If you missed Part 11, it’s here: https://atomicfeminist.com/2019/05/15/supernatural-manic-pixie-god-girl-part-11-angles-in-the-architecture/
If Bobby would’ve only been a human still it wouldn’tve been so damn frustrating.
It happened sometimes with the Winchester Boys, they’d start doing crap Bobby didn’t approve of, things he couldn’t keep his mouth shut about, so he’d take a step back and get busy with his own life for awhile. After all, he wasn’t their boss and he wasn’t their daddy, and they were grown ass men. Dumb as balls both of them in their own way, sure, but grown ass men all the same. Wasn’t his place to tell Sam and Dean how to live their lives no matter how bad they needed for someone to tell them how to live their lives. So he’d take a step back.
He couldn’t do that now because he didn’t exactly have a life to get busy with.
Being Dean’s archangel meant he was a servant, like a butler or a bodyguard, and the expectation was that he would be at everybody’s beck and call. No one came right out and said it but Bobby knew damn well if he went incommunicado there would be annoyance and snarky remarks, if not wrath. But he wasn’t any man’s whipping boy, not even God’s. While Castiel may be ok living like that, Bobby Singer wasn’t.
Bobby decided he was gonna be an angel more in the mold of Gabriel. More of a doing-his-own-thing kind of angel. A don’t-call-us-we’ll-call-you kind of angel. A taking-road-trips kind of angel. That’s how he came to be standing in front of Sheriff Jody Mills with his hands in the air, looking down the business end of a loaded, cocked double barrel shotgun. “What are you, because I know you are NOT Bobby Singer?” She was scared of him, which figured, and he couldn’t half-blame her. She’d seen loved ones come back in the wrong form before, not that he was her loved one or nothing, but just, you know. It was understandable. It might not be him, was all, and he’dve done the exact same had their places been reversed. “What are you?”
The problem was, he just didn’t know how to explain it. It just seemed too…stupid. It wasn’t so much that it was unbelievable, it was that it was plain idiotic. Bobby found the entire concept of what he was and how he’d come to be, downright humiliating. “Jody, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“Well, why don’t you try, and then we’ll see if I fill you full of buckshot, or rock salt.”
“If you need to, that’s ok. I can’t die though, at least, not that way, so don’t be too shocked when I don’t.”
“I bet it will hurt though no matter what you are. So.”
She was right about that. “Ok, well, I’m an angel, apparently. An archangel, I guess you could say, not to put too fine of a point on it.” And then to prove the case he unfurled his wings, which felt ridiculous and show-offish but seemed like the fastest way to convince her. He felt a blush rise beneath his beard as he did it.
Jody was unimpressed. “I’ve seen better tricks than that at the grade school talent show.”
“Real like a Kardashian.”
“What’s a Kardashian?” The name sounded familiar but Bobby couldn’t place it. He figured there must be some new kind of demon in town. “And how do you kill it, because if you need me, Jody, you know I always got your back.”
She lowered the gun suddenly. “Bobby, it IS you, isn’t it? Really? Is it you?”
“Yeah. It’s me. Unfortunately.” He sucked his wings back up. “I keep pinching myself hoping it ain’t true, but then I say ow.”
“I got resurrected, or whatever, and then before I could escape into the night I got angelified. Heh. I can’t even get left alone when I die.”
“Huh. Who did it this time?”
Bobby started talking and then stopped. The words Dean is God tended to get stuck in his throat. “You got anything to drink? Because I think this is gonna go down better with a whiskey or two.”
“Can you drink?”
“Almost as much as I could when I was human.”
“That doesn’t seem right somehow. Like, morally?”
“Angels ain’t what they used to be.”
Jody fetched a bottle of Wild Turkey and when they’d got good and drunk, he told her the whole story. When he was done telling it, Jody sat there in silence for a while and he knew she was thinking about the people she had lost. Her son, her husband, friends and neighbors. All of em things that God could have stopped as easy as pumpkin pie, but didn’t. “Well, I gotta say, Bobby, I think I’m with Sam on this one.”
