had anticipated. Their craft was so maneuverable and responsive. It was a hundred –no a thousand- times better than the dinky plane that Sean had been using for his flight hours up ‘till now. Sean could have stayed aloft forever, or at least until after dark.

Dean ordered him down at sunset. Sean pretended not to hear him and then found out that the simulator/remote control also contained an override switch. Dean brought him down himself. Sean was yelled at for ignoring ‘ground control’ but he was too euphoric to notice. When Sean’s father dragged him home for the night, Sean was still floating along.

On Tuesday and Wednesday after school, the boys got down to the business of the subtle tweaks, the tiny experiments to make an already great plane even better. Sean got to fly for several more hours. It was as wonderful as before. On Thursday, Sean and Dean packed up their prototypes, drove around collecting TVs and VCRs and anything else that they would need for the science fair.

Then it was Friday. The week had flown by. Sean was actually anticipating the following week, because without the science fair to interrupt progress they could concentrate more on improving the plane.

Sean was excited; he and Dean were practically a shoo-in for the science fair grand prize. Then he noticed that Dean wasn’t in school. He wasn’t in any of his normal classes. Sean never spotted him at his locker. Where was he?

Was he at Pastor Jim’s? Working on the plane?

Something was wrong. If it was about the plane, then Dean would have told him about the problems. Sean was worried. As soon as his fifth period class was over and all the science fair participants were excused for the day to set up their projects in the gym, Sean ran out to the parking lot looking for Dean’s Impala. It wasn’t there.

Pastor Jim was there though and the plane and all of its parts were packed into the trailer. Sean’s heart sunk. He was expecting Dean, cryin’ out loud, he was halfway expecting that Sammy had talked himself out of school to come help them.

“Pastor Jim?” he called.

Pastor Jim tried to smile, but he looked a little heartbroken.

“Where’s Dean?” he asked.

“Dean and Sammy’s father returned late last night, after you went home. They were on the road before five this morning.”

“He’s gone?” Sean couldn’t believe his ears. “But they’ll be here, tonight, for the fair, right?”

Pastor Jim shook his head. “No, Sean. Dean and the rest of his family will be in Texas tonight. Dean wanted to call you but John was here and demanding to leave well before daylight. A phone call would have woken your parents and John was not about to sit around to wait until it was a polite time to call.”

“But… but.”

Pastor Jim laid a heavy hand on Sean’s shoulder. “Dean was sure that you’d wow them all. He wanted me to convey to you ‘Good Luck’ and ‘Don’t break our plane’.”

Sean laughed but it hurt.

Sean and Dean’s science fair project won best of show.

Of course.

It almost seemed like a let down. The judges were wowed with what they had accomplished, the wind tunnel experiments (that was never going to quit being cool) and the remote control plane. Sean hadn’t realized that several colleges were scouting for students at the fair. He got offered three full-ride scholarships. He felt like Dean was being cheated, that he was stealing from Dean. This project would never have had happened without Dean and yet most people assumed that all the work was Sean’s. Dean wasn’t being offered any scholarships.

Then one of the judges started doing the math on how fast the plane was going verses the fuel use and everyone realized that there was something special about the engine. Sean knew he had a deer-in-the-headlights look when they started asking questions. He didn’t know anything about the engine, he confessed. That was Dean’s part of the project. Suddenly Dean was getting credit, even if he was absent. The more the judges and other scientists studied the engine the more everyone realized how innovative, how unique, how genius it was.

One of the scientists offered ten thousand dollars cash if Sean let him take the engine. Someone else offered twenty thousand dollars. Ms. Rich got him out of the gym before it became a feeding frenzy. She also asked the sheriff to guard the plane until they could get it safe, under lock and key.

In the silence of Ms. Rich’s classroom, Sean confessed, “it’s not mine to sell. I didn’t even know it was anything other than an engine put together from the remains of crashed planes.”

“I know.” Ms. Rich smiled warmly (but distractedly) at him. She was searching through her rather messy desk. “Aha. Here it is!” She showed him the business card. “We need to get you patent lawyer immediately.”

“What about Dean?”

“He’s not here, Sean.”

“But he should be. It’s his invention. Pastor Jim…”

Ms. Rich finished the thought, “he told me that he won’t be able to contact the Winchesters for months, maybe a year.”

Sean crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair. He lounged like Dean would have. “Then I’ll wait.”

spnspnspnspn

Sean kept busy as he waited for Pastor Jim to hear from Dean.

He finished up high school, made the decision to skip his final year (he had been considering it even before the whoopla with the plane). Applied for MIT and was going to start in the fall. He met and put the patent lawyer on retainer. Eventually, he negotiated with a company to sell the plane; half of the proceeds would be put into an account for Dean. The rest would cover Sean’s undergraduate costs.

He ended up dating Tina Santos. Who knew? Tina turned out to be a damn fine lab assistant. The two of them worked on the plane all summer. It was Tina’s idea to have someone paint a sexy representation of her on the nose of the plane, like the old fighter jets used to have. She even knew a painter friend, Kimberly Shaw, who would do it. Sean readily agreed. Dean would have loved that.

