A/N: Written for Mandraco during the SPN_bigpretzel Secret Satan Exchange.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, or any carols mentioned in this tale. Written for fun, not profit.
"We Wish You a Merry Friggin' Christmas"
"—Well, you thought a 'Christmas Carol' was the chick you had sex with behind Pastor Jim's nativity scene!"
"Her name was 'Carol'! Or maybe Karen…crap…And, we didn't even round all the bases, you prude!" Dean paused, his loaded shovel held mid-swing as he glanced up out of the grave. "Wait—you knew about her?"
Sam snorted, shuffling his feet, and maybe purposely kicking a bit of dirt back onto his brother's shoulder. "All the wise men knew. Joseph, too. You're lucky Pastor Jim didn't find out."
The moon overhead was bright enough that Sam could see Dean's expression dissolve into a doggish smile. "Dude, she was my first older woman. If you had only seen those Jingle Bells..."
"I was eleven!" Sam took a soothing breath. "I'm not getting into this with you again."
"Oh, great, now Samantha has her panties in a wad."A plop sounded as dirt landed in the pile beside the grave, then rang the ting of metal hitting the outside of the burial vault. "Bingo!"
Sam tried to stop himself from engaging, he really did, because a job was no place for this familiar argument, but—"No, I'm being the bigger man, Dean. Which is easy, you know, considering I am."
Movement halted beside him, and Sam forced himself to take a sideways glance at the grave. Dean wasn't taking the bait though, a shit-eating grin planted on his face. "So, you're bowing out and admitting that I'm better at celebrating Christmas than you are?"
Sam almost threw his arms up, until he remembered the sawed-off held tight against his side and his sore shoulders, which were still aching from his first round of digging into the cold-hardened earth. Instead he made a face, spinning back toward his brother.
"This is a stupid fight!" Sam snapped. "But if you want to keep going, fine. The fact that we're here on Christmas Eve—your idea—is proof that no, Dean, you don't appreciate a traditional Christmas!"
"Dude, it's a Christmas-themed hunt!"
Sam frowned. "It's a dead mall Santa, Dean."
Dean dropped his shovel, waving his hands out, as if revealing some grand wonder instead of displaying the coffin beneath his feet. "A. Dead. Santa."
In response, Sam reached down into the duffel and tossed a crowbar down at his brother. An open bag of rock salt quickly followed. "Let's just get this done so we can go back to the motel."
"And the Grinch has had enough of his vacation to Whoville, apparently," Dean muttered. A loud crack sounded as he put the crowbar to work.
"We're in a cemetery—not exactly a Winter Wonderland." Sam shook his head. "You really thought this would be some sort of brotherly Christmas bonding experience? Ganking Santa? Again? It's one thing to be on the job, it's another for you to try and pretend it's some sort of twisted present for me."
Dean chuckled. "Come on, man—you started this, with the whole 'you wouldn't understand holiday traditions if they bit you in the ass' line." Which, he was sure to quote in a nasally, girlish voice. "But it doesn't get much more traditional than the Winchesters roasting Kris Kringle's chestnuts while the rest of the country is sitting out his milk and cookies. Plus, I do know Christmas stuff. And I do like Christmas stuff. Which is more than I can say for you recently, Scrooge McSasquatch."
Sam's jaw tightened, but he went quiet, suddenly aware of the fact that they were still on the job. He looked the area over—still no sign of the spirit haunting the local mall. Apparently, even fake Santas didn't like it when snobs tried to petition for the removal of the Christmas tree standing in the Food Court. Granted, he doubted a politically correct decorating dispute usually led to horrific murders. But what did he know?
At the moment, it seemed the mall Santa was thankfully staying at his designated haunt.
Then Sam heard it. No, not the ghost, but the sound of humming. Dean humming, to be exact. Sam shifted his attention back to the grave, where was looking over the cracked top of the vault, as if determining the best way to reach the coffin. Obviously feeling his gaze, Dean began to mutter lyrics just under his breath.
