The Nutcracker

Summary. . . . . . . Trying to bring an ill Sam some Christmas cheer, Dean unwittingly places his brother in danger.

Disclaimer. . . . . . . My belief in Father Christmas died this morning when yet again he failed to bring me Sam and Dean, they're still not mine I'm still loaning them.

A.N. . . . . . . . This years Christmas fic from the Peanut, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks to Darksupernatural for thinking I had a good idea for this one, and for being a truly great friend. I look forward to the party's in May when I make my first trip Stateside.

For the first time ever Dean Winchester was sitting in last period history praying for the bell to ring, not because it signaled the end of yet another school day, or because it was the last class before winter break, but because he had plans; plans that included making his favorite person in the whole wide world happy. Sam.

He'd been feeling bad for Sam all week, his younger brother really did have the worst of luck when it came to his health, yet again falling ill to a particularly vicious strain of flu just as the Christmas holidays approached, forcing the youngster to become bedridden, and a bedridden Sam was not a Sam you wished to be around; his normally over active twenty questions a minute brother becoming quickly cranky at being forced to stay still and quiet due to his migraine and scratchy sore throat. Which was the reason why Dean had planned this little outing,

It hadn't helped Sam's mood when their Dad's nerves had finally shattered after spending the week looking after him and he had taken up a hunt, leaving last night, a hunt that meant he would yet again be away for Christmas and had meant that Sam had to spend the day home alone whilst Dean was in school; a fact that Dean wasn't too happy about either, not his Dad being away, but the fact that Sam was left alone. So Dean had spent most of the day with his thoughts flittering between wondering if Sam was okay, and thinking of ways to cheer his brother up without eating away at the meager amount of cash their Dad had left them. A chance overheard conversation whilst in line for lunch sounded like just the thing tat might work; plus it was free and indoors.

As the bell for last period finally rang out, Dean shot out of his chair and was through the door before Miss Simpson had even started giving out her holiday wishes. Throwing his books into his locker-did the teachers really expect him to do homework? He was on holiday for heavens sake-he locked it before he sprinted out the door, took the steps in one giant leap and bounded off down the pavement that led to their latest run down rental.

Turning up the overgrown driveway, Dean slowed to a walk as he took out his key from his jean pocket before entering it into the doors rusty lock, jiggling it a few times before aligning it up properly, and opened the door. Kicking off his sneakers and shrugging off his coat, Dean left them in a pile on the floor of the kitchen before ascending the stairs towards his and Sam's shared room. Pushing open the door he stood and stared for a few moments at his younger brother, eyes closed bundled under layers of ratty blankets, looking years younger than the eight he was.

"I know you're awake Sam, you're breathing is too fast." Dean eventually spoke after a few minutes had past. "What ya been up too?" He inquired, not surprised when Sam opened his eyes to note the hint of a guilty look in them.

"Nothing." Sam croaked out in response, his eyes dropping to the bed showing yet another sign of guilt. "You're home early?"

Dean let Sam's guilty look fade from his memory as he noted the stubborn streak both his younger brother and his Dad were famous for begin to show. Figuring he would have to wait to find out what his brother had been up too, he threw one of his own hoodies Sam's way and said. "Yeah well, I thought that you deserved a treat after being stuck here alone all day. So dress warm and lets go."

Dean waited downstairs whilst Sam changed out of his pj's and into warmer clothes, chugging a few gulps of milk straight from the carton in an attempt to ease the tickle he could feel building in his throat, god he hoped he wasn't gonna get sick also, hoped that he wasn't coming down with the same thing Sam had. He placed the carton back into the fridge as he heard Sam's footsteps on the stairs. Slipping his sneakers back on his feet, Dean grabbed his coat up off the floor and stood by the door watching as Sam trudged lethargically towards him, his face was ashen apart from two blotches of red blushing his cheeks and a nose that would give Rudolph a run for his money, his eyes dull and slightly blood shot, dark circles evident beneath them. Dean contemplated whether taking Sam out was such a good idea after all, whether he should just keep Sam here at home, wrapped up and warm. He remembered though how his brother always loved Christmas, and decided to over rule his instincts, choosing to go ahead with the treat he had planned. Making sure Sam put on his hat, coat and gloves, both boys proceeded to step outside and into the chilly evening air.

Entering the medium sized mall some twenty minutes later, both Sam and Dean relished the warmth that hit their faces, slowly taking away the sting the cold had produced. Helping Sam take off his gloves and unbutton his coat, Dean couldn't help but feel happy as he noticed the smile that had already begun to grace his brothers chapped and dry lips, his siblings eyes already seeming brighter as he took in the sight of the colorfully decorated walkways with their thousands of brightly colored lights and decorations that sparkled as they turned slowly in the breeze of the blown air.

"Come on Sam." Dean urged as Sam stood there mesmerized. "Otherwise we'll be late."

Sam followed obediently alongside his brother his hand automatically searching for Dean's and gripping tight as the crowds around them grew, his pace quickening as Dean hurried to get to their destination. They turned a corner as their branch ended and they reached the centre of the mall, Sam stopping in his tracks as he spotted the scene in front of him. The whole of the malls centre had been transformed into a Christmas winter wonderland, one side set as Santa's grotto, a small part of him still getting excited even though he had stopped believing a couple of years back, still keeping up a pretense though as he knew it still gave Dean pleasure to think he still believed, to think he was still innocent.

The other side of the malls centre was set up with a stage, hundreds of chairs set out in rows before it. Dean started leading Sam to the back, changing direction as their luck changed, two seats becoming available in the front row as a mother stood up and proceeded to drag off her toddler, who no matter what she did refused to stop screaming. Dean lunged for the seats, pushing past a father and his daughter to get them, ignoring the looks of disgust the man and others gave him. Settling into their seats Dean advised Sam to take off his coat, whilst he divested his brother of his scarf. Settling back both brothers awaited the beginning of the show.

Pulling back a small portion of the curtain, he watched as the seats began to fill with adults and children alike, the aura of the youngsters arousing his senses and making him feel alive. About to let the curtain drop back into place he stopped suddenly when he felt an aura he had felt once before, an aura that had escaped his clutches last year, the only one to ever have done so. Lifting the curtain back up he scanned the crowd, his gaze fixing onto the small boy with the unruly brown locks and expressive eyes.


A.N. . . . . . . . Well what do you think? Worth continuing? Thanks as always for reading, I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas, will catch you soon, Peanut x