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26 November 2009 @ 03:21 pm
Happy Thanksgiving, Dean Winchester  
Fanfic: Happy Thanksgiving, Dean Winchester
Author: sandymg 
Summary: Dean has never cooked a Thanksgiving Day dinner
Spoilers: Set in Season 1. Shortly after the Pilot.
Wordcount: 3,450 – One shot
Genre: Gen, Schmoopy
Characters: Sam, Dean, a turkey
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or any of its characters. They belong to the CW and Eric Kripke -- who'd best treat them well

Happy Thanksgiving, Dean Winchester

Sam awoke achy. He turned around groaning slightly into his pillow wishing the curtains were better at blocking out the annoying light. It had been a nasty hunt. The spirit was a scorned woman who had viciously slaughtered her husband and his lover when caught in the act. That vengeance locked her to this run-down motel so that those unfortunate enough to try to stay here for their indiscretions ended up with missing body parts. He cringed. Some rather personal body parts.

They usually didn’t quite take their work home with them like this – liked keeping church and state separate. But they were so tired and worn that they ended up staying the night when it was all over. Sam fought against the slight nausea when remembering the typical use for this pay-by-the-hour dive.

The spirit, Sylvia, was particularly cagey. They’d staked out the situation and thought they’d identified her victims but she’d mixed up her normal routine and seemed like she wasn’t going to show. Sam had been squirming watching this couple … Dean acted like it was just some perverse live porno show. His brother could be such a skeevy jerk sometimes, it amazed him they were related. Finally, when all seemed, well, over, Sam thought they were mistaken and perhaps had gotten the wrong sleazy motel. Wasn’t like it was the only one in this East coast burb. They’d been about to pack up their gear and go when suddenly she appeared and attacked the couple as they slept.

They’d burst in and managed to save the man his family jewels but not before the poor woman had gotten cut up some. Dean had yelled at them to get out and wrapped in the hotel’s dirty linen they ran out into the night.

Sylvia turned on them then hot and fast. She’d thrown Dean across the room and pinned Sam to the floor before he even thought to raise his arms. Hands on his neck he struggled to get air into his lungs as her fury burned into him and gave her otherworldly strength. Dean staggered over and swung at her with an iron poker. She vanished in a wispy poof but they both knew she wouldn’t be gone long.

Dean cradled his left wrist.

“Dean, you hurt?” he’d asked his brother.

“’S nothing. What’s keeping her here? Burned the bones and yet here she still is.”

“Gotta be here somewhere. It’s always this room.”

They’d stripped everything they could think of, acting quickly because they knew she’d be back. Sam had wracked his brain trying to remember everything he could about her as she’d lain above trying to squeeze the life out of him. Black eyes, frumpy nondescript housewife dress. Very 1950s. Bleached blonde hair, short and spiky. Once probably well coifed and controlled. Something cold had touched him. Colder even than her frozen bony fingers.

“Dean. She had a locket.”

“What?”

“Around her neck. One of those lockets that folks put things in. Like strands of hair.”

“She kept a locket with her own hair? Usually somebody else’s innit?”

He thought fast. “Yes. But maybe it wasn’t just hers … maybe hers and her husband’s.”

This was good enough for Dean who nodded and resumed the search only this time for the locket.

Sam was digging through the desk one more time looking for something they’d missed when Sylvia reappeared. She went for Dean with a banshee screech. Only good thing was that she wasn’t using her knife, saved that for the cheating husbands Sam figured. His brother swung the poker one more time but not before letting out an audible groan. It surprised Sam but he kept feeling his fingers along the back of the drawer, straining his large hand deeper than before.

There. The back of the drawer pushed out with a nudge and he felt something smooth and icy.

“Got it,” he said on a released breath.

After this it should have been easy. Except she reappeared and this time she did brandish the knife. So much for spirit consistency.

“Dean!”

“I know,” his brother shouted moving deftly away and drawing Sylvia toward him with baiting words.

“Too ugly to keep your man?” he taunted. “No wonder he cheated on you wearing fugly clothes like that.”

Sam would have thought this mean in another life but given what he’d seen this woman do, a little personal berating seemed pretty small potatoes. He dropped the hair into the room’s small garbage pail and fished for the lighter in his pocket.

Dean avoided another slice but yelled, “Ow … bitch!” as she shoved him again against the wall. Peripherally Sam saw that Dean had hit with his left side. Again. “Now Sam!” Dean called out.

The fire caught in a brisk flash and with a gentle whoosh Sylvia was gone.

Sweaty and tired and pretty much beat the brothers looked at each other. Silently Sam moved to his duffel to pull out some ace bandages and despite Dean’s protestations wrapped up his brother’s left wrist.

