This was written for the Winter/Holiday themed Dean-focused h/c comment-fic meme over at hoodie_time on LiveJournal. It's a response to the following prompt:
Okay. Dean is physically de-aged and FOR SOME REASON has to go undercover as a real kid and sit on Santa's lap at the mall and whisper in his ear that he wants a vat of whiskey a toy train for Christmas. He is GRUMPY and Sam is like, lolololol.
I took a few liberties with the prompt, and this is the story I ended up with:
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS…
The mall on Christmas Eve always sucked. It doubly sucked, Dean was discovering, when you were temporarily trapped in the body of a six year-old and trying to keep up with the pace of a Sasquatch.
Dean hiked his pants up again and quickened his step. The lady at the store had been completely taken in by Sam's "lost luggage" story and, aside from the attempted cheek-pinching, had been really helpful at getting Dean appropriate sized clothing despite the insanely busy store. But then she had gone ahead and suggested to Sam that he buy Dean's pants a size too big and roll the legs up and tighten the elastic waistband which, apparently, all children's pants came with. Sam had been unable to come up with a reasonable lie quick enough, and no one listened to anything Dean had to say, so now he was stuck with stupid-sized pants.
"Sam!" he called out, wincing at the slight whistle that escaped with his brother's name. And it wasn't a lisp, okay? His two front teeth had wiggled and fallen out within hours of the curse hitting, which meant he had to endure stupid jokes made by every single adult he had encountered so far. "Wait up!"
Sam turned around abruptly and shouldered his way through the couple people that had separated the two of them.
"Dammit, sorry," he spoke, steering them off to the side of the traffic stream. "It's really crowded in here."
"You think, genius?" Being a freaking midget wasn't really helping Dean to cope with the crowds, either. Even the way Sam was looming over him at the moment wasn't exactly comfortable.
"Look, Dean, I know you don't want to—"
"Sam, I'm not holding your hand," Dean scowled. Which probably had a different effect now that he had to crane his neck to make eye contact with his brother.
"Just to keep us together," Sam wheedled. "You're getting pushed around so easily; people can't see you."
"Well I'm sorry that we all can't be tall enough to guide aircraft, Sam—"
"Excuse me." The syrupy sweet voice caught Dean by surprise. He glanced to his left and looked up (of course) to see a woman standing there with a basket of candy canes and an elf hat (complete with ears) resting on her head. "Would your boy like to have a visit with Santa?" she asked.
She was standing on a heavily decorated platform, Dean realized, with an ornate chair stuck in the center. A mall Santa sat on the chair next to a pile of donated toys with a sign reading that they were for the local Christmas Bureau.
"Oh… Uh…" Sam replied with his typical quick wit. "I'm not sure we have the time," he finally decided. "We've got a lot of shopping to do, don't we, Dean?"
"Yes," Dean nodded. That stupid whistle came out again, and Dean poked his tongue through the gap at the front of his mouth.
"Oh, isn't that sweet!" the woman exclaimed. "Missing your two front teeth like that! I can bet what you want for Christmas, huh?"
"I don't like that song," Dean replied flatly. He'd played along when the motel clerk had said it, and then again when the saleswoman had. A guy had to have his limits, okay?
"Well! If you like, you can have the chance to tell Santa what you really want," she offered, recovering quickly.
"That's okay," Dean shook his head. "We don't have time."
"There's not even a line," the woman addressed Sam, because apparently all adults ignored you when you were six years old. "I'm sure you can take a few minutes to give him a classic Christmas experience."
Dean fixed Sam with an intense glare, trying to communicate as much as possible to Sam that no way was this happening. But the weird elf lady was also looking at Sam as if he would be personally responsible for sucking out everything that is good about the season if he didn't let the six year old see Santa
"Well, it's not that I don't want him to…" Sam began cautiously. "It's just that…"
C'mon, Sammy, Dean cheered silently. Just brush her off and we'll leave. It doesn't matter what she thinks.
"Dean's afraid of Santa," Sam blurted out.
"Oh!" Elf-woman started. "I'm so sorry, I didn't think…" she trailed off, flustered. "I know some young children have a hard time. I think it's the beard," she whispered conspiratorially to Sam.
"I'm not afraid of Santa Claus, Sam," Dean blurted out. "Jeez."
Elf-woman blinked. "You're not?" She shot a confused look at Sam.
Sam, in turn, was giving Dean a molten glare which Dean could guess was for ruining Sam's lame excuse. Really, that was the best his brother could come up with? Was he even really a Winchester?
"So! You're not afraid anymore, Dean? That's great!" Sam was smiling his dangerous smile. "Then you can go see Santa."
"Well, yeah, but you said we had lots'a shopping to do still…"
The woman gripped Dean's shoulders with surprising strength and dragged him up onto the platform.
"Nonsense," she spoke firmly, shooting a quick dirty glare in Sam's direction. "You always have time for Santa."
