Thursday, April 11, 2013
You Can't Do That On Television
This one’s for Serena. She’s got this notion I could write a Supernatural tie-in novel. No. I couldn’t, because I’d do stuff like the scene below. It’s just the way I’m wired. This is why it’s better to create your own characters. You won’t be sued, and people pay you for it. What could be better than that?
# # #
Castiel sat on a bench just off the crappy nameless motel’s parking lot. Somebody had planted flowering bushes at the base of the place’s vintage neon sign. Bees circled the tiny blossoms. Castiel watched the bees as if all the mysteries of the universe were hidden in their buzzing.
Dean eased himself down on the bench beside Cas and offered him a beer. Castiel took it with a small nod of thanks and returned to his observations. Dean listened hard, but heard nothing but traffic.
“So,” he said, “how’s it going?”
Cas barely glanced at him. “How is what going?”
“Uh … life, I guess.”
“It proceeds,” Cas said. “As usual.”
“Good,” Dean said. Shit, Dean thought.
This had to be the absolute worst, chick-flickiest idea Sam had ever come up with. Cas seems a little down today. Why don’t you go talk to him?
He’s fine. Maybe he’s molting.
C’mon, Dean. He’s helped us again and again. He fell from Heaven for us. He died for us. We never even ask him how he is. We never just talk to him. Go talk to him.
About what? He’s not into sports. “Hey, how about those Ten Commandments, huh? Remember the Egyptian plagues? Good times.” You don’t just shoot the breeze with an angel, Sam. They don’t do small talk.
Try. We don’t even know what his favorite color is.
You try. This sensitive, we-are-all-one shit is right up your alley. You two can go off into the desert and commune with nature. Maybe he can teach you how to sing “Kumbaya” in Enochian.
Sam had smiled at him. But you two have a more profound bond.
Yeah. He was never ever gonna live that one down.
So here he sat on a bench by a craptastic motel parking lot, watching bees and knocking back a brewski with an angel of the Lord. Dean thought, My life is made of weird.
“Nice day,” he attempted.
Nothing. He took a swig of his beer. He noticed Cas only drank when he did. That was either flattering, or downright creepy. “How about those Ten Commandments, huh?”
Castiel looked at him. Oh Christ, now he was getting The Stare. Right up in his face, only inches away. Cas could smite the hell out of a crapload of demons and not break a sweat, but sometimes he just forgot to blink. “Dean, are you all right?”
“Yeah, peachy.” If you didn’t count right this second. “I, uh, just—you seemed a little down this morning. I just thought you might want to, um, talk or something.” Son of a bitch. Kill me now.
“Ah. We’re having a bonding moment.” Cas smiled slightly and returned to watching the bees.
We’re having something, Dean thought. “So?”
“I’m fine, Dean. Thank you for asking.”
Silence returned, except for the monotonous drone of the bees. “You ever get tired of hanging out on Earth?” Dean asked. “Or bored, anyway. It has to get repetitive.”
“No. It doesn’t.”
“No? But you’ve been down here—how long have you been down here?”
“A little over two thousand years.”
Whoa. Talk about overtime. “I guess you’ve had other vessels then, huh?”
The question popped into his head and right out of his mouth before he realized it had gotten loose. “You ever been a woman?”
Totally unfazed, Cas replied, “We work with whatever’s at hand.”
Dean stared at him. Oh-kay, never should have gone there. He should just get up and walk away now, cut his losses, maybe break his beer bottle over Sammy’s head. That would be the sensible course of action. But that part of his brain attached to his mouth, the part that never knew enough to quit while it was ahead, plunged on before he could stop it. “You have a preference?”
“I mean, if you could be a dude or a chick … ” Shit. Why am I even asking this? Cease and desist, mouth. NOW.
Dammit, now he was getting The Stare again. “I don’t understand why my vessel’s gender should make any difference.”
“No.” Dean took a pull on his beer. “You wouldn’t.”
They returned to their previous awkward silence. Dean drank. Cas drank. They watched the bees.
“I prefer men,” Castiel said.
The swallow of beer halfway down Dean’s throat almost shot back out again. “Uh, what?”
“It’s easier for communication with humans. Your societies are almost universally patriarchal. You give more weight to a man’s words. Besides, I find women’s clothing most uncomfortable. The shoes alone are reason enough to pass on a female vessel. Then there’s the matter of … ” He held his hands in front of his chest, as if hefting melons.
Dean winced. “Please don’t do that.”
“And once every month their bodies—”
“Stop! I know what they do. I learned that in grade school. Well, the back alley behind the grade school. Okay. You’d rather not be a chick. That’s good. That’s good to know.”
“Of course, male vessels come with their own problems, in particular—” He reached between his legs.
Dean leaped up. “Jesus Christ! Don’t do that either! Ah … I gotta go. Nice talking to you.”
He practically flew across the parking lot. He hadn’t even finished his beer.
# # #
“So,” Sam said, once the echoes from the slamming door had painfully died away. “How’d it go?”
“You set that up, you son of a bitch. You told him to say that, didn’t you?”
All puppy eyes, Sam asked, “Say what?”
Dean glowered at him. “If I didn’t know better, I’d swear to God you lost your soul again.”