Home for Christmas

By: Ridley

"This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone." -
~ Taylor Caldwell


Dean Winchester was not by nature a praying man. He and God did not seem to see things eye to eye. At times Dean had difficulty buying into the Big Guy's Bigger Plan, but tonight he shamelessly asked for patience.

As the leader of a top secret organization dedicated to protecting the innocent from all forms of darkness and evil, he believed himself competent to handle any manner of situation, especially one as simple as finishing up last minute preparations to celebrate Christmas with his family. He survived forty years in Hell with his mental faculties basically intact. He embodied the archangel Michael to take on Lucifer and won. That took balls. That took courage. That took a shit load of Johnny Walker Red, something that was painfully missing from the current situation. The most he could ask for was that Bobby Singer would soon arrive and whip up a batch of Pastor Jim's special eggnog.

"I win, Daddy! I win!" The shrill declaration was preceded by a crash and the sound of breaking glass. Dill whined from her position at Dean's feet, head lifting from her front paws, cocking to one side as her ears perked. She glanced up at Dean in all her dog wisdom as to say 'what now?'

"James." Dean groaned, untangling himself from the yards of twinkling lights, struggling to his feet. His youngest son's first full sentence was cute in the beginning, especially to his uncles, who encouraged it at every whim. Dean found it endearing at first, although three months later he wondered if it were some telltale sign of James's emerging personality. The eighteen month old seemed to have an idea he and his family were in some grand competition. Dean hadn't quite figured out the game they were playing, or the rules of the war his son was waging. The trademark battle cry could follow something positive, like unexpected success in the potty training department, but more often than not usually heralded some small episode of destruction- like now.

Dean emerged from the back of the robust seven foot fir to find Juliet's favorite ornaments the victims of James's latest victory. They lay in ruin at his youngest son's feet, glittering crystal confetti against a backdrop of mahogany hardwood flooring. Dill gave the mess a wide birth, ears flattening against her head as she abandoned her master for refuge in the kitchen. Dean winced, wishing he could distance himself from the blame so easily.

"I win, Daddy," James held up the empty ornament box with chubby little hands. A mass of black hair tumbled across his forehead to hang over dark eyes, framed by even darker lashes. The cherub face was blemished only by the devilish smile, which James flashed his father right before crunching a couple of the bigger shards beneath his boot.

"Not cool, Little Man." For once Dean was thankful for James's embarrassing black spotted rain gear, complete with ears that flapped from the sides and a pink tongue that curled from the toe. James had refused to wear any other shoe since Esme purchased the dog boots in the spring. At least, they were far better suited for glass than the soft soles of James's Spider Man footie pajamas.

"Pretty!" James pointed to the glistening mess.

"Those were Mommy's favorites." Dean scooped him up, depositing him away from the mess and by JT, who was on the other side of the container of Christmas decorations Ben had dragged down from the attic that morning. The older boy regarded him with a wide remorseful gaze.

"Sorry, Daddy. I should have been watching him."

"Not your fault, Tiger." Dean ran a hand over the five year olds cropped blond hair, marveling at how different his sons were. The green eyes, fair skin and freckles marked JT as his father's son, but it was the undeserved look of guilt, the responsibility showing in the slump of his small rounded shoulders that told more about the traits he shared with Dean. "I should have let you handle unpacking the ornaments on your own, and assigned Ben the one man wrecking crew."

"Bee!" James squealed.

"Speak of the devil." Dean patted JT's cheek, turning as he heard footsteps on the stairs. Ben cleared the last step, crossing to them without looking up from the ever-present phone in his hand. "About time you decided to grace us with your presence, Ace."

"It's almost dinner time. I was starving." Ben's fingers flew over the tiny keyboard in a flurry before he looked up at his father. "Then I heard the breaking glass, and thought I better come see how you and the rug rats were doing destroying…I mean decorating our tree."

"How thoughtful of you to interrupt your important social networking to check on us, Son." Dean cuffed him on the back of the head. Ben might not have shared his father's looks to the degree of JT, but the kid's smirk along with a propensity for smart ass humor showed his true Winchester lineage.

"I needed evidence." Ben danced out of his reach, holding up the phone to snap an incriminating picture of the carnage before smoothly sliding the Smartphone into his jean's pocket. He shot his father a carbon copy smile of the one James had given Dean a moment earlier. "Uncle Caleb offered me twenty bucks to document the folly that Christmas should be this year with Jimmy in full mobile mode. He's crushed he can't be here to witness all the mayhem. I have a feeling this is just the beginning."

