I'll Trade You a Three Musketeer for A Reese Cup
by Surplus Imagination
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters belong CW Network and its creators. This writing is for pleasure only. No profit is intended.
A/N Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. Memories of tallying and trading candy with my brother are some of the best. I've been instilling this same tradition with my own kids. I imagine that the Winchester boys were pretty much the same.
This bit of fluff is dedicated to all siblings on Halloween and to those Mary Jane peanut butter kisses wrapped in orange and black paper.
October 31, 1989
John Winchester walked into the rental house a few minutes before six in the evening, just in time to see his six year-old son, Sammy, walk through the kitchen carrying his largest hunting knife.
"Whoa there, kiddo," John said grabbing Sammy by the shoulder. "What are you doing with that?"
Sam gave his dad a wide, toothless grin. He had lost both his front teeth just last week. "Hi Dad, Dean asked me to get it. Are you coming with us tonight?" Sam threw both arms around his father's hips in a hug, nearly stabbing him in the groin with the eight-inch blade.
John snatched up the knife just in the nick of time, saving himself an embarrassing wound. He returned the hug with one arm. "Easy there, Sammy. What does Dean need the knife for?"
"His costume needs some blood," Sam lisped solemnly, "and the ketchup didn't look right." The lack of front-teeth had given Sam's speech a decidedly babyish sound.
Dean Winchester was putting the finishing touches on his Halloween costume. It was subtle, yet sophisticated. 'Sophisticated' was on his vocabulary list for the week. He liked how it sounded. All it needed was a little blood around the neck. Where was Sammy with that knife?
Uh-oh, his father was home and sounded angry. Dean frantically ran through his mental to-do list while hurrying into the kitchen. Homework? Check. Dinner? Check. Keep Sammy safe? Double-check.
On slick, sock-clad feet, Dean slid to a stop just inside the room. There stood his father brandishing a hunting knife while Sam swung around one of his legs. The eldest Winchester did not look happy. Dean's mental check-list glitched. Keep sharp things away from Sammy? Busted.
"Hi, Dad." Dean gave his best innocent smile. "Are you coming with us?" With a sick dread, he watched his father's face go from angry to shocked. This couldn't be good.
"What the hell did you do to your face?" John bellowed. "And that had better not be a noose hanging around your neck!" John stared hard at his son. He never liked Halloween. It was too much like real life.
"I'm a 'suicide', Dad," Dean answered with a shrug. "It's my Halloween costume." Dean had some charcoal from the fire-pit out back and used it to darken circles around his eyes. He had then taken an electric cord and formed a noose to hang around his neck, careful to loop the cord exactly thirteen times. It was the perfect hang-man's noose. Dean's almost eleven-year-old mind sang with pride. It was his best costume to date.
"Sammy said you needed blood," John ventured warily. "It's Halloween?" he said again, weakly.
"I'm gonna be a pirate," Sammy chimed in, tugging on his father's arm. "Dean is just gonna cut his throat and we are ready!"
"Just a little bit, Sammy," Dean hissed. Looking up at his father, he continued. "You know, just a tiny line around my neck where the cord would have hung." Dean faltered at his father's terrified expression. "I wasn't going to actually cut my throat, Dad. I was going to prick my fingers and use the blood around my neck." Dean was silent for an awkward moment. "Just a little bit."
No blood," John growled. "Ever. Knives are not toys."
Dean nodded, suddenly ashamed. Sam caught sight of his brother's expression and let go of his father's leg and stepped in front of his brother. "Dean's sorry, Dad. Don't be mad. Can we go 'trick or treat' now?" Sam asked, wide-eyed. "Pleeeezzzzze?" With the strategic sense of a first-grader, he stuffed a red bandana and a construction-paper eye patch into his father's hand., drawing the attention away from Dean. "Can you help me?"
John softened at the plea. True, he had forgotten that it was Halloween. The last one he actually remembered was from when Mary was still alive. "Since when do you go trick-or-treating?" he asked his eldest. For some strange reason, Dean blushed.
"Dean always takes me," Sam answered instead. "You're usually gone. We need probessions, you know," he said with an exaggerated wink.
John wrinkled his brow and ruffled Sammy's longish, brown hair. "Do you mean 'provisions'?" he asked. Mary would want a normal life for her boys, Halloween and all.
"Yesss, candy probessions to hold us 'til Christmas caroling," Sam lisped again. "I'm gonna be a pirate. Dean said I should be a clown, but I didn't want to be anything scary. We're gonna fill the bags all the way up!"
"I like the pirate idea, Sammy," John smiled, tying the bandana around Sam's head. "Do you get candy for caroling?"
Sam nodded, enthustiacally. "Candy and money and cookies and stuff. Dean says people can't resist us. Lots-a loot."
"Sounds a little mercenary to me," John muttered, gingerly arranging the eye-patch. "You need a beard to finish this off. Dean, what did you use to blacken your eyes?" A crumbly piece of used charcoal was thrust into his hand. John took the largest edge and carefully dotted Sam's small face in a mock beard. "There, you're all pirate, Sammy."
"Thanks, Dad!" Sam ran over and picked up two yellowed and torn pillow sacks. "Let's go!"
John sighed. He had picked up temporary job at the local body shop working on classic cars. Tired and sore, John wanted nothing more than to have a cold beer and a moment of peace. The thought of wandering house to house while the kids begged for candy was not an appealing one.
"It's okay, Dad. I'll take Sammy around," Dean offered. "You can stay and give out candy."
