Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters are the property of Eric Kripke. Sadly, I do not own any of these guys.
Author's Note: Here's a little something I cooked up for all of you to enjoy this Thanksgiving Day - a hearty helping of Sam, Dean, Cas, and Bobby to complement your turkey and dressing! Enjoy!
"I'm tellin' you, Sammy, they were at least as big as your head!" Dean said from his position on the edge of one of the creaky queen-sized beds in their current motel room. He was busy telling Sam about the pie being served at a local diner down the street in Rockport, Maine, which apparently had been sliced into pieces bigger than any Dean had ever seen before. Castiel sat on the floor on the far side of the room, leaning against the wall and listening to Dean with rapt attention, as he always did. Everything in the humans' lives still seemed to fascinate him, although after a few months of being one he was starting to at least realize that things like showers and key-cards weren't actually that exciting.
"Seriously?" Sam asked, looking up from his laptop and raising an eyebrow with obvious suspicion. Dean was known to exaggerate the details of his stories when he was excited, especially if they involved breasts, booze, or pie – or any combination of the three.
"Swear to God. Uh, I mean yeah, seriously," Dean corrected himself after seeing the icy look Castiel was sending his way. "Sorry, Cas. I forgot."
"It has already been forgiven, Dean."
Sam shot Dean a look that might have been an amused smirk; he wasn't really sure. All he knew was that his brother looked way too smug right now for his liking.
"Riiight. So anyway, as I was say –"
He was interrupted mid-sentence by the sound of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water," which had been his ringtone for far too long but remained that way since he would never tell Sam he didn't know how to change it. He sighed and snatched it off the table, glancing at the caller-ID, and his eyes widened a fraction of an inch. He immediately stepped toward the door, motioning for Sam and Cas to stay inside. "Gotta take this," he whispered before he flipped it open and shut the door behind him, leaving them staring after him in confusion.
"Bobby?" he asked quietly when he was sure Sam and Cas couldn't hear him.
"You expectin' someone else?"
Dean rolled his eyes. "Yeah, 'cause I have more than one Bobby Singer in my phone. Anyway, whaddya think?"
"You're still thinkin' about having Thanksgiving here, right?"
"Yeah, if we can. Is that still alright with you?"
"Sure, sounds fine to me. Do Sam and Cas know yet?"
"No. So far I don't think either of 'em even remembers it's coming up on Thursday."
"I figured. Well, you should prob'ly head out today if you wanna make it here in time to be rested up for Thursday. You idjits aren't gonna be eating anything if you don't help cook, too."
"Alright, Bobby. We'll be there bright and early Thursday morning."
"Sounds good. See ya, Dean."
"Bye." Dean hung up the phone and slipped it into the pocket of his leather coat, pulling it a little tighter against himself as the cold November wind swirled around him and kicked up whirlwinds of trash and leaves in the parking lot. He had been secretly planning this Thanksgiving get-together at Bobby's for a few weeks now, making sure to keep it a secret from Sam and Castiel.
Ever since he had seen Sam's idea of Heaven and realized that all of his best memories were of celebrating holidays with other families, Dean had been determined to make this Thanksgiving one his little brother would never forget. He knew he couldn't make up for all the crappy holidays they'd had with Dad when they were kids, but things were different now, and damned if he was going to let Sam have another lousy Thanksgiving if he had anything to say about it. Not to mention it was Castiel's first Thanksgiving ever as a human; that merited making the day special, too, in his opinion, and if Sam wanted to tease him about what that might say about Dean then he'd let him. Now, though, came the hard part: getting Sam and Castiel to Bobby's without either of them figuring out what was going on.
He stepped back into the motel room as nonchalantly as he could, taking his phone out of his pocket and tossing it onto his duffel bag before removing his coat. Sam and Castiel watched him patiently, obviously expecting an explanation for the private phone call. When none was forthcoming, Sam was the first to speak up.
"Is everything okay?" he asked slowly, already standing in case a sudden departure was needed.