"I win, Bee!" James pointed to the mess, having caught his name, and believing it a cue to point out his triumph once more.

"Looks about right." Ben ruffled his hair. He pulled out a set of keys from his pocket, handing them to the toddler. James dropped to his bottom, mesmerized with the small LED flashlight dangling from one ring. "You keep this up, and Uncle Caleb might throw in a bonus."

"Really?" Dean crossed his arms over his chest. Leave it to his best friend to throw him under the bus, and find a way to corrupt his son while half way across the country. "You're actually going to sell your own father out for a measly twenty dollars?"

"The holidays are upon us and it's not exactly like my father gives me a spectacular allowance for working at his shop, but if youwant to sweeten the pot, I could definitely make sure only the Norman Rockwell moments are captured."

"Now you're resorting to blackmail?" Dean knew he had let Ben spend far too much time with Caleb.

"Santa is watching you, Ben," JT warned. Dean doubted he knew what blackmail was, but picked up on the idea it could get his older brother in trouble. "And Fisbee the Elf, too."

Ben sent a sideways glance to the plastic smiling toy sitting on the mantle of the fireplace. He gave a fake shudder. "Don't remind me. Isn't it about time for Fisbee to head back to the North Pole? I mean, it's Christmas Eve."

"I told you he goes back every night to report to Santa," JT huffed at his brother's obvious inattention to detail. "Tonight he'll go home on Santa's sleigh."

"Good riddance."

"Santa's scout elf sure did seem to end up in your room a lot, Ace." Dean arched a brow. He'd not been sold on the idea of introducing a totally unrealistic representation of a supernatural creature to his sons, but had found himself enjoying the nightly hidings of The Elf on the Shelf toy that Carolyn had given to them, especially after he found out that Ben, Caleb and mostly Sam found the little clown-like doll completely creepy.

"You're probably on the naughty list," JT said gravely. It was a topic he regarded with great solemnity this year. Who 'was' or 'was not' on the naughty list had become quite the obsession for Dean's middle son. Several times the five year old had pleaded for Santa's leniency on behalf of one of his family members in his nightly prayers, and for his best friend Max, who he fearfully believed doomed to the naughty list forever. He insisted Dean and Juliet buy a few extra presents for Max, just in case.

"I thought you put in a good word for me yesterday at the mall?" Ben pointed a finger at JT. "That was the deal for me standing in line with you for like three hours-clemency. We pinky promised."

"Don't forget the ten dollars I gave you," Dean reminded his son of their deal. Ben had taken to the role of big brother in stellar fashion, but he was still sixteen, and at times needed incentive to hang out with five year olds at the mall where his friends could easily spot him.

Ben shrugged. "As I pointed out earlier, my hard-earned pittance has been spent on gifts for my loving family."

"He bought perfume for Kelly," JT said, knowingly. "And a necklace, too."

Ben frowned at his brother. "But it looks like I'll be getting some of that money back when I return JT's presents."

"Presents!" James crowed, the keys losing their shine in light of the magic word. The toddler scrambled to his feet, pulling at Ben's shirt tail. "James get presents."

"I didn't do anything," JT said. "Jimmy's the one who is ruining Christmas."

"No one's ruining Christmas." Dean held up his hands, seeing that the good natured fun was about to take a sharp turn into meltdown territory. If the doubtful look his sons gave him were anything to go on, the assurance didn't quite ring with the confidence he'd hoped. It was hard to convey a truth he didn't quite believe himself.

"You sure about that, Dad?" Ben nodded to the broken ornaments, as he obliged James by picking him up. "Weren't those the Swarovski crystal snowflakes that Mac gave Juliet her first Christmas here at the farm? The ones that came from Tiffany's?"

Dean frowned at the teen's knack for chiming in with a completely unhelpful commentary. He was beginning to understand why Mac always put the gag order on him and Caleb when they were growing up. "Didn't you say you were starving?"

"That sounds like my cue to my leave?" Ben shifted James to his back, the little boy wrapping his arms around the teen's neck in anticipation of their familiar gallop through the house.

"Ride, Bee. Ride."

"How about you take Jimmy the Cowboy into the kitchen and whip us all up a snack?" Dean pointed towards the kitchen. "Check on the roast while you're in there. The last thing we need is a burnt dinner to add to Juliet's festive mood."

