Title: Adventures in Diplomacy (or how Castiel and Crowley Got Stuck On Earth Helping With the Cleanup) – Ch 4
Rating: PG-13 for language
Character/Pairing/s: Castiel, Crowley (some Dean and Sam and a bunch of OCs)
Spoilers/Warnings: Spoilers through most of S5. Lots of randomness happens also. So warnings for that. Dean and Cas stare at each other too.
Word Count: 4,955
Summary: Crowley and Cas chaperone a fieldtrip. Cas might be turning alcoholic.
Dedication: This sequel was commissioned by arakune88! Hope you got a laugh or two from it. ^_^
A/N: I realize it's been forever and a day since I've played with this storyline so excuse me for being all over the place. IDK it was just for funsies okay. I am so stupid. LOL
Disclaimer: No harm or infringement intended.
4. In Which There Is Art Appreciation and Some Social Justice
When it had been decided that all of DEAN'S angels (and all of SAM'S demons) would be required to spend a six month tour of duty on Earth living amongst the humans as humans themselves, DEAN, much like His predecessor, deigned to have His word brought down from the mountaintop (or in this case, the crappy apartment) by His advocate Castiel, who then shared the newly revealed Word with his brethren. The purpose of this particular Word had been to communicate a certain set of commands upon His subjects that He felt important enough to personally stress. They had been created to further enlighten the angels and the demons to the human condition in the hopes of helping these otherworldly creatures learn how to properly appreciate the marvels of humanity and the sanctity of free will.
And so, the Ten Commandments DEAN are as follows:
1. Eat a cheeseburger
2. Go on a date
3. Watch a sports movie
4. Play with some puppies
5. Eat pie
6. Help someone out
7. Go for a long drive
8. Fix something with your own two hands
9. Spend time with your family
10. Talk to some little kids
Of course, given the literal nature of most angels (as well as the evil of most demons), these very vague guidelines as set forth by DEAN have since been refined by both DEAN and Castiel's hands (many times) out of simple necessity; there are now countless notes and footnotes and endnotes that are required addendums in any instruction given on the Commandments, mostly because of some of the shenanigans that have since been pulled by said demons and angels in the interim. To give a more simplified version of these latest adjustments:
1. Eat a cheeseburger (Make sure it is your cheeseburger. And remember to pay for it!)
2. Go on a date (As in, out for fun, with a person. Do not defecate on a calendar (looking at you, demons) or choose a day of the week to leave your apartment (goddamned angels). Also, make sure the person you take on this date is willing to go with you before you take them. C'mon guys, seriously? Kidnapping?)
3. Watch a sports movie (Golf is not a real sport. It's just not.)
4. Play with some puppies (make sure that they are big enough to play with. Make sure you have permission to play with them. 'Play with' in this context does not mean throw like a ball you friggin' hell spawn.)
5. Eat pie (See addendum to 1.)
6. Help someone out (Assisted suicide no longer counts. I mean it guys.)
7. Go for a long drive (Don't steal a car. DO NOT STEAL A CAR. There are places where you can pay money to borrow them. Really.)
8. Fix something with your own two hands (This does not in any way mean break something so you'll have something to fix with your own two hands later. This also does not apply to humans or animals.)
9. Spend time with your family (In no universe is 'throttle' synonymous with 'spend time.' We will not post bail for any of you again.)
10. Talk to some little kids (But don't try to buy their souls. Don't try to take them on a date. Do not stare creepily. GET PERMISSION FROM THEIR PARENTS FIRST. No trench coats either. Hopefully you also didn't rent a creepy white van when you were fulfilling 7. I seriously can't believe Cas is the most well adjusted out of all you. I can't.)
These are the words of our DEAN. And while they are not perfect, they are well intentioned. Amen.
Because DEAN has given equal rule to SAM in Hell, and because SAM is the king of the demons, he has also been given leeway to create his own set of criteria from which he hopes his subjects will learn about Earth and embrace the many charms of humanity. For the angels, the requirements SAM puts upon them to accomplish in their mortal bodies only proves that SAM is evil incarnate. The demons tend to agree. It is one of the few things both sides can come to a consensus on without also coming to blows.
