Just a little Christmas fluff. This story is dedicated to my wonderful Soul Sister, who wasn't a gift from Santa, but was what I always needed.
I hope you enjoy. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Sam sat and watched the people hurrying about their lives. Since it was just a couple days until Christmas, the mall was packed with people. Sam looked at the decorations hanging all around the mall. The festive reds and greens were lost on most of the mall patrons. But for Sam they were the only ones he would get this year. The speakers spread all around, blared traditional Christmas songs. This made the people rushing around have to talk even louder to their companions. The flurry around Sam made his head spin slightly, but he also kind of enjoyed it. For a little while he was normal. If anyone glanced at him he would seem like a teen waiting for his parents. Which was partially right. Dad had dropped Sam at the mall so he and Dean could finish up a hunt. Sam didn't know what they were hunting. Both Dad and Dean had went to great length to keep that information from Sam. The problem came when they had to leave the motel. Not wanting Sam with them, Dad dropped him at the mall ordering him to keep his head down, and be at the main entrance at five sharp. So here Sam sat for another two hours.
Loud screams brought Sam out of his thoughts. Turning he saw a mother holding a screaming child. She was trying to get the kid to sit on Santa's lap. Sam felt a little sorry for the guy being Santa. From the look on his face this wasn't the first time he'd had to deal with this. Finally the woman gave up and walked away. The next kid ran up and instantly pulled on Santa's beard, it was real. He then went into a loud, long list of all the things he wanted. Shaking his head, Sam turned back to watching the people. Occasionally, he would glance back over to the Santa. Most of the kids were quiet and shy, but when a baby threw up on him, Santa stood ducked into a hidden room behind his chair. When all the parents started complaining it was up to the two girls dressed as elves to calm them down.
Deciding he'd seen enough of this part of the mall, Sam stood and started wandering. He passed a store that was blaring even louder music. Another store had so many different smells drifting out, that it made his eyes water. A guy in the middle of the mall tried to get Sam to play with some toy helicopter. Sam just shook his head and kept walking. His wandering brought him to the food court. Having not eaten breakfast, and it was already passed lunch, Sam's stomach growled. Thankfully Dean had slipped him some money. Looking over the many food choices, Sam settled on a place that served soup in fresh made bread bowls. It was something his father and brother would never even think of trying. To Sam it sounded interesting and different. Walking up he placed his order and stepped to the side to wait. The food court was an even better place to people watch than the main mall. When his number was called, he took the tray and headed to a table in a far corner. Taking a bite Sam nodded, it was pretty good.
As he ate he continued to watch the people around him. At one table sat a group of girls that was noticeably talking about two girls at another table. Sam couldn't really see what was wrong with the two girls. They were way better looking than the group of fake girls. Dean could probably explain it to him. Making a quick mental note to ask later, Sam continued on. At another table was a mother with three small children. One was throwing a major tantrum. Sam wandered if he'd ever done anything like that. He couldn't imagine ever acting that way, or Dean letting him act that way. He made another note to ask Dean. Once he was finished he cleaned his table and headed back toward the mall. On his way he spied a small envelope. Looking around he didn't see anyone close. Picking it up he glanced in and his eyes went wide. There were six hundred dollar bills. Again Sam looked around, thinking he would see someone searching their pockets for the missing money. Again no one.
Sam walked out into the mall and took a seat on one of the many benches. What should he do? He knew the right thing would be to turn it in to the main desk. But, how did he know that the person wouldn't just pocket the money. Shaking his head Sam stood. Turning it in was the right thing, and the person working at the main desk would try and make sure it went to the right person. It took Sam awhile to find the main desk. When he did he found there were quite a few people gathered around it. Not only was it the main desk, it was also the information desk, and where they were gift wrapping. Sam calmly waited his turn as he listened to two women in front of him try and outdo each other, on who had bought the most expensive gift. Rolling his eyes, Sam was glad when they finally left. He stepped up and the elderly woman behind the counter smiled brightly at him.
"What can I do for you dear?"
Yep she was honest, Sam thought, and Dean always told him to trust his gut reaction. Returning her smile Sam pulled out the envelope. "I found this just outside the food court. I'm hoping you can find the owner."
The woman gasped, clamping her hands over her mouth. "It's a miracle." She whispered.
Sam was suddenly very uncomfortable. He laid the envelope down and started to leave. The older woman grabbed his arm, her smile had returned along with tears.
