So, this was written for a Christmas challenge on another site . . .when I started writing this, I really had no idea how long the real poem was, or I probably would have chucked the whole idea out the window...lol, forgive me as I am not the best rhymer in the world, but I figure Dean probably wouldn't be either...Merry Christmas to everyone and Have an Awesome New Years!! Bambers;)
Twas the Night Before Christmas . . . Winchester Style
"So you really finished it?" Sam Winchester eyed his brother Dean for a moment in clear disbelief. He then glanced down at the pen his brother had just tossed on the table of the current no-name motel they found themselves staying in on Christmas Eve. From there his steady gaze traveled to the journal their father had given Dean when Sam was only eight years old and Dean was twelve. "I mean, it's really done? You're not gonna add anything more to it or change it in any way?"
"Why do you sound so surprised, Sammy?" Dean chuckled good-naturedly as he clapped Sam on the back.
"Oh, I dunno . . . maybe because you've been working on it for the past seventeen years." A faint frown pulled at Sam's lips, and he hastily gulped down his eggnog heavily laced with rum so his brother wouldn't see how sad the thought of the journal being finished made him feel inside. "I guess I just never expected it to be done so soon."
"So soon?" Dean's warm laughter filled the room as his green eyes took on a faraway look. "I started writing it when you were seven."
"I was eight." Sam swallowed down the lump that had settled in his throat, recalling the only tradition they had ever managed to keep no matter where they happened to be on Christmas Eve.
"Whatever, dude. I probably would've stopped working on it a long time ago if you hadn't been such a girl about the whole thing." Dean's smile faded, and he bit pensively at his lower lip as he stared at the open journal on the table. "I've filled every damn page. An' truthfully, I'm thrilled as all hell that it's done and over with."
"Are you gonna read it?" As hard as he tried, Sam somehow couldn't manage to keep the boyish enthusiasm from his tone, and inwardly groaned when Dean heaved a weary sigh.
"I don't think so, Sammy." Yawning loudly, Dean stretched his arms wide over his head as if he were exhausted, but Sam hadn't failed to notice the mischievous glint in his eyes. "I was thinkin' I'd get to bed early tonight, we have a long drive ahead of us tomorrow."
"Just read the damn thing, Dean, or I can promise you that you won't be getting any sleep at all tonight."
"Alright," Dean replied after a long pause, "But only cause you asked so nicely." He picked up the journal and flipped back to the first page. "Before I begin, you don't have to go to the bathroom or anything do you? Cause I'll warn you right now, I'm not gonna stop reading until it's finished."
"I'm fine, dude, just read the story."
Dean settled back on the couch, took a sip of his beer, and then began. "Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, several spirits were lurking, they'd even butchered a mouse."
"Why would they kill a mouse, Dean?" Sam asked as he laid his head back against one of the pillows on the couch, and propped his feet up on the coffee table. "It just doesn't seem like something a vengeful spirit would do."
"You don't remember?" He shifted in his seat to look at Sam, and quirked a brow in amusement.
"I wouldn't have asked if I remembered," Sam said, although he clearly recalled the reason his brother had chosen to have the spirits kill the mouse, but loved to hear him retell the story of that long ago night.
"There was an all kinds of crazy blizzard the night I started writing this, and Dad had gone out to hunt some damn creature . . . I don't even remember what it was anymore . . . ." His voice trailed off, just like it always did when he came to this part of the story.
"It was a poltergeist," Sam replied right on cue, closing his eyes as he recalled the sound of the wind howling outside their motel room door and the heavy snow pelting hard against the window pane.
"Huh, that's right, it was." Dean was silent for a moment, and Sam imagined that he was probably also remembering how bad the storm had been that night. "You were seven at the time – "
"I was eight."
"Is your age really all that important to the story, Sammy?"
"No, I guess not."
"Good, now that we've settled that . . . you were seven – "
"Eight," Sam adamantly declared, cuffing Dean across the head.
