Dean came galloping agitatedly down the stairs, carrying a grinning, chocolate-covered toddler.
"Castiel!" he bellowed as he swung the giggling boy over his shoulder. Sam came out of a bedroom on the floor level, still in his pajamas.
"Dean, what are you doing?" he asked, stifling a yawn. "It's 7 am."
"Yes, it's 7 am. And do you know what my brilliant child decided to do at 7 am? He decided to break into the cupboards and eat all of the chocolate that we bought for this morning!"
Sam's eyes widened as he rapidly woke up.
"Holy crap, all of it? Is he okay?"
With an irritated look, Dean held out the child, who giggled mischievously.
"He's fine. Look at him. The little fucking shit."
"Seriously, though, I don't have time for this," Dean huffed.
Just then, Cas emerged from the bathroom, looking groggy.
"Cas, will you please give your son a bath?"
Dean held out the child, and Cas took him, smiling a little.
"He's only my son when he's in trouble. What have you done now, Johnny?" Cas said, quickly determining the answer as he examining the chocolate-coated boy. The child laughed.
"Sammy, can you get dressed and come help me with breakfast?" Dean said. Sam sighed but nodded. Dean gave Cas a quick kiss, which the ex-angel received with a sleepy smile.
"Just get him cleaned up before the guests arrive, please," Dean said. He shot his son a disapproving look. Cas nodded and returned to the bathroom.
Sam found his brother in the kitchen several moments later, manically flipping bacon out of a pan.
"Calm down, Dean," he said, grinning. "It's only Christmas."
"Yeah, Christmas with a bunch of sissy Brits who will expect a full English breakfast when they get here," Dean growled.
"Have you called Bobby yet?"
"He's on his way," Dean confirmed.
They were silent for several moments.
"I'll bet you money that he punches Fancy-Pants," Sam said suddenly, smiling. Dean grinned.
The doorbell rang, almost as if on cue, and Sam left the kitchen to welcome Bobby.
"Merry Christmas, boys," Bobby hollered as he entered the house. Prettily wrapped gifts peaked out of the bags he was carrying.
From the bathroom, they heard Johnny's cry of "Uncle Bobby!" followed by a lot of splashing sounds and Cas cursing. Dean laughed. Bobby set his bag under the small, festive Christmas tree and followed Sam into the kitchen. Cas joined them several moments later, carrying a gleeful, clean, freshly dressed Johnny. Cas set the child down, and glanced frowningly at his wet button up shirt. Dean came over to him with a kitchen towel and began patting Cas's shirt.
"Your son is a menace," Cas said, smiling at his husband. Dean grinned back.
"Oh, he's my son now, is he?"
Sam was over at the kitchen table, making exaggerated gagging noises directed at his brother. Dean looked at Sam for a moment, then grabbed Cas's lapels and kissed him thoroughly on the mouth. When they'd finished, Cas looked at his partner with such a glazed expression that Sam couldn't help but laugh.
"Yucky!" Johnny yelled, wrinkling his nose.
"I will second that," Bobby said, although he failed to hide his smile.
For the second time that morning, the doorbell rang. Dean trotted over to the door and opened it wide to let his six guests in.
"Merry Christmas!" Dean cried, throwing out his arms. Johnny had trotted up beside him, and had spread his arms as well, in an adorable imitation. Sam secretively took a picture.
The first to enter the house was an average-sized blond man carrying a beautiful, dark-haired little girl.
"Hey, John, it's good to see you. Your kid is growing like a weed."
"You're one to talk!" John Watson said, smiling at Johnny as he set his daughter down.
Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson came in after John, then a brown haired man and his blonde companion. Sam peered out the door to find a blue British police box only feet away.
"Nice parking, Doc," he teased.
The man folded away his square glasses and waggled his eyebrows at the Winchester boy.
"Years of practice," he grinned.
"Hi, Sam!" Rose smiled brilliantly at the hunter, who returned a grin.
Dean closed the door, much to the dismay of the billows of snow that had been strategically working their way through the threshold.
The party followed Dean into the kitchen, where Cas was somberly loading plates with food. While the guests took plates and began to seat themselves at the table, Dean walked over to Cas and wrapped an arm around his waist.
"This is exhausting," he muttered. "I swear to God, this is the last year we have Christmas here."
Cas looked shocked.
"You must be very serious to be including God in your resolution."
Dean laughed loudly.
"You will always be an angel, Cas. With or without your grace."
"What are you talking about, I have my grace right here," Cas tapped Dean's chest. For a moment, Dean was rendered speechless by how sweet Cas's comment was. Then, he remembered that he was wearing the glowing, frosted crystal necklace that Cas had given him four years ago.