"Please don't go. I'm sorry if a scarred you." She let go of his arm and laid her hand on the envelope. "You see, I do know who this envelope belongs to. She works here in the mall."
"Oh, well good then you can give it back to her." Sam again turned to leave.
"Can I get your name?"
"Ruth will want to know. She will want to add you to her prayers."
Sam tilted his head slightly. He quickly went over all rules he'd ever been told in his life. True he was never to give his real name to cops, or feds. But this woman looked like someone's grandmother. "Sam."
"It's a pleasure to meet someone as honest as you Sam."
"But you didn't even look in the envelope. How do you know I didn't empty it, or take some out?"
The woman gave Sam a knowing smile. "You wouldn't still be here if you did any of those things. I'm just sorry Ruth won't get to meet you. She had to go pick up her boys."
"How many does she have?"
"Two. Jacob is five, Joshua is two. They are her total world."
Sam knew he shouldn't stay to long. Dean always told him never to talk to someone for too long. They might find out something you don't want them to know. Taking a step back he again smiled at the woman. "Would you tell her Merry Christmas for me?" Sam had no idea why he said that. When the woman's smile grew and she nodded he finally turned and walked away.
Sam couldn't wait to tell Dean what happened. Dean would get that smile that told Sam how proud he was of his little brother. Sam soon found himself back near Santa. Santa was back with a fresh change of clothes, and a very scarred looking little girl on his lap. Sam sat back down, this time facing Santa. He let his mind imagine how it would have been if Dean and he had grown up 'normal'. Would Dean be like he is now? Dean wouldn't bother with Santa that is unless Sam wanted to. Smiling Sam easily imagined himself talking Dean into waiting in line. But Dean wouldn't sit on Santa's lap, he'd stand right behind Sam, a hand protectively on his little brother's shoulder. The thought sent a warmth through Sam.
"I think these places get more crowded every year." Sam turned his head to see a man set down next to him. He thought it a little strange since there were empty benches all around. "I keep saying I'm not going this year, but in the end, I always do."
Dean taught him never talk to strangers that randomly walk up and sit down next to you. Especially if they make it sound like you're old friends.
"Of course you probably love malls. Most kids do."
Sam noticed that the man was sitting as far to the side as he could, leaving plenty of room between them. He relaxed slightly but still didn't acknowledge him.
"I always feel so sorry for those poor guys." There was another screaming kid, now pulling away from Santa. "I mean come on, what's the logic of it. All year long you pound it into your kids head not to talk to strangers, then you march them up and place them on a strangers lap."
"I guess they don't look at Santa as a stranger." Sam glanced to the side and saw the man smile and nod. Something about the man seemed familiar. In a way he reminded Sam of Uncle Bobby. He had a short gray beard and thinning hair. When he smiled the corner of his eyes wrinkled slightly. The thought caused a moment of sadness inside Sam. It had been a year since he'd seen Bobby. Looking back at Santa, he noticed that the girl trying to take a picture, was just about ready to explode. "I think it's the people around Santa that makes the kids more scarred."
"Could be. There isn't any stories about blonde camera elves that insists you sit still and smile."
This thought caused Sam to laugh. A few people in line turned and looked at him. He looked at the man who was snickering. "That would defiantly make in interesting story."
The two lapsed back into silence as they both continued to watch the steady stream of kids. When the man let out a long sigh Sam jumped slightly, he'd almost forgot the guy was there. "You know if parents bothered listening to their own stories, they would know they don't have to drag their kids here. Santa knows when kids have been naughty, and especially when they've been nice. He also knows what the children want, more to the point he knows what they need."
"So Santa knows Timmy needs a ninja with action grip."
The man let out a sad chuckle. "No, Santa knows that Timmy needs courage to deal with the bully at school. He knows Sadie needs hope to get through her parent's divorce. He knows Joshua and Jacob needs strength to get through their father's death. He knows Amber needs faith that she will soon be adopted into a real family. That's what people have forgotten. Santa doesn't just bring toys, he brings the things parents can't purchase."
"You seem to know a lot about Santa." Sam laughed. "But of course he's not real, so I guess you know a lot of stories about Santa."
"Are you sure he's not real?"
"Completely." Sam faced the man. "My brother told me. Dean would never lie to me."
"Perhaps he wasn't lying, he just didn't know the full truth."
"Dean knows everything."
The man tilted his head slightly. "Let me guess Dean is older." Sam nodded. "Well then I will not argue with older brother Dean." The man smiled. "He is one lucky big brother to have you as his brother."
