[fic] Blinders (one-shot)
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Rating: PG-13 for Dean's potty mouth
Genre/Pairing: Angst and humor. Kinda. Dean and Castiel.
Warnings: F-bombs ahoy!
Notes: I'm still working on my other stuff, I just wanted to get this one down. ^^
Summary: Castiel wishes Dean would focus a little more on the mission. And if Dean can't, Castiel is willing to, erm.. help.
The coffee must have just been brewed, fresh and steaming and without the burnt tang of sitting too long in the pot. Smells like heaven, Dean thinks to himself, if heaven's got a smell at all. Fresh coffee and baking pies, that'd be heaven.
Well, it'd be his heaven.
Things are going good this week. It's almost enough to make him paranoid, because no matter what some think good things just don't happen. It's more like this past week has been a run of a lack of bad things happening, which is just as bizarre actually, for them. But the weather's been good, the Impala runs like a dream, the food's been not-bad, the motels clean. The road's been open, their one salt and burn went without a hitch (and seriously, when was the last time that happened?), and Dean's been sleeping at night for the most part.
Life, for the first time in a long time, is good.
So, yeah, any day now Dean expects shit to start exploding.
"You're being ridiculous," Sam tells him from across the table. Their legs keep knocking against each other, mostly by fault of Sam being monstrously tall and aware of how it annoys his older brother. "You really think something bad's gonna happen, just because something bad hasn't?"
"Sam," Dean sighs, rolling his eyes, jabbing at the younger Winchester with a fork. "You have been paying attention to, like, our whole lives, right?"
"I just think you're being a little too uptight. C'mon, man. When was the last time we really relaxed? Maybe it's some karma finally getting back to us."
"Karma." Flatly, dipping his head forward to level a stare at his brother. "You think this is karma."
Sam squirms a little, picks up his cup of java and looks away. "Just saying..."
"It ain't karma, Sam." Mostly because if Dean's got karma coming to him, it sure as hell isn't anything good. And the key word in that sentence? Yeah, it's the one you're thinkin' it is.
"I just..." Sam wilts a little, lets the hair flop into his eyes and pins Dean with a look that Dean's never fared too well against. "Does it always have to be the worst case scenario? Can't you ever accept that maybe things are going well because things are actually going well? It's not a calm before a storm, it's not some kind of trick to get your guard down?"
"If it is, though, I ain't falling for it. Better safe'n sorry, m'I right?"
"No, Dean! You're not right!" A pause, and because Sam's a hunter he has to amend, "Well, a little right, but..." He shuts his mouth, fumes a little because Dean's grinning now, one of his best Big Brother's Right! grins and Sam can't stay angry, wants to laugh, which pisses his off more than anything else. "That's not the... I mean, I... ah, dammit."
Dean slaps the tabletop lightly with a hand. "Look. Sammy, we'll compromise. I'll lighten up -- a little -- but you stop trying to stuff glitter and rainbows up my nose around every turn, okay?"
"I don't know what you're talking abo-"
"Please," Dean snorts. "You've pointed out every sun-dappled field, every babbling brook, every smiling kid or squirrel or puppy or flower we've passed by for the last month. I get it, okay? Life is fuckin' cherry. It's a beautiful life. Hoo-rah. Now quit it."
Sam frowns. "I would, if I ever felt like you actually got the point."
"You're driving me up the wall is what you're doing."
"So, you want me to take down the unicorn poster in the bathroom?"
A pause, and both their mouths twitch. Dean finally lets the grin slide over his face, leaning back in the booth as he rolls his eyes.
"You're such a friggin' puss."
But he starts thinking about it, in between bites of burger, french fries shoveled into his mouth. This place serves pancakes all day and he's thinking that might be dessert or at least second-lunch (he's like a hobbit, see), and he's also thinking maybe Sam's got a point. Dean remembers how he used to be. It wasn't all sunshine and daffodils back then, back before, but seems to him he used to have a whole lot more fun.
