|A Very Winchester Christmas
Author: vanillafluffy PM
A look at Sam's ninth Christmas and the Winchesters' holiday traditions through the eyes of Sam, John and Dean. Wee!chesters, noncanon.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Sam W. & Dean W. - Words: 2,128 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-20-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3298189
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I don't own the Winchesters OR the Impala, darn it.
A Very Winchester Christmas
The house they're renting at the moment is nicer than most of the places Dad's parked them in. They each have their own bedroom, and that's pretty cool. This is also the first time in his nine-and-a-half years that Sam Winchester has lived in a house with an actual fireplace, and there's a knot of excitement and dread in his stomach as he waits, curled up behind the recliner that isn't quite pushed all the way back into the corner. This is his big chance.
Dad has never talked to them about "St. Nick", but he hasn't vetoed his existance, either. Sam knows there's a demon they call "Old Nick", so there's probably a connection there somewhere. He's been hearing about Santa Claus from other kids ever since he started school---it's like a lot of other things his classmates gossip about---they don't know the truth about stuff like ghosts and vampires and zombies. They think it's all made up. Now that Sam has an opportunity to get a look at the guy/thing/whatever, he's going to jump on it. He's ready. He managed to gulp down a cup of bitter black coffee before his dad dumped the pot out for the night, and he's wide-eyed and ready to wait up as long as it takes to find out what the real story is.
Sam yawns, looking toward the fireplace. Most of the time, their gifts are useful---new clothes to replace whatever is too short or too worn to make it until spring, but the stockings always have fun stuff. They're a matched pair, and they've been around for as long as he can remember. They're long and white with two red stripes around the top His name is inscribed on one and 'Dean' is on the other, written with a thick red marking pen. When they were younger, the stockings held small games and things they could play with in the car. There was something to satisfy a sweet tooth, peppermint for Dean, licorice for Sam. Last year, Sam had gotten a digital watch and Dean was the happy owner of the newest Metallica cassette, and they had fast food coupons in addition to the Twizzlers and Bob's Sweet Stripes.
One of the throw pillows from the sofa cushions Sam's head as he leans back against the wall, and he has his winter coat over his shoulders because it's cold in the living room. Stripping the blanket from his bed would've been a tip-off. Sometimes Dad looks in on them; he's taken the precaution of stuffing a pile of laundry under the covers to make it look like he's there. He's covered all the bases he can think of: there's a plate of cookies on the coffee table to lure the jolly fat man in, Sam has a flashlight, and the pistol Dad gave him last spring in case of Closet Monsters, and he poured a thick line of salt around the hearth. After all, if Santa is real, there's no telling what he's up to. He can still fill their stockings, but if he's evil, he won't be able to cross the salt line. Then, Sam will blind him with the flashlight and cover him with the pistol while he hollers for backup. It's a pretty good plan; someday he's gonna be a hunter just like Dad.
Squinting at the digital display on the microwave---he can just see it from where he's hunkered---he's dismayed to see it's not quite one o'clock, but he'll wait all night, if that's what it takes. Who knows, if the guy from the North Pole is some kind of frost-bitten pervert, he, Sam Winchester, could be all that stands between his family and untold mayhem...
Dean's asleep when John checks on him, but when he sticks his head into Sam's room, it's a little too quiet. Prowling over to the bed, John confirms that his son has tried one of the oldest tricks in the book---something piled under the blanket to look like a body. He frowns. What's that kid up to now? He just wants to set out their presents and fill the stockings and try to get a few hours sleep, not play games with his overeager son.
The boys will be up at the crack of dawn, like any normal kids on Christmas morning---he may not be able to give them a happy Norman Rockwell family life, but he's always made an effort to celebrate this holiday with them. Mary would've expected that from him: she always made a huge event of Christmas. Her husband isn't about to put on an apron and start baking cookies, and the only times they've ever had a tree was when they were at Jim's during the season, but he keeps that pair of customized tube socks stuffed down in his duffle 364 days out of the year and he takes the trouble to wrap their practical gifts.
Treading down the hall in his stealthiest manner, the hunter spots the cookies on the coffee table right away. There's a piece of cardboard folded over, with the single word 'Santa' on it. He gets a little closer; no, his son isn't sleeping on the sofa, but he notices something else that wasn't there when he rinsed out the coffee pot and went back to his room to wrap packages. Something around the edge of the fireplace glints in the faint glow from the range hood he's left on to navigate by. John strolls over there, dabs at it with a finger and tastes cautiously. A salt line.
