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30 October 2008 @ 01:35 pm
Supernatural Gen Fiction: Cardboard Crown of Futility (PG, Humor)  
Title: Cardboard Crown of Futility
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Sam and Dean (Gen, Humor)
Rating: PG
Summary: For spn_halloween, the one thing the boys DO like about the holiday.

x-x-x-x-x

At first, it's just a Superman cape in a hardware store—easy to ignore. Then the pirate swords and monster masks and wigs show up at convenience stores, and Sam knows it's only a week or so 'til total blowout.

The day he walks into a Goodwill in Altoona and spies everything from a Batman suit and Ninja Turtles to a crocodile costume and a tutu, he's already admitting defeat.

It's not so much that he wants to wear the costumes—because he's a grownup now after all, and that whole envying-other-kids-over-Halloween turned the corner years ago. No, the real problem, which there's no solution for, is that Sam is a single guy in his twenties and the part of Halloween he can't resist is tiny people in costumes.

Just the thought of it sounds bad…

If he were a seventy-year-old woman (which Dean would insist is actually true anyway), there'd be no problem—people would even expect it. He could hang around schoolyards on Halloween, waiting for kindergartners to come streaming out onto the playground dressed like witches and princesses and dinosaurs. But for a guy over the age of ten, well, it just comes off as creepy, and he understands why.

He can't buy candy and wait for trick-or-treaters to come to the door—babies in ladybug suits and toddlers in mermaid gowns and cowboy hats who can hardly remember the right words—because he and Dean never actually live anywhere. Back when they sometimes did, growing up, his chances were ruined by having a father who practically barricaded the door on Halloween.

The innocence of the holiday was killed off for Sam so long ago he can't even remember when it happened. That doesn't stop him from wanting it.

For the briefest time, with Jess, he thought he might have his own family one day and get to do all the things he'd missed out on himself. That seems less likely now, that dream of bedtime stories and childhood rituals.

It doesn't make this time of year any easier, that's for sure. Sam is limited to sneaking glances at midget-werewolves wandering grocery stores on errands with their parents, and hoping to god Dean never notices him being captivated by something so suburban and goopy.

Dean has his own Halloween obsession, but it's hardly the kind of thing that can be used as leverage against Sam's own weakness. Dean's crime is an excessive love of caramel apples, and he doesn't even try to hide it.

Sometimes Sam wishes he would.

In general, Dean and food is not a pretty combination. Dean and food he really, really wants is so much worse.

Caramel apples are big and messy, and getting those first few bites started is hard. Dean's solution is to jam his mouth on the whole thing and try to get traction, which means looking like a stuffed pig at a banquet in the interim while Sam tries to hide behind any available furniture.

Today is one of those days.

"Dean!"

"What, Sammy? It's a bake sale—I like to support local causes." Dean plunks his cash down in front of the booster-mom behind the parking-lot table in Steamboat Springs and takes two caramel apples in return.

"I don't want one," Sam says.

"I'm not buying these for you," Dean retorts, and before Sam can turn away Dean has the first one stuck in his mouth and is wrestling with it like a chihuahua with a big rubber ball. Sam walks steadily toward the car—if Dean winds up going back for seconds, Sam doesn't have to be there while the freak show is on.

Last week, Dean discovered caramel-apple-flavored candy corn. He wound up buying bags of the stuff, eating in front of the TV at night like a zombie:

"What the—your tongue is electric pink! What's in that stuff?" Sam said.

"Huh?" Dean answered blankly, continuing to nibble his way through the bag practically non-stop. The fun continued an hour later, when he announced that he couldn't sleep because his heart was skipping.

Now there's a surprise, Sam thought, rolling his eyes at the ceiling in the dark.

Today marks Dean's third excursion this week into his favorite treat, and it's only Wednesday. Back in the car now, avoiding guilt-by-association with Dean's eating habits, Sam looks through his newspaper clippings on the woman-in-white they came here to track down. He thinks he might be closing in on her identity—he's got two good candidates to investigate as soon as Dean steps away from the trough and comes back to the car.

Sam pops open the glove box for a pencil, and a handful of lollipops falls out onto the floor.

Caramel-apple flavored. God only knows where Dean found them, but if they make these year-round Sam will never see the end of them. He crams them back into the compartment and closes the door, hoping Dean will forget about them. Something outside the window catches his eye.

A mother and her children are coming down the sidewalk, the older boy dressed in a soccer uniform and the younger child in a tiger suit complete with ears and a tail. The little one—he thinks it might be a girl—turns and smiles when she sees him watching. He grins back, almost on the verge of waving when the sound of the other car door opening startles him into sitting up and staring straight ahead. Dean slides into the driver's seat, and Sam goes back to studying his case information. He tries to seem casual.

