Warning: Complete and total CRACK.
Gabriel dropped Castiel off that day with a twinkle in his eye. "Now, be a good boy, eat three square meals a day and don't mess with the upperclassmen unless they deserve it," he winked.
Castiel gulped and yanked his bursting suitcase from Gabe's old Volkswagen van. He barely made it five steps down the graveled path however before rushing back to the car in a whirl of panic.
"Trumpet," he said breathlessly to his brother and grabbed a worn black case from the passenger seat.
"Yeah, I hear you need one of those things for band camp," Gabe commented. "Now, don't do anything I wouldn't do!" he cried as he revved the wheezing engine and took off down the road, a cloud of dust trailing in his wake.
"Stellar advice once again, older brother," Castiel said to the empty road. He turned to where a rusted sign creaked in the breeze. It had a picture of a badly drawn treble clef and read "Golden Bell Summer Music Camp" in faded letters.
Actual tumble weeds rolled across the empty road and Castiel found himself missing his old home in Chicago. Kansas was flat and open. He couldn't quite get used to a place where he could see the horizon in every direction.
He trudged down the dusty lane and lamented the fact that he wouldn't know a single soul at his new high school. He clutched his trumpet a little tighter, as if the instrument could offer some small comfort.
A large dilapidated building slumped behind a sign that read "Mess Hall" and Castiel hesitantly swung open a pair of crooked doors.
In contrast to the stark exterior, the hall was bustling inside. Instrument cases and luggage of all sizes had been scattered haphazardly across the space and people milled in every direction. Yells of delight echoed as students were reunited with their friends and Castiel barely made his way through the crowd to the back corner of the room, where he intended to remain unnoticed for as long as possible.
A piercing whistle cut through the noise soon after however and the room fell silent. Castiel glanced up to see a grizzled man sporting a leather vest and baseball cap and holding a clipboard in one hand.
"Let's save the tearful reunions, shall we?" he groused. "You saw all these folks two weeks ago in class, for crying out loud. It's only June, you hormonal idjits. Now, if you don't mind, we have actual work to do."
A couple students laughed. "Love you too, Bobby," a voice yelled from the crowd.
"And aren't I so glad to see you're still a suck-up, Samuel Winchester," the man said with a fond eye roll. "And it's Mr. Singer to you when we're in school. Don't think I won't put you in detention with your brother again."
The man—Mr. Singer—popped a stick of gum in his mouth and moved to stand in the center of the room.
"For what it's worth, welcome to band camp," he began, like he had given the same worn-out speech hundreds of times before to generations of students "For all you idiot freshmen out there, the name's Bobby Singer and I have the unfortunate task of teaching you people how to march to music.
"We get two lovely weeks here, so I suggest you try to get along with your teammates. I'm not your mommy, so keep your personal lives to yourselves and we'll get on just fine. Nothin' else on earth scares me more than a teary-eyed freshman girl with boyfriend problems—that's what you all have each other for."
He eyed several fragile looking girls in the front of the room with distaste, as if they would start bawling right then and there.
"That being said, " he continued, "I only have one rule: Don't be an asshole. Of course, I realize that this is impossible for some of you morons, but before you go through with whatever incredibly stupid scheme you've devised in that mushy gray stuff you call a brain, I want you to ask yourself, 'Is there a chance I could get caught and this could backfire on me in unexpected and tragic ways?' If the answer is even remotely yes, don't do it."
He cleared his throat. "Did I make myself clear? Everyone still tracking with me?"
A couple of the more eager students bobbed their heads in the affirmative. Castiel scratched behind his neck nervously.
Mr. Singer rolled his eyes again. "Yeah, well, as per usual, your stunned silence is my cue to exit. Your drum majors will let you all know what cabin you're in. Take an hour to relax this afternoon, but don't forget that auditions for section leaders and part placement are tonight."
He gestured toward the double doors. "Now shoo. I'll see your ugly mugs later."
Castiel unrolled his sleeping bag over a crackly mattress. He had been placed in a cabin with three other freshmen boys who were currently preoccupied with something on the far bed.
"Dude, you are like the most awesome person I know. Where'd you get these?" a pale boy with a curly mop of red hair sighed.
"Ebay. They're limited edition," another boy with a mullet replied.
"We're so totally going to rock our worlds tonight, fellas," a third wiry and rather mousy looking boy added.
Castiel walked over to look for himself. Peering over their bowed heads, a deck of cards swam into view.
"These do not appear to be normal cards," he noted and the other freshmen jumped at the sound of his voice.
"No kidding, genius," Mullet-boy said. "These happen to be one-of-a-kind Swordmage power cards."
"Ahhh," Castiel returned, like he understood exactly what the boy meant.
Thankfully, Mullet-boy took pity on him. "Dude, it's okay, we'll teach you," he chuckled. "By the way—the name's Ash and I'll be your resident Dungeon Master. This here's Chuck and Garth and they're my back up singers."
Both boys looked reasonably offended by the statement but neither did they bother to contradict it. Castiel offered his hand to the group and they all stared at him in confusion, like they had no idea anyone under the age of forty could be that well mannered.
