Title: Have Yourself a
Merry Little Christmas
Beta'd by: Munibunny
Genre: angst, humour, romance, wincest
Setting: past, present (S3), and future, also AU thanks to "A Very Supernatural Christmas"
Summary: Sam's mouth thinned into an unhappy line. Dean watched him shake his head, and get out of the car. This time when the door slammed, it was on purpose. And yeah…Dean could tell the difference.
Spoilers: Bedtime Stories
Word Count for Story: 10,514
Disclaimer: I do not own the boys. If I did the show would be incredibly naughty and no network would air it. Except Pay-per-view.
A/N: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wolfling! I chose to do your #2 prompt: A look at Winchesters Christmases past, present and future. I hope you're having a wonderful holiday and I wish you all the best in the new year!
A/N 2: Written for spnholidays
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star
upon the highest bough.
And have yourself
A merry little Christmas now.
Winter was hell on the Impala. Frosted windshields led to the grating scrape of plastic whenever the windshield scraper dragged against glass. Apologies were mumbled as crystallized mud and snow were kicked out of the wheel wells, promises of hot weather and a perfect wax job whispered soothingly as she was forced to start in the cold and move before having the chance to heat up properly.
He was going to kick Sam's ass for this.
Dean growled as he cranked the heat.
Why they couldn't have driven down to Florida or anywhere in the warmer south of the country to wait out winter, Dean would never know. Instead of lazing comfortably on some beach, he was rubbing his hands in front of the Impala's dash heaters somewhere in the bleak, barren whiteness of North Dakota.
Damn South Dakota, damn North Dakota, damn Bobby, damn Bobby's friend, and damn Sam.
Dean was cold, the Impala was cold, and he knew, but wouldn't admit to, running away to the car to get away from Sam. If he had to hear about how cold it was up in fucking Canada one more time, and how he should be glad they weren't up there this time of year, he was going to strangle himself. Or maybe Sam. Or maybe he'd strangle Sam then strangle himself. Like one of those murder-suicide things. Light a few candles, say a few poems; it could be romantic and shit.
Sighing miserably, Dean leaned his head back on the seat but the cold stiffened leather was…cold and stiff. In other words, it sucked. Kind of like Bobby sucked, since this whole enterprise he was embarking on was the other hunter's bright idea. At the very least Bobby could have mentioned it to him first so he could nip it in the bud before Sam heard about it.
But no, Bobby was a sneaky, mean old bastard and made a passing reference right in front of Sam, knowing, knowing that Dean's impressionable baby brother would pick up on it and hold it close to his chest, love it and hug it and squeeze it, and if he could (Dean was sure) make love to it.
But God damn it, Bobby should have known better than to put ideas into Sam's head!
Because now here Dean was, sitting ice cold – despite begging and coaxing, the Impala wasupset – waiting for Sam to get directions to the cabin. Dean was offended that Sam didn't trust his navigational skills to find the damn place.
It seemed Bobby knew another hunter that wouldn't be using his winter cabin this year. A hunt had kept him out, and by the way the witch kept moving, it was going to take him another month to pin her down. He liked to keep the cabin maintained every year, and having someone else take care of it if he couldn't get up there, would not only be helping him out, but gave Sam a convenient in to plot a "vacation".
And plotting it was.
Because seriously? He could rest when he was dead. And less than six months from now?
Hell fire. He was going down and there was nothing Sam could do about it.
Also right now? He didn't want to think about it. He wasn't thinking about it. Because if he did he knew cold panic would grip him in its arms, and everything he had been keeping down since he felt that bitch's sulfur encrusted lips pressed against his would come up and that would be the end of everything.
So out of his mind it went, out of his mind, locked in a trunk, and buried ten feet under. Gone. Poof. Out of the way.
Dean shook his head.
He was still cold. And he should probably appreciate that when he could.
This "vacation" had better not have been a code word for Bobby telling Sam about something to wager out of the deal. Dean would be pissed if it was.
Sighing, he watched Sam step out of the gas station and head back towards the car. The Impala's doors creaked louder than ever when he opened it, and got inside. Dean winced as it cracked shut.
"Dude, watch the doors."
"She doesn't like the cold."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Again, what?"
"My car, Sam. She's not happy. And with you slamming doors all over the place it's bound to put her in a worse mood."
"I didn't slam the door."
"Not what it sounded like to us."
"I'm not having this conversation with you, and I was right – you needed to take a right at the junction, it's about thirty miles up from there."
Throwing the car in drive, Dean manoeuvered back onto the main stretch and retraced the route they had come. It wasn't his fault that Bobby couldn't write for shit, fucking chicken scratch was what it was. Dean thought it said 'left', and Sam being contrary had chosen 'right', so of course it was going to be a 50/50 chance for error somewhere there.
The snow crunched under the tires before he pulled off onto the highway. He hated winter driving; because somewhere underneath all that snow was ice. Ice that was just lurking out of sight, and the moment you hit it was the minute the car spun out of control and into the ditch. He didn't want his car wrecked thank you. Again, anyway. Especially trying to get somewhere he didn't have to be. Dean would have preferred to be somewhere that didn't have the chance to total his car, but no, Sam had his whims, and his whims had taken Dean to middle-of-nowhere North Dakota.
Cranking up Motorhead, the trip to the junction and the thirty miles to the cabin were spent in blessed silence. Thank God for small favours.
He should have known something was up though. Sam was never quiet.
Turing down the right road, Dean resisted the urge to groan. The only thing worse than icy high ways was snow covered gravel roads that were too out of the way to be plowed, and if they got stuck, he swore Sam would be the one doing all the pushing.
Gritting his teeth, and not wanting to push his luck that his brother would start bitching, he silently promised the Impala everything under the sun if she'd get them the fuck down the road and up to the cabin. He could already see it through the trees.
And all right, it looked better than he thought it would as he drove up and parked close in front. Turning off the ignition, he leaned back and took a look through the windshield. It still wasn't worth the snow and freakin' cold though. And the car was getting colder without the heat. A huff to his right did nothing for his already cheery disposition.
"So now what?"
"What do you mean 'now what'? Now we go in."
"Do we have to?"