Seriously? Sam huffed. There was something so not right about singing a Christmas carol while burning Santa Claus, and Sam was certain Dean was doing it on purpose. Ass-hole.
After a moment's hesitation, he sat the gun at the edge of the grave, then dropped down beside his brother to help with the vault. One heave in, and Dean was singing more loudly. So much for dropping it.
"Dean, if you have so much love for Christmas crap, why is it that you don't even know the right lyrics to the one Christmas song you can remember?"
Dean stood up straight, confusion lining his face. "What are you on about now?"
Sam shook his head. "Never mind—forget I said it. I'm not playing this game with you."
"What you are talking about I don't the lyrics? It's 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'—everyone knows the friggin' lyrics."
Sam was bent over the coffin, taking in the first stomach-turning whiff from beneath the broken vault, when he burst out laughing. "Dude, seriously? You have no clue why that's funny?"
Dean's expression went from confused to pissy in two seconds flat. He tossed down his crowbar, arms crossed over his chest. "Enlighten me."
Sam's eyes widened with amusement. "I honestly thought you were screwing with me. You've been singing that song wrong since I was six."
"I taught you that damn song!"
Sam nodded, another chuckle slipping out. "And you taught me the wrong words. My teacher thought it was hilarious—Dean, it's supposed to go 'bring us some figgy pudding,' not 'bring us some friggin' pudding.'"
Dean's nose wrinkled in disgust. "Nuh-uh."
"Uh-huh," Sam confirmed. "Figgy pudding."
"Figgy pudding?" Dean's gaze narrowed. "That's not even a real thing."
"Dean, it's a sixteenth century English carol—I'm pretty sure 'friggin' wasn't in the vocabulary back then. Figgy pudding…it's kind of like a white English Christmas pudding, but, you know, with figs, and it's mainly remained popularized because of that song."
"Well, what the hell is Christmas pudding? Wait—better question, why do you know so much about figgy pudding?"
Sam opened and closed his mouth. "I—uh—looked it up once. Out of curiosity and—"
And then Sam spotted Santa Claus, not in a sleigh or a roof top, but kneeling down on the high ground behind Dean. Before he could shout out, a black gloved hand was around his brother's neck, pulling him up out of the grave.
Sam scrambled up over the side of the grave, pulling up his shotgun as he rolled onto his knees. He was just in time to see Dean being dropped onto the ground.
Santa, a.k.a Jerry Puckett, his skin a clashing purple-blue hue against his red outfit, towered over the hunter he'd just dropped. "You've been a very naughty boy," he growled.
Dean lifted his head. "Guess—" he panted, rubbing his neck "—I'm getting coal this year?"
"Ho…" With a flick of his wrist, the Santa sent Dean flying into a tombstone. He hit the marble with a thud that left Sam cringing. Before Santa could follow his downed prey, Sam aimed the sawed-off and fired. The salt shredded Santa before a second "ho" could leave his lips.
Sam froze, torn for a moment before Dean lifted one arm up, waving him back. "Burn the bastard!" he called out.
Sam grabbed the lighter fluid out of the duffel, squirting it down into the open grave. Hopefully, it would be enough. He struck a match and set the blaze just as Santa reappeared in front of him, a snarl above his white fluffy beard.
The spirit burst into flames, fading back out of existence.
Sam couldn't afford the moment of relief. He slid the duffel strap over one shoulder and ran toward his brother.
"Crap, Dean—you're bleeding."
"No shit, Sher…somethin'…" Dean attempted, pushing himself up onto his elbows. He didn't make it any further before Sam slipped an arm around his waist, taking his weight. "You're right. My Christmas traditions suck."
Dean winced, as if his own words hurt his ears. A fresh stream of blood slid down his cheek from the gash at his hairline. Sam's frown deepened when he noted the slight slur to his brother's words. It was a long walk back to the Impala, longer still if Dean was barely able to keep on his feet.
