Character(s): Dean, Jess
Word Count: 1000
Summary: Dean doesn't mean to enrol in art history, exactly.
Notes: A remix of Imitating Life by 2ndary_author. Written for remixthedrabble.
Dean doesn't mean to enrol in art history, exactly.
Granted, what he did mean to do isn't anything to brag about - stalking a (probably) innocent girl just because she happens to be dating his brother is a new low, even for him - but at least he had a plan. Follow Jess, make sure she's what she looks like, and leave. Simple.
Talking to her - hell, liking her - was never part of the plan. Neither was learning about political power and patronage during the Renaissance, but Jess is blocking his only exit, and besides, it's kind of interesting. So when a piece of paper starts circulating around the room, he barely glances down at it before passing it on to Jess.
She gives it back a moment later, a smile playing across her lips. "You're supposed to sign up," she says, and he must look a little confused, because she keeps going. "For a tutorial?"
"I don't need a tutor," he says, keeping his voice low; the last thing he needs is to draw even more attention to himself.
Jess laughs, like maybe he's making a joke, and when he glances back at her, she's handing him a pen. And he's gone to enough effort to look like a student that he figures one more thing can't possibly hurt.
When he's done, he passes the paper back to Jess, and she signs her name right below his. He blinks a little as the lights come up, and beside him, she reaches for her bag.
"Coming?" she asks. "It's just down the hall."
Dean's pretty sure he must have missed something. "What is?"
She's already standing, and she turns back to look back at him. "The tutorial room."
"Didn't you read the sheet?"
"Yeah, I -" This is great, Dean thinks. Really perfect. Not only has he blown the whole stalking thing, but now he's sort of accidentally enrolled in Jess' art history class.
Yep. Definitely not part of the plan.
But she's still waiting for him, and he could leave, he knows, but the last thing he wants is for Jess to go home and tell Sam all about this weird guy she met in class today. It's bad enough he's stalking Sam's girlfriend; the last thing he wants is for Sam to find out about it.
"Sure," he says, and tries to force a smile. "I'm right behind you."
An hour later, Dean's picked up more about Sam and Jess' relationship than he thinks he ever would have learned from Sam. Not that Jess says much about it - she's friendly, but she seems like the kind of person who likes to keep her personal life private, and Dean tries not to ask more than he has to. But her face lights up whenever she talks about Sam, slips words like we and us into the conversation as if she isn't really aware she's doing it, and Dean's okay at reading people. As far as he can tell, Sam and Jess are the perfect couple. Which just makes him feel like more of an ass for coming all the way out here to spy on them.
"Here," he says as they file out, hands her pen back to her. He keeps the piece of paper she gave him, now covered in a handful of scrawled notes, folds it up a couple of times and shoves it in his pocket.
She smiles, and her fingers brush his as she takes it. "So," she says. "See you Thursday?"
Thursday. Right. Her next lecture. And his, too, apparently. "Sure," he says, and he's almost entirely sure he doesn't mean it.
So he can't really explain why he's still there two days later, other than that he's been hearing rumours of supernatural activity around Palo Alto, and that seems like as good an excuse as any to stick around. As it turns out, they're more than just rumours, and he's just finishing up when he hears a clock chime in the distance.
He should leave. He got what he came here for, and God knows it's not like he has a life here. Not like Sam. But he's right near where he's supposed to be - Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, special venue for today's lecture - and there's no reason an extra hour or two is really going to make a difference.
He's late, and he shouldn't care, except that the look the lecturer shoots him when he sneaks in is enough to make him feel like he really is back in school. Jess kind of smiles at him, though, and he feels a little better despite himself.
"Rough day?" she asks, and he's confused for a second, before he looks down at his clothes. It's not nearly as bad as it could be, but his shirt's torn a little, stained with something he could probably pass off as mud. His shoulder is throbbing, and he can only imagine the bruise he's going to have there tomorrow.
He shrugs, trying to ignore the pain that flares up at the action. "Running late."
She laughs a little, and they move on to the next picture. It's some sort of big deal, apparently, on loan from some fancy French gallery. Dean thinks it just looks small.
"Saint Michael Overwhelming the Demon," the lecturer says, and Dean glances around as he continues speaking. The rest of the class is standing to attention; notebooks out, collared shirts and expensive jeans, and Dean looks down again at his own clothes, old and worn and stained with blood he's not even sure is his. When they move on, he stays behind, doesn't watch as Jess disappears along with them into the next room.
As he turns to leave, he glances back at the painting - Rafael, 1505, influences stemming from Memling and Hieronymus Bosch; more information he'll never have any reason to use - and smiles, a little.
For just a second, he thinks maybe Sam didn't have entirely the wrong idea, after all.