And there was the bitch-face. Despite the hot sex they had going on, Sam was still such a little brother at times. Go figure. And didn't he know how to use it. A double whammy of sex and a sibling bond. It was the reason Dean was stranded in the cold. In the middle of no where. Surrounded by snow.
"Do you even know why we're up here?"
Ah, the Holier-Than-Thou voice, he hated that voice.
"No. I don't," Dean snapped, facing Sam. "You want to enlighten me?"
Well, that was…well.
Sam's mouth thinned into an unhappy line. Dean watched him shake his head, and get out of the car. This time when the door slammed, it was on purpose. And yeah…Dean could tell the difference.
Glancing down at his watch, he actually looked at the digital date readout.
It was Christmas Eve, and he didn't even noticed. How that was possible with the lights and decorations they must have passed throughout towns and cities, he wasn't going to dwell on.
He'd nearly missed the holiday. Their holiday. And Christ, it wouldn't be the first one he fucked up either.
The key turned in the lock, and as soon as the tumblers clicked Dean stepped quietly into the house. The lights were off and he couldn't hear any sound moving from within. His first reaction was a sigh of relief and he shuffled the package in his hands. Thankful for once that Sam wasn't waiting up at all hours of the night.
Reaching up to the shelf in the closet, he moved aside some of his dad's old shirts to carefully set down the gift he had gotten Sam. Christmas Eve shopping was a bitch, but fuck if he didn't think he had more time than he did. So stupid that he nearly missed the damn day. He hoped dad bought a calendar for one of them this year.
Gift safely hidden, Dean let out a sigh of relief and basked in the silence of the house.
It was quiet, he guessed Sam was out for the count.
Until he listened again.
Not even the soft snore he could usually hear from coming down the hall. He tried to smother the panic that threatened to well in his chest. Images of what had happened in the past with Sam all alone and dad off on a hunt rushed forward in his mind, and he had to consciously stop himself from going for a shotgun.
Sam had to be home. Everything was salted, everything sigiled, everything protected; there was no way something could get in to hurt him, there wasn't. He made sure of it every night.
That still didn't stop the feeling that something was wrong. The house felt wrong.
Slipping off his shoes, he moved as silently as he could in sock feet through the living room. The house they were living in was small, the hallway that led directly to his and Sam's room was straight across from the living room. Creeping down the dark corridor, the only light came from the soft glow of the streetlight he could see shining in from the room in question.
Maybe he shouldn't have left tonight, but damn it he forgot it was Christmas Eve. He still thought he had three days until the holiday. He supposed that's what hunting without a calendar in the middle of December did for his internal clock.
Pausing in the doorway of his shared room with his brother, Dean nearly sagged in relief to see the tell-tale lump half hidden under the covers. The street lights highlighted the top mass of too-long brown hair. Maybe dad's Christmas present to Sam would be a trip to the barbers. The corners of his mouth turned up.
Stealthy thy name is Dean.
Turning to go back down the hall to the bathroom, the smallest of sounds made him stop. It wasn't much, and anyone else probably wouldn't have heard it; but Dean was trained. Trained for the smallest of anything lest something evil try to sneak up on him and kill him.
But this. It couldn't have been what he thought it was.
A quiet drawing breath in; sniffling. Muffled under covers.
"Sam?" he called, barely higher than a whisper.
The lump didn't move. And what movement from breathing stopped all together.
"Sam, I know you're up."
Dean's brows grew tight together, and his mouth opened and closed.
A louder sniff this time, the nose drawing snot and mucus back inside after it tried its wet escape. A hitch in breath, and Jesus Christ, was Sam crying?
His baby brother?
His 'I-will-hold-onto-my-pain-while-you-sew-me-up', already too stoic than any fifteen year old should ever be, that brother?
Ice shoved its way into Dean's stomach. What if he was hurt? What if the little brat had gone out while Dean was gone and got himself roughed up, or something supernatural found him or, God what if Dean wasn't careful enough and something got in? Something got in and hurt his brother, and he was nowhere to be seen?
Dean was across the floor in seconds and sitting on the bed.
He tried to reach for Sam's shoulder only to have him flinch away.
"Don't touch me."
"Dude, come on, are you hurt? Are you bleeding?"
"Just go away."
Dean was at a loss. He could never deal with this Sam. The Sam that had hit his teens and decided that he didn't need anybody. Dean had never been able to shut him up when he was young, but now it was like pulling teeth. And he had to know, he had to know what was wrong with his brother. He had to know if he was hurt, if Dean had fucked up in some way to protect him. Again.
Sam was the world. And Dean hated it, couldn't stand it when Sam was unhappy, when Sam was sad. And something had upset him bad tonight. Something Dean didn't know. Something bad enough to have him hiding in bed, and pulling away.
"Go. Away." His voice was wet and angry.
He didn't know what to do. Dean didn't know what to do to make this right.
Think. Think, think, think, think.
A warm drink? Tea? Hot chocolate?
He had to do something with his hands, and Sam wouldn't let him touch him.
Reluctantly, Dean rose from the bed and headed towards the bedroom door. He'd get some chocolate into Sam. That always made things better right? It made chicks happy, and Sam was sort of a chick.
He hated how Sam made him helpless.
"Why'd you even come back tonight?"
Dean's feet skidded to a halt. His heart lurched.
"Or did you fuck Vanessa and tell her little Sammy was all alone so you had to cut it short. I don't need you."
And that last part would have sounded a lot more convincing if it didn't end on a choked back sob. Clinging, wet, hurt, and angry.
Dean's chest contracted. That's why Sam was angry.
It was their holiday and Dean had nearly ruined it without a backwards glance. He'd nearly…and Sam knew, he remembered what day it was, and he thought…
"I wasn't with her."
A disbelieving snort echoed behind him.
"I didn't sleep with her," he corrected. "Sammy, I thought it was the twenty-first until she told me what day it was."
Turning back around, Dean sat on the edge of Sam's bed.
When he didn't get a response, he lay down beside Sam and wrapped an arm around him to prevent his brother from rolling away from him.
"Get off me, jerk!"
"No." He held on until Sam gave up and huffed. "Deal with it, bitch."
"I don't need you."
"Just stop okay?"
Please God let him stop. Sam had to quit saying that; Dean never wanted to think of a day when his little brother didn't need him. He never wanted to think about it. He didn't want it to ever be true.