"I guess seeing as how Santa's coming tonight, I should be on my best behavior." Ben winked at JT.

"It's probably too late now," JT muttered grimly, not willing to take his brother's peace offering quite yet.

Ben shook off the rebuke, giving his best horse whinny. His antics elicited an explosion of laughter from James. "Four P, B, & J are coming right up."

Dean watched them go, waiting for the banging of cabinet doors before turning back to look at the tree. It was nowhere near finished, and the fading light streaming through the windows told him his time was quickly running out. He supposed he needed to clean up the mess of ornaments before he got on with it. If Esme didn't soon arrive he would have to try and tackle the side dishes for the roast on his own.

"When's Mommy coming home?" The question was voiced with a mix of longing and misery. Dean felt a sharp stab of failure.

"Has hanging out with just us boys really been that bad, Kiddo?" He'd promised Juliet that tonight would be fine, as memorable as ever even though an emergency at work had pulled her away unexpectedly. It was not turning out the way he had planned. Dean knelt in front of JT, tugging on the front of the blue Batman sweatshirt he was wearing.

"I miss Uncle Sam and Uncle Caleb. They're boys, too."

"Most of the time." Dean smiled when his son's face scrunched up in a frown at his attempt at a joke. He gave his son's shirt another tug to bring him closer so that he could whisper conspiratorially in his ear. "But just between us, I miss them, too."

"Nobody's here yet." JT sighed, slipping onto one of Dean's knees. He put an arm around his father's neck. "Everyone is supposed to be home on Christmas."

Dean's little pang of guilt blossomed to a full on knifing sensation, his chest tightening under the weight as JT's green eyes brightened. "Mommy will be home soon. Your grandparents are on their way."

"Mommy said we would make cookies for Santa and peel carrots for the reindeer. What if she's too late?"

Dean poked him playfully in the side. "I'll have you know that I can make cookies, and not the ones already cut out in the shape of a tree like your mom uses. I used to cook for your Uncle Sam all the time and look how big he is." He wasn't sure if Juliet would make it home in time for lights out. It depended on the Farley's mare and the twin foals the mare decided to deliver on Christmas Eve.

"Does Santa care if his cookies are burnt?" JT's face remained serious, but Dean caught the wink of one deep dimple that framed his cheek. He had Sam's smile and his mother's dry sense of humor.

"I don't think the big guy will hold it against you, but worse comes to worst and we'll crack open a bag of Oreos."

JT appeared momentarily appeased. He lifted his head from Dean's shoulder. "Can we finish decorating the tree?"

"Sounds like a plan." Dean scooted him off his lap. "It's going to take some Winchester elbow grease to get this place fit for a visit from Santa."

"I have an ornament from school." JT rallied, rushing to the couch. He moved around some of the cushions before retrieving a Popsicle stick creation complete with white felt, glitter and cotton balls. Dean wasn't sure if it was Santa or an elf, but the look of pride on JT's face as he offered it to him made it a masterpiece. "I had to hide it from Jimmy and Dill. They chew on everything."

"Wow." Dean took the ornament, holding it up to the light. "This is great, Kiddo."

"It's an angel," JT said, shyly. "I made it all by myself."

Dean could now make out the silver pipe cleaner wings glued on the back, the tiny halo of tinsel above the button head. Dean squeezed his son's shoulder. "It looks just like one. Take it from somebody who knows."

"Can we put it on the tree beside your angel?" JT moved to a small box of Christmas decorations Dean hadn't noticed before. They were in an old milk crate, not the color coded plastic tubs that Juliet used for storage.

"My angel?" Dean came along side his son, peering into the mystery box. There were glass balls, some silver and gold ornaments along with a few items that looked similar to JT's art project. Dean reached for a familiar red construction stocking, the cotton nearly all pulled away from the top. A smile crossed his face as he recognized the faded child scrawl on the back. D. W. It was the ornament he'd hung on Jim's tree the first Christmas he had spent at the farm when he was JT's age. The pastor put it on every year afterwards, much to Dean's chagrin. "These are Pastor Jim's things. I'd forgotten we had them."

"Not the angel. It has your name on it." JT leaned over the crate, reaching inside. He drew out a six inch wooden figurine which he offered to his father.

