This one shot Christmas piece is dedicated to Hannah Banana, aka Johnny Boy. Love you dear, and Merry Christmas.

Sam Winchester never liked Christmas. It was full of memories of a missing father and things that went bump in the night. If he had his way, he'd just ignore the holiday altogether. But Dean always tried to look at their past Christmases with rose colored glasses... where Sam saw loneliness and shame, Dean saw bonding and camaraderie.

It was even worse this year. It had been more than a half year since they threw a wrench in the apocalypse, and Dean seemed more determined than ever to have a Christmas. He insisted on driving back to Bobby's and getting a tree of all things. Sam wasn't a pessimist, but he couldn't help but think of all the people they had lost over the years when it came to the Christmas season. And that is why he'd rather go out and kill a couple things than roast marshmallows with Dean, Bobby and Castiel. Besides, he couldn't stand to see his brother flirt with Castiel since he had lost his own boyfriend... well it wasn't important. He was happy for his brother.

"And Cas, well, he said he'd bring some whiskey for Bobby... and I know what he got you Sam, you're going to love it," Dean gushed from the drivers seat with his new found Christmas spirit. Sam worked up enough energy to grunt back a reply which Dean blithely ignored. Dean prattled on about other things for the next few minutes before they pulled into Bobby's scrapyard. He looked shrewdly over at a despondent Sam before turning down the radio which was cranking 'Let it Snow' by Chicago.

"Hey Sam, I know it's hard, but we've all taken losses. Big losses." Sam sighed again, but he knew Dean was right. He wasn't the only one who lost a loved one. "But we're all here Sammy, let's just forget about that stuff for a while and celebrate, alright?" Sam smiled a little.

"Yeah, alright Dean."

"That's the spirit. Now, it's Christmas Eve, let's get drunk and sing carols." Dean pat his brother on the back briefly before climbing out of the Impala. Sam rolled at his brother's awkward heart to heart before climbing out too. If he was going to have a proper Christmas, and the apocalypse was over... he might as well enjoy it.


It had been a couple of hours and Sam was pleasantly buzzed from the eggnog, but not nearly as hammered as Dean was. Bobby was looking at him with veiled amusement, nursing a tumbler of whiskey himself. Castiel had yet to show up, but they weren't worried. Nothing could touch them, not now. They were in their own little bubble, and Sam idly wondered if this was how other people celebrated Christmas. He could get used to it.

The tree twinkled in the corner, adorned with decorations that Bobby had found in his basement that he neutrally proclaimed he hadn't touched since Karen had died. They were all very careful while decorating the tree, a ritual they hadn't had time to practice for many years. The only thing that was missing was their renegade angel. They were now waiting for him to show up so they could exchange gifts.

Finally, the tell tale flutter of wings alerted them to Castiel's presence.

"Cas!" Dean slurred. "Merry Christmas." Sam rolled his eyes and Bobby muttered something that sounded suspiciously like 'idjit' under his breath.

"Dean, you are inebriated." Castiel pointed out with no real castigation in his voice. He just looked happy to be there with his friends.

"Damn straight I am." Dean grinned before surging up to plant a kiss on his boyfriend's lips. Sam struggled not to spit out the eggnog he was drinking. Castiel returned the kiss chastely and lightly nudged Dean off him. He pouted, but took his place next to Sam.

"Hey Cas," Sam said a little more subdued. "Merry Christmas."

"And a Merry Christmas to you, Samuel." Sam sighed and grumbled under his breath about the formalities, but Castiel didn't seem to notice.

"All right, let's get this over with," Bobby said bluntly, pulling out a few packages wrapped in brown paper. Dean beamed and even Sam smiled a bit. They actually had time to shop for one another this year, this truly would be the first Christmas since they were very little.

"I will give my presents first," Castiel said, with a warm glow to his face. He distributed his packages and watched his friends with an eager expression. Sam was surprised to get a very old book that Castiel informed him came from Heaven's library. He stroked the spine reverently and thanked the angel earnestly. Bobby was equally surprised to receive whiskey that Castiel apparently zapped back in time to grab. And Dean, well, Castiel gave him a silver ring with Enochian carved around the band. He explained that it was for protection, but Dean flushed bright red anyway and thanked Castiel with another kiss. Sam looked away quietly, feeling his chest clench up with loss. The angel seemed to notice and pulled away from Dean, frowning.

Covering the tense moment, Bobby hastily gave out his own presents, which were a flask like his own for Dean, a new knife for Sam and a flip phone for Castiel, who had accidently broke his awhile back. Sam gave his brother some new tapes to play in the Impala, Bobby a new leather wallet and Castiel a little bamboo plant, which he accepted with a small smile. The elder Winchester pulled out his own gifts, which were wrapped in the comic section from the newspaper. He gave Sam an amulet and Bobby a new hat. He gave a look to Castiel which clearly meant he'd give him his present when they were in private. Sam already knew it was a silver ring very similar to the one Castiel had given him earlier.

The gifts were distributed, and the ragtag family spent the next hours by the fire sipping drinks, telling stories, and singing. Finally, the night drew to a close, and Dean went to go unplug the tree. He paused when he picked up a slip of paper up from under the tree.

"Cas, this from you?" he asked cautiously, strangely articulate for someone who had drank a fair share of alcohol.

"No, I left no papers under the tree." he said, cocking his head slightly. Dean unfolded the paper and his eyes widened slightly.

"Sammy, it's for you." Sam's mouth opened and closed for a moment before accepting the note.

Merry Christmas Sam Winchester.

"Salt lines?" Bobby called.

"The salt lines are all intact, as are the sigils." Castiel informed.

"Then what in the hell-" but Bobby was cut off by a gasp from the younger Winchester. The paper fluttered to the ground, forgotten. Bobby, Dean and Castiel looked towards Sam's line of sight and gave their own astonished gasps. There, by the fire, stood the supposedly dead archangel.

"Gabriel?" Sam said in a small voice, hoping this wasn't an alcohol induced vision.

"Yeah, it's me Samsquatch." Sam let out a little sob and rushed over to his very much alive boyfriend before embracing him tightly, as if afraid he'd be gone when he let go.

"You're alive," he said, allowing a bit of hope to creep into his voice. "You're alive?"

"I don't know any more than you do Sammy," the Trickster said, with no hint of joke in his voice for once. Sam leaned down and did something he didn't think he would be able to do ever again. He kissed his boyfriend. It was full of desperation, sadness, and a hint of hope.

"That is indeed my brother, Dean." Castiel whispered gravely. "It is not a trick." Dean decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth for once and hope that Sam would go back to normal now that his boyfriend was alive.

"Come on guys, get a room or something." Dean complained, and Sam and Gabriel reluctantly broke apart. Sam turned to his brother, classic bitchface in place.

"Shut up Dean."

Yup. Sam Winchester was back.


Chuck smiled to himself and turned away from the happy scene, slowly walking away from Bobby Singer's house.

"Merry Christmas, Sam Winchester." he said quietly before flickering out of existence.

That's it! Take time to review! And Merry (early) Christmas!

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