Santa's Helpers was written for Xmas 2006 and updated for Xmas 2007. It was my first attempt at a humor fic, and even though I found it extremely challenging, it was a total blast to write. I must admit the demon in me would so love to see Dean and John, ahem, Jensen and Jeffrey, play dress up. No disrespect intended, but I do believe they would be adorable, especially their facial expressions. I am probably dreaming here, but other shows do special Christmas episodes. How about it Kripke? How about a little merriment for the Winchesters next Christmas?
Kripke, did you listen to little ol' me? LOL Thank you, Kripke and Company for giving me an early Christmas present with your special presentation of A Very Supernatural Christmas. With the brotherly moments and the reappearance of the Wee!chesters it was the best present I could ever ask for! Now... about next year...
This story is dedicated to my two favorite elves, Zachary and Logan. Zach, you were robbed; you absolutely had the best calves in your senior class, but like Dean, with all your other fine attributes, it is so hard to focus on just one. Lo, you still have the chance to take that honor and your calves are every bit as awesome as your brother's. Go for it, dude!
Chapter One – Santa Claus is Coming to Town
"Caleb, you want me to do WHAT?"
"John, lives depend on this. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it."
"Yeah? Then how about you? You do it! Dean and I came out here to give you a hand and maybe catch a glimpse of Sammy, but this? You've lost your mind if you think I'm falling for this. No way! You play dress up."
"It won't work; they'll be able to tell. I don't like this any better than you, but we've got no choice. You're the only one who can pull this off, John. Face it, I'm not believable; hell, I'd scare 'em to death. I'm too ugly and mean to be Santa, kids would never buy it."
"Like they're going to believe him?" Dean asked incredulously.
"Exactly. That's what I've been saying. This isn't going to work," John agreed, relieved to have an ally in Dean.
"John, it will. Trust me. You're perfect for this role, you're… you're just a big old teddy bear…," Caleb paused, reconsidering that comment before quickly adding, "when you don't have a gun in your hand."
"You've got to admit it, Dad. Caleb has you pegged. I've always considered you just a big, old, loveable teddy bear," Dean snickered, enjoying Caleb's plan now more than he should considering the probable fallout from John's wrath. Still, what could he have to worry about? In twenty-two years on this earth he'd gotten a few tongue lashings, but his dad had never threatened to get physical. That is until now.
Furious that his son had switched sides so quickly John retaliated. "Dean, if you hope to reach your twenty-third birthday next month, you better shut your cake hole."
"Yes, sir." Quick, submissive response, too bad the smirk wasn't as convincing.
"John, you going to let these good men die cause you're a vain son of a bitch?"
"Caleb, I... don't... do... costumes."
"John, we're out of options here. Another Santa disappeared last night. That makes four in two weeks. You can't say no to my plan unless you've got a better one that's gonna work; men's lives are at stake here. If we don't find out who's grabbing these Santas, who knows how this will all end up?"
"Yeah, Dad, what if they snatch the real Santa? There'd be a lot of disappointed kids out there. You don't want to be responsible for that now do ya, big guy?"
John shot daggers at his son. If looks held half the firepower of his shotgun then Dean would collapse to the floor bloodied by a fatal blow. As it was John plotted his revenge, which would come swift and painful at a most unexpected time. John smiled to himself at the image he was conjuring in his mind. Payback is a bitch!
"All right Caleb, you win. I'll do it, but no one, and I repeat no one, ever breathes a word of this to anyone or they forfeit their life or worse. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, sir." Dean smiled; relieved he had paid the extra bucks to get the camera phone.
Resigned to the inevitable, John then turned to Caleb and inquired, "So what are you and Dean going to do?"
"Well, now that you're here, I need to head on up the coast and check out a job in Frisco, but Dean here, Dean needs to stay close to you."
"Yeah, I was thinking I could be a security guard. That would give me access to the premises and no one really notices them, kinda give me free run of the place," Dean offered.
Caleb looked contrite as he responded, "Sorry, that won't do, too distant. One of the Santas disappeared with three security guards right outside the North Pole station."
"Oh, yeah? Well they weren't me now were they? Don't worry Dad, you're not gonna go missing this Christmas. I got you covered." Dean gave his dad a confident, smug grin.
"Video surveillance didn't show anything either. No, you're going to have to be right there with John, watching his back or I'm afraid we could be looking for missing Santa number five," Caleb stated.
Dean intently listened. "So what's your plan, Caleb?"
"Sorry Dean, no way around it. No other option."
Dean offered a quizzical look, "Not following you here Caleb, just exactly what are you saying?"
"You're going to have to be in the North Pole with Santa. You're going to have to be one of Santa's Helpers….an elf."
"You heard him, Dean. Welcome to the party my little elf friend," John chortled.
"No freaking way."
"Look son, sometimes you have to take one for the team." John consoled his son, the huge grin breaking out across his face announcing that, YES! there is some justice in the world!
"Yeah well, nice try guys, but I think I'm a little tall for an elf."