“Oh, believe you me, I see that side of it myself.”
“I mean, I guess I always thought that God had some sort of higher purpose, for all the suffering, and it would all fall into place someday, once I knew what that purpose was. Like, I would feel ok about it once I understood that that was the way things had to be? For things to be as they should be, you know? For God’s plan to come out the way it was meant to, in the end. I never really stopped to consider that maybe God is just an idiot?”
“If you met her, you could see. She means well.”
“Wasn’t she the one who said the road to Hell is paved with good intentions?”
“I s’pose she knew from personal experience.”
“But knowing didn’t seem to stop her from inflicting her good intentions on the rest of us, now did it, Bobby?”
“Like I said, Jody, I do see that side of it, I surely do. But. Well, I think she was just in over her head, a bit. With Dean to help her now, things’ll maybe be different from here on in?” He didn’t sound convincing, not even to himself.
“Don’t even get me started on that dubious concept, Bobby. Dean Winchester as God? I mean, that’s just crazy! Seriously. No way that’s not gonna end up going bad in a big way. Hm. If I knew back then what I know now, I guess I should have walked away and let him die one of the zillion times I had the chance.”
“Heh. Yeah.” He had thought she was joking but she seemed kinda serious. She poured herself a full-to-the-brim whiskey and sipped at it. Bobby didn’t know what more to say, and so said nothing. But he couldn’t help but think. Dean as God? Dean as GOD?? While Jovi essentially turning her back on Earth for centuries and doing nothing with her omnipotence had been bad enough, somehow the idea of Dean, a man of action who’d spent his life rushing in to hordes of slavering monsters to kill everything he could get his hands on and thought plans were for pussies, seemed significantly worse. It was like following President Obama with President Trump or something.
Jody was right, Dean being God was the Bad Idea to end all Bad Ideas, and probably literally. It was only a matter of time before the kid blew his cool in some fashion or another. People would die, people always did.
And worst of all, if Dean wasn’t real careful, and and who was Bobby kidding, Dean was never careful, people might find out the truth of who they were really dealing with.
What might humans do if they found out God wasn’t all-knowing, that there wasn’t some benevolent plan, that human misery was largely borne from the misery of a higher power who was hurting even worse than they were? That the person they’d been counting on to make things all right, was actually all wrong?
Bobby didn’t know, exactly. He tried to remember being human, the nuances of it, the particulars, but it was fading faster than heaven had faded. Still, he remembered enough to know that most humans weren’t like Jody. Most humans weren’t reasonable and sympathetic and decent and slow to react without knowing all the facts. Most humans were actually the polar opposite of all those things.
Looking at Jody’s face, the disappointment settling in, the defeat, he realized people finding out that God was a lonely needy little girl who was barely hanging on by her fingernails instead of an all-knowing all-seeing type of guy doling out presents to everyone like Oprah, it simply could not be a good thing. Let alone if they found out about Dean, that there was a brand spankin’ new God who had been a human up till 5 minutes ago, and that he was none too steady himself.
When you looked at it from the outside it was clear nobody who ought to be was in the driver’s seat. All of creation was careening off a cliff at 100 miles an hour with two scared kids who had stolen their parent’s car behind the wheel.
Humans would rebel like the angels had rebelled, and the funny thing about people is when they rebel, generally they hurt themselves the most.
In that moment he knew he’d never be able to be an angel like Gabriel, no matter how bad he wanted to. Bobby Singer had spent his life fighting against evil and it looked like he’d spend his afterlife doing the same, just in a different capacity. As a PR rep and cleanup man for the two least awe-inspiring Gods ever.
No matter what the price he had to pay, people couldn’t ever know that the lunatics were in charge of the asylum.
