Author's Notes: Written for LiveJournal Christmas het fic exchange to the prompt: "Sam/OFC: She'd never been kissed under the mistletoe."

It's Friday afternoon; it's too warm in the classroom and the class is shifting and murmuring. It's getting close to the end of seventh hour; they've done all the work they're going to for one day and they all know it. Sam is biting his thumbnail and watching the clock. He likes history well enough and Mr. Ferris isn't a bad teacher; it's just end-of-the-day restlessness. There's a limit to how long even Sam can sit still.

"Okay, guys, listen up, just need your attention for a few more minutes," Mr. Ferris says. The class stirs and he continues.

"I know, I know. Christmas break coming up, everybody's tired, including me." Mr. Ferris picks up a thick sheaf of papers and starts distributing them.

Sam sighs. Christmas break. Two weeks cooped up in that crappy, cold little rental. Awesome. Sam's current holiday plans include a fabulous take-out dinner, which he'll probably wind up eating alone. Dad and Dean are away on a hunt, but Dean keeps saying they'll be back before Christmas. He says it like he thinks Sam should care.

Mr. Ferris finishes handing out the papers, says, "We've still got two weeks left, people. You need something to keep you off the streets until the last bell—and here it is. Research paper, suggested topics in the handout." He raises a quelling hand at the collective groan. "All right, all right." He pauses, waits for quiet. "You'll work in pairs, and before you start complaining, your partners have already been randomly chosen for you. Check the top of the first sheet."

Doing the paper's not a big deal to Sam. He's already seen that the assignment calls for eight to ten pages, and he can do that in a couple of days. Or he could, working by himself. Having to deal with a partner is the problem. He checks the sheet.

Sarah Marks. Sam knows who she is. Could be a lot worse. She's quiet, doesn't say much in class, but always has the right answer if she needs it. Smart girl. The local boys mostly ignore her, he's noticed, but Sam actually thinks she's kind of cute, with long blond hair she's always pushing behind her right ear. He can deal.

Sam's filing the papers away in his backpack when the bell rings. The classroom erupts, noisy with moving feet, shutting books and zipping of bags. Ferris speaks over the sound.

"Do not leave this until the last minute, people. It will constitute your final exam grade."

A few groans join the dull roar, but Sam's already halfway out the classroom door on his way to his locker. He's got what he needs in a few seconds and he shuts the locker door, turns to go. She's standing right there; Sam almost runs her over.

"Oh, hey…um, Sarah, right?" Sam says to the serious-faced girl.

"Yes. Sarah. You're Sam." It's not a question.

"Yeah." Sam grins and her face softens a little, but she doesn't relax her determined stance.

"Well, Sam, it's like this. I have a 4.0 average and I intend to keep it, so I'm not messing around with you on this history project."

Sam's grin widens and she reddens prettily.

"I mean…I didn't mean 'messing around' obviously. Um, what I mean is…look, you don't even have to do anything. I'll do all the work." She's looking more flustered by the minute and Sam's kind of enjoying it, but he finally takes pity.

"Bad experience with group projects?" he asks sympathetically.

Sarah looks at the floor then back up. She finally smiles a little. "Yeah. Especially with guys for partners."

Sam nods. "It's okay. I get it. But really, Sarah, I'll pull my weight and my grades are pretty good." He grins again. "You can look at my transcripts, if you want."

She sighs. "I'm sorry, Sam. That was rude of me. It's just…"

"Don't worry about it."

The halls are starting to empty, but Sam wants to keep her talking so he can keep watching the way she flicks her eyes up at him through her lashes. He likes the way she bites at her bottom lip between sentences.

"Okay. Well, I guess I'll be seeing you around, then. I'm sorry I assumed…" she pauses and looks up at him, smiles tightly. "I'm sure we can work together on this just fine."

Sam leans over a little, one hand on the bank of lockers and looks her in the eye. "I'm glad we got that straight," he says.

Sarah blushes some more and hesitates, then nods. She walks down the hall, but turns to give him a little wave over her shoulder about halfway to the exit door.

