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Adeste Fideles

Title: Adeste Fideles
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating/Pairing: PG/gen
Summary: Every year, for Christmas, he gets a tree, and decorates it. Minor spoilers for 3x08, only not really.

Every year, for Christmas, he gets a tree -- one of those teeny desktop ones, only about a foot high including the base. The decorations aren't much, because that's the way Winchesters do Christmas. Three or so colored glass balls, deliberately too big for the size of tree, and a handful of tinsel. Lights, sometimes, depending on what he can find. He scrounges up the decorations each year so he won't have to carry them around, so he never knows what he's going to get, and that's okay.

There's only one thing that's the same from year to year. Only one thing that he saves. It's not meant to be a tree topper, really, but he doesn't care: it belongs there. The gold of the amulet catches the light easily, a sharp contrast to the dull green of the tree's fake needles; the leather it's strung on gets wound again and again around the topmost branch to secure it in place.

The tree isn't complete until that's up.

"Merry Christmas," he murmurs, fingers lingering for a moment on the amulet. Other words pile up in his throat and die, unspoken, to leave a lump that he has to swallow past.

Christmas Eve, he spends alone. Not that he's ever really alone, not any more; but he doesn't invite anyone over, doesn't go to any of the parties he gets halfheartedly invited to, just holes up with the tree and with his memories. He always puts down a single wrapped present -- always something stupid and cheap, wrapped in sloppily-taped newspaper, because that's the way Winchesters do Christmas -- and if he sleeps, which he often doesn't, he spends a few drowsy moments hoping for the impossible.

It never comes.

Christmas morning, always, he throws the present out, unopened, and he swears that this is the last one. He can't keep doing this. Next year, he's going to ignore Christmas. Really. Completely ignore it...

He doesn't know who he's talking to. Probably no one. And that's probably good, because he knows damn well that his spoken promise doesn't mean a thing. Next year, like this year, he'll end up with a tree and a handful of ornaments and far too much hollowness. He can't keep doing this, but he can't not, either.

The tree, decorations and all, gets left where it is; he takes only the amulet, and gets in the car and drives, and drives, and keeps driving until he can't any more. It doesn't help.

When he finally stops, head bowed to rest against the steering wheel, eyes squeezed shut against the grittiness of too much driving, breath rasping out from a chest that feels too tight, he whispers apologies -- to the car, to the amulet, to the ghosts he carries around with him -- and receives the same response he always does, which is nothing.

Every year, it's the same, but somehow there's a bit of comfort in that.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)

Oh. Sniff.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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