not quite Hallmark - Chapter 12 - rhinestoneangels (almondrose) (2024)

Chapter Text

Emmanuel has laid in his motel room all day, watching some show called Dr. Sexy, MD on the television. It is not good television, he doesn’t think. It would have flustered Daphne and made her change the channel. But something about the plot is weirdly engaging.

Eventually, the Dr. Sexy, MD has to run out. A different show comes on. In disgust, Emmanuel turns off the television. When has he last eaten? When has he last stood up?

He stands now, crossing the room to search inside the kitchenette. All of the food he has--crackers, peanut butter, those cups of microwavable macaroni & cheese--sound thoroughly disgusting. His stomach does not rumble, but he cannot remember the last time he ate. Daphne’s voice in his head reminds him that he has to eat three times a day.

A walk must be in order. Yes, a walk will help. And outside there could be food that sounds appetizing. Emmanuel puts on deodorant and attempts to flatten his hair. He puts on and ties his shoes--right, then left--then slips his wallet into his pocket, his phone in the other one, and goes outside.

It is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and cloudy, and the breeze is warmer than it’s been. Emmanuel inhales the scent of the orange-red leaves and begins to walk, leaving the motel behind.

He does not like days off of work. They are far too lonely.

He passes the bakery. The lights are off; it’s been closed for several hours. Emmanuel looks up at the apartment overhead, thinks about Dean and Emma tucked up all cozy inside. Laughing together.

He reminds himself that it is Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday, which is game night. Dean had already made sure he was going, so Emmanuel is certain of his invitation. One more evening of loneliness, then tomorrow and games, and the people Emmanuel has grown to love the most.

He keeps walking.

He keeps walking, and enjoying the day, and attempting to find food that doesn’t sound utterly revolting. His eyes fall on a sign for the ice cream shop on the other side of the road. Ice cream is food. Is it stomachable? Emmanuel is just thinking that maybe it is, when he hears a familiar voice. He turns his head to find, approaching the ice cream store, Sam. And Emma. Emmanuel watches them walk together. Emma laughs.

Sam spots him.

“Oh, hey--Emmanuel!” he calls, waving. Emmanuel waves back.

“Come get ice cream with us!” Emma says, pointing at the ice cream store. Emmanuel looks again at the store, and then at Sam, who shrugs and nods. Emmanuel looks both ways quickly, then crosses the street to join them.

“Thank you for inviting me,” he says.

“Of course, man,” Sam says. “Come on.” They go inside. The ice cream shop is painted pale pink and white, and smells like sugar. Someone else is in line, and a few people sit at the round little tables in the shop. Sam leads the way to the counter.

“Have you been here before?” Emma asks. Emmanuel shakes his head. “Ice cream is my favorite and Dad and I stopped at every ice cream store between here and Seattle and this one has the best ice cream. Guaranteed.”

“That’s a lot of ice cream,” Emmanuel says.

“And not an exaggeration,” Sam says, shuddering. “I think ice cream was the first thing Dean and Emma bonded over, so Dean went a little overboard.”

“Were you born in Seattle?” Emmanuel asks. Emma nods.

“I lived there my whole life until my dad rescued me,” she says, stepping up to the counter.

“You mean got custody of you,” Sam corrects.

“Whatever,” Emma calls over her shoulder, peering down at the ice creams. Emmanuel steps up beside her.

“Have you had ice cream before?” Sam asks. Emmanuel nods.

“Ice cream was also Daphne’s favorite,” he says. He likes ice cream, as long as it doesn’t have too many conflicting flavors. Vanilla is nice. He also finds he enjoys sherbert.

This shop has typical flavors--vanilla, chocolate, mint. It also has coffee and honey and apple pie and something called “Superman”.

Emma eagerly orders two scoops, one of cookie dough and one of apple pie. Emmanuel squints at the label for Superman. The yellow is vanilla, the red is strawberry, and the blue is something called “Blue Moon”.

“What is Blue Moon ice cream?” Emmanuel asks.

“It’s basically marshmallow flavored,” Emma says. “Superman ice cream is good, you should get some!”

“I don’t like too many flavors,” Emmanuel explains. “Marshmallow and strawberry and vanilla is probably too many.”

“Oh,” Emma says. “My other favorite besides cookies-n-pie is cake batter.” She points at it. The ice cream looks creamy and, best of all, has no chunks. Emmanuel decides to order it. He orders a small.

“I’ll take a small peanut butter fudge,” Sam orders. Emma snigg*rs into her ice cream. “Shut up.”


“Peanut butter fudge is just moose tracks,” Emma explains, as if that explanation makes any sense. Emmanuel supposes it must be an “inside joke”.

