Okay, here is the usual disclaimer: I do not own supernatural, nor any character created by the show, nor some of the ones in this story 'cause I stole them from almost 'real' life (my friends). Nor am I making any money from this unless my friends try and bribe me not to put it up, but I will anyway, so alas no money.
A/N: I was having a very nice Canadian (I say Canadian because ours is earlier than the U.S.A.'s) Thanksgiving dinner with my family and grandparents, when suddenly this idea hit me, so here it is. Sorry for being so late but it took time to get the details right, not to mention I had to spend sometime with my grandparents before they went home and well controlling my insanity enough to write takes time.
Beta'd: By morning sunlight whose help is as always dearly appreciated and my friend Everett, even though I didn't use him in this one.
Good writing to everyone
Serenity for all
Sincerely Rae Artemis
She stared at the book, threw a glance at the night's sacrifice before returning to the confusing and somewhat mystic instructions from the book, which were no help at all. The headless carcass lay in front of her, waiting to be prepared for the night's ritual.
It was Thanksgiving and somehow she'd been roped into helping with dinner. Normally she'd hide out with her father and grandpa, watching whatever CFL game was playing. Rae's grandma, mother and sister always did the cooking, it was a good system; it had worked for years after all! This year however, her parents were in Mexico and her sister was working a shift in the Emergency Room right up until dinner, so it was up to Rae to make dinner, a first.
"Grandma, what do I do next?" She called out as she searched the enigmatic cookbook in front of her for help.
"Well, first do you want to explain why you're up to your elbows in turkey guts?" A familiar voice asked gleefully, the smirk very clear in the tone used. Rae's head snapped up, eyes wide, a shocked expression on her face.
"Please, please, please don't be who I think that is." Rae pleaded quietly, her eyes shut and a general sense of dread settling over her.
"Why don't you want it to be who you think it is?" Came the puzzled inquiry, it sounded like Sam was frowning when he said it. Sighing in resignation Rae opened her eyes and was about to explain when her grandmother breezed into the kitchen. She was a slender older woman wearing an apron and thick glasses carrying a table clothe.
"Uh…um…I was just talking to myself, you know wondering what I was supposed to do next with the-" Rae stuttered, worrying her grandmother would think she was insane.
"Rachel, you should have told me you were inviting some friends over for Thanksgiving." Anne scolded her granddaughter, as she nodded to the two young men who were standing in the kitchen staring at her with shocked expressions on their faces. "Hello, I'm Rachel's grandmother Anne and my husband Lenny, is watching the B.C. Lions game in the TV room just through there." Anne smiled at the two boys who appeared to be frozen. "Rachel are you going to introduce me to your friends?"
Rae shook her head, snapping out of the shock. "Uh, yeah sorry. Grandma this is Dean and Sam Winchester. Um, they're visiting from out of town and just dropped by to say 'hi'." Rae pinched the back of her hand, trying to snap herself out of whatever strange dream she was having. "Grandma have you been put on any medication recently?"
"Rachel Mary Artemis, whatever are you going on about? Sam, Dean, nice to meet you and we'd be happy to have you join us for dinner, if you don't have any plans?" Anne turned to face the brothers, Rae gesturing them to say 'no' behind her grandmother's back.
"We'd be happy to join you for dinner, Anne." Dean accepted graciously, giving her his most charming smile, as Sam and Rae stared at him in disbelief. "Right Sammy?"
"Uh…yeah, I mean yes. Yes thank you very much ma'am." Sam for once so shocked he forgot to correct Dean for calling him Sammy. "Is there anything we can do to help?"
"Well if either one of you can cook half decent that would be helpful, we're running a little light in our usual workforce this Thanksgiving. And take off your jackets and stay a while boys." Anne smiled at the two charming visitors, glad to see that her granddaughter had some pleasant young gentlemen companions. Both boys shrugged out of their jackets at her insistence, smiling sheepishly.
"Pardon me but you keep saying 'Thanksgiving' but that isn't for another month." Dean smiled apologetically. "At least I didn't think it was for another month."
"Oh, you boys must be Americans, so this is Columbus Day for you. Our Thanksgiving is earlier than your is, lads." Anne smiled sweetly. "Now if you kids will excuse me, I've got to get the potatoes from the basement as well as dessert. Rachel, you just call if you need help."
After Anne had left the kitchen there was a moment of silence, as they all stood looking at each other with varying expressions of confusion of their faces. Dean began to smirk and Rae catching sight of this started blushing in a pre-emptive strike.
"So…'Rachel', where's the beer?" He grinned at her, all innocence except for the gleam in his eye.
"In that bar fridge over there and to paraphrase Sam, the name is Rae." She fought the urge to grab the very tempting knife on the counter mere centimetres from her hands.
"Ignore him Rae. Whose place is this? We dropped by your apartment and nobody was there so we decided to track you down." Sam asked trying to hide his own smile.
"It's my parent's place, only place big enough for proper cooking and this way my grandparents can stay a while." She grumbled, at the moment loathing her grandmother for using her full name. Sam had asked when they'd first met if her full name was Rachel, she'd said no because she hated her full name.
