Chapter 1: Return Policies and an Unwanted Exchange
Father Where Art Thou
Chapter 1: Return Policies and an Unwanted Exchange
The first of the rumors made it out as a simple STD, you know that one weird night nobody remembers and you got down and dirty with that freaky but totally awesome chick with the nice tits and suddenly in the morning you just had it. No big deal, just go to the doctor, get your slip and you were ready to party again. It never really went that way though. Not for most of us, not at all. The fanatics coo about some great origin we all came from, the original infected source or mutation.
A father to us all, as ridiculous as that sounds but it made us all feel a little better about being one more part of this supernatural goo that had mutated an entire nation of people maybe even the world. Don't get me wrong, there were many lucky people who weren't infected. Outnumbered us even, the whole lot of them. Since after all in its most basic form, it's just like a birth defect. Little traits and kinks in our DNA that help make us ‘special’. Blue eyes, blond hair, big and small schnauses and now this.
The egg heads down in the big medical department called it ANGL as some sort of cruel joke, a massive mutation in human DNA that caused physical and mental anomalies on a dramatic scale. Skeletal, vascular, muscular, circulatory, nervous systems were all affected, nothing left untouched, some got more than others and even developed special powers. Abilities from this new exotic gene; considerable strength, telekinetic potential in the brain, heightened senses and recuperating powers. All wrapped up into the tiny unstable package that was from then on marked ANGL.
We were inhuman, that was it, it didn't matter if your mom or your dad weren't carriers of the disease or that you popped out of your momma's womb like every other Billy or Sally that went through the maternal ward of the hospital. Soon as they identified you with THAT, it'd follow you wherever you went. School, medical records even job applications were all given that extra little personal detail that apparently everyone needed to know. I even heard a guy down in Memphis got fired when they found out he had ANGL.
And they always do find it, I promise you that. Extensive body checks were no longer for airport visitors only since it's all about that mark and we all had one. No matter how little or big your piece of the ANGL food cake was, pun intended mind you, we all shared a mark one way or another. Each mark or marks like every individual with ANGL was different but they all bore the same physical message. Wings, big, small, dark or light we all had one or two plastered onto our skin from birth. Like that one tattoo you and your buddies thought looked so cool up on the parlor wall but when it's suddenly drawn pitch black from both wrists to forearm, suddenly all those primary and secondary coverts and flights don't look so badass anymore.
They were messages to all the ‘normal’ humans, a big STAY AWAY from all the feathered brothers and sisters as some called themselves. What a crappy excuse for a joke. Jokes will only go so far though especially with the big cats upstairs. As soon as the big epidemic came along, every fat cat and dirty or clean politician had their own opinion on what to do about this new people as if we weren't regular human beings. And the first three to come forward were what you would expect.
The two big dogs fighting it out on that stage were Lucifer and Michael. Both big figureheads in the whole ANGL debate as well as carriers of the rare gene, Michael's campaign focuses on the key points that those infected by ANGL are superior and therefore should have alternative rights than that of those unaffected. His main goal seems to be to have us run the government over regular humans as their divine rulers as he so daintily puts it. Lucifer on the opposite side sees the unaffected pile as flawed, inferior beings in a time of evolution and sees it only fit that those not carrying the gene should either be forcefully infected or destroyed.
And then there are those like Zachariah who have fed off of public hysteria and these new ideals and fervently testified that those with ANGL are unclean and freaks of nature. Demons that should be separated from the pure just humans and cast out for their impurities before they ‘sully this great nation’. Zachariah is one of the many on this side of the debate that showcases he is free of such a vile mutation and wants to lead the world into a new perfect paradise.
With this lovely setting the curtain rises on my cozy little establishment and place of residence, yep it's my pride and joy alright, the Heels To Jesus Pawn Shop and retail center along with my lovely employees and myself who run the joint like a well oiled machine or well…at least half baked loaf of bread.
Castiel, my pretty boy in the trench coat and dedicated cashier at the moment is dealing with the lovely and ever tenacious Ms. Missouri Mosely. A clever old bat really, she's been trying to sell me back the same damn colonial ceramic jar I gave to her for practically peanuts since before her hair started to gray. Never ask a lady her age indeed, I've seen mummies at the museum with less wrinkles than this old biddy.
Cassy's pretty darn adorable though I've got to admit even if Kali from the incense shop down the street's been my chronic stalker for almost a decade now, the kid's too cute. As bashful as he is about the whole thing, he has ANGL just like Anna and I but he's a lucky case. I'd say he's nearly twenty three now though he can hardly pass for twenty one without his ID due to his shockingly young appearance and puppy dog eyes. Scruffy light brown hair along with slightly pale skin and deep blue eyes tie the little guy together under trench coat-like jacket he wears CONSTANTLY. I'm actually starting to wonder if it's attached to the poor guy's skin.
Castiel has his mark luckily in a spot where most people would hardly see it unless his shirt was off, two rather large ragged tawny wings reaching down his back from his neck and down his lower back. And yeah I do know how far down they go heh heh. But he usually likes to keep them under wrap which explains the bulky trench coat and shy as a sheep attitude when it comes to customers and people alike. Meh what can you do? The kid's got social problems but he knows his way around that eeeeevil cash register. I swear that damn thing hates me, nearly broke one of my fingers when I was fishing out change last weekend but I digress.
I honestly don't know what Cas's special abilities are other than what's normal for those with ANGL. That whole social awkwardness he has is pretty common, sad puppy look all his but from what I've seen just from perusing around ye old pawn shop he can heal mild wounds and cuts pretty easily and even break a few windows and speakers when he's really jazzed or angry about something. Kid apologizes over and over for it but I don't blame him for it, not his fault though it's funny as hell when it spooks Anna.
Here we meet the little fiery redhead of my little operation here at Heels To Jesus and I'm quite literal when I say fiery. Get this chick mad and it's like the president chugged a beer, threw his pants off and gave the thumbs up to go nuclear. Anna Milton as she calls herself is an ANGL case as well but with a much different set of symptoms than Castiel or I. When extremely angered or startled her brain can let loose a highly negative charge that results in a pulsating heat wave around her entire body. I like to call it her heat bubble but apparently that's too ‘perverse’.
We've tried to control this special talent of hers before through simple breathing exercises and movements, the scorch marks on the pawn shop floor are evidence of that. Though for now only time will tell if any of it actually has considerable influence on her. Anna's marks aren't as easy to hide like good ol Cassy, due to her two plain as day little feather marks under each eye. She calls them her 'cutie marks' but hey I'm just a pawn shop owner what do I know.
Since she works the clothing and make-up department of the shop, she likes to dress her marks up with, glitter, rhinestones, eyeliner and all that junk. In my opinion it makes her look like a bedazzled raccoon. I usually get smoke from her about my little book burnings but other than that she's a sweet gal and even looks after Castiel every once in a while to make sure he doesn't get picked on by others.
So now that my little troupe has been introduced we can finally start the show.
I mentally curse the day ceramic cats were invented as I put the numbers through the cash register again, pulling my coat around my shoulders all the while this strange old lady smelling of raisins, cat litter and hot sauce perhaps, still has not refrained from her constant babbling. I honestly have no qualms with Ms. Mosley or Missouri as she always tells me to address her by, but it's just that I believe the human body shouldn't be physically capable of going on for that long without stopping for need of oxygen. And it's usually the same sequence over and over again.
"Now Castiel, honey child, I don't mean to pester you, heaven forbid, but I simply can't believe my purchase should cost over twenty dollars. That boss of yours is off his rocker to price things so high and these figurines aren't even in mint condition!" For the ninth time now I am shown the small china cats playing with string currently up for purchase. She is right though as I observe several cracks and chips in the figures that have been given makeshift repairs with what I can only guess was Elmers glue and colored sharpies. He couldn't even spring the extra fifteen cents for a real adhesive…
Sighing softly, I look over my shoulder to face my current employer Gabriel as he sits in his usual comfy leather recliner next to the usual wood burning stove set up in the middle of the store reading his current novel of interest. As much as Anna complains the stove is a fire hazard, Gabe always insists he's immature enough to want it around but mature enough to know how to use it. He also seems to enjoy informing Anna she is "the pot calling the wood burning stove black" when it comes to fire hazards which only seems to infuriate her more and earn yet another burn I must scrub from the floors.
"Gabriel sir, can't we give her some sort of discount? Missouri's a regular customer and honestly if you're going to try and cover up imperfections in the merchandise, use techniques other than that of a preschooler." With a grunt Gabe closed his book, the light catching his own dark indigo wings imprinted on his forearms from birth as he pushed himself off the chair. I've learned since I started working here that unlike most, Gabe has six of them, one on each of his arms from wrist to elbow and the other four crossing his chest and lining down his sides to his thighs. How do I know they go down that far? Casual Wednesdays have gotten far too casual in the past…
Sashaying his way over to the register, he motioned to the huge yellow sign resting on the wall just behind me and with a snort regarded our esteemed customer with a raised brow. "As a regular customer, my fair lady, you should do well to remember out key policy at Heels To Jesus Pawn Shop." At this he patted my shoulder heavily, wordlessly instructing me to sing along to his favorite little scam. "This is not an auction, all prices listed are final."
Ms. Mosley gave her signature frown at that, a frown that if she were a nun I believe could shame any sinner no matter how great into converting to a life of compliance most assuredly. "Now look here you no good trickster. On your sign it says pawn shop, so wouldn't it be safe to say most people would see that and expect a place where one can negotiate prices?" Gabe just smirked and actually crawled up onto the counter sitting cross legged with his arms crossed as well, peering at Missouri like a cat with a mouse in its clutches. "Yes but I am NOT most people. I am Gabriel, king of this pawn shop and my word is law here."
Insert key grin and nasty reaction from our beloved regular Missouri. "You scam artist! I ought to bend you over my knee and teach you a lesson or two about running a business, young man! You're no king, court jester maybe." Anna finally joined the scene, leaning in her usual spot to give me a friendly wink and watch the fun as Gabe actually stuck his tongue out at the woman only outraging her and in the process mortifying me more. "If I am in fact the court jester then I guess that makes you the town hag, huh Ms. Mosley?"
By now I simply decided to slip out from behind the register and let Gabriel have his fun while I take my one daily 'coffee break'. Nodding to Anna who in turn nodded back and kept a steady watch on those passing by the shop through the window, I walked back through all the clutter and old junk Gabe chose to sell in the shop to the door in the back. Opening to the small secluded courtyard outside, I gave a sigh of relief finally breathing in fresh air.
The entire space is probably only about twenty feet or more all the way across from the door to the end of the tall fence that surrounds it. The fence itself is a good seven feet with barbed wire lining the tops. Gabe had the fence lined with barbed wire for two reasons, one to discourage robbers or worse, the other reason…
After the epidemic ANGL was uncovered, many people formed their own opinions on how to deal with the issue of this new group of life forms introduced into the world. With opinions of course come limitations. Those with specific powers or abilities are given certain rules on when and where they can use them if at all. This is especially taken into account for cases of ANGL with physical anomalies. To prevent incidents from occurring, anyone in the ANGL category is greatly limited to using their own devices especially flying.
The first ANGL case ever recorded of successfully obtaining a stable flight pattern in a public setting was shot down mere minutes later by a frightened passerby. The person was supposedly imprisoned but to prevent such things from happening again, any sort of flying or floating accomplished by those with capable abilities from ANGL is strictly prohibited.
Not many with ANGL can even fly, like I mentioned before it's a physical anomaly caused by the mutation that's very rare to begin with. Gabriel being the only one other than myself that I know of who's ever accomplished any successful flying during his lifetime, was also the first one to find out about the true form my wings could take. It had been an accident of course. I'd been cleaning up to close up the shop for the night and had trash duty that one night in particular. When I went outside and saw nobody was around in the alley, I shrugged off my coat to stretch them out.
Normally I can keep my wings in their original form as simple marks on my back but when looked at more closely through an x-ray one could see several irregular skeletal structures extending from my shoulders and upper back under the skin. They don't hurt or anything like that but from time to time they almost retain a mind of their own, causing me to grow restless and fidgety. In this sort of state I can't focus on work and at times can even lose sight of my powers and break a few windows or vases.
So seeing an opportunity display itself so fully, I had released the simple binding I placed over them back then and allowed them to manifest themselves. Light cobalt gray feathers spilling forth into great wings on my back, I heard something resembling a can dropped behind me from the shop door. Looking back petrified, I realized Gabe must've had a beer recently and had just come out to throw it in with the rest of the trash, the can resting at his feet as he gaped at my true form.
The fact he was smiling as if he'd won the damn lottery did little to calm my fears until he took me inside and showed me his own manifested wings, six golden brown wings stretching nearly all the way across the room and to the ceiling. After that, Gabriel taught me how to fly and hide my wings properly so they wouldn't get cramped or restless. This was also around the time he had this courtyard constructed.
It was here he taught me everything I'd need to know about flying and using my own powers as well as teaching me about his own. Currently we've been trying to teach Anna with little success, large scorch marks across the grassy field evidence of her frustration and annoyance with Gabe's ‘teaching habits’.
Sighing with a content smile I let loose my wings, chuckling softly as the feathers tickled my ears, stretching them up to lift myself off the ground. It was late in the evening and the sun was setting so visibility and shadows wouldn't be a problem this time. Due to their hue and depth of color, my wings aren't usually easy to see no matter what time of day but Gabe still always instructed that it was best to wait till later in the day out of caution. After taking all my usual precautions and looking around, I lifted myself from the ground with a soft ruffle of my feathers and took off around the secluded courtyard.
Even with all of Gabriel's past taunting and persisting of my cute nature, I could never help but chuckle and laugh whenever I got to fly. There really was no feeling like it, being able to see, smell and feel so much more way up high as I am than I ever could on the ground like everyone else. Being the stone face that I am, I suppose it really is a sight to Gabe after all his efforts to get even a snort out of me from his many pranks to witness me reduced to mere giggles just from something so simple.
There was even a light breeze that brushed across the arch of my primaries and coverts so perfectly that it had me smiling a real smile for the first time in a long time. Looking up, I could see just how deep and far up the sky really was, stars sparkling in their wake seeming so close I could just reach out and grab one. There had been so many disturbances due to the discovery of my kind. All orphans whether we chose to follow Lucifer or Michael or even walk to our own damnation under Zachariah. I just wished for it all to stop, that we could all move forward…for dad to come back.
A brisk movement from atop the gate suddenly jarred me from my thoughts as I stopped midair and hovered over the middle of the field. Even with all the barbed wire and locks around the gate, Gabe has chosen to keep one spot clear for a door so we could put out the trash in the alley. Simply a three-foot wide space clear of any lock or barbed wire over the seven-foot tall door blocking the rest from view. And he was just sitting there watching me.
Some random guy who from appearance looked to well off with his spotless jeans and black suit jacket to be peeking into random people's yards behind pawn shops at six thirty in the evening. But there he was plain as day, just smirking up at me and seeming quite pleased now that I'd noticed him. The man couldn't have been younger than twenty seven, had to be older than me at least, with dull blonde hair that brightened near the tips and shiny blue eyes that seemed to glimmer with amusement and maybe even wonder at my fluttering wings.
By now I was frozen in fear and apprehension. Whoever this assbutt was, he'd seen me flying no question about that and definitely not in a designated area to do so. I could be arrested, no worse I could very much be killed. Gabe could be arrested, Anna could be arrested anyone who knew about this place or me could now be thrown in a locked cell and rot all because this guy seemed to find whatever reason he could to peek over a damn fence with barbed wire and locks on it in the middle of the evening.
"Well now, aren't you beautiful…" A voice with a heavy British accent cutting through my thoughts, all I registered after that was he had jumped down into the yard by then and I was running for my life back to the shop, wings gone into the dark marks on my back.
Author's note: Alright that's my debut chapter of this fic ^^ for any Supernatural fans who don't remember, Missouri is from the first season and for any Gabe fans out there I hope you know who Kali is. I had posted this fic on fanfiction.net as well but I’ve started an account here because I prefer this site over that. This will be a Calthazar fic so Balthazar/Castiel with a few other pairings hatched in between. Reviews are always appreciated as are any questions or thoughts about the story and I hope you all enjoy.
Chapter 2: Making A Deal
Our night club owner arrives and things suddenly get very hot outside.
Father Where Art Thou
Chapter Two: Making A Deal
Well now isn't this just a delight! I honestly had no idea my explicit sudden need for a walk around and some fresh air would pay off so swimmingly in my favor. And my day had started off with total shit to begin with too. First thing, I wake up nursing a hangover only to get a call in at four thirty in the fucking morning from the club only to be informed one of my best girls is quitting on me right before the big weekend rush. Understandably I'd handled it at the time like the perfect gentlemen I was.
"THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU QUIT? You're on a bloody four-year contract with me Tammi! And with the pitiful tips you rake in, I doubt you can pay the two hundred dollar early cancellation fee!" My own voice literally rung through even my own ear in the receiver as my cat who'd been sleeping at the foot of the bed suddenly roused awake looking quite annoyed at being disturbed so early in the morning as he sauntered up onto my lap as if to calm me or better yet shut me up at the very least. Sorry about that Felix… but of course I was pissed!
Despite my present attitude and the fact she really could profit from being just a little bit vivacious, Tammi was one of my best girls and always got us a few new regulars every week from working the tables at the club so safe to say I was in a pretty tight spot. "Tch, the hell if I care boss! I'll sooner beg for change at the subway station than spend another late night working for you in that god awful place!" Now I really was offended, I knew my little hole in the wall was no Spearmint Rhino but I'd put my life savings into it and in my opinion it had its own special charm about it.
That opinion seemed to only be my own however as I felt like slamming my fist against a wall, gritting my teeth before peering over at my calendar on the bedside table. "And just what am I supposed to do for a waitress this weekend huh? Drinks don't just serve themselves you know!" Oh if only they did, stupid laws of gravity ugh…I thought rubbing my eyes with my free hand. "Fine, can you at least work through this weekend then I swear I won't even fine you for an early release. Fuck I'll even pay you."
Woman can be so temperamental, I swear, and people wonder why I've grown more partial to men though I haven't been known to turn down both as of yet . Men don't whine and bitch when you give them late shifts, don't get all upset after a one night stand that that really meant something to them when all you felt was a sloppy drunk hop in the sheets and even if they do they'll just drink it off and not plague your answering machine with twenty messages. And of course men certainly would not say "Hell no! I'm not one of your whores Balthazar unlike that skank Casey. No way am I getting my ass groped by a bunch of drunken slobs or worse a drunken you for even one more damn night! I'm finished, we're done!"
And with the harsh crash of her slamming the phone shut, I was left sitting in my bed dumbstruck and petting a hungry cat with only a one day to find a decent replacement. After giving my pet his standard kitty kibble for the day and my own self a much needed cup of coffee, I took a look outside my flat as if expecting a new waitress to be delivered on my balcony like a baby by a stork. I had to chuckle at that as I looked down at the assortment of shops stretching down the streets of the rural area I'd taken roost in.
A florist, your standard bakery, that auto shop run by those two annoying Winchester boys and their monkey's uncle of a boss Bobby Singer, and at the very back corner with a surprising amount of space fenced off in the back the old pawn shop that's been there for decades. I'd never met the owner or anyone who worked there surprisingly even though I've been bunking here for who knows how long. Pawn shops were never my thing though, dusty old junk nobody wants lining the shelves and probably some cheapskate running the place that prices it all as if they were priceless artifacts.
Grabbing my keys and jacket after a quick shower, I walked out after locking up wearing my usual v-neck shirt and jeans. I didn't feel too much like driving so I walked my way down to the club, jacket tucked under my arm all the while. Though I soon wished I could tug it over my head as I caught a glimpse of Dean and Sam Winchester walking back from the dump, each carrying boxes filled to the brim with some of the rustiest ancient looking old car parts I'd ever seen.
