Characters: Sam and Dean (Gen, Humor)
Summary: For spn_halloween, the one thing the boys DO like about the holiday.
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.
"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."
"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..."
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