Sam twisted slightly in the passenger seat and shifted his legs fit into the space he occupied. It was surprising how comfortable the Impala could be on a long trip, particularly when he got to sit in the front seat. It wasn't like he got a lot of opportunity to sit in the front unless he was driving, which was rare since he barely had a learner's permit let alone his license. Ironically, Dean gave him more of a chance to drive than Dad did; and those chances were few and far between. So Sam was relegated to the back seat on almost every road trip.
But this journey was different. Dad had finished up a hunt and was already encamped with Pastor Jim in Minnesota. Dean had waited for Sam to get out of school, and the two of them were driving out to join the others for Sam's Christmas break. It would only take a few hours for them to get there barring any unforeseen traffic issues. With that on his mind, Sam leaned forward to pop the cassette tape out of the tape deck and turn the knob to tune the radio.
"Hey!" Dean protested. "Driver picks the music…"
Sam cut him off. "I know …shotgun shuts his cakehole. I just want to hear a traffic and weather report."
Dean rolled his eyes expressively. "Whatever, Geekboy." He waved his right hand vaguely at the front windshield. "There is no traffic on the way to the back end of Minnesota and…" Dean theatrically leaned forward to squint out the window, "it's still snowing. There you go - traffic and weather."
Sam had learned not to respond to Dean's sarcasm, but since Dean hadn't made a move to put the tape back on, he settled back to listen to the radio. The calm lasted all of about ten seconds. "Dude! Christmas music?" Dean sounded affronted.
Now it was Sam's turn to roll his eyes. "Fine, I'll find a news channel. Don't get your panties in a bunch." Sam fruitlessly flipped from station to station, but all he could find was static or commercials. One the third time through the scan, Sam paused just as a commercial break was ending. Unfortunately, luck was against him as another Christmas tune came on the radio. It was dogs barking to the tune of a Jingle Bells . Dean started barking along. Sam rolled his eyes again, but hid a little smile – Dean might enjoy calling him "Geekboy", but he wasn't the one barking along with the radio. Dean was such a dork.
With Dean engaged, Sam sat back. He tried not to let his mind dwell on the college applications he'd sent out without Dean and Dad knowing. It was all out of his hands now; nothing left to do but wait. There was no way Sam wanted to let anxiety and uncertainty upset the mood of Christmas; there was enough tension between him and Dad as it was. No, Sam was determined to let go of his concerns and make a real effort to enjoy this holiday.
While he was musing, the barking dogs wrapped up and a new song had begun. It was "The Twelve Days of Christmas" – not one of Sam's favorites, but Dean was singing along again so there was no opportunity to change the station. However, Dean wasn't going along with the lyrics on the radio, he was making up his own.
"On the first day of Christmas, Santa gave to me…the hottest car out on the road! Ain't that right, baby?" He actually caressed the steering wheel as he sang to the car. Sam covered a grin behind his hand, but there wasn't much he could hide from Dean who knew he had a captive audience.
"On the second day of Christmas, Santa gave to me… TWO rockin' chicks and the hottest car on the road, baby!"
"On the third day of Christmas, Santa gave to me…THREE fake IDs, TWO busty blondes and the sweetest ride this side of the Mississippi!"
Sam couldn't resist adding, "The other side of the Mississippi too." Dean beamed and nodded in approval while he geared up for the next verse.
"On the fourth day of Christmas, Pastor Jim gave to me…FOUR boring bibles, THREE fake IDs, TWO sets of twins and the sweetest ride this side of the Mississippi!"
Sam chuckled at the boring bibles and didn't point out that two sets of twins was technically "four" hot chicks and could have been in the song in place of the bibles…but whatever. Before Dean could gear up for the next line, Sam jumped in. "On the fifth day of Christmas Dad gave to me…FIVE SHARPENED KNIVES…" The look on Dean's face was somewhere between incredulous and delighted. It made Sam well up with glee that he was able to catch Dean by surprise and join in with something so goofy and fun. It had been far too long.