"Yeah. That was Bobby. He says he needs some help on a case in Sioux Falls. Nothin' huge, just a nest of vamps he thinks might be forming a couple towns over, but if he ends up needing to take 'em out he's not gonna be able to do it alone." He continued to pack everything up while he talked, collecting the weapons he had been cleaning and gathering them together on the bed so they could be more easily accounted for. "I figured we can make it there in a little over twenty-seven hours if we don't stop that often. You and I can take turns driving, 'kay Sammy?"
"Sure. Just promise we won't have to listen to your music on full blast the entire time. I need to be rested if I'm gonna drive through the night and that stuff is not helpful."
"Lies, all of it! My music soothes the soul, Sam, and you know it!"
"Uh-huh," Sam said with an exaggerated eye-roll. "Why don't we ask Cas what he thinks, then?"
"Fine. Cas, do you like listening to my music when we drive?"
Castiel looked from one side to the other, obviously unsure how to answer the question when he knew at least one of the brothers would be unhappy when he did. "I… I don't think I really have an opinion about it either way, Dean. I am usually meditating when we drive, so I don't pay any atten –"
"Well, you're no help," Dean grumped as he threw his bag over his shoulder and took several of the impressive weapons from the bed, leaving Sam and Cas to gather the rest. Right after he stepped out of the room, he turned around to shout over his shoulder at Sam. "We're listening to my stuff while I'm driving, end of story. You can listen to whatever whiny emo crap you want when it's your turn, and hopefully I'll be too tired for it to make me puke." With that, he made his way to the Impala and opened up the trunk, rifling noisily through the contents so he couldn't hear whatever response Sam came up with.
Castiel had known something was off the minute Dean told them it was Bobby on the phone. Dean never took calls from Bobby outside; it wasn't like the older hunter ever said anything that Cas and Sam wouldn't need to know, too. He also seemed a little too eager to head out. Usually he would have waited until morning to leave, since he didn't like to drive all night if he didn't have to, and it was already almost ten p.m. Instead, he had immediately seemed to forget that they were staying near a diner that served the largest slices of pie he had ever seen, sliding into the driver's seat and speeding away almost before Sam and Cas had closed their doors.
Despite his suspicions that Dean had some ulterior motive for going to Bobby's, or that perhaps they weren't headed to Bobby's at all, he hadn't said anything about it. If Dean was keeping something from him and Sam, there was definitely a good reason for it, and he didn't want to make it harder for his friend to accomplish whatever it was he was trying to do. So he had sat quietly, curled up in a woolen blanket and drifting in and out of sleep in the backseat of the Impala, waking only to use the restroom at a few gas stations and eat the cheap food Dean bought for them there at around eight a.m.
Now, twenty-eight hours after they had set out, he stirred again when Sam exited off of the interstate and pulled into the parking lot of a Motel 6 in Sioux Falls. It was around two o'clock in the morning, too late to head to Bobby's, so Sam had suggested they just stop for a few hours to get a shower and a little bit of sleep. Dean had agreed, and as soon as the Impala was parked he got out and headed to the check-in desk to reserve them a room.
Sam and Castiel followed Dean to the room immediately; it was frigid outside, and neither of them wanted to stay out by the car any longer than necessary. Once he'd unlocked the door, all three of them headed straight for the two double beds in the room, curling up under the covers and sighing contentedly. Castiel knew Dean would honestly have preferred three beds, but the only way to make that happen was to get a separate room, and they didn't have the money for that. Besides, as Dean had said, it wasn't like he hadn't slept in the same bed as Sam before – hell, he'd spent the first half of his life doing exactly that. Cas accepted that, grateful as always that they simply adapted to bringing him along and didn't make him sleep on the floor.
The room was dark, and Cas could feel himself beginning to fall asleep already. When he'd first become human, it had been very difficult for him to sleep at all, but now he was almost annoyed with how easily it happened. Just before he nodded off, a low whisper from Sam and Dean's bed startled him awake.
"I just realized something, Dean," Sam muttered sleepily.
"Yeah? What's that?"
"Today's gonna be Thanksgiving." His voice had gotten softer, if that was possible, and even Cas could tell it sounded sad.
"Huh. Guess you're right," Dean answered quietly. "Well, what's one more holiday we miss because of a hunt, right?"
"Yeah. Guess you're right. 'Night, Dean."
