ht_murray: little girl, cheeks, blue rose (samheartdean)
[personal profile] ht_murray
It's Christmas Eve-eve here, about that time of year when I usually put up the link to my ages old Gen Christmas fic so you can all have get your Grinch removed by bigbrother!Dean, appendicitis!Sam, and a kitten while I facepalm at how terribly written that thing is. Well, not this year. I'm just too embarrassed by that story to post it one more time, but there will be nostalgia!fic at the end of this post for those of you who want to skip to the good stuff.

First, glad tidings.

I've been... okay, I'm not going to say I've been a terrible friend, because I've seen at least three of those posts on my list today, and all of them were from people who I would say definitely are NOT being bad friends. Whatever I have been, depressed, self-absorbed, disillusioned, or distracted, it's not oblivious. I have received v-gifts from [livejournal.com profile] sams1ra, [livejournal.com profile] unplugged32, [livejournal.com profile] captcrashsc, [livejournal.com profile] jane_eyre, [livejournal.com profile] jellicle, and [livejournal.com profile] ysbail that have all made me smile and decorated my profile page, which is so nekked these days. For whatever reason, maybe I was at work and just peeking online, or I had other people I needed to thank and didn't want to forget anyone, I haven't thanked you, any of you, enough. Thank you!

This week, the lovely [livejournal.com profile] apieceofcake and [livejournal.com profile] vanae each stuffed my mailbox with gorgeous cards and artwork. I now have something to put on my mantel, and the Jensen refrigerator magnets are going right over the one that says, "Heaven doesn't want me and Hell is afraid I'll take over." My friends, you are all awesome, amazing, talented, and generous. I don't ever know how to respond to that sort of kindness, except with a heartfelt thanks. Again, thank YOU!

I've been removed from fandom lately. I have lost the love and excitement. It hurts. I know it sounds a little drama queen-esque, but I haven't had this sinking feeling in my chest for a couple of years now. I thought I'd finally figured out how to rise above it, but it's back again, and stronger than ever. So, there's no inspiration for fic and no muse to squeeze it out of me, and if I'm honest, I'm not working very hard to get it back. Sometimes you have to just cut your losses and move on. But then, today, I got a response on a fic poll I posted way back in season 3. (ETA: After getting a second poll response, I checked storyfinders and discovered someone was searching for dyslexic Dean fic. LOL. I really should watch that comm.) Anyway, I went back and looked at the fic and the one I posted before it, and there was what I've been missing. There was my Sam and my Dean back when I didn't hate either one and really thought the best ending was just the two of them together forever. I don't feel that way anymore, but I think it can't hurt to revisit that feeling again, just for a day or so. It's Christmas, after all.

So, I'm pasting those fics in here, as much a Christmas present to myself as to anyone else who wants to re-read or read for the first time. Whether or not you read any farther than the cut, Merry Christmas, flist. We've made it another year. Here's hoping life brings us all what we seek, or at the very least, what we need to be happy, and because they're a part of our family, too, may Sam and Dean get their happy ending as well, whatever that may be.

Comfort and Joy

Summary: Sam taught Dean to read, three words at a time, with focus and conviction.  From Hell, Dean teaches Sam to listen the same way. Pre-series thru Season 3, AU where Sam saves Dean in more ways than one. Because I know that's what a lot of people wanted for Christmas that year. Gen fic. Rated PG. Less than 2000 words.



Dean Reads

Dean reads, and Sammy listens. Well, Dean holds the book Mommy used to read from and tells Sammy the stories until he stops crying. There's nothing else to do, wrapped up in blankets in the backseat of Daddy's 'pala, waiting for him to get grocery money from from man in the building with Christmas lights on the front. Reading keeps them both busy, so Sammy doesn't know it's dark, and Daddy's not back yet; so Dean doesn't remember how there's no milk for Sammy's breakfast. 

The stories are scarier than Dean remembers.  Monsters weren't so scary when Mommy described them, soft hair falling over the pages while Dean nestled into her shoulder.  But now Dean reads, and Sammy listens. If Dean changes the words, makes witches into aunts and trolls into uncles, Sam doesn't know. Dean figures none of them are real, anyway, 'ts not really a lie. Mommy said there's no such things as monsters, and Daddy says he and Dean and Sam are the only family they need.  So, that's what Dean says, too, when Sam listens and Dean reads.

xXx

Dean reads, and Sam listens, rolls his eyes when Dean gets to the part about salting the doorway before bed, because he's heard it hundreds, thousands, a jillion, trillion, times already.  Daddy leaves the same note every time he goes, and every night Dean reads it out loud. 

Sam only listens because Dean reads.  

xXx

Dean doesn't read too good. Sam knows, because he listens.  Dean doesn't stutter when he talks, but when he sits on Daddy's lap, book open on the table and a look on his face like he'd rather jab that pencil into his eye than write, Dean messes up the words. He trips, he mumbles, he whispers around the lip he's got bitten between his teeth. He doesn't sound like Dean at all, not when he reads.  

Sam knows the word Dean means. He read the same book last night.  But when he leans in to whisper it in Dean's ear, Daddy shakes his head.  "Go to bed, Sammy," he says.

Sam does, but he can't sleep.  Dean reads, Sam listens, and it hurts.

xXx

"God gave us each different gifts, Sam," Pastor Jim says, "and surrounds us with people who complement them.  We're stronger woven together than we could ever be perfect and alone. It's all part of God's plan."

