Disclaimer: Still not mine, but Limp!Sam is on my Christmas list ;)
A/N: I started this story last year around Christmas, so this story takes place in season 2, roughly after Crossroad Blues. It does not include events that happened after that episode.
I also want to thank first and foremost, Dawn, for all her help with this story. She was so patient to answer all my questions and I can't thank her enough for everything. I also want to thank my friends, Alex, Jess, Funky, Louise, and Amy for all their encouragement and support.
"Could you spare a dollar?"
Sam Winchester pulled two crumpled dollar bills out of his wallet and handed them to the disheveled man.
"Merry Christmas," he said with a smile.
"What did you do that for?" Dean asked after the man had walked away.
"Give that guy your money. You probably just contributed to his drug habit."
"Don't you think there are any good people left in the world?"
"Not really no," Dean answered, sincerely. "You can't con a conman. That guy probably saw you coming a mile away. You have that whole bleeding heart vibe going on. You should know better."
"It was only two dollars Dean and it's Christmas," Sam replied, exasperatedly.
"That's exactly my point. It's Christmas. It's the perfect time of year to swindle people out of their money. The department stores do it with their commercials, making people think they have to buy someone a gift at their store in order for them to have a Merry Christmas. These panhandlers do it on the street, selling some story about their hard knock life. They know people are more likely to open their wallets at this time of year."
"Don't you have any Christmas spirit?" Sam asked, with a sigh.
"I'll have the Christmas spirit as soon as we get rid of this ghost. Get it. Spirit…Ghost?" Dean remarked with a smirk.
"Ha ha Dean," Sam replied sarcastically. "Very funny."
Sam and Dean made their way back to the Impala, dodging the mid morning shoppers in the crowded downtown area. The street was bustling with activity. Christmas music could be heard blaring from speakers positioned above several stores. There was a Christmas tree lot at the corner, offering trees for half price. Several last minute shoppers were looking at the slim pickings and most likely kicking themselves for having waited so long to get a tree.
They were in Massachusetts investigating a spirit that had been bothering the same family for generations every Christmas. They found the story in the local paper, under the headline, "The Grinch That Stole Christmas." The ghost hadn't done any serious damage, but it had busted a set of wine glasses that were under the tree and sent glass flying around the room, slightly injuring one of the house's occupants. It wasn't really much of a case, but then again they didn't have anything else lined up. It was baffling too as to why the ghost only made its presence known during the holiday season, and chose to target its family members.
After conducting some research in the library, they suspected it was the ghost of a Mr. Kevin Marley, a descendent of the people that had been experiencing the strange phenomena. The ghost had bothered all different families in various locations, but they all had Kevin Marley as a relative in common. The incidents had begun after his death in the early 1900s. For the most part, his spirit remained invisible. However, in the past, he had shown himself reflected in objects giving unsuspecting people quite the fright. Sam had thought it was hilarious that the ghost had the last name of Scrooge's dead business partner in A Christmas Carol. While Sam sat there chuckling over the whole thing, Dean had looked on perplexed.
"Dude, Charles Dickens? Marley was dead to begin with?" Sam had responded to Dean's blank stare.
"Scrooge?" Sam tried again.
"That's all you had to say. What the hell did you have to mention Dickens for?"
"He wrote the book. It is a good fact to know."
"Bah Humbug," Dean had retorted.
Sam and Dean figured a simple salt and burn would do it. After driving over to the cemetery and tracking down the grave, they set to work. It took longer than usual to exhume the coffin since the ground was nearly frozen.
"Well that takes care of that," Dean said, as they watched the last of the embers die away on Marley's remains. "I'm hungry."
"You're thinking of eating at a time like this?"
"What? You should be happy. I'm finally feeling festive. You know what I could go for? Some chestnuts. This whole thing has made me think of that song. You know the one that goes, Chestnuts roasting on an open fire," Dean sang.
Sam rolled his eyes.
"Jack Frost nipping at your noooooooooose," Dean continued, dragging out the note.
"Yuletide carols being sung by a very annoying person," Sam sang, laughing and adding his own version of the lyrics as he hopped back in the grave to finish the job.
"You're just jealous I can carry a note. You sounded like some of the banshees we've hunted just now," Dean replied, picking up his own shovel.
After reburying the coffin and then driving back to the hotel to clean up, Sam and Dean had opted to get something to eat. Not chestnuts, but some Italian food.
As they settled in to eat their meal, Sam couldn't help overhearing the conversation of two men who walked into the restaurant.
"He claims the ghost of Christmas past struck again just a few minutes ago," the first guy said with a laugh, as he sat down at the bar. "He canceled the whole party."
"You know what I think. I think he's just really too cheap to throw this party and he's making up excuses about this ghost," the second guy answered as both men broke into loud guffaws.
Sam gave Dean a nudge, but Dean was already listening, spaghetti hanging out of his mouth.
"Dean, if that ghost just struck again, it means the salt and burn didn't work."
"Yeah I know," Dean said, taking a moment to slurp up his spaghetti. "Maybe it's the ghost of a different relative. We are going to have to go to that house."