He examined it slowly and said, “I think it’s just a sprain. But if the swelling doesn’t go down by morning we’ll get it checked out.”

“Yes Florence,” Dean snarked.

They looked at each other again knowing they should get into the Impala and drive somewhere clean and not … not here. But they were so tired. There was one unused Queen bed in the room. Without saying a word they’d both collapsed on top of the bedspread and let sleep take them.


***


Shaking off the effects of last night’s encounter Sam looked around for signs of Dean. Odd. He wasn’t there. That’s when he spotted the note on the torn apart desk. Be back soon. Will bring coffee.

He checked out the shower, decided it seemed clean enough to risk stepping inside and washed away last night’s grime.

He’d just finished dressing when the door opened. Dean was holding two grocery bags and a cardboard box with two coffee cups. Sam raised his eyebrows questioningly as he took the coffee and lifted one cup to his lips.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Sammy,” Dean said.

Sam started. Was it Thanksgiving? Time passed quickly these days when his mind was focused on one thing … finding the demon that killed … Even thinking her name was often too difficult. It was like an open wound in the middle of his chest. Thanksgiving. She’d loved the holiday. Well, she’d loved all holidays truth be told. One more way they were exact opposites. There wasn’t a holiday Sam could stand.

Dean put the grocery bags on the desk and pulled out a medium-sized uncooked turkey.

Sam stared at it as if Dean had brought back a live pony instead.

“What—“ But he couldn’t think of anything to even ask.

“I thought … I mean, I know Dad always took us to a diner … but you’re supposed to cook on Thanksgiving … so I thought …”

Flabbergasted was way too tame. His brother had surely gone insane. He looked around the room. The soiled bed where the couple … the destroyed desk. The stench of that … thing … still lingering in the air. “Where …?” is all he could get out.

Dean looked annoyed. “Well not here obviously. I planned to ditch this skeazy joint as soon as your ginormous ass was out of bed. We’ll find us a nice place … with a … kitchenette.”

Sam didn’t say anything. Couldn’t think of anything to say even if speech were possible. He was dressed, ready. Dean repacked the turkey and they took off.

Didn’t take long to pull into another motel. Part of a larger chain. A little more money but clearly clean. He followed his brother silently into the bright room. The little kitchen area had an under counter refrigerator and Dean quickly took the turkey and whatever else he’d bought and placed them inside. Sam put his duffel beside his bed and tried to find a way to make sense of whatever was going on in Dean’s mind.

His brother disappeared into the bathroom. Sam heard the shower going and took the opportunity to scope out the groceries. There was a bunch of carrots and some stalks of celery. One onion. A box of stuffing mix. And the turkey. He stared at the closed bathroom door and then back to the relatively empty kitchenette and shook his head.

Dean emerged a few minutes later looking refreshed, hair sticking up in wet spikes. He’d put on a clean black tee-shirt and jeans and was rummaging around his duffel for a denim shirt. Once donned he turned to Sam.

“So … is it … hard to cook a turkey?”

Last year Jessica had invited Sam to her parent’s home for Thanksgiving. He knew how much she wanted him to say yes but he just couldn’t. He’d gotten used to spending holidays away from his family. Was okay, was the way it was. But spending it with someone else’s family just felt … he couldn’t do it. The disappointment shone in her beautiful blue eyes. Disappointing her caused him a physical ache. He loved her so much. So he’d forced his eyes away from hers and said, “Sorry” one more time.

There were times she pushed and times she knew to back off. It was one of the many reasons he adored her. This time she nodded sadly and the subject had dropped. The day before Thanksgiving when he’d expected her to start packing for the drive home she came in with grocery bags stuffed to the gills.

“What’s all this?” he’d asked shocked.

“Thanksgiving dinner,” she said.

“I thought …”

“I called my folks and explained that I couldn’t make it this year. I’ll pop back tomorrow and spend the weekend with them instead. So get your apron on, big boy, cause we’re cooking!”

Dean was looking at him hesitantly, eyes huge.

Sam’s gut constricted. How could his brother have experienced so much, know so much more than the average person could even imagine and still be so … innocent?

“No, it’s not hard to cook a turkey. But you need … you need an oven, Dean.”

His brother looked over at the kitchenette. Sam knew it wasn’t a full kitchen. There was the little sink, the small refrigerator, a few plates and saucepans in the cupboard, a hot plate, and a small microwave. All fine if heating up some Campbell’s or Spaghettio’s like they used to all those nights … but you couldn’t really cook anything. Certainly not a turkey dinner.

“The microwave?” Dean asked hopefully.