Sam's not sure he believes God has a plan.  He hasn't read it, not the actual Plan, just allusions to it, in a dozen archaic languages and forgotten dialects, all of which he pronounces perfectly, even inside his head. But he's tired. Tired of the way Dean makes half-hearted jokes at his own expense, pretends his mispronunciations are clever witticisms despite the complete lack of clever and wit.  Sam doesn't find anything humorous in the way Dean clears his throat and looks away when Dad gives them research to do. It's not funny that Sam gets answers and Dean gets a headache.  

So Sam reads, and Dean listens, and somewhere behind Dean's eyes, a light comes on.  Sam reads the words, and Dean hears between them, patterns, colors, and inflections that the two dimensional pages can't capture.  Sam reads, and Dean knows, in his gut what the next move should be. 

Dean learns to trust Sam's translation and pronunciation. Sam learns to trust Dean's gut.

xXx

As the year draws to an end, they read together.  Sam reads a hundred tomes at once, thousands of dusty pages piled at his fingertips, thick with dust and forgotten truths.  A line here, a phrase there, all sorted and collated into one giant text titled, "A Million and One Ways Not to Break a Deal with a Demon."

Dean reads three words at a time through a slot Sam cut in one of the jokers out of a poker deck.  It's the one thing Sam's learned in twenty-some-odd years of poring over books that actually makes him feel like the answers really are all out there for the finding. All the answers except one.

In the end, Sam saves Dean's pride, but not Dean.

After the hounds have come and gone, Sam reads a thousand benedictions and hopes, wherever Dean is, he's listening.

xXx

Words. 

Pastor Jim always said we create our own Hell, that what torments us most lives in our souls. Hell is just geography and, for those who would reap the bounty of 'us', convenience. We bring our own whips, our own chains. Demons only provide the chamber.

Dean's Hell is words-- a thousand signs that clearly point to 'Sam' and 'Out' writ in blood and ash on walls that glow with fire.  Signs that Dean can't read.  For Dean, Hell is words, and Sam knows, because Dean reads, every night in Sam's dreams, and Sam listens.

Sam can't stop listening, not to the screams, Dean's and those of the evil that rips them from his throat; not to the crackle of fire, always licking closer; not to Dean, stuttering, muttering, whispering as he reads between desperate, agonized breaths.

Dean reads, and it hurts, but Sam listens...a line here, a phrase there...three words at a time. Sam listens.

Sam knows this book.  He's read it before. But Dean's never read it to him before. Some of the words may have changed, but Sam likes the ending a whole lot better.

Sam taught Dean to read, three words at a time, with focus and conviction.  From Hell, Dean teaches Sam to listen the same way. And what Sam hears?  Well, the answers really are all out there, just waiting to be found. God does have a plan, after all.

Dean reads and Sam listens. When the book is finally finished, translated through blood and tears, then Sam reads it back. 

Sam reads and the walls of Hell come tumbling down.  Sam reads, and darkness is swallowed into light.  Sam reads and wins not just the battle, but the Whole. Damned. War.

xXx

When it's over, Sam carries Dean from the rubble.  He shouldn't be alive, but he is.  That's God's plan.  The wayward son finds peace and rest at home in a bed. Sam reads and waits for him to wake up. Well, Sam holds a book, just like the one Daddy used to read, and talks while Dean sleeps. 

If Sam changes some of the words, "Stupid son of a bitch. Ever do anything like that again, and I'll kick your ass," well, Dean probably knows.  And if Sam doesn't say, 'I love you,' well, Dean knows that, too. Dean reads silence, three words at a time.

The End



Summary: Sam saved Dean in this one, too, but not without consequences. Too short for a summary really, just a random ficlet about what Sam would do if he had all the power in the world. Sam/Dean established relationship. PG Less than 500 words.


Light

Dean washes the car on Sundays, has ever since Sam can remember, since the car was Dad’s and rainy Sundays were spent driving to the next hunt, Dean telling the rain to, “Stop. Start. Stop,” while Sam giggled in amazement. Sam doesn’t remember how old he was when he realized Dean could only control the rain when they went under an overpass, doesn’t remember the last time he giggled in amazement either.

Pastor Jim always said rain on Sunday was Heaven weeping.

Since Sam broke the deal, it rains every Sunday, but Dean still washes the car.

And Sam watches, rainwater dripping down the long strands of his bangs and clinging to his eyelashes. He doesn’t blink, likes the ripple effect of waves in his vision as he oversees Dean in his weekly labor of love--Dean with sheen of sweat glistening on his brow, damp t-shirt clinging to his back. Sam thinks it’s like seeing his brother new again, the way he saw him when Dean could part the sea of clouds with just a word, just for Sam.

Sam doesn’t mind waiting, could watch Dean like this forever, would if Dean asked. Dean would never ask, though. Instead, he catches Sam’s eyes for a second, rainbows dancing between them in the mist, and bites his lip to keep from smiling too hard. That doesn’t stop the blush spreading up his cheeks, across his freckles and into his sweat-darkened hair. The sun shines all the brighter for the appreciation.

When the last spot of wax has baked and hardened, been buffed to a sheen that mimics the glint in Dean’s eyes, Dean joins Sam in the rain, lets his little brother rinse the caked dust from his shoulders, kiss the salt from his neck.

The first hint of goosebumps along Dean’s arms, and the sun shines again.

Heaven might weep around them, but as long as Dean looks at him like this, all grace, and wonder, and alive, the sun will shine. Because Sam says so. And when it comes right down to it, light is light, no matter who makes it so. No matter for whom.

And there is light. And it is good. Heaven’s not the only land weeping.

Merry Christmas
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