I now have this headcanon that future!Cas conducts slipshod church services on Sundays at Chitaqua from the roof of the rusty old Impala, and his sermons include snippets of 80’s family sitcom dialogue and lyrics from Billy Joel songs.
“We didn’t start the fire, children. It was always burning, since the world’s been turning. Believe me, I was there. I know.”
Sometimes he stands tall, arms flung wide like some old tv preacher, feet planted on the rusted roof of his old car. Sometimes he sits, cross-legged and hunched on the hood, and complains about the cold metal on his ass before he begins. It starts the same way, though.
Every Sunday morning, or at least on the Sundays when he feels like it or it’s not raining or not too cold or he’s not still out from the night before, when the sun starts pushing through the clouds and the night shift is just getting off, he’ll make his way to the old Impala along with Bill or Rachel or one of the kids and he’ll tell them, “ring the bells.”
And whichever kid is lucky enough to be chosen this time stabs away at the worn out car horn, and they don’t know the old songs so they make them up as they go. Sometimes, Dean’s on a shift and walking the perimeter when the horn blares out, faded and off and tinny and the part of him still living in the past that he hasn’t managed to bury yet thinks, dad would kill me if he heard her like that. On the other days when the racket pulls him from sleep he thinks that this’ll be the day he rips that car to shreds, this is the last straw, but he never does.
And at the noise people will gather, loose and easy in the early dawn, and Dean thinks it must be the spectacle of the thing that draws them out of warm beds or away from duty, the sight of a man who was an angel preaching in the lyrics of Billy Joel on an old car at the end of the world. Sometimes it’s snippets of lines, mixed up and scrunched together until Dean can’t tell what song they came from, until he thinks he never really like Billy Joel anyways. Once Cas just recites the entirety of “No Man’s Land” and calls it a day.
“We didn’t start the fire, children. It was always burning, since the world’s been turning. Believe me, I was there. I know.” Dean hears him on a circuit of the outer fences and shakes his head, wondering when the hell he had time to memorize this shit between Falling and everything going to hell in a handbasket.
Dean hears him one morning talking about the Impala, patting her hood as he goes, but when he rounds the corner and comes into view Cas catches his eye and grins. “I’ll tell you, he never traveled heavy, yes, he always rode alone, and he put many older guns to shame, and he never had a sweetheart, and he never had a home, but the angels and the demons knew his name. I was there, I know,” he says, and he grins, and laughs a little, and Dean turns away and grits his teeth.
The morning after their final plans had been made he hears the horns blaring, and despite himself he goes, stands in the shadows of the nearest building and watches them gather. Cas sits, for a long time quiet, on the hood of his old car, searching the faces in front of him. Dean can see them getting uneasy, shifting from foot to foot, but they wait for their ragged shepherd to speak.
Cas catches Dean’s eye where he leans in the shadow, and Dean turns to leave, doesn’t want to or can’t hear this, but the words follow him, mocking and sad and condemning. “Where’s the orchestra? After all, this is my big night on the town, my introduction to the theater crowd. I assumed the show would have a song, so I was wrong. At least I understand all the innuendo and the irony, and I appreciate the roles the actors played, the point the author made, and after the closing lines, and after the curtain falls on empty chairs, where’s my orchestra?”
Surprise, morningxfine, I’m your Secret Santa! I was so delighted to get you in the random draw, as you’ve been one of the kindest, sweetest, and most engaging people in the SPN fandom. Every interaction with you has been a joy, and thank you for making my time here so pleasant.
You requested “art or fic examining Cas, Dean and Sam as soldiers or warriors”. Which, for some reason, made me think not of combat, but of scars — the kind of old battle wounds that never heal right, and so on. So here you go. Happy holidays, morningxfine, and thanks again for being so lovely, so wonderful, so you!
The first time Sammy fires a gun, he is six years old, and Dean flinches like he’s the one who’s been shot.
This is not what I’d intended to write this morning, but apparently I was so taken with Sam’s blue hat in ravenno’s latest advent image that it ran away from me.
Sam didn’t get cold. Just one of the perks of living your life with your nose poking through the stratosphere, he guessed: You adjusted to the cold pretty quickly.
“Bullshit,” Amelia had once said. “Your nose is like ice.”
