Summary: Sam studied more than law at Stanford
Once Dean was certain that Sam would not be walking away from him again, the training began in earnest.
"Four years of soft living hasn't done you any favours."
Dean grinned and danced away from an over-sized fist.
"You're telegraphing your swing, Sam; I could see you coming with my eyes closed! I thought for sure we'd cured you of that after Reno. Have you been picking up bad habits?"
This time Dean managed to dodge Sam's one-two combo, but caught a glancing blow from his unexpected sweeping kick.
"Well look at that, you finally made contact. It's only taken, what, an hour? By the time the sun comes up tomorrow you might have managed to actually bruise me a little, if I stand still for a while."
Dean bounced from foot to foot, flames of unholy glee flickering wildly in his eyes.
"What's the matter, Sammy, cat got your tongue?"
Sam stopped his circling and took a calming breath, using the time to shake the tension from his arms and shoulders. The truth was, he didn't know what to say that wouldn't set Dean to teasing him even more than he was right now.
He was right about Sam not keeping up with his hand-to-hand combat, and the same was true for target practice, weapons maintenance and knife throwing.
Stanford tended to focus more on the intellectual side of things, which was why Sam had enrolled in off-campus yoga classes and taken a couple of semesters of T'ai Chi in his first year.
He'd finally learned to feel comfortable in his own skin, no longer trying to make himself smaller to fit the world around him. He'd used the meditative techniques he'd learned from both classes to overcome the stress that came with being so alone.
Sam had finally found a place for himself out in the 'real' world. It both terrified and thrilled him.
And now he'd given it up and returned to the fold. He'd taken back his rightful place at Dean's side, older and wiser and certain now of what he had to do. This was his second chance.
With one last cleansing breath, he turned and bowed to Dean, and then struck.
Dean swore that his ribs weren't broken, just badly bruised, and then brushed Sam's apologies away with a pained grin, demanding only that his brother tell him where he learned to kick like that.
Helping Dean out of his shirt - I'm not an invalid, Sam, it's just bruises! - Sam told him about the T'ai Chi master who'd approached him after class one night and discreetly suggested he look at taking kickboxing on campus. Apparently, he'd been unnerving the rest of the class with his pent-up aggression. He'd signed up the next day.
"I think that did as much for my stress levels as the yoga."
"Yoga?" Dean's grin was unabashedly salacious. "That means you're even more flexible than you used to be, right? 'Cause there's this position I've always wanted to try, butů"