"Nice place." Dean remarked taking in his surroundings. "Good selection of beer, Rachel."
"Do you need any help?" Sam asked seeing Rae's eyes dart from Dean to the knife again.
"Do you cook? 'Cause if you do, even a little, please feel free to jump in." Rae held up her hands in surrender, Sam washed up and checked the book before gently shoving Rae to one side and taking the turkey from her well meaning, though inept hands.
"Well I'll leave you two ladies to it, I believe I heard something earlier about football." Dean had just begun sidling towards the door when Anne reappeared in it struggling with a huge sack of potatoes.
"Good to see a young man willing to help out." Anne remarked giving Sam a bright smile, behind her Dean stuck out his tongue at Sam. "As for you…Dean is it?" He nodded quickly, there was something about her that demanded obedience; she reminded him of his father a little. "I'm afraid we'll need to press you into kitchen duty as well. As I said earlier, the usual troops are missing and I'm afraid that if we don't get going we won't eat until midnight." Dean felt his shoulders straighten and fought the urge to salute.
"Be more than happy to do whatever I can." Dean found himself replying before he could help it.
"Wonderful, I'll just get you to peel and slice the carrots, potatoes and yams. Meanwhile I'll start Rachel's favourite, brussel sprouts." Rae made a gagging noise at the mere mention of her most detested vegetable enemy, the dreaded evil green brains.
As the dinner prep continued the foursome became chatty, much to Rae's horror, and before long Anne was regaling a laughing Dean and Sam with stories of Rachel's youth; all the dance recitals, school plays and other things Rae had fought to suppress in detail. Once the food was a mere forty-five minutes from being ready Rae, Sam and Dean were all kicked out of the kitchen and told to wash up for supper. Dean and Sam looked to Rae for clarification.
"She means grab a shower and get dressed for dinner."
"How? We don't exactly have a car or even bags to grab stuff from." Sam replied, throwing up his hands in frustration, every time he was about to enjoy a nice, normal bit of life something messed it up.
"Well…tell you what you both grab a shower and I'll see about the clothes." Rae offered racking her brain for anything at all. After directing the boys to the basement, her old room and the guest stuff, she pounced on the phone.
"Hey Peter this is Rae, I have a big favour to ask of you…"
When Sam had finished his shower he went back to the guest room, which apparently used to be Rae's room, to change back into his clothes.
He was just annoyed about the dinner thing because every time he got the slightest taste of normal it was ripped away from him. It had been really nice making dinner, he'd done the same with Jess and her family but never had Dean there too. It had been really bizarre to see Dean chatting with a grandma and being all 'domestic', even when they were kids it hadn't been so…cosy/homey.
Sam opened the door with a sigh; a normal dinner would be nice, even if 'Thanksgiving' had come a month early. On the bed was a nice outfit that was most definitely not the clothes he'd been forced to sleep in the night before. Looking around he found his clothes neatly folded on a chair, the comparison between the two sets of clothing made it clear which one he was wearing to dinner. After getting changed, he ran into Rae who was about to duck into the bathroom for her shower. He felt a slight pang of guilt when he realized that she'd probably get stuck with a cold shower going after Dean and himself.
"Rae, where did you…how did you find clothes for me? You don't have a brother you never talk about do you?" Sam stammered out.
"No, I just called in a favour with a couple of my guy friends I'm always talking about. My friends Peter and Dave don't live far so I ran out to borrow some clothes from them, glad to see that they fit." She gave him a smile then quickly slipped by to grab a quick shower, to clean the flour out of her hair.
"Wow, Sammy you look like a dork."
"And you look like a Blues Brother."
"Bitch." Both brothers smiled at one another, both feeling a little surreal in the borrowed clothes and borrowed family holiday.
"We should probably see if Anne needs help setting the table or something." Sam felt weird but strangely content. Running up the stairs, shoving his brother like they were five, he could almost forget the holidays that they'd missed out on, almost.
"My, my, my. Don't you two clean up nice." Anne smiled at them, as she finished setting the table, she was now dressed in a cardigan, dress slacks and pearls. "Boys this is my husband Lenny, Lenny these are some friends of Rachel's; they'll be joining us for dinner." Sam and Dean turned to face a tall older man; he was only 5'10" but gave the illusion of being taller because of his gaunt figure. He cleared his throat and in a somewhat hoarse voice greeted the boys.
"So you're friends of our Rae? Either one of you her boyfriend?" Lenny asked gruffly, ending on a cough that noted he had been a smoker for a long time. Sam and Dean exchanged worried looks and weren't sure how to answer, fortunately they were saved from having to.
"Grandpa! Be polite, you're just meeting these guys, you'll give them a bad impression of yourself." Rae chided him from the stairs having arrived just as he had asked his blunt question. Sam and Dean were both shocked to see Rae in a skirt, all dressed up, it was a little disconcerting.
"Rae, I'm eighty-three years old, I don't really worry much about what people think. Neither does your grandmother. When you get to be our age, what other people think doesn't really matter." He gave her a patronizing smile, and then returned his razor sharp gaze to the boys.
