A/N This started out as me wondering how interaction between Dean and Bunnymund would go, and then, after we both remembered Garth's Tooth Fairy comment in episode whatever, fanfiction user Natalie Nallareet requested that I make it into a full-fledged one-shot, hence the nonsense here. I actually do rather like how it came out, despite the initial ridiculousness of the crossover itself, and feedback would be excellent. Also: it is the single most infuriating thing in the world to refer to North as "Santa." Damn you and your ignorance, Winchester.
Rated T for language and violent references
Disclaimer I don't own Supernatural/Rise of the Guardians or any associated characters, events, etc.
Discord, I'm howling at the moon
And sleeping in the middle of a summer afternoon
Discord, whatever did we do
To make you take our world away?
The most ridiculous thing is probably that Dean Winchester never did believe in Santa Claus in the first place. It's pretty much the one thing he never believed in, come to think of it, what with all the monsters and demons that John was always running about killing. There was no time in his childhood, simply phrased, for Christmas, or any of the other holidays associated with any unrealistic fantasy. Of course, sometimes the mythology would come in handy for cases—the holidays of 2008 and some very annoying Pagan gods come to mind—but the fundamental wonder associated with kids and Christmas never exactly rang true with him.
Regardless, he's pretty damn sure that he just got cornered by a shit-ton of Santa's elves before being hit over the head with something or other, and now he's woken up to find himself just about suffocating in some sort of rucksack that's bouncing up and down in an extremely nauseating manner.
Okay, no, that's not exactly logical. Maybe—maybe he was just seeing weird, or otherwise was slipped some sort of drug that's just tricking him into thinking that he saw a dozen five-inch creatures with jingle bell hats chasing him into a back alley with extremely menacing looks on their wide-eyed, sharp-featured faces. Or otherwise—
Fuck, why does it even matter? Elves or no elves, he's in a bag now.
With this in mind, he begins attempting to fix that fact, only to find that it's a very small, tight bag, and he can barely even move his legs. It's a wonder that he hasn't run out of air, really. Hissing under his breath, he shifts enough to bring his hand to his waist, feeling around for the pocket knife usually stuffed there. His hand encounters only the flatness of his leg under denim, and he curses, hopefully loud enough for whatever's dragging him along to hear.
"God damn it!"
The movement stops almost immediately.
Shit, it did hear him.
He decides then that maybe he didn't want that after all, but it's a little late, and then he's being swung around, clenching his teeth against the nausea rocking his stomach as the sack free-flies through the air. "Shit!" he yells in that brief second, then collides a moment later with the ground, the breath fleeing from his lungs and his teeth coming down on his lips hard enough to sting like hell and probably draw blood.
"Yeah, yeah, save it, mate."
Before he has time to calm down the spinning of his head, the darkness around him is finally being interrupted by a thin, watery beam of light, strangely pale and golden in contrast to the general dread of the situation. He forces his features into the tightest scowl he can muster, squinting as the sack is thrown open and he's cast into full illumination.
The first thing he notices is the grass everywhere—really rather alarmingly bright grass, almost neon green, and peppered with pastel-hued flowers in every tone of the Easter rainbow. A few mossy rocks sit here and there, and he decides after a moment that he's in a small quarry, though it honestly looks more like Barbie's enchanted forest than anything else. The rough material of the sack he's in pools around his ankles as he climbs onto the grass, dangerously tense, and begins to turn around.
He is greeted by the sight of a six-foot tall rabbit.
"Holy fuck!" he shouts, loud enough for his voice to rebound off of the walls. He stumbles backwards, lack of coordination from his obscenely long period of being cramped in the back causing him to trip over his own feet and fall ungracefully onto the lime-lollipop grass. His knees sting and he grits his teeth in frustration, pulse racing with adrenaline and mind pulsing in disgusted confusion.
It's a fucking rabbit.
Only it's not quite a rabbit—its face is more human, in a rather weird way, flatter than any natural bunny's, topped by black-patterned grey ears over wide green eyes with heavy, dark brows which are currently drawn together in an expression that's undoubtedly menacing. Dean's gaze rakes down the thing's body—long, lean, perched on its hind legs like it's the most natural position ever, arm-like forelimbs crossed over its thin, white-furred chest. And—okay, fucking shit, it's holding a boomerang.