Sam shook his head. “Won’t … it wouldn’t give you what you want. Look. We’ll find a nice restaurant. Some places are open … even … today.”

Dean looked away, face closed.

Sam’s eyes stung. A thousand pitiful meals flashed before him. It was ironic that Dean thought that he’d been the one who wanted “normal.” Dean craved normal like flowers sought the sun. He thought about the onion lying lonely in its clear plastic produce bag. Imagined Dean looking at them attempting to figure out what to look for, why pick one over any other.

“Give me a minute,” he said as he reached for his laptop.

Dean ignored him, assuming he was searching for places to eat. His brother sat on the bed and turned on the T.V. Sounds of marching bands and crowds filled the room. The local news station was picking up New York’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

It didn’t take Sam long to find what he sought.

“C’mon,” he said.

Dean looked up startled. “What? Ain’t hungry now.”

Sam wasn’t paying attention. He gathered the turkey and vegetables and put them back in their original grocery bags. “Gimme the keys,” he told Dean.

“You wanna drive? Where are we going?”

“Yeah, I want to drive since I’m the only one who knows how to get there.”

“Get where?”

He left the room without turning around to see if Dean was following. At the Impala Dean hesitated a second before tossing him the keys.

The ride was short but as expected Dean groused the entire way with questions. Where were they going? He didn’t want to eat Thanksgiving dinner at 10 in the morning! What was the big mystery? What was wrong with Sam?

That last one he had no answer for. As for the rest it would be a while before they could eat. Sam smiled.

He pulled around the back and told Dean to grab the groceries. His brother obeyed clearly a bit stunned at Sam’s decidedly odd and bossy behavior.

Sam pulled out his lock picks and made short work of entering the premises. Dean stared at the sign on the door silently. Kim’s Cooking School.

He turned to Sam, mouth slightly ajar, clearly speechless.

“They have an oven,” Sam said simply.

It was quiet in the medium-sized space. The kitchen was well stocked and Sam was very pleased with the choice he’d made. The professional oven was more than big enough for their little bird but that was fine. It would come out juicy and brown and if he did one thing with his godawful existence he’d do this. Give his brother one home cooked Thanksgiving meal.

Dean was apprehensive and a bit shy. So not Dean it squeezed Sam’s heart again.

“You done this before?” Dean asked his brother.

“Coupla times. With Jessica.”

Dean nodded, sadness tingeing his eyes before following Sam’s directions like the good soldier he always was.

He handled the bird like it was a piece of military equipment. Removing the giblets and the neck. Washing it. Brushing it with vegetable oil with mechanical precision. There wasn’t a spot that he’d missed. Next he rubbed some seasonings over the skin handling the bird as tenderly as if it were a lover.

Sam threw away the boxed stuffing mix and used the kitchen’s well stocked pantry to start from scratch. They worked side by side, hardly saying much, with Dean asking the occasional question and then proceeding to the next step with a curt nod.

“How do we keep the stuffing from falling out?” Dean asked.

Sam looked around. “Here. We tie the drumsticks together with this twine.”

Dean chopped the carrots he’d bought into inch size pieces and they scattered them around the turkey. Sam came back with the thermometer.

“What’s that?” Dean asked.

Struck once again by his brother’s innocence he explained. “Should read 165 degrees in the fattest part of the thigh.”

“Huh,” Dean replied. “Gizmos for everything these days.”

Sam could only smile.

It wasn’t a big turkey so it wouldn’t take all that long to cook. Still they had some hours to kill. He sent Dean out for some beer and settled himself down with his journal.

Keeping a journal was something all three Winchester men did. Sam guessed they’d picked up the habit from their Dad. He wondered, not for the first time that day, what their father was doing, where he was on this Thanksgiving day? The last such holiday they’d all spent together was the year before he set out for Stanford. He’d been keeping a lot of secrets back then. Sneaking in applications, secretly drafting essays and sending out letters to try to obtain teacher recommendations. He’d hardly stayed in any one school long enough to establish a relationship but there had been one or two that he’d connected with. Between some hard earned grades, a little luck and a whole lot of moxie it had been enough.

Stanford. Lectures and lush lawns and dining halls and … Jessica. If only he and Jess and Dean could have shared a meal like this. For all his obnoxious flirting Sam had no doubt that Dean would have liked Jess. If for no other reason than the look in her eyes when she looked at Sam. He knew his brother would have wanted this for him. She would have approved of this, he thought. Well, maybe not the breaking and entering … but honoring the holiday. Preparing a meal together. It was her way.

Dean came back after a while. God knows what he’d found to distract himself with when barely anything was open. He thought it best not to ask.

