A Supernatural Christmas


The black Impala pulled slowly into the parking lot of the motel. Both occupants were tired and neither one spoke. Dean Winchester parked the car in front of their room and though about how much each and every motel across America had begun to look the same. Something in the rear view mirror caught his attention and he got out of the car and slowly walked towards it ignoring Sammy calling his name. He stood in front of the decorated tree that adorned the center of the motel complex. It was a beautiful fir tree with hundreds of twinkling lights and silver garland.

Dean stood for a moment mesmerized by its simple beauty. He felt Sam standing at his shoulder and he wished like he had so many times before that their life was different. Feeling tears fill his eyes and not wanting Sam to know he made a disgusted sound. "Man every year they drag this shit out earlier and earlier."

Sam scoffed and shook his head. "Dean it's Christmas Eve Dude."

He turned to look at his brother in amazement and couldn't believe that it could be true. "Hey man its cold out here I'm going in."

Dean had no reply for this and Sam clearly still feeling guilty about earlier took this as a sign that his older brother was still mad. "Look Dean I'm sorry, I..."

Dean shook his head not wanting to hear it and not really caring. "It doesn't matter Sam, nothing really does."

He felt Sam walking away and leaving him alone with his thoughts and the emotions that he rarely gave free reign to. He stood gazing at the beautiful lights and a movement behind the tree caught his eye, so he walked over to see what it was. "Hello Dean."

He thought that maybe he was dreaming or that he was seeing things as this couldn't possibly be real. But real or not, there in front of him stood his father. Instead of going to him he just remained where he was and looked at his father not even aware of the tears streaming down his face. "Dad?"

"It's me Dean but not in the way that you think. I've come back to help you because clearly son you need it."

The younger hunter still couldn't move but he found himself wrapped in a hug from the father that he had idolized his entire life and he hugged back ferociously. He wasn't sure what this was about, but for a little while he stood in the sanctity of his fathers loving embrace and felt whole again.

Dean didn't trust himself to speak but finally the words came out of a throat tight with emotion. "But you can't stay?"

He was dismayed to see John shake his head. "No son, I'm sorry."

Dean swiped at the tears with the back of his hand and stood where he was. "Then just go away, it will hurt too much to lose you again."

He saw the stubborn look cross his father's features. "No way son. You and I have something important that we need to do first."

Dean felt his hand on his shoulder and suddenly they were standing by the trunk of the Impala at an old abandoned farm house.  Dean saw the doors open and his father and Sammy stepped out. Sam came around the car and Dean couldn't believe the angry, hateful look on his face. He looked so much harder and older than his usual geek-boy self. Dean watched as he angrily stomped over to where John had gotten out of the car. "So I hope your happy now old man its Christmas Eve and here we fucking are."

Dean swung his head to look wide eyed at his resurrected father and chuckled. "Dude you are so gonna nail his ass to the floor now. It'll be Sammy's annual Christmas ass beating."

His father smiled and again pointed to the two by the car. "Just watch."

Dean did as he was told and was amazed as the John standing by the car chest to chest with Sammy simply looked hurt and dropped his head. "Now wait a freakin minute here what kind of bizarre alternate universe is this?"

Again he felt his father nudge him and point to the pair. "Watch Dean."

Sam didn't stop at just the angry words he got even closer to his father. "Why did you even get out of the car? It isn't like you're ever any help. I'll do it myself. You almost got me killed the last time we did this."

Again Dean braced himself for the blowup from his father but it never came. Instead Sam grabbed the gun from his hands and headed for the house. "Wait Sam let me back you up."

The pathetic way in which he said it made Dean sick and he turned to the father who had brought him here. "Why is Sammy being like this? What is going on here and what happened to you? If either one of us had talked to you like that before Dude it would have been an automatic ass blistering. What is this shit?"

His resurrected father again put a hand on his shoulder before he spoke. "This is what happened when you died and I lived. This is the way that it was. Sam became bitter and hateful and I just gave up. You were the heart of us Dean, without you nothing was ever the same again son."

Dean felt for a moment like he was going to throw up. "Look dad thanks for showing me this and all, but I don't want to see anymore of them like this okay? Can we just go?"

