Silent Night, one hell of a night

Disclaimer: I promise I have not got the boys they still belong to Kripke Enterprises and the CW. I'm just giving them my Christmas present.

Author's note: Just a little one shot for Christmas, I hope that everyone has a great holiday and an even better year ahead. A Supernaturally Spectacular Year.

Author's note 2: This is a teen-chester story, Sam is fifteen and Dean is nineteen.

I have no idea if there is a Claudetteville in Pennsylvania or anywhere else for that matter in the USA.

Pre-emptive apology: For those who don't know, I am an Australian and have never been outside Australia let alone in the USA and as such I don't have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to the American school year. Though I do know that the main holidays are in the summer in mid-year, so I googled Christmas vacation dates in Pennsylvania and then worked it out on the computer for a date in 1998 which sounds right, well for arguments sake I am going with it. Close enough for what I want anyway.


Claudetteville

Pennsylvania

Friday 18th December 1998

Sam sat in the backseat glaring at the back of his father's head, wondering if he kept the heat up would a hole burn right through the stubborn ass' head. Dean sat shotgun as usual but kept his eye on both his brother and father.

Once again, a monster of an argument precipitated the hunt; once again, silence tight and angry reigned in the impala. Sighing heavily Dean shook his head and risked another glance at Sam who refused to meet it, instead kept staring intently at the same spot on his father's head.

The fight still ringing in Dean's ears as he desperately tried to keep his family from killing each other, heated silence the current weapon of choice.

---

'Hey Dean,' came the familiar greeting as Sam rushed into the small apartment his cheeks flushed and eyes shining bright.

'Hey Sammy, so how was it?'

'Was what?' Sam asks innocently but the flush on his cheeks belied that innocence. 'Oh that.'

'Yeah that dude, how did it go?'

'Good I think, we're ah me and Becky are gonna go to Lo-Jacks for coffee after the exam Friday.' Sam said as he sat down on the sofa next to Dean, 'We finish early so...'

'Becky huh?' Dean grinned, 'so tell me more.'

'She's in my English Lit class, damn it Dean you know everything, and she likes me.' Sam smiled, 'maybe this'll be a good Christmas after all.'

'So exams too huh?'

'Well yeah, I gotta study man, where's Dad?'

'Researching something ... not much happening at the moment so you're pretty clear to land the darlin' Becky.' Dean drawled out her name, laughing out loud at the flustered look on Sam's face.

After dinner of pizza and coke, Sam cleared the table and set up his study area, Dean draped himself over the sofa and watched the television with the sound turned down so he didn't disturb Sam. An hour later, their Dad arrived home with a harried but excited look on his face. 'Boys we've got some work.'

'What?' Sam blinked his mind still filled with his study and thoughts of Becky, 'what work?'

'A hunt.' John announced dropping his backpack on the table sending all of Sam's carefully written notes flying around the room.

'Dad!' Sam snapped, 'thanks.'

'What?' John grinned and turned his back on his youngest to join Dean on the sofa, 'so Dean ready to do a little ghost busting?'

'Yeah sure Dad, but how about Sammy sit this one out?'

'What for?' John looked at Dean and then turned to stare at Sam again, 'why should he sit this one out for?'

'I have exams Dad, the term finishes on Friday.' Sam said trying to remain calm as he sorted the papers out again, 'I only have two left.'

'So?'

'They're important Dad ... I don't want to fail.'

'Well don't get your panties twisted Sammy I have to organise a few things and we'll be heading out on Friday, as soon as you finish your exam.' John's smile faded as he glared at his youngest, 'unless there is another reason why you want to pike out on the hunt?'

'Dad, please I'll be fine here, it's not like I've been left alone before while you and Dean hunt.'

'You're coming with us this time Sam end of discussion.'

'Dad ... no!'

'I said you are coming Sam that is it.'

'Dean?'

'Don't you bring your brother into this, I am saying you're coming and that is final.'

The next thing Dean knew was that Sam had finished packing up his papers and had stormed off to their bedroom, and John was getting himself a beer from the fridge to settle down at the table to continue his research.

'Dad, Sam'll be fine here, it won't hurt if he stays behind.'

'Dean I said he's coming and that's it ... why what has he got planned?'

'A date.' Dean admitted after a slight hesitation, 'he finally got the balls to ask this girl out.'

'Well he can see her after the hunt.' John declared, 'this is important Dean and Sam needs to learn everything about the hunt. I've been too soft on him lately.'

'Dad.' Dean started to interrupt his father, he had heard this argument from John before about how Sam needs to stop living with his nose in a book and accept his future as a hunter, as part of the family business.

'No Dean I want Sam there, we'll be doing an exorcism and I want to see how he goes on his own. He's been learning Latin long enough he can put it to good use.'