SAM'S Commandments are:
1. Go to an art museum
2. Watch a sunset
3. Listen to classical music
4. Take a philosophy class
5. Walk barefoot on a beach
6. Plant some trees
7. Volunteer at a homeless shelter
8. Attend a rally for a cause you believe in (or protest a cause you don't believe in)
9. Watch a documentary
10. Write down your thoughts and feelings about the day and share them with someone important to you
These, like the words of DEAN, have also been grossly misinterpreted by demons and angels alike, though DEAN grudgingly concedes that SAM'S gives less leeway for Chaos. However, when asked, any member of either side will agree that SAM'S list is by far the most torturous of the two to accomplish.
There is a saying that the new road to Hell is paved solely with SAM'S intentions.
DEAN and SAM may have been the ones to come up with these Commandments, but it is Castiel and Crowley who are in charge of implementing them. Crowley thinks that they are not paid nearly enough for the shit they have to do. (Or at least he isn't, because no one can convince him that DEAN isn't giving Castiel a little something extra on the side for his troubles, gay innuendo—as always— completely intended.)
And so, once again, the ambassadors of Heaven and Hell on Earth are charged with another holy task.
It is their job to teach their brothers and sisters the Winchester Commandments.
More importantly, it is their job to make sure that the Commandments don't give their brothers and sisters leave to turn the world into an enormous clusterfuck of unbelievable stupid.
Castiel and Crowley deserve raises.
Crowley looks at the schedule that Castiel has very carefully typed out for the week and does not look forward to today. This is because he knows that today is going to suck, and as much as he enjoys the title and all the fabulous perks that come with being SAM'S 2IC in Hell, the fact of the matter is, SAM'S list of Earth requirements is a crock of useless shit. Today is a SAM Commandment activity. Nothing good can come of this.
Even DEAN seemed to think so, because when He had looked over Castiel's shoulder at their group's itinerary earlier that morning, He'd promptly burst out laughing at the sight of it, before forcing himself to sober enough to reach out and pat His pet angel on the arm consolingly, while looking a mixture of wildly amused and horribly sympathetic. "Art museum today, huh? Good luck, man."
Castiel, all rumpled trench coat and slumped shoulders, had simply sighed, glared at his Lord and Savior, and said, "I believe the term you would want me to use in this situation is fuck off, Dean."
The other angels in attendance had gasped in horror, though whether it had been because of the outright blasphemy or the casual lack of capitalization Crowley isn't sure. But DEAN had just chuckled, and His smile had threatened to split His face as He'd squeezed Castiel's shoulder one more time. "I'm so fucking proud of you sometimes, man," He'd said.
Then He'd disappeared with another gloating sort of look at the doomed angel and demon pair.
Crowley sighs as he surveys the room now, six angels and six demons all just beginning their tours of duty on Earth looking at him with either mild concern or outright leeriness. This is exactly how he'd wanted to spend his Saturday, except you'd have to replace the six angels and six demons with twelve chiseled Chippendale's dancers and their looks of concern and leeriness with simple leering, thanks.
"Are we about to embark on a great trial, Castiel? DEAN made it sound so," Metatron says to his brother suspiciously in the meantime, the senior angel not quite able to keep the irritation out of his voice at having to address an angel so much younger than he as a superior. He has his SAM journal out, and is dutifully (if distastefully) writing absently in it about today's thoughts and feelings. When Crowley cranes his neck a little to peek, the top of the page, with the journal's default "Today I feel _" line, has already been written in. Apparently today Metatron feels circumspect.
Just like he's felt every day for the past three months. Except for that day when one of the demons had swiped Metatron's journal and wrote "gay" in the blank line for him.
"Yes, we are," Castiel answers his brother with no preamble or offers of reassurance. "SAM insists that it will be an enriching experience that will help inure you all to the creative beauty of the human mind." Pause. "You all are not to touch anything," he adds, after a particularly unpleasant memory seems to strike him at random. Crowley would bet money on it being that incident with Michael and Belial at the Louvre, during their first cycle. Castiel had been forced to give both of his brothers a very hefty timeout after that. Crowley, in the meantime, had been forced to replace the original Virgin and Child with St. Anne with a near exact replica (except with the Virgin's eyes not poked out by angry demon fingers anymore) while Castiel had distracted the security by overloading their electrical grid with his grace. It had been ugly. SAM had not been pleased. They're not allowed at the Louvre anymore.