John shook his head no and looked towards his twin standing by the car. "Too bad he didn't go in for backup."

The reality of what he said struck Dean and he jogged for the house thinking there must be some way to stop what he knew in his bones was going to happen. He heard the sounds of a struggle in the house and then a gunshot and Sammy flew backward through the screen door with a gaping wound in his chest and gurgling blood. The John leaning on the car screamed "No!" and ran for the porch and Sam. But he knew that it was already too late when he got there. The wound was huge and Sam was gasping for each breath like a fish out of water. "Oh my God Sammy, no!!"

Dean arrived on the porch in time to see Sam struggle for his last few breaths. John took his hand and wept and with his last bit of strength Sam looked to his father and smiled. "It'll be…be…okay now Dad. I…I can be with Dean again."

He looked to where Dean stood sobbing and looked pleased. "Dean I've missed you so much."

Dean fell to his knees and watched helplessly as Sam died. John pulled Sam's lifeless body close to him and rocked him as he sobbed. Dean looked over to the father who had brought him to this horror show. "Get me the fuck out of here. I can't watch you die again. I won't."

The apparition just shook his head. "Oh but son I don't die for a very long time. And when I do die it's alone and bitter, just a shell of a man really. I wish every day of my existence that I was already dead."

Dean put his head into his hands and sobbed again and he felt himself being pulled to his feet. "Come on now buddy we have a lot more to see before we are done."

Dean opened his eyes to find that they were again standing on a porch. But this time it was a beautiful, old Victorian house. The porch extended the length of the front of the house and then wrapped around. There was snow on the ground and a gorgeous lighted tree in the window. The front door was adorned with a large wreath made of fresh greens and a huge burgundy bow. Before Dean could say anything he was shocked to see a slightly older version of himself come up the walkway. He was wearing a pair of dress slacks and a sports coat and he was whistling. He turned to his father with a perplexed look on his face. "What the fuck dude I'm wearing a monkey suit?"

His twin knocked on the door and a beautiful dark haired woman in a red dress opened it. The other Dean grabbed her and planted a hard kiss on her cheek and swung her around. "Ohhhh baby that dress is hot!!"

Dean turned again to John who was frowning and shrugged. "What it is!"

He was even more amazed when his twin set the beauty down and whispered in her ear. "If you weren't married to my brother Cupcake I would soooo steal you away."

She playfully slapped his chest and smiled. "Sammy baby Dean is here."

Dean watched openmouthed as an older Sam in a very nice suit filled the doorway and grabbed him in a bear hug. "Dean, Merry Christmas, and come on in."

They went into a beautifully restored home and Sam led them to the fireplace. The fire was warm and cozy and Dean was surprised to see a picture on the mantle on all three of them. His twin must have been thinking the same thing as he picked it up and ran his fingers lovingly over John's face. "I still miss him you know?"

Dean saw his twin nod and agree. "Me too Sammy."

Dean watched as Sam looked around his house and for a moment his gaze rested on his beautiful wife. "All of this that I have Dean is because of you."

The other Dean looked puzzled. "What are you talking about Sam?"

And Dean had to agree. "What is he talking about Dad?"

The apparition of their father just shrugged and again pointed to his twin and Sammy. "Listen Dean."

Dean watched as he saw Sam put a hand on his twins shoulder. "All those years man, you saved my life more times than I can even remember. But more than that, you saved my soul. All that I have and all that I have accomplished was because you believed in me. Because you loved me."

Sam stopped as his voice broke and older Dean enveloped him in a big brothers hug. "Damn it all Sammy why do you always have to do this chick flick thing? Man now I'm gonna start too."

As he pulled out of the embrace no one saw but Dean and John as the other Dean leaned in and whispered in Sam's ear. "I love you little brother. And I am so proud of you."

"Hey Uncle Dean nobody told me that you were here."

Dean turned in amazement to look at the tall, lanky, dark haired, dimpled teen that had just come into the room. "Holy shit Dad that kid looks just like you."

Now Dean watched as his father beamed. "He should Dean he's my namesake."

