When Misha got back to the apartment after filming his last scenes of the season, it was to find Vicki reading a journal with West asleep in his carrier next to her feet. She lifted her face for a kiss and asked, “How did it go?”
“Good. Barring unforeseen disasters, we should be able to head back to L.A. on time. How was your day?”
“Quiet. Mrs. Ellis — you’ve met her, right?”
“Pink hair? Thinks Jared’s the shit?”
Vicki grinned. “That’s the one. She told me an old remedy for colic, and it did the trick.”
“Really? And what, pray tell, would that remedy be,” he asked, moving around the couch and taking the journal out of her hands so he could straddle her lap and have a seat. And maybe play with her boobs a little, because seriously? They were pretty damn awesome in Misha’s opinion.
“A dram of whiskey. Or maybe two.”
Misha considered it for a moment. “Hm. Sounds good. Start him off early enough, and he’ll be able to drink the world under the table.” He leaned in for another kiss, deeper this time, and when he pulled away, he said, “I like that you’re taking this remedy, too. It’s better for him not to drink alone.”
“Idiot,” she said, hitting him on the arm. “The whiskey’s to keep me calm.”
“And what of our suffering child?”
“He mostly wanted to be held.”
“And before you tie yourself into knots to keep from asking, I expressed milk before I took Mrs. Ellis’ remedy,” she said, smoothing her hand down his back.
“You do know I trust you, right?”
“I also know the end of the season makes you kind of crazy.” She bit her lip and added hesitantly, “And I know that you have to go back in tomorrow. Sorry, but they called about ten minutes before you came in.”
He groaned. “Why did I sign that contract again?”
“Because, and I quote, ‘Being a recurring character on Supernatural will give me a chance to put something good into the world.’ End quote.”
“And I married you, because —?”
“I give great head, and we both love it when one of my girlfriends joins us in bed.”
“Yeah. Right. That.” Before he could tell her that he’d really appreciate a practical reminder of the first reason, he was caught by a yawn large enough to startle her into laughter.
“Time for all good boys to go to bed.”
“But what if I want to be a bad boy?”
“Catch up on your sleep, and I’ll see what I can do to punish you for that,” she said, shoving him enough to get him off her lap.
“Promise?” he grumbled.
“Promise. Go to bed.”
Three weeks after their return to Los Angeles, Misha came home to find Vicki in a mood that didn’t bode well for anyone, but especially not for the person who put her in it. For a woman who was extremely slow to anger, she really knew how to work it to her best advantage once she got there. As he thought about that, he paused to consider what he’d done in the last few weeks, particularly the shit she might have found out about, and came to the happy conclusion that her mood probably wasn’t his fault.
“Sweetheart?” He wasn’t stupid enough to ask the obvious — was something wrong — but he also wasn’t willing to ask specific questions. Not, at least, until he had confirmation that he wasn’t the one who’d fucked up.
“I want your minions.”
That was — unusual. Unless they were actively raising money for charity, she tended to view his minions as — well — pointless. She’d never said so, but he had the feeling that unless he got off his lazy ass and actually took over the world, she would never be fully on board with him having his own Internet army.
“Okay,” he said, still waiting, still unwilling to push it. It was entirely possible she wanted to take the minions away to punish him, and Misha wasn’t about to agree to handing them over to her control until he knew what was going on.
“I want your minions so I can aim them at someone.”
Misha breathed a mental sigh of relief. One of the truly great things about his minions was that they couldn’t be aimed at him.
They could be aimed at him, but they would be doing it themselves, and if they’d gotten to that point, Misha probably deserved it. But that was beside the point.
“You know perfectly well that if you aim a weapon at someone, it has to be with the express purpose of firing it. If you wave it around, you lose all credibility.”
“Oh trust me, I want to fire it.”
“With great responsibility comes great power,” he intoned.
It was enough to crack through her stone-face routine. She threw a nearby pillow at him, and then another, and — yeah. Good times. Good times with boobs, maybe, since West was cheerfully trying to chew on his toes, and not paying any attention to his parents. When he tried to point this out to Vicki, though, she was still too irritated to let him cheer her up with really, really good sex.