Don't get me wrong, I can be perfectly civil with the two brothers on any usual regular basis, Sam in particular being the one of surprising intellect and manners. But since I was in quite the sour mood from losing a key employee and pushed under a bus as far as finding her replacement went, I was certainly not in possession of the patience necessary to deal with the eldest Winchester's childish antics and temper. So logically I tried my best to act casually and avoid any special attention. Fat chance that was…
"Well now Sammy, look who finally decided to crawl out of his gutter to meet the day! A bottle of Jack Daniels stand you up on your date Balthazar?" As if one couldn't be more immature, Dean Winchester at only the age of twenty five seemed to think himself as wise and sage-like as maybe twice that with a sheer overconfidence and arrogance to match. I'll admit the kid could fix a car's transmission up right as rain but I'd never feed his ego by saying that out loud. "Oh come on Dean, be nice. Can't you at least say good morning? Sorry about that Balthazar, he's just cranky because someone slashed his baby's tires again."
Sam, only four years younger than his brother, seemed to dwarf his supposed older brother's intellect not to mention capability for polite conversation on many an occasion though the time would come on and off where a skirmish could be heard from both down in the auto shop yard after a junker would roll in that not even they could fix after hours on end out in the sun staining their faces with oil and grease, elbow deep the faulty engines. Which was followed by cursing, shouting and even a roll about in the dirt before Bobby finally wheeled out and sprayed them like dogs with a squirt bottle pronouncing them both 'idgits' and fixing it himself.
Despite their regular disputes, the boys were closer than I certainly had ever been with any of my brothers and I'd always smile in thought even with Dean's attempts to goad me into a fight. Though at the moment that smile was more directed at Sam who also towered over Dean in height, smiling as usual with his medium length brown hair held back by a familiar red bandana Dean had given him long ago when they were kids despite his frequent exclamation that pink is for sissies and babies who whine even though it comes from red.
"Good morning to you too Sam and Dean well…just morning. And to answer your question, no nobody stood me up. One of my girls down at the bar just up and quit on me right before the big weekend rush and now I've got to get a new waitress. Fast." Ignoring Dean's sneer at my comment, I looked around the block as if surveying for possible girls that might fit the part. Sadly though the usual run of the mill passersby would do hardly anything for my beloved nightclub and bar Le Petit Chérubin. "Sorry about that Balthazar, don't you have any on a waiting list though? This is the first time you've had an opening and I'm sure at least somebody has sent in a job application before this."
Ah Sam with his sparkling wit would have hit the nail on the head with that one on any other day but truth be told I was doubtful to say the least that anyone worthy to fill the position would still be available by now. Despite the crass comment from Dean with his usual lewd speculation of "Seriously dude, what do they even have to do to get through the interview process, spread their legs? Hell I bet Sammy and I could even fill in for her at that." Well that I highly doubt, Sam was indeed a viable solution of course but Dean would never allow his innocent little brother to wait tables at a night club/strip bar much less work for me at all.
Dean wasn't exactly bad looking either but I was afraid that inflated ego and bad temper of his would scare away customers after the first person that'd be brave enough to give his rear a pinch. Despite the occasional long looks he'd give his brother, Dean liked to see himself as a mucho macho man of heterosexual intention. The poor delusional thing, nevertheless after giving a friendly wave to both, I headed down to the club while it was still light out so I could take a peek at what we had in stock.
Aside from a few pretty faces with questionable references, my fears were renewed as no real plausible options came up from the considerable stack of applications I pilfered through with the help of something strong and spicy mixed up by one of my best don't ask don't tell employees and bartender Casey. "Oh lighten up chief and take a break already. We'll find you a new pretty little young thing, don't worry." Slinking out from behind the bar in a tight red tank top and leather miniskirt, she sauntered over and started rubbing my shoulder almost too nicely. "And honestly sugar, when was the last time you got yourself a good lay? I haven't seen you hitting on anyone in particular for almost a week now…new record for you."
Chuckling to myself, I peered up at the saucy brunette standing over me and smirked. Casey was no blushing virgin but at least she never tried to hide it or make any attempt to whatsoever. She'd gamble, cheat, strip, drink, hit on both men and women and do it all with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. Not surprisingly she was one of my favorites at the club of course. Lilith was just a psycho though the blonde hair and big tits brought in men by the hoards as long as they didn't get a glimpse of her personality. Meg would've been great had she not always been working an angle somewhere along the line, the only one who didn't need to be wary of her was Tammi and none of us really knew what went on between them but now that Tammi had split, Meg was free as a bird. Mere figure of speech of course…
As I pondered all this, Casey brought her palm up flat against my neck just dipping slightly under my shirt which to anyone else would've looked like some intimate gesture of something soon to come but in my case it was a warning. "By the way Peacock, your feathers are showing up nice and proud today. Too rush rush today for cover-up I suppose." Just as she said, hidden right under her hand a glossy black feather curled around in a loop indeed looking like a peacock feather as it lay on the very bottom of my neck leading down to the wing running up over my chest on my left side which had inspired Casey to come up with the clever nickname.
Unlike most of those lucky enough to get standard marks of normal wings through ANGL mine were flaunty and spread out along my torso every which way. Casey as well as all the other girls knew and did their best to give me little make-up tips on how to cover up the obvious. Sadly my marks were very randomly placed, the twin to the one on my left placed directly on my right hip stretching down my thigh to nearly past my knee. Since standard foundation could only go so far, I had to be very careful when choosing bedmates since that could go very bad very quickly if I ended up shagging one of Zach's followers.
Don't misunderstand; I'm not ashamed of my kind at all. In fact I've always liked being an ANGL carrier ever since I was a kid. Nothing says bugger off to those bullies trying to rob you in the lunch line like weird unnatural powers that could slam them into a wall. Course there was a price that came with it too but there is for everything. My problem was that most people especially the kind you end up with when owning and running an establishment of alcohol and sexual intentions, were neither the understanding nor tolerant type when the issue sprang up, especially if said party had already had too much to drink.
So as a sort of survival technique I started to use make-up to cover up my wings at least during business hours so it wouldn't affect the cash flow. Looking down past Casey's hand I sighed wearily at my own negligence, placing a hand over hers as I spoke out in my usual British accent. "Hmm much obliged sweet 'eart. And to answer your previous question, I doubt a nice hot fuck will solve my problem of finding a waitress." Casey simply swaggered back to the bar, laughing softly as she went back to cleaning glasses for the coming late nights. "You never know boss, things do happen! And I'm all out of your tone so you'll have to run back and get your own if you want to cover that up, Peacock."
A bit of fresh air and a long walk to clear my thoughts seemed like heaven at the time as I left her and the others to tend to early customers while I was gone and walked casually back up the street. As I walked near the pawn shop, I noticed the little alleyway just behind the fenced off yard behind the building. Curiosity getting the better of me, I wandered over wondering if it would provide a little shortcut back to my flat at the apartment complex.
As I walked by I realized just how high up the fence really did go, reaching up to nearly seven or eight feet at least. Which honestly made me wonder why exactly a regular pawn shop would require security to such an extent? A soft ruffling sound just behind the fence made me stop in my walk all together trying to peek through the fence posts closely. Soft laughter and giggles ranging at adorable sounding just behind the great gate made me lose self restraint all together and look around for some chance at a look inside. I was no accomplished peeping tom but easily found a reasonable gap in the barbed wire strung above the fence leading to a door that was heavily locked of course. Not one to be denied I looked around before settling on a medium sized recycling bin, turning it upright and closing the lid as I heaved myself up on top then stood up on my knees so I could finally peer inside the yard and my word was I definitely not disappointed.
He was flying…that being the first thing I noticed of course as I rose up and swing my legs over the edge of the fence finding appropriate balance so I could sit and watch. The kid obviously had ANGL if the large cobalt gray appendages sticking out of his back said anything and the feathers looked so soft I just wanted to touch them, not to mention himself of course. Running a night club has given me an adequate ability to tell one's age and I'd say the guy was about twenty two or three at most. At least seven years younger than me at the age of thirty.
And what a cute little blue jay he was, messy light brown hair even more windswept as he glided around the little courtyard and some of the deepest blue eyes I'd ever seen sparkling with such obvious joy and contentment I almost squealed. Almost. Instead I simply crossed my arms comfortably to enjoy the little show to the fullest extent, wondering if I'd actually be able to pull off asking the little guy for his number.
The movement seemed to capture his attention as he suddenly stopped in his little joyride and hovered looking around vigorously. I hadn't meant to frighten him or show any wrong intentions but when he finally did catch a glimpse of me, I couldn't help but smirk at how cute he looked all flustered and out of breath with his blue eyes all wide. Understanding his reasons for being afraid given the strict restrictions any of the rare cases of ANGL that could fly had to deal with and punishment otherwise, I decided some friendly conversation would work best but at the present I could only say the one thing that'd been running around in my mind since I saw him. "Well now, aren't you beautiful…"
That however did not seem to be the correct answer as he promptly landed solidly on the ground and took off like a rocket back towards the shop obviously terrified. Jumping down to clear up any bad misunderstandings, I suddenly felt an incredible heat surge up beneath me. As I looked down, I noticed with a bit of caution that a line had started to burn up in the grass scorching the ground just before my feet forming a barrier of sorts between me and the kid now standing behind a man around my age, maybe thirty five and a young woman much younger who seemed to be causing the flames, anger evident in her eyes as two watermarked wings glowed under each.
Since the kid was trembling and too petrified to speak up, the man in front strode forward like some king in a castle, the girl forming a path for him in the incinerating inferno. "Alright, alright let's all just calm down here yeah? No need to get all hasty with assumptions so I'll cut right to it." The man, obviously fluent in the language of business folded his well toned arms across his chest, each blatantly displaying great dark wings from his wrists to elbows. And I thought I was proud...
"I'm guessing you witnessed enough of our pretty boy's little special talent so I'll assume you can speak and deal in proper English like a big boy when I ask what'll it take to make you forget what you saw here?" Oh this is just too good.
Well now we're all thoroughly screwed, yup that's it. Gotta start packing our bags, print out some fake I.D.'s and maybe even a cool fake mustache somewhere along the line, always wanted one of those. I'd known from the beginning Cas went out here to fly but I never would've guessed things would turn out so badly, screwed the pooch putting it mildly. I could practically hear the kid still trembling behind Anna as she tried to multitask by keeping the flames under control and somehow calming him down at the same time. Poor kid is probably beating himself for this, which meant I had to get this whole transaction done easy and quick so it'd cheer him up again while also keeping us all out of jail.
The pompous ass seemed to like the thought of some sort of compensation from that lecherous grin he was sporting which was honestly fine with me. I've dealt with sleaze balls like him before who don't even care what happens to the other guy as long as they get that pretty dollar. What I was certainly not fine with however was when that grin suddenly traveled over to Castiel who had noticed all too soon and visibly flinched despite his oblivion to the implications as he spoke in some corny accent. "I don't want your money. Got quite enough of that already, however I'm sure we can work something out so everyone goes home happy".
Whatever that meant I didn't care to ask and was a few short breaths away from just frying this guy's brain and dropping him off at some loony bin before he spoke up again motioning to Cas who perked up at being noticed. "You there, what's your name sweetheart?" He didn't even seem perturbed when Anna's flames lashed out as she growled, hair seeming to glow red hot. "Don't you dare call him that and he doesn't have to tell you anything!" I started to get the feeling this guy wasn't any stranger to what we all had as I saw a little loop of plumage peeking out from under his jacket across his neck.
I was just about to let Anna go ahead and barbeque his sorry blonde ass for it too before a familiar dry voice rang out from behind my back. "Castiel…my name…it's Castiel" Looking back, I saw Cas rather defiant for once though his hands sunk anxiously in his pockets told me he felt at least a bit scared. The man just clapped obviously delighted by the little game he was forcing us all to play. "Wonderful darling, simply wonderful! And are you at least twenty one?" The hell does that have to do with anything? Oh you're so gone if you think I'll let you exploit him in any way-! "I'm twenty three actually…"
With that the man grinned even wider before nodding and throwing a hand up. "Then I believe good sir, you have my answer." I stood there for once in my life with no sarcasm in mind as the guy read me his demands. "The normal fine to pay for disregarding ANGL restriction sectors and guidelines for scheduled flight is around fifteen hundred at the very least. I happen to run a night club just down the way and your young lad there is very lucky enough since one of my girls just quit on me. He can wait tables for me every weekend and off nights till he can pay me back the amount it would take to pay the fine if I revealed your little set up here. Sounds fair?"
I had to sigh as Anna literally grew livid with rage, flames becoming ravenous and burning into the very earth. "You scum! How can you blackmail him like this? I can see your mark, you're one of us! Don't you have any shame at all? We're practically related by blood." Despite the obvious fact she lost her temper yet again, I had to nod in agreement at that. I'm no supporter of any sides but the gene had to come from at least one place in particular and we all branched out from that. "Oh Daddy can go fuck himself with a lead pipe for all I care love. I'm offering you all a deal and you can take it or I can hand you over to the authorities."
Ouch…harsh crowd. "Fine then…you want me to come and work for you right?" Color me surprised, I didn't think Cas would've spoken up at this point given he's usually such a shy kid around normal strangers anyways and Blondie here was just all out creepy as he seemed quite pleased to hear Cas speak up. "That's the deal sweetheart, so are you in or out?" Cas looked down for a while before patting Anna's arm gently in a silent request to pull back, walking across all the smoking scorched grass and up to the man showing some sort of bravery I'd never seen in my little Cassy before.
"Fine, I'm in as you say but I can only work late shifts since I still plan on working here at the pawn shop. You may have enough money but some of your brothers and sisters down here still need to make a living and I certainly don't want your dirty money so you can have all I earn, even the stupid tips." Both Anna and I blinked in shock at that probably just looking like two fucking monkeys as the guy raised a brow at Cas trying and succeeding in working him over for a fair deal. "That sounds just perfect love. You can start tomorrow evening from eight to eleven thirty, I'll come here to pick you up before then so I can show you the ropes."
I wanted so badly to fake a gag as he tried to throw his arm around Cas's shoulders in a friendly embrace, snickering as Cas frowned and pulled back from it staying at a safe distance. Cassy's never been all that great with the 'physical' contact part of life. "Sounds okay to me as long as you keep up with your end of the deal and don't turn in me or my friends." With that the guy just smiled and walked right past us through the door and out through the shop chuckling softly as he left. "Perfect, if you need anything else just call down to Le Petit Chérubin and ask for Balthazar, darling. See you tomorrow…"
Author's note: Well that's about it ^^ hope you all enjoyed the second chapter and dangit, Balty's a hard character to pin down. Hope I did him justice and Casey is from season three for those who are wondering. Reviews are always appreciated and I even put in some miniscule Wincest in there for any who are fans.
Chapter 3: Red Marks and White Lies
First night at the club, Balthazar is already on the rocks
Father Where Art Thou
Chapter Three: Red Marks and White Lies
Stupid cocky blonde British asshole! Seriously why couldn't Gabe have just let me burn a hole right through that guy's puny little skull? If I had, we would all be doing things differently right now. Gabe would be done with the Twilight series he bought from that despondent little teenage girl that slumped into the store last week, burn it in his wood stove like he always does then spend a good half hour laughing at the flames and sparkly vampires. I on the other hand would be happily applying the brand new turquoise eyeliner we just got in to see how it compliments my marks and sweet little Cassy well…
As if I didn't feel bad already, I know Cas is an awkward little cutie pie but even on his worst day he wouldn't be looking like well that. Even after Gabriel tried to deter him from actually going through with the deal he made with that rat, Cas just shook his head in response, jostling his messy light brown hair into even more disarray in the process. On any other day I would've smiled at the cute gesture but the rather hopeless look in Cas's eyes like he was a lamb about to be sent to slaughter only made my stomach burn with even more hatred for the douche that currently had us all under his finger. I mean seriously, how can you blackmail such a sad puppy faced little guy like that?
Okay so maybe I'm only about two and a half years older than Castiel and sure I'll even admit I can get a little hotheaded sometimes, you try having the king of practical jokes as your boss, but Castiel is like my adorable innocent baby brother. Sure he's twenty three but in a mental way of speaking he acts like he's only half that sometimes. The way his eyes will sparkle with happiness and he'll wriggle in his seat whenever we go out for cheeseburgers or just in the special way his expression lightens whenever he gets a letter from his parents,though that hasn't happened very recently.
Cas is adopted, always has been an orphan ever since he was a baby left wrapped up in newspapers on the Harvelle's doorstep. Bill and Ellen Harvelle were good souls so they took him in even after noticing the dark wings etched into his back at such a young age. They'd had bad luck in having kids up to that point so they raised him as their own, Ellen teaching him how to cook a nice stew and Bill teaching him how to land a good punch. About a year later, Bill and Ellen finally succeeded in bringing about their first child. It was a beautiful baby girl they decided to name Joanna Beth or just Jo for short. Ellen would always go on and on much to Cas's flushed embarrassment that he'd been their little good luck charm they'd wanted all along.
When Cas was ten years old with Jo only one year younger at the age of nine, the Harvelles lost Bill to a tragic hunting accident. Bill had always gone out on his own to hunt and they'd pronounced he'd simply gone out a bit too far a little too late in the evening and gotten mauled by something big with lots of teeth and claws. The cops pushed aside any rumors of it being a homicide and left it at that. Left a widow with two mouths to feed, Ellen did what she could to help raise Cas and Jo in Bill's absence.
The family owned a dusty old saloon called the Harvelle's Roadhouse which helped pay for the kids school tuition among other things they might need. After he got his bachelor's degree in college, Castiel got a job working here so he could send money and good wishes back home to Jo and his mom who both still ran the Roadhouse spick and span as the day it was built. Makes me almost laugh at the irony that little Cassy's off to work the tables at a bar yet again, normally he'd feel right at home IF it was normal that is…
Judging from the way he was just sitting there in his usual spot behind the register, staring dully at the switches and buttons told me right off the bat all those cozy nostalgic memories of he and his beloved mother and little sister working hard to get through the afternoon lunch shifts were about the farthest thing from his mind. I wanted to help, just do anything to get him out of this obvious funk. So being the kindhearted redheaded fairy stepsister I am, I walked right over and hopped onto the counter smiling as bright and cheerfully as I could. "Castiel honey, please don't look so down. I know you normally stare off into space but at least do so in a manner that won't call the grim reaper yeah?"
He kept his gaze on the register but from the way the corner of his mouth twitched, I knew he was coming around to his old self again. "And hey if it will cheer you up, I can take a peek into my secret stash of all the good clothes and find you something real sharp to wear for your first night on the new job!" Ooh wrong answer! As soon as the word job left my lips, Cas's gaze hardened into one of only anger and disdain at the sheer thought. Before I could scramble together a better sales pitch to cheer him up, Cas was already off to the races so to speak, hopping off his chair and grabbing his jacket. "Thanks for the offer Anna but I already know this isn't gonna be some bright new opportunity to earn extra tips and new friends…"
Try as I might to walk after him, I stopped when I felt a firm hand clamp onto my shoulder. Looking back I realized with not much surprise it was Gabe and to give him some credit, for once he wasn't wearing his usual signature big grin or smirk. Or if he was it was subdued at least, even with the way my boss jokes around, I'm sure he was about as enthusiastic about our little accountant going to work under that jerk's mercy as I was. So I simply bit my lip, which had been painted hot pink this morning, to keep myself quiet as Gabriel gave his final address before sending Cas off to meet up with the prick.
"You just do whatever you feel is right Cas and don't let any of them push you around. Remember what I've taught you, discounts are for chumps and those who don't tip don't go home without some ice suddenly in their pants." As per usual even in a situation like this Gabe couldn't resist not ending on a joke. It apparently did the trick though as Cas actually smiled at us both as he neared the door leading outside the great Heels To Jesus Pawn Shop before giving a curt nod in goodbye as he stepped outside into the evening air, clock reading seven thirty on the dot.