They both looked back as the older Dean embraced the son much as he had the father moments before. "Geez they have even got you in a tie Uncle Dean that is so wrong."

The older Dean snorted. "Yeah Francis tell me about it."

Sam looked to his oldest son and smiled. "Hey John, would you go and help Mom in the kitchen please?"

As the boy walked by he playfully punched his uncle on the arm and Sammy grabbed him and planted a kiss on his forehead. "Aww crap Dad, stop with that emotional stuff already for the love of heaven."

Dean turned to his father and smiled. "Now I like that kid."

Sam just shook his head at the older Dean. "I swear I am gonna stop letting you hang out with him all the time."

Now a slightly more mature version of Dean's smirk graced his face. "I think he's coming along just fine, and I did all right with you now didn't I Mr. Attorney who just made partner?"

"Daddy!!"

Dean watched in amazement as a small child of four or five hurled himself into his twin's arms. The boy had a mop of golden hair and the older Dean lifted him up and swung him around. "Hey Buddy!!"

The little boy twined arms around his neck. "I love you daddy."

And Dean turned to his father with amazement on his face. "I have a kid? What would EVER possess me to have a kid??"

"Hi Dean."

Both Deans turned to see a beauty with golden blonde hair standing in the doorway. "Holy shit dad that's the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen."

Dean watched as his twin handed his son to Sam and walked towards the beauty. He embraced her and kissed her gently on the mouth. Dean grinned at the apparition of his father. "Dude even as an old guy the chicks still adore me."

His older self was gazing adoringly at the beautiful blonde in his arms. "How's my girl tonight?"

She leaned her head on his shoulder. "Kind of nauseous actually. But good, are you sure you want to tell them tonight?"

Now Dean saw his twin smile. "Yeah baby I just can't wait to tell everyone, I am so happy and so lucky. I never dreamed that I would have this love and this family."

Dean noticed that when his older self said that he placed a gentle hand over her lower abdomen. And then he again pulled her into his arms for a long kiss. Dean turned to his father and smiled. "Well at least I still got it with the ladies."

Again John motioned for his son to watch what was happening. The older Dean took his wife by the hand and walked with her into the center of the living room where Sam stood by the fireplace next to his wife and his oldest son John. Dean watched as his twin told them that they had an announcement to make and then he told them that he and Kate were expecting again. Much to the older Dean's surprise Sam threw back his head and laughed long and hard. Both Dean's said it at the same time. "What's he think is so funny?"

Sam's wife embraced Kate and explained. "Us too."

Now Dean turned to John to see him once again beaming. "Two more Winchester grandchildren now that is a miracle for sure."

Dean watched as hugs and kisses and congratulations were dispensed all around and due dates were compared. Dean noticed the older Dean watching John who didn't seem all that happy. "Hey pal, aren't you excited about the baby?"

He rolled his eyes and snorted at his uncle. "Does it look like I'm excited?"

Dean noticed Sam putting a warning hand on the boy's shoulder. "We have already discussed this John and if you can't be civil you can go to your room."

Dean turned to his father with a look of amazement. "Dude Sam even looked like you when he said that I hope that I am gonna help this kid out here."

His father gave him a level look. "Just like you always did for his father Dean."

Dean watched honestly interested as his older self took Sam off to the side. "Sammy don't you think you are being just a little harsh here?"

Sam shook his head at his older brother. "No Dean maybe I just need to have another talk with him."

Now both Dean's eyes got wide. "C'mon Sam don't "talk" to him, he's a good kid. He didn't mean it."

Now Sam smiled again. "He does mean it at least for now and when I said I would "talk" to him Dean I meant as in tell me why this upsets you so kind of thing. If I had meant spanking I would have said spanking."

Dean was surprised when his older self reached over and smacked Sammy on the back of the head. "Oww what the hell was that for Dean?"

Now Dean smiled at his older self's reply. "The word dude you used the word."

Sam gave Dean a look and another hug and went back to join the baby discussion. Dean noticed that young John had disappeared and his older self had seen the same thing and gone after him. He found him in Sam's den sitting in his dad's chair looking unhappy. "Hey."