Just, he can't seem to remember the simple things that used to make him smile. The little pleasures he had in life before he got all ripped apart and twisted up, before satisfaction or a job-well-done meant another day off the rack and a screaming bloody heap of someone else.
A grimace. See, this is why. It's always there. It's always there. He'll lighten up the day his thoughts stop invariably leading to the same stupid place.
Ain't happened yet.
A compromise is a compromise, though, and Dean's not the type to renege on a deal. Clearly, he's not. So it seems like if he's supposed to loosen up and start seeing the beauty things, the female gender is a perfect place to start. He starts peering around, twisting in the seat to get a scope of the place while Sam steps out to hit the bathroom.
Two teenage girls in a booth, gabbing over BLTs. Too young.
A waitress taking an order up at the bar. Nice rack, but... oh, that face is a pity. Nope. Not even with the lights off.
The table by the door -- oh, hellooo there. Brunette, dark eyes, full lips with a bright red gloss on them really making them pop. Bangs, kind of a Bettie Page classic pin-up look. Now if she'd just stand up or something, drop a napkin and bend to pick up so he could see the rest of the goods...
Her eyes meet his. He curves his lips in his best rakish grin, pleased when she seems to smile back (damn, those lips!) before looking back down at the menu.
"Hot damn," he murmurs, turning back around and nearly jumping out of his skin when he sees that Castiel has joined him out of nowhere. "You-- Stop doing that!"
"What were you looking at, just now?" The angel asks with a very disinterested tone, looking down at the few fries remaining on Sam's lunch plate. His brow furrows, hands clasped on the tabletop. Dean has the strange impression that Castiel wants to poke the little puddle of ketchup.
"One of God's beautiful children," Dean drawls back. He folds his arms over his chest, readies himself for whatever the big mission is now. Ha. Told you, Sammy. Things were going too well. Now the angel's back. Nothing ever good comes of an angel visit. Well, except for that first one. Y'know, the escape-from-Hell thing.
Castiel's staring at him in that flat piercing way he always does. Too intent, too close. Being stared at like that is like being under a microscope, and Dean squirms a little.
"What?" he snaps, finally. "Is there a problem?"
"You should focus more on your mission," Castiel says. "And less on what sort of deviant ways you could be spending your evening."
"I wasn't really gonna wait until evening..."
That doesn't help. Cas narrows his eyes, looking less pleased than usual. "Dean."
Dean shakes his head. "Nope. It's not gonna happen, Cas. Save your breath."
"I'm only saying that-... Save it for what?" A blink.
He rubs his forehead, briefly closes his eyes. "It's an expression that means shut up."
"Why not just tell me to shut up? You've proven capable of doing so plenty of times already."
"Shut up, Cas."
When he looks up again the angel has his finger his his mouth, looking temporarily satisfied, and then not happy at all. The finger comes out quickly. "There are more important things at hand than your carnal desires."
"Not today there aren't."
"Dean." Castiel sighs, his shoulders falling a little. "Is expecting you to focus on stopping the End of days too much to ask for?"
"Asking me to go celibate is."
And he really can't understand why the angel gets a funny little look when he says that, or why a touch of pink creeps along those tax-accountant cheeks.
"I should put blinders on you," Cas finally mutters. "You're so easily distracted."
"If you didn't like me for who I am, you wouldn't have picked me and you wouldn't keep showing up." Dean leans forward, grins at him in much the same way he did at the Bettie Page wannabe just a minute ago. "And I already got it on good, angry-guy authority that you like me."
Castiel gives him another of those stares. "Just... try to focus."
"Why?" Dean asks, frowning a little, shrugging. "This is down time. I'm not allowed to enjoy myself?"
"You most certainly are." Those blue eyes drift past him, toward the female, Dean's sure, and then flicking right back. "Try to find other methods."
"... Because I'm telling you to."
Before Dean can reply to that, Castiel's gone. Sam comes back a moment later and finishes his french fries, not noticing that someone seems to have dipped a finger into his ketchup.