"Definitely drugs," he mumbles to himself.
"Excuse me?" the thing demands in a voice that's most definitely Australian, pacing forwards in a movement that's half-step, half-hop. Its nose twitches slightly, whiskers bouncing, and Dean has to remind himself to keep his jaw from hanging. "Say that again, I dare you."
"Drugs, fluffy," Dean manages to get out, wondering how he's even staying coherent when confronted with this. "You. There's no way in hell that you're real. And I should know, because I've seen plenty of weird-ass things in my time."
"Oh, grow up, you bloody little self-satisfied pig," the rabbit barks back, its ears twisting in apparent irritation. "It's a bit obvious that you know exactly what you're dealing with, so how about you drop the show and shut your mouth before I shut it for you."
"I don't have time for this," Dean decides, declaring the fact loudly to his surroundings rather than directing it at the rabbit itself. "I've got a werewolf problem that me and my brother should be taking care of, and I honestly—"
"Werewolf problem, eh? Just like you had a tooth fairy problem?"
If this is a dream—and he's really, really hoping it is, at this point—then it's probably the craziest one that he's ever had.
"Tooth fairy problem?" he repeats, monotonous, wondering why he's still staying around to humor this thing. Maybe he should be figuring out what it is. Maybe it's dangerous. With that in mind, his hand drifts instinctively towards his pocket again before remembering that the knife is gone. He winces slightly, a thousand swear words ricocheting off the walls of his skull. Naturally, he'd be abducted by a bunch of elves and then shouted by a rabbit about some fairy while being unarmed the whole goddamn time.
"Don't act like you don't know," the thing snarls.
"Like I don't know? Dude, I'm pretty sure you've got a way better idea of what's going on right now than I do," Dean manages to get out, a slight strain of incredulous laughter breaking the words. "If you're gonna yell at me, you could at least tell me why that is. And," he continues as the rabbit opens his mouth to go on, "you can start with what the fuck those little red things were."
Its eyebrows lift, just slightly. "You've really got no idea what's going on?"
"Do I look like I do, pal?" To emphasize his point, Dean holds his hands out, displaying their emptiness in the universal gesture of peace. Not like he doesn't want to skin this thing, but since he hardly has any way to at the moment, he figures that this is probably the best approach. "Let's just get on the same page, and then you can scream to me about tooth fairies to your heart's desire."
Its whiskers twitch again, but it does continue, though not without copious grouchiness evident in its tone. "Those were elves, dipstick. You'd think that you knew that much already, seeing as you were screamin' and cussin' about how impossible it was before I managed to shut you up." At the last few words, it caresses the gleaming wood of the boomerang clutched in its paw, and Dean's hand moves instinctively to the sore spot at the back of his head, eyes narrowing.
"Wow. Great. And is there a reason why elves decided to just pop up out of the ground and into existence? Because last time I checked, the only place they exist is in picture books."
"Check your facts, then, because they're just about everywhere at the North Pole. Bloody awful little things, scampering around everywhere, you can't walk two meters without tripping over one. I would've used the eggs, but they're a bit less… well. Shells break. And those no-brained bell-heads were easy enough to round up for the job."
"Eggs," Dean repeats, keeping his voice as level as possible.
He starts to respond, then realizes he has nothing to say and suffices for merely shaking his head. Instead, he starts on a topic a bit closer to the original one. "What business does an oversized rabbit have with Christmas elves, in any case?"
"What, do you not know who I am?" it shoots back, managing to sound rather challenging, as though Dean should be ashamed by his confusion.
He makes a show of taking in his surroundings once more, then looking the rabbit over very carefully from head to foot. "Hate to break it to you, buddy, but… no. I've got absolutely no fucking idea."
"Blimey, you're a bigger idiot than I thought. Just how many six-foot bunnies d'you reckon there are walking around the globe?"
"Uh, none. I was pretty sure of that until a half hour ago."
