Sam frowned as he peeked out from between the motel room's dusty yellow curtains, watching the snow pile up outside.
"I hope Dad's okay," he muttered and turned away from the window, his brow furrowed in concern.
"Don't worry, Sammy," Dean called from where he was lounging on his bed, watching a black-and-white version of A Christmas Carol disinterestedly.
"Dad's a pro when it comes to driving in weather like this, he'll come back in one piece."
Sam bit his lip and climbed onto the end of his brother's bed, "That's not what I mean, Dean."
The older boy looked up at his brother, "What are you talking about?"
"I'm scared the monsters will get him," Sam answered hesitantly.
"Dad sells vacuum cleaners, Sam," Dean replied casually but the expression on his face was suspicious.
Sam shook his head, "I know Dad's not a salesman. He hunts monsters… like the thing that killed Mom."
Dean moved forward, "What did you do?!"
"I… Dad's journal was just sitting there… right on top of his duffel…" Sam stammered, scared by the angry look on his brother's face.
"I couldn't sleep and I wondered why Dad would have a journal if he… just sold stuff…"
"Dad's gonna kill you when he finds out," Dean informed his brother.
"You can't tell him!" Sam exclaimed, frantic. Dean was right; their father would going to be so mad at him. John could be terrifying if he was in the right- or wrong- mood.
"Fine," Dean crossed his arms over his chest; "I won't say anything to him because it's Christmas tomorrow. But after that… he has to know."
Sam nodded soberly and glanced around their tiny motel room. It was Christmas Eve but the room held none of the seasonal cheer. John had left the boys three days ago and there was not even a wreath on the door or multicoloured lights in the window.
Sam sighed and moved to his own bed, pulling the covers back and climbing underneath them, closing his eyes.
"What are you doing?" Dean asked curiously and Sam opened one eye, smiling.
"Santa's coming," the younger boy explained, "I want to be asleep so he'll get here sooner. You should sleep too."
Dean smirked, "There's no such thing as Santa, Sammy."
The instant the words left his mouth, the older sibling wished he could take them back. The devastated look on his brother's face broke his heart.
"Sammy, I-" Dean tried but the boy turned away from him, sniffling sadly.
Sam clenched his eyes shut, trying not to let Dean know he was crying.
Why did only the bad things get to be real? It wasn't fair!
Sam didn't say anything as he heard his brother turn off the television, the lights and settle into his own bed.
Sam bit his lip and tears leaked silently from his eyes. He wished he had never said anything to Dean.
The sound of soft jingling roused the youngest Winchester from his rest hours later. The room was dark and the boy squinted, trying to see clearly.
"Dad?" he asked, rubbing tiredly at his eyes.
The boy could see a large figure moving in a far corner of the room. Maybe his Dad was here!
Flinging the blankets off himself, Sam made his way across the room.
"You're back!" Sam whispered excitedly and the figure turned around.
The boy gave a squeak of fright but then laughed. It wasn't John but a large, jolly-looking man in a red, fur-trimmed suit. Santa Claus!
Sam beamed. He couldn't believe it!
"Hello Sam," the man said in a loud whisper, "How are you?"
The man chuckled, "What do you say we turn some lights on, hm?"
Sam nodded and turned on the lamp sitting beside the window. He wondered if he should wake his brother but decided against it. Dean probably wouldn't believe this anyway.
Sam returned to the man's side, studying him. The man was wearing shiny black boots, red pants and a matching coat trimmed with a pale grey fur. The man had curly white hair and a white beard; his cheeks were rosy as if from the cold and his button-like eyes were friendly.
The man had a large, green velveteen sack on the floor in front of his feet.
"Have you been a good boy this year?" Santa asked and the child nodded enthusiastically, "I have!"
Again, the man chuckled, "I read the letter you wrote to me. I was surprised that there weren't very many things you wanted."
Sam ducked his head, "Dean helped me write it. He said we didn't have a lot of room for tons of stuff in the Impala."
He remembered sitting at the motel room's table, carefully printing- as neatly as he could- his short list of wants for Christmas. Dean had even helped him spell out the more difficult words and after they had walked down to the mailbox down the street to send Sam's letter on its way to the North Pole.
He must really be magic, Sam thought; his letter had only been a folded piece of lined paper torn from one of Dean's school notebooks, no envelope and no stamps.
"Tell me, Sam," Santa said, his eyes twinkling merrily, "What is the thing you want most this Christmas?"
Sam frowned. He knew what he wanted, more than anything, not only for himself but for his Dad and Dean too but he was always afraid to put it in his letter, to ask Santa for it.
"Can you bring my Mom back?" he asked hopefully.
The man's cheerful expression faded, "I am sorry, Sam. I may be able to do many things, but I cannot bring the dead back to life."
Sam nodded, sadly, "Okay, I understand."
The boy looked up when he felt a hand on his shoulder, "Why don't you head back to bed and when you wake up, there will be a surprise for you. The both of you."
Santa nodded in Dean's direction; the older boy lying on his stomach, sound asleep and completely oblivious to what was happening in the motel room around him.
"But… we don't even have a tree," Sam lamented and Santa winked.
Bending over, he rummaged around in his sack for a moment before pulling out a miniature potted Christmas tree, complete with tiny lights and a star on the highest bough.
"That's amazing!" Sam exclaimed happily and the man set the tree on the table.
"Off to bed with you now," he scolded, chuckling. Sam couldn't help but smile as he ran across the room, leaping onto his bed, staring again at the jolly old elf.
"Merry Christmas," Sam whispered and snuggled down into the blankets.
"Merry Christmas, Sam," Saint Nicholas replied, and quickly set to work; he still had many children to visit and only a short time in which to do so.
It was just a dream, a really great dream; Sam thought as he woke up, eyes squeezed shut.
He didn't want the dream to end, he didn't want to open his eyes to the drab, cheerless motel room and eat stale Lucky Charms for breakfast.
Sighing, Sam sat up, knowing he might as well get it over with, like pulling off a Band-Aid quickly so it wouldn't hurt as much.
Sam's eyes lit up at the sight that greeted him. Brightly wrapped presents sat on the chairs and underneath the table, the small Christmas tree glowing proudly above them. The tabletop itself was strewn with plates of cookies, tarts, and candy.
It wasn't a dream! It had been real!
Sam felt tears well up in his eyes and he glanced at his brother who was still sleeping.
"Dean! Dean, wake up!"
The older boy jerked awake, "What's wrong?"
"Look!" Sam pointed, grinning and bouncing excitedly on his bed.
Dean peered over his shoulder and his jaw dropped.
"Holy crap! We hit the jackpot!"
Sam laughed and jumped off the bed, running to the table. He grabbed a shortbread cookie cut into the shape of a pine tree and covered in green icing.
Dean approached the table more slowly, "Who did all this?"
Through a mouthful of cookie, Sam told him.
"Santa Claus. He's real, Dean. I saw him, last night. He was here!"
Dean chuckled and picked up a small square package wrapped in gold paper, "Yeah, sure. It was Dad, right?"
Sam bowed his head, "Uh huh. Dad told me not to say anything, he wanted it to be a surprise."
The boy wasn't sad though, that Dean didn't believe. That was okay. Sam knew and that was all that mattered. He knew that even though there were monsters, there were good things in the world too.
Fanfic title comes from the name of a popular Christmas song.
I hope everyone has a safe and merry Christmas and a happy holiday.
Please take a moment to review.