"Still sweet," Dean said, patting his partner, who was giving him a blank look, on the arm. Dean took a seat beside his brother, and Cas sat down in the chair between Dean and Johnny. Johnny tugged on his papa's sleeve, and Cas leaned over to the boy.
"When are we opening presents?" he whispered loudly. Mrs. Hudson and Rose exchanged an oh-isn't-he-just-the-sweetest-little-thing look. The child seated between John and Sherlock looked over at the boy with calculating turquoise eyes.
"We open presents after we eat, Jonathan. We've followed that pattern for the past several years, haven't you noticed?"
Sherlock patted his daughter on the head and smile at John in a she-gets-the-cleverness-from-my-side-of-the-family sort of way.
"Violet's right," John confirmed, shooting his husband a reproachful look before smiling over at a baffled looking Johnny. Sam looked over at Sherlock. The table ate in silence for a few moments.
"How's work going, Sherlock?" Sam asked after a while, through a mouthful of toast.
"Quite well, thank you," Sherlock replied.
"Father just finished solving a triple homicide case," Violet informed Sam. Sam smiled.
"Yeah, well my dad exorcised five demons at the same time in an elevator!" Johnny said loudly. Dean raised his eyebrows and winked at Sherlock. The detective rolled his eyes.
"What about you, Doctor?" Mrs. Hudson asked from her seat between the time lord and Bobby.
"Oh, the usual," The Doctor smiled.
"We went to New York the other day," Rose said with a grin. "Well, actually, New New New New New New New New…New New New…New New New New New York. It was quite fun!"
The table members looked at her silently. Cas shot Dean a curious look, and Dean made a face and shrugged. Rose suddenly seemed to remember something and whispered urgently in The Doctor's ear. He leapt to his feet, grinning.
"Allons-y!" he cried as he grabbed Rose's hand and ran from the room.
"We need to get some things out of the TARDIS," Rose yelled back, through laughter. Dean smiled.
"Meet in the living room!" he cried after them.
Cas collected Johnny's and Violet's plates, while Sam and Bobby brought over the rest of them.
"Thanks, guys, you can just put them in the sink," Dean said. He gathered his son from the table and held him out to Sam.
"Here, take this. Cas and I'll make some tea."
The party migrated slowly to the living room, joined shortly by The Doctor and Rose, and then Dean and Cas. Cas handed coa-coa to the children before helping his husband distribute tea and coffee to the adults.
Rose, John, and Bobby had been busy distributing their group's gifts under the tree. By the time they'd all finished, the gift piles towered over the starry-eyed children. Dean settled down on a couch to wrap an arm around Cas. Cass smiled at him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. John and Sherlock assumed a similar position, while Sam, Rose, and The Doctor occupied another couch. Bobby and Mrs. Hudson sat in chairs, occasionally exchanging small smiles. The children sat as near to the tree and presents as humanly possible.
John, whose hand was laced through Sherlock's, nodded at the children.
"Alright, you two. Find one gift for each person and hand it out."
Johnny and Violet scurried to oblige. In a moment, everyone held a gift in their hands. Johnny, being the youngest, opened his first while everyone else benignly watched. He held it over to Violet for a moment to converse on the writing, before announcing that it was from The Doctor and Rose. Johnny tore off the paper to reveal a ping-pong sized copper ball covered with intricate carving. He turned, wide eyed to a smiling Rose and Doctor. The Doctor knelt down beside the child and took the ball. He twisted it, and it made a light bell sound. A gentle blue glow came from the carvings.
"We found that special, just for you," The Doctor told him. "It's from a planet called Florian, clear on the other side of space and time. There are crystals in there that activate when they hit oxygen, so you'll always have something to light your way."
Johnny stood up and threw his arms around The Doctor, then Rose.
"I love it! Thank you!" he cried.
Violet opened one of her gift next, after announcing that it was from Uncle Dean and Uncle Cas. Under the paper, she found a large, complex book on Greek mythology. A slow smile spread across her lips. She looked over at her dad, and John raised his eyebrows.
"You've been wanting to learn more about mythology, haven't you, Vie?" he said. The girl nodded happily. She walked over to Dean and Cas. Dean picked her up and gave her a hug, then passed her to Cas, who did the same.
Sherlock watched the exchange with a tiny smile that he allowed only John to see. His husband nudged him teasingly.
Present unwrapping went along accordingly.
John and Sherlock exchanged socks, having discovered long ago that they were both atrocious at shopping for one another, and that it really was the thought that counted, anyway. Rose had made The Doctor a scarf, and he had gotten her a Martian necklace. Sam and Dean had gone light on the spending for one another, settling on the gifts of various magazines. Cas had gotten Dean some new pajamas, and Dean had given him a nice new pair of gloves. To everyone's surprise, Bobby had gotten Mrs. Hudson a lovely silk scarf. It was hard not to notice the little looks and giggles that those two exchanged throughout the morning.