Sam managed to keep singing although Dean was cracking up. "…FOUR boring bibles, THREE fake IDs, TWO sexy librarians and a car."
Though Dean whooped with approval at the librarians, he was not happy with his baby being shortchanged. Now that Sam had joined in the brothers took turns singing out of long-standing, unspoken habit. Dean was up next.
"On the sixth day of Christmas, Santa gave to me…SIX chicks for laying…" Dean grinned and waggled his eyebrows suggestively at Sam. Sam could only shake his head and laugh – it figured Dean would get the line that involved "laying". Delighted with his choice of innuendo, Dean continued, "FIVE SHARPENED KNIVES…FOUR boring bibles, THREE fake IDs, TWO more chicks for laying in the back of my chick magnet car!"
"On the seventh day of Christmas, Santa gave to me…SEVEN selkies swimming…"
"Seriously Sam? Selkies?"
"…SIX nuns a praying because of all the laying, FIVE SHARPENED KNIVES…FOUR King James Bibles…"
"Only you would name the bibles…"
"THREE fake IDs, TWO sets of earmuffs… so I can get some sleep in the backseat of the car."
Sam was having more and more difficulty maintaining a straight face and not laughing as Dean began commenting on his choice of additions to the song. Dean sounded so young and sincere in his objections, and it just made Sam want to crack up. It was verse eight that did him in.
Dean began, "On the eighth day of Christmas, Santa gave to me…EIGHT maids for milking…"
Sam had no idea if Dean intended to say "eight maids for milking" or if it was just a slip of the tongue. However it happened, it sent Sam into gales of laughter. A glance at Dean's face indicated that he was baffled by Sam's hysterical reaction to the line, even as he kept singing. Dean's apparent confusion just made Sam laugh harder, and he missed all of what Dean was singing. Sam struggled to pull himself together and get the giggles under control so he'd be ready to sing when it was his turn. Dean wrapped up with "…and the most smokin' car out on the road. I'll never forget you, baby."
Sam was still wiping tears of laughter away when he began singing. "On the ninth day of Christmas, Santa gave to me…NINE leprechauns leaping, EIGHT maids for i cleaning /i , SEVEN selkies swimming, SIX werewolves baying…FIVE SHARPENED KNIVES…FOUR brilliant bibles, THREE fake IDs, TWO chicks to get Dad laid because maybe they could get that stick out of his ass and then he'd ease up on the training and we could sleep in on an occasional Saturday and maybe let me DRIVE THE CAR!"
Dean had sucked in his breath when Sam started on the "two chicks to get Dad laid", and by the time Sam wrapped up his verse, Dean was convulsed with laughter. It was very hard to tell what made Dean more hysterical – what Sam said, or the fact that it was Sam who'd said it. The look on Dean's face was pure shock. Because Dean was laughing so hard, it immediately set Sam off again. It quickly became a situation where the thing that started the laughter was completely disproportionate to the reaction it created.
Dean had slowed the Impala to a near crawl and they were lucky to be alone on the road so their sudden drop in speed didn't cause an accident. Dean was draped over the steering wheel, using it as a prop to keep him upright. Sam couldn't even look in Dean's direction without the laughter starting up again. He turned his whole body toward the passenger side door and tried to think calm thoughts, but every time he was nearly under control he'd hear Dean say something like "get that stick out of his ass" or "drive the CAR" in a voice very near to a hysterical giggle, and Sam was helplessly caught up again.
It took the rest of that song and an extended version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" before they were close to being in control again. An instrumental version of "Sleigh Ride" was next giving both brothers a chance to regroup and calm down. Sam stared out the windshield and watched the snow in the headlights. He risked a glance at Dean who was still smiling, but no longer incapacitated by laughter. Dean brought the car back up to speed, but didn't start talking. Sam could hear the lyrics for "Sleigh Ride" in his head - Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two...
Sam stretched out his legs as far as they could go, sat back and enjoyed the ride.