Watching him walk out and disappear behind all our bright neon signs and crinkled up old posters set against the window, I let loose the tight hold I'd been keeping on my lip for what seemed like hours even though it had been mere minutes, voice coming out in a near whimper. "He's going to okay right? I mean they can't do anything that bad to him in one night…right?" Beside me Gabe just sighed, striding forward and clicking off the neon sign hanging just beside the door flashing 'Open, Come on In'. "I walked by the place that dick talked about earlier. Seems he forgot to mention it's a two for one combo strip bar and night club. I wouldn't throw my chips in on this one but let's just hope so Anna…"
Ah life is good~ So especially emphatically undeniably good! If only the old bird who lives in the flat right underneath me didn't nag at me so mercilessly whenever I stomped around too much, I would've danced around with only the plush white bath towel I'd wrapped around my waist after my shower to hide my full glory from my poor cat who was currently hiding under the table from his loon of a master as I got ready for the night ahead. I felt bad for him, honestly I do, but seeing as how I've got an adorable new waiter and possible love interest soon to be waiting for me and a can of tuna dinner for him while I'm out anyways, I'm almost certain he'll find a way to forgive me. Besides even if he didn't, I couldn't find a reason to be upset tonight if I tried.
Casey was already filled in on all the details and if having followed my precise instructions correctly, should now be setting up a few things here and there for our newest eager little employee to do. Sure I loved looking at that pretty face but if he was expected to fill Tammi's spot, he'd have to rake in the cash flow and earn his keep as much as she did. And with his cute looks, there's no doubt in my mind he'll attract customers by the hoards. I'm not completely perverse in my intentions, sure I'll admit the kids definitely got me interested in him with the whole oblivious puppy dog thing he has going on but to be honest I've got no intention of turning him or his friends as he calls them into the authorities.
Truth be told I hate those pricks in the first place. Having firsthand experience at just how cruel and ignorant humans can be when dealing with those affected by ANGL, I have no intention of giving them any assistance whatsoever, especially not handing over my dear Cassy. Don't know why but the little blue jay's sparked something inside me. Even as I laid out the deal looking him right in the eye, inside my mind, everything I said unraveled into little white lies. For some reason even though I'd just met him and had ample opportunity to take advantage of a bad situation, I didn't want to display any ill intentions towards him whatsoever. I didn't want to hurt him, cheat him or steal from him any possession or peace of mind he had. In reality, even with my expression a knowing smirk, something inside me turned and wriggled restlessly as his expression showed nothing but uncertainty and despair. Something inside…just wanted to make all of that go away…
Then again for all I know, that was the two or three shots of near pure alcohol Casey had set me up with before I left the bar that afternoon. So with all that in mind and a distinct air of excitement around me, I pulled on my jacket along with my usual get up underneath and headed out with the clock reading seven twenty five. I nearly slapped myself at getting so happy at the chance to see him again but simply brushed it off and wore my best smile as I neared the notorious pawn shop. Even at such a far distance, I could see him right there under the street lamps waiting and wearing that same bizarre coat he'd had on before. Oh well suits him at least, besides if all goes well I might just get to see what lies underneath. I had to cast that lewd thought aside so it wouldn't affect my expression, but my smile only seemed to grow when the little tyke finally noticed me.
Even when he was seven years younger, he still somehow managed to come up to my same height maybe slightly shorter by just under half an inch. Which doesn't matter all that much, they're all the same once you've got them lying down. His light brown hair looked darker due to the low light but his eyes still pierced through the darkness in their gaze almost eerily. Given his expression and the way he was standing, it was rather obvious I'd have to use some charm if I hoped for any stimulating conversation that would bring him out of his shell. Clearing my throat, I motioned back in the direction of the club with a waving gesture of my wrist. "Well since you seem so dutifully prepared shall we get going? The night's still young after all." I was slightly disheartened at his short response of a single nod before he followed along walking beside me, but I cast it aside in hopes maybe I could learn just a little bit about him.
"In case you don't recall Cas, my name is Balthazar and I'll be your employer along with that Gabe fellow from now on so if you have anything you want to ask, anything at all, just say the word." Still nothing as we kept walking along, I know the kid's probably a little sore from the whole blackmail deal but I haven't struck out this bad since when I can't remember. I had to get him to say something though, just to at least start the night out on a good foot. "Thanks but I'd really rather just get this whole thing over with…if it's a bar I know how to do the work so just give me a job and I'll stick with it…" So my little blue jay can speak after all.
As the illuminated sign hanging from my lovely Le Petit Chérubin came into view, I found myself smiling anew all over again at the hope that I'd get to hear that voice speaking a lot more very soon. Once we were in front of the entrance, I decided to take my chances and try a little flirting before we headed inside and the poor boy's mind would probably be too overwhelmed by all my girls scantily clad in all sort of sexy lingerie for it to even process my advances. If he swung that way, it would seem like a playful flirt, if not than it'd simply make me out to be that nice boss that's very very friendly with new employees. Taking his hand to stop him in his walk, I actually took a second to enjoy the simple contact, how my palm and fingers curled just so around his.
Watching him immediately tense, my suspicions from before when I'd tried to hug him were now ratified that the man standing in front of me was not entirely comfortable with physical contact. Which is fine, I can work with that…"Look darling, I know we got off on the wrong foot earlier but I assure you I'm no evil villain. Ask any of the girls in this building and I assure you each of them will tell you that deep down I'm a fairly nice guy and perfect gentleman when it comes to manners and etiquette." I had to pause and let out a short chuckle at the skeptical look my statement had earned, Cassy's eyebrow raised high in sheer suspicion. "Now now, no need for that look. You're working for me now which means I'll always be completely truthful with you even if you don't care what I have to say. I'm hoping we can even be good friends if you'll allow it."
As a finale, I rested my other hand gently over his and looked him directly in the eye smiling in the friendliest manner I could managewithout hurting myself. Which left me at quite a loss for words as I was met with what I can only say was the most adorable facial expression and gesture I'd ever seen on a human at least since Cassy seemed to favor resembling a befuddled kitten or puppy at the moment, tilting his head to one side and staring at me quizzically. If I had planned on uttering even an 'Aw' at the cuteness of it all, I certainly didn't have time to even vocalize one syllable before I was sent stumbling off my feet and back onto a pavement.
Ever been in a fight whether for fun or good sport where neither of you are actually trying to hit the other? Since of course nobody wants to punch a good mate but of course as the laughs rise and the adrenaline's flowing there's that one jab that shoots too high and too fast and it HURTS. Sure they apologize afterwards a million times over but it still hurts and there was still that one moment where your mind instinctively feels fear, shock and overall hurt from receiving said pain from someone you cared about. Well I sure as hell did since Cassy boy apparently had one hell of a left hook, fist still extended from where it rebounded harshly against my nose. Fuck I think he broke it too, bloody hell…
Which didn't nearly hurt my pride as much as the hate filled look he was shooting me as I clutched the front of my face on the ground. "Firstly my name is Castiel, not Cas or darling or any other nickname. It's Castiel…" Okay lesson learned, he really hates pet names."Secondly do not misunderstand our situation here. I am not your friend, and by using blackmail as well as the safety of my friends at the pawnshop to force me into employment at what I can only assume from the bad joke you used in the title is a mere brothel, you are not my friend either." I had to shoot my head up at that which only caused more pain to shoot up through my nose, my club was no filthy brothel though. "Let me be clear, this is a job to me and nothing more. I do not react well to physical contact and I'd appreciate it if you stayed as far away from me as possible."
Having heard the commotion from inside, Casey as well as Lilith and Meg whom I'm guessing were the only other two unafraid of what might be causing all the noise or were just demented and curious enough to give a fuck, all ran outside. With only me on the ground and a guy with his fist in there air to be witnessed, everything processed through their pretty little heads very quickly, Casey kneeling down to take a look at my nose as Lilith and Meg both gave their own personal remarks. "Well gee Boss; the guys are fawning all over you tonight huh? Was that a flirtation I saw hahaha!" "Oh shut up Meg, Balthazar what the hell happened? Who the heck is that brat? Please don't tell me that's Tammi's replacement…"
Casey seemed to be the only one to notice my obvious discomfort, wiping away the blood that had started to flow with a clean rag as she shot me a concerned look, free hand resting calmly on my shoulder. "Got your feathers a bit ruffled there Peacock, tip your head back it's running pretty bad. Meg go get some ice before the swelling gets worse. Why did that little doll hurt you hmm?" At that I had to smile if not just a little bit as Meg wandered back inside, Cas taking the chance to follow her inside finally ridding himself of me for the first time tonight. Casey would always find some reason to see fit to worry about me. She saw some good in me but he obviously didn't. Cas said it himself, he had no desire to have anything to do with me. Seeing her confused expression, I decided to voice my thoughts in six words.Casey, unrequited love is a bitch.
Authors note: Hope you all liked it. I'll add a part two to this later ^^ but for now I hope you all enjoyed chapter three and as always reviews are appreciated. Thanks for readin })
Chapter 4: Two Blue Angels
Casey plays Cupid, only she's wearing pants...and a shirt.
Father Where Art Thou
Chapter Four: Two Blue Angels
After all the commotion had settled and Casey helped Balthazar stumble into his private office in the back of the bar for a chat, ice pack in hand, the rest of the bar staff as well as customers each seemed to settle their gaze at one point or another on the newest addition to the bar scene whom at the moment was moodily polishing the bar counter with a clean rag. Three women in particular had their sight locked onto the poor little angel, licking their lips and smirking at the unknown possibilities. One all decked out in white with long blonde hair cascading down her shoulders sneered at the intruder, biting her lip as violent implications swarmed her thoughts. Another standing directly beside her wore black leather in lewd strips that traveled in between her thighs and across her body exposing great maps of her skin to the elements as she flipped her dark brown hair from side to side, hands skimming across her hips now and then from anxiety. The last of the trio was perched lithely though provocatively on the edge of a table, violet cover up rising up over her thighs every so often with the swinging of her legs revealing a lust inducing thong as she peered at the young man with bubbling curiosity.
However even with such scantily clad women, each with their own sense of otherworldly beauty, the lad didn't even give them a second glance as he worked which irked the three to no end, one in particular to the extent that she was nearly twitching in attempt to keep herself from walking right over to him and demanding what exactly was wrong with him. "Calm down Lilith, maybe he's mentally challenged or something…" remarked the brunette of the trio, Ruby, as she adjusted the straps holding up her breasts, catching a fair amount of looks from a few customers. The blonde addressed simply snarled in response, crossing her arms and cocking her hips to one side impatiently, causing the white lacey garter on her right thigh to slip down a bit. "Oh please, if that were the case I doubt he could've sent our boss flying back against the pavement like that. Balthazar's a creep but he's no idiot. Still, I don't get why he'd hire somebody like him though…"
The last of the three finally had enough of swinging her legs from the table, sitting up and crossing her legs, smiling at the disappointed groans and whines it earned from those around her who had been enjoying the show up to that point. "Oh don't pout pretties, you'll get to see all that and more during our show tonight so keep those wallets handy~!" Meg called out sweetly before lowering her voice to address the other two, eyes trained on Cas with a grin tugging her lips. "Maybe he's gay; we all know boss man's not too picky when he's got someone tangled up in the sheets. Trench coat over there is probably some despondent past lover he conned into working Tammi's shifts tonight." Lilith scoffed and turned to face her chestnut haired cohort, pale eyes glimmering mockingly. "Just because his jaw didn't drop at your pathetic little peep show just now doesn't mean he's batting for the other team. Poor guy can probably just smell desperation is all."
Ruby mentally rolled her eyes as Meg hissed in response hopping down from her perch to glare at the blonde, Ruby stepping in between the two hoping to prevent any more conflict that night, sure she was a dealer but damn two fights in one sitting was too much even for her. "Girls, girls, you're both pretty now can we please settle down? Wrestling isn't until Tuesday night and if we give up any more freebies to these drunken slobs, Balthazar will have our asses for clean up duty until we're old and wrinkled." That earned a combined shudder from all three as Meg and Lilith both took a step back to calm down. Seriously wrinkles just…ew. Fights aside, the three renewed their gaze on Castiel who had just handed one of the first customers of the night a cold beer, tip jar jingling with the sound of pocket change as the older gentlemen took his beer with him to find a seat for the oncoming show.
"Well I certainly don't like the little twerp, but whoever he is and for whatever reason he's here, at least he's earning his keep it seems…" Lilith muttered as she figured with the zipper stretched down her back, making sure the silver clasp didn't catch in her hair, nothing ruined a good strip routine more than having to stop and adjust something during the show. It wasted time, customer's patience and worst of all money. Meg smiled as Cas seemed to finally acknowledge their stares before shaking his head, seeming disgusted with the unwanted attention. Maybe the little guy would be worth more fun than she thought, Tammi was finally gone for good so why not have a little fun with the new kid. "Yeah girls, let's not worry about our new little friend. I'm sure he'll make a lovely addition to the Petit Chérubin family, besides we should be heading in for make-up yes?"
The other two begrudgingly agreed and followed the woman backstage to start preparations for the night ahead. As Ruby followed behind she took one last look at the young bartender. She honestly doubted the boy would turn out to be a user and abuser so she'd keep her hobbies to herself for now. However there was just something a little bit off with the air that seemed to surround the kid as he worked. Then again, she relented as she finally disappeared behind the velvet curtains as the music boomed loud and sporadically behind her, who wasn't a little weird when they worked here.
"He's completely unapproachable…" I had to smile and giggle softly as the British accent of my boss's usually smooth charismatic voice took on such a dull defeated tone. He always gets like this after he's struck out pretty bad, pointing out every feasible flaw in the person in question to block out his own want and in this case obvious need. "He presents a challenge, one that can't be won with simply charm and grace, Peacock." I annunciated this with a gentle press on the icepack currently resting over his nose as he lay stretched out on the leather coach set aside in his office. "He's naïve…and inexperienced…bad luck for the club." Another droll flip of his wrist for effect. "He's young Balthazar, fresh fruit and I can tell you're dying for just a taste."
That seemed to finally get a stir out of him as he groaned and leaned up to let the icepack slip down a bit, looking me in the eye. "He obviously has a bad temper Casey, he attacked me!" At that I merely chortled and took a seat in a chair I'd pulled up next to the couch, pulling out some foundation to cover up the mark that had been revealed as the water from the ice slid down his neck, causing the tone to run and distill. "He's feisty is all, I thought you loved the ones with a little spice and from what I could tell you came onto him pretty bad chief. How many times have I told you to only buy water and sweat resistant brands?" Giving a frustrated groan he fell back onto the couch again, wincing as the movement caused pain to shoot through his face before peering up at me wearily in retort. "About six and a half now darling sorry, and even so, Cas is completely oblivious…like a damn lost puppy in a trench coat!"
My voice took a near cheery hum as I chimed in happily, "Who has found the one man that could never resist picking up strays." Shiny grey blue eyes blinked at that as my comment made its desired effect before he crossed his arms, glaring to the side in defiance. "Well this one will just have to stay wrapped up in the box on the side of the road because I. am not. Interested, Casey." He punctuated every last bit of the response as he rose up once more, clutching the ice to his face as he finally stood up and walked over to rest behind his desk, cursing at the pain in his nose. Frowning sadly I kept my spot next to the couch, letting out a sad sigh as the news sunk in, the chief really was in love this time.
"You've fallen hard for the little one, huh Peacock?" His shoulders sunk noticeably as he brought the icepack down and let it rest on his desk as he absentmindedly prodded the combined contents of ice and water inside around, eyes edging over to the door leading out to the bar. "He hates me Casey…" "We don't know that for sure, maybe he just likes it rough boss." I couldn't help the coy grin that swept its way across my face as I saw the corners of his mouth curve up in the hint of a smile at my dirty joke. At least he's a bit back to his old self again, playing the sympathetic mother hen is exhausting… I cast that thought aside though as he rubbed his forehead wearily, pilfering through the assorted work on his desk. "Bloody hell…I need a good strong drink." Hearing my call right on cue I smiled ruefully and swayed my hips a bit as I did a mock salute, walking right out of the office and back to the bar to mix my usual special for just such an occasion. "You've got it boss, a couple of Death Mixes and Dangers coming right up!"
I am in hell. That was all I could imagine as countless stares, glares, and from what I could tell of the blonde woman of questionable virginity in white, death wishes all could be felt on my person as I busied myself with cleaning up around the bar. Polishing glasses, wiping down the counter, and my current task of cutting limes and lemons into wedges and halves. I know why of course, though I doubt punching the boss of any establishment in the face would really get me encouragement anywhere.
There would be no apologies though, that was a definite among all the insecurities I felt under such heavy scrutiny. I wouldn't go back on what I did, not a bit, no matter how hurt he'd looked after I'd punched him or the nice smile he'd worn before. What he did to me, and everyone at the pawn shop was wrong and wrong deeds should be punished not rewarded. Though if I talked like that, I may as well slap an 'I'm with Lucifer' sticker on my forehead. I do believe in forgiveness, of sins and bad deeds alike. It's what my dad believed in and I'm sure the first father of all those with ANGL believes too.
That's what I've been telling myself anyways, sure though with all the unrest and torment many of my brothers and sisters have felt, it seems logically to doubt or turn away. To hunt like those on the side of Lucifer and Zachariah, who both have romanticized this vision of a divine apocalypse whether on the supposed side of the light with Zach's preaching of the pure and uninfected or on the side of darkness with Lucifer and his vast army of followers, showcasing frequent violence and murderous intent in outbreaks and riots. If not for their social and political standings, both would probably be viewed as terrorists or dictators but given the issue are seen as faithful prophets caught in unfortunate accidents and misunderstandings.
But I haven't misunderstood anything, I can see them both for what they truly are. In Lucifer's case among all the threatening campaigns and in some cases shocking and displeasing demonstrations of his plans for those clear of the ANGL epidemic, I've seen a great hole in his pursuit for a long time. An emptiness in his self or mind that's grown into a fit of psychotic rage and indifference, completely opposite to that of his opponent equal in strength, Michael who always care such a cool and steadfast demeanor, displaying that what he feels is just and absolute.
Michael is indeed a strong alternative to the dramatic approach taken by Luci or Zach. A few changes in government here and a tweaking of political and social establishments there and everyone goes home happy. Yet just like the others, his plan is one of separation and isolation. True, nobody dies in Michael's plan and no one is marked unclean but the line drawn across those with and without ANGL remains just as prominent. Even when I was young, I never wanted to live in a world where I would have to rule over others. My friends, neighbors, classmates, my mother and Jo…I didn't want that for any of them.
Maybe that's just me though, I know people have plenty of reasons to hate or resent. After being bullied for so long, one probably indeed wishes to reverse the situation and become that bully at certain times, to thrust the hammer of justice upon those who have done them wrong. It's on TV, the papers and magazines each and every day. Someone with ANGL is pushed or bullied too far and finally snaps releasing their inhuman strength and power on the culprit as well as those around them. It is a horrifying sight, not only at the sheer diversity in each resistance due to the fact that every ANGL case is different in power and tenacity but also in the fragility displayed by those attacked.
A camera whether from a professional reporter capturing the tail end of the fight or some poor soul whom had been watching those tormenting and wanted a recording of the show is panned on one with wings marked somewhere visible at times, sometimes not. It usually starts out the same, whether they're held down by others or were simply walking by minding their own business. Provoked by oncoming insults or neutral the effect is seen as a glimmer is caught by the cameras of the mark. Insults are fired, blows and kicks are made and just like that a bomb is set off. I remember two cases in particular caught on film, one was a young man in his early forties and the other a small girl that couldn't have been more than seventeen.
They aired it on every news channel and emergency broadcast, even on children's programs as if this was anything a child should ever have to see. For the young girl, she seemed to be walking home from school that day. Perfectly normal high school girl, uniform straight and orderly with books no doubt for dutiful study weighing down her bag with white blonde hair tucked behind her ear so not to obscure red eyes. The girl had obviously been born albino along with the ANGL mutation, due to the pale tone of her skin, white hair and red eyes. However, a dark wing mark appearing blacker than coal against her pale skin draped over her right eye from just below her cheek. The mark caused a second discoloration in her eyes causing the right one to appear blue. Seeing this, it's easy to understand why she would be signaled out.
The tape had been retrieved from a security camera set outside the department store she'd been walking by when it happened. A group a few years older than her approached, calling out to her harshly. The girl's eyes widen slightly in fear on the tape before her pace quickens, hinting towards the fact that this isn't the first time they'd terrorized her before. One of them circles around and stops in front of her, furiously questioning why she didn't respond when they called. She tries to simply mutter a quiet apology and slip away but one of the others grabs her hair and yanks her back as the one from before slaps her, causing her to stumble and fall. As she shakes trying to steady herself up from the ground, a girl within the group calls her a whore and tries to take her bag which causes the girl to lash out trying to yank it away.