"They don't suck," Sam said. "Remember how we used to watch that beat-up VHS copy of Gremlins every year? That was a good one."
"Dad didn't like that one. Too job-related. He preferred our copy of Die Hard."
Sam rolled his eyes. "I liked it." But he could see the conversation was fizzling out, and Dean was suddenly feeling heavier, his eyes at half-mast. "Hey—dude, stay with me, okay? Fainting like a girl is reserved for the motel."
"Figgy puddin' isn't real," Dean mumbled, ignoring the jab.
Sam snorted. "Yes, it is. But I don't think you'd like it. Stick to pie."
" 'at's my boy."
Sam shook his head, easing the two of them around a statue of an angel that Sam absolutely refused to make eye contact with. He felt Dean's head leaning slightly onto his shoulder, which was never something Dean would have allowed if he had complete control over his body. Sam felt worry gnawing at his insides. They couldn't afford to chance a hospital visit right now, but head wounds were tricky—and why the hell had they parked the Impala so far away?
"'Now, bring me some figgy pudding,' bitch," Dean sung, just under his breath, then stopped. "You ever eat figgy pudding?"
He couldn't help the broken chuckle that left his lips. Sam could feel a slight blush at his cheeks, just remembering the event, and he was ready to keep his mouth closed until he remembered that his brother needed to stay awake until they could reach the car.
"No. But…I lied about looking it up out of curiosity. I tried to make it once."
"Oh, God—" Dean muttered, apparently recollecting some of Sam's previous cooking endeavors.
"My computer was down, or I would have looked it up, but…" Sam smiled, shaking his head, "you're going to give me such a hard time about this in the morning."
"Well, the Christmas after I met Jess, her parents were coming down to see her, and she wanted me to meet them. I was nervous as all Hell, so when she said 'bring the figgy pudding' before hanging up the phone, I thought she was being serious—I mean, I thought that might be a normal traditional thing or something."
The weight at his side lifted slightly, Dean picking up his feet. "Not so normal?"
Sam bit down his grin. "Not so much. Jess and her mom laughed until they cried when the realized what I'd done."
"Dude, what did you cook?"
"In my defense, my computer was down, so I couldn't look it up or anything so—yeah, I kinda just dumped a pack of Fig Newtons into a dish of vanilla pudding and tried to brown the top."
Dean chuckled. "Was it good?"
"Her brother liked it. Until he started vomiting…You're not supposed to put eggs into a cold dish."
"Tell me you didn't…"
Sam had never been so glad to see the Impala. The beauty was parked under the trees just outside the open graveyard's last line of tombstones. Dean managed to stumble out of his grasp, relinquishing his car keys without so much as a grumble before he eased down into the passenger's side.
Sam tossed in their supplies and slid behind the steering wheel, giving his brother a quick glance over. "Stay awake," he ordered. "I'm not carrying you into the room."
"Yeah, yeah…" Dean leaned over onto the door, the tightness in his brow contradicting his wide smile. "So you gave her family food poisoning, and you still got the girl. It must have been a Christmas miracle."
Sam smirked. "Which goes well with your Christmas concussion." He let out a breath, cranking the Impala to life. "Dean?"
"I like eggnog and bad movies and business as usual—your traditions are better than normal ones."
Sam shook his head, cutting him off. "And I like your version of the song better, too."
He also liked Dean's version of "Take it Easy" better, too—"Looking for a lover who won't blow my brother" was just more fitting than the original line. Not that he planned to tell Dean he'd been singing one of his favorite Eagles songs wrong his whole life. He'd learned his lesson.
Dean shrugged, trying and failing to hide the goofy grin at his lips. "Yeah, well, that's a given. Figgy pudding obviously sucks ass."
"Merry Christmas, Dean."
"And a happy New Year, Sammy."