Which is a shame, because Crowley enjoys France. The whores there seem to enjoy themselves more than the ones in the states, but then again, the Europeans have always been more enlightened about sex than the Yankees.
So, to the Wichita Art Museum it is. The whores in the Midwest seem to consist solely of cheerleaders and farmers' offspring. Crowley's life is woe.
"Stop thinking about prostitutes," Castiel tells him sharply, as the angel goes over his ridiculous camp counselor-esque clipboard one more time, to make sure everything is taken care of. "We must double check preparations for today's journey."
Crowley gives him an innocent, 'Who me?' look. "I was actually thinking about farmers, pet," he says honestly, and after glancing at his watch, decides that it's time to go. He snaps his fingers.
When everyone blinks again, there are seven demons and seven angels all crammed into the small bus Crowley had been obliged to rent from the Budget Rent a Car office two blocks down the street, in order to drive everyone to the museum today. Mostly because DEAN doesn't want them just appearing places and also because it knocks off requirement number seven from His exalted list of do-gooder joie de vivre clichés.
Castiel frowns again, from where he is now riding shotgun. The clipboard is still present, though the checklist on it remains partially incomplete. "I did not check to see if we had the first aid kits, Crowley," he admonishes, clearly displeased at the interruption.
"That's what EMTs are for, love," Crowley answers, and starts the engine.
Castiel huffs in displeasure before turning over his shoulder to regard their charges again. "Please fasten your seatbelts," he says responsibly, because he is totally the reliable parent out of the two of them, despite the slight drinking problem Crowley suspects the angel of developing after having to spend so much time policing his dysfunctional brothers and making sure DEAN stays happy all at once.
Crowley snorts to himself and pulls out of the apartment complex's parking lot, speeding them towards the freeway and ever closer to today's little piece of Hell on Earth.
Twenty minutes and numerous blurry freeway exit signs later, a telltale, "This-hell-spawn-is-poking-me-Castiel- no-I'm-not-the-stupid-angel-poked-me-first," fight inevitably erupts in the back seat. It is echoed by a few mutterings of "Are we there yet? Why is human engineering always so slow? Why?" and "I have to pee again. Damn this frail human body and its putrid mechanizations," that chime in like a catchy sub-chorus to the sounds of the demon/angel backseat brawl.
Before long, Castiel is forced to separate the demon Kinsey and the angel Mariel by instructing Metatron to sit between them. Metatron shows his journal to Castiel upon being sat in the middle of the two, which now has the word "circumspect" crossed out with an angry X. It is filled in with "deeply irritated" on top instead.
"Thank you for sharing that with me, Metatron," Castiel answers in a tone of patient suffering, and then turns around and proceeds to tell Crowley which exit to take, like the demon doesn't already know.
Five minutes after that, Metatron starts poking Kinsey in the leg too, with the sharp end of his pencil.
Castiel's answer is to materialize a bottle of Jack's and drink it straight. He doesn't offer to share.
"I'm sorry, but you're not on our tour schedule for the day," a lady in a smart grey pantsuit with a nametag that reads "Carol" tells them once they get to the art museum. She blinks at the rather bizarre looking group standing in front of her in the museum lobby. The angels are all frowning at some of the fancy looking script on the walls like they don't understand what the purpose of writing on houses is unless it's in lamb's blood for the express purpose of keeping out vengeful spirits that want to kill your firstborns. The demons, for the most part, do their best to leer at Carol (or the pictures involving naked people in the background). It is sad days when the angels are more worrisome wards than the demons.
Castiel glares at Crowley upon being told that the proper reservations have not been made for a tour today. "I suppose we must have forgotten to schedule with you ahead of time," the angel says stiffly, his breath smelling faintly of whiskey. Crowley can feel the threatening push of grace against him that means Cas blames him for the oversight.
Crowley ignores him professionally and smiles winningly at Carol instead, somehow still managing to look fresh and easy despite the three hours it took to drive here and the fact that they'd had to pull over twice for pee breaks and once because a state trooper had stopped them on account of one of the demons writing lewd messages on his notebook paper and putting them in the windows for other drivers (and a bus full of children) to see. "You breed with the mouth of a goat" is apparently still a perennial favorite in Hell.