As the struggle escalates, voices are raised and the young man from earlier tries to kick the girls wrists to force her to let go. At this, the video loses audio and focus for a split second as the girl gives a deafening shriek, windows of the department store and surrounding street lights shattering as the group that had been tormenting her fall to the ground clutching their ears. The boy that had kicked her and therefore closest to her when she screamed, writhes on the ground, screams unheard on the video as blood seeps from his ears and eyes before his form goes still with his eyes dyed red in his own blood. The girl finally ceases her screams and as the others come down from the ordeal she walks over to the woman whom had taken her bag.
The woman has seen the young man who is covered in blood now dead and is becoming hysterical. The girl hardly acknowledges the corpse as she leans forward asking once more for her bag to be returned. The woman now terrified screams at her and slaps her hard in the face, the girls eye twitching as she turns her head back before she raises her hand and snaps. The absent audio made it only appear a mere movement between her fingers as the women's form suddenly explodes into mere pieces, blood spattering the camera's lens. This action became known as smiting, an ability held by most infected by ANGL that through a very small concentrated gesture could completely obliterate someone into nothing more than kibbles and bits as Gabe put it.
Painfully bad humor aside, it sent out a message of terror and panic across the nation which led to the next incident surrounding a riot at a political rally held by some of Lucifer's followers in Billings, Montana. It was the usual set up that came along with Luci's campaign rallies, one higher up in his army speaking out to the dedicated masses and somebody gets pissed which in turn gets three more pissed before there's a full blown riot outside the exhibition center.
One man in particular, the one in his forties lets loose what can only be described as a blatant display of destructive power, winds rushing around him like a typhoon and flinging cars, debris and even people through the air. The police and special units are called in and all you can hear is gunfire, screams and the near inhuman roars of the man as he lashes out at those trying to restrain him like a wild animal. Finally after at least five men have managed to hold him down, one slips a syringe into his neck, drugs tranquilizing him quickly as his pupils dilate onscreen.
So with all these as a reminder, I can only imagine why people must feel the way they do, ANGL or not. Yet I'd still go to church every Sunday one way or another, I'd listen to the preaching and teachings of the first father of angels. And I'd sing the hymns and pray in silence like anyone else there. It helped me feel a part of this world, a part that was meant to exist.
With all the booming obnoxious music ringing through my ears here, there was little of that peace left in my mind as I finally dared to cast a glance up once those three women had been staring at me slunk back behind the curtains surrounding the lit stage. The place was decent enough I suppose, stylish even I might admit if I wasn't in such a poor mood. Dimly lit stain glass lanterns were suspended from the ceiling all along the bar area though more stage lights appeared once one got near the stage. Subdued red and gold tones were the main theme of color for the place though there were a few violet undertones here and there.
Since it was still pretty early in the evening, the bar was pretty empty except for a few regulars here and there. I found myself hoping it would stay that way as a tall scraggly man approached the bar ordering a Long Island Iced Tea. I still remembered most of what mom had taught me about mixed drinks as I threw the order together fairly easy, the glimmer that flashed by the man's watery dead eyes not going entirely unnoticed. "Hey now…you're new around here. Got a name for yourself sweetheart?" He slurred out in what I suppose he thought in his drunken stupor was a seductive voice though in reality it sounded as if he was speaking with a mouth full of molasses.
As I placed his drink in front of him, I looked up as emotionless as I could but expectantly so he'd at least get the point he still had to pay. "My name is Castiel, and that'll be six fifty thank you." I turned back to my work as he muttered a string of curses at the price, fishing some money out of his pockets and placing it down on the bar. Taking it up and placing it in the register, I was slightly confused when I saw he'd stayed put instead of stumbling back to his spot amongst his drunk friends. As I looked up to ask if he wanted to order something else, my expression dulled in bewilderment at the lecherous smirk he had on his face as he worked a few coins through his fingers over the jar designated for tips.
"Since you're new and all, I bet you'll need all the tips you can get. I might be persuaded to give a little if I receive something back if ya know what I mean." I blinked at that as he delivered a barely subtle wink, tilting my head to the side in confusion. "I..I do not know what you mean…" The man seemed oddly surprised by this even though to be fair he made no earlier attempt to inform me of what he'd intended by that comment. Chuckling weakly as he rubbed a hand through his dark curly hair, he looked back up at me before leaning across the bar. "Aheh…you're a little slow aren't ya fella? Well what I meant was if you give me a little sugar I'll leave you a little tip so we both have a sweet night."
Nodding finally in realization, I dug around the cabinets in search. Honestly he could've just said so in the first place. With that I plopped down a dusty packet of granulated sugar on the bar counter tapping the tip jar pointedly. "This should be more than enough sir, enjoy your sugar." The man merely looked at me like I was some sort of pink ostrich speaking Spanish before his gaze turned more angry than confused, fists clenching against the counter. "You're screwing with me aren't you…? You've got some nerve playing around with the feelings of a well paying customer!" Tilting my head a bit more, I was still utterly confused at the cause for his anger.
"Sir you did ask for sugar." I remarked dully, since these random outbursts were starting to get a bit tedious. "Yeah! I meant a kiss or something, space case." "Well then be specific, we have enough here to make a Goodnight Kiss, Creamy Kiss, Kiss In The Dark, Kiss From Ruby, Strawberry Kiss, Caribbean Kiss, Kahlua Kiss, Passionate Kiss, Perfect Kiss, Vampire Kiss, Raspberry Kiss, Irish Kiss, Angel's Kiss, Arctic Kiss, Sicilian Kiss…" The man's eyes took an odd turn again as his mind fogged by alcohol couldn't seem to form a coherent thought as I rambled out multiple mixed drinks though none of them seemed to fit the one he meant.
A sultry cackle interrupted us both as a woman more swayed than walked behind the counter with me, dark eyes catching that of the man in front of us both like a mouse in the path of a snake. "Richie baby! If you know what's good for you, you'll lay off on that undeniable sexy charm of yours around this one. The boss man's got his sights set on the little guy." Richie as he was apparently known, did a double take as the brunette gave him a seductive smirk, leaning over the bar counter so a bit of cleavage was revealed from the red tank top. "Casey hey good to see ya! Balthazar's got dibs on him huh…? Very interesting…"
Due to my explicit lack of well…chest, my presence seemed completely benign to the man now that his focus seemed set on anything and everything just below Casey's neck. A fact which Casey seemed to know very well, as she swayed her body just so, red tank top flowing along her body like water, "Uh huh Richie so just be a good boy for me and scamper back to your friends alright? The ice in your drink's melting and I know just how you hate watered down alcohol." Richie now thoroughly under her spell as it were, nodded dumbly before walking back as if in a daze, Casey laughing quietly in response. "A little free advice on the ones that hit on you or try to grab ya too badly. Just lead them towards more liquor or one of the girls and they'll be putty in your hands.
I recognized her now as the woman who'd rushed to Balthazar's side so quickly after I'd punched him outside the bar. She seemed pretty close to him from the way they were looking at and talking to each other so I was suspicious to say the least, frowning and returning to my earlier task of cutting the limes. "That's all I'd have to do huh?" She slid over so she was standing beside me before grabbing a beer, vodka, coke syrup and grenadine syrup, replying to my retort with a smirk. "No, that's just the beginning…"
Pulling back a growl that threatened to fall from my throat, I looked down and noticed with a dully raised brow that throughout the conversation, my hands had worked as I'd willed them to, cutting perfect even wedges and halves out of all the limes and lemons though this seemed to catch her attention from her current task of mixing two drinks, one concoction in a mug while the other in a shot glass. "Wow, for a pawn shop cashier you're pretty good with a knife. Got any more secret talents I should know about under that trench coat?" She annunciated this with a waggle of her eyebrows which I will admit got a small smile out of me. "None for you Miss Casey, my dad was a hunter so I've known how to use a knife and shoot any target from at least twenty feet since before I could crawl."
Casey nodded and smiled giving one man who'd walked up his order of two Coronas before going back to mixing the two drinks smiling at me as she worked. After a few minutes and very little conversation between us I decided to bring up what had been irking me since I'd recognized her from before. "Hey Casey…" "Mmm yes Cassy dear?" She all but purred fluttering her eyelashes and making me balk in response before I chuckled dryly. "Sorry to disappoint you but that sort of thing won't work on me…and I was just wondering if you're mad or hate me for punching your boss…"
She neither spoke nor did much of anything for a solid minute before cocking her hips to the side, giggling softly. "Oh no, you can rest easy on that one. I'd never waste my time or looks on something as frivolous as anger. Hate maybe but getting angry never solves anything." As she said this the music, changed in beat as a few girls finally walked out from behind the curtains onstage, earning hoots and hollers from the men sitting below as they began the show. With a flick of her wrist, she motioned to the blonde who had been glaring at me earlier now falling back along the stage in a graceful stretch, thighs parting to reveal the creamy white shorts barely covering her hips as she moved to the music
."See her? Lilith's been working the stage and bar here for as long as it's been open and even with all her fire and fight, she's never once snapped at a customer. She's cold and elusive and the guys eat that up. Course the blonde hair helps too." I raised a brow as one man in particular cried out something explicitly perverse at her, making Lilith's pale eyes grow wide in fury before she simply tossed her head in indifference dancing to the beat. "Why though? She doesn't seem the exact type to exercise restraint…no offense" That earned me a few points from Casey as she snorted from laughter and let loose a series of giggles nearly spilling coke syrup as she lined the shot glass with it. "Oh she isn't by any means Cas, she just knows it'd be a waste of time. Not all strippers are stupid, in fact most here are nearly or just as clever and intelligent as our boss. Maybe even more in some cases."
Clever….Balthazar, in the same sentence…nope not possible. As I shook my head in obvious disbelief, Casey smiled taking that as a heads up to continue with her introduction. "Now the brunette in the black leather getup is Ruby. If you want to leave this place with minimal scars, I suggest you stay away from her." The woman in question was swaying her hips to the drum and base beat, leather straps snapping and sliding across her torso and chest like long luxurious black whips as she gave a dangerous smirk to the audience. "Why though? She doesn't seem like she'd be the one here that bites." Since everyone was currently entranced by the displays of skin and sin, hardly anybody was walking up to order drinks at the moment so both Casey and I had a chance to settle back as we talked. "You'd be a hundred percent correct Cas, but it's not her bite that's dangerous. It's the venom that will kill you."
Still utterly confused, I tilted my head at the statement which made her only smile and bring a hand up to her cheek. "Oh so adorable baby, lucky for you young man I'm already taken. But since you seem a little lost, I'll explain." Suddenly without me even realizing it, Casey had somehow gotten behind me and was tugging down the collar of my shirt and jacket, pushing herself up on her toes so she could peek down under my shirt at my back. "My my, you are a pretty boy. Much prettier than Balty's at least." With that I stumbled forward, clutching my coat over my back again as I fumbled around the bar for the knife I'd set down earlier before she held my wrist calming me down. "Easy Cas, we're all friends here okay? I already knew about your wings and I know about Balty too."
Stepping a good three feet back, I made sure there was plenty of distance between her and myself as the blaring music drowned out our discussion from prying ears. "So what's your point? You going to blackmail me too?" Confusion settled in anew as Casey merely blinked at my comment before going into a fit of giggles, leaning back against the counter. "Hardly, I'm sure you'll figure out fairly soon there's a lot more to this place and me than just a simple nightclub Cas, now pay attention. It's rude to interrupt feminine company." She emphasized this with a saucy pout before resting her arms on the bar as her gaze wandered back on stage.
"Ruby is a drug dealer of sorts but she'll dig into her buyers much more than just one simple addiction. She makes them need her, not just her drugs, so even if they try to kick the stuff she'll always bring them crawling back." I looked back shocked at Ruby who suddenly appeared much more lethal than before, black leather stretched along her body now reminding me more of a cage some poor addicts would never be able to break free from now. As my gaze seemed to linger a bit too long, her eyes locked onto mine and she flipped her hair over her shoulder, giving me a smile that came across far too sinister. "Her drug is distinctly unique as well, no other dealer out there makes them like she does so take my friendly advice and just stay away from her Cas, you'll be better for it believe me."
Soon lots of hoots and hollers filled the air as the woman who'd been smiling at me before pranced onstage, violet shawl that had been covering her form flapping behind her like a cape, Casey sighing wearily in response. "And now Meg of course…how could I ever forget." As if sensing conversation pertaining to herself, Meg looked up and smiled sweetly at them both, Cas in particular as she shed her cover up to reveal what I suppose was a cross from what Gabe referred to as a monokini. "What's so bad about her?"
Casey sighed and set the product of her hard work on a tray, the contents of each drink sloshing slowly around in their glasses, showing just how heavy and thick the mixture of alcohol truly was inside which I'll admit made me flinch. He'd really put himself through that over what I did…? My thoughts were interrupted though as Casey caught my stare set on the drinks and smirked as I turned my head back to the stage hoping she wouldn't press that issue further. "Meg's daddy is one of the biggest fat cats running the ANGL representative Lucifer's campaign. Meg is just as bloodthirsty as he is but for whatever reason the two despise each other and do whatever they can to set the other back a few spaces."
This probably confounded me most of all, fathers and daughters were supposed to love each other right…? Dad always hugged Jo when he got back from a hunt… "Whatever for though? He's her father, doesn't he have a problem with his daughter working at a night club as a stripper?" Looking over as I said this, I realized with a bit of disgust just how much Meg seemed to love her job, gyrating her hips and giggling at all the oohs and ahs she received. "That's the thing, both of them have been making subtle gaps in each other's lives since Meg was in high school. After all, nothing ruins a girl's chances at college like when daddy freezes her assets and what better way to smear a campaign manager than to have his daughter sell herself for money? It's an endless cycle…"
As I finally managed to look away from the stage and back to my work, I realized with a raised brow that Casey was regarding me with a humored look. "I like you Cassy, not nearly as much as my Gil but enough that I'll give you a little tour around here so you'll know how to defend against the vipers onstage and off if you need." With that she led me over to the shelves and pulled back one bottle in particular, revealing a can of mace. "Very pricey bottle and the booze tastes like piss so since nobody ever orders a glass, we keep this here…" After she'd revealed to me the bat directly under the counter, a revolver kept in a locked drawer just under the cutting board, only bartendersand the boss got a key apparently, and playfully remarked all the cutting knives were stainless steel for a reason, I had to chuckle giving her some credit. "So you're almost like a siren here huh?" "A what now Cas?"
I'd always been a bit of a bookworm to begin with so I've gotten used to the frequent event that someone doesn't know what in the name of Jesus saves Christmas I'm talking about. "A siren, they were women with the bodies of birds that lived on jagged rocks and isles on the sea. They'd sing beautiful music to lure sailors close only to crash their ships into the rocks and sink into the deep. You're pretty much the same except this bar is your rocky isle and I suppose your well…breasts sing enough on their own to lure in some wayward sailors." I smiled as that got a big laugh out of her that not only seemed to surprise those dancing onstage enough to stare momentarily but even Casey herself as she quickly regained composure. "Hmm guess my boss's feather brained antics are rubbing off on me then huh?"
And so we were back to him again…The look on my face must've said enough as Casey tried to get back to where we were. "Sorry, sorry, humor isn't exactly why I keep this job ya know." I just nodded and kept my gaze down, utterly confused and conflicted as Casey rubbed her temple letting out a weary sigh. "Look…Castiel right? I really am sorry Balthazar forced you into this and especially in the way he's done it but believe me when I say as long as you work in this bar, nothing will even harm one hair on your head." Blinking in disbelief, I finally looked up at her in shock. "You mean you'd fight beside me like that even if people found out about-?….you know." At this Casey gave a saucy smirk and a wink, "Oh heck no baby, Gil would have my hide if I didn't come home at the end of the day. Besides from what I've seen, you can handle yourself pretty well…I was talking about the boss."
"He cares a lot about his employees, even if some are total bitches to him on a regular basis. But most of all he really likes you Castiel, more than I think he even realizes yet." As much as I wanted to turn my head and simply deem it untrue and move on, I looked over at the near toxic concoction she had mixed up for him earlier, color of the mix dark even in the lack of light. "Of course he does…like he said before, it'd be so…great if we were good friends right?" Idly as I could, I reached out prodding one of the glasses curiously, wincing as the substance slowly seeped back to its original place. "Hmmm no Cassy, not like that. Balthazar isn't the type to simply have acquaintances but I'll leave the manner of the relationship up to you. However," She annunciated this by turning the tray so the drinks were far from my grasp, "I'm going to give you the choice to decide right now."
I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat as she took both drinks from the tray and set them in front of me. "You can have me deliver the boss his poison here and trust me, with these he'll have hangovers for days." I couldn't help the grimace that spread across my face at the thought as a brief memory of my dad bowled over in bed and groaning in pain from a particularly bad night of drinking as Mom rubbed his back feeding him some Tylenol crossed my mind. But Balthazar wouldn't have someone like mom to take care of him back home I bet. "You can leave it at that, let him drink himself into a stupor and have you both end up just like Meg and her dad, hating each other's guts and always wondering what if, Or you can take the road in between."
"In between…? I…I have no idea what you're saying…" I admitted morosely as I kept my gaze on the cash register as I set yet another man up with a beer. "I'm saying I realize you can't completely forgive him for what he's done since there's just no fun in that," at this she grinned earning a smile from me. "But you can choose to humor the poor British bastard at least and give him a second chance. If you do end up becoming friends, or hey just regular boss and cashier that's up to you. But your slate would be wiped clean of any fault on your part, just a regular good Samaritan." With that she replaced the drinks on the tray and moved to leave the bar walking back to the small office she'd come from earlier.
But he tricked me, blackmailed me and my friends…but I did hit him pretty hard and he looked hurt.. he's an ANGL just like me and Gabriel and Anna…so he's dealt with that just like the rest of us for his whole life. and from his marks he probably didn't have the option of easily covering it up… Without me even fully realizing it, I'd stopped Casey just before she left the bar, hand placed lightly on her shoulder. "Hmm? So have you made your decision Castiel?" Not trusting myself to talk, I grabbed both drinks from the tray and emptied them into the sink.
Looking past all the numerous bottles of alcohol on the shelf, I grabbed what I was looking for and an iced highball glass and set to work, Casey watching curiously. Once the coke, cream and Frangelico were mixed evenly over the ice, I dripped just a dollop of Blue Curacao on the top. Due to the drink's over all density, the little blue droplets stayed put on the top and formed a small ring in the middle of the mix. Casey gave an impressed smile as I placed it back on her tray, "Interesting turn on an old classic Cas, you know your alcohol better than I thought." I looked down at the minimal change I'd accumulated in the small time I'd been here to give me something…rather anything to do than speak any more on this issue. "Just tell him he's got one more chance so he'd be best not to ruffle my feathers anymore."
With that, Casey merely giggle and pushed past the bar and back to the office, tempting and teasing those sitting around her as she walked with the sway of her hips. "I'll be sure to deliver the love note sweetheart so hold down the fort while I'm gone!" Humph…A siren indeed…
After what nearly seemed like a century, the slight whine of the hinges and snap of the door swinging back shut rung through my ears as a sign Casey had finally returned with my much needed drink. "It takes you that long to mix two drinks darling? I have a right mind to have your bartending license put up for questioning." Her amused chuckle brought a light smile to my face as I removed the ice pack once more from my nose, thankfully the swelling had gone down a great deal. "Hmm sorry Peacock but see I was just having the most wonderful chat with our new help." Cas…and Casey…talking, well this can NOT be good. "Oh? And what new fascinating things did you learn other than the fact he'd very much rather see me smite myself?"
A soft clink resounded as she placed not two as I ordered but one drink and not either of two she had mentioned earlier. "He's not all black and white, Balthazar but you have done a fair share of damage this time I'll give you that." Ouch…why does it smart so bloody much knowing it's him that I've hurt…yet it doesn't matter if he'd hurt me. "Despite his plain, oblivious front he puts up, he's very fragile and easily spooked on the inside. He needs someone to look after him while he's around here." Rolling back from my spot on the couch, I crossed my arms as I sat up letting the icepack fall from my lap onto the upholstery. "So why don't you do it? You two seem to have become great friends-BUGGER THAT SMARTS!"
