By: Karen B.
Summary: Small Xmas snippet. MS: A Very Supernatural Christmas
Disclaimer: Not the owner
Rated: Some angst, some fun, some humor, some bro-moments, some cheesy-moments, with creepy Santa added in to taste.
You're a mean one Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
And as charming as an eel,
- Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel
So this was Christmas…
And what had Sam done?
Nothing to save his brother from the pit that was for certain. He had fought hard to be brave during their little Christmas celebration, had been fighting hard since he found out about Dean's deal. Crap! He hadn't stopped fighting hard. He'd been busting tail to find a way out of the deal for his brother. Flying around like a maniac on the internet and in libraries and through slimy sewer pipes. Desperate, and demanding, and pleading for any iota of help or hope - but still there was nothing. And now tonight, he was in a panic. Like the last minute shopper searching for this year's most popular toy he should have bought months ago, and surly now...would never find. He had to do something, and the only something he could think of doing was to give Dean the merry little Christmas he so seemed to desperately want and need.
So Sam scrambled to throw together the quickest Christmas party known to man, finding as many trimmings as he could.
The first being a tree limb he'd sawed off a nearby evergreen, the one he was staring long and hard at right now. The homely branch didn't look half bad, he had to admit. All snug and stuffed inside the tar-coated bucket he'd found out behind their motel. With no tinsel or holly around, he'd decorated the homely limb with the odds and ends he found in the trunk of the Impala- fishing hooks, feathered lures, silver sinkers, plastic red and white bobbers, and Dean's entire collection of pine-scented air fresheners.
Next, he needed food and drink and presents and, yeah, lights for the tree. Sam made the short skip and a jump down the road to the local Gasmart, grabbing a couple small-scale presents - a quart of oil and a candy bar. For food – not being a great cook – he bought a cheese ball and crackers, for drink, a bottle of bourbon and the last quart of eggnog. Scanning the shop for lights, he found the only ones to be hanging sloppily from a broken awning over the store's door. And if Sam thought he was a Grinch, the clerk's Christmas, Bah-humbug was way more merciless. Guy had Ebenezer down pat, charging Sam twenty-five bucks for the tangled mess.
The football game now long over, the TV long shut off, and Dean long since sacked out on his end of the couch, Sam continued to gaze at the blinking colored bulbs. The twisted string had taken him well over forty minutes of his prep time to unravel- a huge pain in the ass. But he'd pulled Christmas off. And wouldn't Martha Stewart be proud.
He rubbed the tense muscles in his neck and sighed. That pain in his ass had moved to his forehead.
For most people Christmas came once a year and was a magical, sparkly time. Full of bells chiming, angels singing, and chestnuts roasting. Their family was far from 'most people.' Winchester Christmases were fast and to the point; if they even had a Christmas at all. Sam often guessed they were the only kids around who ate out of chicken buckets and went without a tree.
Worse, lots of times their dad just couldn't make it back from a hunt. Left them alone in a barren motel room, where Christmas dinner ended up being little more than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches washed down with a glass of milk and their presents were merely the wishes of others – Sam frowned – or stolen from others as his brother had done more than a few times.
No wonder Sam was never full of any Christmas cheer; after dad had lied to him all those years ago about monsters, and Dean had fessed up that Santa was just some fake-guy dressed up in a red suit who needed to shed a few pounds. Man, Christmas always sucked.
He thought he should be used to that fact by now. But this…he glanced over at his sleeping 'hell bound and determine' brother. Snoring away on the couch next to him, this had to be the suckiest Christmas ever.
Sam could hear every second of the ticking clock, and now as Dean's time neared he swore he could hear every nail driving into his brother's coffin and sealing the lid shut. He'd already decided – should he fail – there was no way he was ever burning Dean's body. Dean would need that body when Sam found a way. And damn it he needed to find a way before things got that far.