They settled into doing some research and both writing in their journals while they waited. Dean brought up favorite movies and long-lost trivia from their childhood. It was good to remember that between monsters there had been snippets of ordinary. It wasn’t enough to make up for all the pain … but it helped.

Telling Dean that even after the oven beeped they’d still have to wait longer and let the turkey stand for 15 or so minutes had not been easy. He explained about having to let the juices settle but got a hungry whine in reply.

Finally they moved to the large table where the class must have celebrated whatever lesson plan they’d completed. It sat 10 easily and was a bit overwhelming for just the two of them. Dean took the end and Sam sat catty-corner to him. At least they could see each other and not shout that way when speaking.

Dean’s skills with knives proved beneficial in carving and Sam hadn’t seen a more efficiently sliced turkey breast in his life. His brother pounced on the drumstick as Sam knew he would. The carrots had caramelized and were mouth-wateringly sweet. Given the odd circumstances and haphazard ingredients he was quite proud of the dinner they’d produced. Dean’s face as he took his first bite was all the reward he needed. He couldn’t imagine his brother looking this pleased with anything else outside of sex. Maybe even that.

Mid-bite Dean stopped. “We should … we should say what we’re thankful for Sammy.” He looked nervous as he said it. As if he wasn’t sure that Sam would … Out of nowhere he asked, “You were with Jess, last year, weren’t you?”

Sam nodded yes surprised at the sudden emotion in his brother’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, Sammy,” Dean said.

Swallowing hard he didn’t reply. He was sorry, too. Wasn’t anything to say.

“I’ll start,” Dean began, voice brighter clearly trying to lighten the mood. “I’m thankful for my Baby.” He picked up his beer. “A cold one.” His eyes met Sam’s. “And … family,” he said raising the beer.

Sam did the same and took a long swallow. He could feel Dean’s freakishly piercing gaze willing him to answer, to say what he was thankful for. The bitterness that had been his life these past months threatened to swallow him whole. He knew now that the dream he’d pursued had been foolish. People like him didn’t get that kind of life. Didn’t become lawyers and marry their beautiful girlfriends and have … families. Long-practiced anger toward his father flared as it always did when let himself feel like this. Only now he understood his father’s rage, knew what fueled it, kept it always banked … always angry.

The silence stretched too long and Dean withdraw into himself. Eyes inward and face flat. Sam knew that look. Had seen it with every broken promise of their father’s, every glimpse in a window that featured a prettily decorated Christmas tree. Seen it the day he’d walked out the door too angry and bitter to spare Dean a second glance.

Out of nowhere he felt his eyes well. He’d thought he’d lost everything in the fire that took Jess. Everything that could ever touch his heart, ever make him feel anything again. He was wrong.

“I do have something I’m thankful for.”

Dean looked up eyes slowly coming back to life.

“I’m thankful for my brother,” Sam said. He knew his voice was warbled and some other time he might be embarrassed at the naked emotion on his face but today, this holiday, he didn’t care.

Dean locked eyes with him looking more humble than he’d ever seen him. He watched him try to say something but he swallowed and clearly couldn’t. He picked up the beer again and took a long drought.

They both swiped absently at their eyes and put themselves back in check.

“So,” Dean said, voice steadier. “Watch the game later? Back in the room?”

“You got it, bro.”

fin
 
 
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
 
 
borgmama1of5borgmama1of5 on November 26th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
Awww. Happy Thanksgiving, boys!

And Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Sandy!
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 26th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked this. Came out sweet. I woke up thinking this story. Truly I'm obsessesed :) Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
mlebayre: winchestersmlebayre on November 27th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
Awwww I adored this!
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 27th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm new to fanfiction writing -- started about a month ago. This one came to me this morning just as I was getting up. Wrote itself. I'm glad you liked it. Check out some of my other stories when you can and let me know what you think.

Thanks again and hope you had a lovely holiday,
Sandy
szarabasjka: JAszarabasjka on November 27th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
since I'm the only person in America that spent this day ALONE!!! *me the drama queen, please ignore me* I'm crying like a baby right now this is pretty much the best thing I've read in a long while

I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 27th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
Oh hon. I'm sorry if you felt bad today. Hey, truly, you can always email or PM me to chat Supernatural. There's never a time I'm not game for this! I appreciate your taking the time to read and review. I'm new to fanfiction writing, started last month. The comments fuel the muse and inspire me so much. I hope you get to check out the rest of my stories when you get a chance.

Best,
Sandy
graygraymouse on November 27th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
This is LiveJournal, sweetie...you're never alone.