'Okay.' Dean backed down knowing that once his father had made his mind up that was it. 'Night Dad.'

Dean found Sam, lying on his bed with his back to the door if he realised Dean was there he didn't acknowledge his brother's presence. Sitting down on his own bed Dean waited patiently for Sam to roll over and talk to him, 'hey Sammy.'

'So has Attila changed his mind?'

'Sorry dude I tried.'

'S'okay Dean, I shouldn't have been stupid enough to think that I could make plans.' Sam said so quietly Dean had to strain to hear him, 'I rang Becky and told her we have to go to a family Christmas thing straight after school on Friday.'

'And?'

'She wants to see me for New Years.' Sam lifted his head to look at his brother locking gazes, 'I told her if we can that would be great but I'd have to let her know.'

'Sammy.'

'Hey it's okay Dean, like Dad says the family business first.' Sam yawned and laid back down, 'not like I have a life anyway.'

'Sammy ...'

'Night Dean.' Sam rolled over and faced the wall again.

Dean sat watching Sam for a few more minutes before changing and turning the light off before he slid into his own bed, 'night Sammy.'

The argument continued the next day and night, neither willing to back down, until Sam stormed off to his room again and John opened another beer.

---

'We're here.' John announced breaking Dean's thought patterns, 'Sam you with us?'

'Whatever.' Came the mumbled reply from the shadows in the back seat.

Getting out of the impala John stretched his back and found himself wishing that he had brought his own truck and let the boys travel together. At least then, he wouldn't have a burning sensation in the back of his head and a killer headache. 'Dean get the weapons, Sam ... Sam get out of the car.'

'What?' Sam demanded as he slid out of the car and leant against it, crossing his arms across his chest.

'First lose the attitude before I lose it for you,' John growled, 'next listen up, this should be a simple haunting but there is a chance that there is a demonic influence in which case I want you Sam to do the exorcism.'

'Excuse me?' Sam stood up straighter and stared at his father in horror, 'since when do you let me do something as important as that? Aren't you scared that I'll stuff it up like I always do?'

'Sammy.' Dean tried to placate his brother but he couldn't help admiring him, Sam never backed down, no matter what the threat. 'Don't, Dad wouldn't have you do it if he didn't think you weren't up to it.'

'Yeah right, or is it just another way to show what kind of screw up I really am?' Sam snarled his upper lip curling, 'I bet Dad's already got the patent save Sammy's skin back up plan in action. Just can't wait for me to fail again can you Dad?'

'Damn it Sam, just do what I say without the dramatics.' John said in a low controlled voice, 'now move.'

Leading the way with John didn't bother to look back he knew that Sam was safe between him and Dean. They moved slowly through the unkempt gardens towards the deserted house, broken boards covered some of the windows, the wind howled through the space where the door once stood. In its day, it would have been a magnificent building, now it was a fire hazard and a squatter's haven. Until the squatters started to disappear, the only remains left of them was a foot, or a hand or just a finger.

John put a finger to his lips and indicated for the boys to spread out while he continued into the main part of the house, Sam glanced over his shoulder at Dean before moving to go up the broken stairs. His anger dimmed slightly as the curiosity took over, no matter what he still enjoyed the mystery factor. He saw Dean move into the rooms below the stairs and their father stalk off into the larger ground floor area.

Moving stealthily up the stairs expertly avoiding the broken ones Sam reached the first level, stopping for a second he took a breath, letting his gaze roam around his surroundings before heading towards the main bedroom suite.

John paused and stared around intently, the fine hairs on the back of his neck stood up and his senses heightened, something was near by he was sure of it. The adrenaline surge flooded through him and he snapped into his hyper-hunter mode. Single-minded, and relentless, stalking his prey with stealth and ease.

Dean stopped and stared around in the kitchen, the smell of blood permeated the air and made him feel nauseous. Shaking his head, he quickly scouted the area and decided to join Sam upstairs. A muffled thud above his head made Dean freeze, holding his breath he listened intently for any more sounds but there were no more. 'Sammy.' He hissed, breaking into a sprint he took the stairs two at a time, his panic morphing into protectiveness as he raced to find his brother.

Sam stared at the shimmering form in front of him, the melancholy look on its face, the empty eyes and transparent form. Mesmerised he stood watching it float closer to him, it reached out a hand to touch him when another spirit appeared, this one in the form of a large older male, with a bald head and an ugly glare. It pushed the smaller female away from Sam and then turned on the young human. 'Fresh meat.' The toothless spectre grinned maniacally, with a flick of its wrist it sent Sam flying backwards pinning him to the wall. Before Sam could regain his breath, the spirit disappeared and reappeared pressing up against Sam.

