A/N: I just wrote this up today, thought it would be fun to read. So, enjoy!
Disclaimer: Own Supernatural? Only in my dreams.
By: Ada C. Eliana
Waking from a tryptophan induced haze to a blaring alarm clock at 4:45am did not make Sam happy. Groaning he swung his arm out at the table beside him, succeeding only in dumping his mostly-full water glass onto the bed and smashing his hand into the sharp corner of the nightstand. "Jesus Christ," he swore as the offending item continued to go off. He finally felt his fingers grace the alarm clock and he slammed them onto the snooze button, annoyed when it did not stop blaring. He smashed it again and again and finally knocked the thing onto the floor, cursing all the way before he heard laughter and someone moving around in the bedroom. The bed beside him dipped slightly and the alarm clock suddenly silenced. It was then that Sam noted the alarm clock that had been doing its damnedest to find a new home in the garbage can had been Jess' and not his. Gentle fingers ran through his hair. "I thought you were a morning person?" Jessica laughed.
"No one's a morning person at frickin' 4 in the morning," he grumbled, burrowing his head in his pillows.
"Well today I am, and that means you are too, so get your lazy ass out of bed right now," she ordered with humor in her tone.
"Is someone dying?"
"In mortal peril?"
"Not that I know of…"
"Then there's no reason to be up."
"It's Black Friday, Sam! We have to get to the mall before all the good stuff is taken."
"Oh for the love of—" Sam cut himself off, rolling onto his back and staring at Jess in annoyance. "No way in hell am I going shopping on black Friday, it's a stupid construct of a corrupt capitalist system," he growled with little conviction, parroting what his government teacher from the previous semester had tried to drill into their heads.
"Come on Sam, please," Jess said, pouting, big blue eyes staring at him.
"But I can't go alone! People get trampled shopping on this day you know, trampled. Do you want to get a call later today from the police and find out that I've been stomped to death because you weren't there to use your enormously tall frame to watch my back?"
"If it's so dangerous then you should just stay home."
"Sa-aaaam," she whined, pushing at him.
"Couldn't you have gotten Becky or somebody to go?" he asked.
"Becky went home for Thanksgiving, remember? Everybody went home. It's not my fault that my parents live in Palo Alto. You're the only one who can do this with me."
"What about your mom or your sister?"
"No, they hate shopping."
"So do I!" he protested.
"Yeah but you get to sleep with me," she responded nonchalantly.
"Jess," Sam said softly, imploring her, puppy-dog eyes firmly in place. "Please, please, please don't make me go. I hate shopping, and there's only one thing I hate more than shopping – shopping with a bunch of insane bargain-buyers fighting over the last discount-priced crap that's just gonna go on sale again after Christmas."
"Well if it bothers you that much baby," she responded gently, bottom lip still protruding slightly. Sam deepened the pathetic expression he was tossing her way, even let his jaw tremble a bit – that had gotten him what he wanted countless times. He was winning, he could sense it, he could tell, just another second and she would crack. "Then you'll just have to suck it up like a good little soldier. Now go get dressed, we have to be at the Apple store before 6!" She smiled and hopped off of the bed, walking into the kitchen.
Sam collapsed onto the bed, confused as to how she had shown such immunity to his ultimate weapon, even the trembling jaw, the glistening eyes, nothing had worked. How?
The utter destruction appalled him. All around him was chaos, screaming and shrieking. There were bodies everywhere, lying on the floor, one woman in fetal position clutching an iPod tightly to her chest. Sam carefully pushed through the crowd, shocked at the devastation that surrounded him, shocked that people could be so destructive. It was senseless.
Sam wondered if this was what hell was like. It did give him a new perspective on why demons put forth the effort to crawl out of hell. Also made him feel a bit sorry for that lone demon he had helped exorcize back in Blue Earth when he was 14. That had been some scary shit, the possessed person screaming and thrashing about while Bobby fended him off with Holy Water and John squeezed Sam's shoulder each time he slowed in his reading of exorcism rite. Being fourteen and totally rebellious and independent, the way his legs gave out when the black smoke poured out of the man's mouth, and the fact that all he wanted was for Dean to get back from Boise so he could force him into an awkward hug and tell him how scary it was, let Sam know that demon fighting was definitely not his profession of choice. He had to give Bobby props though, the man seemed larger than life that night, completely fearless.
"Sam!" Sam shook himself out of his thoughts, wondering how they had managed to find their way back to six years ago and then he remembered.
Mean women fighting over hard-to-find items.
"Hold this for me, babe?" Jess asked, tossing her leather purse into his hand and then leaping into the fray of bodies, after some item Sam had not even bothered to ask about. So, standing safely in front of an empty rack, a cup of coffee in one hand, and a very feminine purse in the other, Sam watched Jessica, completely enthralled by the prospect of saving an extra 10 on her Christmas gifts.