"Alright, you were eight." Dean grabbed his beer off the table and took a long pull on it before setting it back down. He glanced back down at the journal, and continued onward with the story of that long ago Christmas Eve. "It was probably somewhere around midnight, an' I had just fallen asleep when you dove into my bed and buried your head under the pillow." He chuckled, the memory alive and alight in his eyes. "You were shaking so badly, for a minute I actually thought you had gone outside and were freezing."
"I wasn't shaking, Dean."
"Oh, you were so shaking just like a little girl."
"You're such a jerk," Sam huffed with a shake of his head.
"Bitch." Dean cleared his throat, and went on with the story. "You said you heard a scratching noise, and swore up an' down that the poltergeist Dad had gone after that night had somehow managed to get past him and was coming after us."
"Oh, yeah." Heat rose to flush Sam's face in embarrassment. "That's why you had the spirits kill the mouse."
"Yeah, just like I killed that little one I found under the bed while you stood on top of the table."
"I wasn't afraid of it."
"No," Dean gave him a playful wink, "you were just waiting up there in case it got away from me and scurried up onto the table to hide."
Sam bit thoughtfully at his lower lip for a moment, and then smiled wistfully. "That wasn't a bad Christmas, was it, Dean?"
"As far as Winchester Christmas' go, I'd have to say that one ranked up there as one of the best."
They fell silent for a moment, both lost in thought of that long ago day. Sad smiles reflected in their eyes as they both grabbed for their drinks and hastily downed them.
"Dad came home later that morning with sleds for both of us." Sam rubbed away the moisture that had gathered in the corner of his eyes.
"That's right, an' we spent the whole day sledding in the park near the motel."
"It really was a great day." Sam sighed contentedly, and once again leaned back against the pillow and closed his eyes.
"Yeah, it was." Dean ran his hand over the journal entry, and smiled. "The stockings were flung from the chimney without care, as the Winchesters awaited for the evil spirits that soon would be there."
Sam lifted his head to look at Dean. "I can't believe it took you a whole year to write that line."
"As I recall, you said it wouldn't be a tradition if I wrote it all at once. Your rules, Sammy. No more than one verse a year until it was finished."
"What do you want from me, Dean," Sam uttered with a shrug. "I was only eight at the time."
"Seven," Dean slipped in before he continued retelling his tale. "The children were trembling and shaking under their bed, as visions of demons and werewolves filled them with dread."
Sam's stomach clenched as he recalled the fear in Dean's eyes when their father practically fell through the motel room door on his ninth Christmas morning. "Dad was out hunting a werewolf that Christmas Eve, wasn't he?"
Dean swallowed hard, and lowered his head so Sam couldn't see how the thought of their father bloody and broken affected him. "Yeah, he got that sonuvabitch real good."
"Funny, that's not how I recall it."
"Let's not get into this, Sammy." Dean hastily wiped away the lone tear trailing down his cheek. "He made it home, and that's what matters."
Sam gestured toward the amulet around Dean's neck."Yeah, but there were times I was sure he wouldn't."
"But a helluva lot of people made it home for Christmas cause he was out there, little brother," Dean was quick to remind him. Scrubbing a hand across his face, he returned his attention to the story. "Sam with a shotgun, and me with a knife, we had just settled in to salt and burn some ghostly wife." Dean heaved a sigh, and shifted in his seat to look at Sam. "Can we finish this later, I'm really getting kinda tired."
"Come on, Dean, it wouldn't be Christmas Eve if we didn't read the whole thing."
With another sigh, Dean gave a curt nod. "Little brother thrown into the wall with a clatter, while I toppled down the stairs all bruised and battered. Hearing several loud screams from below, Dad rushed into the room to find out what was the matter."
"I remember I was twelve at the time. It was first year we went out on a hunt with Dad on Christmas Eve, an' you broke your leg."
"An' you got impaled on that damn metal thing sticking out of the wall, and had to have surgery." Dean's hands tightened around the edges of the journal. "I was so scared, Sammy, I really thought you were gonna die that night."
"Naw, I'm a Winchester." Sam tried to smile, but couldn't quite manage it. "We don't die so easily."
"I hated Christmas after that year," Dean admitted as he cracked open another beer and hastily down it all in one shot. "Sammy fell through the window with a very loud crash. I tore out of the house and was by his side in a dash. Cuts on his chest, blood fresh on the snow, a sick feeling in my gut that lingers and grows."