Over the next several weeks Dean tried, he really tried not to use his powers, and had some measure of success with it. No more frivolous stuff, he’d decided, no more gambling and miracles and magic tricks. The juju was for emergency use only.
Dean quickly learned, much to his dismay, that not using his powers actually started to hurt over time, like having a toothache or an ingrown toenail or one of those giant zits you get that just won’t pop no matter how hard you squeeze em. The urge was an ever-present, irritating, dull ache. He felt antsy and squirmy and just a little swollen all over his entire body. He felt tender and sensitive and bruised. His ears rang and he felt a sensation behind his eyes like there was a monkey in his brain tugging relentlessly on his optic nerves.
And that was on a good day. On a bad day the discomfort swelled into insatiable hunger and unquenchable thirst and intense desire all wrapped up with something he now recognized as the creative urge. Those days he longed for release so he could feel normal again, so he didn’t feel like he was climbing the walls and that his skin was crawling.
He found giving up his powers harder than quitting drinking, which he also did, but easier than quitting Jovi, which would have been impossible if not for the occasional maintenance dose of hot fury. He would have missed her terribly except for how dare she, how DARE she create him, create the ridiculous, inexplicable, bottomless pit of emotion he felt, and then reject him? It made his blood boil which was good because anger was the only thing allowing him to function. If he didn’t have his anger to cling to he thought he might end up curled in a ball crying or something and Dean Winchester didn’t cry over women and he certainly wouldn’t cry over THAT one.
He was fine without her. Fine and dandy.
Dean decided to look at his suffering as a means to an end. Because the more he hurt, the more he felt like he was gonna explode from pent up energy, the stronger he was getting. And the stronger he was getting the closer he was to defeating Lucifer. Life was pain, Dean was miserable, but it wouldn’t last forever. It hurt, it hurt bad, but it was temporary. Endurable. It was only a means to an end. The pain would end when Lucifer was vanquished. Forever this time, no more half-measures.
That God had been trying to defeat Lucifer for eons, well, Dean preferred to not dwell on that too awfully much. Accentuate the positive. He would win, and he would win SOON. He just had to get strong enough – mentally, physically, metaphysically – to defeat Lucifer and then with that chore off their to-do list finally, surely Jovi would soften. Once Jovi wasn’t so stressed out, wasn’t so worried about the fate of the world, she’d be more receptive to new things, probably. New developments. Plus, come on, she’d have to be pretty dang impressed that he’d worked the one trick that she never could.
Not that he cared, really, because he didn’t. All the things Sam said about her were totally right, and besides that, she wasn’t his type anyway.
Giving up booze made him sleep better, which surprised him since he’d generally gotten drunk so he could sleep. He got 10 hours of sleep a night and even took naps in the midafternoon like a child. He started drinking kombucha, which was awful, and kefir, which was ok, and various fresh squeezed juices, which varied, instead of living off coffee by the pot and the hair of the dog like he had been. He went Paleo and gave up gluten. He started eating foods he’d never heard of like Acai berries and coconut oil and quinoa. He communed with his mitochondria and was pleased to find they were full of gratitude for his efforts.
He did these things even though he knew damn well that it was pointless. Alls he had to do was have Castiel heal his vessel to be in perfect health. But Dean discovered there was value in the effort. He felt in control, he felt like he was accomplishing something and it was only when he dwelled on it too long that he admitted it was probably all just mental masturbation.
He could feel himself getting stronger again, but so slowly. Too slowly. His glory was like a big empty rain barrel filling up and even though it added up it was still just trickling in a few drops at a time. Chronos was living up to his end of the bargain and keeping the lesser gods on the move, but it wasn’t a perfect system and Lucifer was still catching an unlucky one now and then. It was a race to the finish, Dean knew, and it was impossible to con himself enough to believe that drinking a flaxseed/spinach smoothie and sleeping in could really be the key to winning Armageddon.