"Umm, thank you I suppose. I look forward to learning…" Castiel stalled, still unsure what they were actually doing.
"Dude. Dungeons and Dragons. You must be even more repressed than you look, and that's saying something considering you're wearing a trench coat in June."
"Of course. Thank you," he replied politely.
"Hey, it's not charity, man. You'll find a way to repay your debt."
Castiel knew that he wasn't the most socially adept person on the planet, but even he had trouble deciphering the conversation that had just taken place.
"What instrument do you all play exactly?" he asked, hoping to switch to a topic he actually understood.
"Trumpet," they answered together, still bent over the cards. Before Castiel could reply however, a knock sounded at the door.
"Fresh-meat! Get your lily white asses out here to report for duty!"
The other three scrambled to hide their cards and hastily tucked in their shirts. Garth licked a hand and attempted to comb his hair in a frantic and ultimately futile gesture.
"One moment, sir!" Chuck yelled, his eyes ablaze with terror of having to meet an upperclassman.
Castiel studied the scene in bewilderment. Ash grabbed him by the elbow and straightened the loose blue tie he liked to wear.
"It's our section leader. Head honcho, prima donna of the golden horn—you get the idea," he hissed.
"I thought there were auditions for those," Castiel said, remembering Mr. Singer's speech.
"Pure formality," Ash quipped and threw open the door as they stumbled out into the sunlight.
Castiel blinked and found himself face to face with a pair of bright green eyes. They were really almost an emerald color, he thought to himself before a hand shoved him roughly back.
"Whoa there, cowboy. It's called personal space."
The green eyes belonged to a boy slightly taller than Castiel, who wore a frown on his face as he surveyed what must have looked like a rather motley crew of freshmen. He was dressed in a pair of cargo shorts, flip-flops and a light blue t-shirt that read, "Trumpet Players Do It Better".
Castiel wondered absently what the "it" was.
The boy seemed to come to some sort of decision regarding them however because he snapped a set of sunglasses into place and crossed his arms.
"Welcome to band camp, gentlemen. I'm Dean Winchester. I'll be your section leader and your new personal god for the next two weeks. Now, go fetch me a sandwich, bitches."
They scrambled for the honor. Castiel watched the dust trails rise from where the other three had been just moments before and wondered what the hell he had gotten himself into.
A large pack of teens ran by the cabin where Dean and Castiel stood and hollered at the green-eyed section leader in greeting. Dean raised his hand in some sort of complicated yes-we're-all-in-the-band-together-isn't-that-awesome salute and flashed a cocky smile their direction. At that, a thin gangly boy broke off from the group and jogged to Dean's side.
Castiel's first impression was that the kid was some sort of 80's film reject; he wore a lime green sweatband around a mop of wavy brown hair and matching green wristbands.
Still panting from the exercise, the boy slapped Dean's shoulder in an exhausted sort of way, leaving a wet imprint where his hand had landed.
"Dude. Way gross," Dean blanched and eyed the mark.
"Just another installment in the infinite payback I owe you for being my jerk of an older brother," he grinned.
"I'd say that payback's a bitch, but oh wait, you're already filled that position, Sammy."
The sweaty boy just laughed and slapped him again for effect. "So, are you going to introduce me to your freshmen or what?"
"Nah—just sent the pipsqueaks on a sandwich run."
"I think one got lost." A finger pointed in Castiel's direction.
Dean turned around and seemed surprised to find Castiel still standing in the same place. "Dude! Sandwich!" he said slowly, like Castiel must not have heard him clearly the first time.
Castiel wasn't entirely sure if he liked his section leader yet, but he couldn't help think that the exasperated manner in which Dean ordered him around was slightly endearing. He had no intention of fetching him a sandwich though.
The other boy smiled. "Ignore him. I'm Sam and, just in case this jerkwad was too busy being a tool to introduce himself, this is my brother Dean."
"Who happens to be both better looking and older," Dean emphasized. Sam grinned down at his brother sympathetically. He already had three inches on Dean and was probably still growing.
Castiel couldn't help but laugh and Dean shot him a glare in return, like he was now doubly guilty of insubordination.
He looked away from Dean's death-stare though and held out a hand to Sam. "I'm Castiel, but you can call me Cas, I suppose. Do you play trumpet as well?"
"Hell no," Sam grimaced at the same time Dean inserted, "He plays the flute."
Sam puffed his chest and stood a little straighter in righteous indignation. "I do not. I play the piccolo. Two different instruments, Dean."
"Oh yeah, because playing the piccolo makes you sound less gay. My bad."
"Like you're one to talk," Sam said and Castiel noted that Dean's face turned a deep red.
"The point, Sam, is that if you played something like guitar, I could say you were all sensitive and shit, but you play the freaking piccolo, man. There's just no way to make that sound cool."
"I am cool," Sam snapped. "I'm section leader and was voted band president."
"Don't worry, I think you're cool, Sam," Castiel interjected before Dean could rant about how Sam was just digging a deeper hole for himself with the whole 'band president' thing.
"Thanks, Cas," Sam said warmly and shook his head at his older brother. "You be nice," he told Dean. "I like this one."
Dean scowled at Sam from under his sunglasses.