“All right, I’m officially pissed off, too,” he said, catching her in a hug. “My woman won’t put out for me, I’m gonna kill the sumbitch that did that.”
She slapped him in the arm — “Ow” — and said, “Stop it. You should encourage me to let go of this, not stoke the fires.”
“Fine,” he said, after giving her a kiss. “Why are you pissed, and what do you need to let go of?”
“Charlie Sheen was on Terry Gross this afternoon.”
Misha groaned. “What did he say this time?”
“Terry asked him about that Tweet you sent a few weeks ago, the one where you called him a douche bag.”
“And he implied strongly that I wrote that book after participating in multiple orgies with him.”
Misha wasn’t nearly as slow to anger as Vicki was, but his anger tended to take the form of a sharp burst of energy rather than a low boil. This? This sent him straight to a roiling boil, and he was more than willing to hunt the fucker down right then.
“What did the esteemed Ms. Gross say?”
“She called him on his bullshit and offered to have her assistants get in touch with me right then. He backed off and gave one of those half-assed apologies, but — God. I hate that asshole, and I hate that I hate him.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“I just —” She sighed, and then she kissed him with a bit more enthusiasm. “Thank you.”
“As willing as I am to take credit even where credit isn’t due, I’m kind of confused.”
“Thank you for listening to me.” She gave him a smile. “You still interested in happy fun times with boobs?”
He was also interested in happy fun times with making Sheen miserable, but he didn’t think Vicki needed to hear about that just now. She was finding her center again, and hearing him plot would only stir things up again.
Misha fired his first shot on Twitter with, “Minions unite: your fearless leader is calling you to action. Operation Douche Bag is a go.” He figured the more dedicated minions would understand and would share with the rest of the class. Also, he didn’t bother offering suggestions. Considering some of the stories he’d read, his army was more than capable of coming up with their own marching orders.
He fired his second shot on Buddy TV. A word here, a look there, and the reporter became the latest to fall to Misha’s plan, asking exactly the question he wanted her to ask: “So, really? Charlie Sheen?” Denial, he thought, used sparingly, could do more than all the confirmation in the world, and it did the trick this time, too.
He went onto LiveJournal the next day to see how the interview had been received, and yeah. Lots of disgust mixed in with a touch of horrified fascination, but happily, his minions knew him well enough to know he was fucking with them. Better still, some were taking the bait anyway and writing the slash on their own. He really loved it when they showed initiative, even though it was kind of disgusting to consider. God only knew why Sheen’s dick hadn’t rotted away yet, but that wasn’t Misha’s problem. He was just happy that the stories were being posted.
For a moment, Misha sat back in his chair and basked in the warm glow of an evil plot hatched well. He thought he knew how God felt when he was creating the world and pronounced it “good,” because he pretty much had the best minions a man could ask for. He heard Vicki come in through the front door and switched to the randomact.org forums to see how the fundraising was going. A couple of people had already hit the thousand-dollar mark for the Haiti project, and it looked like a number of others were well on their way to meeting their goals.
“How’s it going,” she asked, peering down to read the latest posts.
“We’ll have a good group.”
“Glad to hear it. I’m thinking mushroom lasagna tonight. You up for it?”
“Do we have portabellas?”
“In my shopping bag,” she answered. She was still leaning over his shoulder and was starting to do some seriously distracting things near his groin.
“You’re not hungry right now, are you?”
“I can wait a couple of hours.”
“Good.” He put his computer to sleep and stood up. Some things really shouldn’t be put off any longer than they had to.
A couple of weeks after his campaign started, Jared called to ask, “Dude, what the hell are you up to?”
“Nine inches, fully loaded. You think you can handle it?” Misha answered, not missing a beat.
“I keep trying, but you won’t let me near that pretty, virginal ass of yours.”
“Hate to break it to you, but Gen popped that cherry a while ago.”
“Damn that Ackles!”
“Wrong Gen, asshole.” Jared paused to take a bite of something obnoxiously crunchy then said, “Seriously, what are you up to?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Charlie Sheen told People magazine that he never slept with you, and he wished people would just stop asking.”