But he did it anyway. At the least, getting healthy gave him something to focus on. It gave him something to hang onto, a vine to pull himself out of the divine quicksand he felt like he was sinking in sometimes.
Even as he lamented how slowly his glory accrued, he found he had an excess of physical energy so he took up jogging and weightlifting and kickboxing. He could exercise for hours on end, then have Castiel heal his vessel and exercise for hours more, putting all his anxiety and misery into smacking a heavy bag and with every punch he threw he told himself he was that much closer to proving to Jovi once and for all that she wasn’t good enough for him.
When one sport got boring he switched to another. He found his body could learn in days skills that it took humans years to master. He went mountain biking and golfing and bowled 300 at every alley in the United States which was a huge, strange source of pride for him. He took up tae kwon do and krav maga and archery and this weird stupid thing called parkour and he got satisfaction in knowing the next time he encountered Lucifer, even if he couldn’t kick his ass, at the least he’d be able to run away in an interesting fashion.
And yet the pressure kept building. God was who he was now and he couldn’t just leave it behind and take up a new hobby. Just like Dean Winchester had once been a Hunter, now he was a Creator. Needing to create was like a pebble in Dean’s shoe, a burr in his saddle; it poked at him as he was riding a bike down a rocky slope and tickled him as he was putting a golf ball across a green. The more he hungered to create, the more he came to resent that he couldn’t do it as well as Jovi could, and the more frustrated got about how bad he sucked at it. He would look at the trees as he whizzed by them on his bike or the blades of grass under his feet on the golf course and feel extreme awe that Jovi could construct something so absolutely perfect completely out of her imagination. Along with a surge of burning jealousy that he couldn’t do it himself.
Copying things she had already made wasn’t good enough for Dean. Not anymore. He wanted to make his own things. He urgently wanted to show Jovi that he could create things himself, new and dazzling things, so much better than her creations, so she would feel that same awe of him that he felt of her.
But he couldn’t. He couldn’t even practice. Freaking Lucifer. Dean couldn’t even make a fly. He had to be strong enough to fight Lucifer. He didn’t have the glory to waste with experiments that would likely end in failure.
Eventually Dean decided that since he couldn’t make stuff, he would just DO stuff instead. Fix problems, correct errors. Perhaps that was where his talents lay. The things Jovi created were ok and everything, some of them were pretty cool like hummingbirds and watermelon and the Grand Canyon, but surely there was room for improvement. Just look around, look at the world, what a freaking disaster. What a mess it all was. Maybe he could take Jovi’s creations, the things that didn’t work as well as they should, which was most of them in his very humble opinion, and give em a tweak. Home improvement projects, he thought of them as. Like training his muscles required small repetitive motions over time, surely he could hone his ability to create the same way. Little adjustments, again and again, until he mastered creation.
People seemed to be the main problem, thus Dean decided it was people who he’d fix first. Since he didn’t have the glory to waste on kicking ass, he had to work smarter, not harder. He did the math and calculated that only a very small percentage of the human population committed most of the violent crimes. He could sense them sticking out of humanity like a sprinkling of black pepper on mashed potatoes. God, how he loathed them. So he very, very subtly began to change the odds so the worst people would be just a little more likely to die. He didn’t kill them, exactly, he just made unlikely, unpleasant events a little more likely to happen until eventually they’d either contract some rare, usually incurable illness or manage to kill themselves through some sort of delicious, poetic justice-y freak accident.
It didn’t take him anywhere near the kind of effort that killing them all outright would have done; in fact it took barely any effort at all. He could do it on the sly and keep gaining strength at very nearly the same pace. It just…took the edge off, was all. Of course he was doing it to make the world a better place and everything, but it also took the edge off. He figured it was like methadone for a heroin addiction. A pale imitation of the thing you really wanted to do but somehow it got you through.
More important, it didn’t attract any untoward attention.