"We have candy to give out?" John asked, perplexed. He didn't remember buying any candy.
Sammy huffed and shoved a silver bowl filled with bubble-gum into his father's hands. "One piece each, that's what Dean said."
John looked at his two boys. Each one had a hopeful look on his face.
"We'll put the bowl on the front step. Let's go," he smiled. Mary would approve.
2 hours later….
John slouched on the worn couch clutching that longed-for brew in one hand. The trick-or-treating was a big success.
"I've got thirteen Milk Duds, twenty-two Snickers, sixteen Butterfingers, only three Nerds, four Three Musketeers, two Twizlers, seventeen Kit Kats, twelve pieces of gum, ten Tootsie Pops, a full-sized Milky Way and ….. seventy-two Mary Janes," Sam chanted. The boy was surrounded by piles of candy, all sorted and stacked.
Dean was still organizing his loot, creating even rows of like-kinds. "How on earth did you manage to get seventy-two Mary Janes, Sammy?"
"I'm lucky, you know," Sam affirmed. "Can I eat some yet?"
"Nope, not yet. What's that big pile behind you?" Dean asked with a glance.
"That's the stuff I don't like," Sammy huffed. "When can I eat some, Dean?"
Dean looked over to Sammy's discard pile. It was full of Sweet Tarts and Pixie Sticks. A couple of candy bars peaked out of the pile. What kind of kid didn't like Sweet Tarts and Pixie Sticks? "You left good stuff here, Short-Stuff. Can I have it?"
"Sure, Dean. Except for the Baby Ruths. They're for Dad.. I'll trade you that pile there for all your Three Musketeers." Sammy was all generousity.
"What?" Dean roared. "You said you don't like that stuff!"
"But you do, Dean. It's gotta be worth something." Sammy smiled. "Here, I'll give you one for free." He tossed a root-beer barrel at Dean hitting him square on the nose.
"Ouch, you little turd!" Dean quickly recovered to open the root beer barrel and pop it in his mouth.
"You said no eating yet," Sam cried. "Daaaddd!"
John roused himself from his tired stupor. "No fighting, boys, or I'm going to take all that candy away. Dean, did you check the candy out?"
"I'll do it just as soon ….Sammy! No eating until I check out your candy." Dean swiped the half-opened box of Milk Duds from Sammy's protesting hands.
"Why do you hafta check the candy out, Dean?" Sam asked while pulling out all the Baby Ruths and Reese Cups from the big discard pile into smaller piles. Dean's mouth watered at the mound of Reeses.
"Because sometimes bad people put things in candy to hurt little kids. I have to look to see if the packages have been opened or pierced to protect you." Dean answered while examining the Milk Duds. "These seem fine. Go ahead and eat them."
"Are you gonna check out your candy, too?" Sam asked around a mouthful of caramel. "I don't want you to get hurt either." Sam got up, picked up the pile of Baby Ruths and plunked them into his Dad's lap. Johns face brightened at the pile.
"Sure will, Milk-Dud-boy. Now about that candy pile, I'll trade you two Three Musketeers for…" Dean stopped as Sammy shoved the pile of Reese Cups toward him.
"Here, Dean. These are for you. I know they're your favorites," said Sam with a smile.
"Thanks, Sammy. That's really nice, but you are six years old now. You are supposed to bargain candy trades, not give them away." Dean tousled Sam's hair affectionately. "Trading candy is part of the fun of Halloween."
"That's what I was trying to do," Sammy said slowly, as if Dean was a little stupid. "I'll trade you that big pile for all your Three Musketeers."
"No, no, no. You've got to break the trades up to smaller parts to make the fun last longer," Dean grinned. "Why do you want the Three Musketeers so much?"
"Because they're biggest," Sammy said with a perfectly straight face.
Dean laughed and settled in to school his younger brother on the finer points of relative candy values.
October 31, 2006
"I'll trade you two Snickers for a pack of Butterfinger BBs."
"No way, Dude. I like both of those. I'll trade you all my Sweet Tarts for that pile of Three Musketeers you have there."
"You know what I like, Sammy. I'll deal for four bars."
"Four? You've got ……seven."
"Yes, and I'd actually like to eat a Three Musketeers bar for one freakin' Halloween in my life."
"Fine. Sweet Tarts for four Three Musketeers. I don't know how you can eat those, man. They're so sweet they make my teeth hurt. Dean, how can you possible eat all those Pixie Sticks at one time. That's sick."
"Talent, little brother. Pure talent."
"You want a chocolate eyeball?"
"Naw, too realistic. I could go for those Reese Pumpkins. How about I give you my Charleston Chew for one of those."
"Deal. Dean, where'd you get all this candy? I thought you might have bought it, except there are too many kinds."
"It's a big brother thing. I can't tell ya, or I might have to kill ya."
"Seriously. Where'd it come from?"
"You are trying to tell me you went house to house for this? 'Bing, bong, give me candy' at what ... thirty years old?"
"I am not thirty and what the hell is 'bing, bong'?"
"It's ringing the doorbell, Einstein. They'd call the cops on you, not give you candy."
"Fine, spoil-sport. I got it off some kids."
"You took candy away from kids? Dude, that's low. Give me back the Reeses Pumpkin."
"Keep your panties on. I gave a couple of teenagers twenty bucks for the sack. I pointed out that they still had time to hit the other side of the neighborhood."
"Good neighborhood. Lots of good loot."
"Any time, little brother."
What's your favorite candy?