"Not a problem. Equal Employment Opportunity Act protects your rights. Aberrant height for an elf would qualify as a disability," Caleb informed them.
"So you're calling me disabled?" Dean blurted out as he started to pout.
"You said it, not me." John laughed. Maybe this little job isn't going to be so bad after all.
All Dean could focus on was the injustice of it all. What kind of freaking Demon would pass such a stupid law?
Dean wondered how Caleb came up with all this enlightening info; the man was a walking encyclopedia sometimes, kinda reminded him of his wayward kid brother. He'd been hoping to catch up with Sammy with a little side trip; you know, check out his new digs, make sure he was taking care of himself, see if he'd grown any taller.
Man, he sure missed him; nothing was the same since he left. He knew even Dad was looking forward to seeing him; even if they didn't get the chance to actually talk, just seeing him would be something. But now? Somehow he didn't think they'd be running over to visit Sammy at Stanford. Hell, I'm gonna be hiding out big time on this gig.
Sam had settled into life at Stanford and found a home of his own for the first time. He had a small apartment just off campus with a roommate who was also pre-law. His roomie had a girlfriend, Stevie, who come to think of it seemed to be living there too. He wasn't sure how that actually came about, but she was a nice girl, a little too quirky for him, but he figured it was her southern California roots.
She had befriended him from the start and was determined to force feed him all the experiences that had been lacking in his less than traditional upbringing; not that he talked about his family, but some things just tended to stand out. Like he hated Halloween, was unfamiliar with the social ramifications of a family Thanksgiving dinner and worse still, seemed to be ignorant of common Christmas practices.
"Haven't you ever decorated a Christmas tree before? You don't know the lights go on first, then the garland and then the ornaments? What planet did you say you were raised on?"
Now that hurt. If he came from another planet he would have superpowers, which he evidently didn't possess because he couldn't even get the freaking lights to all light up at the same time. What Demon invented decorating Christmas trees anyway?
He was quickly becoming versed in all things Christmas, thanks to Stevie, who had taken him on as her personal charity case. He had already participated in the traditional mall Christmas shopping, although he wasn't too sure why he should be buying all these presents when he wasn't close to that many people yet. He considered buying his dad and brother presents and shipping them, but then again he wouldn't know where to ship them, and they would probably just laugh at him anyway. Stevie had him buying sweaters and ties and he knew neither would appreciate either.
He did take a name of a disadvantaged kid off of the Christmas tree at the mall and that made him feel good. He picked a kid named Dean who was ten and wanted a remote control car. He was glad this Dean would get what he wanted for Christmas. Christmas was for the kids after all.
Stevie not only had him decorating the tree with well over a thousand ornaments (at least that's when he stopped counting, which to any reasonably sane person would be enough), but also decorating the entire interior of the apartment. After one full day of testing lights and hanging garland and ornaments from every imaginable precipice, he assumed they were done. Wrong again! She then moved outside with icicle lights from the roof, an animated, lighted deer on their small patio and a flashing sign in the window proclaiming "Merry Christmas". The blinking lights gave him a headache and made studying in his room more than annoying; they made it downright impossible.
As far as the Christmas baking went, he was mainly the taste tester, which for once seemed liked the ideal job. It was the perfect arrangement; she baked and he devoured the goodies. At last this Christmas revelry has a benefit! He was finally in tune with the true purpose of Christmas! However, as they got closer to the big day her undying cheeriness was becoming increasingly unsettling. He had always known she was high strung and quirky, but Christmas just seemed to bring out the worst in her.
After three days of following her around like a lost puppy, doing her bidding, it suddenly occurred to him that her boyfriend, his roomie Don, was noticeably absent from all these activities. What's up with that? Seems Don had learned after last year to be exorbitantly busy this time of year. Stevie barely noticed since she had a pattern of always finding a new sucker for her Christmas adventures and Sam was simply this year's flavor.
That's cool, I never really had a Christmas before, I can take one time and if it makes Stevie happy, who am I to deny her? But, there are limits. I swear I am not going Christmas caroling. I have that wicked looking knife Dean gave me for my sixteenth birthday and if I get pushed too far, I know how to use it. As a prelaw, I can attest there isn't a jury in the country that would convict.
"I'm telling you, you're not going to find anything to fit. I'm too tall to be an elf."
"Oh no, I know we have an outfit that would be perfect for you. We once had a college basketball player work Christmas break as an elf. His costume must be around here somewhere." The perky, perpetually giddy forty-year old with a child's squeaky voice who was in charge of the "Santa Team" was so getting on Dean's nerves. I mean come on, a full grown woman gushing over elves?
"He must have been a real loser."
"Oh no, quite the civic minded young man. Oh, we're in luck, here it is. My, my, this is a nice one; you are going to look adorable."
Dean sat in the dressing room for an interminable amount of time, wrestling with his conscience, weighing the pros and cons, especially the cons. How could he even be considering lowering himself to this level? But then again, how could he let his vanity and pride stop him from doing the job? Lives depended on this and he was a hunter. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it. Someone had to stand up to evil and demand justice for the innocent; he just wished he wouldn't be doing it in a freaking elf costume.