Castiel meant to say something to reassure Sam somehow, he really did. But before he could even open his mouth to form the words, he had slipped into the peaceful darkness of sleep, immediately blissfully unaware that anything was ever wrong at all.
The two hunters and the ex-angel were knocking on Bobby's front door at seven o'clock the next morning. Everyone was wide awake, prepared to deal with whatever Bobby might need their help with, and there was a sort of anxious energy flowing around between them that always preceded the beginning of a hunt. Dean rapped on the door again after a few seconds, obviously impatient, and Sam gave him a look when he raised his hand like he might do it a third time.
Before Dean had a chance to knock again just to spite Sam, the door swung open and Bobby peered out. Sam froze on the spot, his jaw dropping when he got a good look at just what the older hunter was wearing.
"Um, Bobby…" he began slowly, as if he thought Bobby might have gotten dressed in his sleep and didn't want to offend him. "Is that… an apron?"
"No, Sam, it's my favorite toga and it shrunk in the wash," Bobby said, rolling his eyes and gesturing to the long white piece of fabric that tied behind his back and neck. "Yes, it's an apron! Is that a problem or somethin'?"
"Umm, no, but… What does an apron have to do with hunting a vamp nest?"
Now it was Bobby's turn to look puzzled. "A vamp nest? What are you talkin' about, boy?"
"Dean told me you needed us to –" Sam froze mid-sentence, whirling around to glare at his brother so fiercely it even made Cas flinch. "What the hell, man? Are you telling me there wasn't really a hunt?"
"Nope!" Dean said quickly, shrugging his shoulders and beaming brightly. "Happy Thanksgiving, Sammy!"
"Thanksgi – Huh?"
"You might wanna work on using complete sentences there, College-boy. People might think I'm the one who went to Stanford."
"But you – Last night you said we were gonna miss Thanksgiving again."
"Yeah. I lied."
Bobby smiled a little as he watched a look close to awe spread over Sam's features. Cas, for his part, just looked confused and perhaps a little relieved. "Alright, you two, enough chit-chat. We got food to cook in here and you're not eatin' a thing unless you help. That includes you, Feathers."
Castiel nodded, his face the picture of focus, and followed Bobby and the Winchesters inside. The place was cleaner than any of them remembered. The furniture was dusted, the floors were swept, and even the mountainous stacks of books seemed a little straighter somehow. More importantly, though, the kitchen was cleaned up; the table was decorated with an ornate tablecloth and an autumn centerpiece, and every countertop in the kitchen was covered with food and the dishes that would be used to hold it. Dean grinned to himself; Bobby had really gone all out, already outdoing his expectations for what their first real Thanksgiving might look like.
When they reached the kitchen, Dean and Sam found themselves being grabbed into a tight hug by none other than Jody Mills before she moved on to Cas and introduced herself. The Winchesters had met the Sioux Falls sheriff a while back, and they suspected she was a little more than just a friend to Bobby. The fact that she was already in his house waiting for them would seem to indicate that, and neither brother could completely suppress a chuckle when she immediately began shooing Bobby out of her way, returning to the bowl of potatoes she had been mashing before he came in.
"Wash your hands first, boys," she said without looking at any of them, totally focused on the task before her. "I don't wanna know what you have or haven't had your hands in today, but I do know I don't want it getting in the food."
All of them obeyed, knowing it would not end well for them if they didn't, and immediately found themselves employed in various parts of the kitchen. Dean, who preferred to eat out all the time but could cook surprisingly well when he wanted to, was put in charge of the ham and turkey; Bobby handled the green bean casserole and corn; Sam made the gravy and dressing for the turkey; and Cas, who still could not be trusted to successfully make anything that required actual cooking, was put in charge of setting the table, opening up the cans of cranberry sauce, and slicing the vegetables for the vegetable tray.
After several hours had passed and Cas had somehow managed to get a glob of spray cheese stuck to the kitchen ceiling, everything was ready to eat. It was nearly eleven o'clock now, and everyone was famished after having skipped breakfast – or in Sam and Cas's case, being denied breakfast by Dean. Once the food was set on the table, Dean prepared to dig in but stopped when he realized no one else was making any move to eat yet.