Dean took the carving, turning it over in his hand. He didn't need to look at the bottom to know his son was right. The memory of the angel came back as soon as JT placed it in his hand. Even with a covering of dust, the mahogany wood gleamed dark and rich, like whiskey in a glass. The feathers and folds of the garment gave the illusion of flight, the creases in its face conveying an impossible unearthly feeling of serenity.

"Did you make it, Daddy?"

Dean shook his head, swallowing thickly. "No, Son. It was a gift."

The sound of Dill's sudden barking and the bang of the kitchen door yanked Dean from his sentiments. For a brief moment past and present collided and he entertained a ridiculous thought that his father might march into the room, announcing he'd made it for Christmas after all. He felt only a slight wake of disappointment when Mackland entered the living room, a bundle of brightly wrapped packages in his arms.

"Grandpa Mac!" JT bounced on his toes, starting forward.

"Watch the glass." Dean reached out to guide his son around the remains of Juliet's ornaments as JT hurried to greet the doctor. He might have lost his father years ago, but thanks to Mac and Bobby, Dean's sons hadn't missed out on having a grandfather.

"Ho. Ho. Ho." Mackland had just enough time to deposit the gifts by the half-finished tree, before JT tackled him. He lifted the little boy up, hugging him tight. "I thought you and your brothers would have this place looking like the North Pole by now, Jonathan."

"We had a little problem." JT returned the hug, pointing down to the floor when Mac hefted him higher onto his hip. "Named Jimmy."

"I see." Mac eyed the brightly glittering mess, glancing to Dean with a pained wince. "Aren't those…"

"Yep." Dean shrugged. "Those were some very special snowflakes, Mac."

The doctor shook his head with a groan. "I really should have known better than to make that same mistake twice." Mac looked at JT. "One long ago Christmas I purchased some unique ornaments for your Uncle Sam. They ended in a similar fate, having never graced a tree branch."

"Who knew the spirit of little Sammy Winchester was going to be reincarnated in my youngest son." Dean crossed the room, slapping the doctor on the shoulder. "They were real mesmerizing while they lasted. Where's Esme?"

"She switched jobs with Ben, taking James off his hands in exchange for him helping my father."

"Cullen made it?" Mackland's father had joined them on a few rare holidays. It was ironic considering JT had uncovered the wooden angel. That was the one Christmas from Dean's childhood he remembered Cullen being at the farm.

"He did. It seems sailing the Virgin Isles with a bevy of younger admirers, by which I mean gold diggers, doesn't hold the same allure it once did. I'm not sure if it's his waning libido or his lingering last desperate hope to carve at least one heir out of this new generation."

"What's a gold digger?" JT asked.

"Perhaps you should ask your great grandfather Cullen about that," Mac replied. "He's brought you several board games, including Monopoly for Millionaires."

Dean shook his head at the old man's tenacity. He had the vision of Jim Murphy without the success of fashioning a successor to his legacy. "He's never going to give up on passing the reigns of Ames industry."

"He's probably using the reuse of getting the last of the presents out of the car as a means to work on Ben about abandoning his foolish notions of medical school." Mac tickled JT. "He'll be after James as soon as he's potty trained."

"There are more presents?" JT giggled, his voice cracking with excitement. He had picked up on the one point of the conversation that interested him.

"From your Uncle Caleb and Uncle Sam." Mac glanced to Dean, his eyes betraying the jovial tone he was keeping up for JT's sake. "They asked me to stop by Sam's seeing as how Joshua and Carolyn will be coming from Virginia tomorrow. It's why Esme and I are running so late."

"Max is coming from Virginia, too," JT added. "Don't forget about him."

"Of course." Mac laughed. "We could never forget Maxim."

"I got him a special present." JT pointed to a stack of gifts piled near the recliner, blockaded with a baby gate from James's unrelenting curiosity.

"What do you know?" Mac said surprised. "He told me he had gotten you a special present when I talked to him on the phone last night."

JT's face brightened further. "I bet it's a new baseball glove. That's what I told him I wanted."

"What about Bobby?" Dean asked before JT could launch into the other possible items his best friend, Max could have gotten him. The list was long.

"Robert should be arriving shortly. He was going to pick up Rufus on the way. I hope that's alright?"

"The more the merrier." Dean twisted the ring on his finger. "They'll be plenty of room at the inn this year."

