Castiel had been reading for the past two hours in a park on the side of a hill. A few yards away, a young woman was lying on her stomach, only wearing her underwear. Further away, there was a man who had been staring at the same tree for at least fifteen minutes. It was a quiet Wednesday day. Families came to the park with their children on the weekend.
The book was called The Great Gatsby and he liked to think that the book, until it took a sudden turn, was an anachronistic version of his own life. What with the parties and the relationships and the secrets of a friend's life. Maybe Dean was Gatsby. Which, if so, could take a very dark turn and he hoped that if his life was similar to The Great Gatsby then it only included the partying and the leisure activities with friends, and the occasional reflection on a family memory.
He continued to read. He was more than halfway through the book. But his eyes were becoming tired and the sun had risen to the point where his neck began to sweat underneath his trench coat. Castiel finished the chapter and placed his bookmark inside, closing the paperback as he stretched his neck back and shut his eyes tightly. He opened them again and yawned.
It was remarkable how a city, no matter how large and loud and polluted and busy, could still have that one spot where all was peaceful. This was that spot. Unlike the road his apartment was on, this particular corner was all but a pocket of birds chirping and the dry leaves rustling in the cool breeze. Cars rarely passed by, unless looking for a particular house in the neighbourhood, or taking a scenic route to be envious of the American-sized houses owned by successful businessmen and their wives.
But what Castiel liked most was that the park was nothing more than a large area of grass with a few bench seats.
Castiel set the book down beside him and looked at the large house across the road, its front lawn mown to perfection and hedges without one branch out of place. He wondered who did the gardening – if it was a family effort or if there was a hired gardener. It didn't particularly matter, but Castiel was simply curious about the normal conventions of the traditional American family. It was nice to know that some Americans still lived in the time of the American Dream despite its inherent racism and the like. It was an aesthetically pleasing time.
"Who you reading?"
Castiel looked up. It was the braless girl with skin ten tones darker than his. Her tan was impressive and she obviously wasn't bothered by her naked breasts. Castiel blushed and looked in another direction conspicuously. "Fitzgerald."
She sat up and hooked her bra around her waist, then turned it around and slipped it over her breasts. "Gatsby, I assume. They always read Gatsby."
Now that she was somewhat covered, he looked at her face. "They?"
"People," she shrugged. "Not that I'm judging you. I'm just saying that it seems Gatsby is what everyone reads, and forget all the other work he did. I'm a lit major."
Castiel was glad he didn't judge her before she said that, because she looked liked your average beach babe with her very fortunate breasts and her long thin legs all complete with the done-up face of thick eyeliner and mascara complimented with hot pink lipstick.
"Then you wouldn't think much of me," Castiel mumbled. "I just started reading."
"What do you mean by that? You just learnt how to?"
"No, I mean, fictional books. Well, I read The Bible." He tried for a joke, wondering if God was making a reservation for 7 o' clock in Hell.
She got the joke and laughed. "We're all different. What else have you read?"
"I finished Of Mice and Men."
"Oh, that was beautiful. Cried like a baby. There's also a movie. It's very good."
Castiel nodded. "I might look for a copy, then."
She nodded, smiled then stood up, redressing. She put on her shorts and her see-through top, some flimsy thing that was probably supposed to be one of those fashionable things but Castiel could never understand the point of it.
"I'm Jade, by the way."
She shook his hand. "It was nice meeting you. Hope you enjoy the rest of Gatsby." And with that, she left for the street where her car was parked and drove off.
It was weird, how sometimes people were so socially inviting, and right before you can class them as some freak for talking to a stranger you learn that they're a lot brighter than you'll ever be. Castiel has never been to college, and never attended school. School was scripture and bible studies, with biased science classes and very minimal anything else. He was taught the more... agrarian ways of life.
He was also taught not to think of a woman until marriage, and only then you could fuck her, but when you were fucking her it only for the purposes of procreation.
Castiel heard God changing the time of the reservation to 5 o' clock for the fastest service to hell.
His eyes closed again, listening only to the sound of urban nature.
Jump forward and Castiel is walking the half hour walk back towards his measly apartment. He hated his car that much. It was because petrol prices were high, he had convinced himself. He had tucked the paperback underneath his arm and on his way had stopped at a convenience store for a can of Dr. Pepper – a disgustingly sugary drink that Castiel had taken a liking to. He also bought some Milk Duds out of curiosity more than anything. That was when he realised he was low on change. He had found an ATM and withdrawn money from his bank account but found some unfortunate news.
The screen told him his balance was a pathetic $83.26 which was very worrying indeed. He needed a job. But where? He had no qualifications. He was excellent at reciting useless verses from the Bible. Castiel also – and somewhat surprisingly to the judging eye – was quite practiced in both fencing, some hybrid form of martial arts Gabriel had taught him, and various other combat skills that he wasn't sure why he was taught them. Needless to say, if someone wanted to steal his money (if he had any) and knife him in the back late at night, they'd certainly be welcoming a hospital bed for the next six weeks.
