Characters: Sam, Dean, John, Mary (Gen)
Summary: 10x100 drabbles on "Ornaments" for supernatural100. Will be cross-posted to spn_christmas and elsewhere to spread that holiday feeling.
Author's Notes: The title is for the spirit of the piece as a whole. I thought I wasn't going to do this challenge, but apparently I was wrong. I'm writing it into the ground instead! Happy Supernatural Christmas, to one and all.
Her family's tree had Santas, snowmen, and homemade decorations. There were popcorn strings and old-fashioned toys, but Mary's favorite was always the angel.
It was her mother's, handed down when Mary turned six. It had golden hair and gossamer wings, the face of a cherub and a halo made of wood. Every year Mary unwrapped it carefully, placing it high on the tree to keep it safe.
The year she met John, she held it and wondered what the new year would bring.
Then she hung it with a wish on the last tree that would ever be hers alone.
Their first Christmas together was in an apartment off of Main Street. Mary was a waitress and John fixed cars at Steelbacher's garage. Money was tight, but Mary loved her Christmases. They did the best they could.
The decorations were simple—a wreath on the door, twinkling lights around the windows. Two stockings made of felt hung below a bowl of clove-studded oranges.
They had a table-top tree, strewn with drugstore ornaments and a few of their childhood treasures.
They bought a single special ornament, a ship inside a globe.
"To our journey," Mary said. Together, they hung it high.
Dean was born in January, after a Christmas where Mary was fussed over like a child.
Every relative for miles had come to her parents' to marvel over her stomach. They'd rubbed her like a Bhudda, bringing her food and offering names. "Our first grandchild," her mother sighed. "Hope it looks like you if it's a girl," her father teased.
That Christmas was about waiting for the biggest gift of all.
The next year, the baby who looked like Mary chose his special ornament himself. A teddy bear flying an airplane joined the ship and angel on the Winchester tree.
Sam arrived before Thanksgiving, and was far too little to appreciate Christmas when it came.
Lying there in his bassinet, he could only watch the activities gathering around him. Colors, sounds and smells wafted past, rising and falling over time. Faces came close and voices spoke, and he was happy without even knowing what any of it meant.
Daddy lifted Dean to put Sam's ornament on the tree. It was a choirboy with a songbook, chosen by Mary for its innocence and sweet expression.
It glowed in the firelight, but Sammy never saw it.
One year later, everything had changed.
No Christmas was ever the same after Mary died.
All their lives were pared down to the bare essentials: some photos, the three of them, and an occasional memento or toy.
Sam and Dean stayed with their aunt and uncle for months while John "took care of some things." At Christmas they decorated the tree, and Kate brought out an angel with golden hair. "Like Mommy's," Dean whispered.
"This can be yours then," Kate said gently.
John arrived that night, and Dean showed him with quiet awe. "See, Daddy?"
There was silence, and then John hugged Dean so very tight.
When Sam was fourteen, they lived in Tallahassee. Dean had a job and John worked weekends.
Spencer Knight's house became Sam's second home. The whole family loved him, and he'd never been so happy. He couldn't tell Dad that this was paradise—to be accepted and just feel like he belonged.
On Christmas Eve, Sam brought the Knights a present. The spun-glass star for their tree was his thanks for all they'd given.
Mrs. Knight held it carefully, tears in her eyes for its unspoken message. "Your mother would be so proud."
And Sam thought that somewhere… she probably was.
The year Sam went to college moved at a crawl as soon as he left. Dean waited for phone calls, letters, anything. There was nothing to fill his life up but Hunting and Dad.
As Christmas neared, the silence became overbearing. Silence from Sam, silence from Dad. Dean would pinch himself to make sure he was alive.
A Scooby Doo at a gas station reminded him of Sam-- and that was just so lame.
But he took it. It lived in his duffle bag. And if John ever noticed Dean rubbing his thumb over it, he kept it to himself.
Jess liked Christmas more than anyone Sam had known. She made eggnog and cookies, and hung garlands all over the apartment. The kitchen smelled like spice, and the living room smelled like forest.
The tree was hung with tinsel, shiny balls and paper rings. Jess made cookie shapes as decorations, but they disappeared in stages whenever Sam passed through the room.
In a shop in San Francisco, they bought an ornament on a whim. Jess found it romantic-- two swans on a mirror lake.
Its meaning was clear: Jess thought they had a future.
That was Sam's best Christmas ever.
The Christmas after Jess died, Sam could barely get out of bed.
There was no tree, no anything. Just a candy cane on his pillow, which Dean insisted didn't come from him. "Whatever, dude—" because who was Dean kidding? It wasn't like anyone else was there.
Dean brought out a surprise—summer sausage with cheese and crackers. They had a feast in front of the television, corny movies showing all day long.
Later they played poker for peanut M&Ms, sitting on Sam's bed. Sam fell asleep to the sound of Dean's laugh, Jess' smile drifting softly behind his eyes.
"Christmas is coming…"
"No wreath on the Impala."
"Dude, that's tacky," Sam said. Like he'd even brought it up.
They drove from state to state, watching decorations build along the cities and roadways as the holiday approached. Their mood was somber, more than usual for this time of year. This was the first Christmas they'd been through since losing Dad.
At Walmart, Sam stopped at a Christmas display, struck by a Rottweiler toy in a Santa hat. "Dean, I—"
"Yeah," Dean finished for him.
It sat on the Impala's dashboard, watching over the two of them clear into February…
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