His thoughts were making him want to throw up, but instead he scooted carefully to the edge of the couch, pausing when the old furniture creaked loudly beneath his weight. He held his breath and listened. Dean's rhythmic snoring hadn't missed a beat. Good. Sam stood, careful to step around the plastic eggnog cups scattered on the floor and move to stand near the window. He scratched the frost off the glass with his fingernails and peered outside through the tiny circle. Snow floated down like feathers from the sky – white all around – bearing an almost otherworldly feel.
After offing Mr. and Mrs. Clause, the Michigan weather had gone back to normal. The mercury plummeted, the soupy, mud-covered ground froze, and low, gray clouds rolled in. The snow outside had been floating down from the sky, thick and fluffy, for hours. Blanketing everything in sparkles, like shiny flecks of sequins. The flakes blew upward and sideward and numerous other wards, mounding up against the Impala and the only two other cars in the motel parking lot. Leaving the vehicles trapped behind large snowdrifts.
Sam's jaw worked as he watched the windswept snow waft across the parking lot in bursts of white clouds. It was looking more and more like Dean would take the plunge to hell. And then what would Sam do for Christmases to come? He'd get a barren motel room, that's what he would do. One with a single bed, a three piece chicken dinner and a bottle of straight bourbon, lay there staring at the ceiling, getting drunk and thinking about their last Christmas together. Thinking about how he'd failed his big brother. Thinking about Dean suffering in hell every second of every day, and wishing like he'd never wished before that he could take his place on the rack.
The thought of being left alone was nauseating – made fear rise up from the very soles of Sam's shoes.
The past few days had been hard on Sam, lurking in the Christmas shadows of his childhood. The memories puncturing holes in his heart, but crueler were his thoughts of losing Dean. He'd told himself he'd save Dean. He'd find a way. But somewhere inside himself he knew Dean was going to hell. Knew it sure as he stood there watching the snow fly.
Hot as hell.
Cold as hell.
Which was it? Sam's thoughts turned morbid. Was hell Summer-sand hot, or meat-locker cold? And when did that ever matter. Hell was hell.
Sam bit into his lower lip so hard he tasted blood. He dejectedly pressed his forehead to the glass. He wasn't handling this whole going to hell thing well. Maybe tomorrow would be better.
He doubted that very much. Dean was walking a tight rope and sooner or later he was going to fall. The sound of death gurgling in his brother's throat was a constant in Sam's ears. Tonight the sound was so loud it made the liquored-up eggnog in his gut ferment. Damn he was going to be sick and he couldn't.
Sam pressed his nose against the cold windowpane. Death was out there - a rabid timber wolf howling in the night. Stalking and waiting and salivating to take that first bite.
He needed to stop that wolf any which way he could. Save Dean. He'd do anything. Anything. But what was left to do?
Sam's lips twitched out from the hard hold his teeth had on them and a sob nearly left his mouth. He swallowed hard, barely catching the cry in his throat. He didn't need Dean waking up to find him staring out the fogged up glass like an actress in a sad movie.
"Pssst," came a soft sound from behind.
Crap. Too late.
Sam stiffened and turned to see Dean sitting up on one elbow rubbing the drowsiness from his eyes and staring straight at him
"What? What's wrong with you?" Dean asked.
Sam cleared his throat but the sob remained. "I'm fine," he choked, his voice wet and harsh.
Dean gave him the critical once over. "Talk! Now!"
Sam ducked his head, and moved away from the snot-smeared window.
"Sammy," Dean prompted, sitting up further.
"My finger hurts," Sam blurted out.
"Your finger?" Dean raised his brow, disbelieving.
"Yeah, Dean," Sam growled, "My finger." He shuffled over to his bag sitting on a chair in the corner, unzipped the duffel with flourish and dug down inside.
"I could cut it off for you, princess," Dean offered with a light chuckle.
Sam launched Dean a dirty look, pulling a bottle of aspirin from his bag. "These will do," he said, shaking out three white pills.
The room was quiet again.
"You back to being your Grinch self, Sammy, Bahhh-humbugging? "Dean asked grabbing the candy bar Sam had bought him, unwrapping the chocolate and taking a big chomp.
"That'd be Scrooge," Sam said, dry swallowing the pills and glaring at Dean.