Castiel made it back to his apartment and after tackling the key into the resistant lock, threw the book and milk duds onto the couch and placed the can on the coffee table. Then he dropped onto the couch too, and spent a good ten minutes resting his feet. Walking was a hard trek on a hot day.
When he opened his eyes again, he caught a small yellow note stuck on his fridge. He frowned and got up, trying to remember what he put there. Then he remembered. A sticky note, reminding him to find a fucking job, because only then could he find love and be happy.
Well, he certainly wasn't being a productive member of society by sitting around his apartment all day. Castiel had to take some initiative.
Dean had never been in Castiel's apartment until now. He looked around the living room, stared at the very lonely entertainment system (of lack thereof), studied the very new books then went on an adventure much to Castiel's embarrassment into his bedroom and bathroom. Then he came back out and warned Castiel to hide his porn magazines better because one should at least have some decency for God's sake.
Castiel didn't understand any of it.
"Only having a crack at ya. Anyway. So. You said you needed help."
Castiel nodded, ready to give him a pre-prepared speech about his inquiry of where to apply for a job that was suitable for one of his nature. But before he could get in one word, Dean had made a charge at the fridge and opened its door, searching for something edible and ready-to-go.
"Got any pie?"
Dean made a clicking sound of disapproval. He closed the fridge door. Then he noticed a sticky note on the front.
Castiel forgot about that. How embarrassing.
Dean snickered, "Darling, you're killing me." He tore off the note and returned to Castiel. "Well, I know you got a car. I sold you it. We're working on the love part. Well. Makin' love. Same thing, a little less emphasis on the champagne and rose petals. And assuming you're always this..." Dean gestured to Castiel's face, "You're pretty content with life. So that's all good. But what you don't have is a job. That's what you want help with, right?"
Castiel nodded again.
Dean's face brightened, "And I got the perfect place for you."
"Sure, a little coffee shop on the corner of East Rosehill Avenue and Oxford Lane."
The smug bastard. "Working with you? In the coffee shop? Can I do that? I've never made coffee before, I think I wouldn't be very good with –."
"Shut your damn whiny mouth, Cas. You'll be a trainee. I'll train you. It ain't that hard once you got the hang out of it. And Sam and Jo and Ellen are all really great, they'll teach you how to be friendly to all the customers even if they're wankers."
Castiel hastily accepted the offer but no sooner than he did, he found himself in an uncomfortable polo shirt standing behind a counter that was a lot less attractive than what it seemed from the customer's point of view. There was grinded coffee spilt all over the floor. The heat from the coffee machine and the toaster was constantly in your face. Whichever asshole made working in a coffee shop look romantic on those ads obviously had never worked in a coffee shop.
"So this is Sam, you've met Sam," Dean introduced Castiel once again. "He's a stupid college student and works less. This is Jo," Dean gestured to the short, younger blonde, "who is way cooler than my stupid brother. And this," he gestured to the older woman who was giving Dean a dangerous look, "is the beautiful Ellen who you should absolutely be terrified of."
"Um," said Castiel.
Ellen rolled her eyes, "Dean's acting a child. I'm the boss of this place, Cas. Now, while we still have to work out the difficulties of paperwork, both Jo and Dean will be training you. Workwise, you won't be doing much except serving the customers."
"You'll be fine," Ellen said encouragingly. "We'll discuss those papers tomorrow, prompt. For now, Dean, do something useful for once." She gave Dean a wink, then left into what Castiel could only assume to be The Office.
"As if I don't do anything," Dean grumbled.
Jo smiled, "You know she's only teasing. Nice to meet you, Cas."
Castiel would have said something back if his throat hadn't become suddenly dry, and he nodded awkwardly instead. He did a lot of that. Probably wasn't a good thing for the customers. He'd freak them all out. Business would go down. Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit oh shit. He was going to screw up everything and Dean would hate him and tell him how on earth could anyone fuck up being a barista – it wasn't that hard.
Sam and Jo moved away, leaving both Dean and Castiel to a very large and very intimidating coffee machine.
Dean gave him a lecherous grin. "Ready for your training, my young pupil?"
"You're supposed to say yes, Sensei."
Dean was ecstatic.
AU: I'm failing my HSC, aw fuck. I'm not editing these, I'm wasting my life. I also realised it's a lot easier writing a script to prose. Christ. Writing is hard. Anyway. Hope you like this. Things are happening! I don't know anything about baristas, but I have a friend who is a qualified barista. Yey. He can teach me the ways.
The girl at the start has no relevance, it was just an idea for the beginning of the chapter.
Anyone have any particular things they want to see? I'm going with the humorous plot so please, if you want something to happen then let me know.