"Yeah, Christmas really did lose a lot of its appeal after my thirteenth year." Sam shifted uncomfortably in his seat as he briefly wondered why he would want to relive the memories of so many Christmas disasters. "But Dad bought a tree that year, and we filled it with so many lights. And I remember Bobby came to stay the night, and he bought you your knife."
"Yeah, and Dad tried to make a turkey, but even after seven hours in the oven it was still cold on the inside and charred on the outside." Dean chuckled.
"It caught fire, didn't it?"
"Uh huh, and Bobby was chasing after Dad with the fire extinguisher trying to put it out, but Dad didn't want him to ruin our dinner so he threw it in the sink and blasted it with cold water."
"That's right. We called it soggy turkey slop." Sam's laughter filled the room, and within a moment Dean was laughing as well.
"No one ate it," Dean uttered between laughs, "and Dad ended up making burgers instead."
"That really wasn't such a bad Christmas."
Dean gave a subtle nod in agreement. "It had its moments." With a smile still lingering on his face, he returned his attention to the story. "When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but three butt-ugly ghosts, and that's the night we ended up soaking in a huge vat of beer."
"It wasn't beer, Dean, it was a lake . . . an ice cold lake."
"You think I don't know that, little brother." Dean scowled, and smacked Sam across the back of the head. "But frozen lake really doesn't rhyme with 'appear' as well as beer does." He flipped the page, drew in a breath, and continued, "With fugly old ghost so lively and quick, we slipped on ice that was soggy and slick."
"You fell on your ass." Sam chortled loudly. "One minute you were up, an' the next you were down . . . an' after that it was just up an' down an' up and down. Damn, that was freakin' hilarious."
"Sam fell through the ice, the ghosty to blame . . . I rushed to his side as he shouted out my name."
"As I recall, you toppled into the water after me, and Dad had to pull us both out."
"You're so missing the point there, Sammy." Dean rolled his eyes as he flipped to the next page.
Sam's brows furrowed in confusion. "And what was the point?"
"No matter if things didn't always work out exactly as I'd planned, I'll always be there when you need me."
"Oh . . . umm . . . ." Sam stammered as tears brimmed in his eyes, and he hastily lowered his head. "That's a good line."
"Somehow I knew you would like it." Dean refocused his attention on what he had written. "Now, bandages. Now, gauze. Now, stitches and meds. More bruises. More cuts and broken bones that land you in bed. A fall from a porch. A fall from a wall. Now crash away. Smash away. Bash away all."
"Wasn't that the Christmas you broke two ribs, and I fell off that ledge into a ravine?"
"Yeah," Dean muttered, tears once again shimmering in his eyes. "Dad pulled you out, an' then kicked those vampires' asses." A short laugh slipped past his lips as he snatched another beer off the table and cracked it open. "He was so pissed and they were shit-ass scared. I think he said he found them huddling in a cave."
"I don't remember that." Sam poured himself another glass of rum spiked eggnog, and gulped it down.
"You were unconscious at the time . . . an' then you came down with this raging fever." Dean's hands trembled as he flipped to the next page. "Three days, Sammy, and Dad never left your side the whole time."
"You never told me that before." A wave of guilt crashed over Sam as he recalled all the arguments he had gotten into with their father while he was alive. "I guess I really would've liked to have known that before he died. I could've said – "
Dean cut him off with a firm shake of his head. "He knew, Sammy."
"But what if he didn't?"
"Just because things aren't always said, doesn't mean they aren't understood."
An uncomfortable silence filtered into the room as both brothers remembered all the little things their father had done to show them how much he cared. Sam's gaze wandered to the worn pages in the journal, and for the first time noticed how some of the ink was blurred and faded with tears.
"We can stop if you want," Sam uttered as sadness filled him.
"Naw . . . it's okay, I kinda like remembering how things use to be." Dean licked his fingertips, and turned the page. "Like brittle leaves, into the air Sammy does fly . . . when his battered body met with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up the mountain, me and Dad flew . . . with shotguns in hand and pockets loaded with rock salt, too."