Once again, there was heavy silence.
Dean nodded shoving the rest of his bar into his mouth, and bent down, draggin his boots over to the couch.
"Where are you going?" Sam chimed.
"You're not stealing my Christmas." He stuffed his feet in and started lacing. "I'm going outside, going to build a snowman." Dean got up grabbing his parka and a pair of gloves. "That okay with you, Mr. Joy to the World?" He headed for the door.
Sam stood stalk still, watching Dean's retreating back.
Dean drew open the door, white flurries swirling across the floor in a tizzy. He glanced over his shoulder at Sam. "Coming with, Ebenezer? Or is your heart two sizes too small?" he asked, pulling the parka's hood up over his head, looking like an Eskimo.
"That'd be The Grinch," Sam snarked.
"Thank you, Charles Dickens."
"Dr. Seuss," Sam huffed.
"You think you know so much, Tiny Tim? Dean barked.
"Cindy-Lu," Sam puffed.
"Whatever, Scroogeville." Dean reached into his back pocket.
"Whoville, Dean, Whoville." Sam stood, hands on hips.
Dean held up his money clip. "Eighty bucks says my snowman will kick your snowman's ass," Dean taunted, waving the bills in the air.
"Not going to work, Dean." Sam crossed his arms over his chest in defiance.
You know, dude." Dean cocked his head off to one side. "Little green hair dye you'd look just like the Grinch. All tall and hairy-faced and freaky," he laughed heartily.
"Dean!" Sam shouted, arms dropping to his sides.
"Shh," Dean put a finger up to his lips. "Horton might hear a Who, bro."
Sam stomped an annoyed foot to the floor. "Damn it, Dean. You-"
"You're a mean one, Sammy Grinch," Dean interrupted, stuffing his money clip back into his pocket, and then stepped out into the cold leaving the motel door wide open as he continued singing. "You're as cuddly as a piranha and you're hair looks like Madonna's, Sammy Grinch," Dean burst out laughing.
Sam rolled his eyes as he watched through the open doorway as Dean gather up snow and started rolling a ball back and forth across the parking lot.
"You're a fussy one, Sammy Grinch." Dean turned his head, winking at Sam, "Walking around with unwashed pits," he sung, crinkling his nose. "You're as giddy as a schoolgirl, and you cry when you hurl, Sammy Grinch. You're a dorky, geeky, punk and your brain is full of gunk, Sammy Grinch," Dean changed his tone, rolling his growing snowball even faster, "You wear no shoeshine, you got toe jam football, you got monkey finger, you shoot Coca-Cola, Sammy Bitch…I mean Grinch."
"The Beatles? Really jerk," Sam snapped.
"Aerosmith." Dean hurled a snowball through the door hitting Sam in the chest.
"Hey!" Sam protested, brushing the snow off.
"Crap, losing my touch," Dean barked, throwing another hitting Sam in the face this time. "That's more like it," he smiled and nodded merrily. "Bull's-eye!"
"Dean, aren't you too old-" Sam took another snowball in the right thigh.
"Winchester scores again and the crowd goes nuts!" Dean jumped up and down, clapping his gloved hands together.
"Fine! You're on," Sam yelled in frustration. "You want a snowman throwdown, Dean, you got yourself one."
"That's the spirit, tiger," Dean cackled.
Satisfied he'd gotten his brother's goat, he went back to rolling.
This was war. Sam rushed about the room shucking on his boots, parka and gloves and racing out the door into the frosty night. Dean was still rolling the lower half of his snowman, stopping ever third rolls to pat the snow down. Roll and pat, roll and pat, roll and pat. The snowball grew and grew with each roll already hip-high.
"How big you going to make the thing?" Sam asked, gathering snow in his gloved hands and shaping it into a ball.
"The bigger the better," Dean said. Taking a breather he peered out from under his parka at Sam, swiping sweat from his brow.
"You would think that." Sam kept rolling his ball round and round the parking lot in a dizzying circle, never once stopping.
"You're doing it all wrong," Dean grouched. "You have to pack it down tight."