"Nope, we're just some friends of her's is all, sir." Dean replied, again fighting the strong urge to salute. Must be something about this family, they all have that 'orders will be obeyed' air about them. Dean thought to himself.
"That's nice, dears." Anne smiled widely at the boys, though a bit disappointed. "Rachel, Nicole phoned, she's going to be stuck at the hospital for a while yet so she said to go ahead without her, though we should save her some brussel sprouts."
"She can have mine." Rae offered, still feeling a little dazed by the fact both her grandparents were able to see Dean and Sam. As far as Rae knew the only people who could see the brothers were, writers, little kids and those who were generally dealing with a different type of reality most people didn't see. It sort of worried Rae that her grandparents could see Dean and Sam, gave the old mental illness front a new tone for sure.
Anne directed them to head towards the table which was full with all the bowls and plates of food, mashed potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, yams, pickles sweet and sour, beets, salad, cranberry sauce, homemade buns, gravy and of course the huge turkey. An entire afternoon's work laid out on the table looking delicious the thought that they had accomplished it made it even more impressive. Rae smiled softly as she saw her grandfather pull out her grandmother's chair. She had to smother a laugh when Sam did the same for her, Dean rolling his eyes at his little brother's antics, as her grandmother gave an approving nod. After pouring everyone a glass of wine Lenny proposed a toast.
"To new friends, something to truly be thankful for."
"Here, here." Chorused everyone at the table, a general feeling of peace falling over them all even the two tired warriors.
The meal progressed with more toasts and Sam and Dean carefully dodging questions about their home and family, falling back on the usual road trip story they knew by heart. Rae almost choked on a mouthful of turkey when Dean had answered that he was an accountant and how he wished his work were more interesting. Anne was very impressed to hear that Sam was pre-law at Stanford though a little disappointed that he was taking a break to go on a road trip with his brother. Lenny had replied that his time on the railroad, travelling around Canada in his youth hadn't done him any harm, and a young man should learn about his country, himself and that a road trip was an excellent way to do so.
The dinner conversation was fairly tame (Rae had worried her grandfather would air his old fashioned views of life, religion, everything); she actually relaxed and was disappointed when it came to an end. Dean and Sam helped clear the table and after dessert Rae's grandparents called it an early night, Dean and Sam not yet willing to leave the pseudo-family environment they'd enjoyed all night.
Sitting around the table as the candles burned down and the ice cream melted Sam feared to move, afraid that if they left the table they would loose the peaceful feeling. Sam had few memories of this kind of peace: when his father had rarely comforted him as a child, or Dean had on the many occasions when John was too busy, when he'd wake up in the morning with Jess next to him, meeting his mother for the first and last time.
They made small talk and Sam put off leaving for as long as he could, until a surprised Rae looked at the clock and saw that it was midnight.
"Geez, where the Hell is that kid? She should have gotten off hours ago!"
"Where was she working?" Dean asked, hearing the worry in Rae's off handed comment as an older sibling himself he knew the well-hidden signs.
"The ER, she could've been held up, holiday weekend means there'll be plenty of business tonight."
"That's an pretty bleak outlook on life." Sam chided, worried that he and Dean weren't the only ones with a lack on innocence.
"I grew up with a paramedic for a father, an ICU unit clerk as a mother, a respiratory therapist as a sister and over half my extended family in the medical field. I just know what happens, that's all." Rae shrugged it off as she fidgeted, her fingers itching to call her sister but knowing that Nicole was probably busy at the hospital.
"Yeah that's not being bleak, its realism Sammy." Dean threw his brother a lopsided grin. "Rae just give her a call already, it can't hurt."
"Fine, if it'll make you feel better."
"No, but you will, so do it already." Dean smiled at her stubborn streak, almost as bad as his own. Rae had just picked up the phone, jumping as it rang in her hand.
"Hello? Nikki? About time kid, what's been taking you so long?" Rae paced as she spoke to her sister, her agitation clear in her every move. "What do you mean you ran into someone I know? Who? Meg?" Sam and Dean sat at attention at the mere mention of the name. "I don't know anyone named Meg… she said she's a friend of Sam and Dean's?" A look of horror slowly crept over Rae's face. "No! Nicole, do not give her a ride! Don't! No, listen to me…just listen okay? I know that girl and she'd bad news. If you love me as your sister…No, I'm not being dramatic! Just trust me okay? Don't give her a ride. Call her a taxi, I'll pay. But do not give her a ride. Just come home, okay? Please?" Rae swallowed hard beginning to panic at the thought of Meg alone with Nicole. "Please Nikki?" A note of desperate fear evident in her voice, causing Dean and Sam to edge closer to the frightened girl. "Nikki?"
"She's not going to get in a car with that psycho bitch, is she?" Dean asked holding Rae's face in his hands, trying to get her attention. Sam stood behind Rae, hands on her shoulders, a grim expression on his face as his brother knelt in front of Rae. She sat in the chair her shoulders hunched, lost to the world as the phone fell from her numb hands, a dial tone droning endlessly. "Rae? She's not is she? Rae?"