Dean goes through a phase, and ends up alone on a back road bleeding.
Twenty-two year old Dean Winchester was lying on his back on the grass behind Jim Murphy's church, and he was bored. His younger brother Sam had left for college only four months ago, had Sam stayed with Dean, no doubt they would probably be on the hunt with their father right now.
But Sammy wasn't, and John was in a bad mood since Sam left he told Dean to stay with Pastor Jim until the eldest Winchester got back. Dean was twenty-two for God's sake… he shouldn't need to be babysat. Whatever, Dean knew how John felt, and to be honest he felt a bit hurt himself that Sam had left, so Dean would do as John told him, heaven knew John didn't need anymore heartache.
A crisp breeze passed over his prone body and the long grass tickled the side of his face. It was the end of November, and Dean and Jim had a small Thanksgiving the week before. Even though the Winchesters weren't known for home-cooked holidays, John usually made it a point to go to a halfway decent restaurant on holidays. The food was great, Jim was an excellent cook, but Dean felt the twinge of loneliness when neither his father or baby brother were there to enjoy the meal.
Maybe that was why John left on a hunt… Dean figured that ignoring the issue of family during the holidays was easier for John than actually confronting the fact that Sam wasn't with them anymore. Dean wished he were, he even left voice messages for Sam every day that went unanswered. He would try using the church phone next time; the caller i.d. on Sam's phone showing 'Dean' was Dean's enemy, maybe Sammy would reply if Jim called him.
It wasn't right, yeah John and shut the door on Sammy, but Dean hadn't, hell, there wasn't even a door to shut for Dean… Dean would always be there for his little brother, even if Sam didn't want it.
Kids didn't appreciate that anymore.
So there he was, bored, alone, and cold - lying on his back in the grass. The clouds over head were hung low and heavy with the promise of snow.
"Dean?" Jim Murphy called from the front of the church.
The young man jumped up into a sitting position as Jim rounded the side of the church and brushed the bits of grass that had gathered in his hair out. "Over here Pastor," Dean said casually.
"You're going to get pneumonia out here champ," Jim smiled, sitting next to Dean. "The news says that we're going to get snow tonight. So I thought that we'd stay in."
"If we eat another meal involving turkey you do realize I'll have to shoot you, right?" Dean asked in all seriousness.
Jim laughed, "No, we ran out of turkey for lunch today."
"Turkey casserole, turkey tacos, turkey soup, turkey omelets, turkey lasagna, turkey quesadillas, turkey sandwiches… not to mention the one-hundred and one uses for dinner rolls. Who would have thought they make excellent shooting range targets? I personally liked it when they would explode."
"And you can't tell your father I don't feed you well. Stay with me much longer and I just might break you of your obsession with greasy burgers," the older man grinned.
Dean looked up as bits of stray snow floated down in front of him, falling on his nose and getting caught in his eyelashes. The green of the grass lost color as flecks diluted the ground with their whiteness. Jim got up beside him and Dean followed suit, sticking his hands in his jacket pockets.
"Say Dean, you want to help me decorate the Church? After dinner?" Jim asked, it was drawing near to Christmas, and Jim was a simple man and liked nothing more than to have the Church looking picture perfect.
"I'll pay for delivery pizza," Dean suggested, wanting anything but homemade food.
"Nonsense Dean, I wouldn't have my worst enemy drive through the weather we're looking at having tonight. No, I have some beef that we can grill."
The two were by now walking toward the church door and a flurry erupted above them. Dean scowled, "You plan on grilling?"
"Or roasting," Jim compromised, "But that would take too long, so I guess we'd just sear it then leave it in the broiler while we set up the trees."
"Just how much stuff does a church need for Christmas?"
"Dean, after Easter, Christmas is our most important holiday. It's a sad, but true, fact that most of the casual congregation comes only for these two triumphant moments in our Savior's life, therefore we have to make it as enchanting as possible for them, and hope they want to join us throughout the rest of the year. Easter decorations are no problem, the purple draperies and so forth, but Christmas?"
Jim grinned and Dean's face paled.
"Christmas we have trees and ornaments and lights, the nativity scene…"
Dean rolled his eyes, "Dad would always just have us watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special and call it a holiday."
"Your father has never been big on traditions or conventional… well… conventional anything."
"You can say that again."
"And I probably will. Come on, decorations are in the annex upstairs."
Jim showed Dean the boxes that held all that was needed for the holiday celebration, and told him just to unpack it and air it out while Jim took care of dinner. Dean looked with muted distain at the fragile gold and ornaments and ribbons. He never cared for the evangelizing that Jim had tried on the Winchester boys when they were younger, Sam had always listened eagerly, but Dean preferred to go ahead and not pay attention to the sermons.
Eventually Jim learned not to involve Dean in these moments, and as they both grew older John took them to Jim's less and less so Dean and Sam had never had the chance to see the Church at Christmas time.
But Dean found no trees, fake real or otherwise, he wasn't fond of the idea of lugging trees around the old Church, but he was promised trees damnit, he wanted trees.
"JIM!" the young man whined.
The pastor appeared in the passage way near Dean's feet, wiping his hands on a dishcloth, "Yeah son? You need any help up there?"
"Where are the trees?"
"Well, we get to chop them down at the tree farm a few miles away tomorrow."
"You're kidding right?"
"Why would I kid? Dean, this is a place of God, he doesn't appreciate the lying and deceit in his own house. Besides, fresh trees are nicer than fake ones."
"Fake trees are less clean up," Dean replied.
"I do have a couple fake trees that I put up in the lobby; they're in the basement if you want to bring them up. Don't touch anything without pine needles," Jim told him with a cautionary nod.
Dean jumped down from the attic stairs and followed Jim into the kitchen where the food was well on its way to resting in the two men's stomachs. "You cook often Pastor?" Dean asked casually.
"Unlike others of our profession I eat well and bountifully, and I throw a benefit dinner every now and then for the Church."
"Okay, well, I'm gonna go get those trees then while you finish up here I suppose," Dean shrugged. Dean was naturally obedient toward the hunters in his life, his father, Caleb, Jim, Bobby, to name the few he knew personally, and he was grateful for the "home-away-from-home" Jim offered. So while he didn't want to put up Christmas stuff, he would.
The boy ventured into the basement and flipped on the light, at first he couldn't find the piney treasure until he found a pine door that led to the garage beneath the Church.
"Hmm, there must be boxes labeled 'Fake Trees Here' somewhere," Dean muttered, scanning the room. What did catch his interest was an oddly shaped fabric that he had never really paid any heed to when he was younger. In one sweep Dean dislodged all the dust into the air by pulling off the canvas sheet revealing a well-kept motorcycle with ruby paint on it.
"Jim you dog…" Dean grinned, touching the cycle lightly.
"Dean! Get those trees up and dinner's ready!"
Dean turned and yelled in the general direction of Jim, "Alright! Be there in a second!" More quietly, the young man realized his boredom was slipping away like a handful of sand… he had never ridden a motorcycle before.
Disclaimer: Supernatural is not owned by me, it's owned by the CW and Kripke… those lucky devils…
Author's Note: Okay, this will be a shortish four chapter piece, and many of you won't like it, because to be honest it has little brothery moments, instead it touches on the tension felt after Sam left. Okay, enough rambling, enjoy!
Review please! (I love reviews, make me happy)