'Dude fresh mint would be a good idea.' Sam panted refusing to let it see just how terrified he was.

The only answer he got was a growl and then it started to sniff him, moving down his throat, chest and stomach, a gruff barking laugh came as it pressed its face against Sam's again, 'fresh young meat.'

'Let me go.' Sam ground out, he could taste the bile racing towards his mouth in an effort to escape the acrid stench invading his senses. Two paper-dry hands moved to encircle his throat, squeezing tighter and tighter. Sam tried to kick his attacker but yelped in surprise when he felt a sharp bite on his left calf muscle. 'Now what?'

'No, fresh meat mine.' The bald headed ghost moved away from Sam and punched at the young female biting Sam.

'Want taste.' She wailed only to go sailing backwards after another well-placed kick.

'Sammy?' Dean's voice came from outside the room but before Sam could answer him the large spirit once again wrapped its hands around his neck and started to choke him again.

'Get off my brother.' Dean snarled his rock salt loaded shotgun, held steady as he squeezed the trigger. The rock salt smashed into the spirit forcing it backwards and then it disappeared with a roar.

'Sammy?' Dean risked a glance at his brother as he slid down the wall gasping for air, then Dean lifted his gaze and took aim, shooting the female as it went to latch onto Sam's bleeding leg again.

'D-Dean?' Sam's voice whispery faint faded as he lost the fight with the encroaching darkness and crumpled into an unconscious heap against the wall.

'Sammy? Damn it Sammy?' Dean ran his hand over Sam's face, his fingertips hovered over the bruised and abused flesh on his neck before he checked for other injuries. The only other one was the nasty bite on the back of his left calf, a chunk of skin and muscle gone, leaving a gory and bloody hole instead.

'Boys?' John's demanding call came from downstairs, Dean chewed his lip as he regarded his fallen brother, and then with a heaving sigh he answered for both of them. 'I'm on my way.' John yelled and then Dean heard a scream, his Dad never screamed.

'I'll be back Sammy.' Dean muttered as he ran downstairs to check on their father, 'Dad?' He called but no answer came, a heavy weight pulled on his chest crushing the breath from him as he ran through the rooms searching for John. 'No Dad!' Dean skidded to a stop on his knees next to his father's inert body, 'no, no, no.' carefully he slid his fingers down his father's throat to feel for a pulse, 'ah thank you.' He breathed a sigh of relief finding a strong persistent one.

Tenderly and with innate care Dean rolled his father over to check for his injuries, 'looks like you got one helluva sprain there Dad,' Dean kept the commentary going as he catalogued the various cuts and bruises finishing with the large lump forming on his father's temple. 'Well Dad you don't do things by halves do you.' Dean muttered sitting back on his haunches he regarded the stairs leading to Sam's position, and John's heavy and probably concussed unconscious body at the rear of the house. 'So what do I do now?'

'Fresh meat!' the slobbering voice came from behind him and turning quickly Dean pulled the shotgun up, aimed and fired it in one smooth motion, watching with grim satisfaction as the spook crumpled on impact, 'mine, my meat.' The female's voice came in a singsong whisper and Dean aimed and fired at her, throwing the now empty shotgun at his feet.

'Gotta get you outta here Dad.' He said, 'come on Dad help me out here.'

A soft moan came from the stairs and Dean looked up to see Sam swaying dangerously on the top step. 'No Sam don't move.' He yelled, 'damn the two of you are gonna be the death of me.' Scrambling up as fast as he could Dean ran towards Sam just as his younger brother lost his balance and started to tumble down.

'Shit Sammy.' Dean dove forward just as Sam reached the bottom step managing to catch his semi-conscious brother before he collided head first with the floor.

Breathing heavily he lay flat on his back and tried to calm his erratic heartbeat, Sam's head rested on his stomach as he placed a protective arm across Sam's chest. 'Damn bro you want me to have a heart attack?'

Twenty painfully slow minutes later Dean managed to get his father and brother into the impala, he took one last look at the house before sliding into the driver's seat and with a spray of dust and rocks sped away from the cursed place.

Pulling up at the front of their small ground floor apartment, Dean sent up an anonymous thank you for no more stairs, he unlocked the front door and then went back to the car, helping his barely conscious father out first, he propped him up as they limped inside and dumped him unceremoniously onto the sofa before rushing back to Sam. opening the back passenger side door Dean bent down and took in his baby brother's appearance, the bruises already forming around his throat looked more like a stormy sky, a mixture of black, grey, purple and a dark green, swollen and made his breathing sound harsh and forced. Another bruise ran down the side of his face from his temple to jaw. The makeshift bandage around his leg was already soaked with blood and had crimson droplets dripping onto the floor.