"Am I missin' something here?" he asked a little impatiently.
Jody smiled at him, looking at everyone seated around the table with slightly misty eyes. "I thought I'd introduce you boys to something we used to do at my house on Thanksgiving before… Well, before." She cleared her throat and continued in a slightly softer voice. "When the food was ready, we would all say something we were thankful for. That's what this holiday is about, after all. If you don't want to do it, that's okay, but –"
"I think it's a great idea Jody," Sam cut in before she could start feeling self-conscious. "Do you want to start?"
She smiled gratefully at Sam and nodded. "Sure. I'm thankful for meeting you boys and Bobby. It's been a real blessing, even if it's gotten me involved in a few more otherworldly messes than the average person deals with. Bobby, what about you?"
"What's not to be thankful for? I've got my family and friends here, and tons of great food. Couldn't ask for a better Thanksgiving. Sam?"
"I'm thankful that you got it in your head to do this today, Dean," Sam began, looking as if he expected his brother to laugh at him at any moment. "I always wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, but I never thought I'd get to, so… Thanks."
"Anytime, Sammy," Dean replied with a smile, obviously very proud of himself. "I'm thankful that I have my sappy little brother here to celebrate Thanksgiving with, and more family and friends than I thought a guy like me would ever end up with. Alright, Cas, you're up."
Castiel did not respond for several seconds, seeming to be very deep in thought. When he finally spoke, his voice was a little shaky and his electric blue eyes were brighter than usual. "I am thankful beyond words that I met every one of you. Even at my worst, you've always treated me like a brother and a friend, and because of you I still feel like part of a family even after leaving Hea – leaving home," he corrected himself, remembering that Jody didn't know he was an ex-angel.
Everyone was speechless for several moments after Castiel spoke. Trust him to be the one to make them all a little teary-eyed without even trying. Surprisingly, Dean was the one to respond first.
"Of course you're family, Cas. You'll always be part of our family, whether you want us or not." Cas smiled, and Sam and Dean each gave him a quick one-armed hug. Bobby immediately cleared his throat loudly and held up a knife and two-tined fork.
"Well, now that that's done, how about I carve up this bird and we dig in before we all starve?"
Everyone watched hungrily as he carved the meat, and before long everyone was eating their way through plates piled high with food. Jody had even brought out several pies she had baked the night before. There were two each of apple, pumpkin, pecan, and strawberry-rhubarb, and a Jell-O fruit salad that had turned out remarkably well. Dean was convinced he had died and gone to his own personal Heaven, and by the time he finished the main lunch dishes and moved on to the pies he was making noises over his plate that were usually reserved for the bedroom.
"So I take it the pie turned out okay?" Jody asked when Dean took another bite of pumpkin pie and moaned with pleasure.
"Understatement of the century, Jody," he replied, although it was hard to understand since his mouth was full of pie.
"If you eat any more sugar you're gonna end up in a diabetic coma," Sam teased, taking a bite of his own apple pie and sighing contentedly.
"I can't think of a better way to go." He swallowed another enormous bite and returned to ignoring everyone around him while he finished off the flaky crust with a little bit of pumpkin filling still clinging to it.
"You alright there?" Bobby asked Cas, who had his head leaned back against his chair and his hands folded over his stomach.
Castiel nodded, sighing contentedly and closing his eyes. "I have never eaten so much food of my own volition before. It's slightly uncomfortable, but not unpleasant. And I feel the need to sleep all of a sudden."
"Well good news, then," Dean said with a grin and a loud belch. "'Cause that's exactly what the plan is. You eat, you sleep, you wake up to eat again whenever you want, and then you sleep some more."
"I like that idea very much."
"Me, too," Sam said as he stood up and stretched, grunting when his spine popped loudly. "I'll go find the game on the T.V., alright?"
"Just don't take up the whole couch, Granddaddy Longlegs," Dean called after him as he made his way to the living room. Sam just snorted and continued on his way, and soon they could hear the sound of the T.V. being turned on and Sam flipping through the channels in search of one that was playing the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions game.
"Well," Jody said with a stretch, "I'd better get going. My shift at the precinct starts at one, so I've only got twenty minutes to get down there."