It scoffs and tightens its grip on the boomerang, mouth twisting into a sneer. "Well, you were wrong, weren't you? I'm the Easter Bunny, mate. You'd think it was obvious."
For a moment, Dean doesn't say anything at all, just stares, his lips moving slightly. Then he snickers—just slightly, his shoulders shaking and his lungs hitching up—before breaking into full-on laughter, barely able to breathe, the absolute and complete absurdity of his situation crashing down on him all at once as he works himself practically into hysterics. The rabbit—the Easter Bunny, apparently—watches, looking entirely unimpressed, as he gets it all out before pulling himself around, straightening up again and spitting out a brief string of coherent words.
"Oh, fuck no."
"Watch your mouth."
"Watch my—? Yeah. Cute. Okay, Easter Bunny, I'm just going to be on my way, then." Shaking his head slowly, Dean starts to get to his feet, only to find that his legs are shaking, probably from his time in that stupid sack. He hesitates in a slightly hunched-over position, making sure to keep his eyes on the rabbit, breath coming quick and mind completely blank. He doesn't know what he's planning to do at this point—just get away, really, but he doesn't know where he is, or even how he got there, let alone why he's here, and what he's talking to—
"What, too high and mighty to believe in a kids' story?" it challenges, sarcasm thickening its accent even beyond its previous intensity. "Like it or not, you've already got some sort of faith that I'm out there, or you wouldn't be able to see me at all."
"Are you, like, a Tulpa, then?" Dean muses, half to himself. "Please tell me I'm not going to have to kill the Easter Bunny."
"Because it just wasn't enough to kill the Tooth Fairy, was it?"
Wait. That rings a bell. And then he remembers, suddenly—of course, back with Garth—hadn't Garth said, at one point, that he'd killed the Tooth Fairy?
Yeah. He definitely did.
And now, it would seem, the Easter Bunny—the freaking gigantic Australian Easter Bunny, as luck would have it—wanted revenge.
The fact still remains that none of it quite makes sense, but he decides to let that slide for the time being, and actually get around to questioning the impossibility of his situation once he's out of it. For now, the best thing to do is probably just to go along with whatever the rabbit says and try to find a way to convince it of his innocence.
"Look, Bunny, I didn't kill the Tooth Fairy, alright?" he insists, raising his hands once more. "Promise."
"No, of course you didn't, stupid. Your friend did, though. And you're my way of getting to him."
"Whatever Garth did, I'm sure it was a hundred percent unintentional. The poor bastard has got no idea what he's doing most of the time. Well—all of the time, really. I'm sorry if the, um, Tooth Fairy is dead—really, I am—but I've got nothing to do with it. And he's plenty guilty already, I promise. You should see his face whenever somebody brings it up."
"I'd rather see his face when he learns that I'm going to pitch you off a bloody cliff if he doesn't come and get the punishment he deserves."
"Whoa there, whiskers, slow down," he interrupts hastily, taking a half-step back. "No need to go straight to the cliff-throwing. Can we at least talk for a second?"
"There's nothing to talk about, is there? You're not the one I've got the problem with, though you're enough of a bother that I can't say I'll mind doing what I have to."
"What you'll...?" He trails off as he sees that the boomerang in the thing's paw is now being lifted, slightly but definitely, and immediately takes several more steps backwards, his feet crushing the oddly bright, delicate grass in his haste. He continues backwards at an increasing pace, pretending that the green-eyed beast isn't keeping up with him lazily, until he finds his back confronted with what feels like rock—upon closer examination (which consists of a brief glance over his shoulder), he sees that it is indeed stone, covered in a light layer of moss and forming one of the four large silvery walls of the valley-type crevice that he's cornered within. "No, no, listen," he half-begs. "Come on, if you kill me, you're no better than him, right?" It's a pretty pathetic last resort, definitely grasping at straws, but if Dean Winchester is positive about one thing in the entire goddamn world, it's that he is not going to be murdered by the Easter Bunny.
