Title: In Lieu of a Chessboard

Beta: Gehayi

Rating: G

Word Count: 820

Author's Note: Actually have been sitting on this one for a while, but I just never got around to posting it. This is set in episode 701 "Meet the New Boss", but before Sam and Dean try to use Death in their last ditch effort to stop Godstiel.

Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural". It is the property of the CW Network and Kripke Enterprises.


It was a clear day, and two men that were not men sat on a park bench.

The one in black had a greasy, brown paper bag in his hand and was eating slowly from the still-steaming batch of onion rings he'd bought from a drive-through in Indiana—which was 1456 miles away from where he now sat.

Presently, he offered one to his companion in white, and it was taken.

"I like them with ketchup," God said when he was done.

"Ketchup masks the flavor. Though these are a little heavy on the batter, I do see why you recommended that particular Sonic," Death replied, sipping his Dr. Pepper.

"You're not the only one who loves to sample fast food."

They lapsed into silence again, both of them not looking at each other, but preferring to stare off over the horizon and see a point in the distance that no other beings in the universe can see. But the silence did not last.

"Your children—your child, rather—is a twit," Death said bluntly.

God sighed. "He meant well."

"I have no interest in hearing about intentions. All I see are results, roads to Hell, and more disastrous messes that I have to clean up." He turned, staring over his cup at God. "A task that really should be left to you. This is your favorite planet and they are your favorite children. You should take care of them."

"I do and you know that," God retorted, sounding mildly offended.

"Yes, yes, providing elaborate and ridiculously cryptic hints always to disguise your true intention and who you really are, ensuring everything is left to the choices of the recipients." Death waved a dismissive hand. "Perhaps you should be more direct. The choice would be easier."

"Oh, yes, because you have never dropped a cryptic hint in your life, hoping that the person in question would be smart enough to realize what it meant and that therefore the achievement would be all his."

Death pursed his lips and offered God another onion ring.

"You know why I do not…become more involved," God said when he swallowed.

"For the same reason I don't," Death conceded. "That free will business you set up is certainly a tricky item."

"But it was the greatest gift I ever gave my children."

"They certainly do appreciate it."

God smiled at Death's wry tone. "They do, even though they do not realize it."

"I doubt they are going to appreciate much of anything if you do not scold that brat of yours," Death suddenly said sharply, tired of being distracted from the original subject.

"Now, really, why do you care so much?" God frowned at Death. "Why so anxious to get me to put Castiel over my knee? You weren't this way about Lucifer."

"Because any chaos—no matter how small or large—is what I have to tidy up later. I am growing tired of this. Lucifer's nonsense was annoying, but scripted. Considering Castiel has made enough unscripted messes for me to know exactly when he has made a new one, don't you think he has done quite enough? You created a natural order and he is destroying it."

"Sam and Dean Winchester have made plenty of messes for you to clean, yet I have never heard you complain about them."

"Sam and Dean Winchester are humans. I…grudgingly admit that half of the disasters caused by them coming back are not their fault. No—that would be the fault of your angelic brood. Was there any particular reason you thought it might be amusing to create an entire race of animals that would do nothing but find new and interesting ways to try and irritate me?"

"I was no more amused by their antics than you were."

Death snorted. "I sincerely doubt that is possible—seeing as you were not bound by a child."

"Touché."

There was silence again. Once more, it was Death to break it.

"So. You are going to just allow your son to put on Daddy's shoes and pretend to be an adult?"

"Yes."

"I do believe that is one of the main laws you laid down millennia ago that no one should break."

"And he can break it just like all others before him have broken it. I gave him free will."

"Brilliant idea on your part, clearly. Your blatant favoritism of that imbecile will be the death of your beloved humans."

"He simply doesn't quite understand yet."

"He's an arrogant toad who doesn't have the brains you gave trout."

"That's my son you are talking about."

Death ignored His mildly reproachful tone. "Everything is your son."

"He will redeem himself." God's tone was serenely sure.

"You seem awfully certain of that."

"I am. I know him better than he knows himself."

"All right. Let's say he does redeem himself. Will it be worth the cost?"

God did not answer.