Now John looked up at his uncle. "Hey Uncle Dean."

Dean and John stood as the older Dean took a seat across the desk from young John. "So wanna talk about it?"

John shook his head no that he did not. "Wanna tell me what it is that's got you so upset about it then? You loved it when your sister was born."

John looked at him with a look that reminded both of the Deans of the older John Winchester. "Yeah well I was younger then- you know. I didn't have to think about…."

He stopped and his uncle prompted him. "Think about…."

He could see John's face becoming red and he knew that they were getting to the heart of it all. "C'mon kiddo you can tell me anything you know that."

The older Dean had the impression that tears weren't far off. "Well it's just yucky that they still do.….you know that. They are way too old for that kind of stuff."

Now Dean fought laughing and shook his head. "John I am older than your father and my wife is also pregnant. You know how that is. You find someone and you fall in love and that's just the way it goes. Someday pal you will find a beautiful woman and fall in love and get married and then you will understand."

The boy looked relieved. "Will she be as hot as Aunt Kate?"

The older Dean chuckled as he thought about his wife. "No Johnny boy no one is as hot as Aunt Kate but she'll be close."

The elder John rolled his eyes and Dean looked at him with a "what?" expression. "Well Dad she really is hot."

He felt the hand on his shoulder again and shook his head. "No c'mon I wanna stay for a while longer."

John just shook his head and again Dean closed his eyes. This time when he opened his eyes he found them both standing at the trunk of the Impala. John stood sandwiched in between identical Deans and Sam. The Dean that he had come with turned to him in confusion. "What are we doing here? This was just earlier tonight. Other than some major déjà vu I can't imagine what this is gonna prove."

John looked at him long and hard. "Be a good soldier Dean and pay attention and you just might learn something."

Dean did as he had been told and watched himself give the instructions again to Sam about their attack plan. He reminded his brother that the only thing that would kill this particular spirit was a bullet made of silver. He then showed Sammy where they were and instructed him to load the weapons. And Sam nodded as he knew it as well as Dean did. Dean then watched himself walk away. "Okay dad so that was really interesting but hello I've already been here and done that."

Once again John simply pointed to Sam and Dean took a good look. He was emptying the silver bullets out of the guns and replacing them with regular bullets and the look on his face was pure defiance plain and simple. And if that wasn't bad enough Sam spoke softly and chuckled. "I am so fucking sick of you telling me what to do Dean. You can't talk to me or share your pain with me but you sure as hell can tell me what to do. Or then again, maybe not. Let's see if this gets your attention."

Dean turned to John absolutely furious. "Why that little shit told me that he missed. But that was just a lie he must have hit it but it didn't die because of the bullets. What the fuck was he thinking? He did it on purpose and what's worse he could have gotten both of us killed."

Now John leaned against the trunk of the Impala and crossed his arms. "Do you remember when I was spending all that time hunting that group of Mordant demons? And Sammy felt like he was being ignored and he managed to get himself suspended from school?"

Now Dean snorted. "Yeah and you beat his ass as I remember."

John nodded. "Yeah but I never would have even known about it if he hadn't left the notice from the school out on the table for me to find."

Dean considered that and frowned. "So you mean that he wanted me to notice that he screwed up and jump his case about it?"

John and Dean both watched as Sam shut the trunk and with a smug and angry expression picked up the now loaded guns and walked towards the house where the other Dean was waiting. "Did you see the look on his face Dean? He is begging for you to step up to the plate here. I knew that the two of you would take my death hard but I never dreamt that it would close you off to him."

Now Dean squirmed uncomfortable with what his father had just said and looking for a way out. "But hey it all turns out all right you showed me the future with the wives and the kids and the family."

John shook his head again. "That wasn't the only future that could happen son. There was another one only this one wasn't so bright. You and Sam go your separate ways and never again speak to one another or even see one another. Do you want that Dean?"

Dean was surprised to find tears streaming down his face and tried to use his usual avoidance tactic of sarcasm. "Well at least I still get hot Kate right?"

His father sadly shook his head. "No and you never get married or have any children. So what's it gonna be son are you able to step in and try and fix all these things that have gone wrong with you and Sam now?"