"So what's next, Sammy?"

Sam can feel Dean's eyes on him, but he doesn't meet them. He doesn't want to give anything away. "I've got a couple of women to look into—we can talk to their neighbors and friends, try to figure out which one of these ladies is behind this and find out where she's buried."

"Sure," Dean agrees easily. "Maybe they'll have little kids, and you can ask them to put on a costume parade for you."

"Uh—" Sam flusters.

"Dude, you're the only guy I know whose head swivels over a two-year-old in a pumpkin suit. How am I not supposed to notice that?"

Great, he is never going to live this down. "I just…"

Dean pats his arm. "It's okay, Sammy. Dad was the one who hated Halloween, not me. It's no big deal."

"Really?"

"Absolutely." Dean starts the engine. "We can stop by the library if you want—I saw a sign for a bunch of Halloween activities in the kids' section."

Sam looks over suspiciously, but Dean's just watching him and waiting for a decision. "Okay. I'd like that," he says.

"Good." Dean pulls out into traffic and heads back toward Lincoln Avenue. "Hey Sam, open the glove box, will you?" he adds. "I need something out of there..."


-------- fin --------

 
 
 
Rusalka: SPN: brothersmarinarusalka on October 30th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Awww. I feel all warm and fuzzy now. And mildly disgusted by the mental image of Dean with the caramel apples. But mostly warm and fuzzy. *huggles the sweet boys*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Halloweenhalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
And mildly disgusted by the mental image of Dean with the caramel apples.
They ARE pretty challenging to get started, and we've seen how Dean gets even with food that isn't that difficult to manage. :0

But mostly it's all about Sam, and that Dean isn't as judging as Sam thought he was. Not that Dean won't tease him about his obsession with cuteness, but he won't think it's heinous. ;)
(no subject) - marinarusalka on October 30th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cindy: spn - sam (by crecd060)tsuki_no_bara on October 30th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
of course dean likes halloween for the candy. heee. and i love that sam is totally taken with small children in costume. (yesterday in target i saw a little girl in a pumpkin costume, and she was the cutest thing ever. so i get that. :D )

>>Dean's solution is to jam his mouth on the whole thing and try to get traction, which means looking like a stuffed pig at a banquet in the interim while Sam tries to hide behind any available furniture. <<

bwahahahaha! oh, dean, never change. and sam will always be the embarrassed younger brother in some fashion.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
of course dean likes halloween for the candy. heee.
Oh, how could he not? What can they do but either wonder what to kill or visit Haunted Houses to mock? :0

yesterday in target i saw a little girl in a pumpkin costume, and she was the cutest thing ever. so i get that. :D
Oh, yes. Bumblebee suits are one of my big weaknesses, usually because the little people wearing them look SO clueless.

bwahahahaha! oh, dean, never change. and sam will always be the embarrassed younger brother in some fashion.
And how can he not-- we've seen how Dean gets! :0

saavikam77: Dean Leersaavikam77 on October 30th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Hehe.. this was cute! ^_^ I love Sam's longing for the part of Halloween that he never really had. And Dean's obsession with caramel apples is hilarious. XD

I actually started to write this prompt, when I still thought I'd been put down for it, but mine was gonna be all about candy. :p Yours is much better! :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Halloweenhalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
I actually started to write this prompt, when I still thought I'd been put down for it, but mine was gonna be all about candy. :p Yours is much better! :D
You can still write it! Even though there were prompts, they mentioned that this year was pretty much a free-for-all, and there's no reason people can't do multiple stories for the same prompt. More is better!
(no subject) - saavikam77 on October 30th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Entendre? Make mine a double.: halloweendeirdre_c on October 30th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oh!! So much n'awwwww! *heartmelty*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Halloweenhalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
I can't blame either one of them really (except for Dean's eating habits). But I like it when Dean looks out for Sam in the friend way and not the drill-sarget (or frat-boy) way. :)
strangeandcharm on October 30th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Now I want a caramel apple. Wagh!

Lovely fic, thank you. It never even occurred to me that the boys didn't have proper Halloweens...
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
Writing this story made me want every possible form of caramel apple, including the Candy Corn and the lollipop varieties. But the real ones, with the nice green apples, are by far the best!

It never even occurred to me that the boys didn't have proper Halloweens...
I used to hope that they did, at least for awhile I'm sure Dean did, up through age 4), but the more we see about how John raised them and about how deadly serious life was (that S3 Christmas episode was horribly depressing), the more I suspect that they didn't.