"You never knew Tooth," the rabbit snarls back, and, for the first time, there's a tiny hint of pain in his gruff Australian voice. He pauses for a second, stare shifting down and hard expression giving way for a flash of pain that changes the intimidating shape of his face entirely into something gentler, something that Dean can almost, almost associate with the sugar-spun Easter Bunny that pop culture seems so fond of. "She didn't deserve it. And all the kids... the baby fairies have been in bloody overdrive for weeks now!" Anger bites its way back into his tones, fiercer than ever, and Dean winces, wishing for the hundredth time that he'd been smart enough to keep track of the fucking knife.
"Dude, I'll say it one more time. I'm sorry about your fairy, or fairies, or whatever. But if she's dead—she, right?—If she's dead, there's nothing on the damned planet that can bring her back, and as much as I'm sure the world would be a better place without Garth's hunting skills to screw it up, he's also sort of my friend, and I'm afraid I can't just let you kill him."
"I don't need you to let me, do I?"
That's about the point at which Dean would be ready to turn tail and run for his life, if not for the fact that there's literally nowhere to go. He's ready to try his luck, in any case—his fists might not be particularly effective against a six-foot rabbit, but they at least have a chance of keeping him long enough to find a better way out of the situation, and there's no way in Hell that he's going to stay here and be held hostage so that the rabbit can get his revenge and kill Garth or whatever.
Conveniently, that's the exact moment that the other two decide to appear.
A low rumbling emerges from what seems to be the very earth around them, and Dean and Bunny's eyes widen both at once, the two pulling back slightly from their close-faced positions as the sound builds and begins to shake the ground, reaching a thundering climax before finally erupting in the form of a huge silver-and-red metal machine... a sleigh, he realizes in wonder, gaping wordlessly as it tumbles onto the grassy stretch, emerging fully from what moments before had been a solid, greenish-gray stone wall. Shaggy-furred reindeer stomp and snort before it, their figures proud and impressive, rugged against the candy-colored backdrop.
The large figure perched on the dark-wooded seat straightens up, shoving a furry cap out of bright blue eyes and looking around in a rather bemused way. He's cloaked in layers of red, with a huge white beard pouring over his broad chest and heavy, dark eyebrows perched at the base of a sloping forehead. There's no doubt in Dean's mind whatsoever. If that hulking thing is the Easter Bunny, then this must be...
"Santa," he says. Not amazed, not particularly frightened. Just quiet, past the point of disbelief.
Because this is Santa. Not the demented anti-Claus that he and Sam had attempted to track that one time before nearly being killed by Pagan gods, and definitely not any parent in a cheap getup trying to stuff presents under a tree before their kids wake up—hell, it's early summer, nowhere near Christmas, and yet there's absolutely no doubt in his mind as to the identity of the man rising before him.
"You must be... Dean Winchester, right?" is the reply, in a tone that's bright but strained, some odd cross between friendly and polite, and most definitively Russian.
"Bunny," the large man continues crossly, hopping off the creaking sleigh with a loud thump. "You know this man is innocent. I told you to leave him alone, no?"
Dean might have chosen that moment to insert an irritated comment of his own, or even some sort of gratitude for... Santa's support, but he's too busy staring in confusion at the other occupant of the sleigh. This one seems much less energetic, though certainly not lazy—more pleasant than anything else, an easy expression floating on his circular, soft-featured face. He's small, toddler small, and vaguely human-shaped, made out of what appears to be sparkling golden sand that swoops around his round little form in something vaguely resembling a toga, narrowing at the end to two slim little feet.
"Is that a fucking Peep?" he demands, simply because the small creature's resemblance to the sugar-and-marshmallow confections is practically unsettling, and it looks a hell of a lot more Easter-like than the massive rabbit.
"Didn't I tell you to watch the tongue?" Bunny snarls, but he's cut off by a thump on the head from Santa, the intentions of which are caught somewhere between reassuring and reprimanding.
"This is Sandman," the Russian introduces cheerfully, and the little yellow creature raises a diminutive hand in greeting, a wordless but sweet smile spreading over its wide face.
"Sandman? What, like, Metallica?"
The smile dissolves into a rather confused scowl, and the other two, larger figures both seem equally baffled, Santa's heavy eyebrows lowering and Bunny crossing his thin arms in disgust. Dean shakes his head, muttering a soft "never mind" under his breath.