"The tree." Sam swallowed hard.
"Yep, the tree."
"That wasn't my fault. How was I suppose to know the damn thing could climb."
"That wasn't your fault, but thinking you could fly across to the maple ten feet away was."
"Hey, I almost made it," Sam uttered amidst Dean's laughter.
Dean lifted a brow, clear amusement spreading across his features. "When has almost ever counted in our line of work, dude?"
"Just go on with the story, Dean," Sam huffed, crossing his arms and settling back against the worn couch cushions.
"And then I was falling, Sam heard from the roof . . . a banshee catcalling, she was gone in a poof."
"She was gone in a poof?" Sam rolled his eyes, and then glanced over at the journal. "You really wrote poof?"
"What's wrong with poof? I looked it up in the dictionary, and it kinda describes what she did." Dean shifted his position, folded his legs, and rested the journal on his knees. "As I clutched aching ribs, and was turning around, down from the roof Sammy came with a bound."
"For the record, I was pushed off that roof. I didn't trip and fall like you told Dad."
"You landed on top of me, Sammy." Dean groaned, rubbing at his ribs as if they still hurt from the injuries he had sustained when Sam had rolled off the roof and nearly crushed him. "I figured the least I could do in return was tell Dad you were a klutz."
"Wasn't that the Christmas before I went away to college?" Sam asked, and instantly regretted it when he noticed Dean's smile fade to a frown. "Sorry, I didn't – "
"It's alright," Dean said with a wave of his hand, and then tossed the journal to Sam. "Why don't you read the rest."
"You've never let me read it before."
"I was never finished writing it before either." A faint smile returned to Dean's face as he bobbed his head toward the weathered pages. "Besides, there's something I want you to see in there."
Sam flipped through the pages and found where Dean had left off. "A beasty all covered in fur, from his head to his foot, Dean's body all torn . . . cuts full of soot. Proud of my youngest away giving law school a crack . . . but terrified for my eldest, his open wounds festering from an attack." As his fingertips trailed over the smudged writing, he glanced up at Dean. "This is Dad's handwriting."
"Yeah, he wrote that the first year you were away at school," Dean uttered evasively, not able to meet Sam's steady gaze.
"Why didn't he call and tell me you were hurt?"
"I dunno, Sammy. It was Christmas, why didn't you call to see if we were alright?"
"I just thought . . . ." His voice died away as he ruffled a hand through his hair. "He told me not to come back."
"He also told you that you couldn't go to college, but you didn't listen to him about that . . . so why couldn't you just call?"
"I'm sorry, Dean."
"I don't want you to be sorry," Dean said with his shake of his head. "I just for once wanted you to reach out to me like I've always done for you." After a very long pause where neither brother could look each other in the eyes, Dean took another long pull on his beer, and then nudged his head toward the journal. "Just finish reading an' forget I even said anything."
"His eyes - - black and blue! His face all bruised, too. He's my son so to him this is nothing new." Sadness filled Sam's heart, his brows furrowing as he silently reread the last line again. "You were in really bad shape, huh?"
"Naw . . . not really." Dean grinned. "That was just Dad's attempt at dramatic flare. He really didn't get the whole one verse a year thing or that it was suppose to rhyme to the original lines to the story."
"Thanks, Dean." A deep, genuine smile blossomed across Sam's features as he thought of his father sharing in their Christmas tradition. "For letting me read this part . . . and letting Dad be a part of it."
"Guh, give me the damn book." Dean feigned a grimace as he swiped the journal out of Sam's hands. "I knew you were gonna turn this into a chick-flick moment."
"Bitch." Dean cleared his throat, and picked up reading where Sam had left off. "Road slick as hell, I got stuck in the snow . . . Sam's away at school probably beneath some damn mistletoe. Black dog attacks with sharp pointy teeth . . . Flung through the air, ended up face down in a heath."
"What? It rhymes, dude." With a sly grin, Dean flipped the page.
"Do you even know what a heath is, Dean?"
"Course I do. They're evergreen bushes that thrive well on open barren, ill-drained soil."
"You looked up rhyming words, didn't you?" Sam chuckled.