Mackland gave JT another quick squeeze before depositing him to the floor. "Speaking of presents, I believe your grandmother has a special treat for you, young man. Why don't you go say hello?"

"Is that okay, Daddy?" JT hesitated briefly, his eyes going from the ornaments in his father's hand to the kitchen and the promise of an early present.

"I think your granddad and I can handle finishing up the tree. Mac used to be an expert back in his day."

JT didn't give it another thought, leaving the two men alone, the crackling of the fire suddenly loud in their companionable silence.

Mac cleared his throat, tugging at one of his leather gloves. "If I'd known you all were so busy I could have sent out our decorator." He motioned to the sad looking fir tree with his freed glove. "Esme believes she's the best we've had. She can't wait for the boys to come for New Year's. You should see the trains and the dancing bears."

"How many times did you offer that very same thing to Pastor Jim?" Dean recognized the teasing tone, the twinkle in Mac's gray eyes. He knew Dean continued the tradition the pastor started years before, the same one he'd shared with Miss Emma. The decorating of the Christmas tree was a project for the whole family on Christmas Eve, followed by a celebratory dinner of pot roast, then apple pie for the lighting of the tree.

"Jim was a stubborn, nostalgic and traditional, God rest his soul." Mac nodded to the paper ornament in Dean's hand, taking a moment to unwind the wool scarf from his neck. "The man was completely satisfied with construction paper ornaments, cranberries and hand-strung popcorn, if allowed."

"Shit." Dean groaned. "The popcorn." He had forgotten to pop the corn and get the cranberries for the garland. Sam had taken on the tradition of doing that with the boys, just as he and Caleb would go cut down the tree. Dean was ashamed to say he'd bought a pre-cut tree this year. Damien would give him hell.

Mac gave him a sympathetic pat on the back. "It's not easy managing two businesses, three boys, and a secret organization to protect the innocent. Esme and I will take care of the popcorn and cranberries. Things will work out just fine, Son."

"Thanks." Dean gestured to the mess. "I'm used to having some help with this stuff."

"You were always big on tradition." Mac slid out of his coat, tossing it and his scarf to the back of the couch. "Wanting your entire family together for the holidays. The pastor shamelessly encouraged it."

"Me?" Dean reeled at the observation, his mind tugged back to JT's earlier statement about family and the sanctity of Christmas. He wondered at just what other traits he'd unwittingly passed to his boys. "I hate the holidays…at least I did before the kids came along." The happy Christmas memories had been few and far between. The ones that were memorable were mostly thanks to Jim and Mac.

Mac pointed to the red construction stocking. "You forget I was here that first Christmas at the farm. Sam was younger than James. I helped you hang that very ornament on the top of the tree by the star."

"I was five." Dean rolled his eyes at the doctor's expert memory. He dropped the traitorous ornament into the box out of site. "I still believed in Santa and his eight tiny reindeer."

"Until my jaded thirteen year old son enlightened you that same year, I believe."

"He was doing me a favor." Dean looked down at the wooden angel in his other hand, remembering his desperate wish that year. "Damien was always watching out for me."

"I imagine he and Sam are both very upset they can't be here."

"Are you kidding? They're probably holed up for happy hour at Hooters, eating hot wings and spinning some poor pitiful them tale for their waitress just like the good old days." Dean couldn't quite pull off the nonchalance. He looked away, trying to pretend he didn't see the sympathy in Mac's eyes. It was ridiculous to be so upset by the fact his brother and Caleb would not be making Christmas. It was even more ludicrous he was broadcasting his disappointment in such a manner that Mac could easily read him. JT had the excuse of being a child. Wanting things his way was a given. Dean was a grown man for crying out loud. "Maybe I shouldn't have sent them out there. I could have pulled another team."

"This hunt was too important and you know it." Mac knelt, using a piece of cardboard from an empty ornament box to maneuver the broken crystal into a smaller pile. "Anything with a hint of Regan Walsh must be handled carefully. The Scholar and Knight needed to go."

"I know." Dean's head understood that, but the fact the rest of his Triad was trapped in South Dakota did not sit well with his heart.

"The snowstorm was unfortunate."

"Damn Mother Nature." The weather was something even The Guardian could not control. Dean used his boot to scrape some of the scattered shards into Mac's reach. "I was counting on them."

"They do tend to keep the boys occupied. In Caleb's case, I believe it has something to do with maturity level. He's like Peter Pan."