Dean deposited the money on the table, as they left their meal unfinished.
"Spare a dollar?" Sam almost collided with the man as they left the restaurant.
"You again?" Dean said, disgustedly. He recognized the guy as the same man that had approached Sam earlier. He'd recognize the salt and pepper beard and torn camouflage jacket anywhere. "What happened to the two bucks we gave you earlier?"
"You didn't give me anything. He did," The man said, pointing his thumb in Sam's direction. "That was hours ago and I spent it," The man continued in a huff.
Sam reached into his pocket to give the man another couple of dollars.
"Well maybe you should learn to budget your money better, and you wouldn't be in this mess. Don't even think about it Sammy," Dean said before Sam could give the guy the money.
"A guy has to eat you know. You just stuffed your face in there without a second thought, fatso".
"For your information, we didn't even get to finish our meal. And who are you calling a fatso!" Dean exclaimed, stepping forward.
"Enough," Sam said, putting a restraining hand on Dean's arm. "Leave him alone."
"Maybe you should listen to your brother," The man replied before walking away.
"Maybe you should mind your own damn business," Dean called after him.
Sam and Dean made their way up the steps of the two story house. It was adorned with Christmas lights, although one of the strands was dangling and unlit.
"Could be the handy work of Marley?" Dean said, inspecting the lights.
Sam knocked on the door. A haggard looking gentleman answered, and loud noises could be heard behind him.
"Mr. Marley?" Sam questioned.
"Yeah I'm Mr. Ben Marley," The man answered while stealing nervous glances over his shoulder.
"Hi. We're here collecting for those that are less fortunate," Dean lied, straining to see what was going on behind the guy.
"Now is not a good time," Marley answered, blocking the doorway.
A loud crash resounded inside the house and the man turned around.
"We think we know what's going on here," Sam said, as he and Dean snuck around the man into the house.
"Did you read about it in the paper?"
"Yeah and we think we can help."
"I don't think so. I'm not even sure what it is myself. All I know is that ever since we put the tree up, things have been getting broken. Gifts get thrown around. The other day, a set of wine glasses almost killed my wife. I sent her and the kids away for the night," The man said, shakily running a hand through his thinning hair. "This happened before to an aunt of mine. I just thought it was a story."
"Dean, look out!" Sam called, as Dean ducked just in time to avoid a large package that came flying at his head.
The gift hit the wall, spraying the room with shards of glass.
"What was that?" Marley asked.
"A statue of some kind," Dean said bending down and picking up the head of what looked like a llama. The head was the only part still intact. "I think whoever was getting that gift will be grateful it got destroyed."
"That was for my wife!" Marley replied, offended.
"Sorry then, I guess," Dean said, shrugging and tossing the head back on the floor. He pulled out his EMF and made his way over to the discarded box.
Sam walked over to the few packages that remained under the tree. Suddenly, he found himself falling and he grabbed on to the tree for support. However, both the tree and Sam crashed to the floor. Several ornaments broke and others were sent rolling across the floor.
"Sam, are you okay?" Dean asked, rushing over to Sam's side.
"Yeah, I think so. I tripped on this," Sam said, standing up and showing a small train caboose that he had in his hand. "I guess it was under the tree."
"Look what you did!" Marley shouted, surveying the damage. "You broke my aunt's ornament too. That was a family heirloom. It has been in our family for years. She gave it to me before she died."
The ornament was shaped like a bell, but it was now broken in two pieces.
While Marley continued to rant and rave, Sam noticed a small piece of silver that must have broken off the bell glinting on the floor. If he didn't know any better…
"Dean, look at this," Sam called, motioning for Dean to come over. "What does this look like to you?"
"It kind of looks like a…" Dean began, realization dawning in his eyes.
"Tooth," they both said in unison. It appeared to be a silver tooth.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Sam asked.
"Only one way to find out. Give me that," Dean said taking the tooth from Sam. He then took the entire broken ornament from Marley, and threw everything into the fireplace.
There was a loud shrieking noise and then the house became still and quiet.
"What the hell did you just do!" Marley screeched. "You burned an antique ornament!"
"Well I'd say our work here is done and this is the point where we make a hasty exit. Let's go Sammy," Dean said, as they practically ran out the front door.
"You're going to pay for these damages!" Marley yelled after them, as Dean started up the car, and screeched down the street.
"Do you believe that guy?" Dean asked, as they entered the hotel room. "We gave him a silent night and does he thank us? Nope. He keeps bitching about an ornament that contained the tooth of some distant relative, and caused all the trouble in the first place. Then you wonder why I have such little faith in the human race," Dean said, putting his hand behind his head and laying back on the bed.
"Do you think the spirit is gone for good?" Sam asked.
"I hope so because I certainly don't want to visit with Marley again anytime soon. You know, who puts a tooth in a bell ornament to make it ring anyway?" Dean said, kicking off his shoes.
"I have no idea. They must have yanked the guy's tooth when he died. I guess maybe they needed something to make the bell ring, and they used whatever was lying around." Sam shrugged.