"Well, you try rhyming something with the word teeth without looking it up."
"I guess you're right." Sam shrugged. "I just thought it was against the rules."
"There was no rule against looking up words, Sammy." Dean heaved an irritated groan, and refocused his attention on the story. "Spent Christmas Eve alone in some crappy old deli . . . they had awesome pie, left there with a very full belly."
"You spent Christmas Eve alone?" Sam shifted in his seat to look at Dean. "Where was Dad?"
"He got some tip about the Yellow-Eyed sonuvabitch, an' needed to follow it before the trail grew cold." Dean snatched a new bottle of beer off the table, cracked it open, and hastily downed half of it before setting it back down. "I didn't really care . . . it's not like Christmas is important."
Guilt and sadness registered in Sam's shimmering hazel eyes. "You should've come and stayed with me."
"Yeah, I'm sure I would've fit in real well with you an' your college buddies." With a deep sigh, Dean rubbed away the moisture that had gathered at the corners of his eyes. "Besides it was really good blueberry pie, an' I always love me some good pie."
Dean retrained his sights on the page, and continued reading. "Sam's back in the passenger's seat, dressed like a clumsy old elf . . . he grumbles and complains, and I laugh in spite of myself."
"Dude, I never dressed up like an elf."
"Sure you did, Sammy, it says so right here." He jabbed his finger on the words he had written and chuckled as his little brother rolled his eyes. "In a blink of an eye, the ghosty dropped dead . . . think the motel clerk was Jake cause I know he wasn't named Fred."
"With all the words that rhyme with dead, you chose to use Fred?"
"I loved that line, little brother." Dean playfully cuffed Sam across the head. "Besides as far as Christmas' go, it ranked up there as one of the best."
"Really?" Sam quirked a puzzled brow. "Cause as I recall, we ate soggy, day old sandwiches, drank eggnog and beer all night, and I ended up puking my guts out by morning."
"Yeah, I've still got the pictures of that morning on my phone." A faint smile crossed Dean's features, recalling how great it felt to have Sam home for Christmas again. "Like I said, it was a great Christmas."
Dean cocked his head from side to side, working out the kinks, and then stretched his aching muscles. With a feigned yawn, he uttered, "It's getting kinda late, wanna finish this tomorrow?"
"Just finish the damn story, Dean," Sam grumbled.
"Alright, just thought you looked as if you could use your beauty rest, princess." Dean licked his fingertips, and turned the page. "Pixies are evil, with cruel little smirks . . . killing them off is one of the job's greatest perks. Winged sonuvabitch punched Sammy in the nose, before I could land the final deathblow."
"Stupid pixies." Sam grimaced, rubbing the tip of his nose, and Dean laughed. "Sure, laugh it up, Chuckles. They only broke my nose . . . and as I clearly recall, they set your ass on fire."
"I hate pixies." Dean flipped the page, and resumed reading. "Wreaths made of Meadowsweet and silky-soft thistle . . . Mother fudging Pagan Gods who grind you to gristle."
"Ahh . . . yeah, the Carrigans." Sam ran his finger over the nail they had pulled out with the pliers. "At a nickel a pop, I think you probably owe about a million dollars to their swear jar."
"You're probably fudging right about that." Dean chortled good-naturedly. "Last verse, Sammy, you wanna read it?"
"Sure." Sam took the journal from his brother, and turned to the last page. "But as the Winchester's got in the Impala and drove out of sight, everyone heard them exclaim, 'Merry Christmas to all, you'll sleep safe tonight'."
Sam silently closed the book, and set it aside. "That was really great, Dean. I liked how it ended."
"Naw . . . the rhymes kinda sucked, but that's your fault for picking out the most God awful long Christmas poem ever to write the damn thing to."
"Well, I still liked it." From beneath the couch cushions, Sam yanked out a present he had wrapped, and handed it to Dean. "Merry Christmas, Dean."
"I thought we weren't gonna do presents this year?" A blush rose to color Dean's cheeks as he hastily unwrapped the gift, and held up a brand new journal. "Another journal?"