I liked it better back in S1 and S2 when we didn't know these things! I wrote some nice fluffy Weechester stuff for Halloween back then. :0
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
:D *grins right with you* *envisions toddlers in bee suits and babies dressed as pea pods*
swanseajillswanseajill on October 30th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
That was very cute and I'm kind of stuck on the image of Dean with a whole caramel apple stuffed in his mouth!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Hughalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

And it IS a scary image, isn't it? I keep thinking of him stuffing those little chocolate balls in his mouth in "Tall Tales" until he started to look like a gorilla. :0 Where is the perspective, seriously?
mercurybard on October 30th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Sweet and a little sad and the mental image of Dean stuffing an *entire* candy apple in his mouth is a hilarious mental image.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
In his mind, he'd only be trying to get that first bite. But to anyone else watching it... o_O

Actually, that covers so much of what Dean does. ;)
brigid_tanner: skull and candlesbrigid_tanner on October 30th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
I totally love that Dean knows Sam likes to watch the kids in costume and is going to enable it and probably not even tease him about it. I was feeling so bad for Sam, cause he's right...he can't just hang out and watch the kids. Someone would think he was a pervert and call the cops. Loved Sam's take on Dean's eating habits, especially the resemblance to a stuffed pig, and the food trough line.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 30th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
I was feeling so bad for Sam, cause he's right...he can't just hang out and watch the kids. Someone would think he was a pervert and call the cops.
It's sad, isn't it? We've gotten to the point where we might understand that a man would enjoy seeing tiny children in Halloween costumes, but if we caught him trying to catch a glimpse of them our minds would immediately assume he was up to something sinister. :(

Loved Sam's take on Dean's eating habits, especially the resemblance to a stuffed pig, and the food trough line.
It's really pretty horrifying how quickly Dean loses perspective on how what he's doing looks to other people. He's too focused on the gluttonous prize in front of him, I think. :0
Ruth: Sarah Blakejust_ruth on October 30th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
This is sweet - and its so hard to resist little kids in costumes (says the woman who is going to work tomorrow as a gypsy to hand out mini bags of microwave popcorn). Dean and caramel apples is both disgusting and amusing. Sam's whistfully remembering his hopes with Jess brings a touch of bitter that makes the sweetness even better.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)
This is sweet - and its so hard to resist little kids in costumes (says the woman who is going to work tomorrow as a gypsy to hand out mini bags of microwave popcorn).
You lucky thing! My son's school has a ban on Halloween costumes on Halloween, and my daughter's has some "Literary characters only" thing. It just bugs me. Some of my favorite memories from before were working at home on Halloween so I could volunteer for the class party and see everyone in costume-- especially at the beginning of the day when all the kids are out, and it's both cute and surreal!

Dean and caramel apples is both disgusting and amusing.
I recently had one and remembered how disgustingly hard they are to eat... and the thing here is that Dean of course does not care that it's disgusting. :0
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
I laughed so hard over that line :D
I'm so glad you noticed it! I wanted to give a really good picture of him trying and trying to chomp on that apple while it's just too ridiculously big for his mouth. :0

And yet, he does not give up. ;)
(no subject) - dairwendan on October 31st, 2008 12:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2008 06:55 am (UTC)
The younger and more clueless the child, the cuter the effect!

Thank goodness Dean takes pity on Sam once in awhile. :)
{red wine and ambien, you're talking shit again}: SPN//text//long pig?powerof3 on October 31st, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
This is so cute! I love Sam with his love for kids in costume. And you had me rolling with the description of Dean eating a caramel apple. Hee. Great job! :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2008 06:56 am (UTC)
And you had me rolling with the description of Dean eating a caramel apple.
Once you've seen what he can do with something as ordinarily manageable as a roast-beef sandwich, you can begin to imagine how bad the really challenging stuff could get. :0
(no subject) - powerof3 on October 31st, 2008 07:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
undecisive and so not trying: oh baby when the lights go outone_2_3_4 on October 31st, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
This is ADORABLE with Sam wanting to just enjoy the innocence of the holiday and Dean enjoying the sweetness of the holiday andand...sigh. Wonderful job, thanks so much for sharing. :-D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2008 06:57 am (UTC)
Yay-- I'm so glad you liked it, and I hoped it helped brighten the holiday for you!
Derry: Dean & Sam - rabbit earsderry667 on October 31st, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
In general, Dean and food is not a pretty combination. Dean and food he really, really wants is so much worse.

That's so true... and hilarious... and very, very cute.

We don't even celebrate Halloween here in Australia (and it's already 31st Oct), but you've got me in the "holiday spirit" nonetheless. Cheers!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam & Dean Genhalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2008 06:59 am (UTC)
We don't even celebrate Halloween here in Australia
I've never been sure where it's celebrated-- mostly in the U.S. and not even Europe all that much, if I remember correctly. It's such a great holiday, one of my favorites even, and I hope this gave you the feeling of some of its charm. :D