"Are you sure there's no way you can schedule us in, pet?" Crowley asks Carol in the kind of voice that could charm forbidden fruit off of trees. "We're very easy to deal with, scout's honor." He even holds up his hand in the stupid little salute or whatever, though as he does he waggles his fingers a little and grins at Carol in a way that promises nothing remotely appropriate for boy scouts to be doing with their powers.
Carol flushes a little—it's the accent, it always is—and goes over her list of reservations again, like a good, helpful girl. "Er, we might be able to squeeze in something with one of the interns?" she offers the demon politely, before her eyes trail over Crowley's shoulder, to where Galgaliel and Metatron are hunched over an interactive slideshow display by the entrance, muttering darkly between themselves.
"This is simply a collection of seven hundred fifty-eight thousand, three hundred thirty two dots at various levels of saturation," Metatron says, unimpressed by one of the pictures on the display's screen. "I don't understand the appeal."
"That is a gross misinterpretation of an actual battlefront," Galgaliel adds, nose in the air.
Carol peels her eyes from Galgaliel and Metraton and turns back Castiel and Crowley uncertainly. "Um, I'm sorry, what was your group called again?"
"We're with the autism foundation," Crowley says, at the exact moment Castiel says, more honestly, "We are war veterans."
Castiel glares at Crowley. Crowley ignores him. "War veterans with autism," the demon slides in smoothly, with an appropriately dramatic (if completely facetious) facial expression of affected admiration. "Touching, you know, that they'd still choose to fight for their country in times of war despite their own hardships."
Carol's eyes get big. "Oh yes!" she says, apparently honestly moved at the sentiment as it is being presented by the smirking demon. "Well, we'll definitely fit you in somehow. I'm sure Bethany, that's my intern, wouldn't mind taking over the children's tour, and I can personally take you all on yours."
Crowley's smile is sly. "Well, that would be very sweet of you, love. We thank you. And America thanks you."
This of course, is said with his completely charming, if somewhat ironic (given the circumstances) English accent, and before long, Carol's cheeks are pink and she's turning away to go make all the necessary arrangements with a vaguely bewildered looking redhead that Crowley can only assume is Bethany the intern.
"You lied to that woman in order to have your way," Castiel accuses him, once the humans are out of earshot. That, apparently, is only acceptable to the angel when DEAN does it. Go figure.
In the meantime, back by the welcome sign, the angel Gavreel admires a child's painting of a rainbow that is tacked to the children's hospital display while a demon named Chuffy pokes him in the ribs and sneers something offensive at him.
Gavreel, despite his name, smacks Chuffy back irritably and states, "I don't see how an appreciation for refracted light makes me merry."
"Gay," Chuffy insists, while Gavreel looks even more confused, because clearly repeating the same thing over again with strange emphasis changes its meaning, but he isn't sure how.
Crowley just raises his eyebrows at Castiel as the two begin to scuffle in the background. "Did I really lie to her?" he asks, after a beat. "Really?"
Castiel frowns like he's considering the same thing—and that he finds agreement with a demon very disconcerting— but thankfully, doesn't argue anymore. "Point," he acquiesces after a moment, and shoulders the cooler bag with their lunches in it more comfortably. Crowley smirks and attempts to steal a sandwich. Castiel smacks him with a wing, which burns.
When Crowley retracts his slightly smoking hand with a wince, the tip of Castiel's mouth quirks upward, like that had been the best thing he'd done all day.
Crowley just looks between the faint bubbling of skin on his hand and the squabble over rainbows between two of the autistic war veterans behind him. He wonders how sad it is to admit that getting seared with Castiel's grace is probably going to be the best thing that's happened to him all day too.
Call it a hunch, or something.
Crowley's hunches are usually right.
"Humans are deeply puzzling," Gavreel declares ten minutes later, in the modern art exhibit. He is staring in confusion at a perfectly white painting (or a perfectly blank canvas) pretentiously titled The Snowstorm.
Beside him, Metratron scribbles angrily in his SAM journal. "I hate art," it reads, followed by, "I feel as if someone is tricking me." At the bottom of the page, Metatron draws the museum on fire. Crowley supposes that it should be refreshing to meet an angel so in touch with his own emotions.
