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Date Escape

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“Come on, Castiel. You can do this. It’s just one little dating profile. Chances are, no one will even respond. You don’t even have to reply if they do, but you cannot spend one more Saturday night alone in this apartment hiding from your brother. You’re a grown man. Act like it.”

 

He stared at the blank dating profile for several long minutes after his pep talk, not having a clue what to put.

 

Name? No, no… I’m not using my real name. It’s too unique, anyone could locate me. You’ll have to think of a screen name.

 

Age and location? This is an easy question. What else?

 

Hobbies? He drummed his fingers on the keyboard and clicked his tongue. Does locking myself in my apartment and burying myself in documentaries count?

 

Physical appearance… uhm… absolutely unruly hair… blue-ish eyes… decently tall. Yes, I’m sure that description will attract tons of potential suitors. He sighed quietly at the woeful inadequacy of it, but the truth was that Castiel was fairly plain. He had no distinguishable marks, no tattoos or piercings, not even a freckle or birthmark to set him apart from the see of dark haired, blue-eyed white men approaching their mid-thirties.

 

Interested in? World peace? Environmental conservation? The possibility of life on other planets, since humans seem content to destroy this one? Someone that won’t waste my time, perhaps. Preferably someone not hiding in the closet, though I’d hardly blame them in this area. I’d be interested in finding out if Anne Boleyn really slept with her brother, or if Henry VIII simply liked lopping people’s heads off. This is far too open-ended.

 

Stop being ridiculous. Just fill it out. You can always update it later.

 

Name: fallenangel34

Age: 34

Location: Montana

Occupation: I don’t see what my occupation has to do with my chances of meeting a suitable partner.

What do you look like?: I prefer to base compatibility on something deeper than physical appearance, but if you must know, I’m decently tall and have dark hair.

Interested In: I have a vast number of hobbies, very few of which are ever deemed “interesting.”

Hobbies: …. Please see the above answer, although now I’m starting to wonder if the previous question was asking something different. Perhaps you should be more specific. Inquire within.

His palm pressed almost painfully into his cheek as he read over the bare-bones profile he’d created. It won’t get better than this. He clicked submit, but frowned deeply when an error message popped up stating that he needed to choose a profile picture. He had one single self-photograph in his phone, which happened to be the headshot for his badge at the University of Montana, where he taught two courses. GRK 202 was an intermediate Greek language course, and GRK 300, which was focused on Greek writers such as Homer, lyric poets, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, and Aristotle. He’d pointedly left that out of his dating profile, because if even one message said something like, “ So, you’re a professor. Your classes sound interesting, but it’s all Greek to me!” with any sort of emoji whatsoever, he would swear off dating for the rest of his life.

 

Deciding against opening up that possibility, he chose a photograph of his last trip to Greece, which his friend and colleague Balthazar had taken. He was standing in front of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, or rather, what remained of it. Balthazar had been positioned several feet behind him at the time, so the photograph was of his back. This will do, they won’t be able to see my face but it shows that I’m in peak physical condition and was not lying about having dark hair.

 

Once more, he clicked submit. This time, he was greeted with a confirmation message and access to the overwhelming amount of profiles available on this site. He took a deep breath, and accidentally swiped the wrong way three times before he finally got the hang of it. Left for no, right for yes. It’s not rocket science, Castiel.

 

Left.

 

Left.

 

Is there an option that’s even more ‘left’ than left?

 

Left.

 

Oh! He stopped on a profile of a man with a strong jaw and dress shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows. Patrick, 36. Interested in volunteer work and hiking, in that order. He’s an environmental lawyer, and from the looks of things, he only lives one town over. He has potential. Right.

 

On and on it went, until his eyes were growing blurry from staring at the screen and the never ending stream of singles that were obviously incapable of meeting anyone in real life.

 

Stop it, you’re obviously one of those singles. It’s not fair to judge, perhaps they’re simply too busy to meet someone in person.

 

He shut his laptop and stood up, only remembering once he was nearly in the kitchen that he should probably download the application to his phone so he could actually receive messages. After a quick trip back to get it, he made it to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. It was after 9 pm, but he still had a mountain of papers to grade and it was shaping up to be another sleepless night.

 

Once the coffee was poured and the Bumble app was successfully downloaded, he sat down to read over the latest essay he’d assigned. Is it ridiculous that out of all of the gay dating apps available, you chose this one simply because it reminds you of bees? Yes, it’s probably insane, but there can’t be too much of a difference. They’re likely all the same, and all the men you’ll meet from it will probably be the same.

 

His phone buzzed and he answered it quickly. “Hello?”

 

“Cassie! Did ya do it, did ya do it?”

 

He grimaced at the sound of his brother’s voice. “Yes, Gabriel. The profile is created, and I even ‘swiped right’ a couple of times.”

 

A long pause. “Did you just do actual air quotes? On the phone, where no one could see you?”

 

Castiel lowered his phone to muffle the groan that escaped him. When he brought it back up to his ear, he said, “I don’t see why it matters, but yes.”

 

“Oh, brother. It’s gonna take a miracle to get you laid.”

 

He squinted at the table. “Did you call me simply to harass me, Gabriel? I have assignments to look over.”

 

His brother laughed, and it was a sound that put Castiel at ease even when the laughter was at his expense. “Sorry, Cassie. I just wanted to make sure you did it. Now send some messages! It won’t do you any good if you don’t use it.” Gabriel abruptly hung up just as Castiel started to respond, and he growled quietly as he set his phone down and refocused his attention to his job.

 

This is going to be a trainwreck.

 

————————

 

Buzz.

 

He looked at his phone and saw the Bumble icon next to a notification that read 6 new matches and 3 new messages!