“Well, it’s either that or pistachio,” Sam says. Emma pretends to vomit.

Sam and Emmanuel receive their ice creams, pay, and retreat to a corner table. Emmanuel tries a bite of his cake batter ice cream.

He wouldn’t say it’s good, not like applesauce, but the flavor is inoffensive and the ice cream is smooth.

“Good?” Emma asks him, candle flickering nervously.

“Yes,” Emmanuel tells her, if only to see the candle brighten before she turns to her own ice cream. Emmanuel takes another bite of his own before he turns to Sam. “When did you get here?”

“Earlier today,” Sam says. “Hopefully I’ll get to stay for a little while before I go.”

Emmanuel nods. If Sam stays, then Emmanuel won’t get to spend the night at Dean’s after game night. Sam surely gets first claim to the couch. Hopefully Sam is staying in a motel.

“Did Meg come with you?” Emmanuel asks. If Sam has Meg, then surely they’re staying in a motel.

“Nope,” Sam says. “She went back to He--home. She went home for a bit.”

“Oh,” Emmanuel says, disappointed. Sam shrugs and turns back to his ice cream. His crown spins happily. All around the room, people’s lights are joyful. Emmanuel likes the ice cream shop, he decides.

When they’re done with their ice cream, Emmanuel follows Emma and Sam outside. The bakery and his motel are in the same direction, so Emmanuel walks with them.

“Thanks for the ice cream, Uncle Sam,” Emma says.

“You’re welcome,” Sam says.

“Was Dean busy?” Emmanuel asks.

“Nah, I just wanted to give Emma some uncle bonding time,” Sam says. They’ve made it to the bakery. “Hey, do you wanna come in? We could probably play some cards or something.”

Emmanuel casts a glance at the bakery. The word SUPER on the sign is, he notices for the first time, drawn up like the title of a comic book. Oh. Was Super Good Bakery a superhero joke this whole time?

“Who’s idea was it?” Emmanuel asks. Sam and Emma look at him, Sam’s crown tilting and Emma’s candle blinking. “The name of the bakery. Was it Dean’s?”

“It was Kara’s,” Emma says. “She always loved Supergirl ‘cause they share a name and then she named the bakery ‘cause of it. Dad wanted to call it Bread Zeppelin.”

“Oh,” Emmanuel says, heart warming. This pun, Emmanuel understands instantly. Dean likes Led Zeppelin very much. He listens to it while he bakes.

“So….are you gonna come for cards?” Sam asks.

“Oh! Of course I am. I thought it was obvious.”

“Cool,” Sam says. He leads the way through the alley around the back. But when they get there, they find that the apartment door is wide open. “f*ck,” Sam says, touching the charred and blackened lock. Out of nowhere, he produces a gun. “Dean!”

Sam charges inside.

“Dad!” Emma calls, running after Sam. Emmanuel follows her closely. The hall smells strange, like rotten eggs.

The upstairs door is also open. Sam, Emma, and Emmanuel burst inside. The family room is ruined, with the couch upside down and the coffee table shattered. The TV is on the floor. Blood is streaked everywhere. Emmanuel’s heart stops in his chest.

“Oh no,” he breathes.

“DEAN!” Sam bellows. Something shatters from the direction of Dean’s bedroom. “sh*t.”

In the hall, there is a dead man. He’s been stabbed, and his eyes are burned out. Sam ignores him. Emmanuel tears his gaze away from him as they go into Dean’s bedroom, just in time to see Dean thrown into his own closet.

A horrible creature--with a body like a person but a horrible, horrible face, dark and twisted and evil--runs after him. Another creature is banging on invisible walls and wailing in the corner. Blood and clothes and pillows are everywhere. Sam runs for the creature attacking his brother.

Emmanuel does not know what is going on. He does not know why these creatures are attacking Dean. He doesn’t know why the one in the invisible trap sees him and begins to laugh, says “Oh, you have got to be kidding me.” He doesn’t know why Dean tells Sam, voice wavering with pain, that they got Meg and she cracked.

But he does know that Dean’s halo is flaring with fear. Emma charges into the fray, waving a silver, tri-pointed blade. And on the floor in front of him are the contents of Dean’s closet, including the bloodied, dirty trenchcoat.

Emmanuel kneels down. He picks up the trenchcoat. He crosses to see Sam get thrown into the wall. Emma screams. Emmanuel lifts up his palm. It is glowing with some kind of pure, concentrated energy.

He puts his hand on the demon’s forehead. He smites it.

He whirls around to the other demon, still wailing in its cage. He reaches for it.

He smites it.




not quite Hallmark - Chapter 12 - rhinestoneangels (almondrose) (2024)
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