Dean thought about in the future that he was shown Sam telling him that he owed it all to him, and rubbing his hand over his unborn baby and even sitting across the desk from Sam's handsome son and then there was a little boy calling him daddy. And damn it all he wanted it. He wanted it all, every moment. "I'll do it Dad just tell me what I have to do."

John gave his shoulder and affectionate squeeze. "I think that you need to go back and just follow you instincts. I can't tell you how to deal with this and I shouldn't."

"You mean go back and you'll be gone again?"

"Yes son I'm sorry but that is the way it has to be. I will always be a part of you and Sammy and even later young John and all of his cousins. But now you have to let me go and go back to Sam because he needs you. I love you both more than you know."

Dean just nodded and felt a tear fall down his cheek as he stepped in to hug the man who had been his hero for all of his life. The hug was hard and warm with both of them crying.

Dean opened his eyes and found he was once again standing in front of the Christmas tree at the motel. "Dude you have been out here like forever what is the deal?"

Dean turned to look at his younger brother puzzled for a moment as to what he had been doing out here. But then he remembered seeing Sam switch the bullets and he wasn't sure why he knew it but he did. He tuned to Sam and put a hand on his arm and steered him back to the room that they were sharing. They opened the door and Dean took off his jacket and Sam did the same. Dean put a chair out into the center of the room and sat down crossing his arms. "So let's talk about some things, okey dokey Sam?"

Sam had a perplexed look on his face but shook his head. "No I want to work on the laptop for a while and then go to bed. Nothing to talk about Dean."

Dean merely pointed to the bed and fury was evident in everything from his body posture to the growl he spoke in. "Sit your ass down there Junior and now!"

Sam looked rather uncomfortable but did as he was told. "Look Dean if this was about before I just missed that's all it really isn't a big deal so don't make it into one."

Dean snorted with both disgust and anger. "Yeah except you didn't miss, my guess is that you hit the thing dead on. We both know that you have developed into a pretty fair shot and you were ten feet away from it."

He could see Sam struggling to come up with a good rebuttal for his logical statement. "Well then if you have it all figured out Dean exactly what happened then?"

Dean gave his brother a hard look. "You didn't use the silver bullets and you purposefully re-loaded them with regular ammo."

Dean didn't miss the slight widening of Sam's eyes or the way he paled when Dean had made his statement. After a surprised pause Sam jumped to his feet. "I am done discussing this shit with you Dean."

Dean moved so fast that Sam barely saw it and before he even had a chance to think about it he found himself bent over with his chest on the bed. Dean applied six hard swats to Sam's behind and they sounded like gunshots in the small room. He then pulled Sam back to standing and again pointed at the bed and again growled. "Sit. Down. Now."

Dean wasn't sure if it was the shock over the swats or just the intensity of the command but Sam for once obeyed without question. "Now, buddy boy, I am done with the bullshit here. You are gonna take the high road and tell me why the hell you would do something that stupid and dangerous. And then I am gonna tell you how I plan to make sure it never happens again."

Dean could see that even with being put on the spot there was some defiance still on his brother's face. "And you care exactly why again Dean? You have barely said two words to me since dad died that wasn't about hunting. What difference does it make? Not only did he die but my relationship with you also took a dirt nap. Just forget it."

Dean shook his head even more furious than before. "Nice try Sam but I said to cut the bullshit. Okay so you tried to get us both killed because you're pissed that I haven't been talking to you? Well my hand is about to have a really long conversation with your ass, during which time you may rethink that position buddy."

Sam looked at his older brother with amazement. "You wouldn't dare."

He attempted to make that sound fierce but for some reason to Dean's ears it just sounded like a challenge. "Oh you think so? Tell me, how does your butt feel from just those few swats? Cause it's gonna feel much worse than that before I'm finished."

Sam unconsciously squirmed a bit apparently not liking the way it felt at all. And the only answer he gave to Dean's question was silence. Dean stood up again looking very menacing with arms crossed over his chest. "One more time pal, and if I don't get an answer things are gonna get ugly -what made you do something so damn stupid and potentially fatal?"