"It's a snowman, Dean, what are you going to do patent it?"
"Details, Sammy. You have to have a keen eye for details."
"What? I suppose your snowman is going to be anatomically correct?"
"If you're going to do something, I say, do it right."
"You read that book didn't you?"
"How to Build a Snowman for Dummies."
Dean snipped, "Like I said, dude, my snowman's going to kick your snowman's ass." Dean rolled and patted a few more times, then started on the snowman's middle.
For the longest time the two were quiet. Rolling their snowballs and following their path in the freshly fallen snow. Only the thumpetty thump thump thumping of boots, heavy breathing, and the crunching of snow could be heard.
"I'm done." Sam stood back from his four foot tall snowman.
Still assembling the head on top his six-foot-six man, Dean looked up. "Okay." He frowned, studying Sam's creation. "Where's his face?"
"His face, dude. Your friggin' snowman doesn't even have a face."
"Dean, stop it, this is stupid, and neither does yours."
"What's a snowman without a face?" Dean trotted back into the open doorway of the motel. "This isn't over until you find a face, Sammy Grinch," he shouted from somewhere in the room.
"Do you know how annoying that is?" Sam grouched.
"Yes I do," Dean's voice bellowed out the open door. "You're an idiot, Mr. Grinch. Can't even build a snowman in a pinch…"
"Dean, come off it, it's freezing out here," Sam complained, squatting down and digging down through the snow to the gravel lot. "Asshat,"he mumbled, picking at the frozen rocks and using them to form two eyes – each of different sizes – a small nose, and a crooked mouth.
"That's one sorry son of a bitch," Dean squawked from behind. "Looks like you, only freakier," he cackled going to stand before his snowman.
"Watch and learn, little brother. Watch and learn." Dean moved to his man and brushed off the snow where his face would be, smoothing and sculpting and chiseling his chin.
"It's a snowman, Dean, he doesn't need plastic surgery," Sam smirked.
"Uh-huh," Dean muttered placing a knit hat on the head of his snowman, then using sunglasses for his eyes, a plastic bobber from the tree for his nose, and a strand of black licorice for his smiling mouth. "Done." He stood back admiring his handy work "My dude's a cool dude," he said proudly.
Sam had to admit. Dean's snowman kicked his snowman's ass. "Whatever," he said, crossing his arms in defeat.
Dean slung an arm around his snowman's shoulder and leaned in to whisper in its ear. "Guess that means we won, Dean Junior." He grinned.
"Ah, Dean," Sam unfolded his arms. "Super creepy."
Dean thought about that a moment. "Right." He stepped away. "It's freezing out here," he shivered. "Let's head in," he said, marching back into the room.
Sam hung back, stood there in the hush of the falling snow. For a while Dean had gotten hell to stop running through his mind. But the moment he walked away hell rushed back again. Sam's eyes were fixed off in the distance. Everything was painted white and blank and bland and empty. Just like his life would be if Dean was gone. He began to feel sick to his stomach once again. How was he going to stop this? How was he going to go on without his big brother? There was always only one answer. He couldn't.
The black horizon gave way to a coppery band as the December sun began to rise.
Dean had stolen from Sam. Took his own life and placed his head on that chopping block, stuck his neck in the hangman's noose just for him. Sam knew why. He'd have done the same for Dean. Would stand his ground and take death in the face – full barrel.
But – Dean dying for in place of him…it was just too much. His big brother would be dead. No breath. No heartbeat. No blood flow. In hell. A bottomless pit, full of voraciously hungry, blood craving, serrated teeth, bone cracking monsters. As a hunter of evil, Sam didn't have to go there to know that fact firsthand. Most people didn't. But again they were not most people. They were hunters of all things evil. Dean would be picked to pieces the second he hit bottom – a cop put in general population.
And damn it how, was Sam supposed to live with that?
A frosty cold breeze rushed down Sam's back. Everything around him flattened and diluted and went from white to gray. Shit. Hell was going to take his brother from him. Leave Dean a bleeding mess and all Sam could do was to stand calf-deep in the falling snow, building snowmen and waiting around for the hell clock to chime midnight.