"Is no matter," Santa brushes off, waving a hand in dismissal. "This is just misunderstanding. We will get you back home."
"Right," Dean mutters, his gaze carefully moving over the bizarre trio who are now all staring him down—the Easter Bunny with undisguised fury and loathing, Santa with beaming apology, the Sandman with wide-eyed mildness. "So… you're not going to… kill me for revenge after the Tooth Fairy thing, then?"
The white-haired man's ice-blue eyes darken notably, his bushy eyebrows lowering above them, and Dean tenses for a second, worried that he's brought something bad up—even, perhaps, that the other two hadn't previously known about their apparent companion's supposed demise. But the tension of the old face loosens up a moment later, making way for a glint of pearly white teeth underneath the fluffy beard.
"Toothy's loss was... hard for us all," he confesses, "but Man in Moon is very powerful. He can bring her back." His gaze slants over towards Bunny, who scowls defensively, the cantankerous expression barely disguising the sudden, fiercely hopeful light in his emerald eyes.
"What, you really think...?" he mumbles rather hastily, ears twitching and lowering.
"It has been done before," Santa pointed out knowledgeably, an almost superior expression somehow working its way onto his features as he gestures in the direction of what seems to be an empty spot in the sleigh. Bunny and Sandman's eyes both flicker over to the space, like they can see something in the nothingness there, and an infinitesimal frown deepens Dean's brow.
Out of virtually nowhere, Santa suddenly bursts into booming laughter, and all of their eyes shift back to Dean, who's now more miffed than ever. "What?" he demands, glancing rapidly back and forth between the three mythical figures and the battered wood of the sleigh seat.
"You can't see him?" Bunny questions, and the Sandman tilts his head slightly to the side, blinking benignly.
"Jack Frost, of course!" Santa exclaims, and Dean's jaw drops slightly.
"Jack Frost? Jack Frost's not real, he's just a figure of speech! What the hell are you—"
"And yet he still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny," a new voice, young and humorously toned, cuts in. "I don't know whether to be entertained or offended."
Dean jerks back to the sleigh so fast that his neck cricks slightly, in time to see that a new figure has materialized there, seemingly out of nowhere—a teenage boy in shape, with unnaturally pale skin, white hair, and bright, glittering eyes, as vividly blue as Bunny's are green. As soon as he locks eyes with this new stranger, a laugh erupts from the white-haired kid.
"There we go," he says by way of greeting, sweeping a weathered, pale brown staff clutched in his hand up in the air. It leaves a trail of frost flakes behind it, twisting and falling to the grassy ground, where pale blue-white provides a sparkling contrast to the verdant green. "Another believer down. I'm really starting to get the hang of this, you know."
The Sandman lifts a small, pudgy hand in congratulations, and Jack slaps his thin fingers to it, a half-smile tugging at his cheek.
"Okay, I still don't get half of what you're saying," Dean snaps, uneasiness stirring in his stomach, "but I'm going to head out now, if that's not a problem. Since you've got your Tooth Fairy covered, and I have those vampires to deal with..."
"No, no, don't be ridiculous!" Santa chortles, stepping forwards and cutting Dean off in his attempt to stride off in no particular direction (all of them, for the record, would be equally useless, considering how enclosed of a space they're in). "Your town is far away. We will give you ride."
It isn't too hard to connect the word "ride" with the extremely unstable-looking mechanism hissing on the grass before them, and Dean's stomach lurches violently and involuntarily before he so much as gets the chance to begin rattling off emphatic protests.
"Oh, no, no, I couldn't," he gets out hastily, the words stumbling in their effort to climb over his dry tongue. "I, uh... really. I'll find my way back..."
"Nonsense!" Before he can object any farther, there are heavy fingers curling around the back of his jacket and lifting him seemingly without effort, and a couple of stumbling seconds later he's crashing into the sleigh seat, next to Jack, who looks far too entertained by his discomfort. He pulls himself into a sitting position, heart racing much faster than it did back when he was being threatened with by the boomerang-wielding rabbit.