"Sam I swear. I didn't mean to forget."
"Well you did."
He was never going to get anywhere talking to the back of Sam's head. So ignoring protests and swears, Dean manoeuvered himself over top of Sam until they were facing.
"I wouldn't ditch you for some chick. Not today."
Red rimmed eyes met his own. He'd left his brother alone on Christmas Eve. Dad was on a hunt and Dean had just left with a 'don't wait up' behind him. Why the hell hadn't he checked the date?
"Would it make you feel better if I said I spilled my drink in her lap to get away from her?"
"Did you really?" The corner of Sam's mouth twitched.
"Was it a really hot drink?"
Dean grinned. "I worry about you sometimes, little brother."
Sam smiled, and Dean's entire world righted. He'd make it up to Sam.
Dean dropped his head onto the steering wheel. Was it any wonder why Sam was pissed? And again it was because of him. It was only the next great fuck up of Dean Winchester.
Christ, was he really going to do this? Was he really going to turn this down? Spending two or three days alone with Sam, all by themselves in the middle of nowhere in quiet seclusion? Was he really going to turn down the chance to be with Sam without having to worry about the next hunt, the next few months; the day when his ticket came due?
They could just be. Just exist together, in love, like anyone else without the burdens they carried. Even if it was only for Christmas.
Who was he to say 'no' to that? This was for him and Sam.
And when Dean's time was up, he wanted to remember Sam's smile.
Dean kicked the snow off his boots when he came in the front door. There was at least twenty feet of it out front. Damn Dakotas.
He looked around for Sam while getting his boots and jacket off. It wasn't a very big cabin; one open room with couches and fireplace, a hallway that separated dining room and kitchen to the right. He assumed the bedroom was off the kitchen somewhere.
Sam was sitting not ten feet in front of him on one of the couches, shoulders hunched as he stared into the fireplace. There was already a blaze started on the logs there.
"We can leave. If you want, we can…find a hunt somewhere, I just…" His voice trailed off.
Dean felt his own shoulders sag. He'd seen how gungho Sam was about coming up here in the beginning, and Dean did nothing but drag him down.
"Sam, no. Look I just…I forgot okay? I didn't know today was Christmas Eve."
Sam turned to look at him. Brow furrowed, the surprise was evident on his face as he watched his older brother.
"You haven't forgotten since…"
He watched Sam process the information before he stood up, and sighed, walking towards Dean.
"We can still find another hunt," said Sam.
"No. No, I want to be here. It's okay."
"Okay." Sam smiled warmly. And it was a beautiful thing, only this time Dean had to look up to see it. When the hell did his baby brother get so freaking huge? Definitely when he wasn't watching, which seemed wrong, because Dean was always watching.
"I didn't get you a present," Dean said.
"You being here's enough. I'm just…I'm glad you're here, you'll be here next year too."
All thoughts of girly teasing went out the window; it always did when Sam brought that up.
"No. You will be here, I promise. That's a promise I won't break."
Dean didn't want to fight so he let it go without argument. If Sam wanted to think he could save him, there was nothing anyone could do to change his mind. He was hit with the stubborn stick harder than dad had been. And that was scary.
He didn't want to talk, or think about the Deal.
Sam was giving him a break, and he was going to take it willingly.
"Oh God, the best thing about Christmas is s'mores."
Dean was a happy man. Oh how he was. And he decided that he liked this Darrel guy who owned the cabin. The pantry was stock full of everything Dean loved, and finding ingredients to s'mores was awesome.
Even better when Sam found the barbeque tongs.
Graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow, held together by tongs and roasted over an open fire. All that hot melty goodness just waiting to go into his mouth like it was the greatest honour it was going to have to be eaten by him.
Dean took his finished s'more and bit into it, not caring in the least as melted chocolate squished out onto his face and shirt.
So good. So melty.
He chewed with his mouth open, one part to offset the heat of the marshmallow, and the second part because he knew how much it bothered Sam when he ate like a pig. But when he looked over, somehow Sam wasn't looking at him like he was disgusting. His eyes were hooded and staring at Dean's mouth.
"What?" asked Dean, as he chewed and swallowed.
Sam's answer was to lean over and pull Dean's bottom lip into his mouth as he sucked. Letting go, he licked his way to the corner of Dean's mouth, to his top lip, to the next corner. Sam's mouth didn't so much as settle on him as it did devour. Licking, and pulling, tasting. Dean leant into him and went with it. If Sam wanted to take his mouth he was more than welcome. And so was the tongue forcing its way passed his lips, licking along his molars, the roof of his mouth, chasing every last trail of chocolate that was left. When Sam finally pulled off, he left a bite on Dean's lower lip, pulling and tugging, finishing where he started.
Dean felt Sam's saliva around his lips trying to dry, and just blinked as his brother reached up to wipe it off his skin.
"Did you ah," he swallowed. "Miss my mouth there a bit?"
"It's impossible to miss your mouth."
And wasn't that the truth. His lips were too full, too girl-like. An invitation to sin. Just another beautiful part to add to the perfect package. The face that dropped a thousand panties. And Sam's too. But Sam meant it.
"Do you remember the first time we kissed?"
"Where'd that come from?" asked Sam.
"I don't know. Do you?"
"Course I do. It was the last Christmas you forgot about," started Sam. "I woke up with you in the morning, you cooked me Christmas breakfast and we ate and watched the holiday specials on tv. Then I kissed you, you kissed me back. Which was a good thing because I was planning your death before you came home the night before."
"I didn't you know," he said softly.
"I know. You didn't smell like her."
"Dude, I what?" he turned to look at Sam, Sam who was calmly pulling apart a newly melted s'more when the memory hit, "…wait, you mean that whole bury your face into my neck thing you did that night, you weresmelling me?"
Sam looked at him. "Um…yes?"
"You're such a bitch."
Sam sighed. "It wasn't a problem until that year. The Christmas thing would have been, but not the girl."
"So that year was when…"
"You were more than my brother? Yeah."
"Yeah." Dean looked away. "But you know. You're wrong. That wasn't our first kiss."
Sam furrowed his brow. "What are you talking about?"
"Wasn't our first kiss. It was years before that actually…"
Green toy soldiers littered the floor as Dean tried to teach his three-year-old brother how to play army men. It would have been a lot easier if Sammy wasn't so interested in eating them instead. Every minute it seemed like Dean was rescuing a fallen comrade that had succumbed to the Sammy-monster.