Now he saw actual tears shining in Sam's eyes. "Because you don't care about me or anything else now that he's dead. Did you only love me because it made him happy? Or because it was an order or because he wanted you too?"

Dean was horrified to find Sam's face streaked with tears. He sat down on the bed next to his brother and grabbed him in a hug. "What a huge bunch of horse shit Sam. I loved you because you are you. I loved you because you could read when you were three and because you put a snake in my bed when you were six. I loved you because dad never scared you and you always said what was on your mind even if you got your ass beat for your trouble. I loved you because you are the one person on this earth who knows me inside and out and I would have died for you then or now."

Sam's tears became actual sobbing and Dean forced himself to continue even though it was nearly impossible for him to put his emotions into words. "I never stopped loving you, you big dork. It's just that since Dad died everything hurts so damn much. I ache inside and out. But now I see that part of that is because I did turn myself off to you and that I promise stops today and right now."

Sam turned his tear stained face to Dean. "Do you really promise?"

Dean nodded and Sam covered his face with both hands and again wept. Putting an arm around him again Dean sighed. "Don't be too excited there Francis you are way not gonna be happy about my being back."

Sam looked to Dean in confusion. "Why do you say that?"

Now Dean grimaced before he spoke. "Cause my first act as big brother again is gonna be to blister your ass for today. And it isn't gonna be some little 'swat, swat we're done' either. You have got a serious ass whippen coming buddy boy."

For a minute Sam looked as if he didn't believe Dean and then he shook his head. "No way, not gonna happen."

Dean actually snorted. "Oh hell yes way, and hell yes it's gonna happen, and I'm thinking after we're done we'll both feel better. Well actually I'll feel better and you not so much."

Dean could easily read the panic on Sammy's face. "C'mon dude you can't be serious I am a full grown man now. Not some little kid being yelled at for doing something stupid."

He said it with as much defiance as he could manage but Dean could still hear the fear behind the words. "First of all Sam you won't ever be so grown that I can't play the big brother card and that includes blistering your ass if you need it. And no you aren't some little kid but then I don't plan on doing any yelling either."

Sam looked towards the door and Dean shook his head in warning. "It's gonna be bad enough even if you just accept it. Attempting to get to that door is just gonna piss me off and result in you losing all consideration for leniency."

Sam glared at his brother. "Yeah like there is any way in hell you planned to be lenient here."

Dean just shrugged. "Okay if you want it all on the bare ass then we can do that too."

Apparently the comment was more than Sam had bargained for and he leapt to his feet and made a dash for the door. Unfortunately for him Dean got there first and grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back and using a little pressure forced him towards the bed. "Okay, I wouldn't have thought that woulda been your choice, but briefs down it is."

Still holding onto Sam's arm but keeping the pressure as gentle as he could he stopped in front of the bed and took his foot and knocked Sam's feet out from under him and pushed him face down onto the bed. Sam fought the position with all that he had but Dean had him out maneuvered and out muscled. "Quiet down now little brother you are only making it worse."

Dean gave him a moment to settle down and when that didn't seem to be helping he decided to just go ahead and do it. With an ease that must have infuriated Sam he reached under him and unsnapped his jeans and with a yank they were at his ankles. He continued to struggle fighting against the hold that his brother had him and when he felt Dean tug down his briefs he stopped frozen for a minute. "Please Dean, don't."

Dean felt a tug at his heartstrings but vowed to not let that stop what he needed to do. And what he knew that Sam needed him to do. He thought about all the other times that he had resorted to this with Sam. And he always felt bad that it had to happen but he always knew that if it was so serious that he was actually gonna spank him it usually meant that Sam had really screwed up big time and this was no exception. His act of defiance could have gotten one or both of them or even someone else killed. He kept this in his mind as he begun his difficult task. "Why are you getting your ass blistered Sammy?"

Sam struggled wildly and Dean could see the anger. "Because you are a complete freakin asshole Dean?"

Dean just let the insult slide. "No because you attempted to test me to see if I was still paying attention to you. Granted you tried to talk to me about it several times and I blew you off but this was not the way to make your point. And now I'm gonna make mine."

