It was a gift, and Sam was always grateful for anything his brother sent his way, whether it was a drink, aspirin, a smirk, or even a frown. They all came from Dean, Dean who was still here, if just for a little bit longer.
He'd convinced himself that Dean had bought them for Sam just so Dean could get at them when Sam didn't. They both knew that Sam just wasn't a skin mag type of person. Sure, he loved women and how they looked; they were beautiful people. He wasn't the type of guy who would stare fondly at a magazine, though; he kinda liked what type of people they were inside, too.
And Dean knew that, had ribbed him enough about it over the years. So...skin mags? Not what he'd really wanted for Christmas.
Dean didn't touch the magazines all night. Dean didn't touch them in the morning, either. In fact, Dean didn't even mention them or make a comment about how much Sam was going to enjoy them. So when Dean went out to get lunch, muttering all the way about the snow on his baby, Sam finally grabbed the magazines and decided to look through them.
The women on the front were definitely more Dean's type than Sam's, too. Sam rolled his eyes and opened the cover, then frowned. Someone had scribbled on the front page, where there was an ad for lubricant.
No, Sam realized, they hadn't scribbled, and he knew exactly who the someone was. Dean's handwriting was unmistakeable. This stuff really does work, Dean had written. Man's best friend minus the woman right there.
Sam snickered and shook his head. Dean hadn't been able to resist; he'd probably jotted it down while he'd bought the things. He turned to the next page, careful of his finger, and was a little surprised to see more writing. He began to flip through the magazine at a rapid pace, and found the same pen-notes on every page. The one magazine was discarded for the other, and Sam randomly flipped to pages throughout the magazine.
More writing. Blue pen, Dean's handwriting, little arrows pointing to what he was talking about. Little doodles, too, filled the blank white space of the articles and ads.
He glanced up at the clock; Dean'd be another half an hour with lunch at least, considering the roads and where he was planning on picking up lunch. Sam leaned back against the hotel bed and began to read all the little things his brother had left for him.
Forty-five minutes later, just as Dean was coming back in, Sam closed the second magazine. Dean's eyes tracked to his for a brief moment, before turning back to the table to lay down the lunch bag. "You have fun on your own?" Dean teased, smirking.
Sam didn't rise to the bait. Dean's comments filled his head, some funnier than others, all of them sounding as if Dean had said them out loud. He'd found himself laughing for the good part of the time he'd been reading. You think these are real? to How's she gonna get anywhere with old granny hair? to Dude, I don't care what they say: if you have to wear glow in the dark condoms to find yourself, you have a problem.
So when Dean finally glanced over at Sam again, Sam asked an honest question. "Why'd you write in all of them? Also, you have a sick sense of humor."
Dean's smirk widened briefly. "Dude, I thought you were aware of that already. How long have you known me?"
Sam gave him a look, to which Dean chuckled. "Seriously, Dean," Sam asked again, somber once more. "Why?"
Dean paused, distributing plastic silverware onto the table. Then he shrugged, turning away to take off his coat. "I knew you wanted something of mine for when...you know."
Sam closed his eyes, fingers tightening around the magazines. The women Dean would've liked on the covers. Dean's words inside. His favorite skin mags. They were all things that would instantly remind him of Dean. So when...if...Dean ever did die, Sam would've had a piece of his brother beyond clothes and guns and memories.
Maybe he had known exactly what Sam had wanted for Christmas, after all.
The room was quiet, then Dean shook himself, turning to Sam with a grin. "Lunch?" he asked.
Sam slowly nodded, a smile beginning on his face. "Yeah, lunch," he murmured, before extending his right hand. Dean took it, carefully making sure he wasn't touching Sam's bad finger, before pulling him up. "Though I'm not kidding. Seriously, some of the things you wrote in there... I mean, I knew you were perverse, dude, but those take the cake."
"Hey, they put her in a cowboy hat and nothing else, of course I'm gonna want to be the stallion!"