A few feet further into the exhibit, Castiel is listening with patient boredom as Carol lectures about a piece of revolutionary modern art in which a celebrated local artist took an uprooted bush, dipped it in paint, and used it as a brush for his landscape paintings. "He's been praised by critics around the world for his natural-looking, chaotic brush strokes," she explains, while Chuffy and two of the other demons grin.
"I'd like strokes that came from a natural bush too, I think," Chuffy declares out loud, after a moment.
Carol blinks. Castiel wordlessly cuffs him on the head.
Nearby, an overhead light very quietly explodes.
Things don't go any better at the photography exhibit a few minutes later.
"What does SAM wish for us to learn from this?" Raziel, one of the quieter angels demands, as he, Metatron, Gavreel, and Galgaliel are all gathered around a black and white photograph of trash on a street. They are bewildered.
"Eternal torment," Metatron declares after a beat longer of staring at the photo, and draws SAM with little X's over each eye in his journal.
"Oh," the other three marvel, with deeply concerned looks on their faces, while Carol lectures about apertures and natural lighting and the demons sneak into the group's lunch basket at Castiel's side when he isn't looking because he's too busy trying to keep Mariel from grabbing Kinsey and tossing him headfirst down a nearby trashcan. Crowley thinks the little guy might have a crush on her.
But Crowley is too busy to say anything, because he is currently trying to keep Jophiel from getting some of the children in the guided school tour behind theirs to ditch their group and come spend some time with him. "Your parents are of course, invited to watch. I would not mind a legally aged audience," he adds, carefully, as he feels DEAN would want him to. "I do not own a van, but we do have a very small bus that I could take you to."
The children stare up at him with huge eyes.
Two of the moms are already dialing 911 by the time Crowley pulls him away.
"This must be what despair feels like," Galgaliel intones later, when they step out onto the sculpture garden for their lunch, only to discover that the sandwiches are already gone.
Chuffy and his cohorts belch and smirk and chase butterflies around the museum's courtyard, most likely with the intent of ripping the wings off of them.
Castiel goes to the museum café and orders seven tuna sandwiches and seven beers. He only shares the sandwiches, and more light bulbs can be seen mysteriously exploding around the museum in his wake.
Crowley knows better than to ask him to share the beer.
During the Cubism segment of the tour, Galgaliel starts to shy away from the walls with the paintings on them, looking equal parts trapped and sick. He is sweating somewhat uncomfortably and his eyes grow wild.
By the time they get to the Surrealist exhibit, he stops in front of a replica Dali and proceeds to projectile vomit all over it. Crowley can vaguely recognize tuna fish and coke from lunch. "The lines are all illogical!" he huffs defensively when he's done, and glares at the paintings like they have personally offended him. He still looks slightly green around the gills as he wipes at his mouth with the corner of his sleeve.
"Damn these frail human bodies and their putrid mechanizations," Mariel adds, in sympathy with her brother.
Metatron stares at his brother's dripping vomit as it slides in thick chunky trails down the Dali replica and onto the floor in front of him. Then he turns to cross out "deeply irritated" in his notebook and writes "intrigued" in its place before dutifully showing it Castiel.
"Yes, thank you for sharing, brother," Castiel says patiently, and as he does, a decorative glass wall suddenly and mysteriously cracks down the middle.
Carol looks like she's about to cry.
Crowley pretends to be interested in girl-shaped people to keep her from kicking them out.
Which is why it takes several moments before Crowley realizes that Raziel and Jophiel have both disappeared.
Several hours later, down at the Wichita Police Department, an irate looking DEAN and a confused looking SAM arrive to post bail, even though the last time something like this had happened they said they wouldn't anymore. But Castiel had needed someone to come get them, after he'd had an argument with the police chief that had escalated to insulting one another's families. In retrospect, the guy in the creepy trench coat probably shouldn't have been the one they sent in to mollify the chief of police on the subject of their group's commitment to child safety. Things had just kind of gotten worse from there. Many light bulbs had exploded.
"Well?" DEAN demands, glancing over Castiel as the angel sits in the waiting room looking incredibly irritated. "I thought I told you not to let them be creepy around the kids, Cas."