He raised his hand high and brought it down in a stinging smack and began repeating the motion side to side. Within a few minutes Sam stopped struggling and began squirming trying to avoid the hand. Dean's response was to deliver a few well placed and hard smacks on his thighs. "Stay still buddy boy or I will give you the whole thing on your legs. Did you want that?"

He had figured that Sam had already given into the process and was surprised by his answer. "Fuck you Dean."

Now on top of everything else Dean needed to get the upper hand and fast. He continued to smack the back of Sam's legs and he knew that it hurt because his hand was on fire as well. Finally after ten or so he heard Sam give in and sob. "Please no Dean that hurts."

By no means was he done but he resumed swatting his behind, and knew that Sam was no longer resisting him. He probably hadn't given him more than ten additional swats when he decided that Sam had had enough. He stopped and noticed that Sam didn't even attempt to move just continued to cry. Dean sighed and ran a sore hand over his hair hating what was to come almost as much as Sam would. He then unbuckled his belt and doubled it in his hand. "This Sam is because you put your life in danger which is one of the rules that you know to never ignore. And if you don't know it you will when I am through."

He brought the belt down ten times and felt sick as he listened to the anguished crying of his only sibling. He threw the belt on the other bed and sat down next to Sam attempting to rub his back and try to comfort him. After a few minutes he reached over and pulled up first briefs and then jeans and then resumed rubbing Sam's back. Because of the mop of hair in Sam's face he couldn't see his expression and Dean hoped like hell that Sam would just admit that he had been wrong and accept what Dean had done about it. They stayed like that for a little while until the tears began to dry up.

Sam sat up and cursed reaching around behind him to rub. Knowing that the next few minutes would tell if he was finished or not Dean held an arm out and sighed in relief when Sam threw himself into the hug. Dean let him cry a bit longer knowing that he needed to do it. "I'm so sorry Dean that was a stupid thing to do."

Now Dean pulled back and raised an eyebrow. "Ya think?"

Sam's tears began again and once more Dean just waited him out. "It'll be okay Sammy boy."

Finally it seemed as if his younger brother seemed to be settling down. "So Francis, are we clear on things here? No more testing me to see if I still care. No more doing stupid and dangerous things when I don't respond to the usual. Cause guess what you wanted me to pay attention and I just did both with my hand and the belt and did you like that? And do you think that you ever want to do it again?"

He watched as Sam gave him those damn puppy dog eyes and shook his head. "No not at all. That sucked."

Dean smiled as that was the thing that he always said after Dad was done with him. And the truth was that getting spanked did suck. But he couldn't have Sam taking chances with his life as he needed to be alive to be an attorney. Dean wondered for a second just where that thought even came from. He again focused his attention on Sam who still had the front of his shirt in a death grip. "Okay then, go in and wash up and then we are going Christmas shopping."

Sam looked at him as if he had lost him mind. "What?"

Dean pulled out his wallet and handed Sam a hundred dollar bill and took out another one for himself. "You get some stuff for me, and I'll get some stuff for you, and some food, and tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas like other families."

Now Sam frowned at him. "Yeah except you didn't actually earn this money."

Dean rolled his eyes and snorted. "The hell I didn't, I won big at pool the other night. That my friend is a real skill, I damn well did earn it."

Still not convinced Sam looked all of four when he came up with his next objection. "But its Christmas Eve and no place will be open. This will never work."

Not liking that at all Dean again gave him the look. "Not with an attitude like that it won't Mister. Now get your ass in that bathroom."

Sam stood and took a few steps and turned. "Did you just call me Mister, Dean?"

But Dean noticed that Sam was smiling and he took that as a good sign. "Yeah I did. And Sam, I'm sorry that I haven't been the best brother lately, and that you felt that you had to go to such lengths to reach me. I'll make sure it doesn't happen again. I well…I…oh hell I love you. There I said it now I hope you're happy."

Sam smiled and walked into the bathroom thinking that he was happy because all he had really wanted for Christmas was to have his brother back. And even though he hadn't liked the process that the end result had been just what he had hoped for.

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