I jumped back against the couch after Casey had leaned forward and merely tapped the bridge of my nose, touch causing unbridled pain to shoot through my skull. "None of that attitude with me Peacock. You know I only work weekend shifts here and Cas is even offering you a chance at this. Just look at your damn drink" Since pissing off a female bartender much less Casey was not very high on my list, I peered down once the pain subsided and regarded the drink in front of me curiously, this is certainly not Casey's work. Bringing it up to my lips and taking a sip, my earlier guess was confirmed as the drink bared a sweet and creamy taste with a sour undertone from the Blue Curacao, nothing like the usual hangover inducing knockouts that Casey would fix me up with. "What is this…? Did you make it..?"
A shake of her head and a rare soft smile left me bewildered and shocked by her answer. "Nope, that right there was all Castiel. I've got to hand it to him though, he's got potential and judging by that dreamy look on your face when you drank it, you think so too." My stomach wasn't tied in knots, no head trauma or toxic liquid filling my lungs either, so Cas had made me a drink without poisoning it or loading it with enough alcohol to knock out a fully grown elephant either. "Why…? He hates me-" "No, he doesn't chief, not yet at least. He's giving you an opportunity here to show him you've got some good inside so don't waste it. Be honest and sincere with him and he'll do the same." As she moved to go back to her duties at the bar, I picked up the glass again, the blue ring now distilled in the cream making it out to look like some sort of blue halo. How ironic of you Cassy, my little blue angel
As Casey opened the door, she threw one last look at her boss before she left and smiled resting the tray on her hip. "Oh and if I were you Peacock, I'd move fast unless you want him whisked away by someone else who fancies him." As she said this, Balthazar caught a glimpse of Meg peering over at Cas from her position on stage with the familiar glimmer of want in her eyes as she gave him a friendly wave which Casey did not have time to note was emphatically not returned. What she did notice however was the possessive scowl that had taken over her employer's expression as Meg disappeared backstage. Even more so the soft gleam of fondness his eyes took as his gaze rested on the small ANGL working the cash register just across the club as Casey took her leave giggling in anticipation. Yup it was fun playing Cupid.
Authors Note: So now we all see why I have rated this fic M for good reason, sorry folks but the setting IS a strip bar as well as a night club after all. Cookies to any readers who recognize Gil in Casey's babblings before from Season Three and Richie as well. Meg's dad will come back later on and I hope you'll all be surprised ^^ and by the way the drink recipes used by Casey were Death Mix and Danger. Castiel's is a traditional Satin Angel but I added the Blue Curacao in for some zest. Anyways reviews as always are appreciated and I hope you enjoyed. Auf Wiedersehen
Chapter 5: Mixed Sigils and Bad Connections
A lazy afternoon spices up when the radio breaks down. Meanwhile Balthazar works to make amends.
Father Where Art Thou
Chapter Five: Mixed Sigils and Bad Connections
Despite everyone's fears and diffidence down at the good ol Heels to Jesus Pawn Shop, Castiel returned to work the next morning eight 'o clock sharp like always with little to no scratches or newly acquired prison tats, gang signs or tramp stamps as Gabe threw out the moment the poor boy walked in. After receiving a reprimanding slap from Anna who got Gabe's tongue stuck out at her immediately following the smack, things returned to a comfortingly normal pace as the sun rose to a sweltering afternoon. As the rickety old electric fan spun dexterously over the three with its inner mechanisms squealing in protest, Gabe kept his usual spot in his comfy recliner by the now dormant wood stove as Anna sat happily behind Castiel enjoying the rare treat of grooming his wings.
Anna despite her best efforts had never been able to manifest wings like Cas and Gabriel despite the hours she'd spent in relentless concentration and training to do so. Even with Castiel's endless reassurances bless his heart, that her fire based abilities were twice as astounding as some silly feathery appendages sticking out from one's back, she still felt small pangs of jealousy whenever either of the two men she'd worked with for so many years finally let loose their great wings with a resounding whoosh of air and fluttering feathers. So getting to touch and comb her fingers through said extensions was the next best thing, in her opinion at least.
Due to the fact that wings were not all too common among those infected with the ANGL gene and as such were not a thing that was openly accepted when let out in public, the overlapping feathers and bone structures were extremely sensitive to touch. Some people were more sensitive than others but it was certain among all that to touch another's wings was an extremely intimate process, one only to be allowed to those whom the winged ones trusted most. Castiel indeed had a hard time trusting most but Anna was always very kind, motherly and patient with him so when she had come forward the first time and offered to help him clean his wings, the proposal was graciously accepted.
Cas's own negligence to clean and preen his wings was hardly ignored during times such as this. It wasn't that he didn't like his wings or was too lazy to do it himself. Castiel was very fond of his wings and their shadowy luster, very much so and even enjoyed running his fingers over the surprisingly soft plumage on the right occasion. However due to their surprisingly impressive size and span he had a hard time reaching certain places along the upper most arch of his wings. So all of this led to a time such as today where Castiel had been rather anxious and tense from his previous night and Anna had been all too eager and happy to oblige.
"Cas I'm starting to worry. From the looks of it, if you don't pull those things back in soon Anna's gonna wet herself like some swooning fangirl." Gabe remarked with a snicker over the scratchy static impaired music projecting throughout the store from the dusty ancient radio resting atop the highest shelf near the register. Anna indeed had an expression of near elation as she carefully and gently worked on smoothing out the very tips of Castiel's wings, marveling at how the dark hues took such a silvery tone near the very edges of his wings while their shade grew much darker near the arches and joint at which they met Castiel's back. Since she was far too taken with her current task to bother snapping at Gabe for the childish jab, Cas took the chance to peer over at his boss curiously, head tilting to the side at the unknown term. "Fan girl Gabe? I'll agree with you she seems a fan or admirer of sorts of my wings but isn't she a bit older than the age dependent term girl?"
Gabriel only laughed all the more at his darling little cashier's query as he fished out a new book to read from the towering stack he'd made against the chair. Seriously this kid was too cute sometimes… "Just a modern term of convenience Cassy dear, think nothing of it." Castiel simply nodded, favoring a chance to return to his work rather than decipher the puzzling term that moment, a flare of pain shooting through his expression the next as the feel of a feather tugged loose shot through his back. "Anna! Not so rough!" Normally Cas wasn't so short but when it came to his wings he found it hard to reign in certain emotions, pain being one of them because againsensitive. "Sorry! Sorry Cas, I was trying to get a knot out." Anna replied apologetically.
Truth be told, despite the numerous times Castiel had assured both her and Gabriel that he was indeed unharmed from his first night working off his debt to that jerk down at the bar, Anna couldn't help but suspect he was keeping something in the dark from them. Something had happened last night, she could just tell. Maybe it was the way he not too begrudgingly stated he'd be back there again tonight for another shift that would run even later than last night! I mean seriously it's like he WANTS to go back! No, it had to be something else right? Maybe that Balthazar guy had hit Cas over the head with a wine bottle or drugged him or something. Dammit all Gabe's talk about roofies from earlier was finally starting to get to her. Well either way it smelled fishy, even with Castiel's reassurance it was simply for the purpose that the sooner he amass enough money to pay back the debt, the sooner their transaction would be complete so of course he'd be taking as much work as he could.
The biggest reason for Anna's suspicions though was for the very event leading to her being wrist deep in numerous soft plush feathers at the moment. Earlier that morning as they were just opening up the shop, Cas had come to her himself and asked if she could tend to them for him that afternoon. The reason for this to be suspicious? On the rare occasion Anna was ever allowed near either her fellow employee's wings, she had to offer the service up personally out of respect and simply common etiquette. Since you don't just walk up to anybody and ask them 'Hey can you clean these giant feathery things sticking out between my shoulder blades?' And yet on this monumental occurrence, Castiel did just that though not as up front, since again this is Castiel here. When Anna had summoned up enough courage to question why, her only answer was that he just thought it'd be nice to have them in proper shape.
Anna wondered offhand if that Balthazar guy had wings too as the focused her attention on the very utmost curve of Cas's wings, fingers working dexterously. Bet if he does they're really tiny, she thought and tried to hide the smug smile that crossed her face as Cas looked over his shoulder at her before going back to tend to the register again, the shop becoming filled once again with the sounds of the upbeat compositions filtered in through the old sound system. Gabriel had lost, or torn off as Anna frequently protests, the tuning nob that could synch in and out with different radio channels at least three years back so the only choice the three had for music was the classical network. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and now at the moment Grieg.
One of Gabriel's personal favorites too, In The Hall Of The Mountain King hummed and bounced with violins and great drums throughout the store. Castiel and Anna couldn't help but chuckle as Gabe hopped out of his chair and started prancing around the store like some sort of deranged ballet dancer, twirling and doing grande jétés through the rows of shelves. Gabe's own substantial grin radiated from his face like some sort of gleeful star as he stood on tip toes, swinging this way and that being mindful of the merchandise. Just as the big finale approached in the song, a loud earsplitting screech filled the room as the small light on the radio flickered weakly then died out with a low droll of the music coming to a stop earning a combined groan from all three of its listeners.
"Dammit Gabriel, I told you that box of bolts was no good! What are we supposed to do now in this heat without any music?" Anna angrily remarked with a loud smack of the brush she'd been using on the register counter, brows knit in irritation. Despite the fact the summer heat was obviously taking its toll on Anna's already short temper along with the pitiful air conditioning blowing through the shop, Castiel had to agree with her. The heat was one thing entirely but having to bask in the sweltering sunlight breaching through the windows without any sort of outlet for distraction such as music was different. "Oh pipe down Red Hots, I'll fix it okay? Connection's probably just a little wonky again, that's all." Gabe sneered as he hopped up onto the counter and heaved the dust covered radio from its resting place on the top most shelf. Once on the floor, he blew all the dust and grime away so he could at least see his prized radio that had been so poorly put into question. "This model is a classic with at least ten more years left under its belt. No way on this sweet earth it's quitting on us now." Humph classic, prehistoric is more like it Anna thought with a neon orange painted lip upturned in a somber pout.
All three heads perked up suddenly as the all too familiar drone of the phone ringing filled the store room, a rare occasion indeed given they hadn't got a phone order in ages. "Not it" Gabe murmured through clenched teeth as he held the detachable radio antennae locked in his jaw, screw once keeping it connected to the radio in his hand as he tinkered endlessly with the old box radio. Before Anna could even rise on her call to act, Cas had already let out his own "Not it" in an equally dull bored tone, wings folding back to let her aside to answer the call. "Gah darnit…man I always have to do this!" She whimpered as she hopped down from her seat and sulked back through the shelves following the obnoxious drones and rings of the store phone shaking in its receiver as if ready to jump up on its own to deliver the call with which it had been given proclaiming 'Answer me! Answer me!'
The two left at the front of the shop continued their activities all the same even as Anna's voice rang clear as a bell with the usual ploy both she and Cas had been given to say when answering during business hours. "Heels to Jesus Pawn Shop, where all prices are final and merchandise span from fun to lethal. How may I help you?" It could have been another normal day just like this. Castiel was at his designated spot behind the register, pushing a button or a lever now and then out of boredom. Gabriel had now resorted to simply hitting the side of the radio occasionally then trying the On switch to see if his physical efforts had paid off in bringing the poor little black box to life again. Even had a killer Fritz impression to do when and if the thing ever did come back on, Gabriel muttered to himself with a grin as he shook the faulty radio again listening to the contents inside as if he were some sort of kid trying to decipher his presents the day before Christmas, though I wonder if the pillow up the back of my shirt would be in good tastes. "You do realize Frye didn't actually deliver that line, Clive did." The trench coated cashier speculated quietly though he knew by now it would do little good as his boss had already dissolved into demented chuckles.
Now the shop hardly ever got any calls regarding an actual business transaction. Aside from the spare prank call, Gabe actually guilty of a few himself, and a wrong number here and there it was especially rare that they'd receive a call of any particular significance. And even if there were to come a time when someone asked about a certain item or wanted to donate to their inventory, Anna would always simply write whatever was discussed down and relay it to the other two once the call was finished. So when Anna came forward once more with a look of perplexity and slight apprehension on her face, phone still clenched in her hand, both men knew something out of the ordinary was definitely afoot. "Anna what is it?" Gabriel asked actually placing the radio back on the counter as he straightened up to overlook his employee. Biting her lip, Anna's eyes flashed over to Castiel whom had looked up from his work with a near painful curiosity before she directed her gaze back to her boss holding up the phone. "Somebody called for you. They say they're your brother."
Soon as the word left her lips, the radio was up and in Cas's arms before he'd even realized Gabriel had gotten up as said man took off like a rocket towards Anna taking the offered phone from her grasp as quickly and harmlessly as he could. "Must be a wrong number then. Castiel I need you to take that down to the auto shop and see if those two grease monkey brothers can get it to work. Don't take no for an answer." That was it, no sarcastic comment or grin to go out on. Gabriel simply took the cordless phone and walked quick as he could back through the store to the courtyard outside, Castiel watching him in disbelief as Anna quietly went back to her spot behind her counter, wading through a box of mothball ridden fur coats and scarves. "That's peculiar, I did not realize Gabriel even had a brother. I wonder if he's an ANGL carrier like him." Cas commented mostly to himself it seems as Anna continued sorting through all the poorly patched up and ratty garments near the bottom of the box trying to work the conversation away as quickly as possible.
"He has three brothers Castiel and you'd be best to not mention this again okay? Bossman gets rather cranky when it comes to family talk. Anyways," She punctuated the statement by bringing out her notorious tackle box from underneath her shop counter, "You gonna deliver that piece of junk now? Business is slow enough that I could probably hold down the fort till you get back" She remarked with a smile as she popped the lock open at the front of the box, lid snapping up to reveal endless varieties of all kinds of make-up, nail polish, hair clips and berets. Anna had amassed quite the impressive collection during the course of her employment at Heels To Jesus. Whether one wanted their toe nails painted chartreuse one minute and hair dyed purple the next, Anna was an all time expert and supplier no matter what the beauty emergency was.
Castiel had to agree with her though, the number of customers today had greatly dwindled over the last few hours and with the harsh heat it was highly doubtful they'd get any other stragglers at least that afternoon. "Sure, seems logical to me. I've never been to the auto shop too, could be interesting." As he slipped out from his spot behind the register, picking up the radio from where Gabe had so hurriedly replaced it earlier and heading for the door with one last wave to Anna. "Look out for the younger brother who works there okay Cas? He's trouble though his big brother's always been kind of cute."It was strange to hear such hostility from Anna even if it was towards someone he himself had yet to meet but after receiving a caring smile in goodbye he made his way out of the pawn shop and down the street, radio under his arm.
It was especially sunny as I walked down the few blocks that were left between Heels to Jesus and the auto shop just down the way, tugging my jacket around my shoulders as I walked. To see the many odd looks and stares of those decked out in shorts and t shirts as I walked by in my much favored coat was amusing I have to admit. Maybe it's because I'm an ANGL carrier or perhaps just due to the fact I wear this thing so much but despite whatever weather we have outside I've never known myself to take it off due to the heat no matter how great. Don't get me wrong, I do sweat from time to time, profusely even. However wearing coats in the summer has just never been a problem for me; it's strange I'm sure but true.
Either way I've grown quite used to becoming the spectacle that I commonly inherit around this time in the summer season. Most appear to believe there's something terribly wrong with my psychological state, a few mothers having even gone far enough to pull their children closer to them as I walk by. Seriously it's not like I'm some sort of pedophile and I'm only twenty three, I just do not understand how some humans can be pushed to believe the absolute worst about someone by the manner of their clothes. I for one like my jacket. Very fashionable and hip as Anna is always cooing when she's fawning over her fashion magazines.
Soon enough though I came to stand just a few feet from the alleged auto shop Gabe had mentioned earlier in his command. A rusted metal sign reading Singer Auto Salvage hangs on chains from tall iron gates open at the moment though a heavy lock hanging on the door of one side clearly stated once closing time came around the place was off limits, no exceptions. A rambunctious combination of voices rang out from just across the fence I'd been hiding behind just inches from the gate where I'd been observing the sign. "Yeah! Suck it!" one voice rang out very loudly and confidently not nearly making me second guess my decision of coming as much as the next one did, though deeper this time coming from someone different. "I'm fucking gonna…!" Though my face clearly showed my obvious discomfort and mortification at such crass language, my feet kept moving of their own volition, apparently finding my boss's wrath more of a threat than any sort of life scarring trauma filled event I was soon to walk in on.
Fortunately enough, it seems Dad was watching over me as I entered the dirt covered grounds of the auto shop to find a rugged looking man of average height with short very light brown hair hunched over a small TV set on the porch of the small shack besides the twin garages that were used in most of the repairs. There was some hospital soap opera on the screen, I've never exactly been a huge fan of TV programs, I've always preferred books. The man did not seem to agree though as he appeared completely enamored with the actors in ridiculously white doctors garb in a hospital where apparently dropping bad jokes and painfully obvious sexual innuendos was set as a higher priority than tending to the actual patients in need. "Take that Dr. Wang! That's what you get for trying to steal Dr. Sexy's heart complication love interest!" This man has a very odd habit of talking to fictional characters, I couldn't help the thought that circled my mind as I tilted my head confusedly at the sight before looking around for someone to help me that at least didn't talk to pixilated actors on a TV screen.
Looking around, I noticed a pair of feet connected to very long legs sticking out from underneath a dent covered '67 Chevy Impala and as I neared the thing, the sounds and repetitive curses stringing out from the man underneath told me the voice was the second of the two I'd heard before. "C'mon dammit…I'm fucking gonna ditch this junker in the nearest lake one of these days I swear Dean!" I barely dodged the wrench that flew out from underneath the car, landing with a clink right beside my feet. The scuffling of my shoes against the dirt seemed to give away my presence though as the legs and feet went stiff for a moment before a oil stained and sand dusted man with wavy brown hair tied back by a red bandana slid out from under the car on the creeper he'd been resting on to peer up at me, brown eyes focusing on my face under the glare of the sun. "Uh…Hello." I uttered giving a curt nod to him, radio now in both my arms in front of me. The man simply blinked for a minute appearing perplexed for a minute before standing to his full height, giving me quite the shock as I now only came up to his chin at most.
"Hi I guess…?" He replied as he looked me over questioningly, and I'll admit the stare down was making me a bit uncomfortable. "That is still the proper term now right? Sorry, I don't get out much and I rarely watch TV." My reply seemed to relax him at least enough that he finally smiled and patted my shoulder, walking over in the direction of the man still conversing with his soaps on the porch. "Yeah people still say hello, and its fine. Kind of guessed that from your coat, you know its summer right dude? an hey don't put yourself down over that. Watching a bunch of TV is hardly something to be proud of, right Dean?" Merely receiving a short grunt and rather colorful hand gesture from the man in question, Dean apparently, the tall stranger sighed wearily and ran a hand through his hair tightening the bandana keeping his hair out of his eyes before returning his attention to me. "Sorry about him, he just really…really likes his soap operas." Another smile from Sam and this time actually words from the man parked in front of the television though rather loud at that. "Dr. Sexy, M.D. is not a soap opera, it is a romantic sitcom!"
The taller of the two chuckled in response before offering up a conceivably oil and dirt free hand, smile returning to his face as his gaze met mine. "Sam Winchester by the way and the man on menopause over there is my older brother Dean. Nice to meet you." Taking his hand, I recognized that Sam was incredibly strong thanks to his work as my hand became caught in an iron like grip. "Castiel Harvelle, pleasure's all mine." Amusement flashed through brown eyes at the mention of my full name, Sam smiling and seeming much more comfortable now that introductions had been established. "Interesting name, sounds biblical and dude that almost rhymes! So what brings you to Singer's Auto Salvage?" The news that someone was moderately fluent in biblical terms brought me out of my shell as my expression visibly lightened, bringing my arms up to show the dead radio resting there. "Well it's got nothing really to do with a car but well…see I work down at the pawn shop and our radio just up and died on us. My boss Gabriel said it could be fixed and you were the men I should ask to do it so here I am."