Sam's breath turned to heaving, shoulders rising and falling rapidly. The snow disappeared, replaced by horrid images. His brother's blood spraying, spurting, and splashing red, like all that gore gushing out of the elevator doors in The Shining.
Heart slamming fear surged through Sam's veins and his legs trembled threating to bring him to his knees.
"Hey." A light hand came to rest on his shoulder, stopping his decent. "What's with you again?
Sam gave a slight jolt and hunched in on himself, closing his eyes and not saying anything.
"You're going to freeze your jingle bells off out here, man," Dean chuckled lightly.
Sam shrugged, keeping his eyes closed, gloved hands clenched at his sides. They didn't have many good Christmas memories, but this one would be the one he remembered most. Their last Christmas together, he was going to lose Dean. The thought of it was guttural.
Sam opened his eyes, but didn't make a move.
"Dude? What the hell?" Dean tightened his hand on Sam's shoulder and spun him around roughly searching his face.
"Exactly," Sam choked on the whisper.
Dean frowned deeply.
Sam's chin quivered. The words, 'you're leaving me,' written all over his face.
Dean's frown smoothed. "You know…I'm still here?"
Sam's eyes welled with emotion. "You know… it won't be for much longer."
Dean glanced away, swallowed hard then turned back. "You know we could go inside and have another one of your comfy, cozy chick moments in front of the TV," he said with a ton of bravado.
Sam straightened. "You know you could go in without me, right," he challenged.
"You know I won't, right."
"You know I am not letting you go to hell." A beat. " Dean."
Dean nodded. "You know if you don't shut up and get your frosty ass back inside, me and my awesome snowman, Chuck," Dean hiked a thumb over his shoulder, "Are going to kick you and your wimpy snowman, Bruce's ass. " A beat. "Sam."
Dean danced around all macho, throwing karate chops at the air.
"I thought his name was Dean Jr.?" Sam snapped.
"Changed my mind," Dean growled, doing a 'crane' kick. "Going to beat you down, bro."
Aggravated, Sam stepped back, arms spread out wide. "You know you could try."
"Let's have at." Dean went to throw the first move.
"Silent night, hiccup, holy… hiccup."
"What the…" Sam and Dean said in unison spinning around.
A man with a dingy beard half hanging off his face wearing a red suit torn and full of holes, and bottle of cheap whiskey in his hand was standing under the parking lot light post.
"I love Hanukah, I hope I get a harmonica. On this lovely, lovely Hannukah, I'm drinking my Gin and tonica, ' Cause I really, really wannaca" he stopped singing long enough to slog down the last few drops of his bottle, swaying to and fro.
Sam and Dean puzzled over the man for a moment.
"'Eh, Sam?" Dean broke in.
Sam squinted. "I think it is."
"Peeing on the lamppost," Sam conquered, cocking his head slightly to the right, a repulsive look crossing his face. "Is that mistletoe hanging from-"
Dean gagged, "I'm going to be sick."
Dirty-drunk Santa zipped up and then looked up. "Ho, ho, ho, young fellows," he boomed, waving his bottle in the air and tripping toward them.
"Dude," Dean barked. "We don't have any cookies." He started to nervously back up.
"I don't think its cookies he's looking for, Dean." Sam gestured toward the bottle tipped upside down, obviously empty.
"Help a man out…got beer?" Santa limped closer.
"Here comes Santa Clause," Dean cracked wise. "Got any wonderful, awful ideas there, Grinch?"
"All out." Sam smiled politely at Dirty-drunk Santa, backing up along with Dean. "How about we chalk this little ass kicking contest up to a tie and head inside, lock the door and finish off the cheese ball?"
Dean thought about that a moment, wrinkling his nose. "Guess that beats Billy Bob Thornton over there trying to show us any more of his Christmas spirit."
They both turned and made a mad dash into the room, slamming the door behind them.
Merry Christmas to all and to all… a goodnight.
The –cheese ball-end.