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Hot chocolate

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It was inevitable, really. It had started out structured, with basic rules and organization, but it had devolved into complete chaos. Panting, Jack peered out from behind the corner of the bunker. His teammate, Sam, was getting whaled on; Cas had tackled Sam when he’d advanced on their position, and Dean was taking the opportunity to stuff snow down his brother’s shirt. Bobby and Mary were the only ones who had successfully managed to build a fort before things went sideways, and were regularly popping up to lob snowballs at Dean, Cas, Sam, and the others indiscriminately.

It was the first time that they had had a real, deep snowfall in Kansas since Jack had been born, and Dean was back with them, so the little family had put hunting on the backburner to show Jack the true meaning of receiving a foot and a half of snow overnight--pelting each other with snowballs come morning. Speaking of which, Jack’s inattention earned him a snowball to the side of the head from Charlie, whose aim was surprisingly accurate.

Jack ducked down to collect some snow in his hands, and then ran after Charlie, who shrieked and ran in the other direction. He had to stop and shield himself with his arm, however, when Maggie jumped up from behind a snow ridge that someone had started building at some point and hurled a snowball right at him. It hit his hand and fell apart, and he laughed and tossed his handful of snow back at her.

“Jack! Help!” Sam called. Jack made sure neither Charlie nor Maggie had more snow, and then ran over to help his teammate and dad. He shoved Dean off Sam, but Cas, who was on the ground at this point as well, grabbed him by the ankles and brought him crashing down next to Sam. Laughing, his angelic dad tried to shove snow in his face, while Jack tried to fend him off. Behind them, Sam and Dean got to their feet, and Sam grabbed Jack by the collar and hauled him backwards, away from Cas and Dean.

Jack couldn’t remember having more fun. Sure, the snow was cold and a few of the snowballs were hurled at speeds that left some light bruising behind (especially if you got in the way of one of Dean’s), but everyone seemed to be having a good time, and it was great practice for hunting. With Sam’s help, he scrambled back to his feet. “Thanks,” he gasped at his tallest dad.

“Don’t mention it,” Sam said, dusting snow off himself. “Now, c’mon, we’re not going to stand for this.” They were being left alone at the moment, so Sam helped Jack make about a dozen snowballs and then piled them in both their arms. That done, they ran back out and began to mercilessly pelt everyone in sight, which included Bobby and Mary, whose fort had finally been destroyed by someone.

“Okay, okay, Uncle!” Bobby called eventually, holding up a hand for a truce after his hat got knocked off by a snowball. “In case you all missed it, I’m not as young as I used to be.” He was breathing heavily, but smiling as he leaned down to collect his hat. “I’m goin’ inside. I’ll get the coffee started.” With that, he turned to trudge back toward the bunker entrance.

“Thanks, Bobby,” Sam called. Unfortunately, this alerted Dean to the fact that Sam had been sidling up behind him with an armload of snow. Seconds later, the snowball fight was on again, and this time, it appeared to be every man and woman for him or herself. Jack managed to score hits against all of his dads, but not without earning a few more bruises for his collection.

Soon, everyone was panting, soaking wet, and starting to get cold. “Hot chocolate time?” Charlie suggested, and everyone agreed. They all trooped back into the bunker, red-faced and sniffling, but with bright smiles. “That was so much fun!” Jack enthused.

“It was, wasn’t it?” Cas agreed, setting his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “The next part is fun too. Go change into something dry and then meet us back out here.”

Jack went to his room, haphazardly leaving his wet things all over the place as he changed into a dry pair of jeans, a couple of layers’ worth of shirts, and a sweater--he was still a bit cold. Once he was done, he made his way back to the library, where everyone seemed to be congregating (including those who weren’t a part of the epic snow battle). Someone--Dean, probably--had turned on a radio and it was playing Christmas songs.

Jack could smell coffee, and several people had mugs of it, but Cas found him before he could pour one for himself. “Just wait,” the angel promised. “Charlie’s making hot chocolate.”

“I’ve had hot chocolate before,” Jack protested. “I know what it tastes like. I’d rather have coffee.”

“Not homemade hot chocolate,” Sam added, walking up and catching the thread of conversation. “Not after a snowball fight. Believe me, it’s worth waiting for.”

Jack frowned in puzzlement, but waited as requested until Charlie came out from the kitchen holding a steaming pot that, Jack had to admit, smelled delicious. With his long arms, Sam managed to snag the ladle and pour Jack the first cup. Sam handed it over, and then began pouring cups for everyone who wished to indulge. “It’s hot,” Charlie warned them all.

Jack blew on the contents of the cup and then inhaled the sweet-smelling steam. Everyone seemed to be watching him, waiting for his reaction, so he took a tentative sip. “Wow! This is really good,” he exclaimed, as they all chuckled.

“Told you,” said Cas, putting an arm around his son as Charlie beamed proudly. “It was one of my favorite beverages when I was human. There’s nothing better than a little homemade hot chocolate when you’ve been out in the cold.”

At that point, Sam shoved some snow he’d saved down the back of Dean’s shirt, and it was Jack’s turn to be entertained instead of providing entertainment.