"Alright. Thanks for stoppin' by, Jody," Bobby said as he walked her to the door. "We enjoyed havin' ya."
"My pleasure, Bobby. I'll leave those pies with you, okay? I have a feeling there won't be any problem getting rid of 'em with those three boys here."
Dean jumped up from the table and ran over to Jody, taking her hand and looking earnestly into her eyes. "Jody, you have my permission to marry Bobby any time you want, as long as you promise to keep making pies."
Jody laughed and Bobby scoffed, glaring at Dean and getting in between him and Jody. "Since when does she need your permission to do that, Dean Winchester?" he grumped, trying unsuccessfully to hide the slight blush that had crept up around his cheeks and ears.
"I dunno, but I'm giving it just in case."
"Tch. Idjit." He blushed another shade darker when Jody gave him a quick peck on the lips and stepped out the door, waving to him and closing it behind her. Now thoroughly embarrassed and ready to forget the subject entirely, Bobby went into the living room and sat down in an old armchair. Sam was already sitting in the other one, leaving Dean to sit on the loveseat with Cas, who was trying to understand the basics of football and failing miserably. When Dean flopped down beside him, he yawned and leaned his head against the soft back of the loveseat, peering at the hunter out of the corners of his eyes as he fought the urge to fall asleep.
"Your human sports are very confusing, Dean. Why would these people want to play a game that is almost guaranteed to get them injured?"
"You're seriously gonna ask a hunter that, Cas?" Sam said from his seat closer to the T.V.
Cas frowned and nodded, having to give that one to Sam. "I don't think I could move quickly enough to fight so much as a butterfly right now," he said quietly, blushing when he belched loudly enough to rival Dean on a good day. The older Winchester chuckled and smiled at the once-angel.
"Well now that you've freed up room I bet you can eat again, right Cas?"
"For the love of my Father, no…" Cas muttered sleepily, bringing his legs up onto the cushion so he could curl himself up into a sort of ball. "All I want now is to become completely comatose…"
"Right there with *yaaaaawn*… With ya, man," said Dean, already beginning to drift off just like Castiel. Before another five minutes had passed, all four men were asleep, Sam sprawled out in a tangle of limbs hanging over the chair in all directions and Dean and Bobby snoring like chainsaws. It was the most peaceful sleep any of them had gotten in a while.
When Sam awoke several hours later, it took him a minute to remember where he was. He could see the clock on the other side of the room, and once he blinked his blurry vision clear he discovered that it was already fifteen minutes past six. That would explain why it was dark outside. He slid out of the chair, making his way toward the kitchen in search of a glass of water. Once he had gotten a drink and washed a few of the dishes that were still sitting out around the kitchen, he returned to the living room, switching on a lamp now that it was too dark to see well.
He nearly laughed aloud when he spotted Castiel and Dean on the loveseat, lying so close together that he doubted a piece of paper would fit between them. Dean was turned almost totally on his right side, both arms and one leg hanging down onto the floor. Castiel had somehow slid down between Dean and the backrest, practically spooning with him, and his left arm and leg were draped over Dean while his head was pressed into the hunter's back. Sam knew Dean would most likely freak out when he realized how they had been sleeping, but for right now it was too hilarious – and, he had to admit, sort of sweet – to bother waking them. For good measure, he took a picture on his camera phone to use as ammo in case Dean ever really pissed him off in the future.
Deciding that he'd seen enough of his brother snuggling with a man for one night, he turned the lamp off again, sliding back into his chair to watch the next football game that was showing on the T.V. Bobby was still asleep, snoring from his spot in the old armchair, and Sam smiled to himself as he looked around at his family, happy to be doing something normal for once. He really hoped they got to do this next year, too, because this had been the best Thanksgiving of his life.
Author's Note: I hope you all enjoyed reading this. I was really looking forward to doing this story, and I think it turned out pretty good. And just F.Y.I., that thing about the spray cheese on the ceiling was totally drawn from life experience. I am not to be trusted with sprayable cheese. Ever. Bad things will happen whether I want them to or not.
Please leave a review, and look forward to my upcoming series of 25 winter/Christmas SPN ficlets. I'll be releasing one a day starting on December first! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!