Sure, he considers it. For all of five seconds. He told Sammy he's going to try and enjoy himself, so he's damn well going to. Besides, it'd be rude of him not to ogle the girls when they put so much time and effort into being so deliciously ogle-able.
It is too a word.
Shame it's winter, because everyone's wearing a few too many layers but there's something to be said for girls in tight jeans with big boots and jackets with cute fur-lined hoods. He's filling the tank of the Impala later that afternoon and a girl with a jeep has pulled up on the other side of the pump, smiling coyly at him with lips frosted over with a shiny lavender gloss. Thick dark curls tumble over her shoulders, and she's lined her eyes in dark green.
Dean starts thinking of good, sexy songs.
It's right at this time he notices that he can't exactly see every single eyelash of hers anymore, that the edges of her lips are starting to blur out and it's taking the rest of the scenery with it. He blinks hard, rubs his eyes with the free hand that doesn't reek of gasoline; tries again. A little clearer, but soon as he looks back to her it gets worse.
Now, that ain't right...
They drive a few days, he and Sam. When there's no reason to stay in a town (and the only reason is a case, these days, and things've been so damn quiet) the open road starts to call to them like sirens, the both of them getting twitchy and claustrophobic, feeling the danger of growing roots. He doesn't mention the gas station girl. Probably he just needs sleep, or less time at Sam's laptop.
Somewhere in the upper tip of Texas they stop for the night, glad to be South of the cold weather and storms that seem to be kicking the ass of the rest of the country. Sam hears wind of a ghost in the area that may've caused two suicides in the town theatre, a story Dean would ordinarily blow off (every theatre says to have a ghost, more often than not it's just drama and tales) but to be honest he's realized he can't relax unless he's got something to do. So they find a motel and settle -- the closest to settling they get -- and start to get the lay of the town.
Lots of skirts in this town. With long, tan legs underneath them.
Day three of Booker, Texas, Dean's starting to hate how the town seems to be built with all sharp corners and straight lines, roads labeled with letters and numbers instead of real names, but at least the girls are pretty and if a town's gonna have a saving grace, that's a good one to have. Also, one of the maps says that the next town over is called Gaylord.
He chuckles over that for a few hours.
Sam and him are talking to some of the civilians. Sam's spouting out things he knows about plays and playwrights while Dean's eyes keep roving along the old wood and worn velvet inside the theatre house. Already feels like this one's a bust. Speaking of bust, the daughter of the manager here has a mighty nice one of her own...
He has to rub his eyes again, harder this time. They refuse to clear.
He leaves the laptop and research to Sam (with much complaining and bitch-facery on the part of his brother), thinking he's got eyestrain, probably. Even the TV's coming in all underwater, now, everything kind of fuzzy on the edges and the lights have halos. It's kind of pissing him off.
They're short of food. By 'short' he means they don't have any fucking food at all. Sam's glued to the laptop and sends Dean out to buy the necessities. Sam probably means bread and juice and vegetables. Pretty soon Dean's little basket is full of M&Ms, a car magazine, and a six-pack. Shit, it's Texas. If he didn't buy beer he might get shot.
The girl who rings him up is flirting so shamelessly he thinks she might let him do her on the conveyor belt, a thought he's never had before but suddenly finds just perverse enough to entertain. That's exactly the point where she suddenly goes so out-of-focus he can barely even see her, just a blob of color, a smear of blonde and a purple stain that might be her blouse with a white patch that he knows was her name tag and can't for the life of him remember what her name even was.
Kicking himself, he steals a pair of reading glasses from in front of the pharmacy on his way out and hides them in his pocket.
It's a little better by the time he gets back to the motel, enough that he doesn't drive off the road (much) or walk into the wall (he does whack the doorframe, though), squinting hard but easily able to convince Sam he's just got a headache. He takes a long shower, keeps his eyes closed as he washes up and scrubs off. Maybe it's the steam but it seems to have helped, and he's only squinting a little by the time he's dressed and ready.