Taking the radio from my outstretched hands, Sam looked it over front and back and set it on a work bench nearby, whistling once he got a closer look. "Damn, Gabriel wants this fixed? I've only seen a couple of models this old and one of them I think was in a museum!" I sat down across from him on the bench as he scoped out his work, nodding in agreement since I have very little doubt Gabriel would even think twice of using such a thing instead of paying full price for a new one. "Yes well my boss is well known for his…thrifty habits regarding money." Laughter sprang up from the tall mechanic as he carefully unscrewed the back cover of the radio using a screwdriver, eyes going wide with slight apprehension once he caught sight of the unfamiliar and probable decades old technology. "Hahaha thrifty and you work at a pawn shop, that's a good one…Er… sorry Cas I hate to do this but this thing is way beyond my department. Gonna have to ask Dean on this one."
With that he looked over his shoulder at the man whom had stretched out along the ragged couch set outside near the TV, eyes still trained avidly on the screen. "Dean! Turn off that crap and get your ass over here! We have a customer." Although I'll give the man credit for picking up the remote and turning off the box of flashing lights and pictures, his next action of giving his younger brother a very bored green eyed stare and turning around on the couch to nap, I merely assumed, was a little less than admirable. "So? If it's just a little electronics repair, you'd be the one for the job Sammy. Show off your Geek Squad smarts." Sam gave a frustrated sigh and took the apple he'd had set in his toolbox, perhaps designated as a snack later, and chucked it harmlessly over at his lazy brother.
The apple sailed fast and strong through the air, hitting it's destined target which had been the back of Dean's head at the time earning both a surprised grunt from Dean and a satisfied grin from Sam as the shorter of the two finally rose from his spot on the couch and stomped over. "Alright, alright I'm up! Just keep that pansy rabbit food away from me." I smiled and did my best to appear friendly to the new face as he joined us around the radio, Dean giving me a once over before looking back at Sam. "He's the one who brought it in?"
Sam nodded and smiled at me reassuringly despite his older brother's suspicious glances in my direction. "Uh huh, Dean this is Castiel Harvelle. He works for Gabriel down at the pawn shop so play nice okay?" Dean sunk down onto his knees already turning the radio this way and that, hands prying open the back masterfully while being careful of the connecting wires. "Mhmm, nice to meet ya Cas. Sorry you have to work for that winged monkey though, tough break man." The thought of Gabe in one of those ridiculous bell hop suits and caps flying around while chittering like some demented spider monkey oddly enough seemed completely believably in my head as a short laugh passed through my throat.
Though it probably sounded more like a cough both men seemed steadily confident now that they'd gotten a laugh out of me as Dean used some pliers to figure around inside the back compartments. Since I didn't have much I could do at the moment, I looked around the auto yard surveying the area. It was an intriguing place in the eyes of one like myself who hardly knows anything about cars trucks or tricycles for that matter, numerous parts, tubes, tools and other like objects scattered around in boxes and piles in the garages, near the shack and against the gates. A huge somber Rottweiler sat asleep next to a weather ridden Ford pickup truck that had been parked next to the gate about three feet from the entrance.
As I walked up to the dog to pet it however, I noticed with a wary glance that the dog was kept on a heavy iron chain that had been tied to the fence, a good fifteen feet left on the chain so the dog could run from his spot to ward off trespassers if needed. A low growl met my ears as I took a step back realizing with sincere concern I had woken the dog from its slumber. "Don't worry about Rumsfeld, Cas! He's a big sweetheart once he gets to know ya" And perhaps rip out my liver if I don't but I cast the thought away quickly while thanking Sam for the warning and got down to the dogs level, offering up my hand so he could get a scent. "I deeply apologize for disturbing your nap. It was terribly inconsiderate and you seem like a very nice dog."
Rumsfeld as the tag on his collar read, kept me in a heavy stare judging my movements before giving my offered wrist a careful snort then a slobbery lick before delivering a rough bark of approval as his head sank down between his paws to sleep once more. I couldn't help but smile at the prospect of yet another knew friend as I rubbed the dog's neck gently before standing up again to wander around.
"My dog's a good judge of character, you passed the test son." Hearing a hearty laugh and the sound of gravel crunching I turned around to see an older gentleman in a wheelchair whom had apparently come out of the shack where I'd seen Dean earlier at the sound of the dog growling. As he approached, I took in the dusty dark green trucker's cap, worn jeans and cotton shirt with a friendly smile and a hint of nostalgia. Guys like this frequented Mom's bar almost every week back when I lived and worked at the Roadhouse. Some would just meander there for an afternoon or evening, swapping stories while laying back with a beer and some fries then never seen from again the next morning. Others would find solitude in the bar and find a place of their own in the area, becoming regulars at Harvelle's and getting a new home and fresh start to boot.
The man came to a stop not two feet from me with the squeak of breaks and scratch of the gravel against the wheels, staring up at me under the brim of his cap. "Bobby Singer son, but most here just call me Bobby. Got a name for yourself? S'alright if ya don't, everybody's got their own pasts and I ain't one to go snooping around." Sam looked over and smiled at us both, Dean still too heavily enamored with the world of wires and bolts to really give a damn as I smiled and offered up a hand in greeting. "I do, Castiel Harvelle. It's nice to meet you Bobby, and yes I'm glad your dog likes me as well." Once I noticed my hand was still covered in dog drool I quickly tried to remedy my blunder by pulling it back only to have it locked in another death grip as Bobby's raucous laughter echoed across the yard.
"Harvelle eh? You wouldn't happen to be Ellen's boy would you? And oh don't worry about that, Rumsfeld gets slobber on everything from the doorknob down around here." At the mention of my mother's name I perked up immediately, smile flashing across my face almost instantly. "You know my mom? Oh and yes I'm Ellen Harvelle's son, well adopted that is." Bobby nodded and turned himself around so he could see both the boys and me as we talked. "That I did, good to see another Harvelle man around these parts. Although I'll admit I haven't been down to the Roadhouse in a while, your ma was always very nice and upright with me, knew your dad too." The way his head ducked the moment Dad was mentioned, I couldn't help but sag a little in my posture remembering many of our bar patrons bared the same look when news of the accident got around. "I'm sorry son, he wasn't always around cuz of his hunting and all but from what I could see he was a good man and a fine husband to Ellen. I hope he was a good daddy to you and your sister too."
Smiling at the kind words, I straightened up once more and shook myself of any sad thoughts drudging up my mind. "It's alright, Dad died doing what he loved so I'd like to believe he passed away happily, and yes he was a great father to me and Jo." Bobby smiled back though his a bit more rugged than mine admittedly due to the gruff stubble lining his chin and jaw. "Well good, that's a healthy way of thinking about it Cas." Given the awkward circumstances after this turn in conversation, I was aching to change the subject to something other than myself. After all he said he knew both of my parents, I have no idea how much or how little hereally knew about me.
So with a tilt of my head, I turned my attention over to the vehicle which Sam had been perched under earlier which presently had become a roost for some overheated grackles whose shrill cries had roused Rumsfeld once more from his sleep. "So are you three fixing that one up for a customer? Looks pretty worn out…" Bobby tilted his head back and tilted his chair back so he could turn and have a look, offhandedly dodging Rumsfeld's chain as the hound suddenly took off trying to snap at the obnoxious birds. "Oh that old thing? Nah, that's Dean's Impala or his baby as he calls it. Got it from his daddy on his sixteenth birthday and he hasn't driven anything else with wheels since." Dean having heard the dog barking looked up from the radio and no sooner was off like a rocket across the yard, arms flying this way and that as he yelled at the birds, "You lousy sons of bitches! Get the hell of my baby! I swear I'll Kentucky fry you AND your children if there's one drop of bird shit on my car!"
Sam on the other hand took the opportunity to simply laugh at his brother, earning a bird of his own from Dean's right hand as he used the other arm to scare off the grackles that cawed angrily at him for disturbing their roost. "Even if that idjit has to push that clunker in here some mornings, he's never even once called a cab though I can't say the same for Sam over there. The thing's dead at the moment so he's been holding up here until he can fix her." Bobby grunted as he leaned down picking up a bare branch that had fallen away from the many that hung over the yard fences from the trees.
With a weary sigh Bobby heaved the branch up over his head then threw it at the flock of grackles that had risen up and surrounded a now outraged Dean, pecking and pulling at his hair, face and jacket as the man batted frivolously at the angry feathered beasts. With a crunch of dry leaves and series of loud startled squawks from the birds, the branch hit its target causing the birds to recede from their furious victim who just so coincidentally got hit by the flying tree bark as well. As the grackles took off soaring high and far away from the salvage yard, Dean finally seemed to rouse himself from his attack to wave a fist at them all, sputtering curses out as fast as his lips could form them before letting out another yelp as Bobby's voice rang loud in his direction. "Dean quit cussing out them birds! We have a customer here and his folks are old friends of mine so hop to it!"
Dean gave a short grunt and dusted himself off before sauntering back over to the work bench. "Hate to break it to ya Cas but this thing is a lost cause. For one thing it's beyond ancient so spare parts are gonna be a bitch to find. Secondly this thing is so old it still runs on tubes which are broken by the way so those would have to be replaced along with a faulty capacitor and I don't even know where to begin to search for things like that." So exactly what my now cranky boss is not going to want to hear, I though glumly as I sat back against the hood of the Impala, shoulders slumped. "Are you sure there's absolutely nothing you can do to fix it…? Please Dean that radio could cost me taking out trash for a month if I go back to my boss empty handed."
A look of empathy flashed through Bobby's eyes at the sight of me slumped sadly against the car before his lips pressed into a firm line as he wheeled himself over to join the boys at the bench. "Dean c'mon let's give it one more old fashioned good try for the boy, seems he's in quite a bind if we send him home." Sam nodded in agreement fixing me with a concerned look as Dean's gaze alternated back and forth across all three of us before throwing up his hands as the other two joined him around the radio. "Hey man I'd like to help out Cas as much as you guys, but no matter how much of a sad puppy thing he's got going on, this thing is too far gone even for me." The three continued their mechanical banter as I pushed up fully so my weight was supported on the hood, hands pressing against the shiny black exterior.
As I listened to the three where somehow the conversation had turned to pie and Dean's weight, a low buzz started to fill my ears. It started off soft but increasingly grew louder so much that at one point I started to tilt my head from side to side irritably. Maybe a fly or something flew into my ear…but even after I'd brought a hand up to check I found nothing. Looking up I wondered if the other three were hearing it too only to be turned down yet again as all three men continued on with their arguments completely unperturbed by any sort of interference.
Suddenly the buzz turned into a shrill shriek that tore through my skull like a freight train and as I brought up my hands to cup my ears, the car started to radiate heat underneath me. The shriek turned into shrieks and squeals joined in a chaotic chorus assaulting my ears as the burning heat from the car got hotter and hotter until finally it became too much and I slid off the hood into the sand and dust clutching my head, one hand falling back against the grill to support my weight as the shrieks became so loud in my head it was painful.Gah shut up! Make it stop…hurts…just make it end already!
Then slowly but surely, the sounds died down into a low hum then roar and the purr of an engine coming to life echoed throughout the yard as the Impala came to life, headlights beaming just behind my arm that had come up in defense as the car's cassette player blasted out AC/DC. My head suddenly clear of the distilled fog the sounds had caused before, I rose to my feet just in time to notice my little case of head trauma had finally gone noticed by the three men now facing away from the radio looking at me and the car in bewilderment. Dean the first to act ran right across the yard to the car ignoring an obviously shaken me and turning more of his attention towards the readings and meters behind the wheel through the drive's window as Bobby and Sam came over a bit less sporadically than the shorter one, Sam's face mirroring Bobby's own concern towards my breathless appearance.
"Hey Cas…? Everything alright man?" Sam said as Bobby helped me get straightened out, even offering me a drink from a small silver flask stored in his shirt pocket. Neither one to ingest liquor at two o' clock in the afternoon nor very keen on whether what just happened was ANGL related or not, I politely declined Bobby's offer as I adjusted my coat blaming it all on the heat. "Yes I'm quite alright Sam, thank you. Just a heat stroke it seems, I really should do my best to stay hydrated more often."
Finally back from his checkup on his baby, Dean stepped between Bobby, Sam and I and gave me a skeptical glance, wiping oil stained hands on a clean rag he'd kept in his pocket. "Heat stroke my ass, what the hell did you do to my car dude? How did you get it to start huh?" Feeling three pairs of eyes trained on me, inside there was panic, there was fear and there was worry. Gabriel said he knew these guys but I have no idea what their opinions were on the ANGL epidemic and more importantly those infected.
I didn't want to lose any of the new friends I had acquired here later on if they found out I'd lied, but I also needed to get the radio fixed or I'd face Gabriel's trickster wrath. Hmm which would I rather not endure, Winchesters…or Gabriel… "My apologies Dean, I became rather bored while awaiting your joint decision on my repairs so I figured around with the car a bit to pass the time. I hope you are not too dreadfully upset with my blunder." Yep Gabriel wins every time, though the fib seemed to do it's desired effect as Sam let out an impressed whistle and patted my shoulder in congratulations, nearly sending me off my feet in the process. "Blunder? Cas are you kidding? You just gave us a miracle! We've been tinkering with this thing for days and didn't even get one peep out of it and now she's running smoother than the day she was made, good job man!"
Laughing in disbelief, Sam hopped into the passenger's side to crank up the music as Dean still stared shocked at his beloved car now up about once more. Since everyone seemed caught up in the excitement, I decided now would be my best chance to leave before anyone could ask too many questions, giving Bobby a friendly tap on the arm as I walked back out. "I've got to be heading back to the shop now but it was nice meeting you guys. I'll try and stop by after one of my shifts next week." With one last smile and a nod of acknowledgement from Bobby I turned and exited Singer Auto Salvage, trying my hardest not to look back as I felt a wary stare locked onto my retreating figure, Dean's green eyes narrowed in suspicion.
Sammy honked the horn for about the umpteenth time since that weird cashier had somehow gotten my baby to start again as I watched Cas leave for who knows where with his trench coat flapping behind him in the summer winds. Bobby rolled up next to me, chuckling to himself as he wiped the sweat from his brow. "Boy's got the magic touch, too bad he's working for Gabriel or I'd hire him on the spot as a new mechanic. We could always use another set of hands around here…"
My only response was a short grunt as I searched through my jean pockets, knowing it was probably just another jibe at the fact Bobby thinks I spend too much time fixing my own car instead of actual customers'. But seriously when you have a little brother whose sole purpose seems to be ramming your poor baby into houses and dumpsters, wouldn't everybody? Oh yes sure the ghosts will always be the first to blame but ghosts aren't gonna pay to get your headlights replaced and a new paint job.
My current fears were renewed however as I retrieved my keychain from my back pocket, car key rolling to a stop between my fingers. "Whatever he did to my car, there was damn sure nothing mechanical about it." I brought up a hand motioning for Sam to pop the hood, and hitched the thing up so I could take a peek at the engine, Bobby looking at me bewildered before making sure his flask was screwed shut as if he hadn't heard right. "What are you going on about now Dean? Sounds like yer just sour that you couldn't fix her yourself this time around."
Still hunched over pipes and valves I'd mended with my own two hands so many times before, my eyes centered on the one empty space I'd been searching for. "What I'm going on about Bobby is that this thing's battery has been dead for a full week and I haven't even gotten any juice from cables. On top of that, this thing has no spark plugs. I took them out yesterday to get them replaced." Realization flashed over both Sam and Bobby's faces as Sam finally hopped out of the passenger's side to take a look inside at my left with Bobby wheeling himself up on my right. "So this thing shouldn't have able to go for two minutes at most…or at all for that matter. The hell did Cas do…?"
Shaking my head I closed the hood and checked all the meters behind the wheel once more, Sam still frozen in thought in front of the grill. And wouldn't you know it everything's crystal, mpg's straight, full tank of gas, no check the engine lights blinking, completely off the radar. "Sammy I think the real question here is what the hell kind of pawn shop cashiers do you know that can do this?" Neither of us really wanted to answer that question so we did what we'd always do in a situation like this, both of us looking towards Bobby for an answer as I pushed the keys into the ignition and turned the engine off with a soft huff of exhaust.
Bobby rubbed the back of his neck and tipped his cap up to look at us both, eyes moving over to the car before he turned and rolled back to the shack whistling softly. "Well boys, it's like I told Cas we've all got our secrets and I still ain't one to go snooping around… but if you're really that curious then I'd suggest you get the rocks out of your shoes and get to work fixing that radio. Might just help ya find your answer." And just like that Bobby vanished back into his shack with a squeal of the door's rusty hinges, both Sammy and I getting the gist of what he meant. "So…," Sam murmured tugging the bandanna I'd given him down to shake his hair loose of dust and sweat, "How do you change a busted radio tube?"
Okay so question, how exactly does one apologize for invading personal property, blackmailing associates and owner of said property and then afterward forcing one adorable puppy faced trench coat wearing associate in particular to work at your bar to pay the debt off then hit on him? Damn that's a lot to put on one singing telegram, though honestly some despondent lounge singer knocking on that pawn shop door to serenade Cas with an apology would probably do me more bad than good on making amends with him. "Alright, alright how's this now? Castiel I'm sorry for forcing you into my employment over the social security and possibly lives of you and all your friends then expressing an interest in you romantically afterwards, think we can start over?"
My cat Felix merely stared at me unimpressed from his spot on the kitchen counter and gave a small yawn as he stretched out his limbs rising up from the space he'd deemed adequate enough to sunbathe in that morning. "Yeah I know…s'not very good is it…?" I murmured sullenly as the lazy tabby strutted over and rubbed against my shoulder expecting to be petted. My god I really have hit rock bottom…thirty years old and here I am asking a simple housecat for relationship advice. Running my fingers along orange striped ears, I went over my current options left at this hour with the clock reading three fifteen in the afternoon.
Well obviously I'll lose my bloody mind if I try to simply say it out loud, and Cas wouldn't likely even want to wait around to hear me sputter out some jumbled excuse for an apology anyway. "I'm no good with writing notes so a letter's out of the question as well..." I mumbled now to myself more than anyone else as I rested my head into the dark safety of my own folded arms on the counter racking my brain for some sort of solution to my problem. Felix now quite put out at the sudden loss of attention hopped down from his spot on the edge to come to a halt near the couch, pawing for something just underneath the seat cushions.
Since I was facing a moral dilemma at the moment, I didn't care too much whatever it was he was searching for as I closed my eyes in continuous deep thought. However deep thoughts are rather hard to come by especially when a certain cat has become quite taken with head butting my leg. Try as I might to ignore the gradual shoves, my current short temper from this whole Cas mess finally got the better of me as I reared my head up to regard my suddenly very needy feline companion. If only Cas could rub up against me like that, bet he'd look adorable in a collar maybe even with a little bell fuck what the hell am I saying! "What? What is it that you could possibly want now, dear?"
Looking down I was met with one green eye peeking up at me and a small rather bratty meow as he batted one of the few tinker toys I had purchased for him to entertain himself with during my late hours at the bar up against my feet. It wasn't anything too extravagant, just one of those small plastic caged balls with little beads and bells inside that would jingle and make all sorts of fun little ruckus whenever he rattled it around. A buck was all it had cost me on a routine trip to a local gas station but it had become his prized possession from a doting master nevertheless. Something so simple, so arbitrary but unknowingly just the inspiration I had been looking for the entire day. "A gift! God I'm stupid why didn't I think of it before, you brilliant spoiled cat you!" Laughing joyously, I took the ball up and tossed it down the hall with a blur of orange fur dashing after it.
Okay so new plan, all I had to do was to find a suitable gift and just give it to the boy. It was perfect, that way my chances of ruining it through conversation were brought down to a minimum and if I played it out right I'd be completely in the clear as far as ulterior motives go. If he liked and accepted the gift, it would merely be seen as a friendly gesture of apology with no obvious romantic intention involved whatsoever. If not, I could merely pass it off as a welcoming present for a new employee at the bar.
Only question now was what to get someone like my feathery cashier. It was still pretty early in the evening and an excellent opportunity to go window shopping since the stores wouldn't start closing till about six so after grabbing my keys and covering up my mark, I headed down the block to see what I could find.