“Ah.” Misha pulled up People’s website, and there it was. God, Sheen was an idiot.
“Ah? That’s all you have to say? Ah?”
“You know me, Jared. I’m discreet as hell, and I expect my partners to be, too.”
“Oh, you fucker,” Jared said, admiration shaping every consonant and vowel. “What the hell did he do to you?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Misha said. He could hear Jared typing in the background. “Charlie Sheen hasn’t done a thing to me.”
“Yeah, right,” Jared said, sounding distracted. “I — Jesus. He actually — how is he not dead right now?”
“I’m a Buddhist, Jared. It’s against my beliefs to kill people.”
“I’ll kill him for you. Jensen will probably help. We like Vicki.”
“And I don’t?”
“I — I probably need to shut up right now, don’t I?” The nice thing about Jared was that it hadn’t taken him all that long to figure out that when Misha spoke in that tone of voice, the chaos that resulted was never pretty. Or fun.
“Probably,” Misha agreed. “In any event, the universe is taking its pound of flesh from him as we speak.”
“I could almost feel sorry for the bastard.”
“Almost,” Misha stressed.
“Yeah, almost, but almost only counts in horseshoes and thermonuclear explosions. So what’s it going to take for you to call off your minions?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about Jared. I can no more control what happens on the Internet than I can control the course of the stars in the sky.”
“Yeah, whatever. Listen, Gen and I are having a weekend party in Montana in a few weeks. It’s going to be kid-friendly, and there will be plenty of people around to help spoil that boy of yours. You two up for it?”
“Maybe. Shoot me an e-mail with the details, and I’ll talk to Vicki.”
Jim texted, “I’m following your lead on the denials. Anything else I can do?”
In retrospect, Misha probably should have expected Jim to turn up the heat. He thought Charlie Sheen was a waste of airtime that could be better put to use discussing the latest bullshit put out by the Republicans. Misha didn’t disagree over the airtime, but he thought railing against politicians was its own waste of time and energy.
He texted back, “Continue same, only with more fake vehemence until Sheen’s reps cry uncle.”
Despite the promising beginning, it was another four months before Misha thought about Operation Douche Bag again. His attention span could be a little limited at times, and he was the first to admit it, so when Nancy, his manager, called to ask, “Why is Charlie Sheen threatening to sue you for slander?” he honestly couldn’t remember.
“No idea.” Misha was back in Vancouver for season 7 of Supernatural, which he was mostly happy about, except for the part where he was supposed to be in every single episode. He blamed Sera and Vicki for getting him drunk enough to sign the contract without hesitation, and he wasn’t all that thrilled about it. Sure, the extra money would be nice, but still, Misha liked his down time. He liked being able to head out to Jacmel on a whim to see how the building projects were going. He liked —
“He’s claiming mental anguish over the fact that the Internet thinks the two of you are sleeping together.”
“I can’t control the Internet.”
“Right,” she said, and Misha remembered that Nancy wasn’t stupid. She also wasn’t a slacker, because she always knew what he said on Twitter and kept an eye on Random Acts for him. “Want to try that again?”
“You can look all you want, but you won’t find any direct orders from me.”
“What’s this ‘Operation Douche Bag’ tweet from five months ago?”
“It’s nothing. Seriously. You can poll a thousand minions, and you’ll get a thousand opinions but no straight answers.”
“Fine. Just be sure you stick to that story when you come back to L.A. this weekend.”
“I’m not coming back to L.A. this weekend.” He wasn’t. He was sure of it. In fact, he thought he might have scenes to film.
“I’ve already cleared it with the production company, and considering the amount of free publicity Supernatural will get from your appearance on Leno Friday night, they were more than happy to rearrange your shooting schedule,” she said, her voice implacable.
“Focus, Misha. There will be lawyers at the meeting. There will also be reporters and TMZ hanging around, because people in the media are not stupid, and they dug out that interview Charlie Sheen did with Terry Gross a few months back.”
“So?” He seriously didn’t want to go back to L.A. It wasn’t that he didn’t love Vicki and West to distraction, but if he showed up two weeks after going to Canada, there would be questions, and he wasn’t entirely sure that Vicki understood that Misha hadn’t dropped the Sheen thing.