Sam smiles and holds up a hand in goodbye, pretends he hasn't just been appreciating her rearview. When she turns away again, he lets out a breath. Damn. He's pretty sure he just started looking forward to this project.

**

Monday afternoon Sam's standing at his locker looking at an actual typed schedule for working on the paper. Sarah shoved it into his hand in the hallway that morning without saying a word. He was a little surprised but he doesn't really mind, because following Sarah's plan involves him spending four nights a week at the public library with her. The library is bound to be a lot more pleasant than the dump they're calling home at the moment. The rundown one-bedroom is a lot darker than Sam likes, too hard to work in. It's downright depressing, especially now.

Christmas is nothing special as far as Sam's concerned, just another day, but the season does seem to make things worse. The holidays are for family, and the three of them…they are family, but it's getting harder for Sam to feel like he's part of it. Sam and his father have begun to rattle around inside any enclosed space, bouncing off each other, opposing polarities pushing them to their respective corners until it's time to come out fighting again. And there's Dean standing grimly in the center of the ring, ready to call for a break if it gets too bad. It's becoming unbearable and Sam thinks it's just better that John's gone so much.

And Dean's not much easier to take this time of year. He gets weird and mopey, prone to outbursts of half-assed sentimentality. Sam doesn't know if it's because Dean remembers something good from before their lives went to hell, or if he just wishes he could. John did make some effort to mark the day when they were younger, but his current calendar sure doesn't have holidays on it. He lives from one hunt to the next and Sam doubts his father even knows what month it is most of the time. Chances are good that when December 25th rolls around, John won't be anywhere in the vicinity of his sons. Sam's not going to waste time worrying about it.

The sight of Sarah coming down the hall pulls him out of his depressing thoughts.

"Hey. Ready to go?" she asks, all business.

"Yep. Lead the way." The library's an easy walk from the school. Sam knows where it is because the address was helpfully printed on Sarah's instruction sheet. Clearly she's a girl who likes to cover all the bases.

Sarah doesn't say much on the way, but she loosens up a little when they're at the library study table and she has something to talk about. He was right; she is smart and she has a good sense of humor besides. Two hours pass quickly and Sam's a little disappointed when she looks at her watch and says it's time to go.

Sarah swings her backpack over one shoulder as they walk out the door, says, "See you tomorrow, I guess." She turns to the right and Sam stops her with a hand on her shoulder.

"Whoa," Sam says. "You're walking?"

"Yeah?" Sarah answers, eyebrows raised.

"It's dark."

"It happens every day about this time, I've noticed," Sarah says, smile softening the sarcasm.

Sam studies her for a moment. "Okay, let's go"

"Sam, you don't have to…it's probably out of your way. I do it every day."

"You're not walking home by yourself while I'm here." It sounds ridiculously macho when he hears himself and he's a little embarrassed, but Sarah quirks a smile and the moment passes.

"You might be more dangerous than whatever's in the dark," she says.

I hope so, he thinks. Out loud he says,"That's me. I'm a dangerous man."

Sarah chuckles, studies his face for a moment and decides. "Okay, big guy. Let's go."

The air's cold enough they can see their breath as they walk down the main street. There are lighted Christmas wreaths hanging from every lamppost and Sam appreciates the light they give off, if not the sentiment behind them. It's a lot darker once they turn off onto Sarah's street, but it's not a long walk. Sarah's house is small and it's dark too, except for a brightly lit Christmas tree shining through the front window.

They stand at the front door for an awkward second, then Sarah says, "It's cold. Come in and warm up a bit before you head home?"

Sam hesitates, but the thought of his so-called home suddenly doesn't hold much appeal next to a few more minutes with Sarah, so he finally says, "Okay."

She unlocks the door and it opens into a small living room. She switches on a small lamp and the extra light doesn't do the room any favors. It's not much nicer than the place he's living in, actually. The wallpaper is faded and blotchy and the carpet is worn. The house is a lot cleaner than theirs, though, and there are Christmas decorations pretty much everywhere. Sam huffs a small laugh.

Sarah smiles wryly. "I know. My mom loves Christmas. She collects a couple of new things every year. Good thing there are only two of us, this stuff takes up so much room."