Whatever I got, I wanted it to be just right so I had to be careful about any purchase. After all even if he flat out rejected the gift and ended up throwing it in the trash, I couldn't bear to get him just any old cheap dollar store trinket. It had to be perfect, enticing to the eye, intriguing, everything he appeared as to me. So with all this circling around in my head, I set to work looking throughout every shop and store around the street. "Clothes?" I questioned to myself as I passed by the familiar men's boutique. "Hmm no that won't do…"
As much as I'd love a chance to dress the little doll up, or more preferably undress; hey I'm a man and I do have needs after all, I'd seen enough of him in that peculiar though not particularly unflattering trench coat to see that he was clearly a one look kind of guy. "Candy…?" I took a peek at the many chocolates, cakes and other sweets on display in the bakery window while passing by. No, though the chocolates I made a mental note to save for later on, I couldn't risk the chance of getting something he might become ill from. After all it was very common for those who are infected with the ANGL gene to carry numerous allergies and eating disorders depending on the person in question.
Though I have to admit from the drink he'd so kindly made me, it seems my little blue angel had a fondness for sweeter things. Jewelry seemed a pleasant worry free alternative so I stopped in front of the store window to see what they had to offer inside the large glass cases. "Can't get a ring, too risky, and the watches here are absolutely garish. Who even wears brooches anymore? There has to be something here I can use to say I'm sorry…"
A great booming laugh carried over to me from the next shop followed by a hacking cough as the screen door leading inside opened with a sharp creak, revealing a moderately old man with olive-brown skin and a light gray dusted beard as he hobbled out. "Sounds like you've got some love troubles again son. If you step away from all that dandified silverware and have a gander in my shop, I'm sure we could find some pretty flowers for your lady friend." Everyone meet the town florist Joshua. A bit of a local relic, anything that there is to know about plants and gardening, Joshua has heard it all and knows all you'd ever need know when putting something in the ground and expecting it to flourish.
Despite the fact he's won awards for his vegetables, sells cans of his fruit by the dozen as soon as they're ripe enough to pluck off the branch and had his floral arrangements grace some of the biggest social events and celebrations held year round, he's a very old fashioned guy. He mostly keeps to himself and if not for the fact I've had a history with the man since I was a child, I doubt he would even be opening his door to me as he was now. Still I had to admit, I had a rather soft spot for the old man inside my heart. He could be as dirty minded and witty as he was able to grow a cherry tree in a dry climate which he did quite well if his annual cherry blossom festival he held in his back lot said anything.
"It's not exactly a lady I'm fretting over this time Joshua, though I may have need for your uncanny gardening services yet again. As long as you don't drool on me old man, clean jacket you know…" I retorted with a grin as I sauntered into the botanical shop that smelled distinctively of dried fruit and sawdust. With another husky laugh that turned into a small cough, Joshua circled around the counter to settle down in the carved wooden stool resting behind it. Joshua was just as capable a carpenter as he was a gardener and florist so everything in the shop from the shelves to the stools he'd crafted with his own two hands. Better that than any of that IKEA nonsensehe'd always say. "I'm not too old yet to not bend you over my knee Balthazar. Oh, so it's a boyfriend we're dealing with this time huh?"
With a small grunt, he heaved a huge leather bound journal up a drawer underneath and let it fall with a thud onto the countertop. "Boy or girl, I'm sure we can find whatever you need to getcha sailing smoothly again so what's he like? Roses? Orchids? Please tell me he's not another daisy lover like that last chick you dated from Rome…" He said giving me a hard look as he quoted my exact words from my love struck rants of the most recent fling I'd had a few months earlier to which I held up a hand in defense. "Hey I've already admitted dating Veritas was a total cluster fuck on my part, no need to rub it in…" I replied almost pouting as I focused my attention on the catalog in front of me to escape this particular subject.
"You caught the girl snacking on your bag of cat food man! If that doesn't spell out STAY AWAY in bright red letters, damn I don't know what will. Least you got free before she started coughing up hair balls." Laughter exploded from both of us at that though mine was partly subdued; all cat jokes aside that chick really could get her tongue anywhere. "Alright alright my freaky exes aside, I honestly don't know what he'd like. Fuck I hardly know anything about this one other than what I've been feeling." As soon as the word feeling passed by my lips, Joshua's expression turned serious as he took a pen and paper out. "Oh so we're not just looking at some possible fuck buddy this time? No friends with benefits kind of thing or whatever it is you young people call it."
Shaking my head, I chuckled softly as I leaned down to rest my weight against the counter, eyes seeming to take an odd gleam without myself even realizing though from the look on Joshua's face as he glanced at my expression I'm sure I must've looked high or something. "No…no he's nothing like the others. As of right now things are beyond tense between us and all I want is a chance …for us to be different, something, anything really. Hell normally I'd call myself bonkers for saying it but I would be perfectly happy if we just became friends, nothing more." I shook myself from my dazed thoughts of deep blue eyes and fluttering gray feathers and straightened up to rest an elbow on edge to support my head. "I've done something terrible to him and after what happened the other night, I know I've only got one shot to fix it and I want…no I need to do this right Joshua."
The old man had been jotting down a few notes with a spare sketch here and there, probably possible arrangements, but the scratching of his pen against the parchment slowed and then stopped all together as he set it down to look at me. "Is he…you know, one of us…?" He asked almost in a whisper, deathly quiet as he shrugged his shoulders, secretly motioning to the folded wings plastered darkly over both the utmost tops of his shoulders with tips running just a bit further from the deltoids. I only smiled in response and gave a small nod, picking up a can of plant food from one of the shelves so to anyone else who may have glanced over at the shop from outside would merely see a man questioning the owner about a product as I confessed to him the true reason I needed to apologize in the first place.
Joshua is an ANGL carrier just like me or Castiel. He's never been one to agree with any of the political debates rising up at present though his beliefs spanned more towards the idea that anybody who's anybody or ANGL could just keep it to themselves and respected groups and people could get along perfectly well. Honestly we've never settled on that but it's a mutual agreement to agree to disagree. The way Joshua has with plants I've observed may lie in his mutation of the ANGL gene. He just has this eerie ability of knowing what each plant wants, when it wants it, and how much it needs. Almost as if he can talk to them…
Little shop of horrors aside, Joshua nodded his head before rising up to walk back to his workshop stationed at the back of the store through his greenhouse. Vines and foliage of all sorts and kinds covered the glass walls causing the radiant sunlight that shined brightly through the glass to take a distinct green tint all throughout the space wherever we walked. Using my knowledge of past trauma, I made sure to stay on the cleared path Joshua himself had walked through between the large mounds of soil spring forth rivers of leaves and stems rather than stray into the darker corners of the greenhouse.
One of the biggest secrets to Joshua's gardening success has involved his work in botanical crossbreeding through which he can gain the fine characteristics of two plants in one hybrid. Due to this fact however, he receives plenty of unwanted attention as he calls it, a pestering scientist here and a heckler reporter there and even a few sparse break-ins. However both the scientists and the reporters can at least determine they got out unharmed save for a few bruises from the old man's cane or door on their way out. Robbers who were brave enough or just plain stupid enough if you ask me, to raid his greenhouse? Not likely or we just haven't found them yet.
Finally clear of the old man's vast jungle, we entered an entirely new chaos known as Joshua's wood workshop. Here is where Joshua has crafted nearly everything from birdhouses to benches and barstools to coffee tables. Wood of every kind and grain is stacked up far and tall across his work tables in the far back with tools lining the ceilings and walls. Sneezing from the numerous clouds of wood chippings and dust lining the air, I stared up at the old man befuddled on why exactly he'd brought me here. "Joshua old boy, you know I'm always fascinated to hear about your newest exploits in making mobile homes for your tomato plants but how is woodshop 101 going to solve my problems with apologizing to Cas?"
A loud clunk interrupted my thoughts as several large wooden blocks were dropped in front of me, each varying in grain and appearance, Joshua already setting to work placing tools and knives directly across from them. "If you really want to make up with this boyfriend of yours and do it right then you'll do no better than to make it yourself. I hardly trust you with any of my saws," He gave me a pointed look at that to which I tipped my head back indignantly pretending to be shocked he'd accuse me of such a thing, "So whittling the boy something will be the next best thing and I think it'll do you a lot of good."
My jaw nearly dropped at the suggestion and my voice sadly came out sputtering and weak as I followed him around the room. "Whittling? Joshua have you gone mad? I can barely move the couch in my office without getting a splinter much less carve something recognizable from a block of tree bark!" A sharp thud rang through the floor boards of the shop as the old man set his cane down hard between his feet so similar to when he'd scold me for stealing apples from his gardens as a child. "You think I don't know that? Now just like you've burdened that boy with toil and labor and conned one of your own kind, you're going to take up a little bit of burden yourself. So pick your punishment Balthazar." Tapping each block he'd set on the table, his voice took a stern tone from its normal good natured rasp. "We've got Basswood which'd be good since you're a beginner. It's very light with a smooth easy grain to work with."
Nodding in defeat, I took up the block he'd motioned to turning it around in my hands to give it a good feel. It was nice just as he said, very light and pliable but deep in my heart I felt it just wasn't right not for my blue angel at least. As I set it down in its previous spot, Joshua nodded and moved down the line pointing me towards ash, pine and maple but nothing fit. I was starting to become greatly discouraged, I mean who was I kidding? I've hardly done any woodwork in my life and now I expected this magical block of tree trunk to just fall into my hands and help define my feelings for someone I hardly knew so completely? God I'm an idiot…
Just as I was about to raise my hands up in surrender and merely walk back to the jewelry store for some shiny trinket, Joshua opened up a drawer and pulled out a block of wood baring a deep red brown hue with a rippling grain reminding me of cascading water or a flickering flame. The old man smirked as he caught the look of intrigue in my eye before handing it to me to get a good feel. "Honduras Mahogany, straight from the Caribbean Islands. It's become very rare and nearly endangered over the years so I only have a small supply."
"Is it easy to work with?" I asked turning the piece around in my hands; it felt solid but also distinct in its weight and texture. Joshua chuckled at the expression I held and set some tools inside a small work bag consisting mostly of whittling knives, chisels and some sand paper. "It's a little intermediate for someone like yourself but if that's what you want I'd be happy to give you a few pointers to make it easier." Yes, it was perfect and the idea that was already coming together in my brain fit the block's size just right. This was exactly what I wanted for Cas. "You've got a deal gramps, but I'll still be ordering a small bouquet from your selection."
Josh merely laughed and handed me the spare bag of tools, getting out his notepad to jot a few things down I'd need to know. "Atta boy, always happy to help one of my best customers! So when will you want the bouquet in huh? and I'm guessing you'll want it delivered to your bar." Nodding my head, I slipped the block into my jacket, taking the tools in hand as I followed Josh back to the front of the shop. "Yes the bar will be fine and it will be a customized set so I'll call in when it's time." As I made my way out to return to my flat giving one last glance at the old man, Joshua smiled and waved goodbye. "Will do, good luck on the woodworking son and I expect all the details on how your little schoolboy crush takes it!"
With the swing and snap of the screen door behind me, I shook my head and chuckled softly on my way back home. Still I couldn't help but feel a certain anticipation at his words as my mind wandered to tonight. If I played it out just so, I'd finally get some alone time with my little blue angel to straighten things out at last. Maybe I'd even get a chance to learn a few things about him, the thought bringing a smile to my face as the keys slipped into the lock with a click and I entered into my home once again greeted by Felix sitting near the door with his ball nearby, visibly put off at the delay made in his play time earlier from my sudden leave of epiphany.
Tail lashing back and forth across the carpet, he stared up at me with his one green eye and meowed somberly rolling onto his back exposing a furry stomach in need of a belly rub in compensation. I chuckled and set down the rewards of my shopping trip near the door to kneel down and scratch his tummy softly eliciting a purr from the grumpy cat. "Yeah I know, sorry about that…I promise I'll play with you a bit when I get home tonight okay? And if all goes well, I could be bringing a new friend home very soon." The cat looked up with curiosity from his dazed euphoria of having his underbelly patted before huffing in disbelief and rolling back to his feet to strut off in disinterest, leaving me be to begin my current project as I smiled and took out the bulleted list of steps Josh had left me to get started.Alright step one…
I nearly smashed the phone against the brick wall once I'd gotten outside the shop to linger in the courtyard, teeth clenched as my voice rang harshly into the receiver. "Funny, I always heard all telemarketers work for the devil but I never knew there was so much truth behind it." A deep dry chuckle rang through my ear from the other line, familiarity of the sound nearly making me sick. "Hey now, is that any way to treat your big brother after we haven't spoken in such a long time? I'm hurt Gabriel, really my hearts just ripped right out of me." Like he ever had one to begin with…Dorothy's Tin man has nothing on this guy…but those annoying memories seeped into my conscience once again of another time before this back at the old house on the hill just offshore of a lake with big trees and even a rickety old tire swing. Of when my brother really did have a heart and I loved each of my siblings so much…but home never stays the same even after you've left.
"What do you want Lucy? and make it snappy, my time is money." I grunted out fishing through my back pocket for my old pack of Bull's-eye cigarettes. Sticking one between my teeth, I lit it quickly using the silver lighter that Winchester kid had loaned me a while back. As I inhaled then blew out that first billow of white smoke, I suddenly felt certain relief aside from the high gained from the nicotine that I'd sent Castiel out on that errand. I'd hate for him to see me like this… "Oh not much, campaigns running smoothly and I just got to wonderin how my faaavorite little brother was doing in that cockroach infested hole you've been squatting in."
Boy politics has just done wonders for your conversation skills I wanted to spit out sarcastically but took another hit of the cancer stick to calm my nerves, giving only a weary humph in response. "That and I've heard you've been amassing quite the little ANGL task force there at your pawn shop as of late." My whole body suddenly went tense as my fingers clenched around the cigarette that I'd perched in between them offhand as he'd talked. " Oh sure Lucifer because you know," I sighed in mock nostalgia as I took in a big hit and let the smoke seep out through my nostrils "I just missed having such fine people like you and Mike around so much I decided to get some makeshift replacements to fill that aching void in my very being." I really hoped he could actually hear me roll my eyes through that prissy ass little cell phone he and all his lackeys had upgraded to, worry in my heart over Anna and Cas subsiding thanks to the sarcasm.
Lucifer and I hadn't actually conversed in a civil manner for nearly twelve years now maybe even more so I'd hoped I could slip the fib by this time and he'd be rusty enough to miss it. A low growl interrupted my thoughts though as Lucifer's true self underneath the pompous politician started to crawl forth, unstable fury evident in his voice despite the cheerful tone. "I'd been hoping the rumors were true Gabe, I mean I know you've been hanging back in the slums with the rest of that unclean filth but you know…I don't want you to catch anything." Despite the sweltering hatred delivered through the comment, the last part was more morose almost concerned in a crazy bloodthirsty kind of way.
"Nope, I'm still here and exhibiting badassery by the tons so thanks for the house call bro. You tell Mike I said hi whenever you two are at each other's throats again." Before I could hit the now greatly appreciated end call button, Lucifer spoke up causing my thumb to stop in its button pushing quest. "Ah ah ah, we're not finished here yet Gabriel. I still have a few questions for you little brother. Or if you'd like I can hop on my jet tonight and be there in the morning in person." Hanging my head in silent defeat I sighed and stomped out what was left of my cigarette on the stone step just outside the door. "Fine, I'm all ears okay? No need for a visit over brunch."
Big bro merely chuckled roughly once more then sighed as his voice turned deeper suggesting the topic was serious. "Very well then I'll cancel the omelet bar…Has Michael communicated with you at all lately? For any reason whatsoever?" Of course, I should have known the conversation would steer towards this eventually though I lit another cigarette and took a substantial puff just for nerves. "No he hasn't because out of the two of you, Golden boy is actually following my rule that I do not want to hear from either of you or anyone pitching your crappy campaigns for as long as I live." Couldn't help the venom that dripped from my voice with every word but past memories aside, I'd made peace with the fact long ago that I would not take any part in their little bloodbath and if Michael was choosing to leave me in peace well then he gets the Not a Total Asshole Brother gold star of the day. Luc would just get some crappy gift card to Starbucks or something…
"Hey you were the one out us that always said some rules are meant to be broken." Lucifer chimed in almost too cheerful for my taste as I leaned back against the shop wall letting my cigarette sizzle from its spot between my lips. "Not in the way you break them though bro, my rule breaking leads to good times and loose women. Yours leads to…well we've already had that discussion so is that it?" My brow furrowed angrily as he hummed in thought across the line, noises springing up every once in a while from the back giving me the impression he must've been in some office building. "Yeah I guess that's all for now…I have a couple of campaign events and ademonstration up in Nebraska next month so I might just pay you a visit. Oh and Gabe? I can't wait to meet your little ANGL pals…the girl sounded hot and my sources tell me your cashier is absolutely precious. See ya soon."
After that the line went dead and if Anna hadn't walked out asking to use the phone a minute later I'm sure I could've probably stood there with the phone beeping for an hour. Lucifer knew which most likely meant Michael knew too…he knew about my happy operation here…about Anna and Castiel… and just to put the cherry on top he was coming in a month or two at most. Fuck why did it have to be campaign trails? Why couldn't it be a circle or a parallelogram? Dammit geometry was the least of my worries right now. Before Anna walked back inside, her foot landed on the cigarette I'd stomped out earlier on the steps, nose catching the scent of smoke before she turned back looking at me in a concerned curiosity. "Smoking again? I thought you quit a long time ago…"
Pushing myself off the wall, I headed back inside ruffling her hair in a quick noogie since I remembered that one joke in particular set her off since chicks are always freaking out about their hair. "Don't worry about it… I just needed a quick fix okay? I'm throwing the rest out right now, so where's Cas with my radio?" Anna pouted putting her hair back into place as she followed me inside, everything coming back to normal once more. Which was exactly what I needed right now, for things to keep being normal…just for a little while longer.
Authors Note: Well I hope you enjoyed and the next update should be pretty soon. The Frye and Clive discussion Cas made was about the original Frankenstein movie back in 1931 where Collin Clive played Dr. Frankenstein and Dwight Frye played Fritz his hunchbacked assistant. I hope everyone remembers Dr. Sexy M.D. from season five ^^ Rumsfeld is actually cannon all the way back from season one so I decided to use him. Cas's powers finally start to show in this chapter but we'll just have to see how they further develop in the story. Joshua is from season five and the cat chick Veritas is from season six. If I missed anything else or anyone has questions don't be afraid to ask and reviews are always loved. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
Chapter 6: First Aid Kits Don't Come with Schnapps
Castiel has his second night on the job and things are looking up.
Father Where Art Thou
Chapter Six: First Aid Kits Don't Come with Schnapps
The hours just flew by after I'd returned to the pawn shop from my adventure to the Auto Salvage and too close for comfort episode with Dean's car combined with that strange shriek that had bombarded my senses so ruthlessly beforehand. When I tried to question Gabe about it, who seemed in a very sour mood even though it was a Saturday night, he merely brushed it off saying my powers could be going through a growth spurt and it was probably nothing. With a curt nod signaling the end of conversation he returned to his previous activity of sitting in his recliner and reading a book, or at least staring at the contents of the book since not once did I see his gaze actually wander across the black inked text lining the pages instead looking up every so often at the window as if watching for someone or something.
I tried my best to ignore it though and leave him alone. Gabriel could be tiring when mischievous and even just the slightest bit annoying on some instances when his pranks got out of hand but whenever he was in a bad mood like today, it was just better to let sleeping dogs lie if you catch my drift. Anna seemed to agree with me, doing her best to stay in her little corner counter in the clothes department the remainder of the evening, rarely walking to the front except for a few occasions and finally to hug me goodbye as I walked out to head over to the club for my night shift.
After the previous night's activities I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting anyone to drop by to light my way to the Chérubin. When the fifteen minutes of waiting at the street lamp were up, I went on my own way to the night club, the crescent moon sadly my only grinningcompanion. At the time when Balthazar had walked me there, my head ducked down staring at the shadows was no move of shyness or demure charm. I'd been studying the path there, every turn, crossover to another street and bump in the road all burning into my mind as I matched his idle small talk.