"Dean, check this out." Sam is bent over his computer. There's a news site open on the screen, looks like, and Dean can't remember the font on these damn websites ever being so small.
"Uh. Read it to me, I gotta check one of the guns. It's been... jerking."
Sam shoots him a funny look, but starts reading aloud. It's an obit, one of the actors that Sam heard about. Hung himself, but of course the paper doesn't say that. 'Died unexpectedly', of course. It's the family name that Sam's all excited about -- grandson of a guy who knew a guy who blah, blah, blah. It's gonna be an easy case. He's content to let Sam handle the facts and when the time comes he'll just aim the gun and light the fires and do what he does best.
Also, eye-drops. He's gonna buy some eye-drops.
The waitress in the diner is no more than 19 and her ass must be on salary because it just will not quit. The more he looks at it, though, the more his eyes track over to the high hem of her short shorts (god bless the hot-pant!), the worse his vision gets.
And he's starting to suspect foul play. It just does not make sense that his eyes are going bad at his age, considering his body is brand spanking new as of a few months ago and he's never had problems like this before. It makes even less sense that his eyes only get worse whenever he's eyeing a sexy girl.
A curse, probably. Must've pissed off someone's grandmother or a jilted lover or some girl he left behind. It sure isn't someone left unsatisfied. He never leaves 'em unsatisfied.
He almost drives right past the motel, not seeing the sign in time. Sam's starting to look at him funny so he's extra careful maneuvering around the room. His brother ducks in to take a shower and Dean takes this chance to do some research of his own. His face an inch away from the screen, he really is starting to get a headache until he remembers his pilfered glasses and slips them on, scrunching his nose a little at the feel of them on his face, unfamiliar weight, but it really does help.
Nothing he doesn't already know about curses seems to be kicking around online, but he takes the time to look anyway. Too long, actually.
He looks up at Sam, blinking owlishly. "What?"
Sam's eyes are huge as hubcaps. "You're, uh... you're wearing glasses, Dean."
Dean blinks slowly, reaches up to adjust them in a way he thinks must look real dignified and scholarly-like. "I am indeed," he sniffs, turning back to the screen and smirking a little at his brother's quiet 'Cristo?'
He keeps the glasses on the next day since when he wakes up nothing seems to focus right. Sammy's gotta split his time between looking up things on the theatre and trying to figure out why his older brother is going blind, and he's none too pleased about it. The fact that Dean's being glib as usual doesn't help.
"Maybe I can get one of those crazy smart dogs. I could bring it everywhere, right? You can't keep a man from his guide dog."
"We can't get a dog, Dean."
"I could train it to bring me my guns."
"Chicks dig guys with dogs."
Sheesh. So that was a nix on the dog idea, but at least some of these ladies seem to have a thing for eggheads and four-eyes, because he's starting to get looks from girls that ordinarily didn't really bother with his type. He's starting to wonder if it's different when you have sex with a genius girl. He's pretty damn sure he never has before.
And every time he looks at a girl and thinks dirty thoughts, the world gets a little blurrier.
He doesn't figure it out until Sam starts asking him the same questions again: Who've you wronged lately? When'd it start exactly? Anyone say anything strange? Touch anything? Run over any old gypsy women?
Like if he had, he wouldn't tell him?
Dean doesn't know, so he just sighs, flops onto the bed and rubs his eyes underneath the glasses and starts humming Blue Oyster Cult, 'cos it's been in his head for a day and a half now and that ain't so bad. He hears Sam shut the laptop with a clear click and a scoff of equal parts concern and exasperation.
"Could you at least try to focus, here?"
And that snags something in his memory. Cas had said something very much like that, back in that diner a town ago. Try to focus and something like I should put blinders on you.
Oh, that son of a bitch. Oh no he didn't!
The only clear resolution to this is, of course, to push Castiel too far. He's sure it's been real funny from up there on a cloud, watching Dean walk into road signs and stuff, but if he thinks a bit of near-sightedness is going to keep Dean from staring at girls, he's got another thing coming. He's Dean Winchester.