Dean wrinkled his nose as he saved the latest soldier that had been swamped in spit and drool.
Daddy had left them playing in their own corner of Caleb's living room as he went to talk to people about work. Everyone around them was a hunter, like dad, so it was finally okay for him to talk to people that were around.
Caleb's sister, who was littler than Caleb was watching out for them, and she had said that they were having a little get-together for everyone. A "reprieve" she had told daddy. It was like a Christmas party she told Dean later when he'd asked.
He liked parties. There were cookies.
Dean turned his attention back to his little brother. He watched Sammy drop an army man and stand up wobbily.
Dean stood and took Sam's hand instead. As much as he wanted to pick Sammy up, dad had been telling him not to. That Sam had to learn to go places on his own, and that he'd get spoiled if Dean did everything for him. He liked carrying Sammy, but he wouldn't because they were with people right now, and carrying his brother was something he only did when it was them by themselves so daddy wouldn't tell him to put Sam down.
"Come on Sammy."
"If you walk to the kitchen I'll give you a cookie."
Dean watched Sam try and figure out which he wanted more, and after waiting long enough that was reasonable for a seven-year-old, Dean decided for him and manfully ignored Sam's pouted complaints as he walked ahead of Sam and pulled him by the hand. Dean promised himself he'd make it up to Sammy later.
He walked across the living room and was about to go through the doorway when he stopped. Sammy took the opportunity to wrap his chubby arms around Dean's waist, and snuggle into him while Dean thought.
Every time people went through the door together they kissed. He'd seen it, and Rachel said it was because of the mistletoe hanging from the top. When Dean had looked at the funny green and white plant, he didn't think it looked anything like missiles or toes. That had been disappointing. But looking up at the plant now, Dean wasn't sure what to do. Was it going to hurt if he went through without doing the same ritual everyone else did? Would it hurt Sam?
Better to be safe. That's what dad always said.
Pushing Sammy away a bit, he bent his head down quickly.
His dry lips pressed against baby soft.
"Dude, that doesn't count."
"What? It totally does." Dean looked affronted. That was their first kiss. He'd never thought about it as anything else but their first kiss; though for a lot of years he hadn't thought about or dwelled on it at all. It wasn't until he started having thoughts about Sam in a decidedly unbrotherly fashion years later that he went over it from every angle he could to see if that's where it started. It probably wasn't. It was innocent. But he could still remember how soft Sam felt. He'd been a squishy little pudge that was for sure, one of the reasons Dean liked cuddling into him. Not that he'd tell a soul.
"You didn't kiss me with intent," Sam argued.
"So? Was a real kiss. Stop tarnishing my memories."
Now though. Now Sam was definitely over his pudgy phase, had been over it since thirteen; from baby fat, to scarecrow knees and elbows, to that tightly muscled body that still amazed Dean.
Sam laughed. "So you can kiss me at three no problem, but when I was fifteen that's when you felt like a pervert."
"Just a little."
"That was a good Christmas though, that morning. It was good."
"Yeah. I mean we didn't do anything heavy, until you know…"
"After we started hunting together again."
"Is that why you left?" he asked quietly. "Because I wouldn't-" Dean stopped himself. Christ why the hell was he asking this now? He didn't want to know he was the reason he lost Sam the first time.
"It was never about you Dean," said Sam, understanding. "A lot of things were happening at the time. With us. With dad especially. And when I left I had to convince myself I wanted normal. And us, we weren't normal. I told myself it wouldn't work between us anyway, if you felt that way."
They fell into silence. As far away as Stanford felt now, it was still there when Dean thought about it. The four years that Sam had been away, the four Christmases that they had missed together. Those hurt. But the first two years he made himself drive up there, make sure Sam was all right. The next two he stopped going. The first because he and dad had been stuck in Louisiana, and the second he didn't bother. He'd driven by during the summer, seen Sam with Jess, and that was it.
"You know I- I thought about you," said Sam. "Every year at Stanford at this time."
"Yeah well, it was probably few and far between right? With all the college things going on, I mean, I'm sure you spent the holiday with Jess…"
Dean looked at Sam.
"I actually faked a stomach flu to get out of going to her parents, and making a big deal out of the holiday. And it wasn't just that. Did you know she had the same birthday as you?"
He didn't. That was…slightly disconcerting.
"As much as I loved her, she was never you. And that made her death worse. I've had to come to terms with that."
"Sammy…the Demon's dead, and when I'm gone you can go back-"
"No." Sam shook his head. "I'm done. There's no way I'm going back."
"No." He stared at Dean, trademark Winchester stubbornness set in his eyes. "I've accepted this life Dean. This is it. It's what I want, and I'm sorry it took me this long. You're my normal. You always have been. And you're not going anywhere."
The surety in Sam's voice was almost enough to convince him that there might be a way. But any way would probably come at too high a cost he was sure. Sam would get by on his own. He was the strong one, he always had been. Strong enough to stand up to dad, strong enough to hold his ground, strong enough to leave the family for college, and he'd be strong enough to get over Dean; unlike how Dean couldn't get over Sam.
Sammy was the world. And without him, there was nothing. He refused to live like that. If he had to give up his soul for Sam he'd do it all over again. Having him living and breathing next to him meant everything, and it was worth an eternity in hell. Even a second with him would have been; a year was just a bonus.
Sam stood and started moving towards the kitchen. "Want anything?"
"Grab me a beer."
He watched Sam walk. Even if Stanford was three years in the past, they still didn't like bringing it up, Sam with his lingering guilt, and Dean with the pain of nearly losing his brother forever. At least that's how it had felt at the time. He didn't want to think about a world without Sam in his arms. It was his last year, and he deserved to be selfish, after so many years of holding his tongue and biting back everything he wanted. He was going to keep Sam for as long as he could. Even if it was only a few more months. He was hanging on until then.
Dean cocked his head towards the hall. He couldn't hear any sound coming from the kitchen which was weird in and of itself. Sam usually made noise.
Standing up, he made his way to an empty kitchen.
Following Sam's yell, Dean found the door to the basement and followed the stairs down to find Sam going through boxes.
"Look at this."