Dean understood instinctively that the concept of a real live God performing real live miracles, particularly killing-people-related miracles, would have a negative effect on humanity as a whole. Not only would it scare them, but people seemed to need the uncertainty of it all; the “does God exist” question seemed to spur them in ways that absolute faith couldn’t. He had read that when training animals, intermittent punishment and intermittent rewards were much more effective training tools than consistency. Which was mighty effed up when you stopped to think about it, but maybe that was one of Jovi’s careless mistakes that he needed to fix. When he was strong enough he was going to fix all her mistakes.
This went on for a few weeks before Death wised up to the game and paid Dean a visit.
Dean had been surfing, his latest endeavor. He’d been at it for three days and was getting pretty good. He’d had a crowd of people watching him, even. As he came out of the surf he saw Death appear, and so he sent his admiring onlookers away with a thought. “Hey, D-Man. Pallid as ever, I see.” Death was a guy who needed to give up gluten and take up mountain biking, for sure. Dean stuck his surfboard into the sand and shook his head to dry it. He was pleased to see that a whole lot of small beads of water flew from his hair to splatter across Death’s black suit.
“You should see yourself, Winchester.” Dean knew all too well that despite his best efforts at eating clean, despite having spent the last 3 days in the Australian sun, his vessel was still was a little gaunt, a little pale. His eyes were still sunken and red-rimmed. He still had more healing to do before he was ready to face Lucifer even though it felt like the healing was killing him. “I’m sure you’re aware why I’m here?”
“No.” He was, of course, but it seemed smarter to play dumb.
“Been killing rather a lot of people lately, haven’t we?”
“I thought you’d learned you can’t disturb the natural order? Remember? When you tried to do my job for a day and made such a mess of things?”
“Ah, but that was by saving people who were meant to die, not killing people who were meant to be alive.”
“It isn’t semantics. Your argument is fundamentally flawed, Death, because I can’t go against the natural order. When I was a human, yeah, sure. I was subject to the natural order. But I’m God now. I create the natural order. I make the rules, so I can bend em whenever I see fit. You got a problem with that?”
“Well, I don’t, no.”
“Jovi sent you?” Dean found the concept of a messenger sent by Jovi more than a little thrilling, which was irritating.
“Not exactly. We spoke, and you’re causing her distress. I took it upon myself.”
“Old friends. The oldest.” Dean knew that Death and God had been together since the very beginning and just the idea that Death had ever known Jovi so well, had ever had the privilege to be alone with her for a second let alone for trillions of years, caused a flare of jealous rage so great that the earth shook under Dean’s feet. If Death felt it, he ignored it. “I don’t like to see her that way. Death is my domain, as her domain is life. I try to protect her from it, when I can.”
Dean wondered if it had ever been love, as unlikely as it seemed; he wondered if there could be something there still, which seemed even unlikelier. He realized that even if Death was no more than a friend to her, he did not want Jovi to have a single friend other than him and the earth shook again. “You have no need to protect Jovi from me.”
“Not from you, Winchester, from the consequences of your actions.” The concept that Death felt interceding between him and Jovi was even remotely acceptable was infuriating. Dean wanted Jovi to be for him and him alone, a trillion years in the past and a trillion years in the future. He knew it wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair to want that but he wanted it anyway. “What you’re doing is stupid anyway, there’s no bloody point. You’re making a rookie mistake, don’t you realize that?”
“I don’t make mistakes! I act, and it’s up to everyone beneath me to react. Nothing I do is a mistake. I am the Word.”
“She is the Word as well, and she doesn’t like killing for no reason!”
“She’s allowing evil people to live. And they kill.”
“Once they’re dead, they cannot be redeemed. She allows the evil to live to allow them every opportunity for redemption!”
“They don’t deserve redemption.”
“Redemption isn’t deserved, it is bestowed! Redemption is a gift, not a payment for services rendered!!”
“I have no interest in arguing about the finer points of Godhood with the likes of you, Death.”
“Well, you should discuss it with someone, because you’re botching the job!”
