Title: Twas the night before Christmas
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: The Winchesters have their first Christmas without Bobby. AU I've no doubt - post Season 7 Episode 10 Death's Door.
Author's note: I had the sudden urge to give the boys another Christmas and yeah an angsty one dealing without Bobby. Hope you all enjoy. Merry Supernatural Christmas everyone. :D
Do please Review once you've read. :D Every comment and vote of support helps keep me writing. Not to mention if I've pooched anything, someone can always tell me. :P
"No, Sammy! Screw it!" Dean raged around their motel room. Sam, Mr. moral fortitude, had pickpocketed some poor sucker in a diner the night before and got them a motel room. It was a luxury they'd had to avoid for so long. Dean snorted angrily. Luxury. Freakin motel rooms were now the ritz in their book thanks to the Leviathans actively hunting the Hunters. He'd had a hot shower earlier for the first time in weeks and right now it didn't matter. "Screw the Big Mouths and Demons and angels and the whole damn world."
Sam flinched inwardly. It was Christmas, well almost. He'd suggested they actually have one this year. He wanted Dean to have that family moment, to try and salve some of the hurt they were both choking under. He wanted him to remember that he still had Sam.
"Dean. It's just Christmas." Sam said calmly.
"No, Sam. No it's not! How is it Christmas with Bobby gone? Huh?" He kicked over the little table. "Cause he's gone Sam. All those machines they got hooked up to him in that hospital? They're just keeping the lights on but no one's home. You know that."
"I'm out o' here." Dean grabbed his coat from the bed and slammed out of the room. A moment later Sam heard the car start and squeal out of the parking lot and he sighed, wiping damp eyes.
"Dammit." Sam kicked the overturned table and then sat it upright. He caught himself anxiously rubbing his left palm again and mentally kicked himself. It had become an obsessive habit since that day in the hospital. Bobby's voice came back to him. "Idjits." He'd said to them, love shining in his eyes and Sam choked on the sadness and sat heavily. He realized now why he was rubbing the scar, some part of him desperately hoping that all this was just a hallucination; that he would wake up and find Dean and Bobby standing over him with those worried looks that said his marbles had gone spilling across the floor again.
Dean had become a powder keg, exploding at the slightest provocation. It was such an odd turn for his big brother who normally shoved everything so deep you didn't realize he was hurting until you were on the floor looking up at him. This though; Bobby. This was just that one straw too many. While Dean couldn't keep his anger and loss in check, Sam couldn't seem to let his out. He'd become so adept at locking down all his crazy, his grief over Bobby seemed to have been caught up in it as well.
He wiped a hand over his forehead and realized he was sweating again. With that came the realization that his head hurt, that his throat was sore and he coughed, lungs starting to burn with flu again. "Crap." Sam went to his bag and pulled out the bottle of cold medicine he'd hidden so far from Dean. His brother didn't need the added worry of a sick Sammy. The bottle was empty. "Well, that's just great." Sam threw it against the wall and shrugged on his coat. He opened the motel room door and gave a short, miserable laugh. It was snowing buckets, whiting out the world beyond the parking lot. "Merry freakin Christmas." He groaned and stepped into the powder, pulling his collar up against the bite of cold. He hoped it wasn't too far to the gas station down the road.
Dean didn't get more than four blocks from the motel before pulling off to the side of the road. He slammed his hands into the steering wheel once, twice, three times and then let his head drop to thump against it. "Dammit, Bobby." He said on a sob and let the tears come, rolling down his face in the silence as the heavy snow quickly covered the car.
He knew what Sam was trying to do though he couldn't face it. Sam wanted Christmas and a little part of Dean hated him for it; hated that Sam could even think of it with Bobby gone. Christmas was supposed to be about family and they didn't have any left. The damn monsters had taken it all from them now. For the first time in his life, Dean felt truly alone and bereft. Even the year he had spent thinking Sam dead, he'd still had Bobby. Still had his adoptive father in his life to keep him straight and keep him grounded. 'Family don't end with blood, boy", Bobby had told him once and Dean had had the truth of that driven home to him over and over again the last few years.
They were all gone now; Mom, Dad, Bobby, Ellen, Jo and, his breath hitched, Cas. "Son of a bitch." Dean said and banged his head against the steering wheel again. He slammed out of the car then into the snow. "Why us?" He yelled out into the night. "Why you gotta keep crapping on my family?" Dean screamed it up into the falling snow, the unfairness of everything crushing him suddenly. "It's NOT FAIR!" He gave an inarticulate scream and dropped to his knees, not caring when the cold began to seep through his jeans. He leaned back against the still warm front of the car and let his tears mingle with the melting snow on his cheeks.
He had nothing left. Just for a moment, he toyed with the idea of staying there, in the snow and letting the cold take him peacefully. Hadn't he earned some peace finally? Hadn't he and Sam earned a fucking respite from hell on earth yet?
"Sam." Dean breathed and rubbed a hand over his face. Sam who was hurting every bit as much he was even though he thought he hid it. Dean saw it. Sam who was forced to spend every day having Girl Interrupted conversations with the freakin Devil and yet still, somehow, he still wanted to have a Christmas with Dean. "Jesus."
Dean thought back to the last time they'd celebrated Christmas. Both beaten and wounded, bandaged, Dean staring Hell in the face and he'd wanted a last Christmas with his little brother so badly. Sam had given it to him. They'd sat in that crappy motel drinking Sam's rocket fuel eggnog and laughed and watched the game and the whole time Dean had known it was killing him inside but Sam gave it to him. For Dean he'd smiled and laughed and decorated with cheap gas station decorations. For Dean he'd swallowed the terror of having to live his life without his big brother.