"Your mom?"

"She works evenings down at the hospital. She won't be in until later."

Sam nods, not sure what he's supposed to say to that, if anything. He shoves his hands into his pants pockets, indicates the kitchen doorway with a tilt of his head. "Mistletoe?"

Sarah shrugs. "I told her it's a parasitic plant and poisonous besides, but Mom…she's crazy about the stuff. I don't know."

Sam cocks his head and nods slightly. "It has medicinal uses, too. Kissing under the mistletoe came about because of the belief that mistletoe's curative powers would heal a broken heart."

Sarah looks up at him then, face bathed in the soft glow from the tree, and—God—she's beautiful. He can't look away.

She says, "I wouldn't know about that."

"Yeah?" he says low, watching her mouth. "Never been kissed under the mistletoe, huh?"

"Nope," she answers and the look in her eyes sends a hot rush through him, makes him bolder than he usually is, and he pulls her in with one arm and kisses her. They're not directly under the damned mistletoe, but he figures it's close enough when she just melts into him, lips moving sweetly under his.

They separate, smiling in unison, but Sarah speaks first. "So," she says, breathing a little shakily. "Check that off the to-do list."

Sam chuckles. The moment stretches a little past awkward and he clears his throat. "I'd better get home," he says, even though that's pretty much the last thing he wants to do.

"Um, yeah," Sarah says. She doesn't seem like she's in a hurry for him to leave, either, but she walks him to the door.

"See you tomorrow," she says, smiling and waving her hand at him as he gets to the steps. He trips over a loose board, barely catching himself before he goes sprawling onto the sidewalk, and she giggles.

He hunches his shoulders and smiles sheepishly at her. "See you, Sarah," he says. He walks into the dark.

**

They fall into a pattern over the next couple of weeks, working a couple of hours a night. Sam thinks they could have finished the paper easily by now and he's pretty sure Sarah knows it too, but neither of them says so. It's too nice, having this to look forward to at the end of every day. He's going to miss it.

Sarah's schedule has run its course; the paper's due tomorrow, the last day before Christmas break. Sam's walking her home and it's just like all the times before, except for the way he's almost literally dragging his feet. He doesn't want it to be over, knows it will be after today. They're not together, they're not going steady or whatever—they're just study partners. That's all they ever were.

They step up onto her porch and Sam's kissed her here every night since that first one, going a little further each night, soft slide of tongues until they're both breathing hard, keeping it up until the cold makes their teeth chatter and he finally takes his leave. She hasn't asked him in since that first night, though, so he's a little surprised when she turns to unlock the door and waits there, wordlessly inviting him inside.

Sam knows he's just postponing the inevitable pain of leaving for the last time—of course he does—but he decides to say to hell with it. This is good and he's going to draw it out as long as he can.

They're in the house and Sarah drops her bag and pulls her coat off. She steps close to him, and this is familiar. Sam pulls her into his arms and kisses her. Her nose is cold against his face as he slips his tongue between her lips. She gives a little moan, and he breathes in sharply, bracing against the sensation that all his blood is rushing south at once. She pulls back and looks at him in the eye then, and he sees a determined look cross her face, like she's made some sort of decision.

She wraps her hand around the back of his neck and pulls him back down, presses in hungrily, and he sinks back into the soft heat of her mouth. He's hard already and trying not to be too obvious about it, so it's a shock when Sarah presses into him, body flush against the bulge in his jeans. Sam gives a moan of his own then, can't stop it, and he can feel a smile curve Sarah's lips.

They're kissing and his hands are tangled in her hair and their breathing is loud in the empty house. They haven't been at it for long before Sam's diamond hard, and it feels so damned good, but they have to stop, he has to stop, before he can't anymore. He pulls away from her mouth and holds her close, and he can feel her trembling as he speaks against her hair.

"Sarah, wait…I…we have to stop, or…"

"Or what, Sam?" she says breathlessly.

Sarah tips her head back and looks into his eyes. Sam instantly takes back all the negative thoughts he's ever had about Christmas, because right then, backlit by shimmering color from the tree, she's the most beautiful thing he's ever seen. Speech is so far beyond him right now; he's glad when she says something first.