“She does. And honestly, she seemed a little sorry to have made you at all.”
Dean remembered what Lucifer had said, that Jovi wouldn’t have created him without the ability to destroy him, and he remembered that Death’s Scythe maybe-just-maybe could kill God. Even if the scythe couldn’t kill Jovi, maybe-just-maybe she had made it so the scythe could kill Dean. Maybe Death was the failsafe that Lucifer had been so sure existed and he felt goosebumps rise even though he was baking in the warm sunshine. “Is that why she sent you here? To kill me?”
Death laughed drily. “She didn’t send me.” The temerity of it, that Death had taken it upon himself to come here! That Death thought he was worthy of standing in judgement on the actions of God! The rage boiled inside Dean then out of him and because he knew he couldn’t kill Death, he reached out with that precious power that he’d been so carefully preserving, that had taken him so much effort to accumulate, that he knew he shouldn’t be squandering, and he snuffed out every one of the evil men (and a not-small group of evil women) that he’d been killing off one by one by one. Snuffed them in a heartbeat. Death sensed it immediately, of course. His beady eyes went wide and a flush of red appeared on his pale cheeks. “I had plans tonight!”
“Guess you’ll have to reschedule.”
“I’m trying to explain, what I came here to try to explain, Winchester, you can’t just kill off the evil! It doesn’t work like that!
“I know, because it looks suspicious.”
“No, because it’s pointless! You realize every evil person who falls, more rise to take their place?”
“Evil is largely about opportunity, you twit. Human nature and opportunity. The world is full of people who would simply love to be evil, to do evil, but they just never had the chance yet. All you’ve done is created millions of job openings that will soon be filled, and the precise sort of chaos in which evil thrives!”
“Maybe, but the world will get a couple good years before they do.”
“You’ll see.” And he disappeared.
That night, the evening news breathlessly reported millions of inexplicable deaths across the world. People were saying it was Armageddon. There were bank runs and all the food in all the grocery stores was gone because people were hoarding it. Riots and revolutions had broken out around the globe. People were sacrificing animals and virgins. There were mass suicides, mass murders, genocide. North Korea launched a nuclear warhead into Portland, Oregon. Apparently Death had been correct, there were still plenty more evil people left to take the place of the ones Dean had killed. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were dead already and the number kept climbing. It was like the aftermath of a tsunami where the death toll keeps rising and you’re wondering how high could it possibly go.
Exactly like a tsunami, he realized. He had unleashed a tidal wave of divine wrath and the world was drowning in the wake of his temper. He may as well have made it rain for 40 days and 40 nights. Dean, of course, didn’t have to watch the news, he already knew everything that was happening. He knew because billions of people were praying at him, giving him a full accounting of the penalty humanity was paying because he had faltered for a split second. He felt each and every one of those prayers like he was being poked all over with small icy needles, millions of them per second.
It didn’t seem right that you could be good – better than good, great, practically perfect even – like 99.99% of the time but with a single, brief moment of weakness, just like that, boom, everything is undone. It occurred to him that of all the demons they had ever fought, he had just done worse than them all combined because he was upset that a girl didn’t like him any more.
He knew it all already. He didn’t need the news to tell him, he knew how bad it was. He had turned on the news so Sam could find out about it without Dean having to actually tell him what he’d done. Sam and Castiel sent alarmed looks back and forth at each other as they watched the images on the screen but no one said a word. Dean sat on the couch and stared into space and chewed the inside of his cheek till he tasted blood. He couldn’t decide if it was worse that they didn’t say anything, or if it was better.
They didn’t even look his way.
After a while Dean got up and left the room. He got drunk for the first time in weeks and took sleeping pills at the same time. A whole lot of sleeping pills. He figured it didn’t matter, not like he could die anyway, so he took the whole bottle and then conjured up another whole bottle and took that too. Then he took some other stuff he found in the cabinet, cough syrup and antihistamines and painkillers and he washed it down with whiskey.