'Damn it Sammy, you are so cleaning that up when you're feeling better.' Dean tugged his brother to a seated position, slipped his arm under his arms and hauled him upright. 'You are so getting bricks on your head to stop you growing.' Dean added huffing under his baby brother's weight.

---------------------------------

Christmas Eve 1998

Dean sat watching the flames in the two graves die down enough for him to start filling them back in. He smiled ruefully as he thought of the glares from his father and brother when he announced he was doing the salt and burn solo. After spending hours, cleaning and patching up his family's wounds Dean finally had time to breath. Sam had no voice until the swelling went down and he couldn't move far until the stitches came out of his leg so he resorted to sitting and staring at everyone for hours at a time, John fared little better, slightly concussed he spent two days sleeping off and on, his sprained ankle strapped but he still couldn't put his weight on it, forced him to stop and to rest for a few days. His temper shortening with each day that passed.

After returning him and while he watched over his family, Dean researched the local archives and found out who the hungry spooks were. Shaking his head, he frowned and wanted to berate his father for leading them into a dangerous situation without thoroughly researching first.

Actually, Dean didn't know what to think, it was so unlike his father to do that, especially with both boys at his side. In 1893, a local butcher, Alfred Schmidt and his daughter Abigail, died in a murder suicide from which his wife Ingrid and daughter Lizabeth survived. He apparently disappeared for several months only to return with an unhealthy appetite for human flesh. When his family found out, he set out to murder them and then kill himself. The surviving wife and daughter died from mysterious circumstances a year later.

Dean found the graves of Alfred and Abigail easily and went back to do the salt and burn on his own, taking delight in the silence and truce between the parent and youngest child.

Dean kicked his boots off and dumped the duffle bag by the front door before carrying his bag of goodies into the living room. 'Hey Sammy, hey Dad.' He greeted the other Winchesters with a big grin, 'happy Christmas.'

'Dean.' John grumbled scowling at his overly cheerful eldest son.

Sam went to open his mouth but shut it again when he saw the look on Dean's face, 'uhhuh Sammy nope no talking until the swelling goes down.'

Dean rubbed his hands together and regarded his family with a look of pure unadulterated glee. 'So this is nice isn't it, Sammy can't talk and Dad can't run,' he started, 'so I got to thinking it's about time we did Christmas.'

'Dean we don't have time for such frivolous things.' John growled.

'Uh uh Dad, I'm the one who didn't get bitten, shoved, choked or tossed repeatedly so it's my choice on what we are gonna do.' Dean grinned even more and went back to the front door for a few seconds, returning with a bedraggled looking Christmas tree with lights and a few decorations. Then humming softly to himself, he pulled out three parcels from his bag and placed them under the tree. Finally, he disappeared into the kitchen a small bottle of brandy, a carton of premade eggnog and snacks firm held in his grasp.

'Damn it Dean what are you doing?' His father's irate sounding voice came filtering through making Dean chuckle softly as he imagined Sam's face darkening with impotent anger as well.

Putting everything onto a tray he carried the goodies back into the living room and placed it on the coffee table. He handed Sam a glass of eggnog without the brandy first, 'sorry Sammy but ixna-on-the-booze-a-with-the-pain pills.' He grinned before 'doctoring' a glass each for himself and John, 'Happy Christmas guys, here's to a silent, fight free holiday.'

'Dean.' John growled but this time there was no anger behind it, as he sipped on the alcoholic drink and sat back, 'thank you son.'

'D-Dean.' Sam pushed his brother's name out, took a sip of the soothing creamy drink and smiled up at his brother.

'Oh Sammy, by the way while I was out I ran into a pretty young thing name of Becky?'

'Dean?' Sam sat up his eyes wide, his gaze flickering from his father to his brother, 'what?'

'Hey, hey no talking, I said that you have come down with the dreaded lurgy and can't talk, so she's coming to see you just after Christmas.'

'Thanks.' Came the hoarse reply.

'So shut the hell up and rest those throat muscles you're gonna need em when she comes to visit.'

'Dean.' this time it was John who chastised him, but undeterred Dean moved out of reach of his family and turned on his full smile. He stared down at his bruised and forcibly silent brother, even though he was enjoying the respite from the constant arguing and digging Dean did sympathise with his sibling, and then he turned his attention to his very impatient and frustrated father who hated the fact that he was unable to go anywhere until his ankle healed enough for him to walk unaided, again Dean sympathised to a certain extent with his father.

'Happy Christmas Dad, Sammy. A little worse for wear but we're here together on Christmas eve, and I couldn't ask for anything more.' Dean raised his glass of eggnog and saluted his brother and father. 'So nuff of the chick flick stuff ... who wants presents?'