"I think I had a couple things in common with that ghost though. He obviously wasn't a big fan of Christmas, and he knew an ugly gift when he saw it." Dean laughed.
"Hey, it looks like it's going to be a white Christmas," Sam interjected, peering through the window.
"This night keeps getting better and better," Dean groaned. "It will be a bitch digging out the Impala tomorrow morning."
"I'm going to get us something to eat," Sam replied, ignoring Dean. "I saw a pizza place not too far from here. I think I'll walk. The traffic is going to be even worse with the snow now. I'm going to need to borrow a few dollars."
"That's because you gave all your money away," Dean said, handing him a ten dollar bill.
"I'll see if they can put some chestnuts on the pizza for you," Sam joked, pulling on his jacket.
"Just don't go giving all your money away on the way over there," Dean said, throwing the pillow at Sam's head.
Sam easily dodged it, shutting the door as the pillow dropped to the floor.
The snow was falling harder as Sam made his way down the street. He was actually looking forward to Christmas the next day. While they were researching in the library, he had told Dean he had to go to the bathroom. He had really snuck off to the music store that was just down the street and bought Dean a cassette of the Greatest Blues hits. While he was leaving to get the pizza, he had snuck the cassette in Dean's jacket pocket hoping to surprise him the next morning. Sure he would have to put up with listening to the songs too as they drove, but it would make Dean smile. He hadn't seen much of Dean's smile since their dad's death.
"Excuse me, sir."
Sam looked up to see a man dressed in a Santa costume, minus the beard, standing in front of him.
"I don't mean to bother you," the man continued. "But I got a truck that is stuck in the alley down there. I just loaded it up with gifts from the Salvation Army. They're for underprivileged kids. I have to deliver the stuff tonight or there is going to be a lot of disappointed kids tomorrow. You think you could give me a hand?"
Sam looked up and saw the Salvation Army sign. He glanced down the alley and he could see a small truck parked in the snow, snowflakes dancing in the illuminated headlights.
"Yeah I can help," Sam said, walking towards the alley.
"Thank-you. I'm Louis," The man said, extending his hand.
"I'm Sam," Sam replied with a smile, shaking his hand.
"I think the back tire is stuck in some snow there," Louis said, when they reached the truck. "I have some shovels in the back that we might be able to use."
Sam walked to the back of the truck and peered down at the tire, just in time to see three other guys hop out of the back.
"These are Santa's helpers," Louis said, flashing a grin. In that instant, Sam detected something sinister in the man's smile.
"Give us your wallet, kid," One of the guys replied confirming Sam's suspicions. The other two surrounded Sam as Louis looked on amused.
Sam reached into his back pocket and handed over the wallet. He then tried to walk around the guys and get out of the alley.
"Not so fast there," The guy replied, placing a restrictive hand on Sam's chest. He handed Sam's wallet to Louis who apparently was the ringleader.
"I gave you what you wanted," Sam answered, cursing himself for being led into a trap like this. Dean was going to be so pissed.
"I bet mommy and daddy give you everything you want for Christmas," One of the guys sneered. "They probably send you to an Ivy League school and give you money anytime you need it."
Sam felt a rush of anger, but he held it off. He had to keep a clear head and just get out of the situation.
"Not much in here," Louis replied.
"That looks like a nice warm coat though," The third guy said, eyeing Sam's parka.
"I always wanted a pair of boots like that too," His partner replied.
Sam took this as a perfect opportunity to act. He shrugged off the jacket and threw it at the three guys, obscuring their vision if only for a second.
One of the men quickly recovered and lunged at Sam. Sam fought him off easily, his fist connecting with the guy's jaw. The cast on his right hand came in handy and the man was sent sprawling, just as another one came at him. Sam kicked him in the gut and then gave the guy an uppercut, knocking him into the third guy. Sam felt he had the upper hand, but he had forgotten about the burly Louis. Sam felt something solid connect with the side of his head, and he went down hard. He could feel something warm and sticky already oozing down his face. Sam dazedly looked up from the ground at Louis who was now wielding a shovel.
"Take what you want from him," Louis said to the three guys who were recovering from the blows Sam had inflicted.
Sam felt his boots being pulled off of him and his cellphone being taken from his pocket.
"He gave us all this nice stuff. We certainly can't let him go away empty handed. We have to give Sammy here a nice parting gift," One of the men said with a snicker.
They were on him in an instant. Sam felt the blows rain down on him, one after the other. He felt their boots connect with his ribs over and over again. Breath stealing pain coursed through his body. Sam tried in vain to shield himself, and put his arm over his side. They kicked him again. He heard a sickening crack as his arm broke. Sam cried out and weakly tried to roll away from them, but they kicked him in the back instead. One of them kicked him in the side of his already injured head. Sam turned his head as he saw the boot revving up to kick him again. The guy missed his mark, but stomped Sam violently in the throat. Sam saw spots dance before his eyes. He vaguely heard receding footsteps, then the truck start up and skid down the alley. He felt white hot pain lance through his ankle as one of the tires passed over his leg. Then blissfully he knew no more.
Let Me know what you think :)