There was something symbolic about it, ritualistic, even though he knew he couldn’t die.
If he could have died, he would have, he would have died to take it all back if he could but he didn’t have enough power to undo what he had done and he couldn’t die. If he could have died he would have died of shame. Dean was so ashamed of himself, of his anger, of his pride, of his lack of self-control that he wanted to die and so he pretended that he could. He just wanted to be numb, completely and totally numb for a while.
Sam called Bobby back from South Dakota.
It wasn’t because of what Dean had done, it wasn’t because everyone on Earth was freaking out and killing each other or that it was all Dean’s fault, because that seemed like such an insurmountable thing Sam just wanted to push it away forever and never think of it again, even though that made him a bad person or something, probably.
Sam called Bobby back because the bunker was full of animals and Dean wouldn’t wake up. Dean was making animals in his sleep. Wild animals. Lots of them. He couldn’t create things when he was awake, but apparently when he was unconscious he had the knack, and Sam couldn’t get him to wake up. Castiel had healed him, had filtered the drugs and alcohol out of his system, but Dean still wouldn’t wake up. It was like he didn’t want to wake up or something.
Bobby already knew what had happened of course and when he appeared he waved off Sam’s apology. “I was on my way anyways, ya idjit,” he said as he kicked what Sam recognized as a Komodo dragon away. “I saw the news.” Bobby ducked as a peregrine falcon swooped past his head in pursuit of one of the hundreds of small rodents that scurried across the floor. “It’s like Noah’s frigging Ark in here!”
“Tell me about it! What do we do?”
“Well, put em back where they came from, I guess.” That’s the way the night went. They tried to get Dean to wake up, tried everything from cold showers to coffee, but he wouldn’t wake up. As the animals appeared Sam would Google them and try to find out where they belonged and then Bobby and Castiel would drop them off whereever it was on Earth – an adventure made all too thrilling by the frequent appearances of Bengal tigers and alligators, animals which Dean had a particular affinity for. Thankfully, Dean didn’t seem to be able to create dinosaurs which he also loved, or, as Bobby quipped, “We’dve had to open up our own version of Jurassic Park.” When the angels were gone and couldn’t see him doing it, Sam pray-screamed at Jovi to come and help them, to do something, to do anything, and she didn’t answer, naturally.
Sam was so over Jovi it wasn’t even funny.
Gabriel, thankfully, did hear and respond, and a good thing too because Sam didn’t think they could have managed without him. He seemed to think the entire situation was hilarious and cracked jokes and threatened to give Dean a cocaine enema if he didn’t wake up soon. Somehow his high spirits were contagious and pretty soon they were laughing even though everything was infinity miles beyond awful.
When Dean woke up the next morning, Sam was dozing on the couch fitfully. Dean had stopped making animals a couple hours prior and the angels had gone off to see what they could do to mitigate the civil unrest.
There was only one animal left, the last one Dean had made. It didn’t have a place in the world any more since it was technically extinct. Sam hoped against hope that Dean might find some joy in it.
Dean had finally managed to make a Dodo.
Dean shuffled in, holding his body stiffly, his fists clutched tight and drawn up to his chest like he was sore or injured or really cold. Sam knew that he couldn’t be hurt because Castiel had healed Dean repeatedly during the night and he realized with a chill that some injuries are on the inside where no one can really see. Sam sat up as the dodo waddled over to Dean and gazed up at him with an adoring expression on its cartoonish face. Dean stared at it blankly. “You made it in your sleep.”
“Did she come, Sam?”
She hadn’t, of course, and Sam was overcome with a sudden need to change the subject. “The dodo, Dean, you did it, see, isn’t that awesome? Now you can just copy it and…”
“Did she come, Sam, and if you ask who, so help me…”
“No. She didn’t.” Dean sighed, and blinked, and sighed again. He looked at the dodo and much to Sam’s dismay the rotund bird disappeared into a cloud of dust and then the dodo dust disappeared into nothing. “Dean, wait! What?”