Dean groaned, thumping his head back against the now cool car and suddenly felt like crap. "Jesus I'm the fucking Grinch." He thought back to the motel room, to Sam standing there so calmly while he'd trashed the place, that puppy-dog look on his face and the love and understanding he only ever saw in Sam's eyes and he smacked the back of his head on the car again until it hurt. "I'm sorry, Sammy." Dean said softly.
He listened to the quiet shushing sound of the falling snow for a moment. It was the only sound. It was Christmas Eve and the little town they were in had all but closed down. There were no cars on the road and in the near white out of the snowfall, no light except for the glow from his headlights. Dean pushed himself up and rubbed his face hard for a minute before sliding back into the car and turning on the engine. He let the heater blast him with still warm air and pulled back out on the road.
Sam had given him a Christmas and dammit Dean was going to return the favor. He was the big brother. It was his job and he'd forgotten that since…since Bobby. He wiped irritably as another tear escaped. No more forgetting.
Dean pulled into the motel parking lot and sighed in relief. The road had vanished beneath the snow and he'd only found the motel by sheer feel. He parked by their door and took a moment to just breathe, settling himself and then got out. He reached for the doorknob and then just stood, staring.
Fixed to their room door was the most red-neck, trailer-trash wreath he'd ever seen made out of emptied beer cans tied together with twine. Dean opened his mouth, closed it again and felt tears sting his eyes. "Sammy." He said and half laughed, half cried for the brother that would remember something so insignificant from their childhood and their last Christmas. He shook his head, reminding himself that he'd been a lousy brother lately and stepped inside.
Dean pulled the door shut on the swirling snow and jumped at the loud sneeze that greeted him. "Sammy?"
"Merry Christmas…" Sam let out another explosive sneeze. "…Dean." Sam smiled hopefully and Dean looked around at the cheap lights and Charlie brown tree propped in the corner. Sam watched him and Dean could see he was braced for another outburst, waiting for Dean to thump him for carrying on anyway.
"Thanks, Sammy." Dean said softly and smiled at the pleased surprise on his little brother's face. "This is awesome. Man that wreath…" Dean ducked his head for a moment and then did something he hadn't done in too long. He went to Sam and folded him in a hug. He'd meant for it to be quick but found himself hanging on, burying his face into Sam's shoulder and felt his brother do the same, arms holding him tight. Dean heard a sniffle and knew there'd be a wet spot on his jacket and smirked as he left his own on Sam's.
Dean startled when he realized Sam was putting out his own heat and leaned back quickly, running a hand under the shaggy hair on Sam's forehead. "Hey! How long you been cookin' this?" Dean demanded and Sam laughed, wiping his eyes.
"It's just a cold." Sam grabbed a brown bag from the table and handed it to Dean.
"Cold my ass. You've got the flu." Dean ground his teeth for a moment and thought back over the last few days. Now that he thought on it, he could remember Sam's pale face, over bright eyes, surreptitious coughs and the constant smell of Nyquil on his brother's breath. He kicked himself. "Man I have really let you down lately."
"Dean, no you haven't." Sam smiled, trying to reassure him and pointed at the bag. "Will you open that already?"
Dean sighed and nodded. He opened the bag and pulled out a bottle of Blue Label Whiskey. His eyes widened and a smile spread across his face as he looked up to see the grin on Sam's face.
"Thought maybe we could share it." Sam said, self-conscious with Dean giving him that look of happiness and, yes, love.
Dean sniffed, licked his bottom lip and caught it with his teeth, refusing to have another chick flick moment so soon on the last. "Yeah I think we can do that." He took Sam's arm then and shoved him down onto the couch. "Might even knock that crap out of you so I don't have to listen to you blowing snot all night."
Sam laughed and leaned back, relieved that Dean was finally allowing the misery of the last weeks to lift a little.
"Hang on." Dean went to the bathroom. He grabbed two plastic cups from the counter and took a washcloth and wet it down, going back out. He snagged the blanket from one of the beds on his way past and tossed it in Sam's lap, twitching it til it covered his brother's long legs. "Dude you're shivering." Dean snorted and handed him the cold cloth. "Forehead. Now."
"Geez, mom." Sam groaned but did as he was told. He wiped the cold cloth over his forehead and left it there for a minute enjoying the relief from the heat wracking him and hiding the few tears he couldn't help. He felt Dean drop to the seat beside him and heard the cap on the Whiskey bottle crack.
"Merry Christmas, Sammy." Dean said gruffly and held out a cup filled with the dark brown liquid. Sam dropped the cloth and took it, eyes bright and wet. Dean tapped his cup against his little brother's and took a sip, sighing. "I forgot for a bit. I'm sorry."
"Forgot what?" Sam asked, confused and then wheezed a breath from his swallow of the Whiskey.
"That I still have something to stick around for." Dean spoke to his lap, refusing to look up and gulped the rest of the Whiskey, letting it burn down his throat. "I was out there and…I just…" He gusted a breath and poured another drink. "Suddenly realized Bobby would have kicked my ass by now." This time he couldn't stop the tear that crawled down his face and closed his eyes when Sam's shoulder bumped into his and stayed there.
"I knew you'd figure it out." Sam said softly and put his feet up on the table under the blanket, sipping from the Whiskey again, enjoying the feel of it and the feel of his brother finally back where he should be.
They sat like that, the Winchester boys, shoulder to shoulder sipping good Whiskey in the kind of companionable silence only family can bring while the clock ticked past midnight and into Christmas and each in their own way resolved to take care of each other better while the soft voice of their adoptive father whispered lovingly in their ears.
The end. Merry Christmas.