Dean was surprise when he found a gift from Sherlock to him under the tree.
"Aw, Sherly, you shouldn't have," he said, grinning. Sherlock smirked.
"Oh, I really should have."
Dean opened his gift to find a small blue dictionary.
"Oh, hilarious," Dean said. Cas narrowed his eyes, obviously not comprehending the joke.
"You know, I got something for you too!" Dean said. He tossed a small gift to a surprise Sherlock.
He opened it to reveal nothing other than a classic, brand-new whoopee cushion. Sherlock looked exasperatedly at Dean, who was lost in a fit of laughter. Cas patted him patiently on the arm.
Meanwhile, Violet had pulled a small package out of her pocket and was handing it to Johnny.
"I did some research on protection charms," she said. "It took me a little while to find one in Enochian, but I thought you prefer that language."
Johnny pulled out the necklace that held a small, beautifully carved silver charm. The boy smiled widely and squeezed Violet in a lung-restricting hug.
John smiled superiorly and gave Sherlock a she-gets-the-thoughtfulness-from-my-side-of-the-family look.
Johnny proudly presented a shiny new magnifying glass to Violet, who graciously accepted it.
By the time all the gifts had been distributed and opened, it was nearly noon.
At that point, the children were completely exhausted and overstimulated, and both had fallen asleep on top of Cas, who had fallen asleep on a couch. Dean perched on the edge of the couch to brush a lock of hair away from his angel's face. Cas gave a content little sigh, and Dean grinned. Sam and Rose were chatting in the kitchen, while The Doctor and John exchanged medical technique with one another. Bobby and Mrs. Hudson had disappeared to somewhere or another, and no one was about to interrupt them. Dean got another cup of coffee, his fifth if he had counted correctly, and was sitting on the bottom steps of the carpeted stairs. Sherlock, also with coffee in hand, hesitated for a moment before joining him.
Dean gave the detective a genuine smile as he sat down.
"Hey, Sherlock," Dean said. Sherlock gave a little half smile.
"Cas and I really wanted to thank you and your family for coming over here again this year. It means the world to Johnny."
Sherlock gave a curt nod.
"Violet is quite fond of this event as well," he said.
"I can't believe she's six," Dean said. Sherlock actually laughed.
"I know. She's growing up so fast. If you had told me six years ago that I would be a doting father by now, I wouldn't have believed you."
"If I had told you anything six years ago you would have questioned every aspect of my intelligence," Dean said.
"Probably," Sherlock agreed, smiling.
He and Dean sat in a comfortable silence for some time, sipping their coffee and contemplating the universe. Dean was staring over at Cas and the kids, and couldn't help but notice how close the children were lying to one another, how tightly they clasped each other's hands. Sherlock followed his gaze, and a thoughtful look overtook him.
"I hope they don't take too much after us," Dean said suddenly, softly. Sherlock eyed him quizzically.
"Man, I don't want Johnny to be a hunter. I would rather die," Dean continued. In that moment, he looked a great deal older than he was. Sherlock tapped his coffee cup.
"I don't want Violet to be lonely," he said quietly. "Members of the Holmes family are almost definitely resigned to that fate. And she is half Holmes."
They looked over at the children, who had snuggled close to each other and both wore small, sleep-filled smiles.
"I think they'll be okay," Dean smiled. John came into the living room from the kitchen and over to Sherlock to affectionately ruffle his hair.
"I hope you're being nice, Sherlock," he said, smiling slightly.
"Oh, he's being horrible," Dean laughed. After exchanging a small nod with the detective, Dean heaved himself off the steps and wandered over to Cas and the kids.
He perched on the edge of the couch again, and this time when he brushed Cas's cheek, the man woke up to yawn and smile. The children stirred on his chest.
"Hello, Dean," Cas said.
Johnny stretched and opened his to look blearily at his parents.
"Oh, good, the monster's awake," Dean grinned. Johnny gave him a sleepy smile. He scrambled down from his papa's chest and trotted off, hopping up the stairs, presumably to his room. Dean laughed. His brother joined him in the room, followed by Rose and The Doctor, then Bobby and Mrs. Hudson, who had rematerialized.
Johnny came trumping down the stair several moments later, his hands behind his back and a look of secretive triumph on his face.
"What do you have there, Johnny?" Rose asked, smiling.
Johnny brought his hands forward, and his parents and Sam broke into raucous laughter. Johnny grinned as he held out the single chocolate bar.
"I saved you guys one," he said.