Dean took a seat on the coffee table, leaning forward so his elbows rested on his knees. He lowered his voice. "JT's getting his first bike from Santa this year. I meant for Sam and Caleb to help me put it together. Just like you, Dad and Jim did for me that first year." Dean still remembered how Caleb joked it took a mechanic, brain surgeon, and a pastor to put together a little boy's toy. Dean sure as hell didn't need a criminal lawyer and an architect to put together his son's bike, but damn if he didn't want them there just the same.

"I see."

"Crazy right? I mean, they would be more trouble than help. Damien would insist on having some of Jim's eggnog, stealing one of Juliet's pumpkin pies to drag out to the barn. Sam would say we needed to read every single direction before we even opened the bags of bolts and screws." Dean shrugged. "I won't even get into the argument that would ensue on who would get to put on the stickers. Damien would probably want to paint a fire breathing dragon on the seat."

Mac reached up and patted him on the knee, making Dean feel all of five years old. "I hold that Christmas your father, Jim and I put together that bike as one of my fondest memories. I still feel as if Jim and your father should be here, as if they might burst through the door at any minute. Even now after all these years, I miss them."

"Me too." Dean felt his throat tighten, his eyes begin to sting.

"The pastor would have been as in love with this new generation as he was with you boys. And Johnathan…Dean, your father would have been so proud of your sons."

Dean snorted, grasping for levity. "Jimmy, too?"

"Jimmy especially." Mac smiled, wanly. "I'm afraid John Winchester's looks are not the only thing James Murphy will one day lay claim to in regards of his true grandfather."

"You're just as much his true grandfather, Mac."

"And that is a gift I will never be able to repay, Son." Mac abandoned the task of using the cardboard for clean up. "I had made peace with the fact I would not enjoy that role, you know, considering myself blessed to at least have been a parent."

Dean nodded. "Damien might have broken down one day and got that dog you would never let him have as a kid."

"Perhaps." Mac laughed and Dean was glad to see the sadness slip from his gray eyes. "But then I married Esme, and Joshua and Carolyn had Max. The depth of love I felt for that child quite frankly caught me off guard, then JT was born, and Ben and James came along. I found myself a grandfather four times over. I must say it made all the insane things Cullen used to do for Caleb suddenly seem so reasonable."

"Damien thinks you have lost your mind, you know."

"Being an indulgent grandparent is the reward I get for raising him, even if it is by proxy. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wish Johnathan was around to enjoy the rewards with Bobby and me." Mac met his gaze. "So, I would never be the one to call your desire for your brothers to be here crazy."

"There's always next year." Dean looked down at the small wooden angel in his hand, knowing it was time to abandon his wallowing and start making do with all the good fortune he did have.

"I daresay if Pastor Jim was here, he'd tell you not to give up hope quite yet."

"As you pointed out, the pastor had a tendency to wax nostalgic."

"Perhaps." Mac pointed to the wooden angel. "But I also remember the Christmas when you brought that particular ornament to Jim's tree. It made us all question the existence of miracles."

"None of you believed my story about the angel."

"That's not entirely true." Mac rose, squeezing Dean's shoulder as he did. "If I recall, Caleb, Sam and Jim believed your story."

Dean was tempted to point out that none of his supporters were here now. "I haven't seen it in years, not since that last Christmas we all spent at Jim's before Sammy left."

"Sometimes we find things when we need them most."

"Are you, Mackland Ames, famous surgeon and former Scholar of The Brotherhood, trying to tell me that someone's watching over me?" Dean's mouth twitched.

"More like, my persona of Grandpa Mac is telling you that it is entirely possible you are being looked after, even though you might, at this moment, feel quite alone."

Dean's brow arched. "Does that mean you think Damien and Sam could still make it for Christmas?"

"Sorry, Son. No matter what your best friend believes, I have not lost the ability for all rational thought. Nothing short of a Christmas miracle will have your Triad reunited this night." Mac pointed to the broken ornaments, now twinkling neatly at them from one large pile. "How about I get a dust pan and a broom so we can get started on fixing this tree before dinner is ready?"

"Yeah." Dean turned to the angel once Mac was gone. He brushed the traces of dust from the delicate wings, staring into the peaceful face. Flipping it over he traced his finger over each letter of his name. It was the one thing his father couldn't explain. Dean Winchester burned in perfect sweeping script along the base.

Onto Chapter 2