Damn it all! He'd done some distasteful things in his life before, but this, man, how was he ever going to live this down? The only thing in his favor was Caleb had already taken off and that meant the only one he knew that would ever know about this was Dad. If you can't trust you own dad with your dirty little secret then who can you trust? Yeah right, like I could trust him? I can't trust anyone with this…, still, Dad's in the same boat, I mean, I'm just a no name elf, he's the big guy, Santa himself.
Letting out a deep huff, Dean resigned himself to being the soldier and doing his duty, however painful and humiliating it might be. He laid out his outfit and stripped out of his comfort zone. Once he had made up his mind, he proceeded quickly; the less he obsessed over this the better. He was gonna do it, so he might as well just do it!
He folded his jeans and t-shirt, placing them on the bench on top of his boots, his worn leather jacket draped protectively over them. He glanced longingly at them as he averted his eyes when his image startled him in the mirror. Like Dad, he had never been into costumes before, the rare occasion being the suit and tie that up until this point in his life had been the most uncomfortable outfit he had ever worn. I guess that rates a distant second now.
Jeannie, the peter pan of the elf brigade, was waiting for him as he exited the dressing room, ready for the inspection.
"Oh, you ARE adorable! All right, this is just a dress rehearsal, have to make sure we all know our roles before the children see us. Where's your hat?"
"There isn't a hat."
"Yes, I'm sure I saw a hat. Wait right here." Jeannie raced back into the dressing room, searching in vain Dean hoped.
"I'm pretty sure there wasn't a hat, I mean, I would have seen it if there was," Dean yelled after her.
"How'd it get in there?"
"What?" No, that was not panic in my voice.
"I said I don't know how it got in the bottom of the garbage can, but whew, that was close. Can't be an elf without your hat. Here you go darling, let me put in on for you." She tried to reach up but the height difference prevented her so she just motioned for him to lean down. With a humiliation he had once thought he could never descend to, he leaned over and surrendered his manhood. She snuggly placed the matching hat on his head, the tassel with the tinkling bell falling to the side of his face.
"Perfect," she exclaimed.
"Perfect," he muttered.
"I think your dad is almost ready. He's in Room 7. Why don't you go down and surprise him."
Dean pondered the course of this job. Surprise.., yeah that was an adequate description for the job so far. Remind me never to answer Caleb's phone calls again.
"Dad, you dressed?" Dean rapped two knuckles on the door.
No answer. Dean twisted the door knob and it opened. Standing before him, facing away, was the jolly old elf himself. He was a vision in red in a luscious red velvet suit covering broad shoulders. Fluffy, white fur trimmed the suit at the collar and wrists and around the bottom of the jacket. A wide, black vinyl belt was cinched tight over an abundant waistline, and then completing the look was matching shiny black boots at the base and at the top, long curly white hair spilling past the neck and draping over the shoulders.
Dean braced himself; he had never been this close to Santa Claus before. Slowly the stately vision turned and it was a toss up which Winchester fell into more raucous laughter. Dean, at seeing his dad's twinkling eyes and dimpled look of exasperation still evident behind the granny glasses and the full white beard and mustache; or John, at staring at his manly, hunter of a son decked out in a green, bell trimmed hoodie over a red and white horizontally striped t-shirt, with bright purple knickers, snug on his hips but baggy in the legs before coming to a pinched, snapped end at his knees. His calves were encased in matching red and white horizontally striped socks and then the final, agonizing detail: the shiny black elf shoes with those ridiculously curved up pointed toes with bells hanging off the tips of them. Every step Dean took his bells rang out announcing his arrival so no one could possibly miss the spectacle that awaited them. Of course, the scowl on his face ruined the whole effect.
"You need to learn to smile there, dude; remember Santa's Helpers are merry and gay."
"Dad, don't even mention gay while I'm dressed in this ridiculous costume."
"Son, it's for the greater good."
John was at least grateful he had a full beard and the glasses to somewhat hide behind. Dean's handsome face was exposed for all the world to see and marvel at his descent into an obviously painful and desperate time in his life. After all, only a man truly down on his luck would humiliate himself and take on a job such as this; either that or he was some kind of pervert who got off on dressing like a dapper pansy and parading around like a lunatic. Every girl over the age of seven would be drooling over his son and yet pitying him for his lack of moral fortitude. Maybe I need to reconsider that payback plot; it could be Dean is already suffering enough. Then again….
Dean wished for once he didn't always have to follow Dad's orders, that he didn't have this overwhelming need to be responsible and do whatever the job entailed. Damn, I've done some unsavory things in this job, but this.…man!
"Show time! OK team, let's look alive. Remember, the North Pole is the happiest place on earth. Smile everybody." This woman has to be possessed, Dean was sure of it.
"I thought that was Disneyland?" Dean asked.
"Not this month."