“So the timing on the Mishlie slash is more than a little suspicious. You have an eight a.m. flight out of Vancouver on Thursday. We meet with Sheen and his people on Friday.” With that, Nancy hung up, and Misha sighed.
Misha walked into the house at ten o’clock Thursday night after spending the afternoon and most of the evening with Nancy and the lawyers, only to find Vicki scowling at him.
“It was my decision, not yours,” she said.
“I know.” He waited, and really, there was nothing else he could do until she made a decision on how to react.
“And yet you unleashed them anyway.”
“I — yes.” Technically, they’d unleashed themselves, and that was the story he’d stick to the next day, but what he told Vicki mattered a hell of a lot more than what he told the suits.
“Is he suffering?”
“No clue.” She gave him a look, and he held up his hands. “Seriously. I stopped following him three months ago. His tweets made my brain feel slimy. I think Jim’s been keeping an eye on him. I could call and ask.”
“Don’t bother. The fact that Nancy dragged you back speaks volumes. Do you want me there tomorrow?”
“Could be fun, but probably not. I’d have to punch him if he asked who you were, and he would, because he’s a douche bag whose brain is running on empty.”
“True.” Apparently, Misha was forgiven, because Vicki opened her arms, and he went into them gratefully. Tomorrow would be a bitch of a long day, but he’d get through it.
Misha dressed carefully the next day, and with Vicki’s help he managed to hit just the right note of sanity. It wasn’t his usual look, but he’d captured just enough of that Castiel mystique to be able to look like a sober citizen who would in no way, shape or form ever send a hundred thousand plus minions after Charlie Sheen.
As it turned out, once he got to the meeting, it really didn’t matter what he looked like. All he had to do was remain calm and look at Sheen with an air of innocent confusion, because it was driving Sheen right up the wall and straight across the ceiling. Misha thought the frothing at the mouth was going a little far, but Sheen was a drama queen to begin with, so it was hardly a surprise.
“He did something!”
Misha looked at his people and shrugged slightly. They didn’t show it — they were pretty fine actors as well — but he could see by the tightening of their eyes that they didn’t believe him anymore than Sheen did.
He sighed and said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about or why I’m here.”
“This!” Sheen spat, waving a stack of paper. “This is why you’re here, you asshole. Listen to this:
Charlie looked at Misha with dewy eyes and thanked him profusely for taking a cane to his ass. “I can only ever cry when you do this for me, Mish.”
“It’s okay, Char,” said Misha gently. “It’s okay.”
Misha’s black leather encased hand wiped the tears from Charlie’s face —
“Who writes this crap?”
“Granted, it’s not exactly literature,” Misha said thoughtfully, “But it does speak to the inner anxiety you seem to exhibit on a fairly regular basis. Have you ever considered exploring your submissive side? It might help with some of the anger issues you seem to have.”
“I’m going to kill you!”
The next fifteen minutes or so bordered on pure farce. Misha had learned fight choreography from some of the best stunt men in the business, so it wasn’t all that difficult to avoid Sheen’s fist, even as he made it look like he was taking some brutal blows. Unfortunately, Sheen managed to get in a solid hit to Misha’s jaw before they pulled him off, but maybe that was a good thing. Misha did, after all, deserve to be punished for going after Sheen when Vicki decided against it. And, of course, the fact that Sheen just physically assaulted Misha meant that he could make demands that would be met, especially with all these witnesses.
He stood up slowly and looked at Sheen with what was no doubt a calculating gleam in his eye. Well. It was some kind of gleam, anyway, and it must have looked kind of dangerous, because Sheen was starting to back away slowly. It was nice to see the douche bag still had some survival instincts left in his chemically-addled brain, but it wouldn’t save him.
Misha smiled slowly. It was, after all, a good day to be him.
After Leno, after talking about how Sheen had agreed to go into rehab and how it was a truly touching moment for all who witnessed it, Misha tweeted, “Attention minions: Operation Douche Bag is now at an end. You may resume normal activities.”