Well, if there was one way to cut through the unintended melancholy…
Sam smiled as he held up a string of Christmas lights.
"I think all the Christmas decorations are down here."
"And? Not like we have a tree or anything."
And there was the milder form of Sam's bitchface, which Dean didn't know why he was getting this time.
"We're surrounded by trees, Dean. We'll just go cut one down."
"It's cold out. And how's it going to stand up?"
Sam looked around and shuffled through a few more boxes before letting out a triumphant yell. He stood back and showed Dean his find, some…weird thing.
"What is it?"
"It's a tree stand."
"Oh." Dean looked at it. "Do we have to?"
And again with the look.
"The things I do for sex with you," he muttered.
He'd never had to cut down a Christmas tree before, but if it made Sam happy he was more than willing to once again freeze his ass off outside. The one thing he was thankful for was that the trees were already very close to the house, so it made finding one all the easier.
Sam found one he liked pretty quickly, which Dean wasn't expecting. He thought Sam would get his princess on and spend at least an hour dragging Dean into the forest to find the perfect tree. But all they spent was maybe twenty minutes, half hour tops getting the thing, and wading through snow up to their knees. His legs were feeling pins and needles by the time they were inside.
The shower in the cabin was remarkably nice, and Dean spent a wonderful God-who-cared how long underneath the spray, yet it was a bit lonely. Sam had to be as cold as he was, but he never joined him in the shower.
Finally dragging himself from the bathroom and re-clothed, he found Sam beneath the tree. It looked like he had changed into dry clothes, and Dean couldn't help but laugh as Sam came out from beneath the pine. His hair looked stupid covered in pine needles from securing the tree's base.
"I could have helped."
"I didn't want to wait," said Sam. "'sides I got it." He looked at the slightly crooked tree proudly.
"Looks good Sammy."
"Yeah, it's been a while since we did this." Sam had brought up boxes of tinsel and lights earlier, and was trying to sort out the lights from their tangles.
Dean walked around and sat down on the couch, pulling a box onto his lap. Red ball ornaments sat neatly in their packaging, just waiting for their turn at another year strung up on a branch for all to see.
He turned his head when Sam made a happy sound, the light situation had been sorted out and he had starting to wind them around the branches. Sam looked good. Better than good. The fire's light reflected off him in ways that highlighted copper in his hair, the slope of his nose, corded forearms. Those same arms that liked to hold Dean down as Sam took, and took, and took while Dean gave everything over willingly. He loved the physicality Sam had. And when he really wanted, when he wasn't trying to hide his height and dropping in on himself, he was amazing. His baby brother, so much bigger than he was…God help him if that wasn't hot.
Even hotter when Sam used that size in bed, hard and unyielding; in complete control; and if he kept up that line of thought the tree would never get finished, and Sam would bitch no matter how sated.
Dean shifted the box on his lap.
Sam huffed out a laugh. "I'm decorating a tree and you're turned on?"
There were other things he could say, he was sure, but after trying and failing he landed on, "Yeah."
At least it made Sam smile.
"Give me that box."
"Why? You wanna decorate my tree?"
"Maybe later." Sam took one of the red bobbles out and jiggled it. "Not sure you'd appreciate me hanging an ornament off it."
Dean grinned. "Not the ornament I was thinking about."
And he could imagine it too. Sam, spread out on hands and knees thrusting backwards onto his cock. He'd hold onto Sam's hips, not pulling but guiding. Watch himself disappear inside Sam's body, stretched and open, wet and shiny with lube; impossibly tight since his brother hadn't bottomed in a long while. He'd grip Dean like a vice.
He swelled tighter in his jeans.
And Sam, that bastard, with his smirky little smile, hung the ornament on the tree oh so slowly.
"I think I'm flattered."
Dean was going to hit him. He really was, at least until Sam moved his gargantuan body in front of him and kicked his knees apart. Hello.
Watching Sam kneel in front of him, his breathing hitched as those huge hands ran up his thighs. Caressing, stroking, kneading. From his knees up to an inch away from his groin, but before Dean could open his mouth to tell him to go higher, Sam's hands were there. Deft fingers undid the top button of his pants and followed down undoing the rest of the button-fly. Dean grunted and breathed out a sigh as his cock was freed from its denim confines. More than half hard, but still getting there, all he wanted was Sam on him anyway possible.
Dean laughed. "Merry Christmas Sammy."
His laugh was choked off as Sam wrapped a hand around him and stroked. Christ, Sam's hands. Those giant, motherfucking hands. Dean threw his head back on the couch, and thrust his hips lazily in time with Sam's slow, hard pace.
Down, slow and soft.
Up, hard and tight.
Rinse and repeat, Dean was in a good place. Warm palm, and callused fingers hot against him, jerking him, bringing him to full hardness. And watching Sam. Watching Sam watch him. It was something Dean noticed when they started, whenever Sam touched him like this he liked to watch, catalogue Dean's reactions, see him break apart. And hell, if Dean didn't like to watch him back. His eyes were heat, want, and sex; his geeky little brother given way to this. Blue eyes that sparked and locked onto Dean's green, held his gaze and watched him moan and thrust, arch and pant.
This was the Sam that would throw him on his back and fuck him. Hips snapping up fast into Dean's ass, hands bruising hips, teeth biting hard into the crook of his neck, tongue lapping, soothing, before the next set of teeth marks imprinted into flesh.
Fuck, he needed to come.
He could feel the wetness starting to bead on the head of his cock, hot and sticky. Sam thumbed beneath the head on his next upstroke, making him jerk and gasp.
"Sam, Sam, come on…"
And let nobody say his baby brother couldn't take orders, as breathy and needy as they were. Sam's mouth twitched into a smirk, his eyes heavy. Sex was a power trip.
Dean gave a squeak, which he would later deny vehemently, when Sam bent down and ran the tip of his tongue over the slit of his cock. Pressing in and around, licking off the pre-come. Sam swirled his tongue around the top before taking the entire head into his mouth.
God, Dean loved that mouth. He arched and groaned as Sam took him deeper, his tongue working along Dean's dick as it slid in and out between those perfect lips. His mouth was so hot, warm and wet, so soft. He bucked at the soft scrape of teeth against sensitive flesh. Sam's hand had kept up its strokes at the base, as he tried to fit as much of Dean as possible in his mouth.