For a moment, it's all he can do not to laugh out loud. He scans the room, spots a slippered foot protruding from behind the ratty old recliner by the dining room. There's Sam, huddled under his coat, mouth hanging open, dead to the world, a flashlight nearby, and---John picks up the pistol, recognizing it as the .45 he gave Sam when he was worried about nasties in their next-to-last house. John hadn't liked that place either; it was less than a quarter-mile from a graveyard he'd had to dig in more than once, so the pistol had seemed like a sensible precaution, and he hadn't given it any thought since.
His moment of mirth drains away. What the hell kind of life are they living when his nine-year-old thinks he has to protect them from Santa Claus?
The blue steel has chilled in the unheated room. John Winchester grimaces as he tucks it into the waistband of his khakis and bends over his slumbering son. "Time for bed, Sammy," he says quietly, trying not to wake his boy up if he can help it.
The kid blinks a little when he's settled back into his bed, and he mumbles something that sounds like, "Did you get him?"
"It's okay," John tells him, tucking the blankets around him. "We're safe."
"Okay," Sam says, not really awake. "Merry Christmas, Dad."
John brushes his lips against his son's forehead. "Sweet dreams, kiddo." There's no answer, only the soft, even breathing of a boy who's nestled snug in his bed. His father stands watching him for a moment, then heads down the hall to play Santa Claus.
He can almost see his breath in the cold room. Dean pulls his blankets a little closer, not wanting to leave the semi-warm cocoon of his bed. He glances over at his alarm clock; it's a few minutes after six. Something is going to happen today... It takes him a minute to remember what: it's Christmas. Probably the closest thing they have to a family celebration, because for some reason, Dad acts like this particular holiday is a day off for them.
Dean knows how the day will unfold, because he's had ten of them to compare it to. He and Sam will get a few carefully chosen articles of clothing wrapped in cheap paper, nothing fancy, no bows or tags, just their names in John's bold block printing somewhere on the surface. The old pair of socks that Dad has them hang up---on the bureau of whatever motel room they're in, most of the time, but this year, they have a fireplace with a mantle---will have a few luxury items for them. It used to be stuff like Hot Wheels or puzzle books, but as they've gotten older, paperback adventure novels and action figures have given way to Maglites and whetstones.
Dad will cook breakfast instead of pouring them bowls of cornflakes. The traditional meal is something he learned to fix when he got put on KP in the service---it's called SOS, which Sam claims stands for Salt, Oh, Salt! It's dried beef cooked in gravy and poured over toast. Dean's not crazy about the stuff, but Dad always seems so pleased with himself for accomplishing this feat of domestic engineering, and Sammy will eat anything that's not nailed down. There's usually some kind of cheesy Christmas movie on, and in the afternoon, football games.
By evening, John's mood of forced good cheer will be wearing off, and he'll probably spend the time before bed looking through the papers for a new case, or leafing through his journal. Dean kinda wishes they could just skip it all and go kill something---he doesn't think evil is gonna take the day off---but he guesses it's important to Dad, so he won't say anything. He's surprised Sammy hasn't come bouncing in here already...he could go roust him out of bed, but it's not like there's any big rush.
A floorboard in the hall groans, and Dean knows his dad's up. If it wasn't for his bladder, Dean would stay in bed until he was dragged out, but when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. John's making coffee when Dean gets as far as the living room. There are two neat stacks of wrapped packages on the coffee table, the socks are bulging over the fireplace, and---
"What the hell?" he says out loud, staring. The kitchen is the warmest room in the house, and he heads in there to join his dad. "You salted the fireplace?"
"I caught your brother trying to bust Santa last night," his dad remarks, tone gruff. "He drew that salt line and hid behind a chair with a flashlight and a pistol."
Dean grins. So that's why Sam hasn't come charging out here yet---he's zonked from too much surveillance. What a kid. "Absolutely," he nods, going along with the built-in humor of the situation. "After all, when you look at it, the guy does act suspiciously. He leaves behind bribes so people won't report him for trespassing, but why does he do it in the first place?" His dad's just looking at him, not saying anything, and Dean's on a roll.
"All the folklore says he has ways of telling which kids are good and which ones are bad, right? Maybe he's casing those places for someone, targeting the kids." It's not that far-fetched, when you think about it. "A lot of kids go missing every year. Maybe Santa fingers them to his accomplices, and they've been snatched. For child labor in that toy factory of his, or maybe he's just a freak...what?!"
John eyes him over the rim of his mug, takes a slug of his coffee. He doesn't look like he's slept much. "It's too damn early in the morning for you to start yanking my chain."
"You don't think it's a good theory?" Dean asks, trying to look innocent and figure out how to rag on Sammy with this fairy tale.
His father gets the last word: "Bah, humbug."