The painting was well done, like a pin-up girl from the 30s. Sean had Kimberly write on the plane ‘Dean’s other Baby.’ And if Kimberly cleverly decorated the ‘D’ so it could have been mistaken for an ‘S,’ that worked too.

After all, that was what it was.

The first thing he would tell Dean when they met up again was that ‘the baby they had created together had grown up into a beautiful girl.’

spnspnspnspn

Comments

( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
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greeneyes_fan
Jun. 16th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, Dean. WE know how awesome you really are.
faithburke
Jun. 17th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
yes, we DO!
lita_of_jupiter
Jun. 17th, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
God, how lovely makes me want to shake John to pieces for interrupting!

heh... Dean is going around the country stealing science fair prizes wowoing schools!
faithburke
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
You know that Dean didn't tell John how much of the plane was his. He probably just told John that he was following the blueprints. Still, yeah, John moved them as soon as they were both physically fit.

I like the image of Dean with a bunch of ribbons too.
(no subject) - lita_of_jupiter - Jun. 17th, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - faithburke - Jun. 18th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
jennytork
Jun. 17th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
Smart!Dean is a definite kink of mine. Thank you so much for this.
faithburke
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:21 am (UTC)
me 2! You are very welcome.
kaddywhak
Jun. 17th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
I love stories where Dean is secretly brilliant, because that's how I see him on the show. This was awesome! especially Sean's image of Dean and how it slowly changed. I loved Sammy blackmailing Dean, and John made me so sad. I kind of want to know if they ever ran into each other again, and if Sean ever found out about the other aspects of Dean's life.

And the thought of some bad boy moving in with a pastor? I never thought about it, but that's totally how people would see Dean's living arrangements when he was with Jim. Made me laugh.
faithburke
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:25 am (UTC)
thank you for the lovely review. You seemed to see every little part that I didn't want missed. It's wonderful having readers like you.
donutsweeper
Jun. 17th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
Oh this is WONDERFUL
faithburke
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:26 am (UTC)
I'm happy that you liked it.
embroiderama
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
I LOVE smart!Dean, and this is awesome.
faithburke
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
grin. thank you. Smart!Dean is my favorite as well.
jujuberry136
Jun. 17th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
I love smart!Dean stories. So sad John moved them before the fair - would have been awesome to see the judges' (and college representatives') initial reactions to Dean and then falling over themselves when they start asking about the engine.

Fun story, thanks for sharing!
faithburke
Jun. 18th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
Yeah, I debated which way to write this and decided that this way was slightly closer to canon. In my mind, even Sammy thought that the engine was from scrapped parts and he thought that most of the other stuff was Sean's work. Perhaps only Pastor Jim and Sean truly realized the depth of Dean's intelligence.
ramblin_rosie
Jun. 17th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
LOVE IT! Even though I was bracing myself all the way through for the moment John came crashing back in and pulled the boys away--Dean would so do something like this. And good for Sean for ensuring that Dean's ideas weren't stolen from him!
faithburke
Jun. 18th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
Thank you, it was a bunch of fun to write. And yeah, there really could be no other ending but John returning and taking the boys away. I'm glad you liked Sean, being told that I wrote a likeable (and not Marty Stu's) OC is a great compliment.
anifsemaj
Jun. 17th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
I love that Sean was loyal to Dean in the end!
faithburke
Jun. 18th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
thank you. I'm glad you think the OC made a believable decision (and hey it was the one that favored Dean!)
spiceblueeyes
Jun. 18th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
So great! An awesome smart!dean story :)
faithburke
Jun. 18th, 2011 10:50 am (UTC)
thankyou! (and i love your icon)
(no subject) - spiceblueeyes - Jun. 18th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
saphirablue
Jun. 18th, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)
Wow! Just Wow!

Such an awesome fic! A great Outsider POV, smart!Dean and they built a plane! \o/

Thank you very much for this fic!
faithburke
Jun. 18th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
happy grin. I'm so glad you liked the OC and I wanted Dean to accomplish something eyepopping
elliemurasaki
Jun. 18th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
faithburke
Jun. 18th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
;)
dolimir_k
Jun. 18th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
I love smart Dean stories and this was awesome!
faithburke
Jun. 18th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
many thanks for the review!
lidoshka
Jun. 19th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
it's a lovely story! ..but may I say it's also a little bit sad? after all, next time sean hears the name Dean Winchester it's probably be related to a FBI file of a guy who dropped out of high school... *sighs* so yeah. Sad.

still goo dreading though! ;)
faithburke
Jun. 20th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah. A little bit sad, but then he knows that what 'everybody else knows' isn't always correct. Still sad Thanks for the review.
darkestnight12
Jun. 20th, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
Gah! This was wonderful! I seriously love how you write your smart!Dean. He's so epic. Sean was such a darling! I love how he warms up to Dean and begins to understand him. It was so heartbreaking when John showed up and dragged Sam and Dean away, but I love how Sean is waiting for him!
faithburke
Jun. 20th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
Happy grin. Smart!Dean=epic. So true. I'm so glad that my OC was likable.
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