“There, I’ve brought back your brother’s soul, saved your little angel and now have pulled you out of Purgatory.”
Dean came to with a gasp, looking up with wide-eyes at Death. “Cas too?”
“Yes, yes, your impudent pup as well.”
“Why?” Dean rasped. “You didn’t just do it out of the goodness of your heart, did you?”
Death didn’t even dignify that comment with a response, just fixed Dean with his haunting, level stare.
“No,” Dean pushed himself to his feet. “’Course you didn’t. Never be that easy, would it? Especially aft—”
“Dean.” Sharp and commanding.
“Good boy. Now, I want a favour,” Death remarked idly.
Dean swallowed again, but didn’t speak.
Death smiled cruelly. “So monkeys can be taught. How very intriguing…”
Dean still didn’t speak, just stood quiet and expectant.
Death slid the all too familiar ring off his bony finger and tossed it at Dean without warning.
Instinctively, the hunter reached up and caught it one handed, staring down at the ivory blankly.
Finally Dean said, “Why?”
“Not that I need explain myself to an amoeba. But it does get monotonous after a while,” Death replied. “I thought, since you are ever so far in my debt and that you are familiar with the job, that I would give you another shot. Though no mistakes this time, hmm Dean?”
“How long?” Dean asked huskily, not even bothering to hide his trepidation.
“Hmm… oh not too long, won’t be much of a bother really. Just about eight months.”
“Eight months?! I didn’t even last a—”
“Yes, I’m well aware, but I do feel you learned your lesson from your last little adventure as me. Now, Dean, do be careful this round, will you? If you make a mess of it again, there will be Hell to pay. And you know me, Dean, that’s literal.”
Dean shook his head slowly.
“Put on the ring, Dean.”
Dean opened his mouth to protest once again.
Obediently Dean slipped it on his finger. As with before, it was mysteriously a perfect fit.
“Excellent. Now I’ll send Tessa round to you to assist again, but I shan’t keep her away from her real work forever, you do understand. Once she and I feel you’ve got the… knack, then you’ll be on your own.”
“I don’t understand,” Dean whispered.
“You don’t need to,” Death replied. “Oh, I’ve brought something for you.” Death reached behind him and pulled free a small brown paper bag. “Thought you might enjoy a snack after your time away. Poutine from a charming little chip truck in Peterborough, Ontario – Reggie’s Hot Grill. It’s quite good, I’ve seasoned it with a bit of Cajun spice, you’ll like it.”
“Thank you,” Dean said flatly, taking the bag.
Death smiled again, slowly. “Wonderful. I’ll have my eye on you, Dean. You’ll do well to remember it.”
Dean nodded dumbly.
“I’m still not sure why you had me do that,” Death remarked, sliding in into a seat across from a slight man sitting at a Checkers board.
The small, dark haired man moved his red piece and snapped up a black, bringing it slowly to the side. “I can’t fix everything all the time. I don’t think the other gods would like it very much.”
“They’re just Pagans,” Death drawled making his move, jumping two chips and sliding into place at the back of the board. “King me.”
The man sighed heavily and placed the black token he had just won over top of Death’s piece at rest in the back row. Chuck Shurley turned to Death and shot the man a look of heavy exasperation, blowing out a long breath through the side of his mouth.
“Besides, thought you’d like a vacation,” Chuck finally answered with a small shrug.
“Yes, a holiday may be nice. I have been at this for… How many years now?”
Chuck shrugged. “Don’t really know. Ha! King me!”
Death smile condescendingly, but did as bid.
“May pop down to the seaside, catch some sun,” Death remarked, chasing Chuck’s kinged token around the board.
Chuck paused in his move and frowned up at the other man. “Why not just go to the Sun?”
Death looked up intrigued. “Oh? Is it nice there?”
Chuck puzzled that over for a moment before answering, “Well, not much of a resort life, but I tell you the scenery and the rays? Out of this world!”
Death gave Chuck a pitying look and said, “That’s a dreadful pun.” Death snapped up Chuck’s King and the blue-eyed man pouted.
“Damn.” Lightening flashed and thunder clapped overhead. Chuck looked up and grimaced. “Oops, sorry.”
“Do be careful,” Death drawled, snatching two more chips.
Chuck made his move, though he didn’t get very far.
Two more jumps and Death had won the game.
“I think I’ll take your advice,” Death said as he stood, brushing down the sleeves of his black frockcoat. “I’ll visit the Sun. Stay down Below much longer and I fear I’ll start to look like that dreadful cloaked skull figure that the humans are oh so fond of portraying me as.”
Chuck smirked, “They never get anything right do they? I mean look at me, at least they got the beard down.”
“Yes, you are rather less menacing in person,” Death observed lightly.
“That’s because I’m in a person… Or am as a person? Whatever. I need to get home and start on my next novel.” Chuck stood and stretched, looking small and insignificant next to Death’s much more intimidating form.
The humans in the park, however, were giving the two a wide berth.
“Yes, well, I do hope you know what you’re doing. I’m growing terribly irritated at cleaning up those Winchesters’ messes.”
Chuck grinned, “Don’t I always?”
“So they say,” Death replied idly.
Chuck nodded. “Parcheesi, next time?”