February 7th, 1928
Castiel Hollman was of religious parentage, and it was for such reason that, when he had been born on a Thursday, his parents named him as they did. He was not the first child of the rather large Hollman family to be born on a Thursday; this was a title which in fact belonged to his brother, some three years older than him. However, this older brother was born with a mop of stunning blonde curls, and an irritating tendency to shriek in a way that the baptising minister claimed "would cause the walls of Jericho to tumble", and so, at the last minute, the child's name was changed to Gabriel. His hair had darkened and straightened over time, now a lightish brown, but he had managed to retain his boundless energy, and his ability to be incredibly loud and annoying at times when you really wish he wouldn't e, as Castiel could bear witness.
"Open up, open up open up open up, open up open up open up, open up open up open up, open up open up open up..."
"Gabriel." Castiel sighed, still pulling his robe around him as he opened his apartment door. Gabriel, dressed in a white shirt, double-breasted jacket and stylishly wide trousers, swept past him and made a bee-line for the kitchen.
"Dare I ask why you're still in your day dress at three in the morning?"
"I've been busy." Gabriel called back to him, his mouth already full of something he had stolen from the fridge.
As with many wealthy families in the year 1928, the Hollman family were wealthy enough to have separated across America, each in pursuit of their own particular "American Dream". Castiel (the youngest brother still living) had decided not to stray too far from the family home as he wasn't entirely sure what his dream was yet. At this particular moment, it was to get Gabriel out of his apartment and get to sleep.
Gabriel, comparatively, went through at least three dreams a month, frittering away any money he came into, yet somehow managing to stay rich enough not to work. Resigned to his fate of hearing what his brother's latest ridiculous scheme was, Castiel dragged his feet through to the kitchen. Gabriel was eating a honey sandwich, sitting on the table and grinning at his brother, possibly because he knew his brother just wanted to sleep.
"You remember when I went to Europe last month?"
Castiel blinked, sighed, and sat awkwardly in the chair next to him.
"You remember how I came back and was once again utterly enthralled with the art of the theatre?"
Castiel wasn't sure he wanted to hear where this was going.
"And you remember how I was owed a rather costly sum of money after that incident last year with the patent office?"
"You mean the one where they bribed you to give up all claim to that horrid drink you invented?"
"That's the ticket."
"Then, sadly, yes."
"Well... now, brother, I want you to be prepared for this... this is a revelation so earth-shattering, so very wondrous, that our name-sake angels may dance from the heavens and..."
"You bought a theatre, didn't you?"
There was a brief silence.
"Must you always spoil my fun?"
"Gabriel, do you know anything about the management of theatre?"
"What's to know? Put on plays, sell tickets, and use the money to put on more plays!"
Castiel sighed, deciding he had not had sufficient sleep to deal with such a conversation.
"You know you'll only be bored with the whole thing by next week."
"No I won't. I swear it, this time; I'm in it for keeps!"
"Yes, well, even if you are still interested in a month's time, I can guarantee the whole thing will be a fiasco. Please, Gabriel, just sell it while you're not..."
"Never! "In a month's time" indeed. In a month's time, my theatre shall be the most profitable establishment in all the state!"
March 7th, 1928
"Gabriel. Good morning."
"Oh, don't be so smug. I need your help."
March 8th, 1928
During Castiel's childhood, he had shown a profound talent in the area of art, particularly architectural design. It was this that Gabriel had commandeered his Saturday afternoon to get at; Gabriel was convinced the reason his theatre had done so poorly over the last month was that it had little to offer over the competition. So he was adamant to call in all the favours he could, and even owe other people, to pull off something so spectacular that everyone would flock to it.
He had some of the best people around working on costumes and effects, he had hired one of the best stage management teams around, and he wanted Castiel to design the scenery. If budget allowed, he suggested renovating the theatre itself a little.
Castiel had, of course, refused.
But there was one thing Gabriel had counted to their advantage, which Castiel could not deny.
Gabriel had an odd power over people.
That was how he could choose any worker he wanted, regardless of their ego or demands, and how he could convince anyone to do his bidding. He had something of the hypnotist about him.
Castiel silently cursed his smooth-talking sibling as he stared up at the less than pristine front to the "C.P. Theatre", the sign looking possibly the newest and most expensive part of it.
"Aren't theatres usually named after the street they're on, or the person who owns them?"
"Sure." Gabriel grinned, holding a paper bag of sweets he had insisted they purchase before they reach the theatre. "If you want to be like any other Mrs Grundy. I thought it would be something different."
"But why is it called "C.P"?"
"Because it's the Cat's Pyjamas."
Castiel thought for a moment, went to respond to this, realised he wasn't sure exactly how to, and decided he wouldn't. He sighed, and gripped his sketchbook and pencil tin a little tighter.
"Fine, let's pipe down get this done with."
"Don't be such a pill." Gabriel grinned, rolling the sugary fruit gums around his mouth. "You'll see, it's copacetic."
When they made it into the building, Castiel gasped. It was clean, and shabby, the gold leaf faded, the red velvet curtains moth-eaten, and most of the stage boards were probably mouldy, but it was a space.
The proscenium stage was large enough to hold a crowd of at least thirty, or twenty it they needed room to dance. The chairs raked in elegant semi-circles away from the slight protrusion, allowing actors a little extra space to act. The Boxes were beautiful, the Circle was placed so that even those at the back had a decent view, and the theatre as a whole could comfortably seat two hundred. The reception area had faced the same age and degradation as the auditorium, but the backstage areas were near immaculate; bare but functional, with plenty of space and access to the fly galleries above the stage.
"It's..." Castiel didn't want to admit it, but he was excited. He actually wanted to make this building his own, he wanted to make it beautiful. "It's actually promising."
"Oh, it's the real McCoy." Gabriel grinned, sitting on the stage as he waited for Castiel to finish exploring every crevice of the building. "So what do you say? Are you going to be a wet blanket, or are you going to help your charming older brother out?"
Damn. Damn and blast. He knows I want the job.
"Alright, fine. I'll do it."
Gabriel here made such a noise of joy that the chronicler cannot honestly attempt to spell it, suffice to say it was an odd exclamation, and a loud one, and followed by him jabbering excitedly to Castiel, without noticing whether or not Castiel was listening.
"Cas, you are a gentleman! A true class act! You're the berries! The bee's knees! The cat's meow! The cat's pyjamas! The cat's meowing pyjamas, Castiel, that's what you are! Now listen, in terms of budget, I'm not exactly sure how much we can give to design, what with all the workers needing wages and so on, so you might have to spot a little out of your own account, but you know..."
Castiel had since stopped listening. He was carefully sketching out the auditorium, ideas already floating around his head, excitement sparking in his blood.