Castiel frowns at DEAN, not cowering from His displeasure at all, while Metatron crosses out "intrigued" in his journal and writes, "terrified," before showing it to Gavreel. The other angels nod in complete agreement and hope that DEAN will not cast them into the pit to suffer SAM'S gas for all eternity.
"I believe it was the act of asking for parental permission to address the children that resulted in my brothers' arrests in the first place," Castiel answers DEAN plainly. He takes a flask out of his jacket pocket and downs a good amount of the bourbon inside of it.
DEAN scoffs. "Well maybe if they didn't ask like creepers…" he starts, and grabs the flask out of Castiel's hands. Rather than berate the angel for drinking on the job, he finishes the flask off. Crowley sees where Castiel is learning his burgeoning alcoholism from. WINCHESTERS do that to people, he hears.
"Maybe," Crowley offers, dunking a pilfered donut in a fresh cup of coffee he'd taken from the break room, "it'd be best if they didn't have to ask for permission at all."
SAM and DEAN share wary looks at the demon's suggestion. "That's definitely not a good idea," SAM says. "That will definitely lead to more arrests."
"I am reluctant to admit this out loud, but I agree with the demon," Castiel pipes up, unexpectedly, while Jophiel and Raziel are being brought in from the lockup. He stares at DEAN.
"Yeah, but how drunk are you?" DEAN asks, and stares right back. After a minute in which the other angels fear another archangel rebellion is on their hands, DEAN eventually blinks. "Huh," He says. "I never thought of it that way. I guess I'll consider it."
Some of the irritated tension drains from Castiel's shoulders. "Thank you, Dean." The relief in the angel's voice prompts another weird staring contest between the two of them, slightly less tense now, and one that makes SAM clear his throat uncomfortably and suggest everyone get back on the bus while they wait for Jophiel and Raziel to be released.
Grateful, the demons and angels obediently comply.
The following weekend, Crowley finds six angels and six demons working in perfectly amiable silence on the floor of the Embassy. They are making signs. Together. It is cooperative. Peaceful even.
He instantly doesn't like it.
"Well. Isn't this a picture? What's going on?" he asks slowly, while trying to peek over Metatron's shoulder as the angel angrily scrawls something on a big white sheet of poster board, apparently purchased at Office Max for twenty percent off.
"We are fulfilling another one of SAM'S Commandments," Chuffy explains when the angels ignore Crowley.
Crowley sighs. "Oh that." And then he pauses and supposes he'd better find out which one, just in case. "What number are you sweet little dears on, then?" he asks, forcing a casual tone.
"Eight," everyone answers absently, all at once.
Crowley has to go through the list in his head to try and remember which one that is. Oh right, the hippy one that SAM must have come up with as an homage to his northern California days of yore. "Well, isn't that nice. What are you rallying for? Bringing back the tan M&Ms? The three day work week?"
"We are protesting injustice," Gavreel informs the demon stiffly, his eyebrows furrowed in a severe impression of Castiel's.
Crowley's eyebrows dart up slightly. "Protesting? All of you? Together?"
"Yes," they answer again, and don't seem to want to clarify.
Crowley can feel a headache coming on, and he'd only just gotten in for the day. "Right. What are you protesting, then?" he pushes, before he loses his patience.
Metatron finally deigns to look up. "Art appreciation," he says.
From the look on his face as he does it, Crowley thinks that today, Metatron probably feels vindictive.
He leaves the room quickly.
When Crowley walks past the open door to Castiel's office on the way into his own, he sees that the angel is sitting face down at his desk, one hand clutching a near empty bottle of vodka and the other cradling a plate of chocolate piecake. His computer is on, cursor blinking on an open Word document that it looks like he'd spent the entire evening on.
The clock chimes nine am.
Just another day at the office in a universe ruled by the WINCHESTERS.
The unsaved document on Castiel's computer reads:
The Ten Commandments of DEAN
(The fifteenth updated and abridged version, as recorded by the hand of Castiel, Archangel of First Consequence under the rule of DEAN in 0001 the year of our DEAN)
1. Eat a cheeseburger
2. Go on a date
3. Watch a sports movie
4. Play with some puppies
5. Eat pie
6. Help someone out
7. Go for a long drive
8. Fix something with your own two hands
9. Spend time with your family
10. Ignore SAM'S list