"I noticed last year that you were almost finished with the story and I thought . . . well, actually I really thought I would never hear the end of the story. So I kinda figured that finishing it this year was your gift to me, and I wanted to get you something in return." He bobbed his head toward the book. "Open it to the first page."
Dean flipped open the book, leafed to the page Sam had written on, and groaned. "How the Wendigo Stole Christmas." He stared incredulously at Sam. "Dude, you gotta be freakin' kidding me?"
"Nope, big brother, my rules . . . one verse a year until it's complete."
"Do you even realize how ridiculously insane those rhymes are?"
"I don't care if you think it's stupid or how long it takes," Sam said with a smile and a shrug. "I just want you to make me a promise that you'll be around to finish it."
After a long pause, Dean finally gave a curt nod. "Alright, Sammy, I promise I'll finish it." Grabbing for the pen he had thrown aside earlier, he scrawled something on the page, and then handed it to Sam to read.
"Little Sammy Lou Who went on a Christmas road trip with his brother when he was no more than twenty-two." Sam groaned loudly as he tossed the book on the table. "Forget what I said, I don't want you to write it."
"Nope, Little Sammy Lou Who," Dean laughed, "I think this is going to be the best story ever written."
"Merry Christmas, Dean."
"Merry Christmas, little brother."
Twas the Night Before Christmas...Winchester Style
Written by Dean and John Winchester
For Sammy . . . .
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, several spirits were lurking, they'd even butchered a mouse.
The stockings were flung from the chimney without care, as the Winchesters awaited for the evil spirits that soon would be there.
The children were trembling and shaking under their bed, as visions of demons and werewolves filled them with dread.
Sam with a shotgun, and me with a knife, we had just settled in to salt and burn some ghostly wife.
Little brother thrown into the wall with a clatter, while I toppled down the stairs all bruised and battered. Hearing several loud screams from below, Dad rushed into the room to find out what was the matter.
Sammy fell through the window with a very loud crash. I tore out of the house and was by his side in a dash. Cuts on his chest, blood fresh on the snow, a sick feeling in my gut that lingers and grows.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but three butt-ugly ghosts, and that's the night we ended up soaking in a huge vat of beer.
With fugly old ghost so lively and quick, we slipped on ice that was soggy and slick. Sam fell through the ice, the ghosty to blame . . . I rushed to his side as he shouted out my name.
Now, bandages. Now, gauze. Now, stitches and meds. More bruises. More cuts and broken bones that land you in bed. A fall from a porch. A fall from a wall. Now crash away. Smash away. Bash away all.
Like brittle leaves, into the air Sammy does fly . . . when his battered body met with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up the mountain, me and Dad flew . . . with shotguns in hand and pockets loaded with rock salt, too.
And then I was falling, Sam heard from the roof . . . a banshee catcalling, she was gone in a poof. As I clutched aching ribs, and was turning around, down from the roof Sammy came with a bound.
A beasty all covered in fur, from his head to his foot, Dean's body all torn . . . cuts full of soot. Proud of my youngest away giving law school a crack . . . but terrified for my eldest, his open wounds festering from an attack.
His eyes - - black and blue! His face all bruised, too. He's my son so to him this is nothing new.
Road slick as hell, I got stuck in the snow . . . Sam's away at school probably beneath some damn mistletoe. Black dog attacks with sharp pointy teeth . . . Flung through the air, ended up face down in a heath.
Spent Christmas Eve alone in some crappy old deli . . . they had awesome pie, left there with a very full belly.
Sam's back in the passenger's seat, dressed like a clumsy old elf . . . he grumbles and complains, and I laugh in spite of myself. In a blink of an eye, the ghosty dropped dead . . . think the motel clerk was Jake cause I know he wasn't named Fred.
Pixies are evil, with cruel little smirks . . . killing them off is one of the job's greatest perks. Winged sonuvabitch punched Sammy in the nose, before I could land the final deathblow.
Wreaths made of Meadowsweet and silky-soft thistle . . . Mother fudging Pagan Gods who grind you to gristle.
But as the Winchester's got in the Impala and drove out of sight, everyone heard them exclaim, 'Merry Christmas to all, you'll sleep safe tonight'. . . .