Originally, it was to ensure that I'd be able to safely get back to my simple living quarters at the end of the night and partially so I'd be spared my blackmailer's company the rest of this detainment I'd been caught in. However after the conversation shared with Casey, my thoughts were muddied and unclear. While I was still very cross with the man for threatening the safety of me and my friends after only having just met, once I inspected his bar much closer, my resolve to hate and resent lessened.
Casey withstanding, Balthazar worked and allied himself with some very dangerous unstable people, many of whom did not seem to hold him in high favor since only Casey had come to his aid after our confrontation. Even with all of her admirable qualities and spunky charm, the female bartender made it very clear though that if push came to shove she would choose flight over fight which did not bode well for Balthazar either. A drug dealer, an extremely vicious blonde and the daughter of one of Lucifer's highest representatives was only the beginning of his employee roster and now he could add me along with it.
Once I had made my rounds through the club, I realized with subdued depression that other than myself there were no others with ANGL employed at the club nor any hanging around as friends. I knew I'd always have Gabe and Anna to help me through my troubles when it came to my powers, kinks in my wings or trouble with bullies and even Mom and Jo for support at home but who did Balthazar have for any of that…? For all his confidence and swagger, the man seemed completely alone…
A very loud honk startled me out of my thoughts as a red Mustang rolled to a stop not two feet from me, the tinted window rolling back to reveal a very happy Casey, lips as red as the vibrant paint job pulled into an amused smirk. "Hey good looking, what's cooking? Cause it smells like you're stirring up some love stew~!" Smiling softly, I can never seem to help it around this woman, I walked closer and leaned down so I could chat with her, noticing offhand that she was not alone tonight. "When you're done writing your detailed narrative on bad pick-up lines, I believe I'll continue on my way to the bar Ms. Casey."
With a light scoff and rebuttal of any of my grievances on causing her to be late, Casey ushered me into the back seat, insisting that we could simply head to the club together. Her companion as it turned out was the man named Gil she had mentioned in our earlier conversations. Gil was a very gruff looking man with chiseled features and black hair that was just starting to get a gray dusting to it. The two had hit it off on a Catholic dating website, at this Casey winked, and had met in person on a date and many more after. That had been four years ago now with the two presently living together, Casey a bartender and Gil in the construction business.
Gil despite the whimsical introduction, did not seem all that happy to have me in the vehicle, the fact that Casey sidled into the backseat next to me not lightening his mood as he answered most of my questions with the short grunt, growl or short answer. "So I'm guessing Balthazar skipped out on you too tonight huh? Since I caught you walking down all by yourself" Looking up from the heavy glare I was receiving from Gil through the rearview mirror, I tilted my head confused earning an exaggerated sigh from Casey. "That man, he hasn't shown up at the bar all day. Gilly can you pull over here? We're low on gas anyways and if Peacock's leaving me with the Saturday night rush, I'm gonna need some smokes."
Just as she requested, Gil pulled over into the upcoming gas station, Casey getting out with a wink and giggle as she sauntered over to the counter. Before I could step out however, a very large strong hand took hold of my coat collar yanking me back into the car, Gil's face very grim. "Listen here pretty boy, I have no idea why Casey has taken such a shine to you, but mark my words. You so much as look at my woman funny, I will grind your scrawny ass into hamburger meat." A shudder worked its way down my back at the credible threat paired with the steely eyed stare Gil had fixed me with before I nodded my head quickly, voice strained from his hold on my jacket.
"Rest assured sir, I would never dream of betraying Ms. Casey's generous trust in such a way. B-Besides you'll find I am quite of the homosexual persuasion." My wordy response seemed to do the trick as the man released his grip on my coat, causing me to fall back into the stiff leather car seat. Truth be told I'm bisexual but really it's only half accurate. They are very pretty but I cannot deny that women are…very confusing to me.
His threat having done the trick, Gil reverted to a more solemn almost bashful form of himself I'd seen before when he was talking with Casey, hands tapping offhandedly on the steering wheel. "Oh, sorry about that then… Casey did tell me she was trying to hook you and…" When he caught the perplexed expression on my face, Gil smiled and let out a husky chuckle. "Never mind, I should really control my temper. Casey's always telling me I get too jealous."
Violent confrontation averted, we both stepped out of the car as Gil handled the pump, making decent conversation as numbers ticked by on the gas gage. Gil had been raised in a strict Catholic household and originally wanted to enter the monastery under heavy support from his mother. However after an overly publicized scandal landed his hometown church on the weekly news channel, he decided to choose a different line of work where he could do just as much good for the community. This being how he entered construction, Gil even told me through his work he'd already been to countries such as Africa and Brazil for projects overseas.
After numerous pleas and requests I got him to teach me a few phrases in both Portuguese and Swahili which he'd learned from his travels. Sadly though not too many people spoke either here in the good old U. S of A apparently, still in all I was very intrigued with the man, particularly his close tie with Casey. Gil was very blunt, straightforward and seemed like a good honest man and Ms. Casey was well…very frankly Ms. Casey. As the woman nearly skipped back with her desired cigarettes in hand, the ancient saying that opposites attract came into my mind. Maybe the love they had didn't come from knowing everything about one another, if Gil knew how loose Casey acted around the bar she'd certainly never work there again, or from agreeing on every single thing. Maybe it was something a bit deeper.
As we all entered the car again and after several attempts from Gil to get Casey to wear her seatbelt before finally leaning back and doing it himself, for some strange reason Balthazar came into my thoughts as I pondered the notion of opposites. With Casey's collective snippets of information along with my own personal deductions, we were nothing if not opposite. However as of yet our reaction had been quite the opposite as well. We didn't meet on spectacular terms the first day and I sort of punched him in the face then mixed him a drink the second time. I believe the older Winchester would classify this as a cluster fuck of different emotions running around.
Needless to say, I was more than happy to return to the simple task of working once we got to the club. Since it was Saturday, the club was packed with the lights flashing bright and loud music booming audibly from inside even as we drove up, Gil giving Casey a light pat on the hip as she slipped out. Getting a rather impressive kiss in return, the religious construction worker gave me a smile and a friendly wave before driving off as Casey locked and arm around mine walking towards the entrance.
Entering the building was a lot different from simply observing it from outside, the place seeming to bare an actual pulse of life as hoards of people swarmed the dance floors as the girls and a few men moved to the beat of the vociferous music blaring from multiple speakers.
Caught off guard by all the lights, sounds and sights I didn't notice we had even started moving towards the back of the club until I felt Casey let go of my arm to shove open a black door with a winged lion carved out of wood resting atop the frame overlooking those coming inside. The body of the beast was of a faded tan color but the wings themselves were tinted with what looked to be gold leaf. It very much reminded me of the Lion of St. Mark, a symbol of the city of Venice and it's patron saint, Mark the evangelist.
Upon stepping inside I was greeted with the smell of leather, honey and sandalwood…? as Casey rummaged through one of the cabinets near a worn out leather couch that was placed next to a nice hardwood desk. From I could see it was somebody's office and from the photographs and odd selection of books laid out across the shelves of the room, I assumed it was Balthazar's. Taking a closer look, I realized with quiet surprise that most of the books subjects settled on both a curious mixture of chemistry and biology. What is a night club owner doing with literature like this…?
A bit of Gabriel's wit breached my thoughts that the man probably kept such big imposing books around to make himself appear well read and attract women. Working away the smile that had come across at such a thought I looked back towards Casey as she had apparently found what she'd been looking for. "Ah here we go! Since you're now an official Le Petit Chérubin employee you'll need to look the part. On weekdays we can wear what we like but on weekends there is a dress code."
Remembering the scandalous outfits I had seen on the girls the previous night, my face paled and I considered making a run for it until she held up a simple black t-shirt with the club name on the front, giggling at my overly relieved expression. "Oh please, you're just a bartender Cas. We're not THAT generous to our customers here, if they want to see some skin they have to pay the dancers like everyone else." Thankful to whoever is the patron saint of bartenders that had no doubt spared me such an atrocity, I took the shirt checking the tag to make sure it was the right size.
Satisfied, I shrugged off my coat and turned around shrugging off my shirt to tug on the new one as Casey held my coat for me. Hearing a soft gasp behind me, I turned with the shirt already half way up my arms to peer at Casey whose gaze was now fully locked on my back. "What's the matter? You already saw them yesterday…" I remarked with a shrug as I fiddled more with the shirt looking for the hole to put my head through.
It was true, after she had sneaked a peek at my marks the day before I wasn't all that bashful about my wings now. I considered Casey my friend and after talking with her the other day I was confident enough to remain comfortable about this one aspect of myself around her. The same went for Gabe, Anna and Mom and Jo back home. As long as I knew I was accepted by them, I felt no real reason to hide what I was.
"Yeah I did but not in direct light…" I heard her move closer but jumped when I felt a hand touch my back, tracing along the intricate etched lines of my wings. "They really are beautiful, out of this world even. Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you, did I hurt them?" Since staying with my back to her was the only way of hiding the blush that had sprung across my face at the kind words of admiration coupled with the soothing touch, I shook my head and let the shirt slide back down my arms again so she could have a better look. "No, they're fine when they're in their sealed form like this. My skin gets oversensitive due to the marks and the bones underneath but other than that they can't be hurt unless I released the binding over them."
Casey was one of the only people I felt I could really trust around here so I didn't see the harm in telling her how it all worked. I'm guessing the gist of what I said was the same for Balthazar since it was very common for the marks of those with ANGL to be sensitive so it was probably all old news. "So it's true then…? You can bring them out of these…marks and really fly..?" Casey was speaking with such an enamored kind of trepidation as if the very wings she was observing right now could come alive any minute, I couldn't help but smile as I finally pulled the shirt fully over my head and down over my body covering the marks up, noticing offhand that Balthazar must've told her of what he saw in the courtyard that day.
"Yes I can but I won't be doing so tonight. Now then, since our boss seems to be absent what am I doing today?" Casey's face lit right up as she deposited my coat and shirt onto the leather couch, setting her purse to the side. "Well I won't scar you with bar keeping on Saturday night so you can wait tables and deliver people their drinks while I do the mixing."
Once I nodded in understanding we entered the madness outside the office once more, Casey having to shout through all the noise so I could hear her as we made our way to the bar. "Saturday night is crazy for us but nonetheless dangerous! There are a lot of people here with lots of cash and time on their hands so just keep cool and you'll do fine, Oh and ID everyone! I don't care if they look like they're fifty, twenty or seventy five; if they don't got one, they don't party here!" Taking in all the information, I nodded once more before we finally got to work, Casey mixing and pouring drinks at record speed then setting them in my tray which I'd carry and serve customers with.
The work wasn't all that difficult and after some time had passed I had to admit I was enjoying myself. Dealing with people, especially those intoxicated was much easier and less confusing when all that was expected of me was to deliver the drinks and a smile then run off to my next destination. Despite the few that tried to grip at me through my jeans or slip a finger into one of the belt loops and give a light tug, I was happy to let the clamor of my surroundings vanish into the void of my mind as I busied myself with my job. The tips were relatively generous and Casey even congratulated me on my performance as we both enjoyed a beer during one of the gaps in sales.
It was a half hour past midnight as the work load seemed to dwindle down and I was leaning against one of the walls with my tray catching my breath when I felt something or more accurately someone sidle up next to me, seeming to become glued to my side. When I turned my head to send what I was positive was merely another drunk club goer gone clingy, I raised a suspicious brow as one of the dancers I'd seen from the other day looked up at me with a sickeningly sweet smile.
"Hey there~ you're doing pretty well tonight, is this your first time working at a bar?" Her words rolled off her tongue with a big smile on her face but I could sense little sincerity in what she asked. Casey told me to stay away from this one, gah what was her name…started with an M. "Thank you and no. My parents ran a tavern back in my hometown." I had hoped that would be the end of the very short conversation but the girl seemed to have other plans, cuddling up to my arm oblivious to my discomfort at being touched. "Well now that's interesting, my name is Meg by the way. If you ever want somebody to chat with, I'd be more than happy to offer up my company to you, handsome."
As I expected this woman had other things on her mind besides pleasant conversation, and judging by her posture which made it appear as if she was trying to see if she could rest her breasts atop my shoulder as she pressed them up with her arms and straightened back, i was correct to supsect as such. To any other man, I'm sure this is usually quite the treat and she was well aware of that by the sly glint in her eyes.
However that is one physical aspect of women I have never fully understood nor found relatively attractive. In my teenage days, boobs were pretty much all that guys my age would talk about whether it was seeing them on the Internet or copping a feel of one with the loose cheerleaders under sports stands. Me, I just didn't get it personally and with the few female partners I kept, it made things incredibly awkward. Second base should always be a big deal but when my first girlfriend finally took off her shirt during one of our make out sessions at her house, I honestly just stared at them in confusion.
Don't misunderstand, I do agree they are a very soft and tangible body part that extends from the human body making them quite erotic to the average person but for me, I could very much do without the generous display of cleavage that Meg was presenting me with at the moment. "That is a very kind offer but I don't believe I'll have the time with the upcoming night rush so if you'll excuse me."
I made to slide away from the unwanted physical aspect but Meg only hugged my arm closer to her chest, Ugh how many dirty dollar bills have been tucked into that bikini tonight, I wondered in slight disgust. "Oh but nobody's at the bar right now. Come on please, Castiel isn't it? I have a dressing room right back stage, we can bring a couple of drinks and have a little alone time to get to know one another, just you and me." Please don't let me get dragged into a room alone with her, the thought raced through my head as I tried my best to shake my head, refuse politely and pull my arm back at the same time as we started to edge unfortunately towards the stage door until a hand with red clipped nails closed around my shoulder, Casey ever my rescuer appearing at my right side with a stern glare pointed towards the purple clad dancer.
"Castiel, I need you to run down to the drug store and grab some salt. Our stock is running low, Meg don't you have a number coming up to get ready for?" With more force than I initially thought she possessed, Casey tugged me out of Meg's grip with a frown as Meg smiled back though the smile didn't reach her eyes. "Ah yes I do~ Too bad, Castiel and I were just starting to hit it off. Oh well, I hope you'll be watching me onstage, cutie!"
With a wave and painfully obvious wink, Meg skipped back towards the stage door as I let out a breath I hadn't noticed I'd been holding. "Thanks for the save. I really didn't want to converse with her much longer." Finally turning her eyes away from burning holes into Meg's back, Casey smile and patted my shoulder in a reassuring manner as we both made our way back to the bar counter. "Anytime Cassy dear really. And don't worry, anybody with a good head on their shoulders wouldn't want to either. But I was serious about the salt, little drug store about two blocks from here, can't miss it."
After grabbing my coat from the office, I stepped out of the club and started down the sidewalk as Casey had instructed. I had never walked around the area this late at night and had to admit all the darkened alleyways and flickering street lamps made it quite the creepy experience. As the neon sign of the drug store came into view, I couldn't help but shake the strange feeling that I was being followed. Turning around to realize there was nothing but a clear line of sidewalk behind me, I simply dismissed it as paranoia and quickly entered the shop with a jingle of the doorbell eager to get back to the bar and out of the dark.
The cashier, a freckled teen with wavy red hair and a rather dazed look in his eye, took his sweet time ringing up my two containers of salt so I perused through the magazines as I waited. Hearing the doorbell chime again, I looked up curiously out of the corner of my eye to see who else was out and about at this late hour. It turned out to be a very tall man who looked to be in his late thirties, most of his face hidden in the hood of a gray jacket with the front unzipped showing a dirtied white tank top underneath. When I caught the questionable grin aimed towards me, I fought off the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and turned back towards the register to pay for my purchase.
Taking the plastic bag with both boxes of salt inside, I headed quickly out the door with another chime of the doorbell and back down the block towards the bar. With each step, the sense of being followed became stronger and stronger as my pulse started to quicken as did my pace. When I heard the scuff of a shoe against the concrete behind me I turned around again, looking around worriedly. "Who's there…? Hello…?" No answer and the street was still vacant, but I could still tell something was certainly stalking me and by the absence of that someone, I doubt their intentions were friendly.
With a quick turn I broke into a sprint down the sidewalk, boxes making raucous thumps and thunks in the plastic bag now clenched in my hand matching the loud drumming of my heart in my ears. As the dull neon sign of the Chérubin finally came into view, my mind started to calm from it's originally racing inside my skull until I felt a sharp strong tug on my coat collar, yanking me away into the nearby alley.
When I dared to open my eyes, my vision was limited due to my captor looming over me blocking my view of anything else besides himself at close quarters. I realized with subdued trepidation that it was the same man I witnessed enter the convenience store just a few moments earlier, his face now much more visible and increasingly more frightening as the previous smile surrounded in a ginger scruff of a beard stretched into a lopsided grin. As I finally became aware of my surroundings, I nearly gagged and held my nose at the sheer stench of alcohol that enshrouded the man, the stale reek of tobacco in his breath now fanning across my face through yellowed teeth certainly not adding any small comfort.
"My my my, you're a lively little spunk aint'cha? Really make a guy work for it." This is not my night for avoiding unwanted conversation I thought but didn't grace the comment with any solid response, trying to shove the man away from me as my flight instinct kicked in over fight. "Will you please let me go? If it's money you're after, I'll gladly hand over what I have but please keep your distance." Any of my efforts were fruitless however as the man only took the opportunity of my hands pushing against his chest to grab my wrists with both hands, forcing them back beside my head as he leaned in closer, eyes glinting amusedly in the dark.
"Hmmm money? Nah I'm a man of much more refined tastes..." Clearly, I thought with a grimace as the putrid scent of his breath was starting to make me nauseous, I wonder if this guy's even heard of the term toothpaste. "And right now my tastes are hungering for whatever you've got under this trench coat, sugar pie." Dread seeped in my thoughts now as a calloused hand captured both my wrists above my head, the other grime covered appendage reaching forward to slip the layers of my coat aside.
I started to thrash around violently, kicking my legs out trying with all my might to get the man away from me, even doing as Gabe had always instructed me and aiming to 'hit him where it hurts' but sadly the man seemed to have foreseen this kind of resistance and stood just beyond the reach of my foot.
Feeling fingers slip under the hem of my shirt was the final straw though as my anxiety kicked in and I opened my mouth to scream, sound coming up short and coming out as a rough cough as the man's hand clenched into a fist punching my stomach and knocking the air out of me in the process. "Ah ah, none of that now. I'll give you plenty to scream about soon enough, gorgeous." Pain shooting through my abdomen, my original fear turned into seething rage as a familiar buzz rang through my ears, street lamp just beside the alleyway flickering brighter and brighter before it burst with a flourish of luminous sparks and a sharp crash and crackle of the bulb and fuse. "I said get off…"
Startled by the sudden blinding light and the falling broken glass that followed, the man looked back at me with a new emotion in his glazed over eyes that I recognized too late as fear before the hand was gone from my waist, appearing again near my neck with the click of a newly revealed switchblade, razor edge pressed right against my skin. "You…you're one of them aren't you? Those feathered freaks with all the crazy powers that are all over the news channels!" I merely glared in reply, thinking it better not to answer what could possibly cause the blade to press even closer into my neck.
A voice broke the tense silence that had encompassed the alleyway, a certain British accent not doing very much to lighten my bitter mood. "Excuse me Red, mind if I cut in? I just love this song and dance." Red, as he is apparently known, turned in recognition of his name being called, Balthazar giving his usual charming smile though his eyes and brow were poised in more of an angered sneer as he reached up patting Red right on the juncture between his neck and shoulder. No sooner had his hand made light contact with the skin exposed by Red's filthy tank top when the man's pupils dilated and he fell to the ground like a sack of lead. "Now then…Let's change the beat."
Author's note: Well that's it for part one. :3 this chapter is divided into two parts and that next part will be up within the week. Gil is like Casey from season three. Meg is just well Meg and Red is from season six. I made a slight reference to X Men first class in here somewhere so cookies for those who spot it and no Balthy does not have the mighty Vulcan nerve pinch, that will all be explained and more in the next segment. We see more of Cas's power in this one and Gabe is on his man period. Reviews are always appreciated and if you have questions don't be afraid to ask. Hope you enjoyed reading, Ciao!