He's Dean Winchester!
So he adjusts his glasses (which don't really work anymore), shoves Sam out of the way of the laptop, and fires up his favorite website. Moments later he's beset upon by the smiling faces, luscious lips, and gigantic sweet handfuls of the Busty Asian Beauties homepage. He brings up one of his favorite girls, Lady Ting, and stares hard at the screen. His tongue sweeps over his lower lip and he does his best to think every nasty sexual thing he could do to this woman, right down to the bizarre fantasies he'd never even tell anyone about.
Right on cue, he pretty much goes blind.
"You think that'll work?" he calls out with a laugh, surging to his feet. He can't see a damn thing, just a few bits of not-so-dark amidst total-dark, but he's too pissed to care. "I'm gonna go out and have sex with the first thing I see!"
At which point he hears Sam very hurriedly leave the room.
He's serious, too. It's a stupid thing to do to him, it's petty and it's stupid and it's not like Dean is gonna learn anything from it, not like he's gonna change, and if Heaven really wants its champion to be fucking blind rather than promiscuous than too bad, he'll be both. "I mean it!" he snarls. "First body I bump against, I am humping til I can't move anymore!"
One step and he walks rather solidly into a broad chest.
"I'm afraid I must decline," says Uriel.
Make that the second body he bumps against.
"I have a message from Castiel," Uriel's voice booms from directly in front of him. "He says, and I quote, Stop it."
"He does, does he?" Dean chuffs. "You can tell him to suck my d-"
"I will not." Uriel sounds thoroughly disgusted and annoyed. "He is busy on other matters, but when he is able, I will suggest to him that he comes here and resolves this... pointless matter." A heavy sigh. "You're making him strange."
"He's making me blind!"
"For all the good it's doing. Just stay put, Winchester, and try not to do anything in the next few hours that will result in your death. It would be such a pain to have to piece your worthless meat back together again."
A draft, a sound, and Uriel is gone.
Dean waves his arm around for a moment to make doubly sure, then finds the bed and sits down on it.
"Fuck this," he mutters, churlish. "He knew I wasn't a saint when he pulled me out of Hell."
Just the same, he stays put. Irate as he is, no reason to do anything that would bring about a second untimely death. And Uriel said Castiel would be coming himself, so...
He grumbles, reaching around for a TV remote, knocking the lamp off the table and hearing something shatter on the floor. It occurs to him then that the TV wouldn't really do him any good anyway since he can't see.
About half an hour later Sam stops hiding in the bathroom. He feels his brother's hand check his forehead and he pretends to be asleep. The last thing Sam needs right now is to stress over Dean having lusted himself into blindness. He just keeps quiet until he hears his little brother sigh, the creak of the wooden chair at the desk and the soft hum of an electronic.
Dean dozes off to the sound of his typing.
A mumble, still mostly-asleep, about to roll over when suddenly his instincts sharpen, someone's in the room..!
"Easy, Dean," Castiel murmurs, catching Dean's arm before the fist can connect. "It's me."
"... Cas," Dean mutters. "How nice to see you. Or not."
"Yes, foolish of me to think that the message may actually get through to you before it came to this. Hold still." A familiar press of two fingers to his forehead. When they pull back again Dean blinks hard and the room swims into view.
Castiel is sitting on the side of the bed, looking at him a smile both rueful and fond. "Better?" the angel asks.
"Much." He reaches up and rubs his forehead, pulls up a smirk. "You learn your lesson, featherbrain?"
"Perhaps, in a fashion." A beat. "Don't call me that, Dean."
"Sure thing, halo head."
"... Should I make you mute next?"
Dean frowns a little and sits up, pushing up against the headboard with a glance over at Sam, still and quiet in the next bed. Sleeping. In the dark he can barely see the pair of glasses he's been using, wire frames glinting on the night stand.
Humor flees the room.
"You're a dick, you know that?" he asks, his voice gone rough and low.