"No, I actually—I can't," he tries to explain, insides reeling unpleasantly as Santa hops in next to him, thick fingers wrapping around the worn leather harness of the shaggy reindeer that paw at the ground before them.
"Bunny said the same thing," Jack replies, and Dean can't quite tell whether it's supposed to be reassuring or menacing. He doesn't have much time to judge as much, either, because suddenly Santa is cracking the reins, and the furry animals are kicking and leaping forwards, rearing up in the air—Bunny flashes a last glare and then they're off, and Dean is lunging out, desperately grasping for anything he can reach, the nearest which just so happens to be Jack's pullover sweater. The fabric is ice-cold, but it's something to hold onto, and Dean grits his teeth as tightly as possible and focuses on the scratched wooden floor, trying his best to ignore the whip of wind and the flash of colors outside of the sleigh's tight walls as they zip through and over the globe at what's probably a million times the speed necessitated to make him vomit. Sure enough, bile teases the back of his throat, and he forces himself to close his eyes, too, groaning and trying to block everything out.
Luckily, it's only a few nerve-wracking seconds before the thing rolls to a clattering, noisy halt, and Dean flops backwards with a loud moan, his eyes gratefully focusing on the still, even array of stars studding the black expanse of night sky. The warm air teases the nausea in his stomach, but he keeps it forced down, prying his own fingers from the fabric of Jack's sweater, which they're still cinched around.
"Airsick, huh?" Jack taunts. Growling through his teeth, Dean heaves himself up and out of the sleigh in a single shaky movement, stumbling drunkenly over the asphalt that they seem to have touched down on. His head is spinning, not just from the flight, but from the pure absurdity of it all, the fact that he just took a fucking ride in Santa's sleigh. In fact, he's so utterly disoriented that it takes him several seconds to realize that he's outside the very motel where he and Sam are staying, and that several hours must have passed, seeing as it's pitch-black now. Strange, since the rabbit's place had been more than a little bright, but he decides not to try and apply any sort of logic to his present situation. He teeters over to the door to their room, picking out the tarnished number 7 in the dimness, and tilts his forehead against it.
"Thanks," he mumbles into the wood. "Um. For the ride back. And..." He turns then, slowly, to take in the ridiculous sight of them all one last time: Jack Frost, smirking and standing lightly on one of the mahogany seats with an elbow balanced on his crooked, ice-streaked staff; Santa Claus, beaming and cheery-eyed, one large hand lifted in a wave; and the Sandman, small but almost cute in its golden roundness, smiling softly with a wreath of golden sparkles wreathing its shoulders. "And good luck with getting your Tooth Fairy back."
"It will not be problem," Santa promises dismissively. "Best luck to you as well, with your vampires!" He proceeds to crack the reins again, sharply, and in a swathe of twisted, pale colors, they're all gone, leaving nothing but dark, humming silence in their wake.
Dean exhales for the first time in what feels like ages, allowing himself a few seconds to just drink in the refreshing nothingness, the quiet calm of a summer night. He doesn't get long to savor the peace, however, before the door opens up swiftly and unexpectedly behind him, and he cries out, barely able to catch himself on the frame before toppling backwards.
"Dude. What the hell." Half a second later, the lights are up and Sam's up in his face, eyes underscored by dark purple circles and features twisted into one of the biggest bitchfaces Dean's seen in all of their co-hunting career, which is more than a little impressive. "It's been hours."
"Yeah," he mumbles, relaxing slightly at the familiar sight of his brother. "About that—"
"Seriously, Dean? Seriously? I thought they'd gotten you! I thought you were dead, or bitten..."
"I wasn't with vampires, trust me," Dean gets out through a yawn, shoving past Sam and into the coolness of the air-conditioned room, leaning over to jam down the light switch as he does. "Don't turn that back on," he adds over his shoulder, feeling his way to the nearest bed and flopping ungracefully onto it in a motion that rocks the mattress. God, that pillow feels nice.
"What do you mean, you weren't with vampires? Where the hell were you, man?"
"Sammy, go with me on this," he sighs, shoving his face into the pillow and already letting his thoughts begin to escape into the boundless relaxation of sleep, "you wouldn't believe a word if I told you."