Dean could feel his balls tightening, readying to release everything he had. And Sam had to be starting to read minds, because he pulled off once, licked a strip up Dean's cock, and took him as deep in his throat as he could, sucking, and licking. Hot suction, and steady strokes.
He choked on Sam's name when he came, pulsing deep and long; he could feel Sam working to swallow his spurts. He softened slowly in Sam's mouth, groaning as his brother finally pulled off, pressing a kiss to the spent organ, Sam pressed his face into the dip of Dean's hip, nose buried in the blonde curls surrounding Dean's dick.
Dean wished he could raise his head. He heard the hurried fumble as Sam dragged down the zipper of his own jeans, and listened to Sam groan as he fisted his own hot length.
Hot breath panted over Dean's soft cock and exposed balls as Sam worked to bring himself off. Sam pressed his head deeper against Dean as he tensed and jerked, his come spilling onto the floor.
Sam relaxed and breathed deeply against him. "Never gets old," he sighed.
Dean smiled crookedly. "Dude, I can't move."
Sam lifted his head and shot Dean with a full on grin, eyes full of light, clear of the shadows that clung to them most of the time now. He was happy. That was all Dean ever wanted.
His brother huffed out a laugh. "Jerk."
Dean managed to lift a hand to run through Sam's hair.
After they'd cleaned up, Sam had managed to finish the rest of the tree. Lights glistened, tinsel shone, and the ornaments reflected the steady glow of the fireplace. Christmas had always been the most relaxing time for them. It was such a change to just take a break from it all. To sit still and let the world continue on around them, when it seemed like they were trapped in their own little epoch.
Dean grinned at Sam's approach.
"Now that's why you're my favourite." He held out his hands for the plate stacked high with sandwiches that Sam was carrying, and to grab one of the two beer bottles he was holding by the necks.
Dropping the plate onto his lap, Dean picked up one of the sandwiches and bit into it, moaning. Oh yeah. Smoked ham and turkey meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, some incredible mayo, all folded lovingly together in the thickest pieces of whole bread he had ever seen. Fucking delicious. And it got even better when Sam rolled his eyes and disappeared back into the kitchen to bring out a huge bowl of chips and dip, popcorn, and a giant package of cookies.
He dropped them off on the coffee table and grabbed one of the sandwiches.
"What are you doing?" Sam stared as Dean opened his sandwich and started to put on a layer of chips.
"It's a wonderful thing Sammy, you should try it."
Dean kept watching Sam as he finished, and took a huge crunchy bite of his revamped sandwich. It was kind of cute, the weird, squinty 'my-brother's-an-idiot' look that Sam sometimes got. Kind of like the face he was using now.
Sam blinked, and shook his head, reaching for his beer.
Dean was happy. The bread, meat, and vegetables were all the more amazing when added with the crunch of barbeque chips. So good.
"Man, come on. You didn't say anything about how I ate the s'mores."
Sam coughed, and Dean would swear he saw him flush.
"How's it different. That stuff was all over me."
Sam leveled him with a look. "Would you rather I rub chocolate all over myself for you, or rub a sandwich all over myself?"
"Can you do both?"
"What? You offered!"
"It was an example!"
Dean turned back to his food. "I want that example."
He heard Sam huff in exasperation. But man, that would be something. Eating a sandwich off of his brother then licking up skin-warmed chocolate for dessert? God, he loved food. And Sam.
Food and Sam would be awesome.
"What?" Dean turned towards Sam. Apparently he'd been talking while Dean clocked out to fantasize about chocolate sauce and perfectly defined abs.
"I said. You used to do that, with the chips, when we were younger."
"Hey, yeah. That was some good eating back then."
"Didn't – didn't we have a fireplace one year too?"
"Oh, yeah. I think that was the year I nearly popped Santa."
"You did what?"
Dean smiled as he looked into the glowing embers in front of them. "Thought Santa might be a demon."
Sam rolled his eyes. "You knew what Santa was before Dean, why did you decide to hunt him that year?"
"You don't remember?"
"Remember what?" asked Sam.
"That it was all your fault," said Dean matter-of-factly. And it was too.
"Yeah, you wouldn't shut up about if I was sure Santa wasn't really evil, and after I told you there was nothing to worry about and sent you off to bed like little Cindy Lou Who, I started freaking myself out with 'what-ifs'. Thanks for that by the way." Dean toasted him with his beer.
Sam sighed. "Since when has a childhood idea like Santa or the Tooth Fairy ever turned out to be real, not to mention evil?"
"Dude, are you kidding me? Dad wasted the freakin' Easter bunny."
"That wasn't the Easter bunny, Dean, it was a jackalope."
"Giant bunny. In April. It was the freaking Easter bunny, Sam."
"The Easter bunny doesn't have antlers."
"Shows what you know," Dean muttered as Sam let out an annoyed huff.
"I'm not the one who stayed up all night trying to kill Santa Claus."
"No, you were the little bitch who fell asleep tucked into my shoulder, while I stayed up to kill Santa and stop him from eating you when he couldn't find the cookies…"
It was stupid. Deep down he knew he was being stupid. There was no such thing as Santa Claus. He was just something parents made up in order to find out what their kids wanted for Christmas, he wasn't real and he wasn't a demon.
But even still, that didn't stop Dean from building a fire in the fireplace in their rented home just in case something decided to come down the chimney.
Santa wasn't real. He wasn't coming into their house.
But just in case, along with the fire, a half ring of salt was hidden beneath the mat he put in front of the fireplace. Just in case. A lot of things weren't supposed to be real but were. It was hard to figure out which ones you should believe in and be scared of and which ones were just plain fantasy. In his dad's business you just didn't know until you started the research.
He told Sam that Santa wasn't real. And of course, Sam had to question it. So he did, right before falling asleep and leaving Dean to wonder if there were some things dad hadn't told him about Santa.
Dean felt paranoid after Sam went to sleep. And that was how he found himself unable to sleep, and staying up at all hours of the night to make sure nothing came down the chimney to attack him and Sam. Well, mostly Sam, since Dean assumed Santa liked younger kids, what with the innocence and all.