"I got one!" Jessica shouted triumphantly, box held high over her head as she barreled towards the registers, Sam chasing after her, feeling like he had fallen into some alternate universe where nothing made the least bit of sense.
"What do you think of this?" Jessica asked, standing in the doorway of an Express dressing room, shirt rolled up so she could better examine the cut of the low-rise jeans she was trying on.
"Looks great," Sam replied.
"Are you even looking? Because I mean they look alright, but I don't know, they feel sort of big in the back, even though there's no visible gap, but still."
"Then don't get them."
"But they do look good don't they?" she sighed.
"I'm sorry weren't we supposed to be shopping for your relatives?" Sam interjected before she could start another round of analyzing the jeans.
"Saaaaam, stop using that annoyed tone with me. The sale price is awesome, it would be a crime to not pick something up for myself. I can consider it my reward for having saved so much money on the other gifts."
"So you're spending money to reward yourself for saving money? How's that work?" Sam huffed.
Jess muttered something that sounded vaguely like 'all men are morons' before slamming the dressing room door shut in his face. Sam shrugged, slouching back out to the door and collapsing on the bench beside the other unfortunate men forced into shopping on that terrible, awful, horrible day. His right hand hooked around the handles of five shopping bags and Jess' coat tossed over his arm he felt more like a valet than a boyfriend.
His thoughts went to the leftover turkey Jess' mother had pressed into his hands before they left her house the day before, and the promise of an amazing sandwich, plus dinner considering how many side dishes she had also tossed his way. Instead he would probably be eating food court junk for lunch. He pouted a little at the thought.
Somewhere in the store someone shrieked with delight at having found the only size X-small left, and Sam groaned, pressing his thumbs into his temples, trying to relieve the headache that had been steadily building, not at all helped by the annoying Christmas music every store seemed intent on blasting.
"I decided on the dark ones," Jess said, seemingly appearing from thin air at his side. "They make my butt look best, so why not?"
"Okay," Sam responded.
"Hey, I know you're hating this, but we're almost done, I promise," Jess said sweetly, kissing him on the cheek before heading to the register with a pile of clothes in her arms.
Rampage looked like a house he had seen ripped apart by an angry spirit. The floor was littered with clothes, upended racks, and empty hangers. The crowds had been slowly diminishing throughout the day as the early risers finished their shopping and headed home, undoubtedly to pass out. The more hardcore shoppers however continued to pick through the devastated racks.
Sam thought back to the look of utter surprise and disgust on Dean's face when a Tupperware full of guacamole had been thrown straight at his face by the pissed off spirit. The thick green dip had completely covered his face and head, blonde-hair coated in green. "You bitch!" he had screamed, reaching for the rock salt in his pocket when the poltergeist decided to add insult to injury and six rotten eggs smashed into Dean. Sam had never laughed so hard on a hunt in his life.
After they found the bones (behind a wall no less, Sam couldn't help but make a Poe reference), they finally caught up with their father. And even John hadn't been able to contain his own laughter when he saw Dean. He told Dean between chuckles that he needed to hose off before he would be allowed to get into the Impala.
"Hey, I might be a while, why don't you head over to the bookstore across the hall, amuse yourself for a while?" Jessica suggested, tugging her coat out of his arms. "I'll meet you over there, okay?"
Thankful for the reprieve, Sam bent down and kissed her before hurrying out of the store before she could change her mind.
Folded into a comfortable chair, the shopping bags scattered around him and a book on his lap, Sam began to feel equilibrium returning to his world. He knew he had been a bit more bitchy to Jess than warranted. The holidays just seemed to put him in a nasty mood. He thought he had gotten over it in the previous two years, his first two years away from his family. It wasn't as if Thanksgiving or Christmas meant anything special to the Winchesters, they barely acknowledged either, unless they were nearby Minnesota and Pastor Jim had talked John into coming by the rectory for the holidays. For John holidays were filled with memories of Mary, and he would become depressed. When they were kids he would try to pull something together but more often than not he would put them to bed early and grab a bottle of Scotch in an effort to forget the date. Nice, normal holiday celebrations were one of the things on Sam's infinitely long list of desires that had helped push him out the door and to Stanford in the first place.
So now that he had what he wanted why did he find himself cranky, depressed, and thinking back on random hunts and memories? He knew the answer to that one, even though this was his life now it still felt like someone else's, or like it was about to be ripped away from him at any instant. And so he was jealous of the people around him, Jessica included, jealous that this – that normal – was their constant, was what they knew best, not what it was for him, a dream that he had to work for, that he had to sacrifice his connection with his family and everyone he knew prior to Stanford for. Sitting in the Moore's dining room eating dinner and chatting with her family had been difficult; he felt at any moment that he might slip, that someone might discover who he really was and then he would lose this dream of his once and for all.
"Sam, Earth to Sam," Jessica chuckled, interrupting his thoughts again.