Sam shook his head. "I'm the one that's lucky. Dean's the best brother any kid could possibly hope for." Sam glanced at his watch, and stood. "Sorry I've got to go."
"It was nice talking to you." The man held out his hand. Sam hesitated a moment. Dean told him to never shake hands with a strange guy, or lady. But Dean had also taught him not to be rude, so Sam shook the offered hand. He made another note to ask Dean which rule he should actually go with next time. When their hands parted Sam turned to leave. "Hey one more thing. I'm sure your awesome brother told you never take things from strangers, and he's right." The man held out an envelope. "Call me strange, I like to hand out Christmas cards to strangers." Sam tilted his head. The man laughed. "Go on it won't bite. It's just a card. As soon as you are out of sight you can even throw it away. Heck you can throw it away right now."
Reaching out Sam took the card. "Thank you."
"You are very welcome." The man's smile grew even bigger, when he saw Sam slid the card into his pocket.
Sam hurried to the exit. Just as he walked out of the doors he saw the familiar shiny black car turn into the parking lot. The car stopped right in front of him and Sam got into the backseat.
"Hey Dean. Everything go okay? No one hurt?"
Dean turned in the front seat, so he could look at his brother. "Everything went super. How was the mall?"
"I can imagine."
"So where are we headed now?"
"Out of this town, fast." Dean winked at Sam, before turning back around to look out the front window.
As always the roar of the Impala soon lulled Sam to sleep. When he woke up the car was stopped and he could hear arguing. Sitting up he saw his father and brother, standing a little away from the car. Sam thought it was a little strange because Dean usually didn't argue with their Dad. John threw his hands in the air and turned his back to his oldest son. Dean stormed over to the car and opened the back door.
"Grab your bag Sammy."
"What's going on Dean?"
"Grab your bag." The tone of Dean's voice told Sam not to argue. Getting out he saw that they were parked in front of a motel. Sighing he walked to the open trunk and grabbed his bag. He was being left behind again. When Dean reached around him and grabbed his own bag Sam looked at him in surprise. Dean didn't look at him, instead he looked back toward their father. "We'll be here when you're finished, if you want to come get us." Putting his hand on Sam's shoulder Dean steered him toward a room.
Sam was almost afraid to say anything. Dean tossed his bag on one of the beds.
"A little." Sam sat his bag on the other bed.
"How does pizza sound?"
Nodding, Dean picked up the phone and placed an order for a pizza and sodas. "About twenty minutes. You want the shower first?"
"Go ahead." Sam sat down on the side of his bed. He watched as Dean pulled his shower stuff and a change of clothes out of his bag. When his brother headed toward the bathroom, Sam asked. "Did something happen?"
"Why do you ask?" Sam noted that Dean stopped, but didn't turn around.
"I saw you fighting with Dad, and heard what you said to him. I kind of put two and two together to make, you and Dad are pissed at each other."
"Of course you did." Dean finally turned and faced his little brother. "The truth is, we were on our way to another hunt. He was going to leave you here alone. I told him I was staying with you."
Dean walked over and sat down on the bed across from his brother. "Because Christmas is in a couple days, and this was the best present I could think of for you." Dean's hand reached up and touched the amulet Sam had gave him two years ago. "I still owe you for this."
"Dad will call and insist you come help him. He always does."
"And I won't." Dean stood and ruffled Sam's hair. "You are going to have to just deal with the fact that you are stuck with me for a few days."
As Dean closed the door to the bathroom Sam couldn't help but smile. He stood to start laying salt lines, when he remembered the card from the man. Reaching into his pocket he pulled it out. The envelope was red with a white snowflake sticker keeping it closed. Carefully opening it Sam pulled the card out. He almost laughed when he saw a picture of Santa on the card. Shaking his head he opened it.
Santa is watching you.
Was stamped inside. Sam rolled his eyes. Under that sentence the man had wrote something.
"Have you ever thought Sam, that just maybe, Santa's never visited you, because you already have the most important thing you will ever need?"
Sam stared at the words with wide eyes. He knew for a fact he'd never told the man his name. But even if he had when did he write the card. The sound of singing drifted out from the bathroom. Dean was singing a Christmas song, well he was trying to. Unfortunately he only knew some of the words and none of the tune. Looking back at the card Sam smiled. Just maybe Dean was wrong about one thing. It could happen.