"Sam," Sarah pauses and bites her lip. "I…when I said I'd never been kissed under the mistletoe? I meant…I've never done…anything before."

Sam's not particularly surprised and he's not thinking very clearly, he knows, but it touches him, that she trusts him enough to tell him outright that she's still a virgin. He's not sure what to say to that, so he just nods and takes a deep breath, preparing himself to leave. This is goodbye.

But Sarah grasps his arm then and he jerks a little, meets her gaze. Her eyes are huge and a little scared, but she's got that stubborn look he's already learned to recognize. He can't stop staring.

"Sam, I've thought about this. I want this. I want you."

It slowly dawns on him what she's asking, what she's offering, and he's frankly appalled. It shouldn't be him. This is a big deal and he's not worthy.

"Oh God, Sarah. You don't want me, you should wait…I mean, it should be somebody you're in love with, right?"

Sam's babbling like an idiot, not even sure what he's saying, but this was so not what he was expecting when he walked in here, not from her. He can hear Dean's voice in the back of his mind, telling him to go for it, what are you waiting for, don't be such a girl, Sam. But he can't.

"Sam, I mean it," Sarah says, jerking his attention back to her. "I've thought about this. It's time and I'm doing it. I'll find somebody else if I have to, but I want…I'd rather it be with you."

He looks into her eyes and he can see she's not kidding. He doesn't know her that well, but he's figured out one thing—Sarah's nothing if not determined. A picture forms in his mind, of Sarah naked under one of those assholes from school, some dickhead on the football team maybe, and a wave of possessiveness surges up from some primitive place inside him. He has the urge to cover her with his body, protect her, keep her safe, and he pulls her back to him and kisses her hard.

Her response is electric as she opens for him, and they're both frantic and panting, hands clutching. He pulls back, sucks a kiss into her neck. He knows he's leaving a mark and he's glad for it. He wants them all to know. She's his, maybe only for a little while, but it's enough. She's rocking her hips against him and he reaches down, cups her ass, round and firm and fitting so perfectly in his hands, and he pulls her against him hard, dragging a moan from them both. Too fast…God, he needs…

"Sarah…" he pants, "…where?"

She gets it, thank God, because that's as coherent as he's going to get.

"Right here, in front of the tree."

Sam blinks at that. He's never actually thrown anyone down on the floor and gone for it. He's only done this twice, actually, and both girls were a lot more experienced. Shit, what am I doing?

Sarah looks at him then and maybe she sees the flicker of doubt in his eyes, because she steps close and runs her hand across the bulge in his crotch. It takes everything he's got not to push into that touch. He can't fight it anymore; he sinks to his knees, pulling Sarah down with him.

She lies down on the floor and Sam lowers himself over her, supported on his elbows and one knee, but pressing down enough for her to feel his hard length. She lifts her hips against him and it feels…damn—that's it. There's no way he can stop now, but he's going to try to make it good for her. It's the least he can do.

Trouble is, he's not exactly sure how to do that. He'll have to wing it. He sits up onto his knees and yanks off his jacket and throws it aside, then pulls his shirt off over his head, watching Sarah. She hesitates a second before taking off her own sweater, pauses even longer before she reaches behind her and unfastens her bra.

He leans down to kiss her and her nipples brush against his bare chest. It takes his breath away. Sam looks down, whispers, "So beautiful," and bends down to take one hardened peak into his mouth. Sarah shivers under him and winds her fingers into his hair. She's breathing hard and moaning softly and it threatens to undo him before they've rightly gotten started. He starts reciting the elements of the periodic table in his mind…fuck…anything to slow this down a little.

He kisses down the silky skin of her stomach, reaches the waistband of her jeans and looks up at her, making sure. She's returning his gaze steadily, eyes a little wild, but still sure of what she wants. Sam pops the button and she lifts up, helps him get them off.

"You, too," she breathes. "I want to see."

Sam takes a deep breath, thinks about breaking down a rifle, target practice—anything but what's going on in this room—as he takes off his pants, pushing her hands away gently when she sits up and tries to help. He can't have her touching him right now or he'll never make it through this.