“You can’t just remake old things, Sam.”
“It’s against the natural order.” Dean shuffled in that strange stiff way into the kitchen and stopped. Since he’d been on his health-food kick the kitchen was full of vitamin bottles and exotic fruits that Sam didn’t recognize. “It had its chance.”
“But I thought you wanted…”
“I wanted?” Dean’s voice cracked and he spun around and the expression on his face, Sam didn’t recognize it. Like, he barely even recognized it was Dean that’s how different he looked. Like, unhinged, totally unhinged. If Dean’s eyes had been twirling in spirals, they would have matched what rest of his face looked like. “I WANTED!?! Since when has what I WANTED mattered? In my LIFE? Never? I didn’t think so!” As he yelled spit flew out of his mouth, so much spit that Sam could see it from across the room.
“Dean. It’s ok. Who cares, about the dodo, or whatever. It doesn’t matter. Just…it’s ok. It’s fine! Do you…do you want to talk, or something maybe?” Sam desperately hoped Dean would say no because Sam didn’t know where to even begin, I mean what could a person say that could begin to make yesterday even remotely ok? He hadn’t the foggiest notion. They didn’t exactly make Hallmark cards full of encouraging platitudes for when God gets cranky.
Dean tugged the refrigerator open way too vehemently and everything inside sloshed and jostled in protest. He bent over to rummage around inside it. “And what, pray tell, might I want to talk about, Sammy?”
“Uh, I don’t know, yesterday?”
He slammed the fridge shut and turned, his arms full of juices and smoothies and other mystery potions. “Do I WANT to TALK about YESTERDAY?” Dean flung a bottle of wheatgrass juice at the wall. It shattered, leaving a massive green splot on his Van Gogh. “Hell YEAH I want to talk about YESTERDAY!” He flung a bottle of something vivid orange at the floor roughly in the neighborhod of Sam’s feet, which were bare because he’d been sleeping. Sam could feel droplets of icy juice splash his lower legs.
“But do I want to talk you YOU, Sammy?” He flung a yogurt smoothie in a plastic container at the TV. It went right through the screen and exploded on the wall on the other side and Sam recalled Dean had supernatural strength and didn’t feel particularly awesome about being right in his line of sight. “I can say pretty EMPHATICALLY…” He threw another bottle Sam’s direction, so fast Sam couldn’t see what it was till it hit the floor and drenched his feet in purple fluid. Beet juice. “…That I DO NOT!” The last bottle whizzed right past Sam’s head and hit the wall with a loud ker-sploosh.
As his brother spun on his heel and yanked opened the fridge again looking for more ammunition, Sam took the opportunity to flee, ignoring the tiny shards of glass burrowing into his bare feet as he did. He heard another bottle breaking behind him and felt more liquid hit the back of his legs. As he shut the door behind him, another bottle hit the door hard enough to shake the entire wall and Sam wondered what would have happened if he’dve been ten seconds slower and the bottle had hit his skull instead.
Castiel and Bobby appeared beside him. They were both filthy and exhausted and they’d only been gone a few hours. Whatever Dean had unleashed, it was bad. “What’s the ruckus?” Bobby asked, but Sam could only shake his head.
From behind the closed door they could hear the sounds of smashing plastic and shattering glass as Dean obliterated the vestiges of his latest self-improvement project. The destruction continued until he must have run out of stuff to throw. There was a long moment of silence and then Dean howled in frustration, an inhuman sound of pure wounded animal agony that shook the entire bunker. Sam clapped his hands over his ears and winced because it was so loud his teeth hurt, but more than that his heart ached for his brother. Before Sam could stop him, Bobby opened the door to go to Dean’s aid.
The horrible sound stopped.
There was no glass, no mess. It was like nothing had even happened.
Dean was gone.