“Then we should warm it up,” he’d said with a wicked grin.
“Like hell we should,” she’d replied. But she’d tugged his head downward anyway.
Day 1. The residents wake to a power outage, with no light to see by.
The problem is minor, so Castiel fixes it and restores light for them.
Day 2. Castiel notes that the windows of this place are grimy, streaked with watermarks and spattered with bird feces. He waves his hand, cleans the filth of the rust-belt air from the glass.
An arm links through his, and, “Look at the sky, Charles,” the old woman says. “You’ve given us back the sky.”
Day 3. The clean windows have revealed the barren patch of earth under the dayroom in all its muddy sparseness.
With the snap of his fingers, Castiel plants grass, shrubs, trees, bright flowers that shouldn’t be blooming now but are. He positions benches, a bird table, a pond. He smiles, and a splash of color is caught in the branches of a tree: a kite, wafting brightly on the breeze.
Day 4. “I named a star for your eyes, Charles,” the old lady whispers leaning into Castiel as he gazes up at the inky night sky. “But I forget which one it was.”
Castiel folds his wing around her and gestures through the window, clearing away the cloud cover with a handwave, so that the moon casts her silvery glow across a sea of sparkling stars.
She sighs. “It was that one.”
Day 5. The bird table remains stubbornly empty, and the pond is sealed over with sheet ice.
Castiel cocks his head, and from the sky a small flock of birds descends to crowd about the bird table. The ice melts, and the silver flare of a fish leaps through the surface of the pond to twist gracefully in mid-air before plopping back into the water.
Day 6. Castiel frowns as he studies the garden. Something is still missing, and he can’t work out what it is until there is a light pressure at his leg and he glances down to see the cat entwining itself between his calves.
Within the space of a thought, rabbits are gamboling across the lawn, and squirrels scurry along the branches of the trees.
Castiel bends to lift the cat, and its purr catches in its throat as it stares avidly. “No eating,” he tells it firmly.
There is motion next to him then, and the old lady’s eyes aren’t as bright as they usually are. “You’re not Charles,” she murmurs.
“No,” Castiel tells her gently. “But unless I’m mistaken, I think that is?”
She turns to where he is looking, at an old man sitting at a table, playing cards, and she smiles.
Day 7. Castiel rests.
Oh my fucking god.
Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 7, by Nicholas Knight. Titan Books, 2012. (pg. 12)
OMFG. QUICK: SOMEBODY WRITE FANFIC ABOUT THIS.
“This is, by far, the stupidest thing we have ever done,” said Dean.
“Got another idea?” asked Sam. “‘We don’t have time to hustle pool,’ was what you said, remember?”
“Alright, alright,” said Dean. He looked up at the apartment building. “Three-oh-eight, she said. Jesus, what a dump.”
“If we’re doing this, let’s do it.” Sam got out of the car, settling his gun at the small of his back.
“Goddammit,” said Dean and followed him.
Three-oh-eight was at the end of the grottiest hallway Dean had ever walked down and, given the general state of the motels they stayed in, that was saying something. Someone was screaming curses behind three-oh-five, the place smelled of onion and piss, and the walls were marked with ancient water stains. It was amazing, Dean thought, looking around, just how shitty people’s lives could be. Whatever else Dad had done to them, he’d never let them end up in a place like this.
Sam leaned into the door of three-oh-eight, eyes intent. After a moment, he glanced at Dean, held up two fingers, and then flicked his eyes right. Dean stacked up behind him and eased the safety off his 1911. Sam knocked.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED.
The Supernatural Rarepair Shipfest is a fanworks competition for underappreciated ships in the Supernatural fandom. This is a chance for writers, artists and every other kind of creator to show of the best of their ships. It’s running from late November to early February this year, but you need to sign up now in teams of three-five to get a place in the competition.
There’s only one problem: as of now, there is not a single femslash team in the competition.
See you there!
Signal boost! I won’t have the bandwidth to participate this time, but maybe some of my followers might?
In other news: holy shit racebending fics everywhere
Thanks so much for all the recs. Keep ‘em coming, and I’ll organize them into a list once I get enough.
(BTW: I’m slowly working my way through all your Hurricane Sandy longfic recs. Some great ones in there so far! Thank you so much!)