Season Six spoilers up to 6.09 Clap Your Hands If You Believe
This is a little late for a Christmas story, but hey…you gotta write them when the inspiration hits. This one's for irismay42 who triggered it when she wrote her amazing story, Sleeping Satellite. The style comes from that and the concept of Sam thinking about his brother through his emotionally bankrupt detachment. The Christmas part can be attributed to a late night viewing of A Very Supernatural Christmas, still the awesomest Christmas episode in the history of television.
I awoke at two in the morning with the first few lines dancing in my head. I've learned to get the hell out of bed and write it down because if I don't, it will be gone by morning. I'm still trying to remember the last lazy musings I had which I was sure I'd remember…it was so obvious and I even tried a mind exercise to make it stay. Alas, it did not and I can't even imagine which story the lines belonged to…or if they were an entirely new story. Damn, I hope they were as good as I thought they were in my sleep, or maybe I hope they weren't…lost as they are.
I don't normally write and post this quickly, I've become accustomed to tinkering endlessly with my stories of late, never wanting to let them go. But realistically it's January, so even though Arizona is immersed in an unseasonably cold winter right now, the fact is Christmas is past. I just can't get it out of my thoughts…not when we had snow flurries here in the desert. What a sight that was!
I hope you enjoy…that is if you continue reading after my long-winded intro. Later, B.J.
"There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul." - Arnold Bennett
Christmas With Dean
Christmas with Dean was carolers in the streets and Christmas music done right on Classic Rock radio.
Dean would sing along, off key but with gusto.
He'd insist on taking a job back East just so the Impala and his brother could experience snow in December.
They never stayed long, just until the job was done; never long enough for the city to start salting the streets.
Dean may indulge his desire for snow around Christmas, but he hates the thought of his girl rusting out.
Christmas was celebrated the Winchester way, in a no-name motel in a temporary town.
The important part was some innocent would be reunited with their family before Santa came. Dean saw to it.
It had been like this for years, ever since two young boys first started celebrating Christmas on their own.
Sam remembers each and every Christmas with Dean.
And he remembers the one without.
Not the one that never came, the one with Dean in Hell.
He was spared that loss.
No, he remembers the one spent on a sidewalk looking in.
The one where Dean went through the motions with someone else's family.
The one with Lisa and Ben.
That Christmas was the most normal, at least from the outside.
A young boy wildly tossing wrapping paper in the air as each present was revealed.
A pretty woman smiling and nuzzling into Dean's side as they sat on the sofa, a mug of warm cocoa in her hands.
Dean fitting in, as best he could, until the commotion died down and he stood and looked longingly out the window with a mug that held something other than cocoa.
That's when Sam left, before his brother could see him.
Christmas with the Campbells was much like Christmas with the Winchesters.
Hunters don't stop hunting, not for frivolous celebrations. Too much evil in the world waiting to be tracked down and wasted, too many innocents needing to be saved.
The presents, if they came, were the same, trinkets without meaning.
Except with Dean there was meaning…and laughter…and poignant moments where they almost said what they were feeling.
Instead letting their hearts and tender eyes do their talking.
Christmas with Dean was good.
Sam remembers that.
In all his reminiscing one particular Christmas stands out. The one where they struggled to put up a real tree, with real lights and real decorations.
Dean said they were going to have a real Christmas, whatever that might mean.
They were older, many simple Christmases either downplayed or ignored behind them, and while Sam remembers every detail about that Christmas, he can't remember why.
Why Dean suddenly felt the urge to celebrate. Why he'd insisted on getting a tree and gotten carried away with all the preparations.
Sam's mind is like a computer now, capable of retrieving hard facts but void of any real feelings or true comprehension.
He remembers the year, 2001. He was eighteen.
He remembers it was his last Christmas with Dean for several years.
Dean surprised them all that year with a bargain tree off the side lot. A straggly Charlie Brown tree which he staunchly defended when his brother snidely commented on its respectability.
Then Dean produced an assortment of real ornamentation purchased at the local Salvation Army thrift store.
As much as Dean admired that empty beer can wreath Dad stole when they were kids, this tree was going to be real. Like regular folk would put up.
The most problematic were the lights. Dean groused even as he checked each and every bulb until he found the offender that kept that damn set of lights from lighting.
Strange how one non-working part could keep the whole set in the dark.
Dean's face never looked happier than when he finally plugged in the string and it lit up like real Christmas lights are supposed to light up.
Sam remembers the glow on his face, the flashing reds and greens and blues and yellows dancing across his features.
He wonders now if a soul is like a bulb in a string of Christmas lights…necessary for the thing to work…for him to be whole.
Dean had doggedly worked to fix that string of lights, just like he was determined to fix Sam.
Sam thinks about how Dean's eyes shone as each light flashed and reflected his joy. How his lips curved up in a pleased 'take-that' smirk. How he sat for what seemed like hours admiring his tree, his conquest, his gift to his family.
Sam remembers feeling good in that moment, one of so many emotions back then. Happy for his brother and yet sad that he knew he'd be leaving in the fall and this would be their last Christmas together for a while.
He remembers everything…he just can't feel anything.
All standard disclaimers apply.
Sammy, no wonder you are breaking our hearts and Dean's too.
Thanks for reading. Take care and have a happy and fulfilling 2011.