 

His eyes widened at the words, and he glanced at the analog clock hanging over his stove. It was half past two in the morning, and he’d only had the profile for roughly five hours. 3 messages already?

 

He brushed his thumb across the screen to unlock it and clicked the notification. His message center opened up, and sure enough, three unread messages awaited him. He opened the first one.

 

PatcificOcean8: I’m not very good at this, but your profile intrigued me. What are some of those hobbies you think no one will find interesting? I bet mine are more obscure.

 

He clicked the link to the profile and his stomach flipped as he realized it was Patrick, the only person he’d swiped right on with any real interest. He returned to the message center and licked his lip as he considered his reply.

 

Fallenangel34: I enjoy documentaries, specifically those regarding bees and other endangered species. I also recently took up a pottery class and find it quite relaxing, it’s something I highly look forward to.

 

The second he sent the message, he mentally cursed himself for not adding any follow up questions. He hastily typed out another.

 

Fallenangel34: What made you choose your field?

 

The top of the chat showed that Patrick hadn’t been online in a couple of hours, and Castiel assumed he was probably sleeping. He moved on to the next one.

 

Just4Kicks: I have to admit, I have no idea what’s in the background of your prof pic. I’ve been too busy staring at that gorgeous ass of yours. Meet up later?

 

Cass rolled his eyes so heavily he’d fear his head would roll right off his shoulders if it weren’t attached so proficiently to his neck. Delete. Next.

 

Impala67: Okay, okay. I gotta ask, your profile is a joke, right? You’re just fuckin’ with people? There’s no way a dude with permanent sex hair like yours is really this friggen awkward.

 

Cass hovered over the delete button as indignation and a slight tinge of embarrassment worked their way through his bones. This sort of response had been exactly what he’d feared. He changed his mind at the last second and clicked on the link to impala67’s profile. Two can play at that game, if you want to make fun of me, let’s see how perfect you are.

 

His profile picture was a car. Castiel knew next to nothing about vehicles beyond basic operation, but he took an educated guess at the fact that the car was a 1967 Chevrolet Impala based on the screen name. The jet black paint shone in the photo, and Cass couldn’t deny that it was beautiful. He didn’t remember swiping right on this particular profile, but he’d made a few mistakes at the beginning and assumed it must have been one of those. An accident then, makes sense. Perhaps I shouldn’t let this cloud my judgment.

 

Name: impala67

Age: 28

Location: Over the Hills and Far Away

Occupation: Mechanic

What do you look like?: If sunshine and sex took on human forms and had a baby, that’d be me.

Interested In: Long walks on the beach and frisky… well, I’m not really all that picky.

Hobbies: Road trips, classic cars, Led Zeppelin, pie and sex. Not necessarily in that order, but bonus points if you find ways to combine ‘em.

 

He blinked. He reread the words three times, because he couldn’t wrap his mind around someone being so blatantly conceited. He straightened in his chair and flipped back to the messages, some strange urge to defend himself overtaking the desire to just delete the message and move on.

 

Fallenangel34: I assure you, I’m not “fucking” with anyone, although I’m gathering that intercourse is the sole purpose of this dating site. If I’m awkward, you’re cocky and crass, which are two qualities I can’t say I look for in a partner. Have a good evening, impala67. Good luck in your future conquests.

 

He nodded proudly at himself and hit send, then set his phone down and rubbed his eyes. It really was getting late and his GRK 202 class started at 8am. He cleaned up the mess he’d made grading papers and packed his briefcase so it would be one less thing he had to deal with in the morning.

 

Buzz.

 

His eyes flicked to his illuminated phone screen and he hesitated briefly before picking it up.

 

Impala67: Whoa, whoa… easy tiger. Didn’t mean to offend you, although it’s clear it doesn’t take much. Maybe that was my way of gettin’ you to open up. There’s no way someone as tense as you could handle someone as cocky as me 😉    

 

His face flushed, and he’d typed out his irritated response before giving it much thought.

 

Fallenangel34: In my experience, those that brag about what they’ve got to offer typically don’t have much to offer at all.

 

Impala67: Ouch. Okay, now you’ve insulted my personality AND Little Impala. That’s two strikes, pal. What’s next, you gonna insult my Baby too?

 

Fallenangel34: First of all, it concerns me that you’ve named your penis. Second, I wasn’t aware you were a father, and I would never insult a child simply because their father was… well, someone like you.

 

Impala67: I don’t even wanna know what that means, dude. But nah, Baby’s my car. Not a dad. Definitely not a dad. It’s cool if you are though, I mean… it doesn’t bug me or anything.

 

Fallenangel34: Oh, right. Of course. The car. It’s beautiful, and therefore above my reproach. It’s not the vehicle’s fault who it’s driver is.

 

Impala67: I’m gonna choose to ignore that last part, cuz you finally said somethin’ I can get on board with! We should celebrate this common ground over a couple of beers.

 

Cass huffed. As if. He’s insufferable via text message, he’d be absolutely unbearable in person.

 

And yet…

 

Fallenangel34: Is that a flirtation?

 

Impala67: Dude, are you even real? Yeah, I can’t figure out why the hell I’m still tryin’ to hit on your weird, boring ass… but I’ve done dumber shit. I’m not from around here, but your profile’s pinging you like 20 miles from me. Where’s a good place to take a guy out for a “congrats, you suck less than I thought” beer?

 

Fallenangel34: Does insulting people usually work for you? And you could try Rocky’s, if you actually find someone to agree to go out with you. Which I’m not, by the way, although your nearly witty banter has been an eye-opener about the quality of matches I can expect to receive here. Once more, good luck.

 

He put his phone on silent and laid it face down on his bedside table before crawling under the covers and burying his face in his pillow.

 

Yep, this is a trainwreck.