He finally gets enough control of himself to look back at Sarah. She's lying there, so perfect, a little tense, but unafraid. He wills himself to be as calm as she looks and leans over her, kisses her again. He wants his mouth on her everywhere. He works his way down her body, kissing, licking, sucking—going on instinct.

He can smell her arousal now and he's never done this, but he wants to taste her and he eases his tongue slowly down the center of her, waiting for her to stop him, hoping she won't. She pushes against him instead, making a soft sound deep in her throat that goes straight to his cock. He wants to hear it again and he works her with his tongue, gauging what she likes from the sound and feel of her. It's so good. He never wants this to stop.

Then Sarah starts to move and oh, God—it's almost too much. She moans and presses against him and Sam's not sure what makes him do it, but he slides a finger inside her without taking his mouth away. She cries out and bucks against his face, and he thinks, God, she's coming, I made her do that. A powerful surge of pride almost undoes him, as Sarah rides out the orgasm, finally collapses against the floor.

She grabs at Sam's arms then, trying frantically to bring him up and over her, into her, and Sam goes; he can't wait any more. He remembers at the last second and pulls away, scrabbling in the pocket of his jeans for a condom. He has one, Dean gave it to him a while ago, and he just hopes it's still in good enough shape to do the job. He tears it open, rolls it on.

Then Sam stops and looks at Sarah again. It almost kills him to say it, it's the last thing he wants, but he owes it to her.

"Sarah? Are you sure? We can still stop."

She reaches for him and that's it. Sam lowers himself between her legs. He's not at all sure about the best way to go about this, especially with Sarah looking at him so trustingly, and he hesitates. Then Sarah pulls her knees up, spreads her legs for him and he loses coherent thought; there's nothing in his mind but God, yes, now. He lines himself up, pushes gently until he's barely inside her. He stops then, not wanting to hurt her, but she gives a hard thrust of her hips and he's buried inside her before he knows it's happening. Her low grunt of pain makes him freeze, trembling over her while she breathes through it. She recovers a little, then wraps her arms around his back. He knows it's permission to move, and he groans gratefully and starts to thrust. He goes slowly and carefully, but God it's so hard, she's so tight, he knows he's not going to last long and he doesn't, coming and pulsing inside her in hot, bright bursts that leave him boneless and spent.

When he comes down, he slides out of her and rolls over to the side, pulling her into his arms. She strokes his back, like he's the one that might need comforting. It jumpstarts his higher brain functions and guilt crashes over him in a wave. Sarah must feel him tensing up, because she speaks then.

"What's the matter, Sam?"

He doesn't know what to say. Regret seems wrong, unfair to her somehow, but he shouldn't have done this. He's not going to be around for her later. Dad will yank them out of here—Sam will move on and Sarah will be left to deal with the consequences of what they've done tonight. He should tell her that—it's only right—but he can't make himself say any of it out loud.

"Nothing." He says, and kisses her then, making it as soft and sweet as he can, trying to say with his body what he couldn't put into words. "I'd better go."

Sarah nods, smiling a little sadly. "Yeah. My mom will be home soon."

It's a little awkward after that, cleaning up, getting dressed, and Sam's sorry for that. He would have liked it to be perfect for Sarah, whatever "perfect" means, but he's done all he can. He kisses her quickly at the door. He doesn't look back.

**

Dad calls right after Sam gets home that night. They're moving on in a couple of days. Sam tries to be glad he got to finish the term, at least. Of course he has less than no desire to go to school the next day. It's just a half day anyway and it's not like anyone will be working.

In the end, Sam decides to go, finish up. He left a pair of sneakers in his locker that still have some wear left in them and he might as well go and get them. He's a little disappointed when Sarah doesn't show up, but not that surprised, really. It's a slow day and a lot of kids are missing.

He drags through the hours in a daze, barely aware of his surroundings. When the last bell rings, Sam barrels to the hallway, anxious to be quit of this place if he's got to go. He opens his locker and stops. He has to look twice to process it.

Sitting in the locker, perched on top of a book, is a sprig of mistletoe.