Poor Motherless Boys
I don't own them – but I've been a very good girl this year Santa and my sock is big enough for Jared to fit!!
Dean lies on the bed and looks up at the dirty ceiling with some disgust. It smells inside the motel room and the mattress is lumpy. Outside there is a blizzard blowing and he hopes Sam gets back soon with the food.
He flicks on the TV and starts flicking, wondering if he can find anything vaguely festive. Its Christmas Eve but it might as well be Armageddon for all the wind and snow beating at the, none too secure, window.
Dean lets his mind drift back to Christmas past, when his mother was alive and his family actually celebrated high days and holidays. He remembers clearly hanging up his stocking, leaving cookies and milk for Santa, snuggling up beneath the warm sheets, almost bursting with excitement, listening to his mother reading 'The Night Before Christmas'. All around America normal boys in normal families were doing the same, but that was then, and this is now and Dean isn't sure he knows what normal is anymore….
The shops are filled with hearts, flowers and furry things. Cards that say 'I Love You – Be Mine'.
Cassie Robinson watches the mailman delivering cards and sighs, her mind wandering; she wonders where he is and what he might be doing right now. She knows that he might think of her now and again, hell she knows that he loved her once, maybe even loves her still, in his own way. She smiles sadly, wistfully – one thing she does know is that the mailman won't bring anything else today, beyond the normal bills.
Somewhere in California, Sarah Blake sits in the gallery and looks at the single red rose her dad left her on her breakfast plate. It seems a little lame, she muses, being given a rose by your own father.
Her eyes flick to some distant point where the land meets blue sky and she thinks, briefly, of him. So vulnerable and so guarded. She wonders if she might see him again, knowing that it is a vague hope, but a hope nevertheless. A hope that keeps her from dating other men and a hope that keeps her watching the horizon for the classic black Chevy that somehow never appears.
He presses his forehead to the window and watches as the children spill out of school, clutching handmade cards and wilting flowers to their chests. Somewhere in his mind, hidden in a file marked do not go there, is the memory of his first day in Kindergarten, when he had made a card like that for his mother and taken it home to see it proudly displayed on the shelf, along with the hand picked bunch of weeds that he had been so proud of. He glances at Sam in the driving seat, face scrunched up in concentration and wonders what it might have been like for him. Sammy never made a card for his mom, never carried flowers home from school. Dean swallows, they are orphans now, but they have always been poor motherless boys.
Sam hated the Easter Bunny. It seemed weird that someone who hunted things that were supernatural, hideous and dangerous, should be so scared by a bundle of pink fluff whose only purpose was to hop around and deliver chocolate to eager kids.
Sam liked chocolate though and had always had a sweet tooth. He and Dean never brought each other eggs, that would be lame, but often, when they pulled up in gas stops or seedy diners, Dean would sling him a Hershey bar and Sam would rip it open, letting the brown chocolate stain his teeth, grinning at Dean through the mush so that his brother was always forced to look away, grunting "Dude – what are you? Five"
'This is John Winchester – if this is an emergency – contact my son Dean'
They play it sometimes, just to hear his voice and it hurts like hell. There always seems to be cards in the shops that they just won't send and there are always holidays that they just don't celebrate.
One father's day years ago they went fishing, another they went ice-skating. There were never presents, but they always spent the night together, not hunting for once, watching sappy movies and eating popcorn. It stopped when they were older of course, when hunting became more important than anything or anyone. Dean would never, ever tell Sam about the card that arrived from Stanford that was hurled in the bin in a drunken rage, he guarded that secret along with all the other secrets his father had burdened him with and wonders how he ever got to this place.
Firecrackers and loud bangs make it hard to sleep, particularly when you are already suffering from two cracked ribs and a sprained ankle. Sam is grouchy, moody, his head hurts he claims and he is convinced he has concussion.
The hospital is hot, crowded and smells like shit. The nurses wear silly little flags in their hats and the doctor who examines Sam's pupils exudes the suspicious scent of whiskey. It is hard to celebrate 'Liberty, freedom and the American way' when you are holed up in bumfuck Arizona, your brother in a hospital bed on numerous drips and you being stitched up by an orderly who looks like George Washington. When Sam says "Look at the pretty stars Dean" his voice giggly and high on pain meds, you bury your head in your hands and pray that the holidays are nearly over.
There is no memorial to John Winchester, no statue, no book of remembrance; Hell, there isn't even a grave. His sons remember him anyway and drink shots of tequila in the front seat of the Impala until Dean is too drunk to drive and Sam cries, too drunk to care.
Sam remembers wanting to go trick and treating dressed as ET. Dean had sighed, then spent all night sewing an elaborate costume which he proceeded to squash Sam into. Everyone who saw him ahh'd and ooh'd and gave him stacks of candy. He ate so much he puked on Dean who refused to talk to him for days.
The 31st October lost its magic somehow when Sam realised that the scary things he had read about in story books were actually real but he still gives candy to kids when they come trick and treating. Dean spends the night on the motel bed, watching horror films and taking notes. Sam spends the night handing out M & M's to tiny children who tell him he's a giant and ask him if he ever climbed a beanstalk. Sam laughs and it feels good.
Once they stayed in a motel that had its own cooker and Sam made Thanksgiving dinner. Sam burnt everything from the turkey to the potatoes, but Dean ate it anyway and pretended that it was the finest banquet he'd ever had. Sam flounced around proudly wearing a towel for an apron and Dean called him princess and stopped at the next Circle K to buy him a frilly pink pinny "If you're gonna do it properly Samantha" was greeted with a smack round the head and a 100 mile sulk.
Dean opens his eyes to see Sam standing in the doorway. The blizzard is still blowing and Sam's hair is all over the place, sticking out, up and down. He has snow on his face, his chest, hell even on his eyebrows but he's smiling and he drops the little fir tree he is clutching into the centre of the room.
The tree is virtually bald thanks to the wind and it leers to the left, shabby tinsel and very cheap baubles pulling it further down. Sam has some paper chains and turkey sandwiches and he throws a paper hat over to Dean – insisting that he wears it.
They drink beer and eat the sandwiches then watch endless reruns of Christmas variety shows, The Muppets being Dean's favourite and a 'Merry Thunder cat's Christmas' being Sam's. They drink to absent friends and lost loved ones, then they huddle together on the bed, arms around shoulders, protected from the storm outside by nothing more than salt lines and each other.
They don't have a Brother's Day, but Dean thinks that they should, because it would be one holiday that he and Sam could celebrate.
I'm English, so I hope I got all your holidays' right guys!!
Merry Christmas and I hope you spend the day with loved ones!