"Hey, you finished?" he asked. She looked tired despite the ear-splitting grin on her face that came with shopping.
"There're a couple more things I was going to look at, but I'm sure they'll still be there tomorrow," she shrugged. "You ready to go home?"
"Yes," Sam responded hastily. Jessica laughed at his response and reached for the book on his lap.
"Hauntings of the West Coast? You want this?" she asked, but there was no suspicion or disgust in her tone.
"Would that be weird?" Sam asked, gauging her reaction closely.
"No, hauntings are cool," she responded with a shrug. "I've always wondered what it would be like to see a real ghost, even went on one of those tours when I was in Savannah. You want the book? Because I'll buy it for you if you do. It can be your reward for coming with me," she said seriously. Sam grimaced, he would definitely not be the one to show Jessica what a haunting was really like.
"That's not necess—"
"Too late," Jessica answered with a smirk, taking off towards the registers, book in hand. Sam smiled as she joined the line, wondering why he had picked that book up in the first place. He must have been more homesick then he thought.
Thanksgiving dinner part II finished and the dishes washed and put away, Sam sat on the couch, Jess curled up beside him. "Thanks for coming with me today," Jess said, her head on his chest. "Did you enjoy it at least a little bit?"
"Well… I found a new metaphor for a 'herd of raging bulls' but that's about it," Sam smirked.
Jessica laughed in response. "Yeah I guess it can be a little jarring to those not used to such chaos and mayhem."
He thought of the five angry spirits that tried to skewer him, his brother, and his father with pitchforks in North Dakota seven years ago. The trio was chased in circles in the middle of the decrepit barn, the ghosts causing objects in the room to soar through the air and crash into the walls, Dean and Sam screaming while their father tried to bark orders over the din. That had definitely been chaos.
Jess reached down beside the couch and pulled the book she had bought for Sam out of the bag. "Let's read about some ghosts," she suggested, opening it on his lap.
Sam listened in silence as Jess began reading aloud from the book, his mind beginning to wander at the sheer oddity of the moment. Having spent the day pushing through crowds of shoppers in a mall covered in garland, he returned to eat Thanksgiving leftovers and then read a book about hauntings with Jessica.
Sam, his arm around Jessica, pulled her to him just a little bit closer, enjoying the feeling of her body against his. Because what he had now might not have been what he had originally dreamed of, originally planned for. He hadn't spoken to his brother since their final argument a year ago, and it had been longer since he last saw his father.
But he had Jessica with him, a woman who, despite his reluctance thus far to share all of himself with her, still loved him, still opened her family and her normal life to him, enveloped him in it, made him feel like leaving was worth it, that taking the chance to escape hunting and start a new life at Stanford had really been worth it.
Sam had always been one to know a bargain when he saw it, and having Jessica at his side and a bright, normal, and safe future ahead of him at the cost of ties with the hunting community sure did appear to be quite the bargain. There was nothing to stop him from reinitiating those ties later, when the tempers had died down and the anger diffused.
In the meantime he had his girlfriend, his friends, and his schoolwork to keep him company, to keep him occupied.
"Heh this is so cool," Jessica murmured, flipping a page.
And pparently, Jessica liked ghost stories. Awesome.
"Do you think ghosts can really behead people?" she asked, looking up at him.
"Maybe," Sam shrugged. Definitely.
"Sounds like a sucky way to go, head ripped off by a ghost," she muttered. "I'd rather my body be intact, thank you.
"Beats being pummeled with guacamole and rotten eggs and then skewered by a ghost," Sam put in.
"Yuck, yeah, maybe. But then again you know I hate avocadoes." She was silent for a moment. "Hey Sam, you know how I said I was mostly done Christmas shopping?" she said tentatively.
"Yes," Sam said with some trepidation.
"I lied. I'm not even close to done. We have so much more shopping to do."
"Yeah well you better call up one of your girlfriends to go because I have shopped more in the last 24 hours than I have in the course of my entire life."
"But Sam… you didn't buy anything," she pointed out. "You're going to have to buy things."
"That's what the internet is for," he argued.
"No, you're not getting off that easy," Jess smiled. "Come on, it'll be fun, just you wait!"
"I think I've filled my fun quota for the year," Sam protested.
"Then I guess you don't want any of this…" she whispered, lightly kissing his neck, heading towards his face.
"Okay, maybe I have room for just a little more," Sam conceded.
"You're so easy," she laughed, kissing him. "I love you."
"I love you too." He waited a beat before adding, "But that doesn't make shopping any less evil."
"Don't worry, give it a few years and you'll learn to enjoy it." He only hoped that was true, because even if it meant fighting crowds of bargain-bin divers, the thought of having years ahead of him spent with Jess was the best future he could ever dream for.
A/N: It didn't turn out as I had origianlly planned, but I thought it was fun and seasonal anyway.
I would love to know what you thought! Thanks for reading!