*passes you tissues*
toldthestarstoldthestars on November 27th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
Aw, this was the perfect dessert to a long and happy day. Thank you!
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 27th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this little tale. I woke up with this buring in my mind. I just had to set it down. I'm new to fanfic writing and appreciate the feedback. If you feel like checking out any other stories I'd love to get your take.

Hope you had a lovely holiday.
Sandy
sweet cherry in an apple pie: SPN/ily more than piezestyzorra on November 27th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
This was so adorable, thank you for sharing ♥

And I hope they had pie!!!!
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 27th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
OMG I didn't think of this! What was wrong with me? I musta had turkey on the brain. I almost feel like I need to write a sequel that's only about Dean devouring a pie. Maybe he doesn't even need clothes while he does this? Okay, I think maybe I'm into my world now and not theirs :)

Thanks for reading and commenting!

cheers,
s.
sweet cherry in an apple pie: SPN/dean awkwardddd smilezestyzorra on November 27th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Lol I'd still read that sequel of Dean and pie, sans clothing ;)
lovetheguyslovetheguys on November 27th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to YOU, a very talented author!

Love, Robin
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 27th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I enjoyed writing this tale very much. It was bittersweet because the only way I could even imagine it was to set it in Season 1. That made me sad, you know? But in Kripke I trust so all will be well (I hope). And if not, there's always fanfic :)
izzy_the_unbreakable: btvs1theatervine on November 28th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
Awww, well done. Very sweet and yet so sad.
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 28th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and to comment. I'm new to fanfic writing so it means a lot to me. I'm glad you enjoyed this little tale. It literally came to me Thanksgiving morning right before I woke up. Not sure what that says about me :) Check out some of my other stories when you can. They aren't all quite this sweet. But they all feature a pretty decent dose of sad ;) And I'd definitely welcome the feedback.
izzy_the_unbreakabletheatervine on November 28th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
You're welcome and I will!
orehime: scissorsorehime on November 28th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
AWWWWWWW! ♥
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on November 28th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm very glad you enjoyed this tale!
ash48: Dean/foodash48 on January 2nd, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
Oh my! I have tears in my eyes. That was just gorgeous. I love that Sam sought out a kitchen to cook the Thanksgiving meal... so perfect. And Dean's innocence when it came to cooking... :)

But I also enjoyed the opening hunt - the whole scenario was very </>them</i>.

Yay. Loved it. Thanks for the link. :)
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on January 2nd, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed this. When I read your meta I just immediately thought of my story and how we were so on the same page.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
Sandy
beetle32 on February 26th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
Loved this even though it sometimes hurt to read, but this is why I like SPN so much. You had them down to a "t". I really liked how perceptive Sam was when it came to Dean.

Oh, and I thoroughly adored these parts shortly before Sam found them THE place to cook their own Thanksgiving dinner:

Dean was looking at him hesitantly, eyes huge.
Sam's gut constricted. How could his brother have experienced so much, know so much more than the average person could even imagine and still be so ...innocent?

"The microwave?" Dean asked hopefully.
Sam shook his head. "Won't... it wouldn't give you what you want. Look. We'll find a nice restaurant. Some places are open... even... today."
Dean looked away, face closed.
Sam's eyes stung. A thousand pitiful meals flashed before him. It was ironic that Dean thought that he'd been the one who wanted "normal." Dean craved normal like flowers sought the sun. He thought about the onion lying lonely in its clear plastic produce bag. Imagined Dean looking at them attempting to figure out what to look for, why pick one over any other.


And then after Sam had this brilliant idea, when they're standing in the professionally equipped kitchen of "Kim's Cooking School":

[...]and Sam was very pleased with the choice he'd made. The professional oven was more than big enough for their little bird but that was fine. It would come out juicy and brown and if he did one thing with his godawful existence he'd do this. Give his brother one home cooked Thanksgiving meal.
Dean was apprehensive and a bit shy. So not Dean it squeezed Sam's heart again.


...and THIS where Sam answers Dean's Thanksgiving "toast" mainly because he realizes in that moment that there really is something, or rather someone, he truly is thankful for:

The silence stretched too long and Dean withdraw into himself. Eyes inward and face flat. Sam knew that look. Had seen it with every broken promise of their father's, every glimpse in a window that featured a prettily decorated Christmas tree. Seen it the day he'd walked out the door too angry and bitter to spare Dean a second glance.
Dean locked eyes with him looking more humble than he'd ever seen him. He watched him try to say something but he swallowed and clearly couldn't.

Thanks for sharing this fabulous little fic! D.
I breathe therefore I writesandymg on February 26th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I reread it and it did come out sweet if I say so myself. :) It's season 1 boys and back then they were more emotionally available. So different now. But change happens and I respect the show for making things count and have impact and not be glossed over.