She steered Dean a few steps closer to the guy in the horrendous suit.
"Now, don't you be worried," she whispered into Dean's ear. Her breath was damp and smelled like stale coffee. "He's a very nice man. And… you're, uh…"
"Brother," Dean supplied.
"Brother," she nodded, "is right over there." She guided Dean a few steps closer. "Santa?" she spoke gently. "This is Dean. He's been a very good boy this year, and he's like to come sit on your lap and tell you what he wants for Christmas."
Dean rolled his eyes. If elf-lady had seen him wasting that witch a few hours earlier, she'd probably have a different opinion. Of course, if he had wasted the witch a few minutes earlier than that, he wouldn't be in this situation.
Two huge hands clamped down on either side of him, digging in underneath his armpits. He wriggled helplessly as Santa dragged him up onto his lap.
"Well, now, aren't you the squirmy one!" Santa bellowed.
Dean growled and pushed the fake fur out of his face. Sam was watching him from a distance and gave Dean a cheery wave before turning to the elf-lady to speak with her. Probably to try some weird attempt at flirting or something.
"So, Dean, are you excited for Christmas?" the guy asked.
Dean sighed. He was done trying to play along. "Look, man, I know Santa doesn't really exist, okay? I'm just keeping this up long enough to make your minion over there satisfied and then I'm out of here."
The guy blinked from underneath his furry brim and then his eyes crinkled. A huge fake beard obscured the rest of the guy's face, but Dean knew it had that same friggen condescending smile that adults had been giving him all day.
"Fair enough," fake-Santa chuckled. "Is that your dad over there?" He nodded in Sam's direction.
"My brother," Dean replied. And he didn't pout, okay? It was a frown, that's all.
"Well, then!" the man boomed, apparently stuck in character. "Do you have an exciting Christmas planned with your brother?"
Yeah, if exciting meant wading through a pile of research trying to figure out how to bust out of a ridiculous curse. "Sure, I guess," Dean replied.
Which wasn't good enough for Mr. Christmas, of course. The guy's eyes softened, another expression that Dean instantly recognized.
"Have you gone shopping for presents?" Santa pressed. "Put up decorations?"
"Look, Sammy and I aren't going to do much for Christmas. We're not little kids anymore." Which sounded ridiculous coming from him right now, Dean was sure. But the point still stood. The only thing festive Dean was planning on doing tonight was trying to convince Sam that he wasn't too young for adult eggnog.
Santa glanced furtively at the pile of donated presents behind him. Then he reached out and snagged a box, presenting it to Dean.
"I won't tell anyone if you won't," he whispered.
"Huh?" Dean's hands closed around the package automatically.
"Every kid deserves to have a toy at Christmas," he explained. "No matter how big of a kid you are." He winked at Dean.
It was a toy train, Dean could see. He turned the box over as he stuck his tongue in his front-teeth gap again. It was the type of toy he never would have owned in his real childhood. They only had toys that were small and easily transportable, not something like this that involved laying down several feet of track in order to work.
"Uh… Thanks, man."
"Merry Christmas, Dean," Santa replied.
Sam was waiting for Dean at the stairs with a barely contained smile.
"How was Santa?" he asked.
"Here." Dean shoved the box at brother. "Got you a present."
Sam frowned. "Why is it a train?"
"How should I know, man? It's just what Santa gave me."
Sam started reading the print on the back of the box. "Do you need batteries to power it, or does it plug in somehow?"
"Dude, what are you asking me for?" Dean shrugged. "Tell you what, Sammy: I'll let you play with my train if you don't bitch about me spiking the eggnog tonight."
Sam gave a nervous glance at the still-hovering elf lady. "That's what he calls putting extra nutmeg in," he explained loudly. "Isn't that cute? And… completely harmless?"
"Whatever, Sam, let's just go already," Dean urged. "It's nuts in here." The dammed whistle was back again, but Dean figured if he ignored it maybe it would go away.
"Yeah. Sure," Sam agreed. "I've some ideas of where we can start looking to break this curse."
Sam had already taken a couple steps away from the platform, but Dean hesitated on the edge. It had gotten even more packed, it seemed, with a steady stream of shoppers heading in every direction.
"Dude, you coming?"
"Yeah, Sam, just… If it'll make you feel better… You can give me a piggyback, okay? No hand-holding."
"Right," Sam nodded. "Got it."
He knelt down in front of Dean, who placed a hand on either shoulder and leaned against his brother's back.
Dean couldn't help the small gasp that escaped when Sam stood up quickly, bringing Dean up with him.
"Holy shit, you're tall," Dean grumbled, tightening his hold a little.
"You're short," Sam shot back. "And you're wearing Velcro shoes."
"Well, at least I don't have stupid hair."
"Well, at least I've got a full set of teeth. Hey, Dean: Can you say 'Sister Susie sittin' on a thistle'?"
Sam laughed. "Merry Christmas, Dean."
"Yeah, Sammy. You, too."