Dean glanced over at the .45 he tucked between the couch and the cushion beside him. If Santa managed the fire and salt lines, Dean would see how well he did against consecrated rounds. He had to protect Sam. He had to –
He jumped and jerked his head quickly towards Sam. Dean hadn't even heard him fumble in half asleep. He wasn't even trying to be stealthy. And if he couldn't hear Sam, then something else could have gotten passed him and –
"Dean? Why are you up?"
Dean blinked as Sam rubbed his eyes sleepily at him.
"You should be asleep, Sammy," he finally managed to get out. "Go back to bed, okay?"
Sam ignored him and crossed the living room floor to climb up onto the couch beside his big brother. His eyes were heavy with sleep, and Dean didn't know why he walked all the way out there instead of turning over and going back to bed in their room.
As it was, Sam could barely stay awake long enough to settle tightly against Dean, head pillowed on his shoulder, and already falling back to sleep.
Dean rolled his eyes. Santa might be coming to eat him and what did Sam do? Wandered around the house and fell asleep the first place he landed. Though Dean supposed it was his fault in the first place for telling Sam Santa wasn't real.
Sighing, he manoeuvered the flannel blanket from the back of the couch until it was laid over both him and Sam, tucking them in as well as he could.
Santa wasn't real. They were safe in the house. His eyes were getting heavy, which Dean blamed entirely on Sam. He fought off a yawn. Dropping his head down to rest on the top of Sam's, Dean watched the fireplace for any odd occurrences. He didn't expect it to put him to sleep.
The next time he woke up he was lying down in bed, Sammy still curled up next to him sound asleep and safe. Dean's brow furrowed in confusion until the lingering scent of sandalwood and gun powder was brought into awareness.
Dean smiled, and closed his eyes.
If Santa tried to break in, John Winchester was going to kick his ass.
Sam was curled up next to him, sound asleep and safe when Dean woke up. There wasn't anything in particular that woke him, he just found himself wide awake.
The clock read 3:17am. It was the early morning of Christmas Day.
Dean blinked and turned his head to stare at the ceiling. They had to gone to bed around 11, or well later if it was actual sleep. Sam was pressed against him, naked body flushed against his own, arm thrown over Dean's chest possessively even in sleep.
He tangled a hand in Sam's hair. Longer than it should be, but beautiful in the way his bangs sometimes fell into his eyes; and when coupled with that 'aw shucks' grin, no one in the vicinity could resist him. Dean buried his nose in his brother's hair and breathed in Sam's stupid fruity shampoo. As much as he busted Sam's ass for it - he liked it, and hoped Sam never went with another brand.
God, he was going to miss this. Waking up next to Sam, after sex or when they just called it a night and fell asleep in each other's arms. He already had his heaven. Sam gave it to him every day. And what was Hell, really? He'd already experienced it. There was a permanent reminder ripped up along Sam's spine in an angry, white scar.
He shuddered, but stilled when Sam shifted, face burying deeper in the curve of Dean's neck. It was worth it, every moment spent with Sam, held him, talked to him, hunted with him, driven with him, kissed him, touched him, made love to him…he would never regret bringing him back. He couldn't live without him. And despite what Sam thought, Sam could live without him.
This was their last Christmas together. Their last holiday. And Dean was going to make the next two days count. Sam would never forget this one, he'd have the memories. He'd look back with fondness and love, but he wouldn't let it hold him back.
Christmas had been theirs. But Sam would find someone else to celebrate it with next year. Dean wanted Sam happy, even if it was with someone else.
And that already hurt like hell.
It was nice at Pastor Jim's and Dean liked it. It was warm and cozy, and he always felt it was safe for Sammy. The two-year-old in question squirmed in his arms but made no protest to be let down.
He was getting heavier, but Dean was getting stronger too, so even when Sammy got real big, Dean would still be able to carry him.
He was always going to be bigger than little Sammy, and it was his job to watch out for him, daddy said so. Sammy needed him, and he wasn't letting go.
And right now his brother couldn't sleep. It was late, and he knew he should be in bed with Sammy, but Sammy liked it when he was carried. It always made him sleepy; a soft wuffle sound came from somewhere in the vicinity of Dean's neck; yep, made Sam sleepy.
Dean continued to pace the carpet with his brother in his arms. Even if Sam was getting heavy, he could still carry him. He could do it. It made Sam happy.
On his next pass, Dean looked up at the window in the room Jim had put them in. It was large and clear, and Dean liked the ledge he could climb on to look out of it. It had started snowing again, all big flakes, white and fluffy. He liked the snow.
Pastor Jim had even taken him and Sam to the park earlier. Daddy had been away but they were safe with Pastor Jim, he was nice. But the boy at the park hadn't been very nice. He'd said Dean must have been bad because Santa didn't bring him anything last year.
Santa. Dean almost hadn't remembered Santa.
"Why are there lights everywhere?"
"It's Christmas stupid, everyone puts them up. It's so Santa can find you."
He thought he remembered presents with Mommy; a big tree, pretty lights, cookies, and Santa coming in the morning; the tiny bump on Mommy's tummy that was going to be Sammy one day.
That didn't happen again after Mommy went away though.
Dean asked Pastor Jim later about Santa and Christmas. And it made sense that Santa couldn't find them since they were moving so much, and daddy knew how to move. They weren't bad, just always moving. Dean liked the Christmas story too. A special baby was born today, and he was good, and did lots of good things. Sammy was a good baby too, and Dean liked him the best. Even when he spit out his food.
Dean hitched Sammy up higher when he started to slip.
"Dee," said a sleepy mumble. One of Sam's hands rubbed at his eyes.
"Go to sleep Sammy, kay?"
Sam answered by wrapping his arms around Dean's neck and started to doze on his shoulder.
Dean hugged him closer and breathed in. He still had that soft baby smell that seemed to cling to his skin and never let go. All powder and milk, sleepy sweet all wrapped up in a Sammy shaped lump of puppy fat.
Sammy'd never had a Christmas before, not the ones with the tree and presents, but that was okay. Dean didn't think they needed it if they had each other. And they'd always be together for Christmas, the two of them; it could be their holiday.
"What do you think Sammy?" Dean whispered. "Is Christmas ours?"
The only reply he got was a sleepy breath against his neck and Sammy cuddling closer.
"It can be ours," said Dean. "We'll always be together on Christmas."