Castiel blinks. "I... Dean?"
"A real dick."
"I don't understand."
Dean pushes him away and sits up straighter. "I know that I'm not perfect." His tone is an angry hiss now. "I now I got faults. I know I'm not the person you and all your friends upstairs wish that I was. But it's tough shit, okay? You're not gonna change me, and you sure ain't gonna change me by pissing me off."
"That's not what I wa-"
"So sorry I ain't good enough for you, but you're just gonna have to learn to live with it." Glowering, his chest heaving breaths to try and contain the disappointed anger filling his stomach like a pocket of superheated air. "I'm never gonna be good enough. Live with it. Or else find yourself a new su-" He stops, blinking; Castiel's fingers are pressed to his lips.
"Stop," Castiel demands gently. "It was never about that, Dean."
He reaches up, pushes Cas's fingers away. "Then what, Cas?" He's glad to see he can still talk. Also, glad to see. "What reason could you possibly have to make me go blind? 'Cos I know for damn sure, this is about more than a lack of focus."
Castiel stares at him the way he always does, deep and intense, but he lowers his eyes before Dean. Startling on its own.
"I don't like it when you look at girls like that," the angel says, very soft.
Dean thinks he must have misheard him. "What?"
Blue eyes flash dangerously. "I don't like it. When you look. At other girls like that."
Skepticism, suspicion, stark disbelief, incredulity. He needs Sam's thesaurus, he doesn't know enough words for the utter Say what? he feels right then, and before he can stop himself he grins like an idiot and blurts, "You're jealous?"
The expression on Castiel's face is worth all of the things he's walked into that entire week.
"You are," Dean breathes, eyes going wide. "Cas, what the fuck...?"
"I understand," Castiel sighs, his shoulders hunching, "that as a mortal, you have physical needs and emotions such as lust and desire. I just..."
"Don't want to see me carry them out with random sexy girls?"
"... In a word, yes."
Dean inhales deep, leans back against the headboard. "Well. Guess there's only one real solution to this whole issue you've got that doesn't involve striking me blind or unable to perform. Which," he quickly adds, "if you do, I'll kill you."
Castiel ignores the threat, meeting Dean's eyes. "What is it?"
"Well. As a mortal," he repeats, more than a little snide, "I got all these physical needs and lusts and desires, am I right?"
"Filthy monkey that I am."
He grins, shakes his head. "It's cool, Cas, I'm just shitting with you. What I mean is, yeah I got needs. It's how I relax. It's how I cope." Almost sort of helps, too. Almost. Sort of. "If you don't want me doing it with someone else, then, well..." He shrugs.
Castiel, angel that he is, doesn't get it. "... Well?"
Dean blinks at him. "... Well."
"... Are you fucking kidding me."
"I'm afraid I don't understand, Dean."
He slaps a palm to his forehead. "You know, me being the blind one is kind of painfully ironic, here..."
"You're not blind any more, I reversed th-"
"You sleep with me, you idiot!" Dean hisses.
"Oh, he says." Dean rolls his eyes with a sigh, but he can't stop the smile as Castiel begins to grin. "You should've just said this from the start, you know. Skip the hassle. I got glasses and everything."
"You stole them." Castiel pulled onto the bed a little more, relaxing. But he's not going to push that, stealing, even though it's a sin because Dean knows Castiel's got on blinders of his own. So he just grins and lays down beside him.
They can't really do more than this. It's late. Sam's sleeping, and Castiel has places to be. It's enough, though. Enough for Castiel that Dean's not mad (not too mad, anyway, and he's pretty sure Sam's gonna shit a brick when he hears what was behind the blindness fiasco). Enough for Dean that Castiel actually thinks enough of him, likes him enough that the angel can feel an emotion as low as jealousy. And yeah, the means were a little overboard and the experience was shitty, but... It doesn't really seem to matter anymore.
Castiel's eyes are bright, even in the dark of the room. Dean can just see the curve of his lips.
And really? There's nothing he'd rather see more.