Title: No Gift to Bring
Summary: It's Christmas, the world is ending and Sam needs a gift for Dean. Set in season 5 between 'Abandon All Hope' and 'Sam, Interrupted'.
A/N: This is a very short little ficlet for Christmas. It's unbeta'd so everything is my fault.
No Gift to Bring
Sam wasn’t really feeling the Christmas spirit.
It’s not like they really had anything to celebrate. Ellen and Jo were dead; Bobby was in a wheelchair, Lucifer and Michael wanted to turn Sam and Dean in to their own personal meat puppets, the world was going to end in a bloody, fiery mess and all of it was Sam’s fault.
So yeah … Christmas wasn’t something he had given much thought until that night.
Yet still, there he was on Christmas Eve, shopping in a Wal-Mart in western Kentucky, and thinking about what he should get Dean.
Sure, it wouldn’t restore the brotherly bond that was nearly broken after Sam set the ball rolling on the apocalypse and set Lucifer free, but he felt the need to get him something for Christmas anyway … something to show his brother that he loves him no matter what … that he’s sorry … that he’ll do just about anything to make it all up to him -- that he didn’t mean to choose a skanky, demon bitch over his own flesh and blood brother…
Okay, maybe Wal-Mart probably wasn’t the best place to find a gift that could cover all of that and it most likely didn’t stock any Hallmark cards that said ‘Sorry, I ended the world’, but it was the only store in this town still open and it had to have something his brother might appreciate.
Sam walked up and down the aisles, passing by rows and rows of crap, but nothing really caught his eye. He even visited the sporting goods section and toyed with the idea of getting his brother a new hunting knife. But, Dean already had about twenty knives and didn’t need to add another one to his collection.
He kept up his search for nearly an hour.
Maybe a new phone?
Nah … Dean’s phone was only a couple of months old.
Perhaps a watch?
Sam wandered aimlessly until he somehow found himself in the toy section. He felt a little silly looking in this section trying to find a gift for a 30 year old man, but he stopped suddenly when a display of Transformers toys drew his attention.
A shiny, red, and new Optimus Prime stared back at him through its packaging.
Sam reached out and pulled the toy off of the shelf. It was a little different than the Transformers he remembered as a kid, but it was basically the same as the one he remembered Dean having and it was enough to transport him back to an easier time, a time when he was six and envied his big brother’s toy …
“Can I play with your Optimus Prime?”
“Why not? You never play with it.”
“’Cause it’s mine, that’s why.”
“No. Go play with your own toys.”
“But I don’t have any Transformers.”
Sammy frowned and turned away. Dean was stupid … he never played with his Transformer; he’d rather sharpen his knives or clean the new shotgun Dad got him for his birthday.
It wasn’t fair … Sammy didn’t have any cool toys like that.
Dean was looking at him though … he was reading a comic book. He’d never know if he just borrowed the toy for a while … he would be very careful with it.
20 minutes later …
“I’m sorry, Dean.”
“Sorry? You little asswipe … you broke my Transformer!”
“I didn’t mean to-“
“Shut up! I told you not to play with it.” Dean roughly grabbed the toy. Sammy hadn’t meant to break it, it had just slipped out of his hands and fell on the hard tile, floor. He hadn’t meant for its arm to come off.
Dean tried to push the arm back into the body, but it wouldn’t stay put, “Dammit … it’ll never transform again. Nice job, butt-face.”
Sammy felt the heat of tears sting his eyes. Dad got his brother that Transformer for his birthday when Dean was six and he had toted that toy around for years. It was probably one of the last toys Dad had given Dean and now he had gone and broken it.
“Sorry, doesn’t cut it.” Dean dropped the broken toy and let it clatter to the floor in front of Sammy. “You’re so selfish … why couldn’t you just take ‘no’ for an answer and listen to me for once, huh?”
Sammy tried all that night to fix the arm. He tried glue, tape, even a rubber band, but nothing would keep that toy together. He had been so sure that he could play with the autobot carefully, but he still broke it anyway. Dean had been right … he had been selfish and now there wasn’t any way he could fix it.
How long Sam stood in the middle of the toy section staring at the plastic robot, he wasn’t sure, but a voice calling over the PA system yanked him out of his reverie.
“Good evening, Wal-Mart shoppers. We will be closing our doors in 15 minutes for the Christmas holiday. Please select your final purchases and take them to the cash registers. We will open our doors again at 4 am December 26. Thank-you and have a very, merry Christmas.”
Sam looked down again at the toy.
It would have been perfect if things were different … if he had been able to buy something like this for his brother all those years ago-- an apology wrapped in a plastic packaging shell.
But now …
Now … just like when he was a little kid, Sam’s over-confidence in his abilities had ruined so much, but it was more than just his brother’s favorite toy that was damaged; he broke the world and more importantly -- Dean’s trust in him.
Even though he had the intention of saving the world from the end of days and he hadn’t meant for all of this to happen, it was too late for him to change anything and there was nothing he could give or say to Dean that would make anything better between them except to prove to his brother that he would never … never betray him again.
Sam put Optimus Prime back on the shelf.
He left the store moments after that, empty-handed.