Finding his way to the bed, he manoeuvered them so they were lying together in a lump under the covers, curled warm around each other as the snow continued to fall outside. It would be their holiday, family should be together, and even if daddy was out, he had Sammy to take care of. Forever and always.
A smooth steady ray crept between the curtains highlighting the planes of Sam's stomach. The curtain was thin and worn, casting orange and red across the room. Morning came on a clear day; a clear sky that would slowly open up from its multitude of coloured dawn to a crisp blue in the hours ahead.
He watched the sunlit patterns dance across Sam's chest, watched his baby brother's chest rise and fall, alive and safe. Sam's head turned into the curve of Dean's neck, his breath steady and warm against Dean's skin.
He loved Sam in the morning. It was when Dean was free to just look. To take in the miles of Sam's body; tanned, hard, and perfectly sculpted – muscle more defined than Dean's own. He was beautiful. And there was something incredibly sexy about how his hair fell into his face while he slept.
Dean pressed his lips against Sam's forehead.
He shouldn't be here right now.
His time had run out.
He shouldn't bealive.
And he couldn't stop thinking about it. Sooner or later, he knew he'd be able to work it all out in his mind. But right now? He was reeling. Months after the fact, he still couldn't believe that both he and Sam were alive and well.
Talk about getting off on a technicality.
The entire year Sam had searched, but a deal was a deal, and that contract was iron clad in its simplest form. There wasn't any way Sam could have broken him out of it, apart from taking over Hell itself and voiding the contract.
But under no fucking circumstances was Dean letting Sam damn his own soul for his. His life wasn't worth millions of human deaths, legions of free demons, and Hell's reign on earth.
Fuck Azazel and the broomstick he rode in on. Sam wasn't evil. He was never going to be evil.
And Dean loved him. Sold his soul for him…
…only his soul, was never his to sell in the first place.
A year had come and gone, and the Collector had sent another Crossroads Demon in place of the original Crossroads that Sam had killed. They had met her head on, Sam trying and trying to think of a way out of it, still clinging to some last minute breakthrough, something he'd missed, some latent power that wouldn't drive him Darkside, but when it all came down to it…
She couldn't take Dean's soul.
No matter how hard she tried, nothing happened.
That's when the bitch found the fine print.
Dean's soul was the property of one Samuel Jacob Winchester, and had been since December 24th, 1983.
Christmas Eve, the year their mother died, a small four-year-old boy clung to his seven-month-old baby brother. He'd taken to sleeping with the baby ever since mommy went away. He had to keep Sammy safe. If he stayed with him, nothing could take him away, he wouldn't go away like mommy did if Dean hung on tight enough.
Take your brother outside as fast as you can! Don't look back! Now Dean, go!
Everyone was so sad now, and all Dean knew was that mommy had gone away to Heaven and wasn't coming back. He didn't know why, but that's what they told him.
She wasn't there for Christmas. She wasn't there for lights, and cookies, and hugs. No more smiles, no more kisses, no more time for Sammy.
Sammy wasn't going to have a Christmas like Dean thought he could remember; he apologized for not having a present for Sammy as he wrapped his arms more securely around his chubby, little body, and pulled him closer.
Dean offered his heart and soul instead.
And apparently, that was enough. The small whispered words of a four-year-old child made in all innocence, made with all honesty, and all love was enough.
His soul was bound to Sam.
He belonged to Sam.
It was the Crossroads demon's own fault for not checking into the legitimacy of the deal. She accepted an invalid offer, assuming Dean's soul was his to give. She could detect no deception from Dean because he had honestly forgotten about the freely given gift to his brother made twenty-four years ago.
And one cannot sell another person's property.
The new demon couldn't even negate the last Crossroad's resurrection of Sam. She made a bad deal, and got burned; as well, Dean didn't try to get out of the deal himself, so there was no violation.
Red tape. It'll make you nuts.
Dean sort of wished that the original Crossroads bitch was still around. He would have loved to see her face, and then wonder how she would fare telling her boss that Dean Winchester's soul wasn't scheduled for an eternity in Hell.
The relief he and Sam felt when everything came to light couldn't be described, but they had spent the next week tangled together in bed trying to describe it.
Months later, he was still getting used to the fact that he wasn't running on borrowed time anymore. He had a life time. Barring any hunts gone incredibly wrong.
He was alive. And Sam…
Sam shifted beside him, his arm tightening under Dean's back, and relaxing again in steady morning sleep. Sam had told him that he'd be around for another Christmas, that'd make sure of it. And he did, from the very beginning of the deal, Sam had held Dean's soul for safe keeping and hadn't even known it.
Life was definitely good.
Deal done and over, a new lease on life, and Sam sleeping peacefully by his side.
And did he ever hate to ruin the moment, but it was Christmas Eve morning, and he was still a big brother, and there was something he really, really wanted to try.
Smiling, Dean slipped out from under the covers, careful not to wake Sam and crept over to his duffle to dig through it. He had gotten everything he needed the night before, and now all he needed was Sam.
Sam came to slowly, breathing deep and smiling as he awoke. It wasn't until he tried to stretch that he became aware of something being incredibly wrong.
He twitched his wrists and felt them tied to the headboard, further sense exploration discovered a cold wetness at his nipples, something warm lower, and something heavy even lower.
Sam's eyes snapped open and he raised his head to look.
"Dean? What the fuck?"
"You know, I've always wanted to try this."
Dean smiled down at his little brother from where he was sitting on Sam's thighs and surveyed his handiwork.
Ignoring Sam's look, Dean looked lovingly at the blue and green neck ties that bound Sam's wrists to the head board. He trailed his eyes down Sam's neck to the tomatoes he placed over his nipples, the olive in Sam's belly button surrounded by a ring of onion, and the chocolate sauce spread across Sam's lower abdomen to complete the smiley face on Sam's chest.
"I didn't know where to put the bread," said Dean holding up two slices. "Thought it would ruin my art work."
Sam looked at him with fond exasperation, and breathed out a laugh.
"Dude, if you eat that onion, I'm not kissing you. Same with the olive."
Dean smiled. "I can work around that."
He bent his head and licked at the chocolate mess across Sam's stomach.
He'd been right. One year ago.
Food and Sam were fucking awesome.
And so was Sam's blinding smile.